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ebag17


May 20, 2010, 4:45 PM
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Learning trad
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I know there's people out there who just taught themselves with some friends how to sport climb. But are there any people who just bought a rack of nuts and cams with friends and tried teaching themselves how to lead trad? I mean hopefully that guy/girl isn't out there squished at the bottom of a cliff. I'll apologize in advance if this is a complete waste of your time.

-G


caughtinside


May 20, 2010, 5:02 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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Lots of people do. Get some books. John Long's anchor book is a good place to start.

...but it is generally faster and safer to learn from someone who knows what their doing. But you can benefit more from instruction/advice if you've read the books and are familiar with the concepts.


healyje


May 20, 2010, 5:05 PM
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Yep, amazing how anyone climbed at all before gyms, sport climbing, guides, and books.


kjaking


May 20, 2010, 6:49 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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Thats what I'm doing, and I'm not dead yet. Just get a copy of Freedom of the Hills and be smart. Its mostly common sense/learning about forces. Major props to the suggestion to get John Long's book. If you have taken physics at some point in life, its a good time to dust those skills off.


napoleon_in_rags


May 20, 2010, 6:53 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I did. Bought one set of nuts, one set of hexes and did it - climbed a lot of 5.3s for the first year and read a lot of John Long.


Aardvark


May 21, 2010, 5:27 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I also recommend "Traditional Lead Climbing: A Rock Climber's Guide to Taking the Sharp End of the Rope " by Heidi Pesterfield.


notapplicable


May 21, 2010, 6:46 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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ebag17 wrote:
I know there's people out there who just taught themselves with some friends how to sport climb. But are there any people who just bought a rack of nuts and cams with friends and tried teaching themselves how to lead trad? I mean hopefully that guy/girl isn't out there squished at the bottom of a cliff. I'll apologize in advance if this is a complete waste of your time.

-G

I did. See avatar.


MS1


May 21, 2010, 6:59 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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ebag17 wrote:
I know there's people out there who just taught themselves with some friends how to sport climb. But are there any people who just bought a rack of nuts and cams with friends and tried teaching themselves how to lead trad? I mean hopefully that guy/girl isn't out there squished at the bottom of a cliff. I'll apologize in advance if this is a complete waste of your time.

-G

Yes. If this is your only option, I recommend reading Long's anchor book, leading some clean aid pitches, and then giving it a try on the easiest route you can find. It's not rocket science, but you can die if you fuck it up, so take it slow and be safe.


chadnsc


May 21, 2010, 7:54 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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 For me personally I say read some books on placing gear and trad leading. The information is available so why not take advantage of it.

In addition to this (an more important) find an experienced and trustworthy mentor to teach you how to read.

I know some say not to bother with reading about trad leading but I say why not. It's a good idea to have a base of knowledge (not skill mind you) about the basics of leading before you head out onto the rock. I think that by doing so you will accelerate your learning of the technical skills of leading for the simple fact that you will be able question your mentors reasoning for doing things the way she dose.

Of course this is just my personal option.


scrapedape


May 21, 2010, 8:30 AM
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Re: [chadnsc] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I think that the most important thing you can do while learning to climb is to ask "why?" constantly. This is true whether you are learning from a book or from a guide.

I don't think that you serve yourself well by simply memorizing rules of thumb and lists of dos and do-nots. Leading, or anchor building, for that matter, is a lot like solving an engineering problem. Good engineers may rely on rules of thumb and shortcuts, but to do so safely, they have to understand why that rule exists - what the rationale for it is and what are the underlying principles.

I am not saying that you have to be an engineer to be a good climber.

But I am saying that you will do better if you ask yourself, or your teacher, why a certain thing is done a certain way, rather than another way? What are the risks, and what are the benefits?

I believe you can learn a lot from a book, but it will help a lot if you refuse to let yourself be spoon-fed.


MS1


May 21, 2010, 9:59 AM
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Re: [chadnsc] Learning trad [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
For me personally I say read some books on placing gear and trad leading. The information is available so why not take advantage of it.

In addition to this (an more important) find an experienced and trustworthy mentor to teach you how to read.

. . . Of course this is just my personal option.

Classic. Why not get a writing mentor while you are at it?


Partner cracklover


May 21, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Re: [caughtinside] Learning trad [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
Lots of people do. Get some books. John Long's anchor book is a good place to start.

...but it is generally faster and safer to learn from someone who knows what their doing. But you can benefit more from instruction/advice if you've read the books and are familiar with the concepts.

First response, and best answer. Period.

GO


clews


May 21, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I did and so did most of the people I climb with.


TarHeelEMT


May 21, 2010, 1:40 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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ebag17 wrote:
I know there's people out there who just taught themselves with some friends how to sport climb. But are there any people who just bought a rack of nuts and cams with friends and tried teaching themselves how to lead trad? I mean hopefully that guy/girl isn't out there squished at the bottom of a cliff. I'll apologize in advance if this is a complete waste of your time.

