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ladyscarlett


Jun 18, 2010, 8:41 PM
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sew it up or just go for it?
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Not sure if this is the appropriate place, but I'm sorry if it's the wrong one.

Sooo, this past few days I led some of the thinnest crack that I've ever led (not that I've led that much, or it was all that thin, but we all have to start somewhere!). At one point in the climb, I looked at that crack and thought 'I should probably just get through this 12ft quick rather than protect.'

But I just couldn't, so I proceeded to arduously find stances and protect through that wonderfully thin crack.

This made me wonder...

What factors do you take into account when you are making that key choice...sew it up, or move fast through the spicy part? I understand this is a style thing, but once again, curiosity is poking my mind.

And I'm not talking slab...stupid frictionUnsure

Thanks for sharing an insight into your lead head!

Cheers

ls


Partner cracklover


Jun 18, 2010, 9:01 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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ladyscarlett wrote:
What factors do you take into account when you are making that key choice...sew it up, or move fast through the spicy part? I understand this is a style thing, but once again, curiosity is poking my mind.

If I see a nice tight crack that I want, what factors do I consider?

- What are my chances of making it?
- Do I have reasonably safe protection?
- How far can I safely push it before having to commit to go all the way or bail?
- Can I see from this end of the bar, I mean from this stance, whether there's a sequence likely to succeed?

Of course sometimes I do all of the above and still make the wrong choices. I've embarrassed myself once or twice. But I've also onsighted way higher than what I suspected by working out my chances, and then going for it.

And of course, for safety's sake, you have to be prepared to make a course correction if you discover in the middle that you're way out of your league. It may be embarrassing, but that's the chance you took when you stepped up to the plate. Better to leave with your tail between your legs than it is to go down harder than you can take.

Cheers,

GO


billl7


Jun 18, 2010, 9:36 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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I'm not sure if this directly answers your question:

I've been leading traditionally for about 5 years. Early on I was focused on pro every prescribed number of feet - more frequently near the deck or ledges and less frequently higher up but still little true runout if I could do that. Oh, and I also focused on simply not falling 'cause the terrain was of the easy-climb hard-fall type. I also know at that time I had a harder time reading where the challenging climbing was going to be.

Sounds like you may be past the above.

Now I think I've moved towards a general protection interval to probably prevent death and then a ramping up of the frequency of placements just before a crux section, then move through it and work to get to a stance where I can place again. Just purely talking about pro for the leader here. Course, a nearby ledge might cause me to pro in the middle of the crux. Crazy

In some ways, where I'm at now seems like a recipe for disaster as my frequency of placement has less to do with ledges and/or the deck and more to do with where the harder climbing resides. I try to remind myself of all the accidents I've read where all the victim remembers just before the fall is climbing on easy terrain.

That said, I've also noticed that although I have this greater willingness to run it out on easier terrain, the farther and farther out I get the slower and more deliberately I climb. The other weekend, I got within a few moves of a bolt on hellish run-out (was off route) and backed off and over to find pro before committing to the moderately easy moves.

Bill L

Edit: To directly answer the question, if you've got a couple good pieces to keep you from hitting anything while moving through the section, go for it! ... unless your second is going to need some pro or a long fall is going to cause you to have to prusik or do something else time consuming.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jun 18, 2010, 9:41 PM)


bill413


Jun 18, 2010, 9:41 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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You found the place you needed to be to do the climb. Excellent.

Rgold once gave us the formula for leading, which I will paraphrase:
1) Assess the potential dangers in what you are about to do.
2) Do what you can to mitigate those dangers.
3) Put "1" out of your mind & make the next move.
4) Repeat from step 1.

Sometimes mitigating the dangers is to conserve energy by climbing through, sometimes it is to protect.

I know I haven't directly answered the question, so...

It depends.

More seriously again - the answer may well vary day to day. I've done climbs where, in retrospect, I should have put in more than two pieces in 95 feet (even though I didn't fall), and other climbs where I just spent too much time futzing with gear. I think I tend to put in less gear when I'm feeling strong (no surprise), and too much when I'm feeling punky.

Factors? How good the moves look for me...consequences of the fall...ability to find a stance, ability to protect....I suspect from your account you already know all this. Smile


tradmanclimbs


Jun 19, 2010, 3:52 AM
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Re: [bill413] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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You have to be able to asses the fall potentual. Going for it without a plan and real understanding of what is at stake is insane.

