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porkmanvi


Mar 1, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Gumby's summer goal
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Some background: I've been climbing off and on for a few years now. Mostly indoors, mostly toproping. At my best, I was sending 11a (TR) and V4s. I've recently started climbing again after a 1 year break (marriage + school taking up all my time).

I've finally convinced my wife to start climbing with me regularly (now that we have the $ for gear). We started climbing in the gym 2-3 times a week since the beginning of Jan. She just sent a 10a this week, and I'm back up to projecting 10c/d. We're gonna start working on leading this month and next, then once it warms up we'll be outside on the weekends.

Now to the goal. Our goal for the summer is the bottom 8 pitches of a 22 pitch sport route (Squawstruck, Rock Canyon in Ut). For the pitches we're gonna do, there's a 10c, 2 10b's and a few 8-9s. Total climbing is about 600 ft.

Do you think this is a reasonable goal? I'm sure we can improve enough to handle the harder pitches, but I haven't ever done any multi-pitch routes, so I don't know how endurance is going to factor in.

I have some buddies that are going to teach us what we need know about anchors, belaying, etc. to deal with the muti-pitch aspects, so we're not just gonna go up unprepared in that respect.

TL;DR -- Can a couple of 10a top-ropers to be able to handle an 8 pitch 10c route after 5-6 months of practicing?


lena_chita
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Mar 1, 2013, 11:28 AM
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porkmanvi wrote:
Some background: I've been climbing off and on for a few years now. Mostly indoors, mostly toproping. At my best, I was sending 11a (TR) and V4s. I've recently started climbing again after a 1 year break (marriage + school taking up all my time).

I've finally convinced my wife to start climbing with me regularly (now that we have the $ for gear). We started climbing in the gym 2-3 times a week since the beginning of Jan. She just sent a 10a this week, and I'm back up to projecting 10c/d. We're gonna start working on leading this month and next, then once it warms up we'll be outside on the weekends.

Now to the goal. Our goal for the summer is the bottom 8 pitches of a 22 pitch sport route (Squawstruck, Rock Canyon in Ut). For the pitches we're gonna do, there's a 10c, 2 10b's and a few 8-9s. Total climbing is about 600 ft.

Do you think this is a reasonable goal? I'm sure we can improve enough to handle the harder pitches, but I haven't ever done any multi-pitch routes, so I don't know how endurance is going to factor in.

I have some buddies that are going to teach us what we need know about anchors, belaying, etc. to deal with the muti-pitch aspects, so we're not just gonna go up unprepared in that respect.

TL;DR -- Can a couple of 10a top-ropers to be able to handle an 8 pitch 10c route after 5-6 months of practicing?


I am not familiar with the route, so I don't know how meandering it is, and whether there is a way to escape/rappel down off of every anchor at the end of each pitch, or whether, once you leave the ground, you are committing to going all the way up the 8 pitches before there is an easy way to get off. This is something to take into consideration.

Another thing to consider is that if you haven't done any leading yet, you might discover that your climbing ability takes a nosedive when you are on the sharp end. It varies somewhat from person to person, but often, a person who topropes 5.10s without too much trouble finds himself struggling to lead 5.9, until he gets used to being on lead.

I don't think it is an outrageously unreachable goal.

But, if you have those friends who are willing to teach you about anchors, belaying and multi-pitch, maybe a better idea would be to do the first few multi-pitch routes with these guys, maybe even do this route that you have in mind with these guys, before you and your wife commit to doing it alone.


Kartessa


Mar 1, 2013, 11:38 AM
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porkmanvi wrote:
Some background: I've been climbing off and on for a few years now. Mostly indoors, mostly toproping. At my best, I was sending 11a (TR) and V4s. I've recently started climbing again after a 1 year break (marriage + school taking up all my time).

I've finally convinced my wife to start climbing with me regularly (now that we have the $ for gear). We started climbing in the gym 2-3 times a week since the beginning of Jan. She just sent a 10a this week, and I'm back up to projecting 10c/d. We're gonna start working on leading this month and next, then once it warms up we'll be outside on the weekends.

Now to the goal. Our goal for the summer is the bottom 8 pitches of a 22 pitch sport route (Squawstruck, Rock Canyon in Ut). For the pitches we're gonna do, there's a 10c, 2 10b's and a few 8-9s. Total climbing is about 600 ft.

Do you think this is a reasonable goal? I'm sure we can improve enough to handle the harder pitches, but I haven't ever done any multi-pitch routes, so I don't know how endurance is going to factor in.

I have some buddies that are going to teach us what we need know about anchors, belaying, etc. to deal with the muti-pitch aspects, so we're not just gonna go up unprepared in that respect.

TL;DR -- Can a couple of 10a top-ropers to be able to handle an 8 pitch 10c route after 5-6 months of practicing?

