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What grade free climbing
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climbingcowboy


Mar 12, 2003, 2:41 PM
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What grade free climbing
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is really mandatory to get up most of the beginer aid routes in the valley? I'll admit I only climb easy trad and dont have the time to really advance my levels do to work and my free time I practice aid climbing, but I really want to try a aid route in Yos this year and when I see ratings such as 5.10 C2 or such I wondered how much I have to free climb. Does it really just depend on the route? I'm sure I'll get flamed from some of you so go ahead.


kalcario


Mar 12, 2003, 2:58 PM
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What grade free climbing [In reply to]
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For doing big wall trade routes (Nose, NWF Half Dome, S Face Column etc) it is just as important to be solid at free climbing cracks as it is being efficient at aid, the main reason being these routes are crowded and you don't want to epic and piss people off. You should be way solid at leading 5.10c cracks, actually I'd say 5.11 for the Nose, because 5.9 or 5.10 feels harder with the 2 ropes, a bigger than usual rack and the pulley you will be leading with. I would concentrate more on that than on doing 1 pitch beginner aid routes, which, as you seem to have already figured out, are pretty mindless once you've done a few.


iamthewallress


Mar 12, 2003, 3:33 PM
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If you are not the best free climber, the WF of Leaning Tower isn't too bad. The 5.6 friction is very moderate for the grade. The 5.7 on pitch 6 is really steep for the grade, but the holds are all there. Supposedly you can cam hook up this (or bring a hella long cheater stick to snag the first bolt). I think that there was a mantle on to the ledge at the end of pitch 9 too that was just one move of free.


twrock


Mar 12, 2003, 4:47 PM
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I'm thinkin' "way solid at leading 5.10c cracks" is a bit exaggerated for the South Face of WC. :) SF is the "definition" of a beginner big wall route. If some "speed racer" heads up there and gets bent out of shape at the gumbies holding him/her up, it's "speedie" who needs to chill or go find a different route. He ought to know better.

Having said that, cowboy, Chris Mac's Supertopos will list a "minimum" free climbing number for any pitch that can not be completely aided. So you'd better be ready to do those moves "with the 2 ropes, a bigger than usual rack and the pulley you will be leading with." Sometimes a little trickery will lower the grade a bit, but don't count on it. Chris and his sources are most likely "in-the-know." And of course "being able" to free climb at a higher level will likely speed things up, make them easier, and increase your chances for success.

Just my $0.20 worth (inflation adjusted).


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