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maculated


Mar 31, 2004, 10:34 PM
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A guy decked at Pinnacles today doing a trad climb when his second piece popped. He was pretty well hurt, but I suspect he'll be fine.

Over the past two weeks, I've been looking at some mighty bad trad pieces. I'm going to post this hoping some of you will listen.

There's a reason there's the North American Mountaineering Accident reports. Problems happen for a reason. I've talked to a million people who have stopped trad climbing because a piece or two blew on them. You maybe leading on gear and you may think you know what you're doing, but get someone you respect to climb with you and see what they think.

I firmly believe that when gear fails, at least 75% of the time, the climber was either on a route they had no business being on, or they were not proficient with gear placements. Don't let this happen to you.


Partner tim


Mar 31, 2004, 10:38 PM
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Why would anyone who knew what they were doing climb in the Pinnacles at all?

:twisted:


maculated


Mar 31, 2004, 10:56 PM
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It's the damn sport climbers man. I can't rid myself of them.


karmaklimber


Mar 31, 2004, 11:37 PM
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In reply to:
Why would anyone who knew what they were doing climb in the Pinnacles at all?

:lol: Too funny...

But in all seriousness, I hope the guy is alright. How far above the deck was he?

From my understanding, and also from what my mentor told me is part of the reason why many more accidents are happening is because climbing used to be, for the most part, taught in the form of an apprenticeship. Skills, like those needed to lead amongst other skills, were slowly built up slowly, reviewed, and reviewed again for months, maybe even years until both parties felt it was proper to put those skills in place, and even then, developing and honing those skills under close scrutiny was a maticulous process.

Today, many climbers don't receive the time needed to review those skills and whatever instruction they may/may not have received, and highlight what was done both right and wrong, as well as other alternatives, because climbing has lost that apprenticeship aspect. Some just take an hour class and then get to it; others don't even do that at all, so you get alot of climbers out on the rock performing habits that they may not even know is wrong or dangerous.

Correct me if I'm wrong...


keithlester
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Apr 1, 2004, 5:53 AM
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Today, many climbers don't receive the time needed to review those skills and whatever instruction they may/may not have received, and highlight what was done both right and wrong, as well as other alternatives, because climbing has lost that apprenticeship aspect. Some just take an hour class and then get to it; others don't even do that at all, so you get alot of climbers out on the rock performing habits that they may not even know is wrong or dangerous.

Correct me if I'm wrong...
You're not wrong, and neither is mac. The point she is trying to get across is that credulous newbees are getting poor as well as good advice and they aren't able to judge between the two until they either get smart or broken. Everybody wants to lead E numbers in their first year these days. (I think E numbers is english for 5.11 and above) It took me 8 years of leading before I led anything that hard, and that was after following plenty of hard climbs. I'm mostly agreeing with you and saying "for f*** sake dont be in a rush to be dead"


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 1, 2004, 5:58 AM
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75% ???

I think if a piece fails, it is at least 95% pilot error.


michaelmay513


Apr 1, 2004, 6:41 AM
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Not all Sport climbers are the problem. It is the people like YOU who make averyone else think we are a group of idiot climbers, You my friend have the problem. Lets all quit bashing eachothers choice of climbing style, and get along please.

This is in response to maculated's post about sport climbers


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 1, 2004, 6:46 AM
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In reply to:
Not all Sport climbers are the problem. It is the people like YOU who make averyone else think we are a group of idiot climbers, You my friend have the problem. Lets all quit bashing eachothers choice of climbing style, and get along please.

This is in response to maculated's post about sport climbers


I seemed to have missed that in her text... Please show me where she is talking "about sport climbers". So please tell us exactly what the hell YOU are talking about.


