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How did you decide to do your first lead?
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ldrmn


Sep 28, 2009, 9:27 AM
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How did you decide to do your first lead?
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I tried doing a forum search on this, but I could not find the specific "first lead" information that I'm curious about.

So, one of my climbing friends has offered to help me get into trad. He suggests that we do a few "mock" leads, on top rope, so that he can check my placements.

I have experience setting anchors and I have read John Longs "Rock Climbing Anchors" numerous times. I have a good idea of what a good placement looks like(cam and nut wise). And I am confident that I could lead a easy route.

My question is how exactly did you tackle your first lead? Was it a TR lead? If you could go back would you do things differently?

I'm really trying to get as much out of climbing as I put in. I'm thinking that I would rather just go for it. One of the main reasons I love climbing is because it allows me to see what I am capable of in a stressful situation. Mind over matter I guess. I don't want to get in the habit of making sure that my ass is fail safe in all that I do. Reward is better with risk. And I know that is the same reason many people climb.


c4c


Sep 28, 2009, 9:45 AM
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if you have read Largo's book you will be fine. I would choose an easier route that you have climbed previously and lead it on the sharp end. (no toprope)
Have your second critique your placements/anchors.


jeepnphreak


Sep 28, 2009, 10:00 AM
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Well, for me it was forced on me. I called a few of my friends that were more experienced at trad than I. none were availavle to climb that day.
So my wife and I headed out we found a nice 5.6 witch is well under my abilities and I lead. She is heasitant to lead so it was up to me.
after each placement I tug and reefed on each stopper and cam. Once I was happy with the placement I climbed higher. This climb endes with chain anchors, witch is nice because I have been sport climbing for 10 years and half of the sport anchors in my area are chains. Guide books are nice


yodadave


Sep 28, 2009, 10:06 AM
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i would get out and second some stuff first before anything else. That gives you a better feel for placements than pictures. Once you can clean pro and you have a feel for different kinds of placement i would practise some placements at the bottom of a cliff, this will get you thinking about reaching for the right piece first time. Then go get on something well within your abilities. Have fun


dan2see


Sep 28, 2009, 10:32 AM
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When I decided to learn to lead on gear, I planned to start with the easiest climbs, and work my way up. I discussed it with my friends, who all agreed to go along with my plan.

So the first day, I did all the 5.1's I could find. Next, all the 5.2's. etc. etc.
Each time I'd build an anchor (we were good at that) and bring up my belayer, who cleaned the gear.
Nobody would agree as to whether my placements were good, but the scene was relatively low-risk. As I built skill, I also built confidence.

Unfortunately, that summer we all moved away, so my program ended for several years.

I'm climbing again. I'm mixing scrambles, sport, and trad, what-ever comes around. Every chance I get, I lead the easiest thing around. Again, as I build skill, I also build confidence. This is not a program, but it's just as good, because it's all rock-time.

I've got a long way to go. What I need more than anything else is a climbing buddy on the same level -- maybe next summer will be my big-time.


(This post was edited by dan2see on Sep 28, 2009, 10:34 AM)


johnwesely


Sep 28, 2009, 10:34 AM
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Don't mock lead. It is a waste of time. Just find an easy climb and go for it. You shouldn't be climbing stuff you might fall on at first anyways.


dan2see


Sep 28, 2009, 10:37 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Don't mock lead. It is a waste of time. Just find an easy climb and go for it. You shouldn't be climbing stuff you might fall on at first anyways.

That's right. You've gotta do it for real.
Keep the risk down, and keep the fun-factor up.


kachoong


Sep 28, 2009, 10:46 AM
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There was a discussion back in March, about knowing when you are ready to lead, in a thread by Cracklover, although I think it's not specifically about trad... but from memory has some interesting stories and points to consider.


dingus


Sep 28, 2009, 10:57 AM
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If you have to ask you're not ready.

DMT


shimanilami


Sep 28, 2009, 11:06 AM
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After our third trip out, I was sick of following my mentor. At the base of Nutcracker, I grabbed the rack and tied in.

"I'm good. You ready?"

"You're on."

No fuss from me. No fuss from him. The way it should be.


Bats


Sep 28, 2009, 11:10 AM
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I was supposed to do my 1st trad lead climb 2 weeks ago, but because the weather was so nasty I haven't. I have done a lot of cleaning on various routes. Also I have placed gear on low levels like on a crack and, work on my anchors with my buddies' gear. So far my placements have been right on. I am a belay slave to those that have gear, until I get more comfortable with leading trad. I am doing the slow building of a rack. I think in the next year or so I should have a full rack and leading.


hafilax


Sep 28, 2009, 11:21 AM
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I seconded a lot of routes, decided I wanted to lead and took a 2 day gear course from a guide. The first day we placed gear on the ground and he checked it, on top rope and he checked it, more on the ground, some more placements, placed some more gear all the while the guide told us what was good and what was bad. Then we built a bunch of anchors of various configurations.

Second day we built more anchors and then led an easy climb. The guide felt pretty good about us so he stuck us on a steep, slimy, mossy 10b intending for us to fall. In retrospect I think that was somewhat questionable but it worked out fine.

After that I climbed every well protected 5.7 and 5.8 in my area and pushed to higher grades according to my comfort level.


Partner cracklover


Sep 28, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
Don't mock lead. It is a waste of time. Just find an easy climb and go for it. You shouldn't be climbing stuff you might fall on at first anyways.

Exactly.

My first lead was a lead.

TR is TR, and lead is lead. Confusing the two just confuses your head.

GO


dagibbs


Sep 28, 2009, 1:01 PM
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My first sort-of trad lead was a mixed lead -- I lead a sport climb, clipping the bolts, but also placing gear in between the bolts. My belayer (much more experienced) then critiqued my placements.

From then on, I just led stuff. The first few I pre-scouted on top-rope, to know how they would go, look for placements and know I would be comfortable with the route.

I move up to on-sighting things that (from their grade or from their look) I figured would be within what I could climb fairly easily and lead reasonably competently.

So far, it has been going pretty well. Still have yet to take my first lead fall, though. (Then again, I've only been doing this since the start of March this year.)

