Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Gunks beginner climb
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Nate Berman
Aug 27, 2014
Hello,

I am new to the gunks and I would like some suggestions for a climb to take someone who has never climbed before. I have looked at climbs such as three pines and beginners delight. Also, if I took them up three pines can I do the dangler without having them follow me up?

FLAG
By MojoMonkey
Aug 27, 2014
Nate Berman wrote:
Hello, I am new to the gunks and I would like some suggestions for a climb to take someone who has never climbed before. I have looked at climbs such as three pines and beginners delight. Also, if I took them up three pines can I do the dangler without having them follow me up?


First, the easy climbs tend to be crowded on a weekend. If you can go on a weekday you will have more options. Be prepared to either be flexible or wait.

Three Pines is a pretty good option to the GT ledge. Be aware that if you go all the way to the cliff top from there communication with your second will be tough. Breaking it up may be better for a new second. You might be able to do the Dangler and have them follow on easier terrain, but that depends on how you protect it. They'd be removing gear at their feet and have to go off their normal route a bit. There is a slightly harder option straight up the corner (5.5?) if things are going well to the GT ledge.

Beginner's Delight is not a great option for a new second (and is hard for new leaders to follow the route and adequately protect a second - double ropes help on the traverse).

I'd probably not take a really new second on either. Probably best to start on something more straight forward. Single pitch would be good to get them comfortable with the process. Bunny is fun for that. Maybe No Picnic. Easy Keyhole seems to be tricky for new climbers, so probably not that.

Betty is a pretty good first multipitch, though you will be out of site on P2. Easy Overhang is pretty good too. With a very new follower I split the last pitch (where there is a pin anchor) to keep them in sight / contact the whole time. Jackie is great if they are climbing a little harder.

I like Minty too. The hardest part is early on so if they get past that they can be more confident about the rest. There is an option on the third pitch for a little harder finish too.

Really, most starred climbs here or in the Wiliams guide are fine.

The biggest thing is that you have to know your second's ability and keep communication and their safety/comfort in mind so they have fun. Don't overload them with shenanigans like trying to lead a different route than what they will follow. Go slow and read the situation. There is tons of fun to be had at really easy grades at the Gunks.

You have to know your own ability too, especially with a brand new climber belaying you that may be overwhelmed with too much new stuff...

FLAG
By cPay
From Riverdale, NY
Aug 27, 2014
me on Great White 5.13a in Rumney, NH
Three Pines will be great!. Must do the Dangler, you can also down climb and clean, makes for an exciting experience. (Note. if you do the dangler, you need to also continue to the top of the cliff, the anchor is directly above the bolt anchor you see on the GT ledge. you can't rap any longer from above the dangler back to the GT ledge. so downclimbing really is the only option if you really want to do it. and not have anyone follow. but as said above, you could set your anchor, come down a bit and backclean, then go back up to your anchor and belay your second on the three pines final pitch. its all possible if you are motivated.

FLAG
By shoo
Aug 27, 2014
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
cPay wrote:
Must do the Dangler, you can also down climb and clean, makes for an exciting experience.


For a first time ever climber? Are you serious?

FLAG
By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 27, 2014
shoo wrote:
For a first time ever climber? Are you serious?

He/she does seem to be...maybe the original post was edited, and initially said "someone who has never climbed before, and I want to be sure they never do (and never speak to me) again"?

FLAG
By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 27, 2014
Agree that Beginner's Delight is not the way to go.

Twin Oaks or Finger Locks would I think be pretty easy to lead and set a tr for them.

Peterskill (Peters Kill?) has a ton of easy short tr. Early is key there.

FLAG
By Maurice Chaunders
Aug 27, 2014
Colombian Crack
Horseman! It's 5.4? But has an exciting step around a hanging arete. Awesome climb

FLAG
By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Aug 27, 2014
I wouldn't do a multi-pitch for a first time climber. You have no idea how they will respond to exposure and being left alone mid-cliff or alone to rappel. With a person on their first ever climb, I would choose only a climb I was personally familiar with, as well.

I once saw a "first timer" follow up Bunny and unclip from all the gear, leaving it in situ. The leader had, of course "told" the person to clean it, but.... there is a lot to keep in mind when beginning to climb, and it is NOT all intuitive. Luckily of course that was an easy cleanup for the leader on rappel....



But, to answer the question asked, suggestions:
Black Fly(5.5)
Bunny(5.4)
Rhododendron(5.6)

For a multi-pitch, perhaps Frogshead(5.5). But I would suggest a first time climber on multipitch as being the middleman in a party of 3. Remember, people DO occasionally die climbing. And leaders sometimes find themselves having an unexpected epic, especially on unfamiliar ground. Taking someone out for their first ever time is not something to take lightly.

As for leaving someone on their first climb on the GT while going off to do the Dangler - I think that is selfish and wrong. And stupid/irresponsible, if you are having them belay you on it.

FLAG
 
By Nate Berman
Aug 27, 2014
I should also say that it is my brother I am taking out so I do know how he will react to exposure and heights.

FLAG
By J. Serpico
From Saratoga County, NY
Aug 27, 2014
If you are insistent on multi-pitch, bring a 3rd.

I took my 11 yo brother up some multi and obviously wasn't having him belay me. But also, I'd be weary of his ability to break down anchors, remain clipped in, etc.

If you do decide to do multi-pitch, I'd break the pitches down into mini pitches. Yes, it's a pita, but guides do it all the time. Vision and communication are key.

Betty is very reasonable. Belay at the top of the 2nd pitch chimney. Then again above that, and again at the top. Doing it in 3 pitches (1 long and 2 fairly short) assures communication and vision.

