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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 28, 2011
El Chorro

saxfiend wrote:
Call me overly cautious if you want, but I really have to wonder what people are thinking when they mention routes like Son of Easy O and Zoo View in the same breath with "beginner routes." The OP may be a high-grade sport climber, but leading on gear is a whole other ball game no matter how hard you climb. You really need to have all your systems dialed in before you get on most of the routes that have been mentioned, and having three trad leads under your belt isn't enough. Those of us in Georgia are painfully aware of a young guy who was a 5.11-5.12 sport leader and paid the ultimate price on his first and only trad lead at Tallulah Gorge. JL


Yea, when I said "anything at Moore's Wall" I didn't mean that a beginner should be getting on Zoo View, or AIRSHOW! I can't believe anyone would recommend these as "beginner climbs." Both climbs are very exposed and Airshow is a full on 150 foot sustained climb that is all past vertical... with multiple "5.8+" cruxes. Sure they are well protected IF you are competent at placing gear, and Moore's can be tricky in that regard. FWIW I've seen more than one 5.10 trad climber get freaked on Zoo View and a lot more on Airshow.

These climbs aren't incredibly difficult but recommending them to a beginner asking for "up to 5.8" just shows that you are either ignorant or just trying do downplay what was probably a much more eventful ascent for you than you'd like to admit.

Anyways, there are plenty of routes at Moore's (and other NC areas) that go at 5.6 and easier that should be done simply because they are great routes. Do them first, then start in on the 5.7's. If you get on anything at Moore's with a plus at the end, be ready to really climb. You'll be ready for the Circus Wall soon enough... wait 'til you are and it will be one of your best days of climbing!


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By Adam Paashaus
From Greensboro, North Carolina
Mar 28, 2011
After you get done climbing be sure to head up to the summit for sunset. Its only a 10 minute walk from the main wall. Don't forget your headlamp.

Lauren, I guess Ill fall in line and admit that I am ignorant and that Zoo View may be a little much for a beginner lead (although it was one of my 1st in that grade). It is steep, but the holds are almost all GREAT and there is pretty good gear throughout BUT the problem lies in your placing efficiency. The route is exposed and very steep with a pretty big roof, so if you hang out to long placing gear you will end up pumping out if your endurance isn't good. Try and find a partner that can lead it for you because it may be my favorite route of all time. Same goes for golden earing and wailing wall though... not gimmes by any means at the grade.


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By thomas ellis
From abq
Mar 28, 2011
Mint jullop

My earlier post:
"Son of EasyO. Done in one pitch and it could be one of my favorite routes ever. You may want to do a few other lines at the Gunks first to get used to the style of climbing but if you go make sure not to miss this gem."

I was not trying to down play anything and I am not ignorant. I never thought the gear was hard to manage especially if you took my advice and lead a few other routes first. I would think for a sport climber this would be an approachable route since it climbs like sport. But if you think it is a bad idea just leave it at that. I think it is one of the best 5.8s out there and it should not be missed if you are going to the Gunks. Find a partner to lead it for you and take a second if you have to. It has all the great attributes of a classic Gunks line.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Mar 28, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

The Flatirons are not to be missed. While there are some runouts the climbing is easy, you can do 1400 vertical feet on rock and never get harder than 5.4. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I love it. The approach hikes early in the morning are awesome as well.


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By Frank K
From Bishop, CA
Mar 28, 2011

I think Lovers Leap near Lake Tahoe is the best beginner crag I've ever seen. Bears Reach, Corrugation Corner, Haystack, and many many more. Good gear, good rock, good climbing.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 28, 2011
El Chorro

thomas ellis wrote:
My earlier post: "Son of EasyO. Done in one pitch and it could be one of my favorite routes ever. You may want to do a few other lines at the Gunks first to get used to the style of climbing but if you go make sure not to miss this gem." I was not trying to down play anything and I am not ignorant. I never thought the gear was hard to manage especially if you took my advice and lead a few other routes first. I would think for a sport climber this would be an approachable route since it climbs like sport. But if you think it is a bad idea just leave it at that. I think it is one of the best 5.8s out there and it should not be missed if you are going to the Gunks. Find a partner to lead it for you and take a second if you have to. It has all the great attributes of a classic Gunks line.