-David


rockandlice


Sep 28, 2009, 1:03 PM
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I was a reckless kid. The moment I got my paws on a set of nuts I was out winging it. YMMV.


hafilax


Sep 28, 2009, 1:06 PM
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rockandlice wrote:
I was a reckless kid. The moment I got my paws on a set of nuts I was out winging it. YMMV.
I'm not sure that came out the way you intended. 'Twould be a fine out of context signature.


rockandlice


Sep 28, 2009, 1:13 PM
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You saw the word "kid" and "nuts" in the same sentence and your dirty pedophile mind got the best of you, eh? Wink


seatbeltpants


Sep 28, 2009, 2:55 PM
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i agree with the others who say to dive in, no pissing around with a mock lead. assuming that you can climb reasonably competently this really defeats the purpose, i think - it's not going to be a hard route you try, so you shouldn't fall, and the whole business end of trad is having to be above gear, spending time at a stance, placing gear, trusting it, stressing, and coping.

the top rope would eliminate all of that. if you're going to do a mock lead why not just top rope the route and place gear on the way up?

i started by reading, seconding, and placing gear on the ground to convince my partner that i had some idea what i was up to. then i tied in and led an easy route, took my time, and placed loads of gear. i didn't hang on any of it, but ymmv.

the route i led wasn't absolute cake, not something i'd solo, but i'd climbed enough sport to be comfortable resting at the stances. i guess it was around 5.8 / 5.9 (was grade 15 on the ewbank scale, for those playing at home).

steve


CrazyPetie


Sep 28, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Word i agree, get on something low risk and go for the lead. I got my first set of cams when i was still a noob by most standards. My friend and I were at this Lame top-roping area, and we decided to climb any easy looking face that would take a little bit of gear. We ended up doing half a dozen routes, the novelty of it was just too fun to stop. Deffinately some bad placements but we survived.


agdavis


Sep 28, 2009, 4:15 PM
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I just went for it. First lead ever was a trad 5.6. For comparison, I was seconding 5.10a Just be confident -- you can climb a LOT harder than you think you can, when you don't want to experience your first fall on gear.

Be careful.


Couloirman


Sep 28, 2009, 4:30 PM
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one way Ive heard some people really liking, is to aid climb an easy pitch on a loose top rope. The plus side of this is you get to learn to trust gear, even some people who have led a lot still have a crazy fear of falling because their scared to pull on and trust their gear to do what it was designed to do.

Im not talking about aiding an Indian Creek style, all #3 C4 from bottom to top sized crack, but something that might require a little bit of thought in placements with different sized pieces. Try to place both nuts and cams and see what works and what doesn't. Just cause it'll hold body weight for you to aid all the way up doesn't mean it'll hold a fall, but it would do worlds for your confidence.


Either that or do what I did, read a book on the subject, and just do it because you KNOW that you are ready. If you have to ask, you're probably not ready yet.


veilneb


Sep 28, 2009, 4:54 PM
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High Exposure, the Gunks. Last pitch. My partner combined the first two pitches, brings me up and hands me the rack. I had taken a brief class with a guide on how to place gear and build anchors and had followed my buddy for a half dozen pitches. At the ledge, he hands me the rack. I asked, a bit surprised: "really?" "Yup, your turn" he replied. So I took the rack. It was a bit scary, a bit overhanging. Right under the roof I placed the biggest cam I had, deep in the crack...."I'm not sure about this..." "Nahhh..." he replied. "Looks good, keep going." To which I responded "you can't even see it from there!" "Sure I can" he lies, "keep going." So up I went.

At the top he congratulated me on a nice lead. Turns out he thought I had led a bunch of trad climbs in the past, but that was my first one. To this day I don't know where he got that idea from.

That was my first lead.


apeman_e


Sep 28, 2009, 5:10 PM
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First trad lead, or first lead ever?


jsj7051


Sep 28, 2009, 5:26 PM
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Smile
apeman_e wrote:
First trad lead, or first lead ever?

This is a very good question. I first lead a 5.6 bolted sport route about 60' high to get the feel .

My first trad lead was the same route that I climbed on my first time on real rock. Then I climbed it a few more times. I was comfortable with the gear needs and it felt like I was climbing an old friend not a blind date. Feeling that I knew I could climb the route helped me focus on the gear and not fear.
REMEMBER to breathe ............. Smile


dagibbs


Sep 28, 2009, 5:40 PM
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apeman_e wrote:
First trad lead, or first lead ever?

In the "Trad Climbing" forum, I'd assume, from context, first trad lead.


Partner xtrmecat


Sep 28, 2009, 6:50 PM
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  First full on lead was out of necessity. Three of us with no lead experience, so I just sacked up and did it. No qualms about setting off, confident, below my ability to lead or protect. Felt good. I had previously only place pro several other times on TR and had them critiqued by the other 2 inexperience gumbies. Lived, learned, and haven't looked back. The climb led to a ledge with four other climbs starting there. The only other way was to rap in with a major pain in the ass approach.

I also agree, if you are asking, not yet. If you are wondering, maybe soon. No rehearsals, just do it the very best you can, and stay within your known ability.

Bob


mushroom


Sep 28, 2009, 6:57 PM
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just go for it bro! Leading is the shit. Don't blow it though, that could kill you! How hard is it to place some trad gear? As long as you're not a total wanker you can probably figure out how to get something to work! Just do a route with plenty of rest stances that you can place gear from. That way you have time. As a new leader, you'll just need lots and lots of time to get your placements right.

Shit's easy, mate! Get on it!


asiaclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 7:04 PM
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I was lucky. I started sport climbing to get used to being on lead so i could be more comfortable climbing trad. I didn't have a mentor for either style of climbing. I got real good at sport climbing and finally gave up on finding a mentor. So I bought my own rack and luckly at the time i was in South Korea where they bolt a lot protectable routes, so i just climbed those routes and placed gear instead of clipping draws. I knew if shit got to scary or to hard i could clip a bolt. It gave me a safe enviornment to learn to place gear well.


deathbybowtie


Sep 28, 2009, 7:42 PM
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I've been climbing for two and a half years or so, but all in gyms or sport climbing. I went to Red River Gorge with some friends a few weeks ago and we met up with a guy who was there on vacation and looking for people to climb with. He came out with our group a few days, and we mentioned that we were interested in trad climbing. He happened to have a rack, so the next day we went out and found a 5.3 for a few of us to try out. I'd done a little reading about gear placement and tricks to minimize rope drag and such, but the other three people who learned had had no such inclination to learn things on their own.


seatbeltpants


Sep 28, 2009, 8:03 PM
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just had another thought - probably one key thing for your first lead is for the route to have lots of options for placing gear. sew that fucker up. there's no sense leading routes which force you to run it out or place marginal gear.

find a route where you can place a piece every two or three feet and go nuts. far better to put in loads and know that at least some will be good than to only have one or two pieces between you and the ground and not be sure if they'll hold. plenty of time for that later...

also, you need to practice selecting your gear, getting it in fast, and seating it nicely. you won't get much practice on a run out climb with only three placements, but will get better fast if you slot in 20.

steve


jt512


Sep 28, 2009, 9:14 PM
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I decided to free solo a 50-foot 5.7 (Beethoven's Wall, Stoney Point, CA) I had wired on top rope. My "logic" was that if I could free solo, then I could lead.

I don't think that would be an approach that I would recommend today.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 28, 2009, 9:15 PM)


crazy_fingers84


Sep 28, 2009, 9:54 PM
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ldrmn wrote:
...was it a TR lead?

no such thing.


seatbeltpants


Sep 28, 2009, 10:23 PM
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jt512 wrote:
I decided to free solo a 50-foot 5.7 (Beethoven's Wall, Stoney Point, CA) I had wired on top rope. My "logic" was that if I could free solo, then I could lead.

I don't think that would be an approach that I would recommend today.

