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harihari


Nov 19, 2006, 12:13 AM
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top roping is stoopid...
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Ok, what do you all think? I have watched myself and others climb things on TR. I notice two things:

a) top-roping makes us do moves in ways which would never work on lead. IE laybacking super thin tips cracks-- you would never do this cos you could never place proper gear.

b) top roping makes us stop thinking about moves and risk and makes us climb inefficiently.

I made this resolution some years ago-- if a route takes gear, I will only lead it. I will not top-rope. I woudl rather risk falls on trad gear than top-rope, because I find that it is only leading which focusses and clearsw my head an dmakes me really step into it.

Obviosuly I have not climbed grit death routes where there is zero room for errror! It's not like I'm a hardman or anything, but I was wondering, what do you think for telling beginners? We always say "oh top-ropes tons of stuff!" I say, bag that-- soon as you can, start on the sharp end.


coastal_climber


Nov 20, 2006, 5:09 PM
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Re: [harihari] top roping is stoopid... [In reply to]
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Very good analogy. I myself prefer leading over TR. I find that it changes the whole aspect of the climb, or climbing. For someone starting out, I would personally recommend TR, as it teaches the basics of moving up the route.

I went from TR(inside) to lead(inside), then to TR(outside), then lead (outside) in one year, and I really learned a lot. I guess its also what you personally want to do.

>Cam


zeke_sf


Nov 21, 2006, 4:52 PM
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Re: [harihari] top roping is stoopid... [In reply to]
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I think climbing is a big enough game to accomodate both top ropers as well as leaders. I waited to lead and it has definitely taken a bigger effort to get my lead head proper. not having a real mentor when I started out, I kind of learned to climb by trial and error, so toproping was a good venue for that.

the other day at a local crag, I saw a guy who took leading WAY too lightly. he was cimbing up to the first bolt as if he was on toprope already, making big, dynamic moves that were as likely to end with him slipping as making the clip. the fall would have been an ugly roll down a steep gully. his belayer and I got him to slow down and actually use plentiful hand and footholds he was passing up in favor of blind flailing. I guess his response to anxiety, unlike mine, is to go even faster and more uncontrolled. he eventually got to the first bolt and up the climb, but it seemed as if he had no concept of the risks he put himself (and belayer) through. he told me it was one of his first sport climbs and I know his belayer was less experienced than he.

all's well that ends well? we all get in over our heads sometimes, but I think beginners should know the risks associated with all forms of climbing, especially those inherent to climbing up to the first bolt/placement.

other than that, I think leading as much as possible is an admirable goal, although I definitely don't turn down a toprope if it's convenient and I'm having a "high gravity" day.


hangerlessbolt


Nov 28, 2006, 1:24 AM
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Re: [zeke_sf] top roping is stoopid... [In reply to]
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As long as you don't TR my lead and then tell me how easy it was...I won't ram a #10 hex up your rectum, girth-hitch your privates, and rap-bolt your forehead

Other than that...TR, lead, beat your pud...whatever...just enjoy being where you are, doing what you're doing


jt512


Nov 28, 2006, 5:13 PM
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Re: [harihari] top roping is stoopid... [In reply to]
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harihari wrote:
Ok, what do you all think? I have watched myself and others climb things on TR. I notice two things:

a) top-roping makes us do moves in ways which would never work on lead. IE laybacking super thin tips cracks-- you would never do this cos you could never place proper gear.

b) top roping makes us stop thinking about moves and risk and makes us climb inefficiently.

Many climbers make these same claims, but for me, if anything, it has always been the other way around: on toprope I find it easier to stay focused on the climbing; after all, what else is there to focus on? And if I'm more focused on the climbing, I'm more likely to be more focused on climbing more efficiently; after all, what else about climbing is there to focus on?

You claim that TRing you do moves that you wouldn't do on lead. Your example (the layback moves) notwithstanding, are you sure that you're not climbing too cautiously on lead. Maybe on TR you are willing to do thinner, dicier, or more dynamic moves; whereas, on lead, you look for less risky ways to climb the same section of the route. Perhaps you even mistakenly believe the latter to the be the more efficient approach of the two. Usually, it isn't. One of the big breakthroughs in my climbing came when I realized that the riskier, more more dynamic climbing I would do while TRing actually was the more efficient way to climb, and I started to strive to to climb the same way on lead.

Jay


saxfiend


Nov 30, 2006, 8:58 AM
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jt512 wrote:
Many climbers make these same claims, but for me, if anything, it has always been the other way around: on toprope I find it easier to stay focused on the climbing; after all, what else is there to focus on? And if I'm more focused on the climbing, I'm more likely to be more focused on climbing more efficiently; after all, what else about climbing is there to focus on?

You claim that TRing you do moves that you wouldn't do on lead. Your example (the layback moves) notwithstanding, are you sure that you're not climbing too cautiously on lead. Maybe on TR you are willing to do thinner, dicier, or more dynamic moves; whereas, on lead, you look for less risky ways to climb the same section of the route. Perhaps you even mistakenly believe the latter to the be the more efficient approach of the two. Usually, it isn't. One of the big breakthroughs in my climbing came when I realized that the riskier, more more dynamic climbing I would do while TRing actually was the more efficient way to climb, and I started to strive to to climb the same way on lead.

