Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Trad Climbing:
When should I start trad leading?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Trad Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All


chugar


Oct 25, 2004, 1:14 PM
Post #1 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 21, 2004
Posts: 38

When should I start trad leading?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Some buddies and myself have started indoor climbing once/twice a week since February. We've also taken a TR anchoring/outdoor seminar back in August.

Together we have a full rack of cams, nuts, hexes, and tri-cams.

Speaking for myself, I'm able to do an indoor 5.10a with ease and can do a 5.10c after one or two rests.

I've read and heard that many people learn to lead after cleaning any "x" number of pitches.

So how many pitches would you suggest a person clean before trying to lead?
Also, if a person can do a 5.10a on a TR, what do you think would be a realistic and safe diffuculty to lead?


slavetogravity


Oct 25, 2004, 1:26 PM
Post #2 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 9, 2003
Posts: 1114

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I didnít lead a single thing for the first year and half when I started leading. When I began leading I spent one season only sport climbing, the next season I required a rack and have never looked back. In retrospect it was too slow of a procession, but I was fortunate enough to have a very experience mentor teach me how to climb. I learnt a great deal just following him up countless trad climbs during those first few years. But the answer is not ďDo what Iíve doneĒ The answer is do what ever your comfortable with. I sounds like youíve got a more then adequate rack at your disposal. Now go out there and start buy finding some aesthetic looking lines that area easy as pie for you to climb and then start leading harder stuff until you find your comfort level. If you have an oportunity to climb with a more experienced climbing then you, take it. When he seconds after you cleaning your gear, ask him what he thought, and be open to constructive criticism.


smeargle


Oct 25, 2004, 1:35 PM
Post #3 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 24

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I personally can't imagine transitioning directly from gym climbing to trad leading. A good idea would be to start leading some easy 5.6,5.7 sport climbs with some experienced climbers there to get the feel of leading and cleaning down and then get some serious mentoring in how to place gear before even thinking of trad leading.


caughtinside


Oct 25, 2004, 1:37 PM
Post #4 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Posts: 30603

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

sounds like you understand gear placements and anchors.

Go find a 5.5 or 5.6 and climb it. Avoid anything longer than 2 or 3 pitches for now, so if you get in trouble you can bail easy.

Oh, and no more referring to your gym onsights. :P


Partner j_ung


Oct 25, 2004, 1:41 PM
Post #5 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18690

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Edit: Forget it. I'm staying way out of this. Good luck! Be careful! Use common sense and remember: once you're on the sharp end with ten pounds of gear, EVERYTHING will seem different. You will recognize nothing from your gym leading days.


caughtinside


Oct 25, 2004, 1:47 PM
Post #6 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Posts: 30603

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

j_ung--disagree.

Not everyone needs 'a lesson' or 'an instructor' or someone to hold their hand. They've taken a few classes. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Once upon a time, climbers were self taught.


the_climber


Oct 25, 2004, 1:49 PM
Post #7 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 8, 2003
Posts: 6142

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My advice would be to start by finding someone who is experianced and can observe you while you learn how to place gear. Start by either following them and cleaning the route, or by doing simulated leading while on toprope of easy trad routes. That is to say, have a line tied in to your harness that you tail as you lead and practice placing gear as you climb. Placing gear while on lead is far different that while standing on the ground. When starting out as a new trad climber you may find that on you fist few real trad leads that a 5.6 or 5.7 can suddenly seem much harder. There is definitly a learning curve that you will go through, and I am glad to here that you are interested in progressing as a climber. Climbing is a neverending learning curve, and with the numbers of climbers that there are today we should all take advantage of learning from those who have more experiance than us. Having a mentor of sorts may save you from some of the scary leads that many of us have experianced in the past. The book "Climbing anchors" in the how to rock climb series would also be a good investment. Also, always be aware of the direction of pull a placement will experiance, especially those that the placements above a particular piece may cause.

Good luck, have fun while you learn, and above all, Climb safe.


chugar


Oct 25, 2004, 1:50 PM
Post #8 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 21, 2004
Posts: 38

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks guys, I have no intention of killing myself and I'd just like to progress in a safe manner (and my friends feel the same).

We've tried the mock leading a few times w/ on a TR line. I felt that placing pro was alot more diffucult than just climbing up a route.

I read in another post that someone suggested cleaning 100 pitches before doing a 1st lead. The guys who wrote that also said that was a conservative number but what do you think?


crshbrn84


Oct 25, 2004, 1:50 PM
Post #9 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 22, 2004
Posts: 223

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

my best advice would be to find someone who has been leading trad for a long time and is willing to teach you. This past weekend i was at Jtree and i did my first trad climbing. I only followed my buddy up one 5.7 route before i led my first 5.8 route. I am familiar will gear placements, direction of pull and all that. I have had to set up numerous top rope trad anchors for some time now. He followed me up, told me what i was doing right and wrong. Another thing that will help with leading trad and doing sport climbing and highball bouldering as much as possible to get used to leading. But i agree with caughtinside because 10a on top rope and or leading in a gym is nothing like leading on real rock. Best bet would be to start on easy climbs with an instructor who knows what he is doing.


ricardol


Oct 25, 2004, 1:53 PM
Post #10 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 11, 2002
Posts: 1050

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

strart leading when you feel confident to do so ..