Never been on that route, so I wouldn't know. Wasn't calling you ignorant. I was only talking about the Circus Wall at Moore's.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Mar 28, 2011

As has been said earlier, easy doesn't necessarily mean beginner. My recommendations:

East Face, Third Flatiron (5.3)

Tahquitz:
Fingertip Traverse (5.3)
L. Ski Track (5.6)
Fingertrip (5.7)

Joshua Tree
Right On (5.5)
Fote Hog (5.6)
Mental Physics (5.7)

Yosemite:
After Six (5.6)
Royal Arches (5.6, A0)
Snake Dike (5.7)--long runouts
SE Butt, Cathedral Peak (5.7)


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By Edward Medina
Administrator
From Brighton, CO
Mar 28, 2011
The FA of Full Scholarship

Ryan Williams wrote:
Yea, when I said "anything at Moore's Wall" I didn't mean that a beginner should be getting on Zoo View, or AIRSHOW! I can't believe anyone would recommend these as "beginner climbs." Both climbs are very exposed and Airshow is a full on 150 foot sustained climb that is all past vertical... with multiple "5.8+" cruxes. Sure they are well protected IF you are competent at placing gear, and Moore's can be tricky in that regard. FWIW I've seen more than one 5.10 trad climber get freaked on Zoo View and a lot more on Airshow. These climbs aren't incredibly difficult but recommending them to a beginner asking for "up to 5.8" just shows that you are either ignorant or just trying do downplay what was probably a much more eventful ascent for you than you'd like to admit. Anyways, there are plenty of routes at Moore's (and other NC areas) that go at 5.6 and easier that should be done simply because they are great routes. Do them first, then start in on the 5.7's. If you get on anything at Moore's with a plus at the end, be ready to really climb. You'll be ready for the Circus Wall soon enough... wait 'til you are and it will be one of your best days of climbing!


Hard to understand your rationale here when you recommended White Lightning at Table Rock in your earlier post. I found it to be more strenuous than Airshow and trickier to place gear at the crux. Rest assured, my recommendation for Airshow is based strictly on my own experience climbing it, not on an attempt to toot my own horn for doing so. Cynical little bugger, aren't you? I will agree that Zoo View is heady for the grade, with serious fall consequences and not recommended for the new leader, I also think that Golden Earring has a bit of a heady traverse and would likewise not recommend it for an early lead.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 29, 2011
El Chorro

Edward Medina wrote:
Hard to understand your rationale here when you recommended White Lightning at Table Rock in your earlier post. I found it to be more strenuous than Airshow and trickier to place gear at the crux. Rest assured, my recommendation for Airshow is based strictly on my own experience climbing it, not on an attempt to toot my own horn for doing so. Cynical little bugger, aren't you? I will agree that Zoo View is heady for the grade, with serious fall consequences and not recommended for the new leader, I also think that Golden Earring has a bit of a heady traverse and would likewise not recommend it for an early lead.


Well you're not the first person to call me a cynical little bugger.

I did say that White Lightening was "a good test for a 5.8 climber" and that the first pitch is deceptively hard. I think that describes the route well enough for the OP to make her own decision. I personally thought the second pitch was cake with a juggy undercling and perfect jams for small handed folks, excellent feet and bomber gear.

Like you, I am just remembering my experience on the routes. I thought Airshow was a step above White Lightening in physical difficulty, exposure, and finding gear. The second crux is only done properly by using a single pad crimp that you must reach for blindly while hanging on a jam that could be wide for a woman. The crimp is followed by another hold that would certainly not be considered sinker by a beginner (or most solid 5.8 climbers).

I agree with you about Golden Earring/Almost Seven. A little heady for the 5.7 climber, but a world easier than Airshow and a lot less heady than Zoo View. Still bad fall potential though. I had this route in mind when I recommended that the OP get solid on 5.6 at Moore's before moving up to 5.7.

Anyways, I always enjoy arguing in detail about Moore's routes. I find that I remember routes there better than anywhere else in the world. It is my favorite climbing area, full stop.

Sorry for the ugly comments.


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By Timmamok
From Durango, CO
Mar 29, 2011
crack at undisclosed location - my little proj

5.8 trad is not for beginners. Period.


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By Ty Meadows
From Moab, UT
Mar 29, 2011
hellvis

Timmamok wrote:
5.8 trad is not for beginners. Period.


