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D-Squared

Placement of Pro...?

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I have to agree with DCramer about leading on a TR. If a person needs exposure to placing gear while climbing, and needs to learn about stances and sequence planning (now that I have this lovely piece in, where o' where will the next one go?), this could be a beneficial way to do it. True, it might seem dull since the lead aspect is removed, but it sounds like Don may have done some leading already so he knows about that.

You will also get good experience by setting up trad TR anchors. I wholeheartedly agree with placing AND cleaning as much gear everywhere while you're on the ground. Then you'll learn that deep placements aren't ideal. I learned that the hard way belaying my friend up one of my early leads. I couldn't figure out what was taking him so long, until he good naturedly explained this concept to me once he was topside. I would suggest sticking with hexes and nuts to get going, then moving into cams later. Save on the bux and learn the basics.

And this might seem like obvious advice, but lead waaaaay below your sport abilities. Make your first lead something you will succeed on, will enjoy, and will have some room to learn because no matter how many books you read (Long's are tops), you'll make mistakes along the way. And as they others said, sew that puppy up! Then take a picture of it to chuckle at later. cool.gif" border="0

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I like this thread, and I don't want to post off-topic, but this got me thinking...Are there any places in town (Seattle) that have "publicly accessible" cracks with which you could practice placing gear? I'm imagining a small wall (artificial or natural) with a bunch of cracks of various sizes -- doesn't even have to be tall or climbable, just something you could plug some pieces in and equalize 'em, yank on 'em, hang off 'em, etc. I can actually think of a place that has almost all of the desired qualities: in Phinney Ridge, on the north side of NW Market St just before it becomes N 46thSt is a short retaining wall built of large rocks. It has cracks o' plenty, and is on public property, but it's also right by a pretty major street.Anyone know of anything else like this but more secluded? Obviously, if I had the time I'd drive out to a crag, but it sure would be nice to have some urban cracks I can plug for practice.

Michael

[ 01-12-2002: Message edited by: mmcmurra ]

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D-Squared-

All the Mountaineers bashing aside on this site, I recommend the Mountaineers crag climbing course.

No, not the basic course, but the crag climbing course. It's much smaller (24-30) students with about 1 instructor per 6 students (or more) and focuses on traditional gear placement for crag climbing. Many hands on field trips in Leavenworth (or other climbing areas), where you learn to place gear on TR, build anchors, place gear, get yourself out of the system for self-resuce, and then lead single and multipitch trad climbs. I took it about 4 years ago and volunteer teach frequently now. It's the best program the Mounties offer, IMHO. It's cheap, but does require some time comittment.

Look up their web site or call for registration info.

I also have a much of wired hexes for sale, cheap. Send me a PM in you're interested. grin.gif" border="0

Short of that, find some one and follow them for a year. Yuo'll learn how to clean and place gear. I'd advocate Leavenworth over Index for learning- grades are a little softer and there is much more in the sub-5.8 range. Check Roto Wall, Mountaniers dome, clamshell cave, Barney's Rubble, etc. cool.gif" border="0

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The Alaskan Way Viaduct has a sweet #2 width crack running up each of the columns. Good fun lapping up and down it by headlamp in the urban jungle night for something different. Possibly this could all change when the city engineers "retrofit" it. Be sure to say off it during and earthquake! frown.gif" border="0

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When I started getting into trad- I built an anchor board...I took a 4' x 4' piece of plywood and drilled 3/8" holes all over it in a random pattern. Then, using 3/8" bolts with 2 nuts each, attach them in all the drilled holes so that the heads of the bolts are sticking out from the board a little bit. This is a good way to practice equilizing anchors- by placing wired nuts over the bolt-heads. You can simulate multipitch routes with the board as well- image you are reaching a belay stance, build an anchor on the board, belay up your imaginary follower, clip them off, and set off onto the next pitch. ( I used to get some strange looks from my roomates when I would be shouting out belay commands to my imaginary follower) The board is also good for practicing setting up hall systems (big wall climbing)

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Good places to start leading... Ditto on Clamshell Cave (my first lead area), also Saber at Castle Rock. Get there early though. Once you've done those, try ZigZag at Mt. Erie - it has a couple 5.7 moves, and also has a section where it wants to spit you out, but the exposure isn't that sharp.

This is an excellent thread - all good comments!

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