gosolo Posted July 5, 2006 Share Posted July 5, 2006 Everyone probably has a different perspective from their learning environment. You and your buddy could learn the exact same way from the exact same guide and still end up with some different perspectives. As far as general guidelines I learned in the 70’s mostly through basic and advanced rockcraft with Royal Robbins as my initial “text” books. Here are a couple old school perspectives. First, if you don’t fall on the climb, then the descent will be perhaps more dangerous and especially so if you are rapping. Rappeling can be dangerous and if you don’t fall on your climb then it is the only time you will be weighting your safety net system. Therefore, things must be checked and double checked. I have rarely used knots in the end of ropes and rarely used prusik back-ups. Instead, use the brakehand, and KNOW where the end of the rope is. This has served me well even when backing off the Nose from the Great Roof, some 20 rappels in bad weather. The other thing some of us old schoolers think about is falling. I do remember the (sometimes appropriate) saying that the leader must not fall and sometimes that is the best protection. While things have progressed, the simple fact is that if you don’t fall and don’t rappel, the rope is simply along for the ride and was an extra. Note that this is counter to Gym and Sport Climbing. So many people are out there thinking that the rope will save them whenever their protection system is weighted that it becomes second nature to depend upon that. Case in point, a climber was climbing a route I put up in Arkansas over 14 years ago. It was a long run to the first bolt. Since this was a sport climb I am sure that the climber was depending upon that bolt to be good. Note that the crux of the route was above the third bolt or so. The climber fell and the rock surrounding the bolt broke. When I analyze the accident, I see 3 things wrong. First is that the rock is sandstone and should have been suspect. Second, if you only have one thing between the ground and you, then care must be taken cuz you aint got no backup. Third, if the climber had been climbing more within his level I doubt he would have fallen there. This third point is lost on many. If you don’t fall then your ascent will be safe in the end. I believe that this second nature of trusting the rope has caused more accidents than the second nature of not falling and believing that your protection system is suspect unless you are very sure. While this statement may seem totally ridiculous to the seasoned sport climber, it is important for the newb. For it is the newb who may not be able to judge safety. My guess is that you guys who fall a lot are not newbs and have some idea of when it is safe to go for it. I am not saying that one cannot learn to depend upon the rope. Rather I am saying that the way gym climbers are taught presents them with confidence in the rope and belay system and sometimes that confidence is not warranted, and or not respected as much as it should be. Since this thread was about the newb, I believe that the self-preservation of the old school ways prevent more accidents than what is taught in a gym. I also think this is why many people can climb more difficult sport climbs than they can trad climbs (difficulties and strenuousness of pro aside). I don’t know if this young teacher’s tragic death was due to the transition from gym and sport to multipitch stuff. But I do think a healthy and different respect can prevent accidents. Sorry for being long winded but many of you are trying to put your experience to the newb. That is the problem. Many newbs don't have your experience to go on. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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