Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Lessons Learned
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By AhK
Feb 16, 2011
View from the Fin
I'm sick of reading and rereading the same threads over and over, so here goes: What are some lessons that you guys have learned the hard way? I have one to get this started.

The first time I attempted Soler on Devil's Tower as a trad gumby, I brought a full set of nuts and almost triples of BD #.3-3 (yes I took almost 20 cams). Because of all the unnecessary weight, I could only do the first pitch and had to pull on some gear, which made me seriously consider the grade I was attempting. On my next attempt of the route, with some gear beta, I shaved it down to half a set of nuts and BD #.3-2, with doubles from #.5-1 Weighing far less and fiddling with gear less, I cruised it to the summit. After each pitch, I still had two or three cams and a nut or two dangling from my harness and the pitches didn't feel run out at all.

Moral of the story: bring only the gear you need.

FLAG
By NickinCO
From colorado
Feb 16, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
I think that's a pretty common one. Being new to trad myself I love it when a guide book tells you the gear you'll need. When I climb at devils lake I usually end up bringing too much gear. That's the biggest thing that's holding me back with trad climbing and probably the major reason I can lead mid 11's sport and only 8/9's trad.

FLAG
By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Feb 16, 2011
When you are getting ready to climb a route that you have never climbed before make sure you have either a experienced partner or a proper length rope or better yet both.

I lead a route (new to me) that turned out to be 99 feet tall(single pitch) on a 50M rope. 50m doubled up is about 75 feet. Hence when by partner was lower me and I was still like 30 feet off the deck he called out that we are out of rope.
Luckily he kept his head, tied in and stated to climb. When I got back to terra firma I grabbed my belay device got him on belay. The Idea was to get up to the anchors and fix a single line and rap down and call in for a longer rope to be delivered by a friend two walls over.
But it just so happens that when getting to the anchors my buddy found a sketchy walk off.
unbeknownst to me...
So I heard off belay and next thing I know the rope come sailing down to the ground. This rout has a bit of a slab at the top so the climber gets out of sight from below. Im a bit worried that he droped the rope, but there was no communication to verify this.
After a few minutes I hear jingling and here come my friend jogging down the trail.

FLAG
By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Feb 16, 2011
I also pack a lot of extra cams - if the guidebook says doubles, I bring triples. If it says up to 3 inch cams, I throw a couple of #4s on there just in case. My motto is this - it's better to have a few big-bros and hexes and pitons and copperheads along - than need them and not have them. When I don't need this gear (ie on a 30 foot sport route), I just consider it training weight, and bring it along anyway.

FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 16, 2011
A very common mistake is trying to work through the grades on trad climbs. Instead, work on being a good climber, not a good trad climber, then once you have achieved that, it is very easy to apply "good climbing" skills to the sub-discipline of trad climbing.

The fastest way to becoming a good climber is bouldering and sport climbing.

FLAG
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Feb 16, 2011
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Mike Anderson wrote:
A very common mistake is trying to work through the grades on trad climbs. Instead, work on being a good climber, not a good trad climber, then once you have achieved that, it is very easy to apply "good climbing" skills to the sub-discipline of trad climbing. The fastest way to becoming a good climber is bouldering and sport climbing.


+1. So true.

FLAG
By BAd
Feb 16, 2011
Good point about learning through sport climbing, but we've seen serious accidents at the crags involving folks with lots of "skill" but little experience, so a balance and careful progress are needed. Sport climbing is virtually all about face moves. Can't get good at cracks by only clipping bolts. Back in days of yor, my friends and I used to climb on the Apron in the Valley a lot, but we quickly realized we weren't developing the chops for all those OTHER routes that looked so enticing. Time to hit the cracks, starting at the low grades and working on up.

I've learned I'm chicken and tend to carry lots of gear. One experience was heading up the S. Face of Clyde Minaret. To save weight, we left behind the only big cam we had, an old #4 Friend. Of course, I led a pitch that ended in a long traverse. Some tricky moves at the start were fine for the leader, but the follower faced a mega swing. That #4 sure would have been nice! We all made it, but the experience reinforced my tendency to over rack a bit. The idea of REALLY wanting a piece and not having it is too much. I throw on a few light hexes, an extra cam or two, I'm happy. Of course, if one is repeating climbs, it's a simpler matter to trim the rack.

