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Torag7


Nov 23, 2007, 9:32 AM
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Dying Breed?
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So I was told today that being an trad climber makes me a dying breed, because most people nowadays are drifting towards bouldering or sport with less preparation and mind games. I haven't been climbing long enough to see a change...what do you all think?


Partner hosh


Nov 23, 2007, 9:40 AM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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That's a lie. There are lots of trad climbers out there. Who ever told you that doesn't know what they're talking about...

hosh.


Partner angry


Nov 23, 2007, 9:57 AM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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Torag7 wrote:
So I was told today that being an trad climber makes me a dying breed, because most people nowadays are drifting towards bouldering or sport with less preparation and mind games. I haven't been climbing long enough to see a change...what do you all think?

As a primarily trad climber, I hope you're right. I certainly don't need mass appeal to keep doing what I'm doing.

You are wrong though, trad (gear routes) is more popular now than it's been in ten years.


johnathon78


Nov 23, 2007, 10:01 AM
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I hope so! That would be awesome if when I was like 50 and trad climbing if some 5.15 sport climbing 13 yr old kid comes up to me and says " what are those things on your harness "! I would love it. Then I would say " These are cams, son. I've been trad climbing since before you could even climb into bed"!


ja1484


Nov 23, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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Torag7 wrote:
So I was told today that being an trad climber makes me a dying breed, because most people nowadays are drifting towards bouldering or sport with less preparation and mind games. I haven't been climbing long enough to see a change...what do you all think?


There are quite a few people climbing trad these days. They are less common than sporties and boulderers of course, because those two varieties don't require anything much beyond fitness and knowing how a carabiner works.

Climbing as an activity overall is growing quickly, but trad is slower to follow because it's a type of climbing that presents many more ways to injure or kill yourself. Plus, it's quite a bit scarier at times for a multitude of reasons. I'll give you an example of my buddy and I topping out a climb about a week back:

Me: "Got a good anchor up there?"
Partner: "I suppose it'll work. You're on belay, climb when ready."
Me: "You *suppose* it'll work?"
Partner: "I've looked around up here quite a bit. It's not gonna get any better. Try not to fall."
Me: "....climbing."


Sometimes, that's just how it goes.

There's also the cost-to-entry barrier. The people really swelling the ranks in bouldering and sport tend to be teens and college students with a lot of free time and little free money. The idea of ponying up 12-1800 for a trad rack seems implausible when a couple hundred bucks lets them explore the sport crag with the convenient parking.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Nov 23, 2007, 10:10 AM)


give_r


Nov 23, 2007, 11:13 AM
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There are expections to the age rule. I'm 17 and have been trad climbing for three years now and moving into aid and big wall climbing. Investment really isn't too big a deal if you play your cards right. Buy a nut tool, harness and atc and I've found that quite a few people are keen to have a second.

NS


brutusofwyde


Nov 23, 2007, 11:27 AM
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give_r wrote:
There are expections to the age rule.

Is an "expection" a cross between an exception and an expectation? or does it have to do with expectorant?

I certainly hope "trad climbing" is on the decline. It would be nice to go to my old haunts (Josh, Yosemite, Red Rocks) on a weekend without having to wait in line if I happen to want to climb a classic line.

Alas, I fear 'tis not to be. So I'll just keep climbing on weekdays, and seeking out the less crowded areas and the FAs.


brewer19


Nov 23, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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In the UK it's hard to find anything BUT trad. if you climb outdoors, then you climb trad and that's just the way it goes. don't get me wrong bouldering is popular, but it's more popular as part of an indoor training regimen. you can find sport climbs around but they're more or less limited to quarries and otherwise unclimbable rock.

so no, we're not dinosaurs yet.


granite_grrl


Nov 23, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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Its not that climbing on gear is dying, so much as trad ethics are dying. Dingus has writen some nice rants about ground up trad ethics and I'm sure he could put it better than I can.

You get strong kids right out of the gym who don't know what the fuck they're doing, they grab a rack and start climbing stuff I can't touch yet. They climb harder than those who might mentor them so they choose not to listen. They just continue and modify the attitude that they learned in the gym.


coastal_climber


Nov 23, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Re: [give_r] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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give_r wrote:
There are expections to the age rule. I'm 17 and have been trad climbing for three years now and moving into aid and big wall climbing. Investment really isn't too big a deal if you play your cards right. Buy a nut tool, harness and atc and I've found that quite a few people are keen to have a second.