-G

I was more or less self taught. I followed trad a handful of times and decided that I wanted to learn. I then read John Long's book, bought a rack, and went out climbing. I was very inefficient my first few times out, but looking back I don't think I ever did anything that was downright dangerous.

When I got the chance to, I climbed with more experienced leaders and developed more efficient ways to do things.


desertwanderer81


May 21, 2010, 3:24 PM
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Re: [healyje] Learning trad [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
Yep, amazing how anyone climbed at all before gyms, sport climbing, guides, and books.

Or the INTERNET!!!!


chadnsc


May 24, 2010, 5:46 AM
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Re: [MS1] Learning trad [In reply to]
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MS1 wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
For me personally I say read some books on placing gear and trad leading. The information is available so why not take advantage of it.

In addition to this (an more important) find an experienced and trustworthy mentor to teach you how to read.

. . . Of course this is just my personal option.

Classic. Why not get a writing mentor while you are at it?

Doh! Damn these mangled fingers and my poor typing skills. Tongue I need more caffeine before I post.


kennoyce


May 24, 2010, 7:12 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I'm another one who started trad climbing this way. I read john longs book, got a set of nuts and started climbing.

As has been said, just make sure you understand the gear and how it works and don't be stupid.


ladyscarlett


May 28, 2010, 3:03 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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I actually started climbing in the gym...Tongue

Never had the inclination or the money for a formal class, even in the gym. I had to go with a different path - made some trad friends. Being from the gym made it a challenge, but I managed.

I lured them with strange and good trail food (mmm dried squid!), mule services, alchohol, smokes, driving duties, and lots and lots of climbing trips. All of which centered around general tomfoolery - that's my style of learning!

I HAVE been slightly squished at the bottom of a cliff more than once. Sometimes squished on the side of the rock at a hanging belay. That's been part of the learning process too. There's a certain level of squish I have actually been able to walk away from laughing, or at least limp.

I haven't taken a formal class as of yet but I think it's cause I'm out having too much fun with my friends to come inside and do my homework...but I probably will eventually!

I personally think the best way to learn is make some trad friends, and PLAY! Play long and hard, as much as you can take. Wink

But then again, maybe that's just me.

Safty Third!

2p

ls


bill413


May 28, 2010, 3:33 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] Learning trad [In reply to]
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There's a lot of good answers in this thread.

I initially learned mostly by doing, and, at times, having someone with a lot more experience critiquing. I also followed other leaders.
I did read some books, and certainly recommend getting as much info as you can. But, I think one of the most important things is to look back over any lead you do & analyze it. And, if you're following anybody, look at what they did & think about why (or why not).

GL


cacalderon


May 30, 2010, 6:16 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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Agree with above posts...books, videos will all help.

Try to watch other climbers at the crag place gear and try to imitate... also, find someone to follow on trad and cleaning the gear is usually a good way to learn as well..


GSPER


May 30, 2010, 7:15 PM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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Agree with the mentor + books approach. The devil is in the details and it would take years to hear of all the details just by climbing with experienced folks. Here is where the books really help. IMHO the best books, both by the now late Craig Luebben, are "ROCK CLIMBING: Mastering Basic Skills" & "ROCK CLIMBING ANCHORS: A Comprehensive Guide". I found these to have clearer writing and illustrations than Long's books even though Long's are good books. Even better would be to also take some formal instruction if available and affordable.


(This post was edited by GSPER on May 30, 2010, 7:17 PM)


chadnsc


Jun 3, 2010, 9:54 AM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] Learning trad [In reply to]
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ladyscarlett wrote:
II lured them with strange and good trail food (mmm dried squid!), mule services, alchohol, smokes, driving duties, and lots and lots of climbing trips. All of which centered around general tomfoolery - that's my style of learning!

/\ This is the propper way to find a trad mentor.


lkeegan


Jul 6, 2010, 4:13 PM
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I did this about 3 weeks ago. I had been seconding someone for a while and decided I knew what I was doing. Bought a rack went out and had my second critique my placements. For the most part it was successful a few pieces pulled when I tried climbing a 5.9 and I ended up taking them out and down climbing.

Unfortunately I sprained my ankle down climbing so now I've got a lot of down time, so since then I was given a copy of Freedom of the Hills and I've started reading about gear placements. An understanding of Physics is helpful and makes a lot of what I'm reading seem like common sense. But for the next month or so all I can do is read about placements so my next go round will hopefully be more successful.


rangerrob


Jul 7, 2010, 5:04 AM
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Re: [lkeegan] Learning trad [In reply to]
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okay so how did you sprain your ankle?


dynosore


Jul 7, 2010, 5:14 AM
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Re: [ebag17] Learning trad [In reply to]
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Self taught. God gave me a brain, it's amazing what I can do when I remember to use it. Single pitch trad climbing isn't rocket science. Now, when I dip my toes into multipitch I'll be looking for a mentor.

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