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By Claymsmith
Mar 6, 2013
Greetings, I'm a new trad climber and I was going to cut my teeth on a few of the easy trad routes at Yonah. I've sport climbed there frequently, and it seems like a great place to start. I'll be bringing a buddy (who is experienced trad) but he's never been to Yonah. So I am wondering if anyone could recommend a rack for the right side face. We don't really want to haul his entire rack up there.

Cheers!

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By Frailer
From Georgia
Mar 7, 2013
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There's not much for trad over there near LSD and Afternoon Delight unless you go up 5.easy slab in which a light rack of cams will do you fine. There is a fun 5.8 at the second overhang that is worth doing. I think I've used a #2 C4, #.5 C4, and 11-13 size nut (can't remember the exact size). There's an easy 5.6 there in the middle of the main face that goes up a dihedral that is worth doing if you're wanting to practice corner placements. A light rack is all you need for the main face. If you really want to get some good easy trad practice in while staying in Georgia, I'd recommend doing a lot of the easier routes at Lost Wall.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 7, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Do not do Stannard's Crack, the overhanging 5.8 on the second overhang. This is a huge sandbag that if you are new will likely ground fall on if you blow the crux. Just avoid all of the overhangs, none of them are that good. Stick to the balance climb area. The routes that are numbered. I would bring a single rack and maybe some tri-cams. I don't remember there being a ton of nut placements up there. The 5.6 dihedral next to the snake route is fun and takes a wide range of gear. You could probably get away with .3-3 camalots and the rack of 4 or 5 anodized tri-cams. That area probably has about 12 trad climbs, plenty enough to keep entertained for a day. If it is too cold up there, Currahee is another alternative relatively close by that will be a lot warmer. It doesn't have too many pure trad routes, but many routes that are protected with bolts and gear.

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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Mar 7, 2013
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capit...
now i'm just curious....what is ya'lls definition of a "single rack" and a "light rack"?

to me, a single rack is BD stoppers 4-13, BD cams .3-3
a light rack would be BD stoppers 6-10, BD cams .5-2....sound about right?

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 7, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
It is relative based on location. Most granite areas in the SE you can skip the nuts and bring tri-cams. A light rack would be something from the finger to hand size. A single rack I would probably bring micro-cams (purple metolius) to fist size #3, contemplate the grade and maybe bring tri-cams if it is near my limit or multi-pitch. Sandstone, you should always have nuts on your rack, light or single. It is just a bad idea in most places not to bring them along. I have a completely different rack for onsighting near my limit. I bring 0C3 to #3, purple to yellow metolius, tricams black to blue, BD nuts 3-10. That is almost doubles in every size and most gaps between each cam covered without adding a ton of weight. I never bring the larger nuts, because the tri-cams cover that size when placed passively. Obviously, if you can look up and see the climb then alter the rack accordingly.

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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Mar 7, 2013
Gunking
ParkerKempf wrote:
now i'm just curious....what is ya'lls definition of a "single rack" and a "light rack"? to me, a single rack is BD stoppers 4-13, BD cams .3-3 a light rack would be BD stoppers 6-10, BD cams .5-2....sound about right?


I would never carry .3 and .4. A light rack for me is Green through Red Alien, .5-1 Camalot.

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By Claymsmith
Mar 7, 2013
Thanks for the replies all. This is exactly what I was looking for. We'll leave the big stuff at home heh.

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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Mar 10, 2013
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capit...
JohnWesely wrote:
I would never carry .3 and .4. A light rack for me is Green through Red Alien, .5-1 Camalot.


when i was describing all those sizes, i meant it more as a general range (i rarely carry all BD stuff anyway) i was just simplifying it by using one company so people visually got it.

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By Claymsmith
Mar 11, 2013
Just to say, thanks again for the advice all. Went there over the weekend and had a blast. I ended up climbing with my brother as my other, more experienced, friend couldn't make it. Did my first lead on the dihedral and then continued on with a few of the 5.6-5.8 leads. I didn't use anything over a size 2 BD C4 cam. Used an array of nuts and made excellent use of Camp Tricams. They fit VERY nicely into the pockets.
I did manage to blow a .75 placement on Cavemen Eat Quiche which landed me squarely on my ass. In a puddle. Fun route though. Great place to learn trad.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 11, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Glad you had fun up there. I remember the dihedral being really fun as a new leader. The pulling of your .75 cam is worrying. As a new leader, you shouldn't be testing your pieces yet on lead falls. Definitely climb things that are easily below your limit. A cam that big should not easily pull. Make sure you have someone evaluate your placements before you start climbing harder things. Sorry your experienced friend wasn't there to inspect your gear. I know things do happen, and climbers accidentally fall on things well below their limit, but I am just trying to make sure you are taking the slow and steady approach. Make sure you are reading and getting as much information as possible in these learning years. There are some great books out there that can supplement a good mentorship.

