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How Did You Learn To Climb???
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ihategrigris


Nov 4, 2005, 7:17 PM
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How Did You Learn To Climb???
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I noticed a lot of beginner questions are answered by "Go take a course". I'm wondering how many people out there actually took a course rather than learning to climb from climbing partners and books.

I myself didn't take a course, everything I know I've been taught by friends along the way. I think it's a good way to go. I've also met a few self taught climbers (this may be a more questionable idea!).

I guess the big question is, how did you learn to climb? Go!


trevzilla


Nov 4, 2005, 7:47 PM
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All by myself! Picked up a few books, learned a few knots and went with an experianced climber once. After that, I was off to the store to buy my own quickdraws. Started sport leading right away. Then as my funds increased, I bought pro and taught myself how to climb trad. (My first trad climb was a 5.10, but maybe I should call it an aid climb. Didn't do it very cleanly) Regardless, I think if you have the drive and the brains to learn yourself, go for it. But if you don't have the patience to read, then by all means get an instructor!


mistertyler


Nov 4, 2005, 8:14 PM
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I was lucky and met someone my first day in the gym who happened to be knowledgable, safe, and eager to share his knowledge with others. We became friends and partners and I picked up a large bulk of my knowledge from him.

After then reading a couple of the classic Falcon series books (JL's Climbing Anchors, How to Rock Climb...) I sprung for a guide to help me apply what I'd read on actual rock and spent a couple days building anchors at the base of the cliff, learning the basics of self rescue, and doing some multi-pitch routes (evaluating the anchors and setups along the way). Guides aren't cheap, but there's nothing better IMHO than having an entire day (or more) to go down the list of specific questions you have on a one-on-one basis with a knowledgable guide.

Since those early days, the lion's share of my learning has come from climbing with other people; I learn new tricks and techniques from climbers more knowledgable than I am, and feel good when I can offer something to a partner who has less experience than I do.


chossmonkey


Nov 4, 2005, 9:29 PM
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"How to Rock Climb" by John Long.


emilykristina


Nov 4, 2005, 9:48 PM
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:D I am totally all about climbing with people that are much better than me and are willing to teach me as we go. I was super fortunate to become good friends with a rad chick who just happens to be the most hard core climber I have ever met. I was doing my first 5.7 sport leads while she told me stories of 25 pitch trad adventures. It was awesome. Now I am leading trad and it is so cool to be able to ask her questions about gear and technique and stuff like that. Books are good and I have definitely benefited from them but the thing that has helped me the most is getting out on the rock with someone more experienced.


snakehuntergirl


Nov 4, 2005, 10:13 PM
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Good question.... I'm thinking...Lets see..Oh, no...here comes the flashbacks...

1st skill developed; Mini -dyno moves.
Started climbing fences and walls as did alot of the kids growing up in L.A., as shortcuts to get home from school in order to avoid getting cornered in bad alleys with gangbangers and perverts.

2nd skill;Ability to overcome the elements i.e.; Preventing dehydration , heat stroke and starvation.
Explored the desert with my dad who was a diehard rockhound who loved to hike the deserts in the dead of summer, especially his favorite place, Death Valley. His excuse, "We'll have all the rocks to ourselves, cause no one else can stand the heat!" He was right. Our van didn't have A.C. Used squirt bottles and the desert breeze to keep us cool. Learned how to ration water and food. Our van would break down alot. A two hour adventure could be more realistically, from dawn till dusk, but DAMN he could get us out of bad situations; that man could Jerry-rig anything to work! Bottle caps, rusty nails, gun shells, whatever he could find! I also learned to trust "questionable" rigging. OOOPS,I know, not a good skill for climbing. Next!!

3rd skill ; Overcoming fear of heights.
Dad loved to drive his van on horribly washed out,crumbly, "wagon" roads, with what seemed like 200 foot dropoffs ,from the passenger side, of course.In the NO SEATBELT days. When I was scared, he would laugh, so it was all good.Got used to heights pretty quick. As long as he was laughing, I was going to live, or die laughing,or whatever.
Jumping from piers (only a couple of times ) helped too.

4th skill; Downclimbing and route finding;
Actually, I got lost alot( I wandered away from my father quite a bit) and had to do alot of buttsliding, and scary traversing, backtracking etc... on steep chossy hills ,but did eventually find him in some big hole he dug, surrounded by rocks. Huh, funny, he never seemed to worry when I was gone for a few.

5th skill; Carrying heavy, awkward loads.
Well, someone had to help him carry the pillow cases of rocks and gallon jugs of water up and down the hills.

6th skill; Learning to trust your partner not to drop you;
Sorry father, but..... Why did you hold me by my feet and ask me if I could see anything down the mine shafts or in deep crawl spaces of caves? I did trust you though. Oh, back to the original question about "taking a course"; we should have taken one on the dangers of mine shafts and learned spelunking from experts.

7th skill; Ice and snow skills.
Wait a minute.....I don't have much of any. Went sledding in the mountains a few times. Day hiked in it a few times. Still waiting for snow in Vegas. I do see ice sculptures from time to time. Guess one day I should take a course.

Enough about my childhood..... I was very lucky to have learned from more experienced climbers, but I have taken a few classes here and there, asked questions, accepted constructive criticism from my partners, and read books. I am fortunate to have had many years experience hiking and scrambling in the desert. It also helps to know different types of rock, especially if you'll be climbing on it! The interesting thing about climbing is you learn something new everytime you go out! Hands on experience helps you along .


