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Hezekiel


Jan 12, 2012, 4:35 PM
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Reading topos
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I know already that this is a stupid question, but how do you read outdoors rock climbing topos? If there is a red line drawn on a picture of a rock does that basically mean that your torso should follow the line? And if you are tall enough can you use all the holds you can reach or is there some kind of a theory behind doing the lines? Moreover, are there cases where the line is meant to be climbed using only some holds next to the drawn line?

Thanks already, beginner is a beginner =)


(This post was edited by Hezekiel on Jan 12, 2012, 4:37 PM)


hyongx


Jan 12, 2012, 5:07 PM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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are you talking about single pitch or multipitch topos?

check out http://www.supertopo.com/freetopos.html

An example of how to read different topo features is on page 21 of the "Muir Wall Aid" topo, which is a free pdf on this page.

(This post was edited by hyongx on Jan 12, 2012, 5:08 PM)


Hezekiel


Jan 12, 2012, 5:15 PM
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Re: [hyongx] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Actual i meant something like this you often see: http://27crags.com/crags/terradets/routes/mallorca-es-funky
Just an example


dagibbs


Jan 12, 2012, 6:13 PM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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The line on a topo is, generally, intended to give an approximate indication of what line the route follows. How exactly you need to follow that line in order to be on the route will vary from crag to crag, from place to place. In some places, where lines are squeezed in close enough to each other, where stepping a foot to the right/left of the route puts you on a different route, then you have to follow almost exactly. Others, you read the rock, and take the moves -- anything within a meter or two either way is in. And, if you start talking about longer and multi-pitch routes, it will sometime be that anything up that ridge line, or up a 20m wide face is "in" for the route.


socalclimber


Jan 12, 2012, 8:23 PM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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This is not a stupid question. Learning to read topos and learning to read the rock are there own skills.

The "topos" you posted are just an approximation of the lines. The cliff looks like it's a sport/bolted cliff. The thing to realize is that the photo was taken from a long distance from the cliff. Meaning, you won't be able to tell much about the routes from the photo.

I dont' 100% agree with some of what has been posted on this thread about routes being squeezed in. Squeezed routes are the plague of the modern climber. "I MUST GET MY NAME IN THE GUIDE BOOK, THEREFORE I WILL FORCE THIS LINE FOR AN FA NEXT TO AN ESTABLISHED LINE."

Bad news, bad form.

The thing to understand about outdoor "topos" is that they are not always accurate.

What you posted is not a topo. It's just a picture of a line drawn up the rock.

Here's a classic example. This is a route I did today where the description in the guide book was wrong. Here's the wrong version:



Here's where the actual route goes. Sorry for the lousy job on my part (the red line) The line going to the ground is the rap:



If you look at this photo, where I put the red dot on the far right is the start. It looks like you could have a party up there under that roof. In fact, you could not even stand up there. That's a prime example of what to expect from photos of formations. They will look totally different when you get there.

I asked for beta and got the right beta from a friend. When I got to the area I saw immediately why the topo was wrong. The route in the guide book was off big time. There was no way what was show in the guide book could be a 5.7. Looking at the route I saw huge plates up above and good holds the whole way to the anchors. Again this just takes time to learn.

Be prepared for lot's of walking to the base of routes and looking up and saying "This doesn't look like anything in the guide book". I've been shutdown more times than I care to admit. It's just part of the process.

EDITED:

This is not the fault of the guide book author. In our area, with over 7000+ routes, there's going to be mistakes in the book.

It happens! Get used to it.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Jan 12, 2012, 8:31 PM)


sp115


Jan 12, 2012, 8:33 PM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Hezekiel wrote:
Actual i meant something like this you often see: http://27crags.com/crags/terradets/routes/mallorca-es-funky
Just an example
I applaud your concern for etiquette. It is the rare beginner who worries about getting off-route on a 5.13a.


dagibbs


Jan 12, 2012, 9:58 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Reading topos [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:

I dont' 100% agree with some of what has been posted on this thread about routes being squeezed in. Squeezed routes are the plague of the modern climber. "I MUST GET MY NAME IN THE GUIDE BOOK, THEREFORE I WILL FORCE THIS LINE FOR AN FA NEXT TO AN ESTABLISHED LINE."

Bad news, bad form.

I was the one who mentioned squeezed routes. I don't think anything I wrote implies I approve of them. I actually agree with you -- they tend to be poorer lines, and really don't need to be there.

But, do you actually disagree that if routes are squeezed in, then to be "on route" you basically do have to almost exactly on the line as shown/described?