Jay

i guess that shows a healthy scepticism regarding inexperienced trad placements?!

steve


king_rat


Sep 29, 2009, 1:47 AM
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I started climbing on a tope rope when I was 5 and started seconding at some point in my teens. For some reason I stopped climbing for a couple of years and then started again at 18. When I started climbing again at 18, I think I seconded a route and then decided that I wanted to lead a route. Probably not the best approach but I was fairly confident in my abilities. It was very easy 5.5 or 5.6 and very easy to protect with a good solid tree at the top to belay off.

I know a lot of people suggest doing mock leading but, unless you are a particularly nervous climber I canít see the point.


scottydo


Sep 29, 2009, 4:01 AM
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  You're right when you say 'I'm thinking i would rather just go for it'. My first lead was a conglomeration of aid/free solo. Really dumb now that i look back on it, but i had no one to climb with at the time and just climbed waaaaaay below my level. Regardless, I learned a hell of a lot about placing gear and what holds.
However, I learned a whole lot more just going for some stuff with guys that climbed trad harder than I did. Now I'm almost to their level.
Just get up and go man. Start climbing super easy then progress onward and upwards. Smile


gmggg


Sep 29, 2009, 8:25 AM
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jt512 wrote:
I decided to free solo a 50-foot 5.7 (Beethoven's Wall, Stoney Point, CA) I had wired on top rope. My "logic" was that if I could free solo, then I could lead.

I don't think that would be an approach that I would recommend today.

Jay

HA! I did the same thing (different route) The funny thing is that it gives me more heeby jeebies to solo it now than it did the first time.


LoveGettingStoned


Sep 29, 2009, 9:02 AM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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Smoke a bowl, then go for it.


fresh


Sep 29, 2009, 9:13 AM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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first lead on gear: rapped down a 5.6, put in pro, a friend checked it, I climbed it and clipped the pro.

first lead placing gear: my friend tells me to lead the first pitch of recompense (which goes at 5.7), telling me it's 5.5. I shit my pants up 100 feet of rock, decided I couldn't take any more, and lowered off a #3 metolius. pretty much got me hooked.

just go for it. but most importantly, climb a route you won't fall on. make sure your gear is as bomber as possible, and place it whenever you can.


ldrmn


Sep 29, 2009, 1:07 PM
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Re: [fresh] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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I'm just gonna go for it. Ill find a nice easy route with good foot placements so I can take my time.

Then ill drink a beer :)


CrazyPetie


Sep 29, 2009, 1:29 PM
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Re: [LoveGettingStoned] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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LoveGettingStoned wrote:
Smoke a bowl, then go for it.

HA! Thats what i'm talkin about. Nice to see climbers on here that dont act like they work for the government.


iluvtoplayoutside


Sep 29, 2009, 3:25 PM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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Because the rock is there and if I like the way it looks I decide to go up it. I now live in an area where if I want to climb, I have to lead Trad (not sport). I like to climb and trust myself so why not?
Plus, I really can't bail and I love being totally comitted to the climb w/total focus, trad leading really does that for me.


notapplicable


Sep 29, 2009, 3:26 PM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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I'm sure my experience was similar to what others have posted but...

I wanted to try some trad climbing and didn't know anyone in the community so i bought some gear (about a half rack) and started leading.

1st lead - 5.5

2nd lead - 5.6

3rd lead - 5.7 (nearly killed myself)

4th lead - 5.6


wanderlustmd


Sep 29, 2009, 7:44 PM
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Re: [cracklover] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Don't mock lead. It is a waste of time. Just find an easy climb and go for it. You shouldn't be climbing stuff you might fall on at first anyways.

Exactly.

My first lead was a lead.

TR is TR, and lead is lead. Confusing the two just confuses your head.

GO

Yeah, I agree with this as well. Mock leading isn't a good exercise for trad in particular. Remember that trad leading is more than just gear; it's route finding, rope management, finding stances to place from, knowing what to place where (like when you plug a perfect cam and get ready to cast off from a stance, only to realize you placed the cam in a critical fingerlock). And yes, pro placement and slinging is a huge part as well. It's one decision after another.

I do agree with what Dingus mentioned; you'll know when you are ready. I followed people for a while, then ended up leading an easy route I had toproped many times. It was a terrifying experience. Been into it ever since.


phillycheese


Sep 29, 2009, 8:24 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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I did my first trad lead this summer. I mock led with a good friend who critiqued my placements. I had cleaned a ton of routes before and mock leading on TR didn't confuse anything. Leading is leading. If you've never lead sport or trad, I could see the TR mock lead as confusing. If you've led sport before and are comfortable with it, then I don't see it as an issue.

I was glad to have someone critique my placements. I felt like I was back at school waiting for my grades to come in. I led on TR once and then went for it. I climb better on lead than I do on TR so i actually placed my pieces much better on lead than I did on TR.

Although we both have wives and kids so I assume we are a little more conservative than most when it comes to this stuff. I'm okay with that.


jt512


Sep 29, 2009, 9:23 PM
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Re: [phillycheese] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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phillycheese wrote:
I led on TR....

Please do not use this phrase.

The line has to be drawn somewhere, for God's sake.

Jay


coolcat83


Sep 29, 2009, 9:48 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
I'm sure my experience was similar to what others have posted but...

I wanted to try some trad climbing and didn't know anyone in the community so i bought some gear (about a half rack) and started leading.

1st lead - 5.5

2nd lead - 5.6

3rd lead - 5.7 (nearly killed myself)

4th lead - 5.6

bet there's a good story to go with that?


phillycheese


Sep 29, 2009, 9:55 PM
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Re: [phillycheese] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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phillycheese wrote:
I did my first trad lead this summer. I mock led with a good friend who critiqued my placements. I had cleaned a ton of routes before and mock leading on TR didn't confuse anything. Leading is leading. If you've never lead sport or trad, I could see the TR mock lead as confusing. If you've led sport before and are comfortable with it, then I don't see it as an issue.

I was glad to have someone critique my placements. I felt like I was back at school waiting for my grades to come in. I (mock) led on TR once and then went for it. I climb better on lead than I do on TR so i actually placed my pieces much better on lead than I did on TR.

Although we both have wives and kids so I assume we are a little more conservative than most when it comes to this stuff. I'm okay with that.

Fixed for ya. In case you didn't see the first reference to "mock" leading. My bad for forcing you to assume the second reference to"leading on TR" was also... a mock lead. I'll make sure to keep things clear.


cantbuymefriends


Sep 30, 2009, 2:21 AM
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Re: How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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I had climbed 5.8 on toprope.
Got a set of nuts and a couple of hexes and looked up the easiest route in the area, a 5.5 that the guidebook said was "well protected", and went for it.
It was just a short route, 30+ ft, but I was over-gripping and fumbling with gear even on good stances, so I was pumped out of my mind when I got up. But I was sooo stoked. Smile


dingus


Sep 30, 2009, 5:07 AM
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Re: [phillycheese] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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phillycheese wrote:
phillycheese wrote:
I did my first trad lead this summer. I mock led with a good friend who critiqued my placements. I had cleaned a ton of routes before and mock leading on TR didn't confuse anything. Leading is leading. If you've never lead sport or trad, I could see the TR mock lead as confusing. If you've led sport before and are comfortable with it, then I don't see it as an issue.

