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How did you decide to do your first lead?
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Partner xtrmecat


Sep 28, 2009, 6:50 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [xtrmecat] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [jt512] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [seatbeltpants] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ldrmn] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [jt512] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [notapplicable] How did you decide to do your first lead? [In reply to]
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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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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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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.

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