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adventuregal

How much experience needed for sport leading?

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b-rock said:

Wait, what's with this back tie thing - does it assume you are still on belay and are threading the chains to be lowered? I always do that before I rap off the anchors but only because I'm paranoid about dropping the rope...

 

Oops, that's a key part of it. Yes, have your belayer keep you on. That way, if for some reason the anchor blows, you've got whatever gear or bolts you're clipped in below you to keep you off the deck.

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Like B-Rock, I've always done that out of fear of dropping the rope, plus a certain nervousness that comes from not being tied in. I never do the off-belay thing at the top of a route unless I'm setting up to rappel It seems like I've heard of too many accidents from miscommunication about what's happening at the end of the pitch, so I just prefer to stay on belay.

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b-rock said:

Wait, what's with this back tie thing - does it assume you are still on belay and are threading the chains to be lowered? I always do that before I rap off the anchors but only because I'm paranoid about dropping the rope...

 

Me too!!! the thought of getting stuck and having to down climb whatever I just thrutched myself up is not a fun thought.

 

As to the question at hand... this year will be my 4th season climbing. I have led a little sport, and a little trad. about 5.7 for both. No one can tell you what is right for you. But take it from a 5.9 climber, that is no big. I look at it like this( and I am sure some will disagree) But you arn't even an AVERAGE climber until you get into the .10's then if you were getting a grade you would have a solid C. Give it time. Learn the skills work on your foot work and form. Practice down climbing (it could save your life). there is far more to climbing well than you can know yet. Almost ANYONE can climb a 5.9 most people can climb 5.10 especialy on top rope. My guess is that you are strong and athletic and are able to muscle your way up things. I could be totaly off base... but take the time to learn good skills they will take you farther than brute force.

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I've seen lots of folks back-tying to gear loops and whatnot to keep the rope in place while preparing to rap, but not many tying off to something that will actually hold in a fall.

 

Glad to hear that there are more folks out there using this technique than I thought.

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adventuregal,

Since your leading is limited to the gym that is probably a good thing for now. Learning how to clip bolts in a "safe" enviro is also a good thing. Just realize that gym climbing does not necessarily transfer to outdoor climbing...not even sport climbing. There is quite a bit more that happens outside ie. changing over at the anchors, crap weather, crappier anchors, dropped gear, etc. So a month of climbing is plenty to be clipping bolts in the gym, but when you head outside lower the grades down a bit and take plenty of time...hopefully with someone who knows how to do things safely. Cheers!

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Never mind the bollocks.

 

If you want to lead badly enough to actually go out and lead, then go lead. You will find out how things work because you're motivated to do it.

 

But if you're not sure, and having fun without leading, then why bother?

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Thank you everyone for all the great advice, and keep it coming! thumbs_up.gif I have passed the test at the gym and am 'checked out' to lead... But don't worry, I am taking it very slowly and will only lead under the supervision of an experienced climber. And I am not pushing my limits. I want to be safe. I'm just trying to learn all I can about climbing. I love it and am completely addicted! I am trying to go about this the safest and most logical way possible. I can't wait to climb on some real rock, but I do realize that there is much more involved once you get outside(Plus way better scenery! Although I am one of the only females at my gym, so I suppose my scenery there isn't too bad either. wink.gif). I think it will be a while before I lead outside. I want to be confident. You guys are such a great resource! Thanks!!! When I get back out West, I'll buy ya'll a round... bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

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heck you live in Duluth, just head up to the cliffs over Superior and climb on the sharp anorthosite. That'll get you climbing harder than what folks out here are doing. bigdrink.gif

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adventuregal said:

Should I have more regular top rope experience before I start leading? Help!! confused.gif

You should start leading right away. Leading is about protection and placing pro. Can you reliably place protection that will not fall out, that will hold every time, etc. If you can climb 5.9 then go lead a 5.2, wimpy as it may seem. Get the experience of setting pro, clipping in, trying it out in a relatively safe situation. Practice placing pro and leading harder routes top roped until you are confident. But don't wait for weeks to get going. Enjoy! rockband.gif

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iain said:

heck you live in Duluth, just head up to the cliffs over Superior and climb on the sharp anorthosite. That'll get you climbing harder than what folks out here are doing.

