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JDCH

Best Place to Teach Trad in washington?

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Howdy-

 

I've got a buddy who's a really strong sport leader, and has been following me up some moderate alpine/trad routes this last year. Now he wants to learn how to place the gear himself, and start swinging his own weight so we can tackle some longer objectives without me having to lead the whole thing!

 

Where would you guys recommend I take him to teach him to lead trad? I learned back east... So I'm at a loss here.

 

Thanks!

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If you can spare a weekend, Icicle Creek probably has the most easy trad routes and pretty good rock for a beginner to learn good placements.

 

Otherwise, you can't beat the quality of granite at Index, just not a lot of sub 5.8 routes other than the Great Norther Slab area.

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In the Icicle, these are all good places:

 

Playground Point

Mountaineers Dome

Roto Wall

XY Cracks

R&D for multipitch

 

The difficulty of the climbing may be laughable for your friend, but they are all good areas for placing gear and are close together so you can get in many hours of practice in a day.

Edited by jakedouglas

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sabre and midway on castle rock are good beginner places as well. assuming that he is not doing a TR mock lead practice.

 

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All good recommendations. I'll throw Clamshell Cave area in the Icicle in. Usually not too crowded as it is a short hike from the road and it has a number of high quality single pitch 5.7 - 5.8 cracks.

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A fun exercise is to have find a spot with cracks at ground level and have him place every piece on the rack. This doesn't even have to be a climbing area. Then go around with him to each one and evaluate the placements. This way you get to place lots of gear and get immediate feedback on it without the time sink of rope management, belaying, and climbing.

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To add to what everyone else said, Royal columns at Tieton has some lead able 5.4's and 5.6's that are very nice. Congrats to your friend for wanting to lead trad! I wish there were more sport climbers out there with that kind of gumption.

 

It's far more common for them to find a rope gun and top rope when it comes to trad.

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I think that Pearly Gates is a good place to learn since it is stacked with 5.8-5.10.

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I've also heard there is at least one section (Robo wall) at X32 which is a good crack to practice placements. I think it's only one or two routes at a low grade, but might be a great place for follow up.

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I've also heard there is at least one section (Robo wall) at X32 which is a good crack to practice placements. I think it's only one or two routes at a low grade, but might be a great place for follow up.

 

It's "Repo I". Worth an afternoon (just one, no more) after work to mess around for a couple hours.

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The following circuit has worked for me

 

Icicle and Tumwater

--------------------

Mountaineers dome, lower and upper

R&D route on Icicle Buttress, the BOB Wall above

Roto Wall

XY Cracks

Barneys Rubble

Castle Rock stuff as mentioned

 

Index

------

Great Northern Slab

Inner Wall routes if he knows anything about jamming

 

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Howdy-

 

I've got a buddy who's a really strong sport leader, and has been following me up some moderate alpine/trad routes this last year. Now he wants to learn how to place the gear himself, and start swinging his own weight so we can tackle some longer objectives without me having to lead the whole thing!

 

Where would you guys recommend I take him to teach him to lead trad? I learned back east... So I'm at a loss here.

 

Thanks!

 

Beacon Rock.

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yet another vote for Icicle and Tumwater canyons. for virgin trad leaders, mountaineers' dome is hard to beat with four short easy and easily protected pitches with gigantic ledges between pitches. a "four-pitch climb' from which escape is easy at the end of any pitch. good for easing new leader into "multi-pitch" mindset without overwhelming them.

castle rock - a horde of moderate classics that offer the new leader the additional mental challenge of exposure, without overwhelming technical difficulty.

I've had best results, over 40 years, starting trad leaders on AID -- they make a placement about every three feet, load every placement, and after about two or three pitches have a reasonable sense of placement soundness, and easily graduate to spreading their placements apart on moderate free climbs. Leaders seem to progress faster this way, in my experience.

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Outer Space on a sunny Saturday morning, around 10 AM.

Either that or the Beckey Route on Lib Bell, same time

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