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Learning Trad in NH
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bdbc


Dec 30, 2007, 7:49 PM
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Learning Trad in NH
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So, after leading sport, and getting some of my technique together on boulder routes, I've decided that Trad is something that I'd love to get into. I know that coming from New Hampshire, there's a lot of classic routes, but I was wondering if there were any particularly good (i.e. easy with good protection) routes to get started on. I'm a pretty solid 5.10 sport leader so ideally something well under that ceiling would be great.
Any advice is appreciated, seeing as in the grand scheme of things I'm still pretty inexperienced.
Thanks-Ben


basilisk


Dec 30, 2007, 11:59 PM
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Re: [bdbc] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Most anything at Echo Crag in Franconia Notch would do you well. There's all sorts of good trad routes there.
You would do well to note that unless you're at Rumney, you can plan on carrying a trad rack in NH. Lots of our routes are mixed in with bolts, but by no means are they sport routes.
Certainly not meaning to insult your intelligence btw, but I've met more than a few people who have seen bolts on a route and left the trad rack behind. It always ends up in a dicey situation


trundlebum


Jan 16, 2008, 8:51 PM
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Re: [bdbc] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Two words:
Barber wall
(Cathedral)


wanderlustmd


Jan 17, 2008, 9:40 AM
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Re: [trundlebum] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Assuming you know how to place gear, have followed someone and are solid with the basics, Cathedral/Whitehorse are great.

If not, do the above before taking the sharp end.

Go down to the North End of Cathedral (Practice wall) and try the 5.5 route (can't recall the name...Child's Play?) Good pro, laid back. After that, there is a 5.7 (Kiddie Crack) just next door if you feel up to it.

Just start at the bottom and adjust things accordingly based on your comfort level. It goes without saying,but a super conservative attitude is important when you are starting out. It's best to climb with experienced folks if possible, as they can help with appropriate route selection.


jmeizis


Jan 17, 2008, 9:46 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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If you're looking for single pitch then the above mentioned routes are good introductions to Conway Granite. If you're interested in multi-pitch then getting on Thin Air is a must. The problem with Cathedral and Whitehorse is that you don't get a lot of practice placing gear since their isn't gear to be placed. Thin Air is a good example. That was actually my first traditional lead! The only other trad place I've climbed in NH is Cannon and that's not a good place to learn trad for the most part. Not sure what type of sport routes you were leading but getting on the cracks is definitely different, so keep that in mind.


tomcat


Jan 17, 2008, 10:17 AM
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Re: [jmeizis] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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The best Trad learning venue I know of here is Square Ledge in Pinkham Notch.It's got a nice 5.5 chimney that takes gear well,and a really well featured front face that takes all sorts of gear and has several lines on it,at really moderate grades.

You climb plenty well enough,if you are not uncomfortable on easy slabs then get up to the Arch on Standard Route,you can get a few good trad leads in there that take good gear.

I often think the first pitch of Recompense is the best 5.7 pitch on the cliff,has good pro but requires some faith and basic routefinding skillz,pretty sure you have those too.

Lot o stuff has the entry fee,run out slab on Bombardment for example.If that doesn't wig you out the Bombardment Crack is great.5.8

Fun House is pretty popular early lead too.


bostonclimbah


Jan 17, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Hmm... While there are some OK recomendations here for first routes, I think there's also a LOT of big leaps of faith being made. If you're asking about easier routes that you can climb and place gear then I guess some of these are OK but this would have nothing to do with "learning to trad climb" in my opinion. Trad is a mind set unto it's self and can be a harsh teacher to the unsuspecting. A couple of the routes listed are prime examples and you would be relying on pure luck to avoid injury. Simply put, "you don't know what you don't know".

To be honest, placing gear is the easy part and is something that can be practiced on the ground at first. But before even jumping on an easy route, I would strongly recomend working with a mentor or better yet an instructor.

Being in NH, you are fortunate that there are many excellent instructors. Personally, I worked with Marc Chauvin for a few years and would highly recomend him and his straight up, no BS approach. It can be tough to swallow at first but it is what it is and that's trad for ya.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 19, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Re: [trundlebum] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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trundlebum wrote:
Two words:
Barber wall
(Cathedral)

For a beginning Trad leader? Are you kidding?


trundlebum


Jan 19, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Nope not kidding.

Do I under estimate what is meant by:
"So, after leading sport, and...
I'm a pretty solid 5.10 sport leader..." ?

I am not a sport climber,
but when I hear "solid 5.10" I think... hmmm

This is someone that does not need to be told the obvious such as a place named "the north end practise slabs" of Cathedral are a good start. He/she prolly knows that and is asking/looking for other places with easy approach/ access where they can get some climbing in and practise placing gear.

