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Looking for trad climbing guide (or someone to follow trad climbing)
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By Sam C
Jul 14, 2014
Gunks - Madame G's hanging belay

Hi,

I'm currently in the process learning how to trad lead. I've been climbing a couple years now; mainly sport and indoor climbing and I want to expand out and start trad(ing). Started to build a rack and have rope.

What does everyone recommend to start? I was considering getting a guide to learn gear placement and anchor building. I've read Climbing Anchors by Bob Gaines and understand most of it conceptually. I just need some (a lot) of practice placing gear and building anchors.

I'd be more than willing to follow at the Gunks (up to 5.7/5.8) and learn in that aspect. I'm free Tuesday's and Friday's during the week starting next week and have a car (driving from the city) if anyone needs a partner to follow.

If you guys think it's better to get a guide for a day and learn that way, any recommendations on a guide? How much do they typically cost (per day)? Not sure if I can really swing it right now.


Suggestions, thoughts?


Thanks


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jul 15, 2014
Rumney

Sam,

Sounds like you're on the right path. I'd offer to help but only have weekend availability, and I'm focusing on the ADKs right now.

Following for a while to see how gear is placed, anchors built, etc is very important.

The Gunks are perfect for learning, many quality 5.3 - 5.5 routes with good gear. Make sure whoever goes provides feedback on your gear placement. Maybe even try mock leads, where you top rope a route and practice placing gear as you climb it, then have the other climber look at your gear placements. This will give you an idea if you're placing gear correctly, as well as what it feels like to be at one spot for a bit (can get tiring and learning how to be relaxed and comfortable while placing gear is a skill too).

When learning I utilized a guide as well for exactly what you describe (one-on-one review of fundamentals). Then go out immediately and put those skills to use so you don't forget what you learned! My strategy would be to follow for a few climbing days, then line up a guide, then expect to perhaps lead a few safer easy routes the next time you're out. Not having climbed with you this is all very general advice. You may want more follow days, or might be ready now to do some leading.


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By Sam C
Jul 15, 2014
Gunks - Madame G's hanging belay

Kevin,

Thanks for your suggestions and support! I had a couple people reach out to me and offer some help.

I still might get a private guide just to reinforce everything, but at least I'm happy to hear that I'm on the right track.


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