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AamClimber


Jun 30, 2011, 11:10 PM
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How should I start sport climbing?
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Hi, today I was wondering how exactly I should start sport climbing. From what I understand, I need a rope, quick draws, harness and shoes. Is that all I need? What do I need to keep in mind when I'm handling quick draws.
Up till now, I've been using someone else's rope and harness to climb indoor but I'll get my own soon. I can lead but I'm still not sure what the difficulty of the walls i climb is so I hope thats not a problem. And the most important thing which I think is a problem is that I don't really have a proper mentor. Everything is I've learnt about equipment is mainly through observation.
I won't start sport climbing right away but I would love to in the near future. ^_^
Thanks.


quiteatingmysteak


Jun 30, 2011, 11:17 PM
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Hey buddy

I would recommend starting off super easy, and best of all I would do 'mock leads' where you are trailing a "lead" rope while on toprope and clipping into draws. Also, you don't want to be the most experienced climber when you are out leading - not yet! Go with someone with more experience that will critique and help you to avoid making one of the many mistakes that litter the accidents forum.

Its all out there, just find someone to help you out to start, would be best. Paying a guide might seem "lame" but it absolutely will be the best investment in your climbing career - my young climbing partner did a few years ago and learned in a few lessons what took me years of mistakes to figure out!


bearbreeder


Jun 30, 2011, 11:19 PM
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Re: [AamClimber] How should I start sport climbing? [In reply to]
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i hate to say it .... but take a lead course in the gym ... itll get you used to leading

and make friends with more experienced people any ways you can (free bear, tight yoga pants, etc ...) who can show you how to set up safely outdoors


quiteatingmysteak


Jun 30, 2011, 11:23 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
i hate to say it .... but take a lead course in the gym ... itll get you used to leading

and make friends with more experienced people any ways you can (free bear, tight yoga pants, etc ...) who can show you how to set up safely outdoors


I do not espouse climbing with an escaped bear.


surfstar


Jul 1, 2011, 8:52 AM
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YER GUNNA DIE!!!


ducfast


Jul 1, 2011, 11:29 AM
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For sure look into taking a lead class at the gym you go too, youll will be surprised what you can learn by taking a lead class. Paying a guide is a well worth it they can teach you little things that will help you out tremendously while clipping and cleaning the route and give you pointers to help you make that clip before you get too pumped.


Partner jammer


Jul 1, 2011, 11:30 PM
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Re: [AamClimber] How should I start sport climbing? [In reply to]
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AamClimber wrote:
Hi, today I was wondering how exactly I should start sport climbing. From what I understand, I need a rope, quick draws, harness and shoes. Is that all I need?
A belay device would be wise. Since you have so little experience, I also echo the advice of taking a class. It would be the best investment you ever made.

Be Safe ...


AamClimber


Jul 2, 2011, 11:28 PM
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Re: [quiteatingmysteak] How should I start sport climbing? [In reply to]
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quiteatingmysteak wrote:
Hey buddy

I would recommend starting off super easy, and best of all I would do 'mock leads' where you are trailing a "lead" rope while on toprope and clipping into draws. Also, you don't want to be the most experienced climber when you are out leading - not yet! Go with someone with more experience that will critique and help you to avoid making one of the many mistakes that litter the accidents forum.

Its all out there, just find someone to help you out to start, would be best. Paying a guide might seem "lame" but it absolutely will be the best investment in your climbing career - my young climbing partner did a few years ago and learned in a few lessons what took me years of mistakes to figure out!


Hmmmm Yeah, that's what I thought too. Going outdoors without an experienced climber is probably too risky. I can lead indoors but I've never tried outdoors >_<
Also, I've only given belays with a GriGri. I do have plans to get one too but are all other belay devices similar to use ???


And alot of people here have mentioned a lead class but I can already lead indoor as I mentioned above. I think it'll be better to join an experienced climber in an outdoor environment rather than an indoor class. Do they offer those in US gyms??
Thanks :D


(This post was edited by AamClimber on Jul 2, 2011, 11:29 PM)


Partner j_ung


Jul 3, 2011, 5:36 AM
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AamClimber wrote:
quiteatingmysteak wrote:
Hey buddy

I would recommend starting off super easy, and best of all I would do 'mock leads' where you are trailing a "lead" rope while on toprope and clipping into draws. Also, you don't want to be the most experienced climber when you are out leading - not yet! Go with someone with more experience that will critique and help you to avoid making one of the many mistakes that litter the accidents forum.

