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Matthew0718


Aug 20, 2012, 5:04 PM
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Issue with lead climbing
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Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt


tradmanclimbs


Aug 20, 2012, 5:14 PM
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Re: [Matthew0718] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Yer Gonna DieCrazy


amyas


Aug 20, 2012, 5:36 PM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Yer Gonna DieCrazy

No point saying it, probably dead already.


gblauer
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Aug 20, 2012, 5:44 PM
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Re: [Matthew0718] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Many, many, many climbers NEVER step foot in a gym.

Get a mentor and head outdoors.


TheNags


Aug 20, 2012, 7:24 PM
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I failed my first lead test in the gym, and I didn't retake it for a month or so until I had gotten a better sense of what I was doing wrong. I was lucky to have some mentors who helped me push myself and learn to climb confidently and safely while on lead. I went back took the lead test again and I had no problems. Go outside with a mentor and practice and enjoy the climb, pretty soon you'll forget why you wanted to lead in the gym anywho ;)


jeepnphreak


Aug 20, 2012, 7:29 PM
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Re: [Matthew0718] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Many of you kids forget that not too long ago there where no climbing gyms, nor climbing guides. People found other, more experienced climbers that where willing to take them out on the rocks and share a few secerets. Bring beer and carry the rope.
now sack up and find someone that will be willing to take you out side.
Gym certified does not meen crap.


USnavy


Aug 20, 2012, 9:49 PM
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Re: [] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Strict belay tests have their purpose. Although they can annoy the more experienced, they help filter out the dangerous. Gyms are renowned for being packed full of people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing. I dont think a day goes by where I climb in a gym and dont notice some kid with his hands off the belay device and a loop of slack on the floor, all while his partner is going for the crux move. The staff members try to filter out this sort of crap by upping their belay test difficulty.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Aug 20, 2012, 9:59 PM)


healyje


Aug 20, 2012, 10:31 PM
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USnavy wrote:
Gyms are renowned for being packed full of people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

Lordy! How could such a thing have ever come to pass?


Kartessa


Aug 21, 2012, 5:47 AM
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Re: [Matthew0718] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt

I'm not sure its just about difficulty... A gym lead climbing test isn't to see if you can climb 5.xx so I wonder if maybe you failed because you got your foot behind the rope, clipped from too low while too low, skipped a clip, backclipped or something else that may be considered dangerous.

Would be kinda bullshit to fail people who are competent just because they're weak.


csproul


Aug 21, 2012, 6:04 AM
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Re: [Kartessa] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt

I'm not sure its just about difficulty... A gym lead climbing test isn't to see if you can climb 5.xx so I wonder if maybe you failed because you got your foot behind the rope, clipped from too low while too low, skipped a clip, backclipped or something else that may be considered dangerous.

Would be kinda bullshit to fail people who are competent just because they're weak.

I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.


wonderwoman


Aug 21, 2012, 6:58 AM
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I learned how to climb outside and set up a top rope long before I ever stepped foot in a gym. I also learned how to sport climb outdoors on really easy stuff with the patient help and mentorship of more experienced climbers.

I echo what others have said. Find some folks who can safely show you the ropes. Bribe them with food and beer. Be especially attentive to their belay instructions, because that's where things could go really wrong. Also, learn how to clean an anchor on the ground before you actually have to clean an anchor.

Then, head on over to the gym and get on that harder route. Smile


Kartessa


Aug 21, 2012, 7:11 AM
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csproul wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt

I'm not sure its just about difficulty... A gym lead climbing test isn't to see if you can climb 5.xx so I wonder if maybe you failed because you got your foot behind the rope, clipped from too low while too low, skipped a clip, backclipped or something else that may be considered dangerous.

Would be kinda bullshit to fail people who are competent just because they're weak.

I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.

Unless the easiest lead route they have is a 5.9 or 5.10a, its bullshit.


edge


Aug 21, 2012, 7:33 AM
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In my experience, gyms are only concerned about testing you to lead climb in their gym. Most have only overhanging walls set up for lead climbing, as it's no fun to huck off a gym slab and you are more likely to get banged up. Gyms don't want that, and as a result the routes tend to be in the 5.9 and up range.

If you are not ready to confidently lead their minimum standard grade to pass their test, it means nothing about your qualifications to lead easier routes outdoors. Find a guide service or mentor to show you the proverbial ropes, then log mileage on routes in your comfort zone. Eventually you will get stronger and more confident, your climbing grades will go up, and once you have paid these dues you can return to take the test in the gym if it still means anything to you at that point.

Leading in the gym sucks anyway.


njrox


Aug 21, 2012, 7:46 AM
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csproul wrote:
I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.

Both gyms where I climb have the 5.10 policy. I personally think it sucks.

Before my son was born I was climbing once a week. At the gym, I could do one or two 5.10 climbs with several hanging rests. So, I was getting close but would not have pased the test.

Fast foward, I'm climbing maybe once a month, and now I'm hanging on 5.8 climbs. But, I have over three years of climbing experience, most of it outdoors and it includes trad leading (on very easy routes). Needless to say, I don't see why the gyms can't throw some bolts on the easier climbs. A lead is a lead, regardless of grade. It should be based on the climber knowing what they're doing, not how hard they pull.


Kartessa


Aug 21, 2012, 7:55 AM
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njrox wrote:
[ It should be based on the climber knowing what they're doing, not how hard they pull.

Exactly


wivanoff


Aug 21, 2012, 8:01 AM
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Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb.....

Hopefully, you've followed a bunch of lead climbs and have learned about setting pro, route finding, building anchors, etc. If not, following a bunch of lead climbs should be your next step, IMO. Removing pro and thinking about why/how it was put there would be invaluable. As others have said: find a mentor. Carry her rope, bring beer, etc.