Partner abe_ascends


Nov 5, 2005, 12:15 AM
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Being mentored by an old dude.
Then I picked up some books (FOTH, and John Long's books) and read like crazy, AND (here's the key part) put those new skills into use by practicing them. Practiced anchors and some basic self rescue on a rig in my room, then moved it outdoors when I was ready to increase the realism.


slablizard


Nov 5, 2005, 12:58 AM
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Climbing school. Two weeks back in 85 ir Roma. We went bouldering the first day ( I didn't know I was bouldering) then climbing at Sperlonga and Leano. The last day was on a multi pitch trad at Circeo. Even with some aid stuff.

That sold my soul to the demon of climbing.

All started a night when I saw guys rappelling off a tree at 3 AM smoking joints on the way down. I was looking at them smoking my own stuff.

"What the fuck are you guys doing" ?
" trying the ropes!" was the answer.
"For what?"
"we're climbers man..."

back then climbers were all crazy and weird. And stoned of course. Pretty much like now...almost.


shock


Nov 5, 2005, 3:49 AM
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Joined my college club with lots of experienced climbers in it. Learned from them, and now i'm teaching it all to the new club members...

the circle continues.


olive


Nov 5, 2005, 4:40 AM
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I am still learning...


dingus


Nov 5, 2005, 4:45 AM
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I attend the School of Bumblers, graduated at the bottom of my class.

Wanna go climbing?

DMT


lordshockspeare


Nov 5, 2005, 8:46 AM
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I learned alot of my early technical skills being an avid tree climber.
At least because of this I never get much of a fear of heights.
I also remember my dad giving me "The Freedom of the Hills" for my 12th birthday. I read that book everday for months on end. I remember practicing the knots and everything, even belaying my dog! Too bad I never actually climbed more then 2-3 times a year! I first got interested in moutnaineering and those glorified scrambles. It was until this two years that I got interesting in climbing something as puny as a ten foot high boulder.

Now my climbing only consists of buildering....


cintune


Nov 5, 2005, 8:50 AM
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By putting one foot above the other.


dubforceone


Nov 5, 2005, 9:19 AM
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I was fortunate enough to get introduced to climbing when i was stationed in 29 Palms....a 5 min jog from J tree..or maybe you could say unfortunate that i wasnt introduced to climbing until 20...either way...

I like watching people climb...when i first started i would watch more experienced climbers...pick out what i thought made them strong climbers...and try to find something similiar in my own style....

I also read a few books....how to rock climb breaks it all down to basic levels...easy to understand but you must practice to master

Having a good friend who knows a lot about climbing is an excellent way to cram knowledge into your head...but you still have to do it....

I learn the most through exploring...which i think is the best way to learn...


cosmiccragsman


Nov 5, 2005, 9:56 AM
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I learned to climb back in the early 60s, by walking out the front door of my parents house, and walking up the road about 2 1/2 miles to
Indian Cove at JTree.
Cosmiccragsman


sick_climba


Nov 5, 2005, 12:04 PM
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I basicly tuaght myself... well the basics then I picked up a few things on roped climbing from my buds, because I used to only solo. But that was well before I knew about roped climbing.
Climb on
Chris


chanceboarder


Nov 5, 2005, 12:22 PM
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i learned from a couple of friends about 9 years ago. they loved big wall aid routes and trad routes. so i got to learn to place and clean gear before anything else. they taught me to build anchors and how to climb. i've never taken a formal class on climbing and i continue to reinforce and learn new skills by reading books and climbing other more experienced climbers.


artsylady567


Nov 5, 2005, 12:23 PM
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learned to climb w/ another person to start but didn't really get a formal intro to the gear and climbing techniques, so I took a daylong outdoor climbing course that covered the basics and it really helped.


Partner hosh


Nov 5, 2005, 2:07 PM
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I learned to climb by reading the posts on this site. Everyone here is an expert, you know...


hosh.


scarpa


Nov 5, 2005, 3:03 PM
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when i was like 8 my uncle took me now im still at it


chanf


Nov 5, 2005, 9:38 PM
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i took a course through the university and it was a safe environment to practice in with someone watching over my shoulder to make sure i was doing everything right. i guess the reason why everyone says to go take a course is because you can learn faster through more personalized attention, and you'll get valid safe technique rather than just learning from someone who you're not sure of their experience and such.


pindrvr75


Nov 6, 2005, 12:50 AM
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Got lucky, had friends that climbed show me the ropes. That's better than reading or watching spiders on the walls.


overlord


Nov 6, 2005, 12:56 AM
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i never had a formal course.

i learned the basics outside by an old goat. then i got serious and learned more stuff along the way.


djbiggs


Nov 6, 2005, 2:16 AM
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Hired some gear in thailand......my friend said he new how..... Didn't do anything totally retarded so no one got hurt but after that went climbing with some hard core germans in loas who showed some cool tips, read, practice, reread, apply......


teddybear


Nov 6, 2005, 2:27 AM
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In reply to:
I noticed a lot of beginner questions are answered by "Go take a course". I'm wondering how many people out there actually took a course rather than learning to climb from climbing partners and books.

I myself didn't take a course, everything I know I've been taught by friends along the way. I think it's a good way to go. I've also met a few self taught climbers (this may be a more questionable idea!).
Same here but I am going to do some advanced courses at some stage just so I am sure in my safety and with that of other people I climb with.

Self taught climbers are questionable unless they can prove they are great teachers/learners.

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