Its all out there, just find someone to help you out to start, would be best. Paying a guide might seem "lame" but it absolutely will be the best investment in your climbing career - my young climbing partner did a few years ago and learned in a few lessons what took me years of mistakes to figure out!


Hmmmm Yeah, that's what I thought too. Going outdoors without an experienced climber is probably too risky. I can lead indoors but I've never tried outdoors >_<
Also, I've only given belays with a GriGri. I do have plans to get one too but are all other belay devices similar to use ???


And alot of people here have mentioned a lead class but I can already lead indoor as I mentioned above. I think it'll be better to join an experienced climber in an outdoor environment rather than an indoor class. Do they offer those in US gyms??
Thanks :D

Gri-gris are fairly different from other devices, but if you're familiar with it, you can certainly buy one and use it outside. Ask your gym about transitional courses to cover the additional skills needed for climbing stone.


rankinesoccer


Sep 23, 2011, 8:04 PM
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I think that you first need to find what grade you are capable of climbing...which is not the same as the grade you lead maybe because you are nervous and lead climbing is a lot more strenuous. Start leading in the gym until you are comfortable with that. Then lead a few of the easiest sport routes that you can find, and move up in grade slowly. I am in the "start leading outside" part of that process and that is my plan.


hugepedro


Sep 24, 2011, 10:23 AM
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rankinesoccer wrote:
I think that you first need to find what grade you are capable of climbing...which is not the same as the grade you lead maybe because you are nervous and lead climbing is a lot more strenuous. Start leading in the gym until you are comfortable with that. Then lead a few of the easiest sport routes that you can find, and move up in grade slowly. I am in the "start leading outside" part of that process and that is my plan.

You'll make a great sport climber.


rankinesoccer


Sep 24, 2011, 5:23 PM
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What makes you say that?


hugepedro


Sep 24, 2011, 5:43 PM
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rankinesoccer wrote:
What makes you say that?

Because you think the first think to be concerned about is grades, hahaha.


rankinesoccer


Sep 24, 2011, 6:22 PM
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hugepedro wrote:
rankinesoccer wrote:
What makes you say that?

Because you think the first think to be concerned about is grades, hahaha.


I'm a high school student...I have to be concerned about grades.

But seriously, I think that grades are the third thing to worry about. First is knowing how to lead correctly and safely. Second is actually being able to lead--and leading calmly and comfortably. Third is climbing tougher stuff.


ilikepargo


Oct 10, 2011, 6:53 PM
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I agree with those who recommended that you take a class. But let me add this:

Your first step should be learning how to Lead-BELAY. That way, once you find a more experienced partner to help you learn, you'll be able to keep that partner alive & safe as he/she goes up the wall. Everything else can be learned more gradually, but if you're going out with just one partner (rather than in a larger group), you must be able to keep that partner safe beginning with the very first route.


manoori


Oct 20, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Don't make it too complicated. I've been climbing for only 3.5 weeks outdoor before that I climbed for a month indoor. First time I lead was outdoor taught myself and lead a 5.9.

Read books watch videos do mock up tie in at the anchor points on top of routes, rappels and practice clipping your draws...all before you climb a route.

Get at least 10 quickdraws, 60m rope, rap device, harness, shoes, chalk bag and something to self anchor yourself (ie two draws, self anchor system, slings etc). I always use locking biners when anchoring.

And lastly always double check your self and make sure what your doing is correct and communicate with your belayer.


pdxnoob


Oct 20, 2011, 11:37 AM
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So as not to start a new thread let me ask a similar question. My 13 y.o. has fallen in love with climbing and aspires to do more. Thus far our experience has been with a guide at Smith Rock a few times. This summer (after some appropriate education) we set up our own top rope climbs and Smith. He desperately wants to start lead climbing. He thinks he is ready to go it on his own on easy routes but I have insisted that he needs to either take a class at the climbing gym or we need to hire an instructor. How would I find a "mentor" for him? I would even be willing to pay a mentor. Any other suggestions?


wrbill


Oct 20, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Seeing that you are in PDX, I would say goto the gym and have him take a class there on leading. The gyms also have climbing teams with kids your sons age that are leading. This is just one way to get him started in leading.

