Necessary skills for leading in the gunks

Posted by: Phil DeNigris

Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 01:38 AM

Hi all. I've been climbing for a short while now. I've followed approximately 50 pitches in the gunks and led up to 5.11 sport in Rumney.

I'm looking to start leading this season, and I'm curious as to what a leader should know. I know some basic knots, and I've been reading and re-reading John Long's book on building anchors.

Beyond what I can find in the book, what should I be familiar with? I'm referring to things like knowing how to ascend a rope, knowing how to belay when an ATC gets dropped, or really anything that I'm likely ignorant of.

I can learn and practice much of the anchor building from experienced leader friends, but I'd like to know what else this community thinks is worth knowing to be a safe and responsible leader.

I
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 02:49 PM


The occasional Saturday evening clinics offered by the local guides at the Uberfall will prove to be a valuable source and qualifies as a great Gunks Freebie as well.
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 03:00 PM

Learn how to place gear. Perhaps do some mock leads on TR and have a mentor/guide follow and critique placements,
Posted by: Lucander

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 03:49 PM

A keen eye for route finding. Gunks faces can't be mindlessly climbed like Devil's Tower stem-boxes, Castleton Tower cracks, or Red Rock bolts.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 05:34 PM

Like many activities, the learning never ends. The things you've mentioned above, ascending the rope, back up belay techniques are good starts. Tying off a belay, down climbing and a host of other skills will prove valuable some day. Find an experienced mentor, or pay a guide service, or read everything you can get your hands on and practice, practice and more practice.
Posted by: Phil DeNigris

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/09/13 11:48 PM

Free? I'm in. How do I find out more about such things?
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/10/13 12:49 AM

Right here at gunks.com I don't know of this season's plans though.
As the guides decide topics and times, they'll post up here.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Necessary skills for leading in the gunks - 09/10/13 09:20 PM

Check Rock & Snow prior to the Film Fest weekend (Oct. 12) as they customarily have a listing of the FREE clinics local guides provide on that weekend. (They do accept gratuities)