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Partner pianomahnn


Oct 31, 2001, 3:02 PM
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afraid to start leading
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If neither you or your boyfriend have any experience with lead climbing, I would not try it until you've learned a few things about it. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is get some training in at a gym. Lead climbing in a gym is the safest way to climb. All of the protection is bombproof (or should be, meaning never going to fail). The environment is much more controlled so you don't have to worry about anything popping out and you cratering.

After that, I could go on climbing trip with someone who knows what they are doing. Don't go outdoors by yourself the first time, that would probably lead to a bad experience. Instead, climb with an experienced person who can show you some things. Even though you've then done lead climbing indoors, there are still many things that you shoud know before heading outdoors.

Hope that helps.

BTW, welcome to Rockclimbing.com!!!


froggy


Oct 31, 2001, 3:50 PM
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There is no reason you should not start leading with-in your range right now.
I would say start by taking a lead class in your local gym and while you continue to build strength and technique start leading too. Also, go outside with some people that are experienced and follow them on some routes sport or trad. Once you are ready try leading outside - it is a whole different game.!


rck_climber


Oct 31, 2001, 3:54 PM
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First off, welcome to the RC.com family, Jen.

Secondly, I'm going to echo Piano's remarks on first learning and practicing in a gym. This will give you a chance to learn in a constant atmosphere, that is safe and filled with knowledgeable climbers. That will give you both a the opportunity to practice clipping and lead-belaying techniques in front of other climbers who can correct you if you make a mistake, whereas if you try it outdoors and make a mistake, there may not be anyone around to correct you or help if you need it.

The other thing is that I believe you'll know when you're ready to start lead climbing - I call it the "Need to Lead", and you'll get it when you're ready, mentally, to ditch the top-rope and don the quickdraws. Don't try to go too soon, before you're ready (mentally) to lead, or it can really freak you out and damage some of your love for the sport. Believe me, the time will come when you get sick of seconding and are ready to be the lead-dog.

Hope this helps, and again, welcome to the family.

Mick


gunkjunkie


Oct 31, 2001, 4:13 PM
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HI -
I assume that you're talking about trad leading. I would suggest trying to hook up with a trustworthy, experienced leader who can show you guys how to place gear properly, how to handle the rope etc. Practice placing gear while on the ground and then do easy climbs and have your mentor critique your gear. You'll feel much better about leading when confident about the gear.

Or - if you can't find someone - you can take a lead class with a good guide service, play with the gear and practice setting. When you start stick to easy stuff untill you feel good about your gear.

Good Luck - Have Fun



catga86


Oct 31, 2001, 5:02 PM
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  Learning Lead Climbing in a gym is the safest bet. I know lead climbing can be scary, but you will learn everything you need to know to get past some of your fears.


hardcoredana


Nov 1, 2001, 11:25 AM
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I am not sure if you mean trad leading or sport leading, so forgive me if this reply doesn't help.

To reiterate pianomahnn, if you haven't learned to sport lead, you should do it in a gym. You should learn to sport lead before you plunge into trad leading. It will give you the confidence and mental stamina that you can build upon when you finally start placing your own gear.

Another step you could take before trad leading is to take an outdoor class on setting topropes. If you take the class from a reputable organization, you will learn how to place nuts, cams, and hexes. This will give you a good background on how to place gear.

Once you get comfortable with the above two things, there are some other things you can do before leading trad. Again, guiding services often offer classes. Or you can become friends with someone who is an experienced trad climber. Have him/her take you out and show you the ropes. A good way to see how trad climbing is done is to "follow" or "second" a trad climber. By this I mean that once the leader sets the anchors at the top, you follow behind him/her (whilst he/she belays for you) and take out all the protection. This will help you see what optimal placements are, and how far apart the placements should be. It will also build your confidence.

Once you have done the above steps, you should be ready to start leading. Make sure that when you start, you are with people who know what they are doing. Your first route should be significantly easier than what you can redpoint on a toprope, because you will spend a lot of time looking for and finding good placements. My first trad climb was only 40 feet tall, and yet it took me more than fifteen minutes to climb. The same route on toprope took me all of 2 minutes to climb.

Good luck, and above all, climb safe!

[ This Message was edited by: hardcoredana on 2001-11-01 20:34 ]


maltek


Nov 1, 2001, 11:54 AM
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A lot of good post before..

Maybe another good suggestion.. is to try to 2nd someone for a while. You will get the feeling of the trad gear and the quickdraws clipping...

Maltek


old_school


Nov 4, 2001, 8:15 PM
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do SPORT routes inside gyms, you wont get hurt and you'll learn valuable leading experience, and guides will be there to help.


daisuke


Nov 4, 2001, 9:58 PM
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In my personal experience... I started leading the second class in the gym, it will help you get over your fear of falling quickly, try some overhanging routes first and trust your gear. it'll also help you get over the willies of holding on with just one hand and clipping with the other, if you're climbing 5.7 and 5.8's consistently try leading the routes you already know the movements to on top rope to get comfy with leading. I still get scared with routes that have no overhang because the pain of tumbling down on rock doesn't sound too fun, but no pain no gain...

D


ecchastang


Nov 5, 2001, 6:15 AM
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as far as practicing leading in a gym, I'm having some difficulty. I've been climbing less than three months, I've only climbed 6 times. Two weeks ago I did my first lead at red river gorge, it was a 5.9, But the gym I go to won't let you lead until you are a consistent 5.10 climber. Saturday I TR two 5.10a, but still not allowed to lead.

Eric


greatgarbanzo


Nov 5, 2001, 6:34 AM
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Hey! i want to tell you that i made my girlfriend start leading after she did the exactly same amount of climbing that you have.

You have (to my knowledge) the perfect timing. Go and get some leading classes... lead a couple of 5.6īs and 5.7īs for a couple of weeks... then (once you got the feeling) you should start leading routes on which you are going to fall FOR SURE so that you do the single most important thing about leading: LEARN HOW TO LET GO AND FALL.

About placing gear... well you should get some classes on that too... extensive ones... pay for a curse... remember that trad climbing can be EXTREMELY dangerous (deadly) if you dont know what you are doing...


number7


Nov 5, 2001, 11:16 AM
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Sounds like your boyfriend believes in you enough to do it. Start small and easy. go ahead but be careful. start placing pro on TR.


soulkiss


Nov 21, 2001, 5:22 PM
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I think my timing checking this site is excellent! I was just thinking the same question for myself.. when to start trad leading. Thanks for all the suggestions but when is a good time to learn aid? Also, without a regular partner, any suggestions?
thanks!


diegow


Nov 22, 2001, 4:17 PM
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I think that you shoul chave more experience to start leading its the better for you and your boyfriend


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