Hezekiel


Jan 13, 2012, 2:30 AM
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Re: [sp115] Reading topos [In reply to]
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sp115 wrote:
I applaud your concern for etiquette. It is the rare beginner who worries about getting off-route on a 5.13a.

Well it was an example from my part as I said Smile

I've just been studying the routes around my hometown and been wondering how they go especially in those squeezed in situations. So its basically common sense in this case I should use? If there are not many lines next to each other then i can find holds a meter or two from the route line. And in the case of closely put routes one has to figure out which holds belong to which route.


qwert


Jan 13, 2012, 4:07 AM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Hezekiel wrote:
sp115 wrote:
I applaud your concern for etiquette. It is the rare beginner who worries about getting off-route on a 5.13a.

Well it was an example from my part as I said Smile

I've just been studying the routes around my hometown and been wondering how they go especially in those squeezed in situations. So its basically common sense in this case I should use? If there are not many lines next to each other then i can find holds a meter or two from the route line. And in the case of closely put routes one has to figure out which holds belong to which route.
I dont know how the specific situation on mallorca, but generally those lines (no matter if on a photo or a drawing) should just give some rough orientation where you go.
With easier stuff, the routes often follow natural features, such as cracks or chimneys. There you probably have to at least keep one hand/foot in the feature the line follows. Not because of some rule, but rather because if you dont do it, the route will become much much harder, since you are ignoring you best holds.

If it gets harder, and the rock is lacking some features, it is sometimes something like "follow the sinters", or "stay in the black water streak", or "do not use the crack on the left!". In many guidebooks its in the description, if some "rule" like this applies.

My personal "rule" for sport climbing is the following: "if i can reach the bolts without having to change my intended path, i am on the route, except the guidebook says something specific"

You will get used to reading topos and other kinds of route descriptions after a while, and you will do your fair share of mistakes.

Reading topos is not rocket science, but it is a skill that has to be learned. So if you are starting out, be carefull with your claims what routes you have done. No one will laugh at you (at least not too much) if you mix up some routes, but you will get ridiculed if you are bragging about all your hard routes, and it turns out you always accidentally did the much easier stuff.

qwert


socalclimber


Jan 13, 2012, 5:35 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Reading topos [In reply to]
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I can't disagree about staying "on route" with squeeze jobs. It's more that squeeze jobs bug the hell out of me. They are popping up more and more at established area all in the name of getting someones name in the guide books.

I've been involved and put up over 500 routes over the years. One of the main issues when we selected a new line was to see if there was a possible route with in reach of it. If so, we did out best to pick the better of the two lines and ignore the other.

I gave up on even caring if my name ended up in the guide books years ago. I put up around 35 routes in the Alabama Hills with Raliegh Collins 10 years ago and paid for a fair amount of the hardware only to be completely left out of the guide book on the FA list. That the way it goes sometimes.


To me they just show poor form.


sp115


Jan 13, 2012, 5:59 AM
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Re: [qwert] Reading topos [In reply to]
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qwert wrote:
Hezekiel wrote:
sp115 wrote:
I applaud your concern for etiquette. It is the rare beginner who worries about getting off-route on a 5.13a.

Well it was an example from my part as I said Smile

I've just been studying the routes around my hometown and been wondering how they go especially in those squeezed in situations. So its basically common sense in this case I should use? If there are not many lines next to each other then i can find holds a meter or two from the route line. And in the case of closely put routes one has to figure out which holds belong to which route.
I dont know how the specific situation on mallorca, but generally those lines (no matter if on a photo or a drawing) should just give some rough orientation where you go.
With easier stuff, the routes often follow natural features, such as cracks or chimneys. There you probably have to at least keep one hand/foot in the feature the line follows. Not because of some rule, but rather because if you dont do it, the route will become much much harder, since you are ignoring you best holds.

If it gets harder, and the rock is lacking some features, it is sometimes something like "follow the sinters", or "stay in the black water streak", or "do not use the crack on the left!". In many guidebooks its in the description, if some "rule" like this applies.

My personal "rule" for sport climbing is the following: "if i can reach the bolts without having to change my intended path, i am on the route, except the guidebook says something specific"

You will get used to reading topos and other kinds of route descriptions after a while, and you will do your fair share of mistakes.

