Author Topic: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.  (Read 3470 times)

Offline JBeta

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Pull down, not out.
Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« on: November 13, 2009, 07:29:32 PM »
I know this site has a leaning toward trad climbing, but I'm here to tell you that sport climbing makes you a better trad climber. All you sport haters out there can say all you want as I'm locking off my way up all of your trad routes. Ha!

Prove me wrong...

Offline om

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 218
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 08:26:18 PM »
ok, i'll bite...
what element of sport climbing makes you better at trad? finding bolts? or knowing how to clip them?  ;)
or did you mean getting stronger got you better? and you implying that you get stronger faster sport climbing rather than doing trad?
i would agree that sport routes are often more intense and pack more climbing moves in... but then bouldering is even better.
-om

Offline MT

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 09:11:12 PM »
Sport climbing can make you strong, but I don't think it can make you a better trad climber per se. Because a lot of sport climbs in the NE exist largely b/c the route didn't take gear, the two types of climbing are necessarily different. Hauling yourself up an overhanging 10/11 at Rumney doesn't make it easier to suss out the moves on a steep slab or to grunt your way up an awkward crack climb. There's a big difference in techniques between the two disciplines. If you're already proficient at most types of climbing (slab, face, crack, offwidth, etc), sport might help build strength for trad climbing.

One big minus about sport climbing, though--clipping bolts doesn't give you the 'leader head' that trad climbing does. Sport climbing and trad climbing are two uniquely different mental endeavors. Because a lot of trad climbing is "mental", I'd say that this is the biggest reason that you can't push grades on trad simply by training as a sport climber.

But whatever floats your boat....

Mike

Offline bag11s

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 10:08:42 PM »
I know this site has a leaning toward trad climbing, but I'm here to tell you that sport climbing makes you a better trad climber. All you sport haters out there can say all you want as I'm locking off my way up all of your trad routes. Ha!

Prove me wrong...


oh oh feeding frenzy!

Offline sneoh

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2009, 12:06:17 AM »
OK, I can say I have actual experience of using sport climbing as cross training for trad, and vice versa over a 7-month period.

For full disclosure, the only trad area I climbed at during this period was The Gunks.  But I went to Rumney, Sundown, Shagg Pond, New River, and Red River for sport.

The one thing I found sportclimbing hard 5.11 and easy 5.12 routes that helped with me with trad climbing was knowing that I am able to pull very hard if I need to.  This was very helpful and I believe it to be one of the major reasons why I was able to on-sight or flash a number of 5.9+ and 5.10 routes at The Gunks on the lead, in spite of my relatively poor route-reading skills. 

Of course, leading Gunks routes with little intention of falling (partly because Ajax fed me penalty slack whenever I whimpered and considered calling out "take") eventually gave me a good lead head.  And a good lead head helped me with my brand of sport climbing, where I always aim to do a route within 3 tries (I very rarely project routes).  I might be the only climber on this planet who needs a good lead head for quick send of hard sport routes.  But I still remember how terrible the bolts on Romper Room looked back in the mid 90's.  I sure as heck did not want to take a fall of any kind on any of them!

So, to summarize, the way I went about mixing up sport and trad climbing helped me to log my best season ever back in 1996.  But I would be foolish to attempt to generalize what I did or hope/believe that it will work for everyone. 
On this "your mileage may vary" definitely applies!

-S.Neoh



"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline GOclimb

  • NEClimbs Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 12:31:17 AM »
I know this site has a leaning toward trad climbing, but I'm here to tell you that sport climbing makes you a better trad climber. All you sport haters out there can say all you want as I'm locking off my way up all of your trad routes. Ha!

Prove me wrong...


I'm a trad climbing.  I especially like sustained cracks.  And I agree entirely with the above.  Actually, it seems like kind of a no-brainer.

GO

Offline old_school

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2509
  • "Climb Now, Work Later."
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2009, 08:44:19 AM »
The one thing I found sportclimbing hard 5.11 and easy 5.12 routes that helped with me with trad climbing was knowing that I am able to pull very hard if I need to.  

I would agree with this, but trad is just such a different beast. It is almost apples and oranges (but I enjoy them both). I climb so much more differently sport vs trad as well....much more dynamic in sport, more controlled and static in most cases when I trad climb, so the techniques, climbing approach and mindset seems to differ enough that they almost cancel one another out. But it is nice to know when you are fishing around with gear, that you have the gas to pull off the move.
"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes."

Offline sneoh

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 08:56:55 AM »
....much more dynamic in sport, more controlled and static in most cases when I trad climb.
These days, I get plenty of comments from sport jocks about I climb too slowly, too delibrately, and way too staticly.  Geezers like me just can't "go big" like the youngsters can.

it is nice to know when you are fishing around with gear, that you have the gas to pull off the move.
Thanks.  You made the point much more clearly than I did.


"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline OldEric

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 414
  • climb on
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 10:26:18 AM »
These days, I get plenty of comments from sport jocks about I climb too slowly, too delibrately, and way too staticly.  Geezers like me just can't "go big" like the youngsters can.
Thanks.  You made the point much more clearly than I did.



You know nothing about geezerhood.  Or going slow. 

Occasionally the more sport specific moves come in useful in trad situations.  I remember approaching the crux on Feast of Fools at the Gunks and the locals were eyeballing this old geezer expecting a flail fest.  Little drop knee back step action (yes Soon I actually do that at times) and I was over it - how'd he do that?  But more often I think the techniques that become instinctive sport climbing can be detrimental in trad situations.  I have seen countless gym rat sport climbers try to lay back the top of Jane - turning an 11- jam into a 12 layback.

Offline sneoh

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 10:44:28 AM »
But more often I think the techniques that become instinctive sport climbing can be detrimental in trad situations. 
Definitely.  It is good to "mix it up" to stay sharp and proficient.
Now if I could only do what I preach  .... :)


"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline JBeta

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Pull down, not out.
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 11:05:07 AM »

One big minus about sport climbing, though--clipping bolts doesn't give you the 'leader head' that trad climbing does. Sport climbing and trad climbing are two uniquely different mental endeavors. Because a lot of trad climbing is "mental", I'd say that this is the biggest reason that you can't push grades on trad simply by training as a sport climber.

I disagree with this. Through sport climbing, I have learned how to fall correctly. My "lead head" is better from having sport climbed because falling has become a normal extension of climbing. So often, I see trad climbers who practice the adage that "the leader must never fall." This mentality creates tension at times when relaxation would better serve the climber.

Of course, there are times when falling is not an option. This is when the sport strength comes in. I'd rather over-climb a move than risk taking a fall. There is confidence that can be gained from having climbed much harder moves in a relatively safe sport climbing environment.

I really believe that sport and trad are opposite sides of the same coin.

Offline sneoh

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 11:12:24 AM »
Of course, there are times when falling is not an option. This is when the sport strength comes in. I'd rather over-climb a move than risk taking a fall. There is confidence that can be gained from having climbed much harder moves in a relatively safe sport climbing environment.
This was/is certainly true for me but it is probably not the case for everyone.


"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline strandman

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 5829
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 12:33:49 PM »
 :D Trad climbing makes you a better trad climber.

Offline mopowers

  • NEClimbs Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 01:03:31 PM »
What will make me a better sport climber?   :D

Offline bag11s

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
Re: Sport climbing makes you a better trad climber.
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 01:26:07 PM »
quit your job.