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bmsullivan


Apr 22, 2002, 8:12 PM
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I'm curious as to how many of you will climb trad routes at your max level, or a bit higher, knowing that you have greater fall potential. Are you okay with knowing that you will take falls (assuming of course that the gear is good)?

I have heard many people say that we should always trust our gear (obvious), but "don't test it". As well as "if the gears good, go for it".

Just curious to the group consensus.

Thanks
Brian


jgorris


Apr 22, 2002, 8:51 PM
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I find that am willing to go for it if I have some knowledge of the route (I've already followed it, or watched someone else
do it). I am not so willing to go for it [trad] onsite. In fact, I find I'm maybe a letter grade weaker when trying to onsite something unless there appears to be obvious good protection from the ground. For me, it is a mental thing for which the only cure is to climb a lot more.


crackaddict


Apr 22, 2002, 9:48 PM
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When I first started climbing trad I did not want to fall on pro and would'nt challenge myself on lead.
But as I got more experience and trusted my placements. I am more cofortable with going for it. I try climbs on lead at my level now.
If its a bomber piece I'll go for it.
If its marginal I try to stack the pro or oppose pro so at least something will hold. Before I go for it.
If I am at my level or harder I will make sure to get in as many good pieces in as possible. This builds a better system in case a piece were to fail. Plus it also eases my mind that if one dose'nt hold the next will. Oppositional pieces work great and should be used in climbs when ever possible to strentghten up the system.

I belive that experience in placing gear builds confididence.
It also depends on the climb too. If its a technique I am not strong at I will take it easy. Multi pitch where retreat is impossible I will take it a grade down also.
But I still have bad days when my head is'nt in the game and prefer not to push it.

Rockitup!

[ This Message was edited by: crackaddict on 2002-04-22 21:54 ]


apollodorus


Apr 22, 2002, 10:56 PM
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The first fall is the worst, because you don't know what to expect. Once you fall, it's much easier to push yourself because you're not as scared of the Big Whipper. This is assuming you didn't crater or hit a ledge the first time you fell.

Runout and bad pro routes don't count here, because you have to treat them like free solos.


krustyklimber


Apr 22, 2002, 11:55 PM
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A couple thirty foot grounders will take alot of the wind out of your sails , and make you really want to not fall, I can tell you that from experience!!!

But flyin' on sport routes isn't too bad, although I do get pretty scared after about the fifteen foot mark, anymore!

Jeff


fishypete


Apr 23, 2002, 12:45 AM
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I managed to hit a ledge on one of my earlier leader falls - smashed my ankle up for a year.

My 14 months of retirement helped the ankle a bit, bit the shadow of that sticky moment still lingers in the back of the mind.

I am now super sensitive to ledges! When its vertical, I am now getting back on top of things. It has been an epic mental battle!!

Yours in loathing ledges,

Fishy.


bulldog


Apr 23, 2002, 1:39 AM
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I'm still a wimp when leading trad - definitely still doing a good 2-3 grades less than what I should.
But, I still haven't taken that elusive first big whipper on my own pro. And my only real experience with a big fall was belaying my leader on the 5th pitch of a climb, watching him come off a ledge 50 feet above me, rip out his first cam, and finally stop falling when he ended up about 3 feet above my head. I still get the heebiejeebies thinking about it (and the retreat that followed due to his smashed up ankle) and it definitely plays with my head on a hard lead.

Bulldog


radistrad


Apr 23, 2002, 6:29 AM
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Wehn climbing trad and "pushing your limits" it is important to protect the route smartly.
Protect from those ledges, use runners so the pro does not walk or lift out and protect often.
The most important thing in climbing trad is how you protect your fall. I can think of a 10c I climbed recently, every 25 feet or so there was a ledge, so above every ledge I was sure to have my belayer watch me and I put my pro in so that if I fell I owuld not hit the ledge.
For the most part I trust my gear, I take care to place good pro.
The hardest part about pushing it on trad is placing the gear.
I usually give my gear a good solid tug in the direction that it would be likely to catch a fall, for nuts this "sets" them, for cams I can see if any of the lobes change their orientation.
Go for pushing the grades, just play the game with the odds in your favor.


jt512


Apr 23, 2002, 10:32 AM
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I push my limits on trad if the pro is good. I've fallen on gear plenty of times. So far, it's always held. Sometimes I'll double gear if I don't know if I can do the moves above.