Reading topos is not rocket science, but it is a skill that has to be learned. So if you are starting out, be carefull with your claims what routes you have done. No one will laugh at you (at least not too much) if you mix up some routes, but you will get ridiculed if you are bragging about all your hard routes, and it turns out you always accidentally did the much easier stuff.

qwert

Given my limited knowledge of sport climbing rules, I would add only this: you’re a beginner - go out and climb. Start at the bottom and head for the top. If you're not having fun you're off route.


jacques


Jan 13, 2012, 7:41 AM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Hezekiel wrote:
I know already that this is a stupid question, but how do you read outdoors rock climbing topos?

My 2 cents. sport topo is more to see where is the route and you must follow it as much as yu can because and other route can be just side by side. Using easy hold from each route and you will free a 5.8 grade 5.11.

In trad, it can be alpine or in remote area, Youhave a ine on a photo or no line at all. When you arrive at the cliff, you have to use your binocular to find the major features and with that major features, you decide where the belays are going to be. So, if there is a diedral and a roof after in the right, you can decide to make your belay in the middle of the diedral so you will have one or two good pro before a run out to avoid the roof.

As route finding is hard, some climber decide to gave more information in the topo. The writer gave ordinarly an indication when the route is not evident and where is the belay. The worse for a trad climber is when you have all the information on the size, difficulty and, in some route like the nose, a video of the move on each pitches. Well, if you are a trad climber who like the chalenge of route finding, if your goal is to reach the summit in any way, it is not the same.


dagibbs


Jan 13, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Reading topos [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
I can't disagree about staying "on route" with squeeze jobs. It's more that squeeze jobs bug the hell out of me. They are popping up more and more at established area all in the name of getting someones name in the guide books.

I wonder if it is someone wanting their name in a guide book, or someone wanting another climb to "tick off" on their ticklist. Or, maybe, a bit of both.

I far prefer a climb listed with "many variations are possible" as part of the description.


socalclimber


Jan 13, 2012, 7:21 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Reading topos [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I can't disagree about staying "on route" with squeeze jobs. It's more that squeeze jobs bug the hell out of me. They are popping up more and more at established area all in the name of getting someones name in the guide books.

I wonder if it is someone wanting their name in a guide book, or someone wanting another climb to "tick off" on their ticklist. Or, maybe, a bit of both.

I far prefer a climb listed with "many variations are possible" as part of the description.

Well, routes are what they are. Sometimes you get variations, sometime you don't.


jt512


Jan 13, 2012, 7:49 PM
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Hezekiel wrote:
I know already that this is a stupid question, but how do you read outdoors rock climbing topos? If there is a red line drawn on a picture of a rock does that basically mean that your torso should follow the line?

You're required to be within 2 torso-widths of the bolt line. It's terribly unfair to people with narrow torsos, but those are the rules.

Jay


Urban_Cowboy


Jan 13, 2012, 8:25 PM
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Re: [jt512] Reading topos [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Hezekiel wrote:
I know already that this is a stupid question, but how do you read outdoors rock climbing topos? If there is a red line drawn on a picture of a rock does that basically mean that your torso should follow the line?

You're required to be within 2 torso-widths of the bolt line. It's terribly unfair to people with narrow torsos, but those are the rules.

Jay
Lucky for me I have albatross wingspan to go with my narrow torso. Probly more of an advantage than wide torso with t-rex arms. Sly


eric_k


Jan 13, 2012, 11:52 PM
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Re: [Urban_Cowboy] Reading topos [In reply to]
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One of the crags I go to actually has lines painted down the clif face to keep you on route. It is the most awful thing I have ever seen. Like others have said if I can reach the bolts and holds A B or C then I am on route. If "rules" need to be in place then routes are too close.

Eric K


Urban_Cowboy


Jan 14, 2012, 12:05 AM
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eric_k wrote:
One of the crags I go to actually has lines painted down the clif face to keep you on route. It is the most awful thing I have ever seen. Like others have said if I can reach the bolts and holds A B or C then I am on route. If "rules" need to be in place then routes are too close.

Eric K
That's retarded... They probly tried marking the holds with tape like the gym and it wasn't working so they went a step further.




bill413


Jan 14, 2012, 6:36 AM
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Re: [Urban_Cowboy] Reading topos [In reply to]
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Urban_Cowboy wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Hezekiel wrote:
I know already that this is a stupid question, but how do you read outdoors rock climbing topos? If there is a red line drawn on a picture of a rock does that basically mean that your torso should follow the line?

You're required to be within 2 torso-widths of the bolt line. It's terribly unfair to people with narrow torsos, but those are the rules.

Jay
Lucky for me I have albatross wingspan to go with my narrow torso. Probly more of an advantage than wide torso with t-rex arms. Sly

Dang, and I thought packing on weight would give me _more_ options.


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