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Poll: Beginning Lead Climbing
Advice 1 / 20%
Direction 4 / 80%
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jdittri


Dec 27, 2012, 9:33 AM
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Beginning Lead Climbing
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I've been climbing for about a month now and just passed my lead test for indoor lead climbing. On a top rope I'd say I'm a decent 5.10 climber. When I lead though I have a huge MENTAL cliff on top of my typical climbing. I have taken a decent 20-15 ft fall on lead routes, but still I feel like I exert more energy on lead routes simply because I'm more worried or thinking advidly about the next clip. A bit of advice or direction or mental approach would help me out A LOT


(This post was edited by jdittri on Dec 27, 2012, 1:51 PM)


marc801


Dec 27, 2012, 9:39 AM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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jdittri wrote:
I've been climbing for about a month now and just passed my lead test for indoor lead climbing. On a top rope I'd say I'm a decent 5.10 climber. When I lead though I have a huge MENTAL cliff on top of my typical climbing. I have taken a decent 30 ft fall on lead routes, but still I feel like I exert more energy on lead routes simply because I'm more worried or thinking advidly about the next clip. A bit of advice or direction or mental approach would help me out A LOT
Climbing for a month and just passed your indoor lead test and you've already managed to take a 30 footer??? Indoors? Was it intentional? If not, something is not right about your post.


csproul


Dec 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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I voted "direction".

"advice" will get you nowhere.


(This post was edited by csproul on Dec 27, 2012, 10:01 AM)


gunkiemike


Dec 27, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Re: [marc801] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
jdittri wrote:
I've been climbing for about a month now and just passed my lead test for indoor lead climbing. On a top rope I'd say I'm a decent 5.10 climber. When I lead though I have a huge MENTAL cliff on top of my typical climbing. I have taken a decent 30 ft fall on lead routes, but still I feel like I exert more energy on lead routes simply because I'm more worried or thinking advidly about the next clip. A bit of advice or direction or mental approach would help me out A LOT
Climbing for a month and just passed your indoor lead test and you've already managed to take a 30 footer??? Indoors? Was it intentional? If not, something is not right about your post.

I'd say something isn't right with the gym, the belayer, and/or his lead technique. (Circle all that apply).


Partner cracklover


Dec 27, 2012, 11:19 AM
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Re: [csproul] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
I voted "direction".

"advice" will get you nowhere.

Yeah, well I voted "advice".

"Direction"? That one's easy - go up.

GLaugh


bearbreeder


Dec 27, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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lead as much as possible ... its that simple Wink

with a fall from the last bolt, with a lighter belayer on a slightly overhanging wall ... you can easily hit 30 feet with a soft catch

i take a 20-30 footer several times a session in the gym from the top

try it sometime

Tongue


brinosaur


Dec 27, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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Here are a few tips:

*Lead well below your limit for a while. If you are a "solid 5.10 climber", lead single digit routes to dial in smooth clipping technique, identifying solid clipping stances, and avoiding backsteps or other common mistakes.

*Mock lead. Have a belay on toprope and tie into a lead rope as well, clipping in as if you were actually leading. Again, this is a good way to nail critical skills while being able to climb closer to your limit. Following and cleaning routes put up by your partner is a good way to develop technique, especially on overhanging terrain or roofs.

*Make sure your partner/belayer is experienced. The blind leading the blind (no pun intended) is a perfect way to develop bad and potentially dangerous habits while leading and belaying. Make sure your partner's experience level is greater than yours OR have an experienced climber monitor your climbing/belaying while giving appropriate critique and pointers.


