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Question for the pros?
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By Ellenore Zimmerman
Jun 8, 2013
me

Boots Ylectric wrote:
Never stop learning. This applies to climbing.

so true! I just got humbled on big wall climbing. I thought that even though I am not pushing hard grades on sport and trad I was not a beginner after 17 years, but no, not true when it comes to big wall. I am a novice! Climbing has so many aspects. We can become comfortable at one, yet loose the edge at another. It's a sport of constant growth and training. You can't be too sensitive either. Sometimes you have to take things with a grain of salt especially from old timers just to learn from them. Nothing wrong though to point out if people are rude or being plain jack asses. That happens everywhere not just in climbing.


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jun 11, 2013

Bstoker2 wrote:
At what point did you consider yourself not a beginner anymore? Was it when you led a certain 5.#?? Was it when you took a big fall? When did you find yourself finally being out of the world of beginner climbers? Thanks


I dont think that the grade you crush really compars to if you are a beginner or a pro. I have seen way to many children crushing 5.13+ but are doing stupid $#!^ as well.
I think that the point you are no longer a biginner is at the point you can saftly start shareong your past knowledge with some one that has less experince than you, but keep an open mind and realize that there are many forms of climbing.
Big Wall
Trad
Sport
Ice
Aid
alpine

I think that there are very few people that know everything about every style of climbing so it is important to keep soaking up information.


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By trundlebum
From Las Vegas NV
Sep 5, 2013
Somewhere in Tuolumne, sometime early 80's

I guess I have never thought of this question...

So my quick answer is what the first two responses were and...

When I could go to a new crag, with no guide book and nobody around. Climb all day and have a great time challenging myself but having no epics and no real whining and...
go home with nothing more than maybe a couple ripped cuticles and slightly sore muscles.


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By Aaron L.
Sep 5, 2013
Hiking in the Adirondacks

I have to agree with trundlebum; I stopped considering myself a beginner once I got to a certain skill/competence level rather than a certain grade. Once I got to the point that I could comfortably lead a trad multipitch (and had some basic self-rescue knowledge), I felt that I was no longer a beginner.

That being said, other people will have a completely different opinion. For example, Daniel Woods apparently did his first trad climb a few months ago. He is arguably the best boulderer in the world and I am sure that no one would consider him to be a beginner, but I believe that you need to have a fundamental knowledge of multiple aspects of the sport.

Again, this is going to vary from person to person. I am sure that there are a bunch of climbers who will say you are not a beginner once you have climbed "x" number of 5.X's.


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By Mark Pilate
Sep 8, 2013

Many good comments here. I'll just add that there are still many "beginners" that can climb 5.12 or better so the grade is immaterial. Snatch away their Gri-gri and they will just stare slack-jawed at the rope.

When you have many ways to skin the cat under any conditions in your bag of tricks, then you are moving from beginner to experienced.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Sep 8, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

That awkward moment when you realize that you can just use a bight of your rope in place of that $30 PAS you've been wearing around town.


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By trundlebum
From Las Vegas NV
Oct 28, 2013
Somewhere in Tuolumne, sometime early 80's

Good one Jon.
Concise and making a great point !


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 28, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

trundlebum wrote:
Good one Jon. Concise and making a great point !


(i still use mine. shhhhhh.)


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Oct 28, 2013

As far as the differentiation between pro and non-pro goes, that one is easy. A pro is someone who does something for a profession, a career. An amateur is someone who does not do something for a profession. But dont confuse pro with expert or master as they are not the same thing. An amateur can be more experienced and/ or knowledgeable than a pro depending on the comparison.

Also, Aaron L. made a great point about D. Woods. Nowadays there seems to be a tendency for pro climbers to focus on a very narrow portion of climbing (e.g. bouldering, sport, ect.). That leads to skill compartmentalization whereby the pro's skill in his or her dedicated area is through the roof, but in other areas the pro's skill is lacking rather. I have witnessed this numerous times climbing with exceptionally talented climbers. Many of them climbed far harder than I did, but were shitty belayers, dident know how to place a cam, dident know the first thing about self rescue, ect.


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By saguaro sandy
Oct 31, 2013
Picacho

I just saw a video of a climber( not gonna mention his name) doing a multi day big wal solo. He has done this for years: go to the Valley and just get on routes, alone or with partners... for days and weeks on. The man was resembling Tom Hank's character in "the Lost" pretty much talking to himself, the rocks, pitons...etc. there is nothing wrong with it I suppose. The man is not hurting anybody. Although I could not help but find it very odd.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Oct 31, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

Castaway?


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By trundlebum
From Las Vegas NV
Oct 31, 2013
Somewhere in Tuolumne, sometime early 80's

Sounds like Eric Ziesche on a boulder problem ;)


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Oct 31, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

I do a lot of mental intercourse with myself on long solos. I don't know if I ever talk out loud. I've actually tried to remember if the long, frequently heated debates/conversations I've had were out loud or just in my head, and can't ever remember.

It's pretty big stuff, though. I've both won and lost many a serious argument... but either way, win or lose, agree or just agree to disagree, it's always great to get your own perspective on things and see ethical/political/social/theological topics in a different light.


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