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HISTmaj


Feb 6, 2012, 6:06 AM
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Too early to start leading?
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Hello everyone,

Thought id post for the first time here to get some solid advice. Ive been climbing probably for a good, 6 months, not always consistently though, as my locations wouldnt allow (indoor or out) Now I am consistently climbing 3-4 days a week at an indoor gym close to home. I can top rope all beginner routes and so far, havent had any trouble with the intermediates (5.9-5.10) other than the occasional take. (ok sometimes I rest more than i should on a route) Anyway, I want to start lead climbing, As I want to get to the point where I can go climb with a couple of buddies with a little less experience than I at this point, So I would have to Lead outside...I figure by atleast the end of this coming summer I should be G2G.. but I dont want to rush it and go unprepared,

So really im asking should I be able to top rope any higher than an average 5.9-5.10 (indoor) ((Send on TR)) before I start to Lead?

Any advice is Welcomed! Cool

E.


ryanc490


Feb 6, 2012, 6:17 AM
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Re: [HISTmaj] Too early to start leading? [In reply to]
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Hey E,

I wouldn't say that you're too green to start leading. Are you wanting to focus on trad, sport, indoor? Or just whatever you can get your hands on? I started leading a few months after I learned how to climb. Was living out in the southwest at the time, so the majority of our climbing was cracks. Had done a couple of "mock leads" where you set up a TR but then place gear while you climb. Helps kind of work out a few bugs, and gets you more comfortable with setting gear as you go. The key for me in the whole learning process was to have a good partner. By the end of that year, I was turning into a little rope gun. And falling. As scary as it may seem, especially on natural gear, is a HUGE benefit in gaining that confidence level.
Anyways, to answer your question again, no don't think you too new to start leading. Just take it easy, 5's & 6's. See how that goes, and take it from there.

Stay Safe,

Ryan


Idako


Feb 6, 2012, 6:24 AM
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You may want to consider hiring a guide for a day if you don't have someone to mentor you for gear placement, assuming that's what you are referring to (as opposed to sport).

They will run you through the mock leads Ryan suggested above.

Be prepared to start spending some money on gear too.

Best of luck :)


blueeyedclimber


Feb 6, 2012, 6:27 AM
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HISTmaj wrote:
Hello everyone,

Thought id post for the first time here to get some solid advice. Ive been climbing probably for a good, 6 months, not always consistently though, as my locations wouldnt allow (indoor or out) Now I am consistently climbing 3-4 days a week at an indoor gym close to home. I can top rope all beginner routes and so far, havent had any trouble with the intermediates (5.9-5.10) other than the occasional take. (ok sometimes I rest more than i should on a route) Anyway, I want to start lead climbing, As I want to get to the point where I can go climb with a couple of buddies with a little less experience than I at this point, So I would have to Lead outside...I figure by atleast the end of this coming summer I should be G2G.. but I dont want to rush it and go unprepared,

So really im asking should I be able to top rope any higher than an average 5.9-5.10 (indoor) ((Send on TR)) before I start to Lead?

Any advice is Welcomed! Cool

E.

The short answer: no.

The long answer: It depends. When I used to teach lead classes, I used to tell them that a good time to take up leading was after about a year of solid climbing. By then they should have improved their climbing to the point of being a little more efficient and they should have solid TR belaying skills. With that said, one of my best students ever had been climbing for only a few months and one of my worst had been climbing for 7 years.

It really depends on your ability to learn, your motivation, and your willingness to accept feedback.

Josh


CurlyFries


Feb 6, 2012, 6:37 AM
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Depends what kind of leading you want to do. If your talking about leading outdoors to bring up a second I would say no. You probably wont have the stamina to practice skills with ease. I have never done this so I really don't know.

If you want to lead climb indoors, sure. When it comes to leading indoors 5.10 should be good, just so you have the stamina to climb easier routes and practice clipping. You should also be a confident belayer because lead belaying is much harder than top rope belaying.

Ask your local gym if they think you are ready for the course they offer. That should give you an idea if you are ready or not.

Dave


lena_chita
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Feb 6, 2012, 7:04 AM
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HISTmaj wrote:
Hello everyone,

Thought id post for the first time here to get some solid advice. Ive been climbing probably for a good, 6 months, not always consistently though, as my locations wouldnt allow (indoor or out) Now I am consistently climbing 3-4 days a week at an indoor gym close to home. I can top rope all beginner routes and so far, havent had any trouble with the intermediates (5.9-5.10) other than the occasional take. (ok sometimes I rest more than i should on a route) Anyway, I want to start lead climbing, As I want to get to the point where I can go climb with a couple of buddies with a little less experience than I at this point, So I would have to Lead outside...I figure by atleast the end of this coming summer I should be G2G.. but I dont want to rush it and go unprepared,

So really im asking should I be able to top rope any higher than an average 5.9-5.10 (indoor) ((Send on TR)) before I start to Lead?