Partner mr8615


Apr 1, 2004, 7:13 AM
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I def agree that a noob should know what they're doing before taking on any trad leading and I also agree with the need for a mentor. I always ask my second for their opinion on my placements. If there is an issue with one then I'll even have them leave it in so I can see what it is that was sketch (on routes that are only one pitch, of course). I placed hundreds of peices on toprope 'mock lead' before I even thought about leading a 5.7. Now I have total confidence in my peices. I never really had a mentor, but a lot of times, that's not an option. I think mock leading was the best thing I could do and having others check my placements critically. Over time, it gets easier to spot placements and to set really bomber gear. I love trad! (Sport and bouldering rock too) No hater here.


dirtineye


Apr 1, 2004, 7:26 AM
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It's about time someone else noticed that old "second piece blew and so-and-so was maimed or killed", thing.

And don't think it is just the new climbers doing it, cause I've seen old exzperienced climbers palce 5 pieces in 100 feet as well as seen less experienced peope lclimb thirty feet before placing pro.

YO ucan look thorugh the accidents and injury section here and see time after time, two pieces failed and so on.

Learn to evaluate the risk you are taking, and take steps to keep yer butt off the ground!


It's that simple.

PS new trad climbers should spend time in GROUND SCHOOL, placing, testing, pulling on, jumping on and anything else you can do on gear while in relative safety.


Partner angry


Apr 1, 2004, 7:30 AM
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I agree. I had a few friends I was trying to show how to do it. They of course were anxious to climb so went off when I couldn't hold their hand. Few hours later I had a bud with a broken ankle. He blamed the loose belay, the belayer said it was bad spacing. Well they were both right, that they were both wrong.

His name is phil. So naturally it segued into jokes. "What do you call a retard stuffed into a crack?" Phil.

For me, I'd say don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. I recently had a team-mate get 40+ stitches in his face because he ate it riding down a mountain. He blamed his tires, the road, whatever. The fault was his, he didn't have the skills to do that descent at that speed. Climbing is the same way.


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 1, 2004, 7:33 AM
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In reply to:
I agree. I had a few friends I was trying to show how to do it. They of course were anxious to climb so went off when I couldn't hold their hand. Few hours later I had a bud with a broken ankle. He blamed the loose belay, the belayer said it was bad spacing. Well they were both right, that they were both wrong.

His name is phil. So naturally it segued into jokes. "What do you call a retard stuffed into a crack?" Phil.

For me, I'd say don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. I recently had a team-mate get 40+ stitches in his face because he ate it riding down a mountain. He blamed his tires, the road, whatever. The fault was his, he didn't have the skills to do that descent at that speed. Climbing is the same way.


Excellent post.


piton


Apr 1, 2004, 7:34 AM
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it's a matter of taking time to learn how to place gear. people read a book climb at a gym and buy a rack and feel that this is all they need to go out and lead trad routes.

since i climb at an area that is filled with gumbies, you notice hardly anyone checks their gear when placed. they just place it and then on their way.

stoppers, nuts, choks need to be set. crank those wires down hard and set the stopper. don't give it little tug. Donít settle for the shallow placement see how far you can snake the nut into the back of the crack. learn how to oppose gear so you don't zipper gear.

cams: check out how lobes are placed, make sure that the cams are within the appropriate camming range. then pull on the unitís sling and move the unit from side to side and up and down. see if the slcd has the chance to walk out of placement. If so then see what can be done to hold the unit in place

finally just climb all the easy climbs and work on gear. i've spent 6yrs at the 5.9 level and below learning gear. it has only been the past 2 yrs i feel comfortable enough to go and lead 10 & 11's on trad gear. The great thing I climb with a lot of old schoolers which helps me learn new tricks all the time.


i think this is my longest post :oops:


mother_sheep


Apr 1, 2004, 7:42 AM
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Well, I only have about a dozen or so trad leads and 1/4 that in aid leads on gear under my belt so I guess that categorizes me as a trad n00b. I've seconded/cleanded dozens upon dozens more but not lead. My placements are good to marginal. Getting better with practice. You can only spend so much time in ground school. I'm at the stage in my climbing where I feel like the only way I'm going to learn and feel more confident is by getting out there and doing it. So the method to my madness is to lead super easy trad routes, like in the 5.6 and below range. I can climb 5.6 easily so by sticking to these low grades right now, I can really focus on my placements. There is no way I'd get out and even attempt to lead something at my ability level right now because I'm still in the learning process. And further, there is no way that I'm going to restrict my learning process to the ground. People just need to exercise common sense. If you're a gumby, lead gumby routes like me and move up as your ability progresses. Don't think that just because you can second or sporto 5.10 that you can trad lead 5.10. With an attitude like that, in some cases, you might as well be soloing.