Remember that if you have 100ft of rope out with all the stretch and slack in the system you will fall a LOT farther than you think.

How clean is the fall? how good is the gear before the crux? is there a stance and good gear at the end of the crux section.
If you have completly bomber gear and the fall is clean and there is gear at the end of the rainbow then consider going for it.

If you have any doubts about the quality of the gear, Place more!
If you think you will be too pumped at the end of the sprint to get gear in, place Before you climb yourself into a real situation.

Going for it without a clear safe destination is russian roulet.

Sewing it up in a situation that would have been totaly safe to run out is no big deal even if it means you pump out and take a safe fall and bruise your ego. You can always come back another day and try to do it clean.. You can't have a do over from a wheelchair...


Partner cracklover


Jun 19, 2010, 9:29 AM
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Re: [bill413] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
Rgold once gave us the formula for leading, which I will paraphrase:
1) Assess the potential dangers in what you are about to do.
2) Do what you can to mitigate those dangers.
3) Put "1" out of your mind & make the next move.
4) Repeat from step 1.

Interesting that you left out the part about assessing whether or not you should even continue to go up, or if retreat (e.g. back to a rest stance; all the way back to the belay; or down to safety) is the wiser option.

Might be worth considering why you left that out.

Cheers,

GO


styndall


Jun 19, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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I'd start by looking down. If you've 20 feet of clean fall space beneath your feet and good gear where you are, then falling on your spicy section will probably be safe. In that case, go for it.

If you'd hit something and you're not sure you can get over the section without falling, then you need either appropriate thin gear or to retreat.


bennydh


Jun 19, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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If you aren't going to hit the deck, or any other protrusion of rock, or trees, etc, and your last piece or two are solid. Run it out.

...also let your belayer know of your intentions. Its just courteous.


hafilax


Jun 19, 2010, 2:33 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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I came up with the short end of the stick running it out a few weeks ago.

The pitch was a vertical lieback corner. I placed a good piece at a good stance, another a little higher and I was starting to get pumped. I could see what looked like another stance for a piece and also could see good holds to the top out and thought I could make it. By the time I got to the stance I was getting really pumped and there was no way I could put in another piece and finish the pitch so I went for it.

I got to the topout holds I completely underestimated how good the holds were given how completely pumped out I was. I still thought I could make it but had nothing left in the tank. Straining to get my feet up to something other than crappy smears something popped and I was sailing. I somehow managed to take a head first swan dive back down the pitch so I tucked my head and hoped for the best. Came out with only a few scrapes but it fried my lead head for the day so I ended up pulling on gear to finish. Would have been a whole lot messier without my helmet!

In one sense I evaluated correctly. The fall was safe, since I took just about the worst fall possible without injury, and the gear was good. OTOH I underestimated the difficulty and how pumped I was. From an injury perspective it was a reasonable risk but from a scaring the living shit out of me perspective I should have place the piece.


jt512


Jun 19, 2010, 4:32 PM
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Re: [hafilax] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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hafilax wrote:
I came up with the short end of the stick running it out a few weeks ago.

The pitch was a vertical lieback corner. I placed a good piece at a good stance, another a little higher and I was starting to get pumped. I could see what looked like another stance for a piece and also could see good holds to the top out and thought I could make it. By the time I got to the stance I was getting really pumped and there was no way I could put in another piece and finish the pitch so I went for it.

I got to the topout holds I completely underestimated how good the holds were given how completely pumped out I was. I still thought I could make it but had nothing left in the tank. Straining to get my feet up to something other than crappy smears something popped and I was sailing. I somehow managed to take a head first swan dive back down the pitch so I tucked my head and hoped for the best. Came out with only a few scrapes but it fried my lead head for the day so I ended up pulling on gear to finish. Would have been a whole lot messier without my helmet!

In one sense I evaluated correctly. The fall was safe, since I took just about the worst fall possible without injury, and the gear was good. OTOH I underestimated the difficulty and how pumped I was. From an injury perspective it was a reasonable risk but from a scaring the living shit out of me perspective I should have place the piece.

It doesn't sound to me like you evaluated the risk correctly. If you took a head-first fall and were only not seriously hurt because you were wearing a helmet, then it sounds to me like your luck was better than your judgment.

Jay


jt512


Jun 19, 2010, 4:32 PM
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Re: [cracklover] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
ladyscarlett wrote:
What factors do you take into account when you are making that key choice...sew it up, or move fast through the spicy part? I understand this is a style thing, but once again, curiosity is poking my mind.