Any advice is Welcomed! Cool

E.


It is not too early for you to start leading. But it is WAY too early for you to be taking out people who are less experienced than you and being the leader of that group.

You should be going with people who can teach you. And also realize that whatever grade you are climbing on toprope in the gym, you will have to take a major step down from that "grade" when you first start leading outside.

So the answer to your question partly depends on the availability of routes in that range near you. If all you can do is TR 5.9 cleanly, then you probably won't be leading anything harder than 5.7-5.8 sport, and sport routes in that grade are few and far between. If you are planning on gear leads, you probably should start lower than that, so the climbing is super-easy for you, and you can fully focus on gear placements. Oh, and also, IMO, it is beneficial to have a lot of mileage following someone experienced on gear climbs, and cleaning gear. Again, way different than just TR.


sp115


Feb 6, 2012, 7:35 AM
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I would echo pretty much what's been said and especially what Lena_chita said about not taking others out, but I also have a couple of questions:

- Where are you getting your information for the technical skills you need?
- Do you have a mentor available to look out for you?
- What would you consider your ideal trad lead as you're starting out?
- *













* what is your favorite color


(This post was edited by sp115 on Feb 6, 2012, 7:38 AM)


markc


Feb 6, 2012, 7:38 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
It is not too early for you to start leading. But it is WAY too early for you to be taking out people who are less experienced than you and being the leader of that group.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. Whether you're ready to start leading or not is a really personal decision. I was introduced to climbing mid-summer one year. By that winter, I was starting to lead in the gym. By late spring, I was leading outdoors. As long as you've received proper instruction (formal or informal) and you're aware of the risks involved, I don't think you have to wait some arbitrary amount of time or until you're climbing at a certain level. As Lena said, finding accessible routes outside of the gym may be hard, and the consequences of falling on easy routes can be worse than falling on steeper, harder climbs.

Taking out a group of new friends is a whole other thing. I understand the desire to share something that you've found that you're so passionate about. If you're brand new to leading, rigging anchors, etc, you don't have the experience necessary to safely look after and teach others. I've bumped into parties where it's clearly the blind leading the blind. Unfortunately, they're usually resistant to any sort of input. Definitely connect with a more experienced group for both your benefit and that of your friends.


HISTmaj


Feb 6, 2012, 7:49 AM
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OK thanks for all the input guys,

I'll try to answer everything,

It would ONLY be indoor Sport Leading, and eventually outdoor Sport, I dont see myself ever doing trad...not confident enough....well, not yet atleast. Wink

Also I feel pretty comfortable Lead belaying, Ive been outdoor climbing 5 times, all weekend lengths usually at the Red, some at the New. Always have went with experienced others and they had entrusted me to Lead belay, def. was nerve racking the first time! But it wasnt something I hadnt practiced before-hand.

Im in no rush to go climbing outdoors with others less experienced, so I will just take it day by day...Its def. my goal to eventually go, but I wont be negligent and do so prematurely.

I think I will take the Lead class in a couple of weeks (at the climbing gym here in Dayton), I want to feel confident enough before hand so I think im going to continue to top rope, and pay extreme attention to my stamina and hand placement at this point, try not to make any unnecassary moves.

Any other advice is extremely welcomed!

E.


(This post was edited by HISTmaj on Feb 6, 2012, 7:51 AM)


sp115


Feb 6, 2012, 7:57 AM
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HISTmaj wrote:
OK thanks for all the input guys,

I'll try to answer everything,

It would ONLY be indoor Sport Leading, and eventually outdoor Sport, I dont see myself ever doing trad...not confident enough....well, not yet atleast. Wink

Also I feel pretty comfortable Lead belaying, Ive been outdoor climbing 5 times, all weekend lengths usually at the Red, some at the New. Always have went with experienced others and they had entrusted me to Lead belay, def. was nerve racking the first time! But it wasnt something I hadnt practiced before-hand.

Im in no rush to go climbing outdoors with others less experienced, so I will just take it day by day...Its def. my goal to eventually go, but I wont be negligent and do so prematurely.

I think I will take the Lead class in a couple of weeks (at the climbing gym here in Dayton), I want to feel confident enough before hand so I think im going to continue to top rope, and pay extreme attention to my stamina and hand placement at this point, try not to make any unnecassary moves.

Any other advice is extremely welcomed!

E.