Sounds a little ambitious... rock is not colour coded or taped for easy finding, bolts arent perfectly spaced apart, shit falls... I know a lot of 5.11 gym climbers who piss their pants on 5.10 rock climbs.

That said, try it, but be prepared to bail. Know how to bail, know when to bail, and don't let your ego push you too far.


bearbreeder


Mar 1, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Re: [porkmanvi] Gumby's summer goal [In reply to]
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youll want to spend almost every free day climbing outdoors and practicing those skills in the next few months ...
you have several challenges

1. leading - many people have the problem getting into the leading mentality, especially when its committing ... you need to be aware of the clips, watch your feet and the rope and your partner needs to be a SOLID lead belayer, which doesnt happen in a short time

2. reel rock - there are 2 issues, first you need to be absolutely confident of your movement on reel rock, many who climb on the gym have issues reading the rock and take time to adapt to the different techniques ... second leading on reel rock is much more involved than indoors where the falls are clean ... the bolting is farther apart, the falls are ledgier on moderate ground, there is more traversing and thus more chance of getting your foot caught, and you DO NOT FALL on moderate sport

3. basic skills - you MUST be absolutely and utterly proficient at stuff like basic anchor building, knots, rapping, etc ... outdoors ... last year i took someone whos climbed outdoors on an easy multi ... on the 4th pitch when it he was cold, tired and hungry he was so out of it that he couldnt even tie a clove hitch, and this was a person who send an 11- trad earlier in the day ... you can do the basics in the gym, but can you do them when yr 8 pitches up, the wind is howling, its starting to rain, in the dark, when yr cold tired and hungry and yr partner is panicking ... practice in the real world is the only answer ... over and over again

4. multipitch skills - setting up belays, rope management, basic rescue skills, etc ... you ONLY get proficient and fast with these by going out and practicing over and over again ... to a large degree on a long multi, speed IS safety ... the faster you are (keeping safety in mind) the less likely you are to get caught ... most beginners waste time on belays, especially rope management ... you have to practice, practice, practice ... on single pitch climbs practice belaying from the top every time, go on short 2-3 pitch multies with good retreat options ... practice the munter and biner brake in case you drop stuff, practice tying yr partner off, etc ... have these skills DIALED so that again when yr cold, tired, hungry and in the dark you dont panic

5. objective hazards - the weather on a longer multi can often change at the drop of a hat, rockfall can be a serious issue, make sure you know the rappel route and what to do if your rope get stuck or gets damaged by a rock, nightfall ... make sure you know what to do and what to bring

6. endurance - easy to deal with ... every day you go out DO NOT go home until youve done 10+ pitches each ... in the gym do not go home till youve done 20+ (shorter pitches) ... climb as much as you can

im not saying you cant do it ... but you better have all the skills dialed before you jump on a 8+ pitch multi

i see epics out here all the time, and squamish is a place where theres usually cell phone reception and multiple parties who can help you

the bottom line .... go out and practice over and over again these skills and your climbing ... thats what will keep you "safe" and allow you to send

practice your knots and rope skills in front of the TV when you cant get outside ....

thats what will matter ... not all the fun things on RC Tongue


marc801


Mar 1, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Gumby's summer goal [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
2. reel rock - there are 2 issues, first you need to be absolutely confident of your movement on reel rock, many who climb on the gym have issues reading the rock and take time to adapt to the different techniques ... second leading on reel rock...
I think you've been watching too many rock climbing films. The OP needs to spend time on REAL rock, not reel rock (which only appears on-screen).
Wink


bearbreeder


Mar 1, 2013, 12:26 PM
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marc801 wrote:
I think you've been watching too many rock climbing films. The OP needs to spend time on REAL rock, not reel rock (which only appears on-screen).
Wink

mai ingrish iz bely bely guuud ... ai uze dat turm un purpuzzz Wink

i do however have 300+ gigs of climbing porn for rainy days Tongue


porkmanvi


Mar 2, 2013, 8:04 AM
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Thanks for the info everyone! I appreciate your input. I know it's a bit ambitious, but I'd rather be ambitious and fall short than be complacent and fall short ;) The tips on rope-work and bailing are things that I haven't really thought about, so I'll be sure to focus on dialing in skills at home before I trust them to save my life.

