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plark42

first sport lead

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Hey there CC'ers-

 

How long did you top rope before you led your first sport route? What was the grade of your first lead?

 

Any advice?

 

MJR

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I led sport the first time I climbed outside. 10a. Then again, I had been clambering up everything I could all my life, and have a strong mechanical aptitude, so incorporating a rope and hardware came naturally.

 

Advice? Other than "know thyself"...

 

Go lead an easy sport route. Today.

 

Clip from a comfortable position. Not as soon as you can reach the bolt. Most bolts are (should be, hehe) placed with this in mind.

 

Double check everything you do religiously, not just because you may screw up, but also to keep you focused on the task at hand.

 

Now go!

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I didn't do much toproping before my first lead, but did quite a bit of following and cleaning so that I got a feel for dealing with the gear or quickdraws. My first lead was a 5.8 at Smith. My advice is to pick climbs that are well protected with no long runouts or ledges if you fall, a grade or two below your ability until you get comfortable with the mental aspects of leading. Even on sport routes leading is quite different from toproping. Practice clipping quickly on the ground, make sure you know how the rope should run (don't invert) and be clear on how you are going to deal with the anchors and get down. Have fun!

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really watch that you dont step behind your rope and get flipped upside down in a fall... make sure you dont backclip your draws and dont worry too much about z-clipping because that only happens indoors where the clips are too close together. My first lead was a 5.9 in Chek.... aside from my hundreds of indoor leads.... you may feel quite nervous until you fall a few times and are okay, then your nerves settle down. Try an overhanging or vertical route where the fall is clean... slab climbs are okay if there are no ledges...

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I didn't do much toproping before my first lead, but did quite a bit of following and cleaning

 

Uh....following a pitch is top roping.

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I didn't do much toproping before my first lead, but did quite a bit of following and cleaning

 

Uh....following a pitch is top roping.

 

:lmao:

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Plark, There are some great easy sport routes in the 5.6 and 5.7 range at Foster Falls and around Sewanee. Just practice clipping on the ground so that you are efficient and go out and do it. Make sure you have someone who has led alot with you to help you out and give you pointers.

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Led trad before sport. Had TR'ed stuff for about a year due to being a poor college kid with no gear. First lead was a 5.8 crack with a set of nuts and half set of hexes. Almost decked trying to get the second piece in.

 

Gym climbing is pretty poor prep for real (aka trad) climbing, but would be pretty good prep for sport wanking. Not much to learn really, pick something steep enough you won't hit anything if you fall, don't backclip (or in some super closely bolted places, don't z-clip)

 

Ryland has the plan, if you're still in TN, go to FF. I think there's even a bolted 5.5 over near Rehab Slab and Launch Pad.

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i suggest Steck Salathe for a first lead...its 5.9 and completely doable right out of the gym...

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i suggest Steck Salathe for a first lead...its 5.9 and completely doable right out of the gym...

 

totally... well protected face climbing all the way... it definitely doesnt have any offwidths or squeeze chimneys... just bolted face climbing... dont z-clip!

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if you are going to take a 'prectice fall' (I really dont recommend this) do it on bolts.. not gear! and wear a helmet! there was a fatality in squamish b/c someone 'practiced falling' on gear w/o a helmet...

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Sorry, right you are, I meant as opposed to toproping off the anchors only, so you get a feel for finding a stance for placing or removing the draws. I don't know if he has only climbed in a gym or what.

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if you are uysually climbing in a gym just learn to lead there.. but dont get used to the draws being so close together otherwise you will be a total puss when you start leading outside ...

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Any climb at exit 38 is a good intro to outdoor sport climbing. I was lucky when I started to lead I was in the 10s and was able to skip the anoying 5.9 and under problems. Make sure that you are climbing with an expierenced climber, and not a buddy from the gym who climbs at your level.

(Don't start @ the quarry, it would be scary)

Edited by jibby

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CC'ers-

 

Thanks for the words. I climbed outside (off and on) for about 2 years in Colorado Springs (at the Garden of the Gods) following my friends on sport routes (2001-2002). Needless to say I wasn't as good a climber back then as I am now. My technique is much better nowadays after thumbing through several rock climbing books and being more fit.

 

I'll most likely take the gym's lead climbing class to learn how to fall in a controlled setting. The 5.5 at Foster Falls would be an ideal start. - MJR

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I'd say get into the gym and learn to take leader falls. Take lots of them at all angles and exposures. A lot of well experienced climbers don't know how to fall or manage the rope around moves.

 

If you are well schooled in falling and rope management, you will never ever need a helmet on an overhanging sport route.

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