One month of gym climbing is a very short time to transition from TR to lead, let alone climbing 5.10s consistently. Safe leading is highly dependent on good climbing technique and rope handling -- do yourself and the gym staff a favor by dialing it back a few notches. A 30-footer in the gym is a serious fall and is indicative of not only inexperience, but also recklessness on either the belayer and climber's part.


bearbreeder


Dec 27, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Re: [brinosaur] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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brinosaur wrote:
A 30-footer in the gym is a serious fall and is indicative of not only inexperience, but also recklessness on either the belayer and climber's part.

no .. falls from the last bolt with a dynamic belay can easily hit that on a low friction route ...


marc801


Dec 27, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
brinosaur wrote:
A 30-footer in the gym is a serious fall and is indicative of not only inexperience, but also recklessness on either the belayer and climber's part.

no .. falls from the last bolt with a dynamic belay can easily hit that on a low friction route ...
My gym is 40' high. There's no freakin' way I want to go that distance and come that close to the ground on a "safe" gym fall.


bearbreeder


Dec 27, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Re: [marc801] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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my gym is 50 foot high ...

and ill repeat on a slightly overhanging low friction route at the last bolt with a lighter belayer... dyno for the top (which youll need a bit of slack for) ... fall

and you can easily end up 30 feet down ..

ive done that with many "competent" belayers ...

there was this one time when one of my friends was being belayed and got a hard catch from the top ... he messed up his ankle

its what you hit on the way down that matters

Tongue

on a side note

to be a competent belayer you HAVE to catch multiple falls large and small IMO from every position ... i see plenty of people around who rarely catch falls because their climber rarely takes em ... and when a fall does come they hurt themselves or their climber ....

even gyms know this and force you to catch/take a few falls for your belay test


granite_grrl


Dec 27, 2012, 1:05 PM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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IMO you are taking on a terribly lot to learn at a time. You have been climbing only a month which means you still have a lot just to learn about climbing movement.

Leading also has it's own set of skills that you need to learn. It takes a while to understand where to place your body in relation to the rope, how to clip, etc. Then, as you mentioned, there's the whole head space issue.

I would suggest slowing things down a little. If you still want to cencentrait on leading then spend your time leading some easier routes so you don't have to be as concerned the technique to get to the top. But also make sure you spend plenty of time on TR and concentrate on movement until you have the leading thing down.

Another note: While everyone has to start somewhere I would recommend getting an experienced partner to leading. They should be able to help you to become more efficient and stay safe.


jdittri


Dec 27, 2012, 1:59 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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Yes it was intentional. The fall I'm talking about was the fall in my lead test. It just so happens that the tester wasn't looking at the slack in the line when they yelled FALL
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jdittri


Dec 27, 2012, 2:15 PM
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Re: [csproul] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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'You're making up ridiculous "solutions" to hypothetical scenarios based on fallacious assumptions garnered from minimal to zero knowledge.' -

My fallacious assumptions are my human instincts to stay alive. Way to be an asshole though.


notapplicable


Dec 27, 2012, 2:45 PM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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Mileage my friend. Mileage.

Lead every time you go to the gym but don't push yourself hard enough that you fall for the first few weeks. Learn how to clip efficiently, make sure the rope isn't getting behind your legs, make sure you belayer is on their game 100% of the time. Try to onsight 40 routes before you start falling, and when you do, make sure they are short, controlled falls. I'm not saying you have to jump off but don't try funky sidepull crux moves by the third bolt. Know what I mean?

Take it easy and take it slow. Be safe and save the hard routes for top rope. At least for the first little while.


csproul


Dec 27, 2012, 2:45 PM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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jdittri wrote:
'You're making up ridiculous "solutions" to hypothetical scenarios based on fallacious assumptions garnered from minimal to zero knowledge.' -

My fallacious assumptions are my human instincts to stay alive. Way to be an asshole though.
Uhhh dude...that's my signature line that shows up at the bottom of all my posts (thanks Marc801)...it was not directed at you. I was, however, poking fun at you for creating a poll that made no sense whatsoever.

BTW why did your fall change from 30ft to 20-15ft?