I'll let you all know how it turns out in a few months :)


bearbreeder


Mar 2, 2013, 2:51 PM
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heres something i came across that i thought particularly relevant

Training: A safe cave diver never exceeds the boundaries of his/her training. Cave diving is normally taught in segments, each successive segment focusing on more complex aspects of cave diving. Furthermore, each segment of training must be coupled with real world experience before moving to a more advanced level. Accident analysis of recent cave diving fatalities has proven that academic training without sufficient real world experience is not enough in the event of an underwater emergency. Only by slowly building experience can one remain calm enough to recall their training should a problem arise, whereas an inexperienced diver (who may be recently trained) will tend to panic when confronted with a similar situation


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_diving

go out and use your skills over and over again, every day you can

practice, practice, practice ....

its that simple Wink


theextremist04


Mar 2, 2013, 3:27 PM
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Re: [porkmanvi] Gumby's summer goal [In reply to]
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Squawstruck is an ambitious choice, but if you're only doing the bottom 8 pitches, it should be doable. Just be extra super careful with how loose the route is; helmets are a must.

Here's the MP page on it:
http://mountainproject.com/v/squawstruck/106897735

EDIT: Cosmic Space Dust Lazers might be a great way to work up to what you want to do. The first three pitches are a blast and fairly reasonable difficulty wise.


(This post was edited by theextremist04 on Mar 2, 2013, 9:24 PM)


Partner rgold


Mar 2, 2013, 5:36 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Gumby's summer goal [In reply to]
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Copy Bearbreeder's post, print it out, put little check boxes in front of each paragraph, and make sure you've got every one of them checked off before you head up that route. There is a hell of a lot more to multipitch climbing, even if bolted, than to top-roping and leading routes in the gym.

Remember that all those checkboxes apply to your wife as well as to you. If anything goes wrong with you, it will be up to her to save both your asses, and from what you've said she's even less experienced than you are. At the very least she has to be absolutely competent at getting down multiple rappels by herself, in case she has to do that.

For all I know her enthusiasm and energy exceeds yours, but it is worth mentioning that you can destroy someone's interest in the sport forever by subjecting them to an epic that is beyond their abilities.

Honestly, I think the project you described would be a very long shot for most couples in the situation you've described. You are talking about going out and climbing outdoors at or near your limit for 8 pitches, with some unroped scrambling tossed in for good measure. I'd say eight pitches of low to medium fifth class would have been an ambitious but more reasonable goal, but I guess there isn't anything like that bolted in the U.S. (Check out Plaisir Climbing in Switzerland.) Edit: see my post five down.

In any case, there are always exceptions, and you guys could certainly be one of them. But if you aren't, it is not something you'll look back on fondly...


(This post was edited by rgold on Mar 6, 2013, 9:41 PM)


billl7


Mar 3, 2013, 1:43 PM
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You have some seriously great answers already.

porkmanvi wrote:
Our goal for the summer is the bottom 8 pitches of a 22 pitch sport route (Squawstruck, Rock Canyon in Ut).
It could work out. Indeed, a lot times a given driver doesn't crash during a car race. But when someone does, everyone is glad the homework was put into designing the car to protect the driver [i.e., the checklist promoted by Bearbreeder and Richard].

I'm on the side that the timing of the goal is probably too ambitious for most weekend warriors.

Bill L


blueeyedclimber


Mar 4, 2013, 6:49 AM
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Without repeating any of the "hard" skills needed for outdoor climbing, leading, and multipitch, I am going to give you different advice. I don't know either of you, but I know a thing or two about climbing with your significant other.

Maintaining your relationship before, throughout, and after the climb is THE most important thing here. The climb will always be there. If things don't work out, you can always go back to the climb. I have seen many fights, arguments, sarcastic comments, negative facial expressions and body language, and ego-driven behavior at the crag. If you want to make your wife your partner, you must remember that you cannot leave the relationship on the ground. It's much more complicated than climbing with your drinking buddies.

With that said, my wife and I have been climbing together for over ten years and she is by far my favorite climbing partner. She is equally driven to climb hard and get better, so I am pretty lucky. But, sometimes, our goals don't match up (not usually) so I may secure a different partner for a specific climb.

It's important to have goals in climbing if you want to get better, just be very clear with your wife and ask her to be very clear with you. If they don't match up, then don't force it because it will end in bitterness. If they do match up, then consider yourself one of the lucky few and bask in the envy of others. That's what I do Cool.

Josh


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Mar 4, 2013, 10:36 AM
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All excellent advice. I'll just add one other thought.

You need to be able to answer the following two questions satisfactorily:

1 - What will you do if the leader cannot pull a move.
2 - What will you do if the second cannot pull a move.

I ask because one or both of these events occurring is a near-certainty, given how hard your objective is.

There are a lot of valid answers to those two questions, but on one end of the spectrum, some will seriously add to the time you need to put into your training, and others will seriously increase the likelihood that you will not get all the way up your objective.

For the first question: For example, if the leader knows a few basic aid techniques, you can often get to the next bolt, clip it, and haul yourself past a hard move. But that stuff takes a lot of time and thought to get right, (including practice on single pitch routes well within your ability so you can unfuck yourself if you get fucked). With these kind of stupid human tricks, you can wind up hurt real fast if you fuck up. On the other end of the spectrum, if you decide that the answer is "forget it - bail from my last bolt" - the chances of that happening will be pretty high.