The north end slab is a no brainer,
go there, do some easy climbs,
do the two classic (well protected) 5.9's,
walk around, stuff gear in cracks at ground level,
bounce test at ground level and all that other obvious advice.

Another good place to practise:
"Barber wall"

How would you get there ?
The obvious:
Drive/hike to the top and walk down around, or...
climb 'FunHouse' 5.7 (my first lead) or 'Three birches' 5.8+ both well protected.
Neither of which should be very taxing for a "5.10 sport leader".

Once on the upper ledge there are what ? 5 separate 5.9 routes ?
Is that a little stiff for a pretty "solid 5.10 sport leader..." ?

You don't have to climb cracks to make practise placements.
This is a good place to find a concentration of cracks all off a comfortable ledge.
In trying to lead there, yes the routes may be a little stiff in grade, but they are all single pitch and easy, peasy to run around top and rap to retrieve any welded gear.

Weld a piece of gear on a route like 'Thin air' (a 5.5) and it will most likely stay there.
Weld one on 'Alpha corner' or 'Nutcracker' and you could have it back in no time.

For someone that can pull 5.10 moves,
Barber wall is a good place to find a concentration of cracks,
that are easily accessible from the top,
Have fun easy leads to get to them,
and offer a relatively safe place to wonder around 'putzing' with gear and cracks.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 21, 2008, 2:07 PM
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Re: [trundlebum] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Well, for someone who is looking for beginning trad in NH, I assume by "5.10 sport leader", they are talking about being able to get up a lot of 10's at Rumney.

I have climbed extensively at both places and first of all the climbing is totally different, not to mention any Henry Barber route being a total sandbag (at least compared to Rumney grades).

Someone who is beginning trad doesn't have a clue about gear and should not be on climbs at or near their limit. If 10's at rumney it the limit then I can pretty much guarantee that 5.9/5.10 cracks are above it.

Don't get me wrong, they are quality routes, but not for someone who is looking for beginner routes.

Cheers,

Josh


s6141a


Feb 3, 2008, 6:50 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Just thought I would add a comment here, since I've enjoyed reading this thread. It seems climbers today are a little too concerned about beginners stepping out of their comfert zone. Most climbs on the Barber Wall and the practice slabs are loaded with bomber gear placements. If this guy wants to push his limits, in my opinion, go for it. In my early years, before sport climbing existed, I scared myself shitless on occasion, but that is a great learning experience. This climber can always step down to easier climbs, if he wishes. However; I would recommend that this person practice putting in a number of pieces just off the ground; including falling on them,( perhaps with a top rope belay), before leading off. Something I never did as a beginner. I've been climbing on Cathedral for over 40 years, and have trouble remembering what it was like learning. Cheers


olderic


Feb 3, 2008, 8:45 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I have climbed extensively at both places and first of all the climbing is totally different, not to mention any Henry Barber route being a total sandbag (at least compared to Rumney grades).

Josh

Josh - for the most part I agree with you and think TB is just trying to stir things up. But Henry's grades are not sandbaged. Rumney (like most modern areas( has incredible grade inflation - so we can all feel good about ourselves I guess...


winkwinklambonini


Feb 3, 2008, 5:47 PM
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Re: [olderic] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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In my opinion, one should become instinctual, quick, and consistant at placing good gear before they approach their limit.


blueeyedclimber


Feb 6, 2008, 6:53 AM
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Re: [olderic] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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olderic wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I have climbed extensively at both places and first of all the climbing is totally different, not to mention any Henry Barber route being a total sandbag (at least compared to Rumney grades).

Josh

Josh - for the most part I agree with you and think TB is just trying to stir things up. But Henry's grades are not sandbaged. Rumney (like most modern areas( has incredible grade inflation - so we can all feel good about ourselves I guess...

Yah, you are probably right. That's why I said "at least compared to Rumney grades." THis summer, I climbed Vultures (a Barber route) at Sundown. Took me a few goes, but got it. Had heard that it was a sandbag but at the time, I didn't think so. I went back a month or 2 later with Tiff and I could barely get of the ground on it. I thought it was a sandbag THAT day.

Josh


tomcat


Feb 10, 2008, 5:32 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Learning Trad in NH [In reply to]
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Vultures...hahahahaha.Onsited that many years ago first time there.All downhill since then.Last time took five tries.I think it's harder than Airation or Connecticut Crack,both 11a's.Guide sayeth"10+ and hard for the grade".


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