I was glad to have someone critique my placements. I felt like I was back at school waiting for my grades to come in. I (mock) led on TR once and then went for it. I climb better on lead than I do on TR so i actually placed my pieces much better on lead than I did on TR.

Although we both have wives and kids so I assume we are a little more conservative than most when it comes to this stuff. I'm okay with that.

Fixed for ya. In case you didn't see the first reference to "mock" leading. My bad for forcing you to assume the second reference to"leading on TR" was also... a mock lead. I'll make sure to keep things clear.

Well to be clear then, replace 'mock' with 'faux' ie mock leading is not leading. The problem some have with it is it doesn't foster 'lead-head' and doesn't simulate the risk/emotional baggage that goes with leading.

That said I know some guides who have recommend this practice to certain clients. We're all wired differently and we all have our own risk evaluations.

The real reason to be careful how you say it though... is if you imply through omission that you led something and in conversation it turns out you top roped it you will not only get mocked you will get MARKED.

In terms of tribal relations, you are only as good as your reputation with your fellow climbers. You don't want them thinking of you as a liar, certainly when you're not, just perhaps not careful enough with a statement.

Doesn't seem like a biggie, but in the game of free climbing it is THE turning point.

DMT


notapplicable


Sep 30, 2009, 7:47 AM
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Re: [coolcat83] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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coolcat83 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
I'm sure my experience was similar to what others have posted but...

I wanted to try some trad climbing and didn't know anyone in the community so i bought some gear (about a half rack) and started leading.

1st lead - 5.5

2nd lead - 5.6

3rd lead - 5.7 (nearly killed myself)

4th lead - 5.6

bet there's a good story to go with that?

Not as good as the ones that came a year or two later once I became "confident" in my leading abilities.Blush

In this case I had climbed about 15 ft. up easy ground and then a few feet in to the meat of the climb and placed my biggest cam, which was badly tipped out. I climbed a few more feet and then my belayer hollars up that the cam fell out.Shocked

The day I learned to lead turned out to also be the day I would learn about downclimbing.


kylekienitz


Sep 30, 2009, 8:07 AM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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My suggestion would be to do it sooner than later. I top roped for a number of years before leading even though I was ready. I didn't because my friend's dad (a guide) who taught me everything I knew about climbing didn't ever mention it. I just assumed that he would let us know when he thought we should start leading. Because of this I got way too comfortable climbing on TR. Once I did finally lead I was scared out of my mind. My fear didn't go away, even when I started leading trad.

Finally, this season (five years after I started climbing) I have been able to confront that fear. But, it has taken a lot of work and focus. I'm not sure if my HUGE mental block was a result of all the TRing, but my suggestion would be start leading before getting too comfortable with the rope above you. Obviously you should be comfortable with the gear, placements, anchors, etc. But if you are ready then get on it.

Now when I am focused leading it is the most exhilarating thing, instead of me just crapping my pants up the entire wall and not enjoying the climbing.


phillycheese


Sep 30, 2009, 8:32 AM
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Re: [dingus] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
phillycheese wrote:
phillycheese wrote:
I did my first trad lead this summer. I mock led with a good friend who critiqued my placements. I had cleaned a ton of routes before and mock leading on TR didn't confuse anything. Leading is leading. If you've never lead sport or trad, I could see the TR mock lead as confusing. If you've led sport before and are comfortable with it, then I don't see it as an issue.

I was glad to have someone critique my placements. I felt like I was back at school waiting for my grades to come in. I (mock) led on TR once and then went for it. I climb better on lead than I do on TR so i actually placed my pieces much better on lead than I did on TR.

Although we both have wives and kids so I assume we are a little more conservative than most when it comes to this stuff. I'm okay with that.

Fixed for ya. In case you didn't see the first reference to "mock" leading. My bad for forcing you to assume the second reference to"leading on TR" was also... a mock lead. I'll make sure to keep things clear.

Well to be clear then, replace 'mock' with 'faux' ie mock leading is not leading. The problem some have with it is it doesn't foster 'lead-head' and doesn't simulate the risk/emotional baggage that goes with leading.

That said I know some guides who have recommend this practice to certain clients. We're all wired differently and we all have our own risk evaluations.

The real reason to be careful how you say it though... is if you imply through omission that you led something and in conversation it turns out you top roped it you will not only get mocked you will get MARKED.

In terms of tribal relations, you are only as good as your reputation with your fellow climbers. You don't want them thinking of you as a liar, certainly when you're not, just perhaps not careful enough with a statement.

Doesn't seem like a biggie, but in the game of free climbing it is THE turning point.

DMT

Gotcha. No worries man. Thanks for the heads up. I knew what I was getting into when I posted in the first place.


TarHeelEMT


Sep 30, 2009, 9:20 AM
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My first lead was a two-pitch trad route (Sentinel Buttress) at Moore's Wall.

I picked it because I had followed it before, because of the awesome belay ledge, and because it was well beneath my ability as a second.

It was a great route, and I like the fact that I did not do my first lead on top rope. I went with a very experienced climber who evaluated my placements on each pitch.


LostinMaine


Sep 30, 2009, 9:35 AM
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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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You are ready to lead for the first time when you find a belayer you have 100% confidence in (who has experience belaying a leader). The worst thing you can have on your first lead is a gumby belayer tying him/herself in knots, confusing "slack" and "rope" commands, petting the crag dog, mixing up brake hand sequence, and offering words of wisdom like "hey, you look pretty."

Find someone who can belay you, solo up to you if need be, and has mastered male machismo phrases of encouragement.


ldrmn


Sep 30, 2009, 1:22 PM
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Re: [LostinMaine] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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I have been leading sport up to 11b all summer, and I know, there is nothing worse than a dazed belayer.

Saturday is the day, ill let ya all know how it goes.

So, if you only trad climb, how do you push yourself up the grades?

Top roping the route before hand is the only way I can think of. Which is fine, but what about the thrill of a challanging onsite?


TarHeelEMT


Sep 30, 2009, 1:30 PM
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ldrmn wrote:
I have been leading sport up to 11b all summer, and I know, there is nothing worse than a dazed belayer.

Saturday is the day, ill let ya all know how it goes.

So, if you only trad climb, how do you push yourself up the grades?

Top roping the route before hand is the only way I can think of. Which is fine, but what about the thrill of a challanging onsite?

I'm not really sure I understand what you're asking.
I work out in the gym, and then just decide to go for the higher grade if I'm having a good day at the crag.


seatbeltpants


Sep 30, 2009, 2:00 PM
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dingus wrote:
The real reason to be careful how you say it though... is if you imply through omission that you led something and in conversation it turns out you top roped it you will not only get mocked you will get MARKED.

