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zenyetta


Oct 4, 2005, 11:30 AM
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The fear of leading sport and trad
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I think its funny. I have been reading in a recent post about being afraid to trad lead. There is almost 3 pages of comments and opinions. I was going to post there but there is so many post (good thing) that where it would come up next didn't retain to that section.

I lead my first climb in Yosemite. 5.7 pine line. The season ended. Then last summer my boyfriend and I took a 3 month climbing trip. I lead a bit...having my goal be the famous nutcracker 5.8. I followed and TR all the way up to 5.11c. Then when the time came I cruised the 5.8 nut cracker and ended my summer leading the first pitch of serenity crack at 5.10a. Now I am leading 5.10c.

as far as sport climbing, I can follow pretty hard mid 11s maybe. Yet recently I walked up to a sport climb, I think it was like a 5.9 or something below my trad leading level. I was thinking it will be cake. AND I FREAKED OUT!!!!!!
I was reading how everyone can lead MUCH harder on Sport and get afraid of Trad climbing and lead way below your sport level. I don't get it.

1. You get to place as much gear as you want and when you want.
AND
2. you have a crack instead of little itty bitty crystals.

I don't get it.

Is it because you are placing your own gear? Do you not trust it? Don't get me wrong I get nervous too. Its actually why i love to lead its over coming the mental strength. But with my own gear not someone else's gear (bolts) placed where they want it placed.

Some one help me here??


lazygirl


Oct 4, 2005, 11:50 AM
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I second you on this zenyetta. I like sport climbing, but I hate not being able to put a piece in whenever I want to. I returned to sport climbing after about a year of just trad, and it wasn't that I got nevous, it just really irratated me that I couldn't protect myself whenever I wanted to.

I find myself halfway up sport climbs sometimes wishing I had some small nuts with me just so if I do fall I'll have a higher starting point then what it would be with just the bolt.

Congrats on leading Serenity Crack :)


bigevilgrape


Oct 4, 2005, 12:10 PM
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With me, I'm afarid of trad because, along with not totally trusting gear, I dont know where I'll be able to get stuffin. On a sport route I KNOW where each bolt is and know that i'll probobly have a bolt near the crux stuff. I'm still not big on leading tho; I'm a big frady cat and psyc myself out.


maculated


Oct 4, 2005, 12:39 PM
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I like sport climbing, but I hate not being able to put a piece in whenever I want to.

I remember when I made this comment years ago when I was a new trad leader, too. The clincher is that eventually you will get to a point where you CAN'T place gear whenever you want to.

Sport climbing freaks me out because I climb bolt-to-bolt instead of rest spot to rest spot. My mindset is usually "if I can get to that bolt, 'we're good." I am WAY more likely to back off a sport route because of it.

I lead harder sport, though, because the risks in trad climbing are bigger, unless you're climbing a pure crack. There are times when you're forty feet above your last piece and you are not so happy that that last piece is a microcam. Bolts are nicer for this reason. I would way rather take a whipper on a bolt in that case.

Either way.

But for the most part, yup, face climbing bolt to bolt freaks me out. :)


comet


Oct 4, 2005, 12:43 PM
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I was reading how everyone can lead MUCH harder on Sport and get afraid of Trad climbing and lead way below your sport level. I don't get it.

1. You get to place as much gear as you want and when you want.
AND
2. you have a crack instead of little itty bitty crystals.

I'm with you on #2, but #1 is often not true. There are many, many trad routes where the crux &/or dangerous fall zones are poorly protected. In my experience, especially as the grades get higher, the bolts on sport routes are more likely to be where you need them than is the gear on trad climbs (excepting IC-style splitters).


tavs


Oct 4, 2005, 12:43 PM
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This isn't personall my take on it, but I do know where you're coming from. I have some friends who feel the same way, the gist being, "Man, no way, trad is way easier mentally, you just plug a piece whenever you need it." So I think you've got some company from the mental side. Also, I know some people who have what I'll call a healthy skepticism towards bolts, given that they don't know who placed them. Generally, I think worrying about the safety of bolts (so long as they look solid--aren't rusting, pulling out, spinning, etc) is unnecessary, but it does seem to be out there.