... start at an easy level and then judge for yourself when to move up to more challenging ground ..

.. having someone with experience look over your placemtns would be a great idea ..

.. there are no rules for when .. or how many pitches to clean before leading .. -- some people take their time .. some jump right into it .. its fine either way... since they were progressing at a rate comfortable to themselves... which is the most important thing ..

-- ricardo


chugar


Oct 25, 2004, 1:57 PM
Post #11 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 21, 2004
Posts: 38

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'll definately get a good instructor.


crazygirl


Oct 25, 2004, 1:58 PM
Post #12 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2003
Posts: 595

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

what you can climb indoors is irrelevant to what you should start on to trad lead. i know people who climb up to 5.7, and lead 5.7, and people who climb 5.11 who don't trad lead at all.

as far as the original question - start as easy as possible, see how you feel and work your way up.


Partner j_ung


Oct 25, 2004, 2:01 PM
Post #13 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18690

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
j_ung--disagree.

Not everyone needs 'a lesson' or 'an instructor' or someone to hold their hand. They've taken a few classes. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Once upon a time, climbers were self taught.

I know, I know... I'm self taught, too. But like many other self-taught traddies, I survived the first couple seasons by luck more than anything else. It sounds like chugar has a good enough head on his shoulders to handle the difference. Benefit of the doubt given.


davidji


Oct 25, 2004, 2:10 PM
Post #14 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1776

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Speaking for myself, I'm able to onsight an indoor 5.10a with ease and can redpoint a 5.10c after one or two rests.

I've read and heard that many people learn to lead after cleaning any "x" number of pitches.

So how many pitches would you suggest a person clean before trying to lead?
Also, if a person can do a 5.10a on a TR, what do you think would be a realistic and safe diffuculty to lead?
I'm tempted to answer the question in the title of the post with "never" *. It's an area where I expect people can make good judgements for themselves, but if you have to ask... :wink:

I led my first "trad" pitch in climb class (easy, with a one-move-wonder 5.8 crux) as a beginner. Then went on a multipitch climb with a mentor where I followed all pitches. Then we went on another and I led the first pitch. That seems like a reasonable way to start to me. Some people don't want to lead, and that's OK too. caughtinside led about a dozen pitches before he followed one, and that worked well for him. Both of us had mentors though. Do you? If not, who did you plan to follow?

What do you mean by redpointing after one or two rests? Do you mean after one or two failed attempts? Or do you mean finish the climb with one or two rests? That one isn't a redpoint.

As far as what is realistic & safe to lead, it isn't so much about the difficulty, as the nature of the climb. You will find long sections of some climbs where there simply isn't any protection, and you will find many climbs where placing pro will be tiring. Better to start on a climb with easy pro.

On the other side of things, you'll see people online quibbling about what trivially easy 5. trad climb is best for beginners. I think that comes from the fact that many trad climbs involve crack-climbing technique, and many climbers these days come from a gym background where they didn't learn any. It's something to keep in mind anyway. Are you comfortable crack climbing?


* But I won't.


chugar


Oct 25, 2004, 2:37 PM
Post #15 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 21, 2004
Posts: 38

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I apologize for the incorrect lingo. I meant to say I slipped and lost a hold once or twice on the same attempt.

I have a few possible people to show us for a day. However, I doubt that one mentor can mentor three people at the same time.


asandh


Oct 25, 2004, 2:48 PM
Post #16 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 13, 2002
Posts: 788

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

:)


jaybird2


Oct 25, 2004, 2:54 PM
Post #17 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Posts: 163

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

As mentioned earlier (but only once), get on a few sport routes first where if your head isn't there you will fall on something better than your first piece ever placed on lead. Lead is different. Placing gear on toprope is good for gear placement technique, as is gym climbing for climbing technique. But when you get on lead, it all changes. Lead sport first. As for the 100 cleans before you lead, I know many great and safe trad climbers that have cleaned way fewer times before leading. If you get it, move on. Just use your head and start on the easiest single pitch stuff that you can find. But I recommend sport first. Even sport outdoors is different from indoors. Lead on sport and place extra gear to practice placing gear on lead so that you have the safety of the bolts but can gain the experience of placing in a blue alien with elvis leg. Just use common sense and realized that death can be how inexperience is weeded out. I am not saying that you can't go get on a 5.6 trad and lead it well and good, but it doesn't hurt to try sport first.