In terms of tribal relations, you are only as good as your reputation with your fellow climbers. You don't want them thinking of you as a liar, certainly when you're not, just perhaps not careful enough with a statement.

Doesn't seem like a biggie, but in the game of free climbing it is THE turning point.

DMT

mate, this is spot on. a guy i occasionally climb with just doesn't get the distinction, and given that he's grade obsessed he has earned himself a reputation for being completely full of shit.

"dude, i flashed a 5.11 last weekend!", he'll say.

anyone else i'd take this on face value, but not this guy. if you ask him for details it'll turn out that he "flashed" the route on top rope, at the gym. or that he top roped it and yanked on draws on the way up. or that the route he flashed on trad was actually seconding.

bragging about grades bugs the hell of out of me (probably because I'm weak, to be fair), but bragging about grades when the story isn't entirely true?

steve


ldrmn


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Re: [TarHeelEMT] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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TarHeelEMT wrote:
ldrmn wrote:
I have been leading sport up to 11b all summer, and I know, there is nothing worse than a dazed belayer.

Saturday is the day, ill let ya all know how it goes.

So, if you only trad climb, how do you push yourself up the grades?

Top roping the route before hand is the only way I can think of. Which is fine, but what about the thrill of a challanging onsite?

I'm not really sure I understand what you're asking.
I work out in the gym, and then just decide to go for the higher grade if I'm having a good day at the crag.

I hear from alot of people that you don't want to fall while trad climbing. Obiously, some times it happens.
But say you want to throw caution to the wind and hop on something burly, or a bit harder than your used to, is that a bad thing???

I think the reason I have really enjoyed leading sport is that I'm not afraid to hop on a route a number grade(or two) higher than my comfort zone, and grunt my way through it.

I know trad is a totally different game, and im sure the rewards will be different. But I have found that the best way for me to get better at climbing 10's, is to climb 11's. Ill miss that option :(


dingus


Sep 30, 2009, 2:21 PM
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All depends on what you hit on the way down, nawmean?

DMT


Partner cracklover


Sep 30, 2009, 2:38 PM
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ldrmn wrote:
So, if you only trad climb, how do you push yourself up the grades?

Slowly.

Guy I used to climb with - superb climber. British guy. Mostly climbed trad. He continued to get better and stronger his whole life. Almost never fell on lead. In his late 40s, he was a solid 5.11 trad leader.

In reply to:
Top roping the route before hand is the only way I can think of. Which is fine, but what about the thrill of a challanging onsite?

Later, when you have your shit together. How old are you? You have plenty of time to learn how trad leading works, and then start pushing the grades.

GO


billcoe_


Sep 30, 2009, 2:39 PM
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dingus wrote:
All depends on what you hit on the way down, nawmean?DMT

ding ding ding ding! We have a winner right here folks.....!!!!


crazy_fingers84


Sep 30, 2009, 2:54 PM
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LostinMaine wrote:
...the worst thing you can have on your first lead is a gumby belayer tying him/herself in knots, confusing "slack" and "rope" commands...

I don't consider myself a gumby belayer, but I am confused by the "rope" command. I use that when I am pulling a rope from the anchor. Why would this ever be used in a lead situation?

LostinMaine wrote:
...Find someone who can belay you, solo up to you if need be...

How can somebody belay you and solo up to you at the same time?


(This post was edited by crazy_fingers84 on Sep 30, 2009, 2:57 PM)


ldrmn


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I am 27


TarHeelEMT


Sep 30, 2009, 7:36 PM
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I hesitate to make comparisons between how you push yourself up the grades in trad vs. sport, because I have only occasionally ever climbed sport.

With trad, it's a slow cautious process. You CAN hop on something that is an aggressive grade and just go all out while climbing trad. It had just better be well within your ability to protect.

I suppose that's the answer to your question, really. Trad consists of two different skill sets, both of which can be challenged by a route - your ability to climb the route, and your ability to protect the route.

A route can be difficult in either regard, and you will end up pushing yourself through the grades in each regard. Just make sure that you're only challenging yourself on one of those skills at a time.


ladyscarlett


Oct 1, 2009, 1:51 AM
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Hmmm, wasn't too long ago when I asked a very similar question! In this very same section of this forum. You could actually track my mental "ramp up" to my first lead through this forum as it's all in my thread...there were a lot of good shares too!

Deciding to trad lead is one thing, and I think Dingus has it right.

About picking the exact climb, that's a little different and depends - heh! My buddy who had climbed it before (without me) put the rope down at the base and asked "you want to lead?" and I answered "Yes!"

Now that I look back I can see a series of factors that my buddy probably took into account when picking it. It was short (1pitch). I was in sight of my belayer for at least 80% of the climb. It also meant I was within easy ear shot. It was a crack, no bolts - either for an anchor or anywhere on the climb. This also meant pretty easy route finding and guaranteed protection opportunities. That's probably just a few...

I'm not saying that you should look for these things, just some possible factors to think of. Or do what so many here seem to have done (including myself), and let crazy, albeit trusted, friends choose for you! Then all you have to do is lead!

ldrmn wrote:
So, if you only trad climb, how do you push yourself up the grades?

Man, already thinking of pushing the grades and don't even have a half season on the sharp end. A not so gentle reminder that I really need to grow a pair of balls!

In reply to:
Top roping the route before hand is the only way I can think of. Which is fine, but what about the thrill of a challanging onsite?

My favorite way to "keep the challenge" and still onsite...delicious multipitch! Leading 1 or 2 pitches of 5.6 is one thing. Leading 5-6 pitches of 5.6 is another. Mental and physical endurance become much more immediate matters. Commitment feels like more of an issue when there's the possibility of being caught in a lightening storm 4 pitches up with no way of retreating. It's fun out there!

Have fun!

Safety third!

ls


LostinMaine


Oct 1, 2009, 8:08 AM
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crazy_fingers84 wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
...the worst thing you can have on your first lead is a gumby belayer tying him/herself in knots, confusing "slack" and "rope" commands...

I don't consider myself a gumby belayer, but I am confused by the "rope" command. I use that when I am pulling a rope from the anchor. Why would this ever be used in a lead situation?

"Rope" is universally short for "up rope" which means "take in a bit of slack, but not to the point of tension on the climber." Imagine a leader climbing up, clipping his/her top piece of gear, down climbing to a stance/ledge to take a rest. If out of view of the belayer once starting back up again and the rope is quite slack, a leader might say "up rope" or simply "rope" to get some of the slack out of the system so that a fall would not result in decking on the ledge he just took a rest on.

In reply to:
LostinMaine wrote:
...Find someone who can belay you, solo up to you if need be...

How can somebody belay you and solo up to you at the same time?

Simple self rescue. If the gumby leader is climbing with the lead rope between his/her legs, blows a move, the rope catches his/her leg, flips her upside down and knocks her unconscious, you bet your ass the belayer had better be able to escape the belay quickly, and feel very comfortable rope soloing up to the stuck leader to provide assistance (assuming of course that the leader is stuck over 1/2 the rope length distance away).