shakylegs


Apr 1, 2004, 7:51 AM
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[rrrAdam] I seemed to have missed that in her text... Please show me where she is talking "about sport climbers". So please tell us exactly what the hell YOU are talking about.[/rrrAdam]

[maculated] It's the damn sport climbers man. I can't rid myself of them. [/maculated] (in regard to who was climbing at Pinnacles.)

Donít be so quick to judge, Adam.
You know, Iíll p!ss on sport climbers as much as the next person (except, of course, when Iím clipping bolts myself, meh), but I find it specious to criticize them when they take up the rack.
However, I do agree with piton: spend the couple hundreds of dollars on a course: it'll get you out of the gate a lot quicker, and a lot safer.

Mac, just wondering, if his 2nd piece popped, was he several pieces above it and the whole thing zippered, or was his 2nd piece his top piece?


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 1, 2004, 8:18 AM
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Uhhhh... I think that part was a joke, as her original was the topic.

In reply to:
Don't be so quick to judge, Adam.
Curious... Where did I "judge" anyone in this thread ???


Partner cracklover


Apr 1, 2004, 8:21 AM
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Excellent post - bears repeating:

In reply to:
Well, I only have about a dozen or so trad leads and 1/4 that in aid leads on gear under my belt so I guess that categorizes me as a trad n00b. I've seconded/cleanded dozens upon dozens more but not lead. My placements are good to marginal. Getting better with practice. You can only spend so much time in ground school. I'm at the stage in my climbing where I feel like the only way I'm going to learn and feel more confident is by getting out there and doing it. So the method to my madness is to lead super easy trad routes, like in the 5.6 and below range. I can climb 5.6 easily so by sticking to these low grades right now, I can really focus on my placements. There is no way I'd get out and even attempt to lead something at my ability level right now because I'm still in the learning process. And further, there is no way that I'm going to restrict my learning process to the ground. People just need to exercise common sense. If you're a gumby, lead gumby routes like me and move up as your ability progresses. Don't think that just because you can second or sporto 5.10 that you can trad lead 5.10. With an attitude like that, in some cases, you might as well be soloing.

The fact is, most of your learning is going to happen on the sharp end, there's just no other way to do it. So get on a lot of routes *way* under your climbing ability, then work your way up through the grades.

There's one other factor that is really important, and is rarely brought up (except by RG, who's been in this game long enough to know). People talk about getting a good multi-directional piece in early on the climb. Well that's great to keep from zippering, but *much* more important is to have two good pieces between you and the ground. That means that at the beginning of a climb, you need to sew it up. Then as you go higher, you can space your pieces out more if you feel solid. That way if your second piece does pop (no-one's perfect, and sometimes you have to make do with just okay placements) you've still got another piece to keep your ass off the dirt.

GO


murf


Apr 1, 2004, 8:25 AM
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Has to burst the bubble, but it ain't hard to place gear. Nuts,cams, tri-cams, whatever, it isn't rocket science. If it were, most of us would still be on the ground. In fact, taking it out is probably harder than putting it in.

Picking the right piece of brass just past the crux of some thin crack lead, that can be hard, and takes practice. Doing some easy, protectable, lead with all the time in the world and a double gear sling of gear ( which is what many leaders tote around these days ), is pretty easy to deal with for most beginners.

The fact is the mechanics of gear placement is not the problem ( or shouldn't be, the mechanics are fairly easy ). Choosing the first piece, knowing when to put in the second ( and the third and fourth ), when to extend or not to extend, these are the real issues. Decking because of a piece pulling on a protectable lead ( one that takes good gear ), simply means that the person in question was sloppy.