 

Good plan except for the -30 windchill (most days) and snow (little that there is. How sad. We need a normal winter.)... I've got plans to climb on the shore as soon as it warms up though! You Northwesterners aren't gonna know what hit ya when I get out West this spring after training on all of this supposed great climbing around Duluth. Ha! yellaf.gif Only kidding... I've been climbing for... what? one month? I won't be able to talk smack for a long long long time! grin.gif

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Don't worry a-gal, you don't need to climb to talk smack!

 

Not around here anyway!

 

Welcome to one of the most engaging sports ever invented. Be safe and most important - have fun.

 

I think the mock lead is a great idea. It is amazing how much more complex the whole deal can seem on the sharp end. Get someone who you trust to check you out. Remember your partner should be someone you can truly trust with you life.

 

Never be afraid, or worse, ashamed to back down and go home. Scare yourself sometimes, but only in good ways. When you know what good fear is you will be on your way to being a safer climber.

 

Climbing can be deadly, but it doesn't have to be. Screwing up can get you killed.

 

At the same time it can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. It can take you to amazing places where most people will never go, and it will hook you up with some of the coolest people on the planet.

 

Above all it is what you make of it.

 

rockband.gif

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Hm, I don't quite understand the advantage of back-tying. cantfocus.gif

 

So you tie an 8 and clip in, giving yourself a few feet of rope to thread through the anchor. But as soon as you thread those few feet, you have to untie the 8 in order to pull the rest through for the rappel.

 

Back-tying gives you a maybe a minute of time hanging on the anchor with a backup... so why not just hang out on the anchor for a bit before untying your knot? Shake out your pumped arms, look at the scenery, pray those sketchy 1/4" bolts stay in. If the anchor is going to fail, it's as likely to fail right away as it is 30 seconds after you weight it.

 

Oh, and adventuregal: congratulations on beginning your climbing adventure. rockband.gif

 

You mentioned you are climbing 3-4 times a week. As someone who got tendonitis from too much gym climbing (mostly bouldering), I'd suggest that you pay close attention to your elbows, fingers, and wrists. If they start hurting and it's not just muscle soreness, you might want to back off a little. It's definitely tempting to just be hardcore and climb through it, but it's no fun to laid up with a strained tendon or ligament just when you were starting to push into the V0+ range. tongue.gif Ice and rest is the only way to cure tendonitis once you've got it, so prevention is best. Stretch, warm up, and take it easy (as in a week or two off) if anything tendon/ligament-related hurts two days after you last climbed. Have fun! thumbs_up.gif

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i am climbing everday for twenty two years and am not having such problems with joint and tendons. it is matter of proper diet and training and you will not have such problems. it is also maybe in some cases matter of genes in which case Russian peoples will not have troubles as they are meant to work HARD and not be drinking soft drinks and eating cookie all day.

may you continue to climb hard in your training girl and climb at squamish soon as that is real Russian canadien climbing!

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slothrop said:

Hm, I don't quite understand the advantage of back-tying. cantfocus.gif

 

So you tie an 8 and clip in, giving yourself a few feet of rope to thread through the anchor. But as soon as you thread those few feet, you have to untie the 8 in order to pull the rest through for the rappel.

 

Back-tying gives you a maybe a minute of time hanging on the anchor with a backup... so why not just hang out on the anchor for a bit before untying your knot? Shake out your pumped arms, look at the scenery, pray those sketchy 1/4" bolts stay in. If the anchor is going to fail, it's as likely to fail right away as it is 30 seconds after you weight it.

 

Oh, and adventuregal: congratulations on beginning your climbing adventure. rockband.gif

 

You mentioned you are climbing 3-4 times a week. As someone who got tendonitis from too much gym climbing (mostly bouldering), I'd suggest that you pay close attention to your elbows, fingers, and wrists. If they start hurting and it's not just muscle soreness, you might want to back off a little. It's definitely tempting to just be hardcore and climb through it, but it's no fun to laid up with a strained tendon or ligament just when you were starting to push into the V0+ range. tongue.gif Ice and rest is the only way to cure tendonitis once you've got it, so prevention is best. Stretch, warm up, and take it easy (as in a week or two off) if anything tendon/ligament-related hurts two days after you last climbed. Have fun! thumbs_up.gif

It has been said before: the whole point of back tying is to make sure you don't drop the rope. If you have a sling or daisy chain, that is what keeps you safe.