(This post was edited by csproul on Dec 27, 2012, 3:00 PM)


gunkiemike


Dec 27, 2012, 3:34 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
my gym is 50 foot high ...

and ill repeat on a slightly overhanging low friction route at the last bolt with a lighter belayer... dyno for the top (which youll need a bit of slack for) ... fall

and you can easily end up 30 feet down ..

ive done that with many "competent" belayers ...

BIG difference between experienced leaders "going sporty" on a route and a green newb falling 4 bolts' worth. And I think you know that.


brinosaur


Dec 27, 2012, 3:56 PM
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Re: [csproul] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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A 15 footer indoors can easily feel like a much longer fall, especially when you're expecting something a bit shorter Wink

Bottom line is, practice makes (mostly) perfect. Do laps on easy climbs. If possible, TR routes before attempting them on lead. Again, cleaning/following routes led by someone else is a great way to build confidence and competence on steeper routes, as is mock leading.

Like others here are suggesting, make sure you fully trust your belay before embarking on anything you may fall on unexpectedly or before you start taking practice falls or victory whips from the shuts. A loose belay can put you on the ground, just as a stiff belay can bust your ankles. A good solid partner can do wonders for your lead head, but a lack of trust can really impede your progress as a climber.


bearbreeder


Dec 27, 2012, 3:57 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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gunkiemike wrote:

BIG difference between experienced leaders "going sporty" on a route and a green newb falling 4 bolts' worth. And I think you know that.

it doesnt matter whether your new or old, in my gym your going for a 20-30 foot whipper in the gym if the belayer is doing their job properly

consider

-last bolt is 6 feet from the top
-even with a somewhat tight belay theres likely at least 3 feet of slack in the system as your belayer is standing slightly offset, and there is a slight loop ... if there isnt youre being short roped
- with 50 feet of rope out, and a fall from the top, assume a 15% rope stretch conservatively ... which is simply the rope doing its job ...

6 foot from the top + 9 feet below the bolt + 8 foot stretch

so with a totally static belay you fall ~23 feet ... but a totally static belay means that youre fighting being pulled up which will slam your climber into the wall ... this would be belayer incompetence

even a climber of equivalent weight will naturally get pulled up a few feet, yr now at ~30 feet ... and one a bit lighter can easily fly up a body length or more ... not to mention at the top youll wannt more than minimal slack if you need to make any big dynamic moves

in short ANY competent belayer will give you a catch from the top bolt that will result in a 20-30 foot fall on a slightly overhanging low friction route ...

if your not willing to take that kind of fall at the top of a 50 foot wall, you shouldnt be leading whether yr a newbie or not

Wink


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Dec 27, 2012, 4:02 PM)


shockabuku


Dec 27, 2012, 7:31 PM
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Re: [jdittri] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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I didn't see any answers to the question I think you asked - "how do you get comfortable with the idea of falling?" I suggest you look up some of the ideas from Arno Ilgner (http://warriorsway.com/about-2/bio-info/). He deals a lot with the psychology of falling. The biggest idea is to do some practice falls. Start small, make sure you have a competent belayer, make sure your fall contains no unnecessary hazards. Probably you don't have the judgment to ensure all of those things at this point so... he does some traveling camp sessions on these ideas, perhaps that would be a good place to go.


marc801


Dec 28, 2012, 7:59 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
it doesnt matter whether your new or old, in my gym your going for a 20-30 foot whipper in the gym if the belayer is doing their job properly

consider

-last bolt is 6 feet from the top
-even with a somewhat tight belay theres likely at least 3 feet of slack in the system as your belayer is standing slightly offset, and there is a slight loop ... if there isnt youre being short roped
- with 50 feet of rope out, and a fall from the top, assume a 15% rope stretch conservatively ... which is simply the rope doing its job ...

