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rachelj


Apr 15, 2012, 3:31 PM
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beginner debating whether to buy gear
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Hi!

I started climbing about a year ago, and I have gone about twice a week. I am at about 6a (not sure what you call this level in the US) and just started lead climbing.

We have some great places near my house to climb outside, and I am trying to figure out if it is wise and safe to invest and try to climb myself. I already own one harness and shoes, but a rope, harness and carabiners, etc. still feel like a big investment.

Is it stupid to start trying to figure some of this stuff out myself?

Thanks so much!!!

Smile


shockabuku


Apr 15, 2012, 3:34 PM
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rachelj wrote:
Hi!

I started climbing about a year ago, and I have gone about twice a week. I am at about 6a (not sure what you call this level in the US) and just started lead climbing.

We have some great places near my house to climb outside, and I am trying to figure out if it is wise and safe to invest and try to climb myself. I already own one harness and shoes, but a rope, harness and carabiners, etc. still feel like a big investment.

Is it stupid to start trying to figure some of this stuff out myself?

Thanks so much!!!

Smile

What do you mean by figure it out yourself?

Do you know anyone who has gear? Do you have anyone to climb with outside?


rachelj


Apr 15, 2012, 4:15 PM
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I am wondering whether its stupid to just buy the gear and get started. I have people to climb with, but they know less than me....


shockabuku


Apr 15, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Well, be careful. But I'd say go for it.

Many others here will say you shouldn't proceed without expert tutelage. It's a good idea, but if you don't have it, you don't have it.

Just remember, one bad day can be your last day.


lofstromc


Apr 15, 2012, 5:39 PM
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Are you talking about buying cams, stoppers and such, or just quickdraws for sport climbing (on bolts).?


bluefoxicy


Apr 15, 2012, 5:48 PM
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Folks you're not decoding the context properly.

She's been going twice a week. She's been climbing. She can lead climb a little.

She wants to "try to climb myself." She's already climbing herself, so I assume she means trying to climb by herself--soloing.

She wants a rope, harness, carabiners, etc, which indicates belay.

She's talking about self-belaying, solo, possibly solo lead self-belay.

Discuss.


lofstromc


Apr 15, 2012, 6:34 PM
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I dont think so. I think she is asking about sport climbing.
What do you think?


shockabuku


Apr 15, 2012, 6:38 PM
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Oh, are you talking about solo climbing (no partner)?

I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner.


lofstromc


Apr 15, 2012, 6:51 PM
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Yes, I agree.
However I think shes talking about sport climbing.


CurlyFries


Apr 15, 2012, 7:53 PM
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If you just want to get into top roping outside, go for it.

Be careful though. You don't want to kill yourself or a friend. If possible get somebody to show you the basics. I didn't have that luxury so I read two books and practised setting up a lot of anchors before climbing on anything I was making. I had a strong background in white water rescue and rescue anchor rigging. This meant that I already knew all the knots I needed and was familiar working with static cord and webbing. At first my anchors were insanely overkill, but now I have them down.

Ontario also makes for some pretty easy anchor building. Everything near me is bolted or has solid trees all around.

You can get everything you need for top roping outdoors for around 200$. That isn't a huge investment.

Don't lead climb outside until you climb with somebody more experienced or take a course. You need to know how to clean a route and all that fun stuff first. You don't really want to be figuring that out on the spot. I was lucky enough to have someone on this forum offer to go climbing with me for a couple hours and show me some stuff.

Hope this helps. I don't mean to scare you off. This stuff is easy to learn on your own, but you need to have a good head about it.

Dave


(This post was edited by CurlyFries on Apr 15, 2012, 7:55 PM)


potreroed


Apr 15, 2012, 10:08 PM
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If you've been gym climbing for a year you're prolly hooked so yes, time to buy some gear and get climbing outdoors. If you're not a jerk and you're honest about the extent of your experience, you shouldn't have any trouble meeting people to climb with at the crags.


rachelj


Apr 16, 2012, 6:55 AM
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Hi guys!

Thanks so much for all the advice!!!
Basically, I know a bit about climbing, and my friend ad I went outside and sort of figured things out, but her brother always did the lead climbing first and set things up and then we just top roped off of his lead climb.
So I want to climb outside and I am trying to figure out if it is stupid to try to do the same thing myself -- as in set up the climbs by myself and then drag along my younger brother to do climb top rope.
I am having a pretty hard time finding people....