BAd

FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 16, 2011
It took Alex Huber about 3 weeks to learn how to climb cracks well enough to make the 2nd free ascent of the Salathe Wall. I dare say his decades of sport climbing were a bigger factor than the time he spent learning to climb cracks and place gear.

FLAG
 
By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Feb 16, 2011
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.
Mike Anderson wrote:
It took Alex Huber about 3 weeks to learn how to climb cracks well enough to make the 2nd free ascent of the Salathe Wall. I dare say his decades of sport climbing were a bigger factor than the time he spent learning to climb cracks and place gear.


Perhaps. Alex Huber is also a superhuman freak of nature created by cross-breeding chimpanzees with velociraptors. Most normal humans, myself included, need more than 3 weeks to figure out what to do with 'tips cracks and offwidths, regardless of pulling power.

FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 16, 2011
Chris Drover wrote:
Perhaps. Alex Huber is also a superhuman freak of nature created by cross-breeding chimpanzees with velociraptors. Most normal humans, myself included, need more than 3 weeks to figure out what to do with 'tips cracks and offwidths, regardless of pulling power.


Really, or is this just a rationalization created by your ego?

You don't know if you need more than three weeks unless you try it, you are speculating. I would argue that someone who has mastered 5.13+ level footwork can easily adapt these skills to offwidths and finger cracks, which are mostly a matter of footwork. True, few people will attain those grades, so say your goal is to be solid on 5.10 trad...you'll get there a lot faster by first climbing 5.12 sport, IMO. I could be wrong.

FLAG
By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Feb 16, 2011
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.
Mike Anderson wrote:
Really, or is this just a rationalization created by your ego? You don't know if you need more than three weeks unless you try it, you are speculating. I would argue that someone who has mastered 5.13+ level footwork can easily adapt these skills to offwidths and finger cracks, which are mostly a matter of footwork. True, few people will attain those grades, so say your goal is to be solid on 5.10 trad...you'll get there a lot faster by first climbing 5.12 sport, IMO. I could be wrong.


Alright rather than debate nature vs. nurture, I'll just say that I don't consider your argument proven on the basis of "it worked for Alex Huber". I do agree that being a stronger climber gives a great foundation for leading harder trad. It's much easier to focus on funky crack technique and questionable gear when you aren't pumping out.

That being said... I've met 5.12 sport climbers that can't hand jam.

FLAG
By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 17, 2011
You stay away from mah pig!
Chris Drover wrote:
Alright rather than debate nature vs. nurture, I'll just say that I don't consider your argument proven on the basis of "it worked for Alex Huber". I do agree that being a stronger climber gives a great foundation for leading harder trad. It's much easier to focus on funky crack technique and questionable gear when you aren't pumping out. That being said... I've met 5.12 sport climbers that can't hand jam.


And your argument is not proven by saying that "you know 5.12 sport climbers who can't handjam. A statement such as yours is building on the mystique of trad/crack climbing and its polarization from "weak sporto" climbing, which has been prevalent among a lot of climbers, but has never really been true. For every 5.12 sport climber who can't jam, I'll show you a 5.13 sport climber who "dabbles" in 11+ trad.

Back in the 1980s, Steve Hong was putting up some of the hardest cracks in the world at the time, and also climbing pretty hard sport as well. He stated in an interview that the techniques needed to climb high end cracks were simplistic and trivial when compared to the techniques needed to climb high-end sport.

More recently, strong sport climbers and boulderers like Trotter, Segal, Honnold, and about any strong Euro you can name have made the transition into hard trad fairly easily. None of them "worked up through the grades." You are going to climb 5.13 trad more easily if you have trained to climb 5.13 sport than if you work your way up through 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 trad. And honestly, the movement of hard trad lines, even those that are pure cracks, often requires a lot of "sporty" technique. A 5.13 sport climber is likely going to learn to climb cracks of a comparable grade much more quickly than a 5.13 crack-only climber will make the transition to comparable sport.

However, all of this breaks down when we look at sandbagged places like the Gunks, Seneca, or Jtree. I have seen solid v15/5.15b climbers release their bowels and walk away crying just from looking at High Exposure. :)

FLAG
By Steve Murphy
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 17, 2011
Never taunt a goat
Goats are evil and helmets save lives.
Goats are evil
Goats are evil

FLAG
By BSU_Zac
From Cedar City, UT
Feb 17, 2011
Little Black Dike, February 2013
Chris Drover wrote:
That being said... I've met 5.12 sport climbers that can't hand jam.