For the second question - learning and practicing with prussics, clipping in direct, passing down a loop of rope, etc. There are a lot of options, but, again, you can get yourself in a big mess real fast if you don't know what you're doing.

BTW, I'm entirely in favor of setting only marginally realistic goals, and then going for it. Especially if the only risk in failure is a bruised ego, a lot of "wasted" time, some $$ out the door, and a hell of a good experience to look back on. I've set some big goals, and had some big successes and just as big failures, and I wouldn't take back one of 'em.

Cheers,

GO


plamq


Mar 4, 2013, 8:24 PM
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You (and your partner) will learn to lead, learn basic multipitch and rescue techniques, and then start practicing outdoor right? Maybe on easier single pitches first, then short MP? Then maybe a few routes harder than what you expect on your project (rating routes can be somehow subjective...). Practice a few falls (oh, but recognize no-fall zones first). Unless your ego totally blinds your judgement, you'll know if your project still makes sense by the end of the summer... It is ambitious, but it's not impossible.

Good luck with your project.


Partner rgold


Mar 6, 2013, 5:29 PM
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Some folks rate Squawstruck at 5.11b, but I guess that happens higher up than you're suggesting you go.

There are some things you ought to try first. Here are two bolted multipitch climbs at City of Rocks, Idaho.

Theater of Shadows, Four pitches, 5.7 (but some folks say easier than that).
http://www.mountainproject.com/...of-shadows/105741557

Sinocranium 5 or 6 pitches, mostly easy fifth class, one 5.8 pitch.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/sinocranium/105740942

Then in Colorado, there is Royal Flush 20 pitches, bolted, 5.9. If you do the first 8 pitches there the hardest climbing is 5.7. http://www.mountainproject.com/v/royal-flush/106811713


jorgegonzalez


Mar 13, 2013, 10:58 AM
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The posts on this thread are remarkably thoughtful and helpful, it would be good for all new and developing climbers to read and ponder them.

But, I think the last post is the most helpful. Why not tone down your first multi-pitch experience and try something less daunting and more realistic. The idea (as expressed in the comment about cave-diving) is to improve little by little, thereby gaining the necessary skills, and moreover, the confidence you both will need to accomplish your objective. Save the 10c for a subsequent day after you have knocked off a more reasonable climb.

I often say, gain elevation step by little step.


rocknice2


Mar 13, 2013, 11:27 AM
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There is nothing wrong with your goal. Yes it's ambitious for someone who has never lead a route. BTW is it a sport or trad route?
All you need to do is set smaller goals to achieve the main one.

Learn how to clean and rap a route
Lead a route in the gym
Learn how to place gear
Lead a few different easy routes outside
Lead an easy multi pitch
Kick it up a notch and lead a few routes
Lead a +1 notch multi pitch
etc
etc
etc


marc801


Mar 13, 2013, 2:01 PM
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rgold wrote:
Some folks rate Squawstruck at 5.11b, but I guess that happens higher up than you're suggesting you go.

There are some things you ought to try first. Here are two bolted multipitch climbs at City of Rocks, Idaho.

Theater of Shadows, Four pitches, 5.7 (but some folks say easier than that).
http://www.mountainproject.com/...of-shadows/105741557

Sinocranium 5 or 6 pitches, mostly easy fifth class, one 5.8 pitch.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/sinocranium/105740942

Then in Colorado, there is Royal Flush 20 pitches, bolted, 5.9. If you do the first 8 pitches there the hardest climbing is 5.7. http://www.mountainproject.com/v/royal-flush/106811713
There's also the 3 pitch 5.7 Cruel Shoes which has a much shorter approach. There's also a good 2 pitch 5.7 (I forget the name) on the opposite side of the formation that holds the excellent Tribal Rite (10a, 1 pitch).


porkmanvi


Mar 13, 2013, 4:59 PM
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Just to follow up and answer some of the questions:

The route is bolted all the way up. There are 2 pitches, followed by a short walk, then 4 more then a short walk then the final 2 pitches.

We're headed up the canyon this weekend to get her started lead belaying/climbing outside. I've been up a few easy routes up there before, so that's where we're headed.

As for the step-by-step comments - Luckily we live right next to a canyon with hundreds of routes. I've scoped out about 15-20 routes that we will start off practicing on. Everything from 5.6 (like this weekends climb) to 11a as well as a handful of 5.8-5.10ish multi-pitch routes (2,3 and 4 pitches). I expect we'll find some more as we go on, but this will get us going. We definitely don't plan on just jumping on that long route without working up to it!

Also, I appreciate the relationship advice. That is something I hadn't even considered before, but I expect I will need to be mindful of that for sure.


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