But it seems like there are two things going on with you--one is the mental side of feeling like on gear, you trust your placements and can put the gear wherever you want. But the other seems to be physical--ie, sounds like you're more comfortable in a crack than on sporty-style holds. And that I think is just a matter of where your experience is and what your climbing strengths are. I'm a crimp-miestress, and so I feel pretty solid on even tiny edges if I can bear down on them. I've got a STRONG sport climbing friend who's dabbled (very, very little) in trad, and does the stereotypical "turn 5.9 crack into 5.12 sport" by crimping on the edge and using micro face holds, but makes it look EASY--he's just way comfy on those kinds of holds.

As for those of us who are less comfy on trad than sport, I think it's a combination of things. For me, there's just something soothing about being able to look up and see exactly where my next clip will be. There's also the ease/speed of clipping a bolt versus placing a piece. I'm pretty comfortable on gear, and I think I've gotten pretty quick at placing, but it's still not as fast as I can clip a bolt. And I'm not (yet) trying to place that gear while pumping out on a micro-hold or rattly finger...but I can clip a bolt like that.


strongerthanyesterday


Oct 4, 2005, 12:47 PM
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The clincher is that eventually you will get to a point where you CAN'T place gear whenever you want to.

really?


Shit!


acacongua


Oct 4, 2005, 2:38 PM
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Why are people so afraid to fall? It's not that bad, especially on sport.


bigevilgrape


Oct 4, 2005, 3:00 PM
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Its not fear of hitting the ground, its fear of hitting the rock. I slipped like two feet of the ground a few weeks ago and slammed my ribs into the rock. Not a big deal, but it sure as hell hurt. Falling while leading means bigger falls which is just plain old scary.


climbsomething


Oct 4, 2005, 3:33 PM
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Its not fear of hitting the ground, its fear of hitting the rock. I slipped like two feet of the ground a few weeks ago and slammed my ribs into the rock. Not a big deal, but it sure as hell hurt. Falling while leading means bigger falls which is just plain old scary.
Without knowing the route you were on, I'd guess that was because where you fell was lower-angle.


bigevilgrape


Oct 4, 2005, 4:45 PM
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Its not fear of hitting the ground, its fear of hitting the rock. I slipped like two feet of the ground a few weeks ago and slammed my ribs into the rock. Not a big deal, but it sure as hell hurt. Falling while leading means bigger falls which is just plain old scary.
Without knowing the route you were on, I'd guess that was because where you fell was lower-angle.

not really. the way i came off i swung into a bulge.

http://img.photobucket.com/.../Rumney/P1010002.jpg
similar to that start, i was on the route to the right of it.


lazygirl


Oct 4, 2005, 8:36 PM
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I like sport climbing, but I hate not being able to put a piece in whenever I want to.

I remember when I made this comment years ago when I was a new trad leader, too. The clincher is that eventually you will get to a point where you CAN'T place gear whenever you want to.

I know that I can't place gear whenever I want to and have definitely been in that position on trad.

What I was trying to say is that I hate being in the position on a sport route where I'm staring a blue metulious placement in the face but alas my rack is at home. It just irritates me, but if the face is blank and there is nowhere to place a piece then I don't mind so much because I know that most bolts are placed at good stances or rests. Which is where I would place a piece if the route had cracks.


zenyetta


Oct 5, 2005, 4:44 PM
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COMET WROTE:

There are many, many trad routes where the crux &/or dangerous fall zones are poorly protected. In my experience, especially as the grades get higher, the bolts on sport routes are more likely to be where you need them than is the gear on trad climbs (excepting IC-style splitters).
_____________________________________________________________

I wouldn't say many. Usually when a climb is run out the book will tell you. I haven't lead for years but I have done a fair amount of leading and from time to time I can't get a piece but for the most part I am all good. Even following...there is always a nice stance to place or clean. Hummm....
I am by no means an expert but One of the things with leading I think is having to get creative. Thinking in differnet ways to stop and place a piece...some are less obvious than others.
AND the higher the grades go I agree the less comfey the stance.


elshells


Oct 5, 2005, 7:15 PM
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I think it might have more to do with what style you learned when you started to climb and which one you do more often.

