Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
valleydude

sport vs. trad?

Recommended Posts

Mostly... it's the size of the cahones it takes to do it. Hard sport climbing is hard. Hard trad climbing is hard and and f-ing scary grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for the exact same route, trying to climb it trad (placing your own gear on lead) requires more strength, and more endurance, as it takes longer to place your own gear than it does to clip a bolt (as you would in sport climbing). Trad also take more mental poise as you spend more energy placing gear, often spend longer above your last piece (while you place another one, or climb further to conserve strength by placing fewer pieces), and because placing your own gear is inherently less reliable than bolts.

 

All said, it take more focus and attention to detail because mistakes tend to be much more dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sport Climbing is a variation of the overall sport of climbing where protecting the leader is not really considered part of the game. All requirements for protection are artificially added (pre-placed bolts usually) to basically remove this consideration and to allow the climber to focus almost exclusively on the physical part of pulling one's body up the pitch.

 

Trad climbing considers the action of protecting oneself from the consequences of a possible fall to be an important aspect of the game. People who establish "traditional" climbs usually attempt to minimize the amount of permanently placed protection, leaving that part of the game up to the climber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought of the difference in terms of generations. Traditional climbing is called such because it was the traditional form of climbing up until fixed anchors where invented. Sport climbing is that which ChucK described.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aahhhh..then I've never done anything trad (yet). Thanks! evils3d.gif
I'll give you an example. I'm on lead on Princely Ambitions, a 5.9 at Index. I am 10 feet above my last piece and I slot a nut. Now I traverse up and to the left. I didn't set the nut hard enough and the rope drag pulls the nut out. Now I'm 15 feet above my last piece, a yellow TCU behind a flake that might hold or might not hold if I fall. What to do? Sack up and pull the next move? I ended up reversing a couple moves and putting in another nut, setting it tightly this time.

 

All these machinations use up physical strength and mental energy. Anyway, I pulled the mantle without falling and the nut stayed in place.

 

If this climb were bolted, it would be trivial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mebbe had you set the gear right in the first place it wouldn't have been an issue...

 

some hard trad climbing actually protects "better" than hard bolted climbing...ie, you can stuff gear wherever you choose...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sport generally = bolts as intermediate protection.

 

Trad generally = placing your own intermediate protection.

 

--

 

Sport generally = 2 or 3 bolt anchors at each belay and rap stations.

 

Trad generally = building your own belay anchors with natural features such as trees and rock horns and or gear your bring up with you, also possibly rappeling from such features as well.

 

--

 

Sport = bring rope, shoes, harness and quickdraws, teeshirt, smokes, have some beer near by.

 

Trad = bring most of the above + epic essentials (warmer clothes, food, water, maybe bivy stuff etc..) and of coarse pro and slings, but you leave the smokes and beer for after you get back to the car.

 

--

 

Sport = usually short trail aproaches.

 

Trad = often means rough difficult to find back country paths and hard scrambles to reach the actual climb.

--

 

Sport = generally going into the well known and well tamed.

 

Trad = often going into the less known and less tamed.

--

 

Sport = Shut up and just climb, grab (flail), cuss, sweat, grunt, clip, fall, talk WAY too much, get back on the rock, do same, fall again, climb and fall some more, keep climbin and fallin until you think you have actually improved on your physical climbing technique. Some just jump off when they get pumped and yell "yeeehaaw".

 

Trad = Think, plan, actually shut up and climb, grab (flail) much less, check rock quality, cuss about the same amount, sweat more, grunt just a little, check rock, pick and place pro, clip while pumping out, run it out, don't fall, run it out some more, do it all again and DON'T FALL. Also never yell "yeeehaaw" on a trad climb.

 

--

 

Sport = you and too many of your friends at a crag having too good a time and maybe not taking things seriously enough.

 

Trad = you and your one partner possibly witnessing the last climb of some sporties that were having "too good a time" in a trad environment.

 

--

 

Sport = often climbing with familiar moves and body positions.

 

Trad = "I never did that kind of move before, never thought I even could do that with my body and never fucking want to try that again".

 

--

 

Sport = What does "rappel" mean? Should I have brought a helmet?

 

Trad = Now for the really dangerous part..

 

--

 

Sport = You find your car has been broken into upon your return.

 

Trad = They would be lucky to even find your car if you don't return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thumbs_up.gifTrad style sounds way cooler IMO. At my level, it sounds like I should stick to sport until I can confidently lead some pre-protected pitches. Considering myself an alpinst at heart, trad climbing seems a bitchin' way to increase pucker factor on an otherwise tame route. Thanks to all for the feedback! bigdrink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Standard wisdom these days seems to be that one should stick to sport until they feel confident at some arbitrary level, and that only then should they try leading on gear - at some level of difficulty substantially lower.

 

That is one way to make the transition, but certainly not the only way to do so - nor is it really any safer than simply starting out leading trad climbs in the beginning, in my opinion.

 

I have seen plenty of highly capable sport climbers do nutty things when they start leading trad pitches because they have grown so comfortable with the climbing without regard for the consquences of a fall. If your "goal" is to climb more traditional rock climbs, or to pursue alpine rock climbing, I think you'd do yourself a favor to look for an opportunity to learn to place gear, follow wandering or complex routes, and learn to rely on your own judgment rather than that of the route setter at as early a stage as possible. I think it would help make you more competent in pursuing the wide variety of sport climbs out there as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to do a bit of sport/TR climbing first so that you can comfortably climb steeper trad routes that are not slightly tilted parking lots - i.e. you won't become a human crayon if you fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice to do a bit of sport/TR climbing first so that you can comfortably climb steeper trad routes that are not slightly tilted parking lots - i.e. you won't become a human crayon if you fall.

 

Without the headstrong confidence that comes from having led a bunch of hard and steep sport climbing, you might instead try to evaluate a given bit of terrain before you launch onto it and maybe figure out how to back down when something looks like it may be too much for you.

 

This kind of "training" will be a good stepping stone for harder trad leads as well as some sport climbs that you may find are over your head and potentially difficult to retreat from or poorly bolted or etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly. The same strategy might doom someone to a low rate of progression, unwilling to take risks to find out where their true abilities lie.

 

But a healthy respect for falling is not a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds as if maybe you thought I was saying one should avoid sport climbing. I was not. The best strategy to become a competent climber is to pursue a variety of skills and experiences even as you may focus on one particular style that you most enjoy or which is most accessible or whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any suggestions for areas/routes? I usually climb at Smith and have followed what I was told was a 5.8-5.9.

 

What about priorities when purchasing pro?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to beat Smith as a climbing classroom.

 

Everything from overbolted monstrosities to high end trad with great protection.

 

There are many topics on how to build a rack. Try searching for trad rack or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×