Ah, much different. Have at it, start easy and build confidence.


jolery


Feb 6, 2012, 8:59 AM
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Doesn't depend on shit - Lead on - the sooner you get on lead, the better - just find some sort of instruction be it a mentor, guide, lessons, or a good book.


mikebarter387


Feb 6, 2012, 10:08 AM
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This might help

First time climbing outside

http://youtu.be/oaRXFfGMXG4
http://youtu.be/oaRXFfGMXG4


(This post was edited by mikebarter387 on Feb 7, 2012, 5:48 AM)


marc801


Feb 6, 2012, 11:53 AM
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HISTmaj wrote:
Also I feel pretty comfortable Lead belaying, Ive been outdoor climbing 5 times, all weekend lengths usually at the Red, some at the New. Always have went with experienced others and they had entrusted me to Lead belay, def. was nerve racking the first time! But it wasnt something I hadnt practiced before-hand.
It's kinda obvious but I don't think it's been mentioned yet: it doesn't matter how comfortable and confident you are belaying a leader - it's how comfortable and confident, to say nothing of competent, the person belaying you is when you lead a route.


potreroed


Feb 6, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Just do it. Take that lead class and start leading but make sure you have a good belayer.


njrox


Feb 6, 2012, 12:20 PM
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I'm looking to do my first lead climb (outside) in the coming weeks too. Here is what I can offer

#1, I'm going with a guide
#2, I'm climbing routes well below my ability
#3, I'm climbing the routes on Top-Rope first and cleaning the route of gear so I know where the placements are

I've also been placing gear for quite a while and have enough peices in my rack (knowing what is needed for the route itself and its belay stations).

Just make sure your buddies know what they are doing when it comes to belaying a leader. It's critical to have an attentive belayer.


ablanchard17


Feb 6, 2012, 10:52 PM
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As long as your doing it right theres no problem.


jt512


Feb 6, 2012, 11:30 PM
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ablanchard17 wrote:
As long as your doing it right theres no problem.

*plonk*


Kartessa


Feb 7, 2012, 5:13 AM
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Ive seen lots of people who skipped the indoor/toprope step entirely and went straight to the sharp end. The thing that set them apart from most new climbers was that they were attentive, confident and competent. They didn't pretend to know anything, they listened to the person who was teaching them.

So no, there's no "time" to start leading, but you do need to reach a certain stage of understanding and humbleness. Being a know-it-all dick who doesn't listen or respect experience will only get you to start thinking of new and "better" ways to get yourself hurt.


rocknice2


Feb 7, 2012, 4:23 PM
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If you need to ask your ready.
Just do it smartly by learning from a guide or a good mentor.
Start small like 5.5 / 5.6 or less if needed.
Lead On


guangzhou


Feb 7, 2012, 6:01 PM
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Sounds like good advice above. I learned to climb on lead more or less. Prior to my first lead, I had top-roped twice. MY first lead was a mock lead. My partner checked all the placements and immediately had me re-lead the route without a top-rope.

This was before climbing gym and when sport climbing was nowhere near where I lived. Nuts and hexes is what I learned on. To this day, I am more conformable on lead than on top-rope.


shockabuku


Feb 7, 2012, 6:31 PM
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No.


Geekstar


Feb 12, 2012, 7:54 AM
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I think starting to lead climb is really a decision that should be made by you and your climbing mentors (whether they're friends or paid). Lead climbing is not as much about being able to climb numbers (well, you do have to be able to climb what's available in your area) as much as it's about technique. Clipping, communication, trust, knowing how to set up anchors, having enough knowledge to analyze and fix unexpected issues.

I started lead climbing fairly soon into my (very short) climbing career.

I think once you realize that you're going to take climbing seriously and you're seriously invested in learning, that's when you want to lead. It's a necessary skill to being a serious climber, so I say go for it.Especially in a gym with a class!
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camhead


Feb 12, 2012, 8:54 AM
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You guys are missing the big point here. As the OP's username, "HISTmaj" indicates, he is a history major, and, even if he were to possess the quantitative ability to properly assess risk from a non-humanities perspective, he almost certainly will always lack the financial resources to take a belay test or afford a grigri2.


lena_chita
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Feb 12, 2012, 9:08 AM
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camhead wrote:
You guys are missing the big point here. As the OP's username, "HISTmaj" indicates, he is a history major, and, even if he were to possess the quantitative ability to properly assess risk from a non-humanities perspective, he almost certainly will always lack the financial resources to take a belay test or afford a grigri2.


You never know, she might be a HISTOLOGY major.


sp115


Feb 12, 2012, 11:14 AM
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camhead wrote:
You guys are missing the big point here. As the OP's username, "HISTmaj" indicates, he is a history major, and, even if he were to possess the quantitative ability to properly assess risk from a non-humanities perspective, he almost certainly will always lack the financial resources to take a belay test or afford a grigri2.


Heh, heh, excellent heckle.

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