How useful are the classes about setting up climbs? Worth the money or can I figure this stuff out by myself?

Thanks!


bill413


Apr 16, 2012, 7:55 AM
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I think classes are useful in a couple of ways. One is the direct learning of things (for example, here is how you set up this particular anchor). More importantly is learning a framework, a way of looking at the things you are setting up or doing so that you can adapt to whatever situation in which you find yourself. Of course, not all teachers successfully impart this.

If there is a class available, I'd say take advantage of it. It's not a necessity to learning to climb, anchor, and lead, but it should increase your knowledge.

[Disclaimer: I help instruct & run several climbing courses.]


jt512


Apr 16, 2012, 10:23 AM
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rachelj wrote:
Hi guys!

Thanks so much for all the advice!!!
Basically, I know a bit about climbing, and my friend ad I went outside and sort of figured things out, but her brother always did the lead climbing first and set things up and then we just top roped off of his lead climb.
So I want to climb outside and I am trying to figure out if it is stupid to try to do the same thing myself -- as in set up the climbs by myself and then drag along my younger brother to do climb top rope.
I am having a pretty hard time finding people....

How useful are the classes about setting up climbs? Worth the money or can I figure this stuff out by myself?

Thanks!

If you have never led outdoors before, you've been asking the wrong question. It's not whether you should buy gear, but whether your first outdoor leads should be done on your own—i.e., without the benefit of a knowledgeable, experienced partner. The answer is that you should, if at all possible, find someone with sufficient experience to go out with you your first few times. If you can't find anyone who fits that descriptions, then before going out for your first lead, at least study the book Climbing: From Gym to Crag by Peter Lewis (currently available used from Amazon for $1.28), which is specifically written about the transition you are contemplating.

There are mistakes you can make leading outdoors, even on sport routes, that can kill or badly injure you. It's important, therefore, to be armed with all the knowledge you can get before your initial forays into outdoor leading, especially in the absence of a mentor, who could correct these errors in real time.

Jay


bluefoxicy


Apr 16, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Yes, definitely, take the classes. They're usually cheap--with EarthTreks here (Baltimore/Rockville area) they're like $50 for non-member, $18 for member for lead climbing--and they'll get you instructor-lead stuff in a controlled environment.


JAB


Apr 17, 2012, 2:37 AM
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rachelj wrote:
Hi guys!

Thanks so much for all the advice!!!
Basically, I know a bit about climbing, and my friend ad I went outside and sort of figured things out, but her brother always did the lead climbing first and set things up and then we just top roped off of his lead climb.
So I want to climb outside and I am trying to figure out if it is stupid to try to do the same thing myself -- as in set up the climbs by myself and then drag along my younger brother to do climb top rope.
I am having a pretty hard time finding people....

How useful are the classes about setting up climbs? Worth the money or can I figure this stuff out by myself?

Thanks!

It's not totally clear what you mean. I assume you do NOT intend to lead climb at all, but rather walk around to the top, set up a top rope, and climb on that with your brother belaying. That is easy enough to learn by reading some books and for example study the numerous (is this toprope anchor setup good?) questions on this forum.

Main things to consider:
* Don't fall off from the top while setting up the anchor
* Make a redundant anchor
* Anchor nor rope should not rub too much on the rock
* Only climb straight up routes. Overhanging or sideways traversing routes can cause bad swings if you fall.

If you intend to lead, I strongly suggest you do it with someone with previous experience or after taking a course.


ceebo


Apr 17, 2012, 4:43 AM
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Is this only for bolted routes?. It's not a big deal to go from indoor sport to outdoor sport. Only real diff is if you can't reach the top anchor you will have to sacrific aquick draw as a basic escape.

If it happens to be trad (high probability in this behind times country) then you realy need help. Find somebody with SPA training (or as compitent) who is kind enough to run you through a few crags. Don't go it alone if its trad climbing.

Just remember, if anybody falls and dies/serious injury as a direct result of the system you setup.. it's entirely your fault. You can't live with that.. if any doubt don't do it.


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