NS

I'm similar.

Started trad and now my gym friends are trying to make fun of meTongue But I tell them: You can take a rat out of a the gym, but you can't take the gym out of a rat.

>Cam


ja1484


Nov 23, 2007, 12:15 PM
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brutusofwyde wrote:
Is an "expection" a cross between an exception and an expectation? or does it have to do with expectorant?


Likely both.



give_r wrote:
There are expections to the age rule. I'm 17 and have been trad climbing for three years now and moving into aid and big wall climbing.


Ya caught me kid. Up until now, I never knew that the world wasn't black n white. I'll be damned.


mushroomsamba


Nov 23, 2007, 12:19 PM
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that just means more good trad for those of us who can handle it. score one.

p.s. trad is rad


keithspernak


Nov 23, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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I'm not sure if this really answers the question, but look at snowsports. 10 years ago snowboarding was the most awesome thing on the planet (to me at least). Skiiers were considered uncool and the evolution of tricks, stunts, big stuff, etc. seemed to be contained within the realm of snowboarding. Now look at it. Skiiers are doing stuff that blow the bindings off snowboarders, both in bounds and out. Look at what some folks are doing with trad these days. It's only going to progress the discipline. Mind blowing.


notapplicable


Nov 24, 2007, 8:01 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
Its not that climbing on gear is dying, so much as trad ethics are dying. Dingus has writen some nice rants about ground up trad ethics and I'm sure he could put it better than I can.

You get strong kids right out of the gym who don't know what the fuck they're doing, they grab a rack and start climbing stuff I can't touch yet. They climb harder than those who might mentor them so they choose not to listen. They just continue and modify the attitude that they learned in the gym.


I think your right, its all in how you define "trad". If its simply climbing on gear, then the answer is no, its more popular than ever.

What is a truely dying breed is the art, ethic or soul of trad? Trad has its roots in exploratory, adventureous, onsite, independent, risk embracing, etc..., climbing. All of that is slowly being filtered out of the genre and what is left is still trad its just new trad and is marked by emphasis on different ethics, goals and attitudes.

Unfortunately I sometimes feel that whats gone is something that most of us cannot get back. I love the Gunks, New River and Red River as much as the next guy and sure I often seek out climbing with sketchy gear and runouts because, for me that's where the juice is. Despite that I can't quite escape the fact that I'm at a climbing park? Perhaps I need to travel farther out and get into the Whites, Rockies or Sierras. I know its not all about the venue but it doesnt matter what routes I climb or in what style I do so, my surroundings some how make it all feel like a bit of novelty. I even get that feeling at Seneca and some of the 'of the radar' spots around there. The feeling is insidious and it creeps. Perhaps it just the tendancy to idealise what came before, retro trends and all that. Cant say what I'm chasing realy.

I know this is all a bit depressing but its Sat. night and I would rather be lying in a tent thinking about the tick list for tomorrow but instead I'm sitting in front of a computer. Ahhh well, I'll make it to the local sports park tomorrow to skip some bolts and plug some gear. Doing what I can to keep the spirit alive. You know, I started this post in a good mood too. Unsure


Edited to add: LaughLaughLaugh I just read my post and it sounds terribly emo. If I wasnt so opposed to deleting posts I would be tempted.Blush


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Nov 24, 2007, 8:04 PM)


Partner artm


Nov 24, 2007, 10:09 PM
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Pfffft
Trad is the new bouldering


drjghl


Nov 25, 2007, 9:21 AM
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I think . . . trad climbing does continue to grow but at a much slower rate than bouldering/sport climbing; therefore not a dying breed. But may appear that way at times.

I'm a trad climber and I moved to southern/central Arizona about one year ago. Have been trying to tick off all the classic trad routes in my grade before I move out of the area.

I have noticed that lots of gear routes don't seem to get climbed much, if at all.

Last week, we climbed Great Expectations, and there was a "bush" right in the middle of the route.

At Chimney Rock, a sweet crag with easy access, I rarely see climbers. While other mediocre bolted walls are packed with sporties.

When a popular sport route and trad route are side by side, I'll see tons of posts on the sport route, and sometimes the trad route won't even have it's own post.