Jay
Nice analysis; too bad we no longer have trophies.

JL


arnoilgner


Dec 5, 2006, 9:04 PM
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Hi harihari,
Your comments:
a) top-roping makes us do moves in ways which would never work on lead. IE laybacking super thin tips cracks-- you would never do this cos you could never place proper gear.

b) top roping makes us stop thinking about moves and risk and makes us climb inefficiently.
-----------
I think toproping can make us sloppy or efficient. Depends on us and what we focus on. I do feel that beginners should lead as soon as possible, if that is something they eventually want to do. I say this because leaders are more attentive to the risks they take. I think this is also what you are suggesting.
However, you cannot lead everything. What will you do on a multi pitch? Will you force your partner to follow each pitch or will you swap leads?

arno


kydd76


Dec 8, 2006, 9:56 AM
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I think you can get a lot out of top roping. I do feel leading is the best, and try to lead as much as I can. But feel there is a lot to learn in TR, first you can learn moves you would never try on lead. For fear of fall, bad pro or just trying something totally new to you in movement. I have a lot of respect for head pointing I have used this technique to do highball problems on many occasions. I also like TRing when ice climbing. It takes a lot of stress out of my mind when ice climbing, which for me can be high when at new area, or do to bad ice. I have also found myself leading, when I will use a movement I learned on TR. I personally have found TR to be a great learning tool. Plus it is fun to climb with little stress do to fear of falling.


jt512


Dec 8, 2006, 9:38 PM
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kydd76 wrote:
I think you can get a lot out of top roping. I do feel leading is the best, and try to lead as much as I can. But feel there is a lot to learn in TR, first you can learn moves you would never try on lead. For fear of fall, bad pro or just trying something totally new to you in movement. I have a lot of respect for head pointing I have used this technique to do highball problems on many occasions. I also like TRing when ice climbing. It takes a lot of stress out of my mind when ice climbing, which for me can be high when at new area, or do to bad ice. I have also found myself leading, when I will use a movement I learned on TR. I personally have found TR to be a great learning tool. Plus it is fun to climb with little stress do to fear of falling.

Your profile shows a one number-grade difference between your sport TR and lead levels. Re-read my post. Any move you can do on TR you can do on lead. This is an important concept to internalize.

Jay


kydd76


Dec 10, 2006, 8:40 AM
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Jt512 you are right, if you can TR with out falling are hanging you can lead it. But you as well as I know it is easier to say than to do in practice. Since when leading there are many more thing going on at once, in action i.e. clipping, rope drag, rest, or mostly the real crux when climbing the head game. When on TR I climb trying new things, thinking about things like where is best rest and making movements smooth or dynamic. Which was the point I was making, TR is a great learning tool. As with my profile, I donít lead much past 11b/c on sight sport, yet I have been able to pull 12a on TR on a few routes. I would not say I flashed them even if I didnít fall or hang on the rope, so I would say onsight TR, which is not even like a lead. Hard, grueling, pump fests for me, so I felt they helped me learn new skills none the less. Second is every one I have climbed had skill set they are better at, cracks, slabs, faces, overhang, and on and on. I think when you find yourself out of the comfort zone, most people climb less than at there best grade. Since other mental thoughts come in to play, fears, lack of focus, are something as simple as holding your breath. All these things will make you climbing less than your best most of the time. I do think you are right with the thought that I could lead sport better. If I was to get comfortable with the idea, I can do it on TR, so there for I can lead it. I thank you for the support, and thought.


verticon


Feb 13, 2007, 1:14 AM
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jt512 wrote:
...on toprope I find it easier to stay focused on the climbing; after all, what else is there to focus on? And if I'm more focused on the climbing, I'm more likely to be more focused on climbing more efficiently; after all, what else about climbing is there to focus on?

This is one of my excuses...
I claim to be motivated by the movement on the rock, by solving problems that apear while climbing.
So, when I want to climb a route I get that thought: what's the point in leading ? The movements will be the same, the problems will not change and it's more enjoyable to climb without having to stop to clip bolts or to drag that "heavy" rope.
So, sometimes I end up TR-ing.
I really have to kick myself to start leading the route, and once I am on lead everything goes smooth. I just "enjoy the journey". It seems that it's just difficult to quit my comfort zone (top rope).