 

I am so paranoid of dropping the rope that I also tie a stopper knot in the end after threading the rope through the chains and before I untie the figure eight on the bight.

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catbirdseat said:

It has been said before: the whole point of back tying is to make sure you don't drop the rope. If you have a sling or daisy chain, that is what keeps you safe.

 

I am so paranoid of dropping the rope that I also tie a stopper knot in the end after threading the rope through the chains and before I untie the figure eight on the bight.

 

Nah, the point of back tying is two-fold. One of the folds is not dropping the rope, the other is staying on belay. If you're just going to rappel, back tying is pointless, at least in the sense of actually using a bomber knot to connect your harness to the rope. A quick overhand on a bight connected to a draw on your harness will suffice. Ditto if you have no gear below you, like if you TR'd a pitch, cleaned the gear, and then cleaned the anchor (best in this case to leave the last draw or two so that you CAN back tie usefully and remain on belay). The best use of back tying is when you're getting lowered, so that you take advantage of not dropping the rope and you can stay on belay while you dick about with the anchor.

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Yeah, if lowering you retie into the rope before you undo the 8. There is anotherway to do it also, but it's more or less the same thing.

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adventuregal said:

iain said:

heck you live in Duluth, just head up to the cliffs over Superior and climb on the sharp anorthosite. That'll get you climbing harder than what folks out here are doing.

 

Good plan except for the -30 windchill (most days) and snow (little that there is. How sad. We need a normal winter.)... I've got plans to climb on the shore as soon as it warms up though! You Northwesterners aren't gonna know what hit ya when I get out West this spring after training on all of this supposed great climbing around Duluth. Ha! yellaf.gif Only kidding... I've been climbing for... what? one month? I won't be able to talk smack for a long long long time! grin.gif

 

Oh Oh. Addict + Minnesota = apply for new Visa card to buy ice tools and 'poons. grin.gif

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Nah, the point of back tying is two-fold. One of the folds is not dropping the rope, the other is staying on belay. If you're just going to rappel, back tying is pointless, at least in the sense of actually using a bomber knot to connect your harness to the rope. A quick overhand on a bight connected to a draw on your harness will suffice. Ditto if you have no gear below you, like if you TR'd a pitch, cleaned the gear, and then cleaned the anchor (best in this case to leave the last draw or two so that you CAN back tie usefully and remain on belay). The best use of back tying is when you're getting lowered, so that you take advantage of not dropping the rope and you can stay on belay while you dick about with the anchor.
Okay, granted, but I was assuming you would be rappelling. Yes, if you are lowering, you don't want to be off belay, and in fact you don't even need a daisy chain.

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specialed said:

adventuregal said:

iain said:

heck you live in Duluth, just head up to the cliffs over Superior and climb on the sharp anorthosite. That'll get you climbing harder than what folks out here are doing.

 

Good plan except for the -30 windchill (most days) and snow (little that there is. How sad. We need a normal winter.)... I've got plans to climb on the shore as soon as it warms up though! You Northwesterners aren't gonna know what hit ya when I get out West this spring after training on all of this supposed great climbing around Duluth. Ha! yellaf.gif Only kidding... I've been climbing for... what? one month? I won't be able to talk smack for a long long long time! grin.gif

 

Oh Oh. Addict + Minnesota = apply for new Visa card to buy ice tools and 'poons. grin.gif

 

Or move. That's what I vote for! thumbs_up.gif

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I led trad after on my sixth day climbing and took my first trad lead fall on my seventh. I felt good about it then and I feel good about it now. If you feel ready then you are. Fuck what other people say.

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i have seen "lots" (3 or 4) of people lead climb 9trad) after climbing for about a week or so, maybe seconding and TRing about 20 routes in all... as long as you are a) confident in your own ability, b) able to walk the talk and actually BUILD anchors not just think you can build them, then you are probably ready to try leading

 

Sport leading hell you could try that after a couple gym sessions if you think you got it. Not a whole hell of a lot of skill to learn there. Clip, go, clip, go, lower. Dont forget to read Chuck's link though to remind you of consequences...

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