I want to learn how to trad climb, but there is no much in central texas. When I got to red rocks in a few weeks. I am hoping to do my first trad lead on a 5.6 or something. I bet I will be terrified. But I have no problem on sport lead except for the occasional time when I forget my big girl pants.


I hate it when that happens. 90% of time I am super confident and could care less about taking a fall. the other 10% I leave my big girl pants and home and stress the whole day. Usually that only happens on things I have climbed hundreds of times that are 3 grades lower than what I climb. Does that ever happen to anyone else?


lewisiarediviva


Oct 5, 2005, 8:52 PM
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I lead my first trad lead last weekend. I loved it. I had more to think about for one thing. And I decided that on trad, if all else failed, I could at least shove my fist into the crack, or what ever, and hang from my arm.

That was while I was placing gear. It's probably not a very realistic thought.


comet


Oct 5, 2005, 10:06 PM
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In reply to:
COMET WROTE:

There are many, many trad routes where the crux &/or dangerous fall zones are poorly protected. In my experience, especially as the grades get higher, the bolts on sport routes are more likely to be where you need them than is the gear on trad climbs (excepting IC-style splitters).
_____________________________________________________________

I wouldn't say many. Usually when a climb is run out the book will tell you. I haven't lead for years but I have done a fair amount of leading and from time to time I can't get a piece but for the most part I am all good. Even following...there is always a nice stance to place or clean. Hummm....
I am by no means an expert but One of the things with leading I think is having to get creative. Thinking in differnet ways to stop and place a piece...some are less obvious than others.
AND the higher the grades go I agree the less comfey the stance.

Um, right. The book WILL tell you. Check out a few guides, or the routes db on here. You will find many climbs marked R or X. This is exactly my point.

edited to add: Also, just because a climb isn't runout doesn't mean there's gear at the crux.


kellie


Oct 6, 2005, 8:15 AM
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Usually when a climb is run out the book will tell you..

This is true if there is a book for the climb, and if the climb is short enough that the book gives you a pitch-by-pitch description. But there are plenty of areas that don't have guidebooks, or if there is one, you don't have it. Or you might be trying to do a new line on a peak. Or if you're doing an alpine route, for instance, frequently the book might say: "Pitches 4 - 8: mid-5th-class climbing on the left side of the ridge crest." On alpine climbs especially I frequently run it out because I am carrying a small rack and can't afford to place pieces too frequently, or more irritatingly, I used the piece that would have been perfect to protect the crux in the first 40 feet of the pitch so I end up pulling the moves above a crappy Alien that's 20 feet above a mediocre nut which is above my last *good* piece.

In reply to:
I haven't lead for years but I have done a fair amount of leading and from time to time I can't get a piece but for the most part I am all good. Even following...there is always a nice stance to place or clean. Hummm.....
I am by no means an expert but One of the things with leading I think is having to get creative. Thinking in differnet ways to stop and place a piece...some are less obvious than others.
AND the higher the grades go I agree the less comfey the stance.

If you are leading 10c and you find there is always a nice stance to place or clean you are a much more badass climber than I! I just led a 10c fingery stemmy thing a couple of weeks ago and hung all over it. It was atrocious.


tavs


Oct 6, 2005, 8:24 AM
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If you are leading 10c and you find there is always a nice stance to place or clean you are a much more badass climber than I! I just led a 10c fingery stemmy thing a couple of weeks ago and hung all over it. It was atrocious.

My thoughts exactly. And all this talk about getting creative and getting in tricky placements gets back to why I lead harder on sport than I do on trad--if I'm pumped out of my skull on marginal holds, there's still a chance I can get that bolt clipped...not as much chance if what I need to do is fiddle in a fidgety stopper placement. Having a place to put gear and being able to find and place that gear are sometimes quite different, I think.


kellie


Oct 6, 2005, 9:33 AM
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If you are leading 10c and you find there is always a nice stance to place or clean you are a much more badass climber than I! I just led a 10c fingery stemmy thing a couple of weeks ago and hung all over it. It was atrocious.

