need much gear, just a few pieces. You are not top heavy.
Next, if you are climbing 5.11 now after 5 years you have now thrown all your slings away, except for maybe 4. THAT IS IT! If you have any more than that, it could be that you need another 5 years of climbing to figure out what I am talking about. BTW, you do not start off with that. This, what I am talking about is something that you work toward, it will not happen overnight that you can understand it. I have no rope drag when I climb, NONE and I really don't use slings very much. You can also use some stoppers to extend length if you are desperate.
How does this happen? Because like I said in the beginning, you are climbing to place gear not get to the top. This means then that you are going to happily down climb or lower down to adjust gear or remove gear. The romantic idea of climbing from bottom to top is not practical, you have to climb down once in a while and adjust the machine. You may need to tie down a piece with another piece so it does not come out. And if the climbing gets hard, and there is no protection over your head, then you have to down climb quite a bit and take falls close to the nut at first and work your way up or out.
You start at the bottom with a rack of gear and ascend like a god passing every frightening obstacle placing gear as you go like Brian Kim on Cybernetic Wall http://vimeo.com/4534537
WRONG WRONG WRONG
That is something that happens later after you have the climb and the falls wired. I have already said far too much. All that is necessary for you to know is do not fall, and climb to place gear. If you get to the top, fine, if not, better. The most rememberable climbs are the ones you do not do. How was the gear is the question you need to be asking, not how was the climb.
"The climber, from what I understood was relatively new to trad climbing …"? All that is necessary for you to know *foremost* is do not climb at a grade where you will fall, and climb to place gear. A word to the wise is sufficient.
One more thing. When you get to the top please pick up the loose rocks and carry them back into the woods where they belong.
And one more thing. Do not bring your babies up to the face of the cliff, you are endangering the welfare of a minor. How about a construction site or next to a loud wood chipper sucking in tree trunks? Do you think they would let you on construction sites with a baby-in-backpack? The cliff is dangerous, things and people are always falling off it. If you are going to ignore that then at least keep this what I said in mind, there are starving sharks in these waters.