The other thing is making sure that he can lead outside as well, because it is a lot different in the saftey side when you are outside. The reason for that is there are more things that can go wrong.

If it were my son and I did not know about climbing I would use the gym to start with then also have a guide/instructor outside for a few times as well. But then if it was me I would want to learn myself about climbing so that I would know if he was doing something wrong that could get him killed.

Just my 2 cents.


pdxnoob


Oct 20, 2011, 12:00 PM
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While my aspirations are not the same as his I do want to learn what he learns so that I can see that he is doing it right.


donald949


Oct 20, 2011, 3:45 PM
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pdxnoob wrote:
While my aspirations are not the same as his I do want to learn what he learns so that I can see that he is doing it right.
As a parent of a 10 yo who tr's quite well, I am in no hurry to let him onto the sharp end. Although, I think he will eventually do quite well leading.
Talk to the employees in the gym about youngster's leading, when is too soon, how old & mature should they be. Is he just starting out and watches the older kids leading. And wants to be like them?
Anyrate, offer to let your son learn to lead in the gym eventually.
There are sublties to leading that you and he may not recognize as newbies. More than just the falling. Beeners unclipping, getting the foot behind the rope, and gear pulling out of the rock(trad).
And wear a helmet! I always do on lead, and kids heads are much softer than adults.


wrbill


Oct 21, 2011, 3:51 AM
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That is good to hear, that you want to learn what learns, even if you don't see climbing in the same way as him. I would let him start leading but only inside to start with, but then again I have a friend who's daughter started leading outside when she was 11 or 12 and never did climb in a gym. She was also belay him on lead.

As for Smith Rock, there are a lot of routes there that are great for new leaders because they have clean falls.

Good luck with this and what every you do climb safe!


tH1e-swiN1e


Nov 1, 2011, 6:08 AM
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LEARN MORE before you buy gear.


calvo


Jan 1, 2012, 6:21 PM
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So like how about free soloing? I saw people do it on youtube it looks pretty fun


6pacfershur


Jan 1, 2012, 7:11 PM
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i saw some guys crash their 4-wheeler into a cliff on youtube, it looked pretty fun too....


shockabuku


Jan 1, 2012, 7:50 PM
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I've had three of my four children join a competitive climbing team which has taught them to climb very well and, depending on the team and location, has also had a strong outdoor component to teach them the additional skills to climb outdoors. Being able to participate in the team with other kids their own age has really been a positive part of engaging them in the sport.


kailabinger


Jun 3, 2012, 9:19 AM
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Make friends with other climbers! Nothing beats friend instruction from people who know what they're doing. Don't be afraid to ask people questions, make friends and even try to catch a hang on their trips. That's the way I learned how to sport climb outdoors. Paying for instruction is expensive, making friends and learning from them is PRICELESS
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shaoleung


Jun 5, 2012, 11:10 AM
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AamClimber, there is no second to experience. A lot of people get caught up in defining the "proper order" of learning in climbing. Frankly I would say that's mostly a load of BS. Every experienced climber has had a very different road to where they are now. The only base line to live by without question is safety. Even that is somewhat subjective though. Take a class, or two, or three. Try to get a feel for the different types of climbing. If you have the money to do it, hire an AMGA guide to take you and a friend out for a weekend or a day and climb something. You can find names and locations on the AMGA website.

Generally speaking, be wary of self-proclaimed "experienced" climbers.


jamesnater


Jun 27, 2012, 1:08 PM
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Taking a class for leading and starting out in the gym would be ideal in my opinion. This is actually what a friend and I did. Everything we learned was worth every penny spent on the class.

After leading indoors for a month or so, we made it outside. It was both my partner's and my first time climbing outdoors, but we were both able to use everything we learned in that class to safely climb outside.

When you DO climb outside, concentrate on reading the rock. It's MUCH different than indoors. I spent a lot of time searching for holds and figuring out the sequences when I first started. I still think I'm bad at it, actually... but I've only ever on-sighted climbs.

And get on as many 4-star climbs as possible. They are the most fun!


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