6 foot from the top + 9 feet below the bolt + 8 foot stretch

so with a totally static belay you fall ~23 feet ... but a totally static belay means that youre fighting being pulled up which will slam your climber into the wall ... this would be belayer incompetence

even a climber of equivalent weight will naturally get pulled up a few feet, yr now at ~30 feet ... and one a bit lighter can easily fly up a body length or more ... not to mention at the top youll wannt more than minimal slack if you need to make any big dynamic moves

in short ANY competent belayer will give you a catch from the top bolt that will result in a 20-30 foot fall on a slightly overhanging low friction route ...

if your not willing to take that kind of fall at the top of a 50 foot wall, you shouldnt be leading whether yr a newbie or not.

Here's a video compilation of a bunch of falls in the Red illustrating this point:
http://www.youtube.com/...ed&v=c94wOZqr1xY


Syd


Dec 28, 2012, 11:52 AM
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bearbreeder wrote:


it doesnt matter whether your new or old, in my gym your going for a 20-30 foot whipper in the gym if the belayer is doing their job properly

It could be reduced by the climber climbing up to the next bolt rather than clipping from way below. I often wonder if anyone has fallen while the rope is held by their teeth ? Doubles would also reduce the fall.


redlude97


Dec 28, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Re: [Syd] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:


it doesnt matter whether your new or old, in my gym your going for a 20-30 foot whipper in the gym if the belayer is doing their job properly

It could be reduced by the climber climbing up to the next bolt rather than clipping from way below. I often wonder if anyone has fallen while the rope is held by their teeth ? Doubles would also reduce the fall.
You fall the same distance if you blow a clip whether you are below the bolt or clipping at your waist. The only difference is that you end up closer to the ground if you clip from below. Always clip from the best stance.

Doubles in the gym? Really?


bearbreeder


Dec 28, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Beginning Lead Climbing [In reply to]
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basically you can tell who climbs overhanging sport ... and falls at their limit ... and who doesnt

Wink


brinosaur


Dec 28, 2012, 3:21 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
basically you can tell who climbs overhanging sport ... and falls at their limit ... and who doesnt

Wink

Baiting aside, your points about soft belays and lengthy falls are absolutely correct. With a competent belayer, or with supervision from one, learning to take big, pant-fouling falls is a big part of building confidence as a leader.

What I'm arguing is that encouraging a new climber to push it on lead at their physical limit before full internalization of sound rope management and clipping technique is irresponsible. I've seen this go wrong on so many occasions, resulting in injuries that took both the belayer and climber out of action for months and even years. Leading in the gym needs to be taken much more seriously than it often is, regardless of the 'controlled' and relatively safe environment. This is especially true for inexperienced or budding climbers.


bearbreeder


Dec 28, 2012, 3:52 PM
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brinosaur wrote:

Baiting aside, your points about soft belays and lengthy falls are absolutely correct. With a competent belayer, or with supervision from one, learning to take big, pant-fouling falls is a big part of building confidence as a leader.

What I'm arguing is that encouraging a new climber to push it on lead at their physical limit before full internalization of sound rope management and clipping technique is irresponsible. I've seen this go wrong on so many occasions, resulting in injuries that took both the belayer and climber out of action for months and even years. Leading in the gym needs to be taken much more seriously than it often is, regardless of the 'controlled' and relatively safe environment. This is especially true for inexperienced or budding climbers.

make sure you clip properly, have a solid belayer, the fall is clean and you dont clip the rope with your legs

if you arent wiling to risk the fall, you shouldnt be leading ... period

Wink


Alimali


Dec 31, 2012, 3:07 AM
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I think it's kind of normal to exert more energy leading. You do have to be a bit more 'on your toes' so to speak. A fall too low to the ground or too far from the last bolt can have rather unpleasant consequences.

Also, I think it's always good to stay leading stuff a good few grades lower than what you can TR when you first start leading. I think it kinda helps get the hang of leading. It certainly adds another dimension to climbing.

I think :P


brian_h


Jan 8, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Alimali wrote:
You do have to be a bit more 'on your toes' so to speak.
so that would be the crux of the point you're making? I think we've redpointed this issue enough. bahaha climbing puns are fun Laugh


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