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By Claymsmith
Mar 11, 2013
Im keeping it well below sport limit for sure. I tried Cavemen Eat Quiche because it was so short and I had a 4 point bomber anchor for my belayer. So we were 't going down the mountain. The cam blew because the placement was terrible, my brother was in the middle of saying so when it ripped. Harsh lesson learned.

On books, what would you suggest? I have read and (mostly) absorbed Rock Climbing Anchors by Craig Luebben and have asked questions where possible when I meet people. There arent any trad climbers where I live so its hard to get consistent tutoring.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 12, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Where do you live? Surely there has to be some trad climbers close by if you live in the SE.

As far as books go, I always suggest Self Rescue and Traditional Lead Climbing: Surviving the Learning Years. Both of those happened to be available at the University Library. We also hired a guide twice when we were first starting out. Focusing on placing gear and not as much climbing the entire day definitely helped build the confidence.

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By Claymsmith
Mar 12, 2013
I live down in Columbus Ga. We have a small climbing community building up around our university wall but nothing big yet. Hopefully we'll have a gym opening up soon.

Thanks for the book suggestions, I will be picking them up. We are going up to Lost Wall/Rocktown and Red River Gorge soon. Im going to try placements in the sport routes just to practice. Experience is the best teacher. If it doesnt kill you first.

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By Frailer
From Georgia
Mar 12, 2013
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Where did you place a .75 on Cavemen Eat Quiche? The only spot I can think of would have you hitting your ass from ~20 feet. I'm glad you're OK! Were you able to cram it in that small pocket about 10 ft off the deck after the crux?

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 13, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
I know the Ft. Benning military folks train at Yonah. It would be good if you had a gym to meet with some people. You are also pretty close to Sand Rock. That place is great for practicing gear placements. Lots of TR access or retro-bolted trad lines. Have fun at Lost Wall and the Red! There will be plenty of opportunities to get some gear in the wall at those areas.

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By Claymsmith
Mar 13, 2013
Yeah, Sandrock is my frequent weekend destination. Huge fan. Thanks again for the advice!

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By shannon stegg
Mar 23, 2013
You got to be kidding me! Yonah is a begginer area. I learned to place gear and build anchors in the middle of a cliff longer than my rope. I am sure whatever rack you own, you will be able to figure it all out. Oh yea, that was back in 1975 when my rack consisted of a few fox heads, copperheads, Tetons and a few hand slung stoppers. Do not pay any attention to carpet baggers opinion's on particular climbs, they probably got shot down trying them! One of my early accomplishes was leading Stannards Crack and then being strong mentally and physically enough to free solo it! Great finish above a couple of hundered feet of Granite in a mountain setting with big views and even bigger dreams!

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By Frailer
From Georgia
Mar 23, 2013
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Stannards is a fun fs! Went up last January to see if the ice on the main face was thick enough to lead as it was running the full height of the face. But, my buddies decided to stick with Hogpen which was a good choice. So, I decided to just do a little soloing on the right side of the main face and then go up Stannards again as it looked dry. I got up to the base of Stannards to find a massive pool of ice covering the whole damn thing including the inside of the crack. Talk about an oh shit moment! I will never fs if there is any ice anywhere from now on.

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By shannon stegg
Mar 23, 2013
One of my many trying moments was climbing Xanadu. I waited years to find it touching at the base of the wall. When it did, it was nothing more than soft wet verglass melting away as we watched! I still recall this lead one of my best. one inch frozen slush protected by rock gear about twenty feet up. At the top of the second pitch I had to take off my crampons and climb 5.8 rock through the overhang. The clouds made it feel like I could of been in the Alps or Patagonia, I will never forget it!

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 24, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
I've sent stannard's a long time ago when I was first starting out. I also made comments about it that were corroborated by other "locals" on the route's page. Maybe I shouldn't have said "don't do it", but wait until you are ready to solo that grade.

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