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Multi-pitch trad in the South?
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rdandass


Nov 18, 2013, 1:11 PM
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Multi-pitch trad in the South?
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Hey rock climbers! I have been considering working on the AMGA rock instructor certification for a while now and have run into an issue I'm hoping some here can help me with. The requirements are as follows:

1) You have led 10 traditional routes 5.10a or harder. These may be single or multi-pitch.

Obviously going to take practice and effort, but that comes with the territory.

2) You have led or shared lead on 50 different multi-pitch traditional routes, 10 of which are grade III or longer.

This is where it gets tricky. It seems to be the firm belief of Google and Bing that the only multi-pitch trad routes in the United States are in places like Yosemite. Of course while the 10 grade III and up climbs might understandably require some traveling to reach, that's only 10 climbs and is reasonable. I'm a college student in Mississippi and definitely don't have the time and/or money to repeatedly go cross-country to complete a full fifty climbs. So, my question for all of you is, are there actually a decent number of multi-pitch climbs in the Southeast, especially the TN, MS, AL area? Would AMGA accept "multi-pitch" as synonymous with "used a 30m rope and then belayed for my partner halfway up a 100' wall", or do they strictly define multi-pitch as requiring standard 60m rope? And if these routes do exist, where can I find good information on them?

Thanks to all.


brinosaur


Nov 18, 2013, 4:39 PM
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Re: [rdandass] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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You're a student?

Work on your proficiency with gear on the weekends at any number of the good single-pitch crags in your area (great stuff in AL, AK, and TN). Lead the routes, set gear anchors when possible, and belay your second from the top. This is a good way to practice building anchors, ropework, and other basic skills needed for multipitch. If you want to learn quickly and safely, go with someone who really knows their sh*t inside and out if you are still working things out yourself.

Grade III routes are not going to be 130 foot climbs split into two short pitches. You need to get out to NC for longer routes in the southeast.

Since you're a student, get a like-minded partner and dirtbag all summer break somewhere tall. Go for the gold and do it out west if you have the means. If you're serious about guiding, look at whatever expenses your trip may incur as an investment.


rdandass


Nov 18, 2013, 5:30 PM
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Re: [brinosaur] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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Yes, I'm a student at Mississippi State University.

I'm definitely going to be getting out on the single pitch routes nearby as much as possible (required or not), with as many of my more experienced friends as possible. I agree, grade III does not mean a 130 foot climb, and I absolutely will go for gold on those and head out west, but only 10 of those multi-pitch climbs have to be grade III, the other 40 can be as short as two-pitches, so I guess my question really is whether those 130 foot climbs broken up into two short pitches would be good enough to meet their standards? They're fairly ambiguous and don't state what length they would really prefer this to be.

Thanks for the info, I've heard a lot of good things about TN but hadn't even considered NC for some reason.


acorneau


Nov 18, 2013, 6:06 PM
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Re: [rdandass] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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My guess is that if the climb is traditionally done in two pitches then it counts, if you break it up for no reason other than to make it a "multi-pitch" climb then it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) count.

And since no one has mentioned it yet... If you haven't done their SPI yet then you should consider trying to get that first before trying for something much more audacious.

Good luck.


rdandass


Nov 18, 2013, 6:13 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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I had never seen their SPI program as it never appears on any of their flowcharts on the website, definitely looks like a great starting point though.

Thanks to brinosaur and acorneau, good info all around


notapplicable


Nov 18, 2013, 7:01 PM
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Re: [rdandass] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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Brinosaur is right, NC is where you want to go for multi-pitch climbing in this region. Seneca Rocks in WV could be a good place to tick off a bunch of multi-pitch climbs as well but I doubt any of those could be considered Grade III.


csproul


Nov 19, 2013, 7:44 AM
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Re: [rdandass] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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Don't know about TN (maybe check out Big South Fork, Suck Creek, or Prentice Cooper for a few short multi-pitch), MS, or AL, but NC has a bunch of places with multi-pitch routes. Laurel Knob (may even get your Grade III), Looking Glass, Whitesides, Shortoff...


bootlegger


Mar 29, 2014, 4:24 PM
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Re: [rdandass] Multi-pitch trad in the South? [In reply to]
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As a Mississippi State alumni (not many mountains near Starkville!) and now a NC resident, I'll echo the earlier comments. The best concentration of multi-pitch trad routes in the southeast is in western NC. The tallest cliff east of the Mississippi River is Laurel Knob with routes up to 1,200 ft. Looking Glass, Stone Mountain and Linville Gorge all have 3-5 pitch routes over 500 ft.


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