I've also seen sport guys face climb a 5.8 hands crack and turn it into 5.11 face routes cuz they can't trust/use jams.

FLAG
By Tea
Feb 17, 2011
just Jong it!
Situational awareness is priceless, helmets save lives, and one size, sure as fook, does not fit all.

FLAG
By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Feb 17, 2011
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
If you fall on a placement, when you get back to the placement, check the placement.

FLAG
 
By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Feb 17, 2011
Evans Aprons
Steve Murphy wrote:
Goats are evil and helmets save lives.


Are those goats from nearby Quandary like 2 years ago. Those two goats I ran across=evil.

FLAG
By coloradotomontana
Feb 17, 2011
me
Those look like leavenworth goats

FLAG
By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Feb 17, 2011
Cool snow formation at the base.
Don't forget to put the cooler of beer in the car in the morning.

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Feb 17, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
josh olson's advice is really, really good advice.

mike anderson's advice about putting in some miles sport climbing is really good too. it's a lot easier to get 20 pitches worth of climbing (ie physical/technical) experience sport climbing than it is trad climbing. one of the better things for my trad climbing was to spend a fair bit of time pushing myself sport climbing.

i guess my advice would be to immediately start addressing whatever you are weak at. some people have the knack for figuring weird sequences on-site. some have the knack of being naturally strong as hell. some have the knack of naturally understanding how to place good pro, get out of sticky situations using rigging logic, etc. some have the knack of being disciplined about training and dedication to getting better. some have the knack of being bold and confident.

the more of these areas that you can be good at, the better. but just as important, if you are lacking in an area and don't address it, you will always be limited by it. i wish i would have known this 20 years ago. for me, being afraid of falling and not climbing confidently above gear has been my biggest limitation, and i never REALLY started adressing it until lately. don't be like me and look back at a LOT of climbs that you could have sent if you weren't such a pansy.

FLAG
By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Feb 17, 2011
Evans Aprons
I have the same problem with climbing above gear. I have two climbing falls and both of them beat up the same ankle. I hate falling and it's been holding me back. My lesson learned, When it doubt, climb faster.

FLAG
By Jay koff
Feb 17, 2011
I once found a boulderer who fell upon the ground and I caught him. He pleaded to be spared his life. I refused, saying that he was by nature my enemy. The boulderer assured me that he was not a boulderer, but a sport climber, and thus I set him free. Shortly afterwards the boulderer again fell to the ground and I caught him again. He likewise entreated me not to eat him. I said that I had a special hostility to sport climbers. The boulderer assured me that he was not a sport climber, but a pussy, and thus a second time escaped.

It is wise to turn circumstances to good account.

FLAG
By -sp
From East-Coast
Feb 17, 2011
Buenos Dias!
Steve Murphy wrote:
Goats are evil and helmets save lives.


Amen to that.


My two-cents...

- Rope management: because someday, on some pitch, that cluster-fuck will cost you time you absolutely don't have.
- As you climb past a ledge/bulge/roof split by a rope-eating crack, drop a nut in at the top to keep the rope from getting swallowed.
- Do NOT drop a rope over a cactus when setting up to rap. Because when your brake hand hits the spines you WILL let go.
- Know how to get down before you go up.

FLAG
By Jay koff
Feb 17, 2011
JUPITER DETERMINED, it is said, to create a sovereign over the climbers, and made proclamation that on a certain day they should all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose the most beautiful among them to be king. The boulderer, knowing his own ugliness, searched through the woods and fields, and collected the gear which had fallen from the other climbers, and stuck them in all parts of his body, hoping thereby to make himself the most beautiful of all. When the appointed day arrived, and the climbers had assembled before Jupiter, the boulderer also made his appearance in his clanking finery. But when Jupiter proposed to make him king because of the beauty of his gear, the climbers indignantly protested, and each plucked from him his own piece of gear, leaving the boulderer nothing but a boulderer.

meek and pathetic fellows should accept their place.

FLAG
 
By Steve Murphy
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 17, 2011
Never taunt a goat
Pat Erley wrote:
Those look like leavenworth goats


Yep! These particular ones were at Pearly Gates. The Most Evil One I met at Snow Creek Wall.

FLAG
By SW Marlatt
From Arvada, CO
Feb 17, 2011
wcp
Enlightenment
Enlightenment

FLAG


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

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>