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#9445 - 08/22/03 06:31 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: strat]
buttons Offline

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 3

Respectfully, dalguard, you are full of shit! The moves before the alcove are very easy to protect, and true it is a bit polished, but it is straight forward. The crux IMO is the "alcove" iand that is VERY easily protected with a grey camalot and if that's not enough you can slot a picture perfect stopper in as well. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

There is no need to jump on somebody for expressing her opinion. The truth is all the routes your discussing haven't been hard for 40 years or more. If you are in halfway decent physical shape, you should not have any trouble on any gunks 5.5 ( if you do, pick another way to spend your weekend). More gunks "climbers" should dedicate themselves to physical and mental preparation instead of worrying over jobs and insurance premiums.
There are maybe half a dozen people at the gunks who are truly "climbing". By that I mean giving 100% of themselves to it, and really trying hard (both are much more difficult than they first appear). I include all the "hardmen" who continually run laps up transcon and ridiculissima as not trying hard. That type of climbing is either training or showing off. Either way it has very little value if you truly want to climb hard. Lets face it, its going on 15 years since 5.14 was first climbed in the US. I'm sure some of you are thinking " I could never climb 14, I'm not strong enough, I don't have the talent, I gotta get back to work on Monday". Well yeah, you're right. Of course this is all my opinion and should have no bearing on your future so relax. Just don't be puffing up while discussing gear on a 5.5.

By the way my first lead was Laurel. I knew I could get to that tree without falling. I mean I was absolutely certain.


#9446 - 08/22/03 06:31 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: spasmatron]
piglet Offline

Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Long Island
Hi -

Here's my opinion for what its worth. I have been told that a first lead should be at least 2-3 grades under what you can follow. It might be more helpful if you gave some info about what you have followed, your experience placing gear etc. No one wants to get you hurt by recommending a climb that's too hard for your experience level.

My first leads were Bunny (5.4), Finger Locks (5.5) and the first pitch of Middle Earth which is 5.5 - 5.6 ish up to the ledge with the large tree. These are all one pitch with slings and rap rings on trees at the top (At least when I did the climbs). Three Pines was my first multi pitch lead. When I started leading I was following 5.9 after following trad for a season (plus 3 years previous indoor experience).

Thought is the ruler's chief enemy - Napoleon

#9447 - 08/22/03 06:38 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: MarcC]
Julie Offline

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2082
Loc: SoCal


I'm hppy enough placing gear but belaying my second on self made anchors could be a bit hairy. All advice greatly appreciated.

Um, then you probably aren't quite ready to lead trad yet. Placing trad protection and building a gear anchor are merely different aspects of the same skill set.

I agree entirely. If you aren't confident in your anchors, then you aren't confident in your gear, period end.
There's a lot more to leading, than climbing without falling; if all you want to do is climb, then toprope! If you want to lead, learn to lead - and that means learning gear and anchor systems (when you learn to lead, it's generally assumed that you already know how to climb).

You're happy *placing* gear ... fine, place it. On the ground. Then once you can build an anchor, leave the ground. Just don't be leaving the ground without being able to belay your second - that's just plain stupid.

#9448 - 08/22/03 07:09 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: Julie]
dalguard Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I say that if you're that confident that you are doing something 100% right that you've never done (for real) before then you're just dangerous. You ought to be nervous the first few times. It's a serious, serious thing you're doing building an anchor and bringing up a second. You have someone's life in your hands.

Risking your own life to your gear placing skills is different, or ought to be. Being less willing to risk your partner's life is, IMO, a perfectly natural and admirable feeling. By all means, new leaders should have a bolt or a tree in their first few anchors.

#9449 - 08/22/03 07:13 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: strat]
dalguard Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
Dear Strat,

Since you are so concerned with my reproductive and mental health, I will share with you that I'm on Depo Provera and never get my period. So I'm afraid the men on this forum will have to save that all-purpose excuse for dismissing anything a woman has to say for the other gals.

Also, I would like to know which part of what I said is non-trad. Is it using a tree for an anchor? Is it not liking Jackie? Is it worrying about my partner's safety? Or is it simply getting my period? If so, then I guess I'm still trad, since I don't. But I will inquire on behalf of the other women. Can they never be trad? Or are they only not-trad for one week per month?


#9450 - 08/22/03 07:32 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: strat]
dantheman Offline

Registered: 11/07/01
Posts: 19
You said it: different strokes...

Some go the confidence route to deal with the stress of potentially dangerous, relatively new activites.

Others use nervousness to keep them honest and aware of what they have to do.

Neither way is better. It depends on the individual.

I use a bit of nervous energy to boost my performance,
at least at the outset. It takes time to enter the "zone".

And FWIW, my fiance climbs far better when her "friend" visits.

Not that it's remotely relevant to anything discussed here, right?

#9451 - 08/22/03 07:43 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: dalguard]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Dear Dalguard,
So your attitude problem is permanent. Too bad for you and everyone around you.

It's not very trad of someone to tell someone else that they shouldn't have the utmost confidence in their anchors before they leave the ground.

And like I said, different strokes for different folks.

as Fred would say,

#9452 - 08/22/03 07:57 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: buttons]
LesterLeBlanc Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1914
Loc: Los Angeles

All the Gunkies who wanted to climb harder than 5.11 moved to Salt Lake City.

Now ... is that really trying hard???

#9453 - 08/22/03 08:01 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: dalguard]
GOclimb Offline

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2354
Loc: Boston
Hahaha! You tell 'em dalguard! Maybe Strat is trying to drum up business for his new career?

FWIW, I suspect the whole thing's a troll, so it doesn't really matter if someone tells him to try 10,000 restless virgins.

And if it's not a troll - here's the point: When you're new to leading, you'll have plenty to think about, between gear placement, route finding, sling lengths, communication, multi-pitch rope handling, anchor building, exposure, fear of being above your pro, etc. Once you feel more or less proficient at doing those things, then it's time to start adding physical difficulty into the mix, bit by bit.

If you've had a competent leader look over some gear anchors you've made at ground level, and he or she is confident that you know your stuff, then grab the sharp end, and go. Nervousness is only natural. And if you're humble, that fear will will keep you safe and give you the motivation to keep learning through your leading career. Have fun!


#9454 - 08/22/03 08:05 PM Re: First Trad Lead [Re: LesterLeBlanc]

My friend Arnold says 5.5's are for sissies

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