If I see a nice tight crack that I want, what factors do I consider?

- What are my chances of making it?
- Do I have reasonably safe protection?
- How far can I safely push it before having to commit to go all the way or bail?
- Can I see from this end of the bar, I mean from this stance, whether there's a sequence likely to succeed?

Of course sometimes I do all of the above and still make the wrong choices. I've embarrassed myself once or twice. But I've also onsighted way higher than what I suspected by working out my chances, and then going for it.

And of course, for safety's sake, you have to be prepared to make a course correction if you discover in the middle that you're way out of your league. It may be embarrassing, but that's the chance you took when you stepped up to the plate. Better to leave with your tail between your legs than it is to go down harder than you can take.

Cheers,

GO

I see what you did here.

Jay


tradmanclimbs


Jun 19, 2010, 4:51 PM
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Re: [jt512] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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Jay nailed it again. that sounds like just annother case of dumb luck.


ensonik


Jun 19, 2010, 6:13 PM
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Re: [jt512] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
ladyscarlett wrote:
What factors do you take into account when you are making that key choice...sew it up, or move fast through the spicy part? I understand this is a style thing, but once again, curiosity is poking my mind.

If I see a nice tight crack that I want, what factors do I consider?

- What are my chances of making it?
- Do I have reasonably safe protection?
- How far can I safely push it before having to commit to go all the way or bail?
- Can I see from this end of the bar, I mean from this stance, whether there's a sequence likely to succeed?

Of course sometimes I do all of the above and still make the wrong choices. I've embarrassed myself once or twice. But I've also onsighted way higher than what I suspected by working out my chances, and then going for it.

And of course, for safety's sake, you have to be prepared to make a course correction if you discover in the middle that you're way out of your league. It may be embarrassing, but that's the chance you took when you stepped up to the plate. Better to leave with your tail between your legs than it is to go down harder than you can take.

Cheers,

GO

I see what you did here.

Jay

Awesome. That went right over my head. +1


patto


Jun 19, 2010, 6:33 PM
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Re: [ensonik] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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Lol I was waiting for someone else to comment on that!

I read it at the time but was interested whether it would get noticed! Cool

I was going to respond with some witty comment about liebacking but I just not witty enough. Frown


(This post was edited by patto on Jun 19, 2010, 6:39 PM)


hafilax


Jun 19, 2010, 6:54 PM
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Re: [jt512] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
hafilax wrote:
I came up with the short end of the stick running it out a few weeks ago.

The pitch was a vertical lieback corner. I placed a good piece at a good stance, another a little higher and I was starting to get pumped. I could see what looked like another stance for a piece and also could see good holds to the top out and thought I could make it. By the time I got to the stance I was getting really pumped and there was no way I could put in another piece and finish the pitch so I went for it.

I got to the topout holds I completely underestimated how good the holds were given how completely pumped out I was. I still thought I could make it but had nothing left in the tank. Straining to get my feet up to something other than crappy smears something popped and I was sailing. I somehow managed to take a head first swan dive back down the pitch so I tucked my head and hoped for the best. Came out with only a few scrapes but it fried my lead head for the day so I ended up pulling on gear to finish. Would have been a whole lot messier without my helmet!

In one sense I evaluated correctly. The fall was safe, since I took just about the worst fall possible without injury, and the gear was good. OTOH I underestimated the difficulty and how pumped I was. From an injury perspective it was a reasonable risk but from a scaring the living shit out of me perspective I should have place the piece.

It doesn't sound to me like you evaluated the risk correctly. If you took a head-first fall and were only not seriously hurt because you were wearing a helmet, then it sounds to me like your luck was better than your judgment.

Jay
You're right and it was a lesson learned. Going for it was OK. The fall was clean and the gear good. It was putting myself into an awkward climbing position that was dangerous. I was going for a foot hand match when the other foot blew. Sometimes it's better to fall in a controlled fashion than make a risky move.


cclarke


Jun 19, 2010, 7:55 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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Trad climbing is interesting because of this question.


jt512


Jun 19, 2010, 10:12 PM
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Re: [patto] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
I was going to respond with some witty comment about liebacking but I just not witty enough. Frown

I can't imagine any comment about liebacking thin cracks that would be even remotely appropriate in this context.