Matthew0718 wrote:
...but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

No, it only means you're not approved to do something (climb, belay, lead) in that gym. Gym "certified" is bullcrap. I know a guy who passed the belay test at a gym and claimed he was "certified" by <insert name of gym>. He now wants to teach rappelling to his son's boy scout troop. He has NO climbing or anchor building experience at all. But, he's "certified"....

Find a mentor, climb outside, start leading easy routes under her guidance, have fun, be safe.


csproul


Aug 21, 2012, 9:40 AM
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njrox wrote:
csproul wrote:
I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.

Both gyms where I climb have the 5.10 policy. I personally think it sucks.

Before my son was born I was climbing once a week. At the gym, I could do one or two 5.10 climbs with several hanging rests. So, I was getting close but would not have pased the test.

Fast foward, I'm climbing maybe once a month, and now I'm hanging on 5.8 climbs. But, I have over three years of climbing experience, most of it outdoors and it includes trad leading (on very easy routes). Needless to say, I don't see why the gyms can't throw some bolts on the easier climbs. A lead is a lead, regardless of grade. It should be based on the climber knowing what they're doing, not how hard they pull.
The only reason I can think of that makes sense is because easier climbs are typically lower angle, and thus have more things to hit if you fall, especially gym holds that stick out of the wall. Harder climbs are usually steeper and there is less of a risk of catching an ankle on a hold. If you can make easier climbs on steeper walls then there is no reason to not have easier lead climbs.


herites


Aug 21, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Go outside. Otherwise, does the gym have easier lead routes than the lead test one? If not, then why are you so eager to get certified when you can't climb the routes?


bearbreeder


Aug 21, 2012, 11:23 AM
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as some have said ... in some gyms anything below a 5.9/10 is getting to slabby falls, possibly on big gym holds ... which can mean a tweaked ankle or worse on a lead fall ...

it makes sense that some gyms would want you to be able to lead up at least the easiest lead routes before certifying you for leading at their gym ... they likely dont want you hangdogging on the easier lead climbs which denies them for other newer climbers as well

you can of course learn outside, just try not to lead fall on moderate routes as the falls often aint the best ...


jt512


Aug 21, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] Issue with lead climbing [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
csproul wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt

I'm not sure its just about difficulty... A gym lead climbing test isn't to see if you can climb 5.xx so I wonder if maybe you failed because you got your foot behind the rope, clipped from too low while too low, skipped a clip, backclipped or something else that may be considered dangerous.

Would be kinda bullshit to fail people who are competent just because they're weak.

I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.

Unless the easiest lead route they have is a 5.9 or 5.10a, its bullshit.

In the one gym where I've seen a mandatory difficulty requirement for lead climbing (5.10a), the easiest lead climbs were at that level.

Jay


lena_chita
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Aug 21, 2012, 12:16 PM
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jt512 wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
csproul wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Matthew0718 wrote:
Hey guys/gals I need to get your perspective on something. So Ive been climbing for about a year now and I took classes on lead climbing. I know how to lead climb but the issue is that the route that is in my gym for the test is so difficult. That I failed the climbing portion of the test. Does this mean I should not lead climb outdoors because I'm not gym certified?

Thanks
Matt

I'm not sure its just about difficulty... A gym lead climbing test isn't to see if you can climb 5.xx so I wonder if maybe you failed because you got your foot behind the rope, clipped from too low while too low, skipped a clip, backclipped or something else that may be considered dangerous.

Would be kinda bullshit to fail people who are competent just because they're weak.

I have definitely climbed at gyms where there was a mandatory difficulty for the lead routes (usually ~5.9 or 10a) and they would not lead certify you if you were not able to cleanly lead their "test" climb. It may not be the most common gym policy, but I have definitely seen it.

Unless the easiest lead route they have is a 5.9 or 5.10a, its bullshit.

In the one gym where I've seen a mandatory difficulty requirement for lead climbing (5.10a), the easiest lead climbs were at that level.

Jay

Same here. In every gym where I had been tested for lead climb/belay, they test you on the easiest climb on the lead wall. It you can't do that climb, then it is sort of pointless to get lead belay/climb certification in that gym.

And to the OP: lead belay certification in your gym is meaningless for anything other than being able to lead climb in that gym. Even other gyms won't accept that "certification" as proof of your ability to lead climb/belay. No certification is needed outdoors, but you better be absolutely clear to any prospective partners that you don't know what you are doing, because you have never done it before.


Kartessa


Aug 21, 2012, 12:30 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
but you better be absolutely clear to any prospective partners that you don't know what you are doing, because you have never done it before.


Ha ha ha!!! Nobody says that until after the climbing is done


acorneau


Aug 21, 2012, 1:26 PM
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In our gym we recommend that you're comfortable climbing our top-rope 5.9's before taking the lead test.

Our leads start at easy 5.8's and go up from there so even a semi-shaky 5.9 climber should be ok getting started leading.

And as others have said a gym "certification" is only good in that gym and doesn't mean squat in the outside world.


Matthew0718


Aug 21, 2012, 2:02 PM
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Actually no it wasnt any of that. I had to climb to 6th clip and not clip into it and instead take a fall on purpose. I guess to make sure I know how to fall safetly. Except the route is really difficult for me to climb because of its angle...so I fell before I reached the 6th clip. Fall before the 6th clip or rest while there is no slack in the rope you fail.


Matthew0718


Aug 21, 2012, 2:17 PM
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Thanks for all the comments everyone. They really helped!

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