Beginner climber...no. Beginner at trad...sure!


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Mar 29, 2011

Ty Meadows wrote:
Beginner climber...no. Beginner at trad...sure!

You're making the assumption that everyone new approaches climbing from a gym or sport climbing. Definitely a lot more true nowadays, but still not always the case.


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By Ty Meadows
From Moab, UT
Mar 30, 2011
hellvis

Fat Dad wrote:
You're making the assumption that everyone new approaches climbing from a gym or sport climbing. Definitely a lot more true nowadays, but still not always the case.

No assumptions...the OP climbs multi-pitch 12a. 5.8 should not be a problem with a little placement instruction.


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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Mar 30, 2011
First morning at Indian Creek!!!

Cathedral Ledge, NH:

  • Thin Air (5.6)
  • Upper Refuse (5.5)

Whitehorse Ledge, NH:
  • Standard Route Direct (5.7)
  • Echo Roof (5.5)

Gunks (Trapps), NY:
  • Rhododendhren (5.6)
  • Horseman (5.5)
  • Beginner's Delight (5.4)
  • Easy O (5.2)

Flatirons, CO:
  • East Face of 1st
  • East Face of 3rd

The list is endless!!!


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By Lauren Trojan
From Cary, NC
Mar 31, 2011

I love all the recommendations! Just for the record - just set 5.8 as a limit - I'm really just looking for easy. Grades are all different - while would love to claim I crush 5.12a sport - was one route, that 21 pitches in, even following I would never claim I climbed :)

A sport climb is much much different than a trad climb. I love gear but jamming is tough. Give me little crimps any day! So a 5.6 crack climb I would consider just as tough for me as a 5.10 facey climb. (trad/sport aside) *Just to be super clear no not ready to jump on 5.10 trad any style

Ryan - thanks of thinking of routes in terms of women being smaller - being petite I find sometimes that makes things a bit different. Trying to wait just a bit longer for Moores to warm up!

Peter I followed Nutrasweet - was completely game until the top - was a weird jam, smeary feet? (to be fair with lots and lots of gear) I found Twall fairly intimidating for being a new trad/crack climber?

Rick - I think the flatirons sound fantastic. If I could spend all day going up something just fun and easy that would be perfect. How much longer till it gets warm up that way?

kwyatt - I'm going to LG on the 9th to do the Nose - think its an all day adventure or will I have time to get other stuff in too?


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By Dave Deming
From Grand Junction CO
Mar 31, 2011

For anybody in Western Colorado, favorite trad beginner lead: Beginner's Luck, Unaweep Canyon, 5.7, one solid crack for 80 feet. A joy to climb


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Apr 1, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

Lauren Trojan wrote:
Rick - I think the flatirons sound fantastic. If I could spend all day going up something just fun and easy that would be perfect. How much longer till it gets warm up that way?
It's warm starting now. The whether is good for climbing on the front range 8 months out of the year, the other 4 months are hit and miss. Outdoor climbing never shuts down here for more than 2 weeks at a time. A temperature you might consider cold in NC can be quite pleasant here, thinner air means drier and sun is filtered less making sunshine much stronger. The down side is that when the sun goes, the temps can plummet quick.

Your real challenge could be the bird closures depending on what you want to climb. The 3rd Flatiron is the crown jewel for beginner trad but is closed until August. Boulder county open space has a map. Seal Rock and the 1st are open year round. The first can look like a Christmas tree covered with climber ornaments, very crowded. No such problem on Seal Rock. The Fatiron is another. Open space has also gotten a lot more reasonable about the bird closures. When the birds leave, they are now lifting the closures. The flatirons are HUGE, you will find a lot more open than what I mentioned no matter when you come.


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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Apr 1, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumbling Bald.

Lauren -- it sounds like you've got a realistic idea of both your trad limits and your climbing limits, which is good. The key thing is to not push both at the same time.

If a trip to the Gunks is feasible for you, that's a great training ground. As others have pointed out, Gunks grades tend to be sandbagged, but you can find loads of excellent leads in the 5.1-5.4 range that have plenty of gear and are lots of fun besides.

Lauren Trojan wrote:
Trying to wait just a bit longer for Moores to warm up!