Partner euroford


Oct 25, 2004, 2:55 PM
Post #18 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 2913

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

follow an experienced leader, and resent your knowedge of your current 'grade' ability.


chugar


Oct 25, 2004, 3:15 PM
Post #19 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 21, 2004
Posts: 38

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Wow! In less than 2 hours after my initial post there's already a ton of info! I really appreciate ALL the responses. So here's my plan (and I'm totally open to any criticism on this as well):

1. I'm ditching all my previous indoor background as far as rating is concerned in the outdoor world.
2. Getting a good mentor/instructor to learn from.
3. When I feel 100% comfortable and ready to move from No. 2, I'll work on leading an easy single pitch sport route.

And I do have one more question: How many people can a mentor mentor at the same time?

I ask this because my friends and I make a group of 3 and I don't think it is possible for a mentor to instruct 3 people at the same time. Some schools have lead courses which have a max of 1 mentor to 2 students but what do you all think?


leinosaur


Oct 25, 2004, 3:28 PM
Post #20 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2003
Posts: 690

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Also, don't forget to READ (Freedom of the Hills has a good starter) and ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS of your mentor

Number that a mentor can handle depends on his/the student's motivation - what's s/he getting out of it? More than glory, I hope . . . we wannabe leaders are a dime a dozen these days . . .

I've seen placing pro at ground-level and testing it a lot recommended.


Also, dig up old threads on this same question. Also one on "what you wish you would have asked" - -

do all of the above and have fun. I don't know how you can keep from leading easy stuff with a rack like that already put together, though.

good luck!


asandh


Oct 25, 2004, 3:31 PM
Post #21 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 13, 2002
Posts: 788

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

:)


Partner eyecannon


Oct 25, 2004, 4:10 PM
Post #22 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 3, 2004
Posts: 517

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Definitely find someone who knows what they are doing, and second on a few pitches, then when you feel comfy, lead one! Start out on a 5.3 or something, anything where you have lots of no-hands rests.

I led my first trad route the second time I went trad climbing, which was 8 months after I started climbing at all. I did quite a bit of sport leading before that though. Just make sure you know what you are going to do before you try to do it :D


mheyman


Oct 25, 2004, 5:50 PM
Post #23 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 25, 2002
Posts: 607

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There a lot of good suggestions here, following others, particularly a professional might be ideal, but you can learn to climb with a partner.

Some people are clueless when they start climbing. Some people always will be. But given the benefit of the doubt. Start leading as soon as you are ready. How do you know? Lots of reading helps. Having at least one knowledgeable person who thinks you are ready is a good start. What you want to be sure you have is a realistic evaluation of your knowledge, concerning belays, rope work and gear placement.

If you have lots of experience sport leading and following trad then you should know where to start on your own. But movement and clipping skills are not a prerequisite to leading trad.

If you have little experience, then start easy, like 5.2 or 5.3. The point is not to have to think about the climbing, and to have no hands rests to place gear. This pretty much takes climbing ability out of the equation. See how it goes. In this regard I donít think sport leading helps. It can give some people the ability and confidence to climb into trouble. In this case if you need sport climbing skills then you are starting to hard.

Climb safe. Have fun.


Partner euroford


Oct 25, 2004, 6:03 PM
Post #24 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 2913

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

an idea i always thought was important (well, still do) when i started leading, and like to express to other new trad leaders.

before you leave the ground, realize that you really are taking your life into your own hands (for most poeple this is a new idea). don't realize this after you have climbed above your gear and are sketching out trying to figure out how to get some pro. look ahead, read the route, deciede where you are going to place gear in advance.

when done right trad can be scary and fun 8^)
when done wrong trad can be scary and deadly :shock:

so go have some scary good fun!

(after following your mentor and taking his advice, and reading books, and heading the other good advice on this forum)


david.yount
Deleted

Oct 25, 2004, 6:24 PM
Post #25 of 59 (6719 views)
Shortcut

Registered:
Posts:

Re: When should I start trad leading? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
I read in another post that someone suggested cleaning 100 pitches before doing a 1st lead. The guy who wrote that also said that was a conservative number but what do you think?
I think 100 pitches of following a variety of experienced trad leaders is a splendid idea before you try leading on gear yourself. It might only take 15 days of climbing, you know.

But if you're antsy then 60 pitches following would give you some experience, certiainly.

And if your patience is minimal and looking at your rack makes you want to fondle it, and fondling makes you crazy with desire to use it..... 30 pitches would be hella better than nothing. I think you will learn much much more from 100 pitches of following than with 3 full days of one-on-one private instruction.

Ultimately, it's your choice.

You're in Stockton, California, right? I can think of a dozen 5.6 and 5.5 local routes that would be unadvisable for you to hop on, though the bulk of posts encourage it. I'm not sayin' you couldn't do it.

I'm just sayin' that since you have the choice, please be as safe as your patience allows. You loose nothing by taking your time. If your focus is to enjoy the process, then the journey is the adventure. Maybe reconsider your goals if they sound like, "I will be leading 5.8 within 1 year of trad climbing." Remember, you'll never "arrive" as a trad leader; you'll always be learning. None of us are finished learning.

david yount.

oh yeah, that was me that you quoted about the 100 pitches of following ;)

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook