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Other "Fears"
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tradrenn


May 30, 2006, 6:25 PM
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Other "Fears"
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First I would like to thank you for writing your book, it is more fantastic than I could ever imagine, it is different on so many levels ( climbing and non-climbing related )

Other "Fears"

What I mean by that is that I feel confident and pretty relaxed on 5.8 Gunks ( My favorite area to climb in the N. America ), I would like to use Gunks as a reference point in this thread.

I'm sure that my gear is good.
I'm sure that the rope wont brake.
I know that if I was to fall it will not injure/kill me.
I know I can handle Gunks 5.9

I have this huge FEAR of my belayer not being able to catch me, I can't exactly explain why, some of my belayers are new to sport and some are quite experienced.

Should I talk to them ?
Should I just fall and hope for the best ? ( I know this question is kind of stupid, sorry )

Do you think you could have any advice for me ( people like me )


wonderwoman


May 30, 2006, 7:03 PM
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Re: Other "Fears" [In reply to]
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That's funny that you posted this, because I am overcoming my fear of the Gunks! That place just spooks me with the whole hudson valley behind you no matter where you are. It is incredible, though. I'll be there spooking myself out this weekend on the 5.3's and 4's!

I think that it is really important to voice your fears to your partner and to discuss their experiences with catching trad falls, knowing where to stand at the belay, soft catch, etc. You may get some comfort out of having those types of conversations and develop a better connection with your partner. You may be able to teach them something or learn something about them.

For the first time this weekend I trad lead a climb that I thought I might fall on. I had to ask myself if I was comfortable with that, and then I asked my belayer if she would be comfortable with me taking a fall. She said yes, and I went for it.

I am very happy to say that not only did I not fall, but I lead my first trad 5.9- without ever having lead an 8 (sorry, just had to share my glee! :D ). But I would never had gotten on the sharp end if I hadn't asked her how she felt about me falling.


tradrenn


May 31, 2006, 5:30 PM
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Re: Other "Fears" [In reply to]
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In reply to:
That's funny that you posted this, because I am overcoming my fear of the Gunks! That place just spooks me with the whole hudson valley behind you no matter where you are. It is incredible, though. I'll be there spooking myself out this weekend on the 5.3's and 4's!

If I may:
Bunny 5.4 is very easy and pleasent climb
The Hawk is another 5.4 but exposed ( super cool climb )

In reply to:
I think that it is really important to voice your fears to your partner and to discuss their experiences with catching trad falls, knowing where to stand at the belay, soft catch, etc. You may get some comfort out of having those types of conversations and develop a better connection with your partner. You may be able to teach them something or learn something about them.

I will try that, I hope it will work for the best.

In reply to:
For the first time this weekend I trad lead a climb that I thought I might fall on.

That is awesome, good for you.

Isn't it amazing how it makes us feel on the inside after we do staff like first 5.7, first 5.8, first 5.9


arnoilgner


Jun 1, 2006, 3:10 PM
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Re: Other "Fears" [In reply to]
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Hi tradrenn,

Always remember that there is a difference between intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge.

You don't know that your gear is solid (I'm assuming you haven't fallen on it much). To KNOW that your trad gear is solid you need to fall on it. Doing that gives you an experience that it does hold. Make sure you have plenty of gear to back up this type practice so that if one piece pulls you don't go much farther.

Concerning trusting your belayer...
Again, you need experiential knowledge that he/she can be trusted. Climb up 20 feet, placing plenty of pro, then hang and have him/her lower you to the ground, on YOUR command. Have them lower you slow, faster, stop, slow again, etc. See how he/she responds to what YOU want them to do. How does he/she handle the device? Then you can go up again to your 20 foot mark and begin climbing and fall without telling your belayer (you'll be right at all those pieces you placed). Doing this helps you see how they pay attention and will build trust or lead to getting rid of him/her.

Remember, it's better to know this stuff before you are actually facing a fall on lead.
Perhaps this helps?
arno


grampacharlie


Jun 3, 2006, 8:55 AM
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Re: Other "Fears" [In reply to]
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My firstSuggestion would be to find out where this fear is comming from. I'll assume it has to do mostly with the people you have belaying you. Whether its thier ability level, attention span, or simply an issue of weight, there are things you can do to alleiviate all of these, but you need to identify the source of the fear before you can cope with it.

Go out ina party of three or four, taking at least one person you would trust with you life, and have them watch the belayers that make you nervous. Check out their style, attention span, and ability to react to the needs of the leader.

Build ground anchors. Set them with a little freedom of movement for the comfort and safety of the belayer, but solid enough to hold them in place.

Use a gri-gri. I personally don't like them much, but they do offer a sense of security.

Lastly, take some practice falls with those people who you may be afraid of. Make sure its a clean fall, great gear, and a Planned fall.

I will say though that I beleive everyone has a fear of falling, for one reason or another. If they don't, there is something wrong with their wiring!


tradrenn


Jun 8, 2006, 9:10 PM
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A big thanks to all of you for your replies.

It got me thinking.

Two days ego I went climbing with Jey for the first time, we spend about 2 hours before first climb, we talk about pretty much everything ( climbing releated ) and I did like his attitude, very mature, very interested in the subject ( trad ) We did go over the gear. I had talk about how I would like it to be done and he listened and was an active part of a conversation. Later on I did one very easy climb just so I can find out if he can belay me the way that I like, I hate nothing more then when the rope gets tight in the middle of the lead. On the next climb ( mixed, starts with two bolts, the rest is gear ) I fall off after clipping the first bolt and he catch me just like I wanted him to do, he had no idea that I would be falling and he catch my fall.

I have never done this experiment before, I know one thing, from now on I will be doing that to all my partners.

Thanks again.


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