Or, you can choose a simple, short route with gobs of people and rangers around.

My point is this: when starting to lead, have a competent belayer who is comfortable belaying a leader.


ladyscarlett


Oct 1, 2009, 9:43 AM
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LostinMaine wrote:

Or, you can choose a simple, short route with gobs of people and rangers around.

My point is this: when starting to lead, have a competent belayer who is comfortable belaying a leader.

Personally, I'd have thought that simple and short wouldn't be bad for a first lead. Not the most exciting, but will get the first out of the way.

And as for gobs of people and rangers...well, we are out there to look good after all! How are we going to "look cool" if no one's watching?!


Man, priorities these days!

And yes, a confident, competent belayer is good. Even better if they carry your shoes up!

heh

ls


lena_chita
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Oct 1, 2009, 11:59 AM
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I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend. During that class I got to practicce placement on the ground and did 4 mock leads with an instructor jumaring on a rope next to me and commenting on placements.

My first real lead was more of a frustration-driven than anything else. There was a large group I was with, everyone was climbing slowly, I climbed ever other route and there was nothing else to climb but this short 5.8 crack... One of the guys had gear. I took it and lead the route.


LostinMaine


Oct 2, 2009, 6:49 AM
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ladyscarlett wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:

Or, you can choose a simple, short route with gobs of people and rangers around.

My point is this: when starting to lead, have a competent belayer who is comfortable belaying a leader.

Personally, I'd have thought that simple and short wouldn't be bad for a first lead. Not the most exciting, but will get the first out of the way.

And as for gobs of people and rangers...well, we are out there to look good after all! How are we going to "look cool" if no one's watching?!


Man, priorities these days!

And yes, a confident, competent belayer is good. Even better if they carry your shoes up!

heh

ls

Very true. Few other sports allow one to feel perfectly comfortable climbing shirtless in 30 degree weather just for a sexy photo shoot.

Ironically, some people starting out have not caught on and actually feel pressured when there are lots of people watching them thrash on a 5.2.


dingus


Oct 2, 2009, 6:52 AM
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LostinMaine wrote:
ladyscarlett wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:

Or, you can choose a simple, short route with gobs of people and rangers around.

My point is this: when starting to lead, have a competent belayer who is comfortable belaying a leader.

Personally, I'd have thought that simple and short wouldn't be bad for a first lead. Not the most exciting, but will get the first out of the way.

And as for gobs of people and rangers...well, we are out there to look good after all! How are we going to "look cool" if no one's watching?!


Man, priorities these days!

And yes, a confident, competent belayer is good. Even better if they carry your shoes up!

heh

ls

Very true. Few other sports allow one to feel perfectly comfortable climbing shirtless in 30 degree weather just for a sexy photo shoot.

Wait... huh? LS? SPH is quite brisk in early Nov....

DMT


Partner cracklover


Oct 2, 2009, 7:33 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend.

Cool, which one?

GO


rockandlice


Oct 3, 2009, 8:25 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend. During that class I got to practicce placement on the ground and did 4 mock leads with an instructor jumaring on a rope next to me and commenting on placements.

My first real lead was more of a frustration-driven than anything else. There was a large group I was with, everyone was climbing slowly, I climbed ever other route and there was nothing else to climb but this short 5.8 crack... One of the guys had gear. I took it and lead the route.

Were you by chance placing gear on top rope at Junkyard one day this summer? I think it was the entertainer? I just remember hearing the name Lena several times and now that I look at your profile pic it seems familiar. Probably someone different, but it is a small world it seems.


OSUbuckeye


Oct 3, 2009, 12:13 PM
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My first trad lead was Montezuma on Garden of the Gods. It isn't a trad route but has a few places you can place gear which gave me the security of a few bolts to mess around with good placements. My first real trad lead was a 5.9 at Enchanted Rock, TX. I just did it even though I did place pro every three feet and ran out right at the top. My suggestion is to find a sport route you can place pro on. If you're a confident climber you should be fine, if you are a shaky climber on all your climbs and bails alot then take more time before you lead trad. In the end it just comes down to having confidence in your placement and repetition. Erock (cave crack, awesome 5.6) has some great cracks and so does RRG (too many to name).


ensonik


Oct 4, 2009, 4:48 PM
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Hey all,

Just wanted to let you know that after lurking on this site for a couple months, but mostly following this thread closely, I finally just went out there and 'did it'.

Nothing complicated (http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/North_America/Canada/Quebec/Laurentians/Mont_C_saire__Val_David_/L_Arabesque/), but with a basic set of gear, me and a buddy did a 3 pitch route.

Pretty psyched ... and I guess there's no going back to top rope now :)

Thanks for the kick in the ass I needed.


Tootie


Oct 4, 2009, 4:50 PM
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jst did


lena_chita
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Oct 4, 2009, 6:29 PM
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rockandlice wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend. During that class I got to practicce placement on the ground and did 4 mock leads with an instructor jumaring on a rope next to me and commenting on placements.

My first real lead was more of a frustration-driven than anything else. There was a large group I was with, everyone was climbing slowly, I climbed ever other route and there was nothing else to climb but this short 5.8 crack... One of the guys had gear. I took it and lead the route.

Were you by chance placing gear on top rope at Junkyard one day this summer? I think it was the entertainer? I just remember hearing the name Lena several times and now that I look at your profile pic it seems familiar. Probably someone different, but it is a small world it seems.

yes, it was me :)


lena_chita
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Oct 4, 2009, 6:30 PM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend.

Cool, which one?

GO

Spring 2008, at Joshua Tree


Partner cracklover


Oct 5, 2009, 9:18 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend.

Cool, which one?

GO

Spring 2008, at Joshua Tree

Oh, cool! Was WW (Tiff) there?

GO


lena_chita
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Oct 7, 2009, 7:45 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I took a 2-day class during Sterling Rope Goddess on the Rock weekend.

Cool, which one?

GO

Spring 2008, at Joshua Tree

Oh, cool! Was WW (Tiff) there?

GO

yep.


TJGoSurf


Oct 7, 2009, 1:12 PM
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First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC). It was my 4th time climbing outside. And getting divorced you really don't care. I didn't even fall. Once I got to the top and clipped in I said WTF?!


healyje


Oct 7, 2009, 2:15 PM
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Silently got handed a rack of one set of stoppers and one of hexs and the sharp end of a 120' hank of goldline. It was a 5.8 and I had followed one or two routes previously. I believe I was wearing $14 JC Penny work boots. Never was any discussion about it and it all went fine from there on out in that I'd second a line or two at each successive grade to 5.10 before leading one and at that point I was on my own.


hansundfritz


Oct 7, 2009, 2:38 PM
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My buddy and I went to the Gunks, looked for something easy, flaked out the rope, and went for it. Neither of us had followed a pitch before. I won the coin toss and led the first pitch. We had maybe a dozen stoppers (half of them on perlon) and a few mid-sized hexes. By the start of the next day's climbing, we had gone to town and acquired a couple of Tri-Cams!