If there is any use to doing the "aid thing" as a beginner, it is to show that gear ( cams especially ) aren't magic. Be sloppy and they will fail, much to your dismay.

Murf


shakylegs


Apr 1, 2004, 8:27 AM
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Sigh, I was generalising. Here, let me clarify: Adam, please reflect before jumping on your high horse when someoneómost likely a sport climberóacts offended when he thinks heís being ridiculed.
But hey, thanks for pointing out that her joke was a joke. Because, gosh, I guess it was so fokken obviously a joke that it must have been an incredibly subliminal non-joke, right?


piton


Apr 1, 2004, 8:28 AM
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In reply to:
more important is to have two good pieces between you and the ground. That means that at the beginning of a climb, you need to sew it up. Then as you go higher, you can space your pieces out more if you feel solid. That way if your second piece does pop (no-one's perfect, and sometimes you have to make do with just okay placements) you've still got another piece to keep your ass off the dirt

this is very good advice.


killclimbz


Apr 1, 2004, 8:33 AM
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Trad gear does blow. You are right in stating it is usually from a bad placement. Sometimes that's all you get. Who here hasn't had a trad piece pop on them at least once? If you say no, I doubt you have been doing trad for long.


Partner j_ung


Apr 1, 2004, 8:39 AM
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In reply to:
It's the damn sport climbers man. I can't rid myself of them.

Seemed like a pretty obvious joke. (Joke coming up next) I think all the "can't we just get along" threads have everybody on edge.


keithlester
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In reply to:
Trad gear does blow. You are right in stating it is usually from a bad placement. Sometimes that's all you get. Who here hasn't had a trad piece pop on them at least once? If you say no, I doubt you have been doing trad for long.

Yes, I had a short ground fall after putting in a totally bomber first piece, a size 0.5 microfriend in a blind slot, on a route outside my comfort zone. I knew I was ok and as my eyes came level with the gear, the rope came tight and the gear popped. My partner saw it all happening, and yanked me clear of the pointy bit beneath me, I landed in a sort of gradual crumple. got up and walked away relatively unhurt.

My mistake? sure, but the actual error was in not testing the piece properly, caused by me being at my limit and wanting to hurry. I DID learn the lesson, but it might easily have been a worse lesson.


maculated


Apr 1, 2004, 9:01 AM
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Re sport climbing: I was JOKING! Joking!!! GEEEZ.

In reply to:
Mac, just wondering, if his 2nd piece popped, was he several pieces above it and the whole thing zippered, or was his 2nd piece his top piece?

I didn't see it. I think it was the second piece being his top, and the first didn't protect him from decking at that point. I was told he'd fallen 30 feet.

Here the thing, I am increasingly running into people willing to jump on a 5.8/5.9 climb and claim they know how to place pro after thinking about it. I'm not saying this guy did that, but people do, people around me do . . . that's horrific. It took the founders of modern climber a lot longer to attempt that kind of stuff, and they REALLY had to think it through. Cam placement may be intuitive, but I have still seen them pop or get placed incorrectly. All of it, ALL OF IT is serious business.


mtman


Apr 1, 2004, 9:44 AM
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In reply to:

Here the thing, I am increasingly running into people willing to jump on a 5.8/5.9 climb and claim they know how to place pro after thinking about it. I'm not saying this guy did that, but people do, people around me do . . . that's horrific. It took the founders of modern climber a lot longer to attempt that kind of stuff, and they REALLY had to think it through. Cam placement may be intuitive, but I have still seen them pop or get placed incorrectly. All of it, ALL OF IT is serious business.

agreed

it's the stupid people and the trad wana bies that are causing the problems, it just is that most people start out in sport climbing and they think they are hot shit and jump in to stuff way over their head, any true climber would not do that. just stupid noobs, which give sport climbers the bad name, don't blame the group for a bunch af bad apples

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