arnoilgner


Feb 13, 2007, 5:54 AM
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hi verticon.
your comment: what's the point in leading ? The movements will be the same, the problems will not change.
--
the problem solving is much different because the consequence has changed. because of this you are much more attentive to how you climb and how you commit, both of which are critical parts of problem solving.
with that said, of course there is benefit in toproping. it really boils down to if we value learning, which only occurs outside our comfort zones, or if we just want to stay within our comfort zones. if we are honest with ourselves about this then we can learn while leading or toproping.
arno


verticon


Feb 15, 2007, 8:06 AM
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arnoilgner wrote:
hi verticon.
your comment: what's the point in leading ? The movements will be the same, the problems will not change.
--
the problem solving is much different because the consequence has changed. because of this you are much more attentive to how you climb and how you commit, both of which are critical parts of problem solving.
with that said, of course there is benefit in toproping. it really boils down to if we value learning, which only occurs outside our comfort zones, or if we just want to stay within our comfort zones. if we are honest with ourselves about this then we can learn while leading or toproping.
arno

I'm perfectly aware of the differences. I was speaking about the way my Ego (dragon-with-one-thousand-heads...) is sometimes rising a head to whisper in my mind: don't lead, it's gonna be hard, just TR it, it's nearly the same and more enjoyable.


fearlessclimber


Feb 18, 2007, 7:26 AM
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lead climbing is what makes a man, toproping is lame


verticon


Feb 20, 2007, 2:32 PM
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fearlessclimber wrote:
lead climbing is what makes a man, toproping is lame

Oh, yeah ?!
Here's something from your profile that shows a big difference between your level on lead and on TR:

Trad: 5.11a 5.11d
Ice: WI4 WI5
Aid: A3+ A5
Snow: D TD

Explain that, you MAN !


curt


Feb 20, 2007, 6:01 PM
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Obviously, he's not yet a man.Wink

Curt


crimpergirl


Feb 25, 2007, 7:52 AM
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Well, I've been leading for almost a decade now and I'm no man. Thank God.


verticon


Feb 25, 2007, 9:38 AM
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crimpergirl wrote:
Well, I've been leading for almost a decade now and I'm no man. Thank God.
I've been leading for 2 1/2 decades now, i'm no girl (Thank God), I still TR sometimes, and I expect to find useful comments when I visit the RWW forum. Let me remind you, we were discussing whether or not TR is "stoopid". What do you think ? Do you TR sometimes ? When and why ? What's your opinion on this subject ?
Let us learn from your "almost a decade" vast experience !
Thank you !


crimpergirl


Feb 25, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Verticon:

I was responding to the poster above who said that leading makes a man. Clearly, and luckily, leading doesn't make a man. This is what my 'vast' experience tells me.

As far as whether toproping is stupid, I don't think so. There are many ways one can enjoy and gain positive experiences from climbing. I personally would never suggest one is stupid while another isn't. But I also wouldn't be bothered if someone else expressed their opinion.

Is this informative enough for a post in the Rock Warrior's forum? Was it more informative than suggesting that leading makes a man? If I have failed in the informative-only-test, please forward the posting criteria to me and I will adhere to these policies in the future.

edit: My "thank god" comment was not intended to be an insult to being a man. It only represented that I would be a really creepy man, breasts and all.

edit2: I didn't respond to one of your questions. Do I toprope? Heck yeah I toprope sometimes. In fact, the most pleasing climbing I've ever done was a multipitch climb in which I followed every single pitch. Read about it here: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=255575&msg=255575#msg255575. I also followed every single pitch when we climbed at Whitesides (more cool photos here: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=313825&msg=314098#msg314098). I also top roped a lot after I broke my arm. Like I mentioned above, I feel there is nothing wrong with toproping for myself. But I don't speak for everyone and I certainly don't wish to set criteria for anyone but myself.


(This post was edited by crimpergirl on Feb 25, 2007, 10:56 AM)


curt


Feb 25, 2007, 5:13 PM
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crimpergirl wrote:
...Do I toprope? Heck yeah I toprope sometimes. In fact, the most pleasing climbing I've ever done was a multipitch climb in which I followed every single pitch...

Just a minor point here--that's not really top-roping.Cool

Curt


crimpergirl


Feb 25, 2007, 5:14 PM
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Ah Curt, maybe that is why I've not become a man yet. Crazy


dredsovrn


Feb 26, 2007, 3:12 PM
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I was against top roping for a time when I first started leading. I don't really have a rule for it anymore. I essentially top rope when I follow a pitch. If you have a good partner, you can't lead everything.

Sometimes I top rope a route for fun. The rope is there, and I don't feel invested in the lead. Sometimes it is fun to throw a rope on a climb that I think is well outside my current range so I can just focus on the movement, and maybe get stronger.


curt


Feb 27, 2007, 6:46 PM
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crimpergirl wrote:
Ah Curt, maybe that is why I've not become a man yet. Crazy

...probably not a bad thing, unless that's your goal.

Curt


crimpergirl


Feb 27, 2007, 6:49 PM
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I agree! Not trying to be a man.

I continue to be happy that after almost a decade of leading (aka 'vast experience'), I have not become a man. Thank God. Wink


amikros


Mar 7, 2007, 11:36 AM
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to be fair, i only TR because I've been climbing once a week for two hours at best, for about four months now. TR is really the only way I can learn rigt now...

that and if someone had me lead the first time I climbed, instead of TR, I would have just untied and hiked back to the car...Crazy

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