I had learned some basics out of an old book by R.C. Aleith called Bergsteigen. We were total rookies, to be sure -- but knew how to build basic anchors from lots of top-roping.

The key for us was sticking to easy stuff and learning our trade as we went. We also were total addicts -- doing up to 20 pitches in a day. Couldn't sleep late at all -- too eager to get out on the rock. Walked off the Uberfall at dusk many times. So, I guess what I'm saying that you should check your own level of motivation as well as your technical readiness.


jt512


Oct 7, 2009, 6:35 PM
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TJGoSurf wrote:
First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC).

North Carolina has sport climbing?

Jay


TJGoSurf


Oct 8, 2009, 12:23 PM
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We got like 2 or 3 of them. I could have probably put 2 nuts in but I had none. Bolts were only 20' apart.


jt512


Oct 8, 2009, 12:32 PM
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TJGoSurf wrote:
We got like 2 or 3 of them. I could have probably put 2 nuts in but I had none. Bolts were only 20' apart.

That's not a sport climb.

Jay


TJGoSurf


Oct 8, 2009, 12:34 PM
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Explain


rockandlice


Oct 8, 2009, 1:54 PM
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TJGoSurf wrote:
Explain

A route being only bolt protected does not automatically make it a sport route. Go read about the Bachar-Yerian.


TJGoSurf


Oct 8, 2009, 1:55 PM
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I know that, we got tons of mix routes here. But even the guide claims its a sport route.


rockandlice


Oct 8, 2009, 2:02 PM
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TJGoSurf wrote:
I know that, we got tons of mix routes here. But even the guide claims its a sport route.

Let me clarify. I'm not speaking of mixed routes. I'm talking no natural pro with only fixed protection options. Again, go read up on the Bachar-Yerian for a bit of history and understanding.


TJGoSurf


Oct 8, 2009, 2:10 PM
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He had a bolt every 71', not too bad. He also died this year. That maybe fun to climb once I get done with school.


rockandlice


Oct 8, 2009, 2:15 PM
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Sure


eastvillage


Oct 8, 2009, 3:02 PM
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Find VERY EASY short 5.0 to 5.3 trad leads with decent pro and climb them.
Mock leading is a worse than a waste of time, it will destroy your ability to lead at all.

As for my own first lead I took my own advice: After a NOLS Wind River seminar in 1970, my friend and I just picked the easiest climbing we could find at the Gunks (5.0) and kept going from there.


AlEvans


Oct 11, 2009, 2:34 AM
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I never doubted or expected to do anything other than lead. By my third climb I was leading most of what I did, this was in the 1960's so gear was still primitive, but adequate. It's just a state of mind, if you really want to lead you will, sooner rather than later.


Mccohenster


Oct 11, 2009, 3:10 PM
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I had my first successful lead today actually. Before that I had only ever tried to lead one route, at the Gunks. My dad and I had been climbing and he asked if I wanted to try a lead, so we found an easy climb and I gave it a shot. I failed miserablyBlush. I got one piece in and got completely pumped and dead.
Today, my dad and I went to a small crag in Western Mass, called Chapel Ledges, and I sent two easy routes and my dad seconded and criticed me.
It wasn't a decision so much as a mutual unspoken agreement. My dad had hurt is back and it was now fully healed, but he was still tenative to overexert himself. I was also getting to be quite eager to lead, so it just kinda happened that I lead.


AlEvans


Oct 12, 2009, 2:47 AM
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Well done, you are on your way.


ldrmn


Oct 12, 2009, 3:16 PM
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Yabba Dabba Doo! First lead done this past weekend. I lead two 5.5s with no problems.

I have to say that trad has given me a completely different perspective on climbing, in a good way. And it was quite different than I expected. I guess it felt more like soloing with perks than anything..if that makes sense..

Sunday I was gonna hop on a 5.7, but the 35 degree weather was making me shaky so I backed off. May have to wait till spring for that...

None the less it was RAD, I loved it!


kachoong


Oct 12, 2009, 3:22 PM
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Well done.... welcome to the tard side! Cool


wanderlustmd


Oct 12, 2009, 3:37 PM
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ldrmn wrote:
Yabba Dabba Doo! First lead done this past weekend. I lead two 5.5s with no problems.

I have to say that trad has given me a completely different perspective on climbing, in a good way. And it was quite different than I expected. I guess it felt more like soloing with perks than anything..if that makes sense..

Sunday I was gonna hop on a 5.7, but the 35 degree weather was making me shaky so I backed off. May have to wait till spring for that...

None the less it was RAD, I loved it!
Nice work! Keep it up Smile






















(Continue posting on the occasion that you never, ever use the phrase "yabba dabba doo" again.
Ever.)


TarHeelEMT


Oct 12, 2009, 5:13 PM
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jt512 wrote:
TJGoSurf wrote:
First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC).

North Carolina has sport climbing?

Jay

There are a number of sport routes at Pilot Mountain, but nobody likes to acknowledge the place's existence and it's not in any guidebooks.

It's the climbing equivalent to a landfill, where we concentrate all the trash to keep them out of our wonderful trad wonderland.


Mccohenster


Oct 14, 2009, 6:29 PM
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TarHeelEMT wrote:
jt512 wrote:
TJGoSurf wrote:
First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC).

North Carolina has sport climbing?

Jay

There are a number of sport routes at Pilot Mountain, but nobody likes to acknowledge the place's existence and it's not in any guidebooks.

It's the climbing equivalent to a landfill, where we concentrate all the trash to keep them out of our wonderful trad wonderland.

I don't know what guidebook your looking in, but the one I borrowed from a friend while living in NC had loads on Pilot, can't remember the name unfortunately. Maybe my dad does...


TarHeelEMT


Oct 14, 2009, 9:00 PM
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Mccohenster wrote:
TarHeelEMT wrote:
jt512 wrote:
TJGoSurf wrote:
First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC).

North Carolina has sport climbing?

Jay

There are a number of sport routes at Pilot Mountain, but nobody likes to acknowledge the place's existence and it's not in any guidebooks.

It's the climbing equivalent to a landfill, where we concentrate all the trash to keep them out of our wonderful trad wonderland.

I don't know what guidebook your looking in, but the one I borrowed from a friend while living in NC had loads on Pilot, can't remember the name unfortunately. Maybe my dad does...

It's probably out of print. The Climber's Guide to North Carolina, maybe? That's one of the old ones that you can't get anymore. None of the new guidebooks have included Pilot for years (Selected Climbs is about the only thing going these days).


csproul


Oct 15, 2009, 4:09 AM
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Re: [TarHeelEMT] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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TarHeelEMT wrote:
Mccohenster wrote:
TarHeelEMT wrote:
jt512 wrote:
TJGoSurf wrote:
First lead was a single pitch sport route, 5.7(in NC).

North Carolina has sport climbing?

Jay

There are a number of sport routes at Pilot Mountain, but nobody likes to acknowledge the place's existence and it's not in any guidebooks.

