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New climber in Bham
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By BHMatt
Mar 12, 2013

I've been bouldering for a year or so, top rope in gyms when I can. I've been wanting to get outside bad and eventually get into lead climbing. Any advice for a beginner on getting some experience outside? Any good guided day trips to sand rock or palisades that are worth it? Thanks in advance!


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By Swamp Cookie
From da Bayou
Mar 13, 2013
Big Alligator.

Become friends with an experienced climber at your gym.


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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Deeper South
Mar 13, 2013
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'

If you haven't, read some some of the classic technical books on anchoring and technique.
Presumably, you've been climbing at Moss Rock.
You can set up top ropes there or go to Palisades.
Palisades is much more TR-friendly and you can stay busy there for a long time with personal gear, a 60M rope, and anchoring equipment.
From Palisades, branch out to Sandrock and Steele while putting together your rack....
Once you've followed some leads, start working easy routes until you feel good with the gear....Palisades, Sandrock, and Steele are great places to be climbing for this.
Then, branch out further to Griffin, Jamestown, Chattanooga, Western NC....and beyond.

As far as guided trips, UAB has a program that I believe will include non-students/faculty. I hear they'll be at Sandrock this weekend.

And, as mentioned, you could probably link up with folks at First Avenue Rocks. Climbing with experienced locals will accelerate your program.


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By Raul P
Mar 13, 2013
Stella!

Hey Matt,

PM me if you're interested in getting outside this weekend. And if you're interested in a guided day, UAB is heading up to sandrock on Friday. PM for more details on that too.


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By BHMatt
Mar 13, 2013

Thanks! PM sent.


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By Jon Powell
From LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA
Mar 13, 2013
stone depot

I try and head up to Sand Rock at least once a month. You are more than welcome to tag along and top rope. Does your gym have top rope routes that can be lead also? If so once you are tied in tie a second rope to one of your loops and mock lead. Have your belayer keep you loose (not to loose but loose enough to give you the feel of leading). Has you climb practice clipping and clipping stances. Good way to learn proper clipping. Make sure you know what a back clip and a z clip are if you don't already and proper rope placement. Also important to learn proper lead belay. Way different than top rope belay. You need to learn how to give a dynamic catch or soft catch and when and how to give/take slack. If you ever want to get out let me know.


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By BHMatt
Mar 13, 2013

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately no wall in Bham has lead climbing, only top rope. I plan on joining one of the UAB trips in the near future to get some real rock experience then will go from there. Thanks!


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By Brandon.Phillips
From Double Springs, AL
Mar 14, 2013
El Classico V0

Check out Hurricane Creek Park in Cullman. Its a good place to get outside with really easy top rope set ups. The manager has installed Fixe Super Shuts as anchors, and is all about letting you run your rope right threw them. Presumably if you have a rope, partner, and know how to belay, you can top rope just about any route in the park. That said, there are only about 13 or so routes in the park. There is also a really easy slab to practice sport leading on.

I am going to take a couple of friends out there in the next couple of weeks. Hit me up if you're interested.

_ Brandon


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By Brian Hudson
From Greenville, SC
Mar 15, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Brandon.Phillips wrote:
Check out Hurricane Creek Park in Cullman. Its a good place to get outside with really easy top rope set ups. The manager has installed Fixe Super Shuts as anchors, and is all about letting you run your rope right threw them. Presumably if you have a rope, partner, and know how to belay, you can top rope just about any route in the park. That said, there are only about 13 or so routes in the park. There is also a really easy slab to practice sport leading on. I am going to take a couple of friends out there in the next couple of weeks. Hit me up if you're interested. _ Brandon

If you have your own gear to hang on the anchors, why not save the wear on the fixed gear?


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By Jon Powell
From LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA
Mar 15, 2013
stone depot

Brian Hudson wrote:
If you have your own gear to hang on the anchors, why not save the wear on the fixed gear?

Agree!!


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By Brandon.Phillips
From Double Springs, AL
Mar 15, 2013
El Classico V0

Brian Hudson wrote:
If you have your own gear to hang on the anchors, why not save the wear on the fixed gear?



The point I'm making, is that they can potentially be set up with minimal knowledge of top rope anchors/ gear, Unlike areas like Palisades that require long runners tied off to trees.

I'm not advocating going out to Sandrock and toproping threw old open shuts that see a lot of traffic. Anyway, the park manager's theory is that the area would be a good place to get people into climbing outside, so he equipped it to be as user friendly as possible.


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By Brian Hudson
From Greenville, SC
Mar 15, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Brandon.Phillips wrote:
The point I'm making, is that they can potentially be set up with minimal knowledge of top rope anchors/ gear, Unlike areas like Palisades that require long runners tied off to trees. I'm not advocating going out to Sandrock and toproping threw old open shuts that see a lot of traffic. Anyway, the park manager's theory is that the area would be a good place to get people into climbing outside, so he equipped it to be as user friendly as possible.

It's a noble effort, and I love to see nice, easy bolted anchors, but it's sacrificing safety for publicity to encourage new climbers to toprope directly through the shuts just so they don't have to learn all about those confusing quickdraws. Maybe he'll change his mind when the first rope snaps. This is all a discussion for a different thread though.

Matt, I agree with the above--make friends with your local climbers at the gym and get them to take you along.


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By bernard
From birmingham, al
Mar 26, 2013
near trapps, Shawangunks, NY, 2008

this site has a partnering forum.....and you can post at the et involved in local/region crag project and trail maintenance days.


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By bernard
From birmingham, al
Mar 26, 2013
near trapps, Shawangunks, NY, 2008

The partner finder here at this site under the Partners tab looks like not a bad resource (to cast a wide net don't specify in the info fields other than your zip code).......add to that just networking at somewhere like First Ave......just work on developing a contact list to go to and over time you zero in a core handful you like to partner with. And pot-luck sometimes works.....I've just showed up at the crag (well, a weel-visited crag like Sand Rock or Steel maybe)and teamed up with someone right there in the parking lot


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By Siberia
From Birmingham, AL
Mar 26, 2013

Go hang around 1st Ave and you'll be able to get out with some people


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