Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners: Re: [stagg54] When it it safe to be the most experienced climber in a group?: Edit Log


Jul 23, 2012, 10:55 AM

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Re: [stagg54] When it it safe to be the most experienced climber in a group?
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stagg54 wrote:
USnavy wrote:
Contrary to popular belief, the number of years you have been climbing is not necessarily an accurate indicator of your experience. Let me back this with an example. You got some kid that has only been climbing a year. But in that year he has climbed 300 days, and 2,500 routes. You have a dude that has been climbing for three years. But he only climbs two weekends a month, and he only gets in a few easy pitches per day. Who is more experienced? This notion can also be extended to trad climbing where experience is more accurately measured by how many falls you have taken on gear than by how many years you have been plugging pro. I mean who do you think knows more about making solid placements, the kid that has only been climbing trad for two years, but has taken 300 lead falls on cams, or the old man who has been climbing trad forever, but never climbs harder than 5.8 and never falls on or weights his placements?

Experience in trad climbing is about mileage, not about falling. In fact the words trad climbing and falling don't really go together at all. That's from people bringing a sport climbing mentality to trad climbing and its just all wrong.
Yes and no. Millage is very important, but that only goes so far. First, lets consider the entire point of trad climbing. Why do we place pro on a trad climb? Because we want it to arrest a fall, should we fall. So how could someone who has never actually tested a piece of gear possibly be more qualified than someone who tests it all the time? At the end of the day, you can climb trad every day of ever year, but until you actually fall on a piece, its just a guess as to whether it will hold or not. Falling on pieces often and verifying they hold confirms that you have the appropriate skill set required to place good pro.

Now, I agree that taking whips on gear left and right is not a good idea for most people. But there are plenty of people out there who successfully do it, and those who do have much more experience confirming their placements are solid than the rest of us do. Again, I am not saying that you should just throw yourself into pieces all day, nor am I saying that if you dont fall you are not a qualified trad climber. I am simply saying that those who fall often are those who have actually confirmed their placements work.

(This post was edited by USnavy on Jul 23, 2012, 10:57 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by USnavy () on Jul 23, 2012, 10:57 AM

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