I placed and left a nut on the approach to several notable climbs (to protect an exposed 5th class move) When I came back 4 months later, the nut was still there. Warm and Free to Reefer Madness may be the best trad route of it's grade at Mt Lemmon. Name one popular clip up where you can leave a draw and still find it the following weekend.

At a popular sport climbing gym in Tempe, AZ, the gym is usually packed. They have a sweet hand crack that my friend showed me one day. Jumped on it pronto when I saw it. Should have a queue, but alas, TOTALLY ignored.

I know trad climbing is not dying but, at least in some places, it may seem that way.

Gets kind of lonely some times. sniff. sniff.


trebork2
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Nov 25, 2007, 1:41 PM
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Re: [Torag7] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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Well after being in Zion last week I don't think there is any shortage of trad climbers. Not at all.


midwestishell


Nov 25, 2007, 2:33 PM
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I am also curious how many of those kids can actually put a bolt in themselves. My guess is not many. Personally, that is a problem that I see. Its nearly a sense of entitlement. In my community, I rarely see this demographic giving back (or showing interest in giving back) to the community.

Th


penguinator


Nov 25, 2007, 4:34 PM
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No way is trad on the decline.

I think separation between all the disciplines is greater though.

I talk to sport climbers who are so focused only on sport climbing that they will not even try trad. Its the same with trad climbers vs aid climbers, and boulderers vs everyone. Wink


Partner baja_java


Nov 25, 2007, 5:01 PM
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yes, trad climbers are a dying breed. please give generously when you see us out on the rocks. cash is preferable, or free booze, but pawnable jewelry or the clothes off your back, that would touch our hearts too. and if we hit on your girlfriends or wives, again, please understand, we're dying!!


theirishman


Nov 26, 2007, 5:58 AM
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trad climbing is a dying breed cause all the young kids wanna be cool and take their shirts off and do upside down sport climbing, im 17 and have been climbing for 3 years, and im one of 3 of 17 kids i know who climb that does trad, now its all about the bouldering and sport it seems like


tomcat


Nov 26, 2007, 6:20 AM
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There was a beautiful thread on the Taco a few weeks ago about a route in J Tree. Bolts are involved,but I'd still call it Trad as some gear is placed and the bolts are widely spaced. As the thread evolved the history of the route came forth and it was something to see.

I don't sport climb much at all,but I have yet to see/read or hear much history connected to any sport climb.Place bolts,wire climb,redpoint,next.

I believe there are so many sport climbs because they do not fill the soul the way trad does.Trad is rad.


kyote321


Nov 26, 2007, 7:20 AM
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i friend who is an insder in buying and selling climbing equipment. bouldering stuff - up. sport - down. trad -up.


swede


Nov 26, 2007, 7:45 AM
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In Norway I have heard they bolted every crack in some areas. Now, some years later, "adventerous" young climbers with very shaky legs are placing pro in cracks that could easily accommodate a big wall rack in half a ropelength.


Partner epoch
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Nov 26, 2007, 8:46 AM
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kyote321 wrote:
i friend who is an insder in buying and selling climbing equipment. bouldering stuff - up. sport - down. trad -up.

Have you compared the relative cost between items pertaining to each speciality?

It doesn't take much "trad" equipment to turn the $$, even if there is little profit from it. bouldering is quite specific being mainly one thing. Sport is cheap all around. I had my first sport setup (sans harness, atc, shoes, et al.) for under US$200. Trad, however, I'm above US$2500 and growing.

I agree with some of the above posts about the ethic changing. The ethic, IMO, is probably the most important thing about the trad segment that is the most important. I consider even a bolted climb a traditional ascent, if and only if it were climbed ground-up first go. No TRing, no scoping the route on rap. Bolts placed on the lead.

That ethic still prevails in small pockets within the community, but sadly is disappearing with the want for more "convenience" climbing (I.e.: park and go).



So. to answer the OP:
Yes, trad in it's root sense is a dying breed. There are less and less people who are about placing the guidebook in the top pouch of your pack and just climbing whatever line looks appealing to you that you think will go. The sense of adventure, even at well developed crags, is going away. Everybody is spraying beta on how to do the route, which way to rack your gear, and not simply climbing just to climb, have fun, and push yourself both physically and mentally on something that is foreign to you.


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