My thoughts exactly. And all this talk about getting creative and getting in tricky placements gets back to why I lead harder on sport than I do on trad--if I'm pumped out of my skull on marginal holds, there's still a chance I can get that bolt clipped...not as much chance if what I need to do is fiddle in a fidgety stopper placement. Having a place to put gear and being able to find and place that gear are sometimes quite different, I think.

Now I'm one of those people who actually leads harder -- or at least the same -- on gear as I do on sport, but as has been stated earlier in this thread, it's basically because I don't sport climb very much, so I'm not as comfortable doing it as I am when I'm trad climbing. It's not so much that the finger lock is less marginal than the crimpy nubbin as that I *feel* more solid with the fingerlock, because that's what I'm more used to. I know how good that fingerlock is, whereas I don't hang onto little nubbins often enough to have a good sense of how long I'm going to be able to do it. Hence I spend a lot of time on sport feeling like I'm about to fall.


acacongua


Oct 6, 2005, 9:58 AM
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Its not fear of hitting the ground, its fear of hitting the rock. I slipped like two feet of the ground a few weeks ago and slammed my ribs into the rock. Not a big deal, but it sure as hell hurt. Falling while leading means bigger falls which is just plain old scary.

Sorry to hear that. I broke my ankle on a lead fall because my belayer didn't account for our weight differences. You have to decide what you want - to live with fear or to be a better climber. I chose the latter.


fern


Oct 6, 2005, 11:49 AM
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In reply to:
I haven't lead for years but I have done a fair amount of leading and from time to time I can't get a piece but for the most part I am all good. Even following...there is always a nice stance to place or clean. Hummm.....
I am by no means an expert but One of the things with leading I think is having to get creative. Thinking in differnet ways to stop and place a piece...some are less obvious than others.
AND the higher the grades go I agree the less comfey the stance.

If you are leading 10c and you find there is always a nice stance to place or clean you are a much more badass climber than I! I just led a 10c fingery stemmy thing a couple of weeks ago and hung all over it. It was atrocious.


more badass than badass? how badass issat?

the .10c fingery stemmy does actually have no-hands rests almost the whole way up, if you know how to get them. :P ... which just confirms zenyatta's point ... and also the truth #1.

truth #1) like kellie said somewhere else in different words. You have to show up . Mastery comes with practice and practice requires mileage. You will not get good at things you don't practice (in my case sport climbing). You will get good at things you do practice - which incidentally includes the practice of being scared of things.


kellie


Oct 6, 2005, 2:55 PM
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more badass than badass? how badass issat?

the .10c fingery stemmy does actually have no-hands rests almost the whole way up, if you know how to get them. :P ... which just confirms zenyatta's point ... and also the truth #1.

truth #1) like kellie said somewhere else in different words. You have to show up . Mastery comes with practice and practice requires mileage. You will not get good at things you don't practice (in my case sport climbing). You will get good at things you do practice - which incidentally includes the practice of being scared of things.

badassed-er! Yeah!

Next time I get up there when it's not raining I'm draggin' you up there to show me the no-hands rests, Ms. Badassed-est. Then I will fire that thing in style and buy you a beer in appreciation.

(But...it's always a no-hands rest when you're hanging on the rope!)


iamthewallress


Oct 6, 2005, 4:22 PM
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We always call the guidebook "The Book of Lies".


maculated


Oct 6, 2005, 9:57 PM
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You have to decide what you want - to live with fear or to be a better climber. I chose the latter.

Ain't that the truth. I still am no good because I choose the former . . . working on it . . .


kbearchk


Oct 7, 2005, 11:34 AM
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So I lead the second pitch of "theater of shadows" last Saturday ad it was my first lead ever. Since it's bolted like crazy I was 2 draws short and ran it out anyway. I now get teased that I 'll on sight anything and run it out.

Since it's a 4 pitch climb I had rehearsed over and over how to belay he 2nd up. When my second got there and looked over the set up he said "at least I didn't fall and we didn't die". I was belaying from my harness/ATC directly to the climber so the rope didn't go up through the draws on the belay chains. I was tied in properly with 2 daisy's so he said had he fall ed we wouldn't have died I'd just would have had my innards squished.

Anyway I want to lead again and will do so on some more top rope situations so I really know what I'm doing.

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