Jay


Partner cracklover


Jun 19, 2010, 10:59 PM
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Re: [jt512] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
patto wrote:
I was going to respond with some witty comment about liebacking but I just not witty enough. Frown

I can't imagine any comment about liebacking thin cracks that would be even remotely appropriate in this context.

Jay

"Lie back and think of England" was traditional advice given to owners of thin cracks in the UK.

I suppose those Brits were never really renowned for their facility in the sack. Damn good climbers, though!

Or, if it's just a tips crack at the back of a dihedral, there's always the advice to "spread your legs and trust the rubber!"

GO


patto


Jun 19, 2010, 11:41 PM
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Re: [cracklover] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
"Lie back and think of England" was traditional advice given to owners of thin cracks in the UK.

Oh you must be thinking of this climb:


Layback and Think of England (20, 5.10c)


http://whipper.com.au/2010/03/easter-psyche-up/


(This post was edited by patto on Jun 19, 2010, 11:42 PM)


tradmanclimbs


Jun 20, 2010, 3:48 AM
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There are times when climbing through to the next stance is the best way to do a climb. The great Dihedral on Wheeler is a fine example of that. Though primarly a trad climb the crux lieback is past 2 pins and a bolt that are all about 12 to 15ft apart. Stopping to place between those pins almost gaurentees that the gear is marginal and the effort is going to gas your fingers and feet. The problem arises when people get that mantra "when in doubt run it out" in their heads and they are not mature enough to realize that it is a bunch of macho crap. Running it out is fine if there is a clear destination with good gear and a stanch to place it from. running it out on the hope and a prayer that things will get better up there somewhere is insanity begging for a disaster.


jt512


Jun 20, 2010, 7:58 AM
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Re: [cracklover] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
patto wrote:
I was going to respond with some witty comment about liebacking but I just not witty enough. Frown

I can't imagine any comment about liebacking thin cracks that would be even remotely appropriate in this context.

Jay

"Lie back and think of England" was traditional advice given to owners of thin cracks in the UK.

I suppose those Brits were never really renowned for their facility in the sack. Damn good climbers, though!

Or, if it's just a tips crack at the back of a dihedral, there's always the advice to "spread your legs and trust the rubber!"

How long a list of these do you have?

Jay


billcoe_


Jun 20, 2010, 8:11 AM
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ladyscarlett wrote:
Not sure if this is the appropriate place, but I'm sorry if it's the wrong one.

Sooo, this past few days I led some of the thinnest crack that I've ever led (not that I've led that much, or it was all that thin, but we all have to start somewhere!). At one point in the climb, I looked at that crack and thought 'I should probably just get through this 12ft quick rather than protect.'

But I just couldn't, so I proceeded to arduously find stances and protect through that wonderfully thin crack.

This made me wonder...

What factors do you take into account when you are making that key choice...sew it up, or move fast through the spicy part? I understand this is a style thing, but once again, curiosity is poking my mind.

And I'm not talking slab...stupid frictionUnsure

Thanks for sharing an insight into your lead head!

Cheers

ls

Rgold had the best advice. However, it could be added that until you develop the experience to eyeball the section on the fly and make the correct decisions, not pushing your lead game on routes you are unfamiliar with might be the best thing to focus on. Eventually, you will be able to look at a line and even without the guidebook, be able to better assess your moves through it from the ground, and you will be climbing safer then. So pushing yourself on toprope, following and bouldering is where to push. at some point, you'll just start leading harder things, and have a better feel as you look up at any section, what you will need to do to be safe. Usually, if you can get in a good piece, do so. It surprised me when I was young to learn that people who were freeing world class hard, steep aid lines, were not running it out at all, in fact, the reverse was true.


Partner robdotcalm


Jun 20, 2010, 11:11 AM
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If you're coming to a section that will be runout and you're at a comfortable stance, then it makes sense to double up the protection there while your comfortable and then go for it.

r.c


the_climber


Jun 21, 2010, 9:25 AM
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Some good advice being given here.


Another thing to mention is to really develop your skills in placing protection. I spend most of my time climbing in an area where finding adequate protection can often times be the crux regardless of the grade of the route... The Canadian Rockies are known for that. Having an eye for those placements that otherwise would be missed can be a great asset out on the sharp end.


jt512


Jun 21, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] sew it up or just go for it? [In reply to]
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ladyscarlett wrote:
sew it up or just go for it?

If you have to ask, plug another piece.

And, in the meantime, start studying The Rock Warrior's Way.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jun 21, 2010, 10:15 AM)

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