Absolutely no way Begginers delight. 3 Pines only to the chains and in 2 pitches.

Bunny is long, but the start is awkward. But a 60m does touch down. And no picnic is a hard 5.4 (I believe it's actually 5.5 in the grey dick)

The first pitch of easy V is perfect. If you decide on pitch 3 (technical vertical p2) I'd break it up into 2 pitches. Belay just above the roof V notch.

FLAG
By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Aug 29, 2014
Rumney
Last time I brought out a newbie we did Cedar Box & Finger Locks and Easy V (P1 only). Worked out great. Easy V, while easy, feels pretty exposed so for someone new it's actually quite exciting but they don't feel like they're going to fall off or not make the moves so they have fun climbing it.

FLAG
By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 29, 2014
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard
A long time ago when I was guiding, I always took beginners, including first-time climbers, on full multipitch climbs to the top of the cliff. Always.

That used to be how everyone learned, and I think it makes lots of sense if your view of climbing is something more than figuring out how to make this or that move. If the totality of that experience is overwhelming (and I can report that it was not with perhaps two exceptions out of maybe a 100 beginners), then maybe climbing is really isn't an activity for the individual in question.

However, whoever is playing "guide" has to be totally on their game and in complete control of the situation. If the "guide" isn't totally comfortable climbing both up and down the route with a questionable belay, they absolutely should not be doing this at all. Being thoroughly familiar with a host of different approaches to every common protecting and anchoring situation is also a requirement. If you only know one way to do something, you don't yet know enough to be taking others out.

One thing that is essential and was mentioned earlier is that the belays have to be arranged so that if at all possible the second is not out of sight and absolutely never out of hearing. This means much shorter pitches than are fashionable nowadays. Anchors and protection have to be constructed so that a new second can extract them; in this situation it is the leader's fault if the second has trouble with a piece. That said, every now and then the leader is going to have to climb back down to get something out.

Another essential is to make sure to teach the second how to handle gear so that it can't be dropped. Unless you have a trust fund to replace your stuff.

Make sure the ropes are perfectly piled or stacked at the belay before setting out to lead a pitch. Perfectly. The second cannot be expected to deal with tangles.

Perhaps the biggest nightmare is having the second climb past pro without unclipping. This is one reason why the second must always be in sight. Once I switched over to double ropes, this problem was significantly reduced.

The Dangler suggestion is crazy. Sorry, but you absolutely cannot rely on a beginner's belay, and they can't help you if anything goes wrong. Moreover, the mindset is all wrong. If you are going to take out beginners, they day has to be totally about them, not about you. Do harder things "on your own time" with competent partners.

In a similar vein, Horseman for the first route is an extremely poor choice. The first route ought to be very easy climbing. The second has to get used to ropework, gear, and exposure. The second route can be almost anything, depending on your ability to judge how well the beginner does on the first easy route. I've used High Exposure as a second route a number of times, for example. It is exciting and requires very little in the way of technique. It is not, however, ideal for for communication. In any case, remember the exhortation about the leader being able to climb up and down with questionable belay. Don't exceed your own abilities in this regard with a beginner.

If there is an experienced third person in the party, then the best protocol is to have two seconds climbing simultaneously a short distance apart.

I think the best first routes are Easy O, Northern Pillar, Minty (with a belay right above the absurdly undergraded start), and Three Pines. There's nothing much the matter with Betty, but you don't get as much of a feeling of being up high (which I think is an important part of the first experience) and the route seems generally unesthetic to me.

FLAG
By Dara
From Boulder till winter
Aug 29, 2014
The Gurgler (the climb, not me!)
Since he's a total newbie, I'd start him off by toproping at AMC Slabs. It's on the way in (assuming you park at the upper lot) and the easiest climbing in the Trapps. If he likes it/doesn't fall/is still speaking to you, THEN you can confidently go for one of the grown-up climbs.

FLAG
By Nick Goldsmith
Aug 29, 2014
The Dangler suggestion is crazy. Sorry, but you absolutely cannot rely on a beginner's belay, and they can't help you if anything goes wrong. Moreover, the mindset is all wrong. If you are going to take out beginners, they day has to be totally about them, not about you. Do harder things "on your own time" with competent partners.

R gold for the win! +10! It ain't about you it is all about giveing the new climber a success and keeping both of you safe.


FLAG
By Gunks Jesse
From Shawangunk Township, NY
Aug 29, 2014
Tetonia
Took a few new never climbed before climbers out to Grease Gun Groove a few weeks ago. It went well. Good coms through the route (just do P1), easy rap/lower

FLAG
By cPay
From Riverdale, NY
Sep 3, 2014
me on Great White 5.13a in Rumney, NH
The original post stated wanting to take a new climber, and if the climber (assuming he has experience) can do the dangler without their non-climber friend following. the answer is yes it is possible. Can he do alot during the day to determine for himself if his friend can belay him safely on the dangler, yes he can. if something goes wrong on the dangler?? you get lowered 15ft and start again. If the climber is motivated it is all possible. and i can't imagine a new climber watching their friend climb the dangler wouldn't be awesome. its not an unsafe idea, the leader just needs to be able to assess his partners ability. Taking new climbers multi-pitch is the way to go, If the route is casual enough, they will do just fine and it will be quite an enjoyable experience.
Again, I don't think its fair to just flat out say no to the possibility. We don't know the leaders experience, and belaying isn't that complicated. How did you learn? If the leader is going to struggle on the dangler, then yea its a bad idea to involve your inexperienced friend on the first day out.

FLAG
 


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.