Stuff at Moore's tends to be a little stiff for the grade, but there's a number of routes there that you should be able to handle: Sentinel Buttress (5.5); Washboard (5.6); and Wailing Wall (5.6), among others.

Lauren Trojan wrote:
Peter I followed Nutrasweet - was completely game until the top - was a weird jam, smeary feet? (to be fair with lots and lots of gear) I found Twall fairly intimidating for being a new trad/crack climber?

T-Wall is pretty limited in terms of "beginner" trad leads, but some good possibilities for you would include New Beginnings (5.5); Plastic Toys (5.7); and maybe Nappy (5.7).

Lauren Trojan wrote:
kwyatt - I'm going to LG on the 9th to do the Nose - think its an all day adventure or will I have time to get other stuff in too?

If you start early and move fast, you'll have plenty of time for more climbing after doing the Nose. Are you going to be leading it? I wouldn't call the Nose a good beginner lead; I think you'd be wise to follow it the first time and get a little taste of the subleties of placing gear in eyebrows. If you are planning to lead some or all of it, it would be great for you to partner up with someone who's an experienced leader in case you feel the need to back off leading at any point in the climb.

Have fun!

JL


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By Andrew Blease
From 4runner, parking lot, USA
Apr 1, 2011

Hey Lauren,

I might be at the Glass on the 9th if you're interested in climbing some let me know.

Andrew


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 2, 2011
El Chorro

Lauren Trojan wrote:
Ryan - thanks of thinking of routes in terms of women being smaller - being petite I find sometimes that makes things a bit different. Trying to wait just a bit longer for Moores to warm up!


SO jealous!

My first lead at Moore's was either "Easy Hard" or "Washboard." "Headjam" is also good. Shoot me an email if you'll be looking for a partner this summer. I'll be around for July. It can get hot but Moore's is still good, Ship Rock is good and places in the gorge can be cool enough.


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By S. Fischer
Apr 5, 2011
Pilot Mountain NC

If it helps, I live in Raleigh and just did my first 2 trad leads this weekend at Moore's wall. I led the second pitch of Sentinel Buttress (5.5), I think P1 is a (5.4) and I led Head Jam (5.6).

Had an epic experience... hope you have the same.


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By Lauren Trojan
From Cary, NC
Apr 8, 2011

Hey Andrew - Change of plans - based on the stellar recommendations for Moores from Ryan and Fischer I'm headed that way this weekend! Hoping to do Sentinel, Washboard, Wailing Wall

JL - great advice! I have to admit I've been spoiled having really experienced trad leaders with me as I've gotten started. As I started drooling over gear a good friend told me that in the beginning I shouldn't be climbing with anyone who doesn't have a rack (especially not with anyone with a bright shiny new one). Its really nice to be able to call down to your belayer knowing they'll rescue the grand of gear you've left in the wall :)

If you all had to pick - would you say the Gunks or the Flatirons in May?


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By cride
Apr 12, 2011

You should climb the Flatirons in May. However, it will have to be the 1st (or 2nd, 5th, anything but the 3rd). The real classic (in my opinion), the 3rd Flatiron, is closed from Feb 1st to July 31st due to Raptor nesting. You can still climb the 3rd Flatiron if you don't mind paying $1000 in fines and potential jail time.

I'd like to climb with some clouds in the sky so that the sun does bake me. Also in May, Boulder isn't like 80+ degF outside. If you like climbing in the heat, then try the Flatirons at a later time. Finally, Colorado totally beats New York for outdoor activities.


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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Apr 18, 2011
First climb after knee surgery <br />

Ty Meadows wrote:
No assumptions...the OP climbs multi-pitch 12a. 5.8 should not be a problem with a little placement instruction.



I agree and disagree with you. Depends on the individual. I know individuals who started to lead (on gear) at stiff 5.10 but I wouldn't recommend it. Some people my be able to progress safely rather quickly into the 5.8's/.9s and even .10's and other's never get it and I wouldn't recommend a 5.5 on gear. Personally, I don't like making recommendations for reasonable climbs for someone starting in out in trad unless I see how they climb, place gear and get an insight on their thought processes (hard enough in real life).For someone who is experienced is a different story. For good recommendations, ask experienced climbers around you who have seen you climb. When you go to a new area, be a bit conservative and see what the climbing is like .


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