It's the climbing equivalent to a landfill, where we concentrate all the trash to keep them out of our wonderful trad wonderland.

I don't know what guidebook your looking in, but the one I borrowed from a friend while living in NC had loads on Pilot, can't remember the name unfortunately. Maybe my dad does...

It's probably out of print. The Climber's Guide to North Carolina, maybe? That's one of the old ones that you can't get anymore. None of the new guidebooks have included Pilot for years (Selected Climbs is about the only thing going these days).
You can download a free Pilot guide from the CCC website.


TJGoSurf


Oct 15, 2009, 7:48 PM
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Or pick one up at the office at Pilot.

Pilot I learned so much about climbing. Oh well I will be at Stone Mountain this Saturday. Woohoo!


TarHeelEMT


Oct 15, 2009, 11:11 PM
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TJGoSurf wrote:
Or pick one up at the office at Pilot.

Pilot I learned so much about climbing. Oh well I will be at Stone Mountain this Saturday. Woohoo!

Yeah, I've got a couple copies of those. I've been to Pilot a few times, but only when Moore's is too wet to climb.


josiahdood


Oct 20, 2009, 11:41 AM
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I started practice aiding a while back on a top rope with a gri-gri for backup. Try doing this - it's a fantastic way of learning how to place gear and also to trust (at least) your weight on the piece.


Wrench_Spinners_Inc


Nov 11, 2009, 5:11 PM
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my first lead, was very memorable it went like this, my climbing partner and i were at the local cliff, it started to snow and neither of us were in the mood for climbing hard. so He asked me if i wanted to try trad climbing i said sure. gave me all the gear put me under a classic 5.7 hand crack and said climb. so i did, and have been hooked ever since.


dugl33


Nov 11, 2009, 7:29 PM
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If memory serves...

1st lead, partner clipped the first bolt on a 5.8 slab, lowered down, and said "you're up". This was about my third or fourth time climbing anything. I made it to the 2nd bolt, no prob, little run to the third. I was reaching (over reaching) to clip, foot skated on the friction and I slid, catching a leg on the way down, and flipping over. So, first lead was also first fall.

2nd lead was 5.7 trad, which went of without any falls, although it was scary enough I left some gear on a block most of the way up.

Advice would be to get some ideas from friends on routes to try. Pick something that is well bolted or takes plenty of gear, is below your top rope abilites, do the best you can with the sets, stay cool, and keep going...

Be aware of so called easy routes. There are plenty of awkward, sand-bag, poorly protected 5.4s to merit caution. Ask friends or do routes you've already followed for a while.

If you start getting freaked, slow your breathing, and perhaps use a mantra, like "I am calm, cool water, flowing effortlessly. I am solid and focused" or whatever works for you. You can also work on visualizing the ascent going smoothly before you leave the ground.


jiriarte


Nov 12, 2009, 7:00 AM
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Ok, so i did my first 5.10 sport rute, a random sunday

The next sunday mi partner-mentor-cussin, said hay wana go and try a multipitch?

i Said shure, got there he handed my the rack and smiled....

a long nice 5.7, a couple of weeks ago i did the same rute, surprised i didn't fall.

good times


chrisJoosse


Dec 18, 2009, 6:35 PM
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My buddy, who I'd been seconding for a couple of seasons, suggested I get on lead on something where the climbing wouldn't be my problem. We'd been discussing placements and I'd been doing ground-level practice placements with his gear for a while, so we figured it was about time for me to start.

I'd been following him on trad to the high .10s, he sent me up a pitch called 'ultrabrutal' that is rated 5.7 and told me to sew it up. I took forever, as I was slow in getting the right pieces for each placement, but I was comfortable at the grade so I took my time and practiced placing gear. He then followed, inspecting my placements and providing feedback on each placement as he cleaned each piece.

We did that a few times, and I got more efficient at placing gear and the feedback on placements got less and less frequent. After a few pitches like that I started leading easy stuff for other folks, and after a few months of that I started pushing toward higher grades.

All that happened this spring and summer, and I've led to 5.10b cleanly now (with my mentor buddy as my second, what a stoke that was to get clean! Laugh).

That first lead I considered doing something closer to "my grade" and doing it with a top-rope, but my buddy told me to back off the grade to a level where I didn't need that, so I could focus on learning the skill set that I needed to focus on- don't make it about the climb, make it about placing pro and doing the thinking that a leader has to do.
This worked out to be perfect advice for me- the easier grade meant I had more time to think, and I was better able to develop the set of skills I was looking to develop. At the same time, the fact that it was a 'for real lead' made it heady and that provided the kind of pressure that made it both fun and required some concentration.


foreverabumbly


Jan 6, 2010, 12:14 AM
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I had been toproping for a while, was way to scared to commit to leading. THought I was never going to make the leap, cuase trad always seemed to be a higher level.

anyway I found out my Fiance was cheating on me, I went climbing to get away from things, grabbed my mates rack and headed up.

I cant remember what I climbed, or its grade and Im pretty sure the gear was all mank.

A really stupid thing to do that I dont regret at all cause since then Ive been hooked.


evanwish


Jan 7, 2010, 8:17 PM
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foreverabumbly wrote:
since then Ive been hooked.

to the fiance too?


foreverabumbly


Jan 8, 2010, 12:21 AM
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evanwish wrote:
foreverabumbly wrote:
since then Ive been hooked.

to the fiance too?

nah, that was one fish better thrown back than kept.


evanwish


Jan 8, 2010, 1:35 AM
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foreverabumbly wrote:
evanwish wrote:
foreverabumbly wrote:
since then Ive been hooked.

to the fiance too?

nah, that was one fish better thrown back than kept.
Laugh


wallwombat


Jan 31, 2010, 6:53 AM
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I'd grown up reading Chris Boningtons books about his climbing adventures with the likes of Joe Brown and Don Whillans. Then I read a few instructional books like Royal Robbins Basic and Advanced Rockcraft, bought myself a pair of climbing shoes and then a harness and a sticht plate and bit of rope to practice setting up belays and stuff.

Then, when I went to at university in 1987 I conned a guy into taking me climbing, by telling him I'd been climbing before.

We went to Boorooomba Rocks, a trad crag in the Australian Capital Territory and picked a nice looking two pitch grade 16 (5.8) crack. The guy asked me if I wanted to lead. I said I did and that was that. I didn't have a problem and he never found out that that was not only my first lead but also my first roped climb.

I was 18 at the time and full of bravado. I don't recommend learning to lead like I did but I also don't go for all this mock leading, namby-pamby crap and seconding a hundred climbs before you take the sharp end.

But that's just me. If you do feel the need to second a hundred climbs before you lead, by all means do so.

Somehow, I knew at the time I could do it and backed myself. It was probably foolish but it worked.

One weird offshoot of this was that since then, I generally feel more comfortable leading climbs than seconding them.

And for some reason I'm a crap sport climber and my trad leading grades and sport leading grades have never been very different.


(This post was edited by wallwombat on Jan 31, 2010, 6:57 AM)


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