-Jay


Partner camhead


Apr 23, 2002, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, totally. I personally would not get any better at trad if I did not push the limits a little.

However, up until this point I have ONLY risked falls on good gear. Once I get up into thin crack 5.12 range where I have to trust TCUs, I don't know. I'll worry about it when I reach that level.


hangerlessbolt


Apr 23, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Leading on trad takes experience. It means following a knowledgeable leader on many routes and placing your own gear on routes well below your max.

When I first started leading trad, I went by the 100%/95% rule...I either felt 100% sure of my placements and 95% sure of my ability to send the route or vice versa. I never pushed it.

Now, if I know that my placements are solid and I'm a "gamer"...I go for it. My hardest sport lead is 5.10c, but my hardest trad lead is 5.10b...(Take into consideration the fact that I haven't climbed sport in a while and my climbing has improved a bit so I'm not really sure what my sport max is right now, but you get the idea.)

"Know your pro and take your time. Death doesn't prove anything other than the fact that you are simply mortal.

-Hanger



[ This Message was edited by: hangerlessbolt on 2002-04-23 13:29 ]


phil_nev


Apr 29, 2002, 10:36 PM
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when you first start leading, i think it's a good idea to be leading trad well below your limit, however, as you improve, you will need to KNOW FOR CERTAIN that your placments are good. If you dont trust them, then u will always be hessitant about trying that hard move and will never get any better. If the gear is bomber, go for it, if it's sketchy, back it and make it bomber. Then u will find youself becoming much more confident about falling on your own gear.....


crux_clipper


Apr 29, 2002, 10:49 PM
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The only way to learn, is through mistakes (as my maths teacher said). Maybe don't put this rule into action, but definately work up to taking falls.

For example, just start by resting on gear, and see how it reacts. After doing this for a while, try being lowered off. When you feel comfortable with this, your probably good to start trading at your max, so you feel comfortable to weight gear, and in the extreme event, fall on it.


Partner iclimbtoo


Apr 29, 2002, 10:56 PM
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I guess you can call me crazy...because I am. My partner and I will go out climbing, and I will lead anything that pretty much about tops me out (mostly 5.11's or so). I guess that I've just been lucky either by 1) Onsighting a lot or 2) having some beta on the climb. The first fall I took was an unexpected one on a fairly easy 5.9. I was short-roped while clipping. After that, I'm not really afraid to fall at all and I trust all my gear. I think that if you don't trust your gear, it's really yourself that you don't trust. Really trust your skill and you'll be amazed at how much your daringness will improve!


phreakdigital


Apr 29, 2002, 11:30 PM
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Why climb if you dont fall?

If you dont fall then you aren't climbing hard enough...that is what I say...a big fall on a small nut will make you realize you dont wiegh all that much anyway.

But i will say i dont like pushing myself on trad lead, but rather on sport lead...i guess i feel the same as everyone else.


graniteboy


Apr 30, 2002, 7:26 AM
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I try never to fall. This comes from a background in alpinism, where falling can get very messy, very fast.
On the other hand, I push my limits if the pro and flight path are good. Still, under that circumstance, I try my damndest not to fall. The sport IS called "climbing", not "falling", eh?
Occasionally, I have found that I had to push my limits when the pro was bad, or non-existent. I try to avoid those situations, because dying in the mountains is not the goal.


inflight


Apr 30, 2002, 8:21 AM
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Hey there bmsullivan,

I evolved from building top ropes anchors then leading trad at the 5.0 level on up.

On routes I know will protect well (Got CRACK?!) I lead and will push my strength and technique to the limit. I do not 'worry' about falling but I know I am safe if I do.

In general, I know I am safe because I have made dilligent efforts to understand the trad protection system and execute it correctly as well as how to protect the areas I am likely to fall. Good placements depend not only on knowledge of how to place gear but of the route/rock quality as well.

Hope that is edifying. Peace..


newbieclimber


May 4, 2002, 1:16 AM
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i have slightly different take on trad falls. even if youre gear holds if you fall you can be injured. if youre leading a 5.12 overhanging route where the fall is going to be clean its all about trusting your gear. usually you dont want to take lead falls on anything less than vertical. all kinds of bad things can happen including getting the rope caught behind your leg which will flip you upside down at the bottom of your fall usually resulting in your head bashing against the rock. ive seen it happen and its not pretty.

breaking or twisting an ankle or cracking your head on the rock sure ruins a climbing trip.

[ This Message was edited by: newbieclimber on 2002-05-04 01:22 ]


beyond_gravity


May 4, 2002, 11:10 AM
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Everyone says they trust there gear...I dont see why.

"Going For It" Simpley to push ur grades is not a good reason for risking your life. Sure, the gear maybe bomber, but s--- happens, eh? You never hear of bolts zippering out. (expect the odd yosemite story, when your screwed either way)

I'm new to trad, but I treat trad like free-soloing with a backup, at least untill I feel comfortable. I'm not going to get scared just so I can "Trust" my gear, and who says you have to trust your gear to have fun??

I guess i'm just a wuss.


Partner missedyno


May 4, 2002, 12:43 PM
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it isn't so much the gear you're trusting though, isn't it the placement? and as you climb things you're comfortable on and therefore become more knowledgeable of gear placement, then push your grade.

personally, i'm hoping to lead trad this year. but probably just 5.4's and 5's so i can concentrate on learning gear placement, and push my grades in sport.

climb on.


bmsullivan


May 9, 2002, 9:39 PM
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Thanks everyone for your opinion on this. IT seems a split decision. If the fall is relatively small, I will go for it if I have good pro and am able to back it up.
Thanks again


jtcronk


May 10, 2002, 7:49 AM
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If the gear is good, go for it! A fall on bad gear could definitely be catastrophic though. You are in control of your placements. I'd honestly rather fall on a bolt, but if I know my gear is good (make sure that first piece is BOMBER-don't want to zipper your pieces), I'll climb at my limit. Sometimes it's easier climbing trad than sport. I've been on a few bolted routes that were obviously put up by someone a few inches taller (I'm 5'9"), and some of the clip stances were shaky at best.

When in doubt, sew it up tight and go for it!


stevematthys


May 11, 2002, 7:29 PM
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to get use to falling on my trad gear. i would go to a sport route, clip into a bolt climb a few feet, place a nut, climb a few more feet and fall, worked for me.


woodse


May 11, 2002, 7:44 PM
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Bottom line I think is you have to trust your placement and you have to trust your gear. My first taste of trad came at wallstreet in moab. I was climbing a 5.10d that began with a bolt, then 2 pitons and then a 25-30 foot runout to the anchors. after the 2 pitons I placed a #1 camalot in a flaring crack. The cam was not the right size but it held very nicely when I tugged to test it. At the time the #1 was all I owned. I was climbing at a grade that was right at or a little above my ability at the time, not taking into fact I was having to make a gear placement! Anyways about 6-8 feet above the cam I peeled, the cam held for a second, then popped. I took a strong 30 foot fall. When I came to a rest my butt was 2 feet off the ground. The experience taught me alot. #1 know what a good placement is, don't be naive and go out thinking you know everything, chances are you don't. #2 Gear can be trusted only if placed right....get the point. As far as trad climbing at or above your level, that's up to you, climbing involves risk, only you can decide how much you want to take.

woodsE


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