Author Topic: Learning to climb trad  (Read 3536 times)

bentleyclimber

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Learning to climb trad
« on: August 05, 2010, 04:15:11 PM »
Hey, looking for suggestions on how to begin climbing trad without a mentor available. This summer was my first summer climbing outside (all top-roping), and the more I climb the more my desire to climb multi-pitch grows resulting in the realization that I need to get around to learning to climb trad. I recently bought a set of BD nuts 4-13 and have been placing them while on top rope to get a feel for setting them. I have also read John Longs book on anchors and Freedom of the Hills. Outside of hiring a guide to learn the basics are there any other recomendations? I've heard that the AMC can be helpful for this and if anyone has any information I would appreciate it. Spending the money on a basic rack isn't to much of an issue for me though I would like to get a bit of experience on different gear so I don't end up buying something I dislike. Thanks in advance for any help.

-Ben   (had accidentaly posted this in the bouldering forum and moved it when I realized)

meclimber

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 05:49:50 PM »
I think there may be a few threads on what to buy for gear, everyone has there preferences.  But sticking with BD to start and moving into more specialized pieces makes the most sense to me.  As far as learning I did what I feel most do, buy a few pieces and start leading well below what your toprope limit is.  Have fun be safe.

DLottmann

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 06:47:32 PM »
There is always a mentor available somewhere. I would start by joining your local AMC Mountaineering Chapter. You won't learn as quickly as you could with a hired guide, but you can network and meet some pretty great informal teachers. Post up in partner forums here and on other climbing sites. There are usually guys willing to show a new guy the ropes, but I have heard my share of horror stories when some "experienced" climber took someone out to show them the ropes.

If the cost of a guided day or two is prohibitive, think about suggesting it as a gift from some loved ones. Parents, wives, etc. are often looking for a good birthday/Christmas present and a couple days with a climbing guide could really help you learn some key concepts.

Good luck, go slow, and have fun.

strandman

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 08:54:01 PM »
I think the cost of someone like Kurt Winkler for a day (same as a couple cams) would be HUGE

bentleyclimber

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 08:10:36 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

little lil

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 11:54:03 PM »
Totally agree with DMan.  Expand your climbing community.  There's always a mentor around.

As for building a rack, if you don't know what you want then you're simply not ready yet.  Lead on other ppls racks first, find out which pieces work for you and which don't.  When I finally started building my rack, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn't want.

Lancer786

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 11:17:13 AM »
What type of indoor exercises are recommended before we start climbing?

Offline M_Sprague

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 12:13:20 PM »
Anything for general conditioning should help, and also stretching. Pay attention particularly to your core. Of course climbing in the gym helps build your strength and you will be doing lots of moves, thereby building up your repertoire. You want to make sure you don't overdo the steep climbing though as your muscles will develop much faster than the connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. If you don't let them catch up to the muscles you can develop joint problems. Some pull-ups might help in the beginning , but I think they tend to make you climb dumb, over relying on your arms. Fore general toughening you could try iron crotch training http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI8vFfy1_IY&feature=player_embedded
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbrait

sneoh

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 12:42:29 PM »
1.  General conditioning should help, and also stretching.
2.  Pay attention particularly to your core.
3.  You want to make sure you don't overdo the steep climbing though as your muscles will develop much faster than the connective tissues like ligaments and tendons.
4.  Some pull-ups might help in the beginning , but I think they tend to make you climb dumb, over relying on your arms.
I TOTALLY agree with Mark on the four major points above.  A lot of climbers do not pay enough attention to the 2nd.

You may want to skip the Iron Crotch training, for now. :)
Mark, where do you find these things??!!

« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 12:45:17 PM by sneoh »

Offline M_Sprague

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 02:31:13 PM »
Hey, it works...the power of chi. Obviously, don't start with 450 lbs or you may have an unpleasant surprise. I don't recommend the more dynamic exercises until you have worked up to it
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 02:34:31 PM by M_Sprague »
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbrait

Lancer786

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 01:44:33 PM »
Thanks for tips, can you kindly explain the 'core' a bit? what do you exactly mean by paying attention to core?

sneoh

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 02:01:29 PM »
Here's my interpretation; core - upper abs, lower abs, lower back, buttocks, quadriceps.  Keep them strong and in shape.
Climb without letting your core 'sag' , esp on vertical and overhung routes.
I like to think it is the core that 'brings together' the effort exerted by one's arms and legs to enable one to make vertical progress on a route.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 02:08:59 PM by sneoh »

meclimber

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 10:03:06 AM »
good description, any real 'cross-training you will find to be very helpful.  Endurance and core training.  Check out Gym Jones or Mtn project, they are Mark Twights's and the Exum Ridge guide services training palns and have fantastic tips for what you need.  Also knowinf 'what' you are training for is huge.

Offline steve weitzler

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2010, 09:00:59 PM »
Drink beer, eat pizza, go climb. Drink more beer, eat more pizza, climb again!!! Why sweat the details.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Learning to climb trad
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 10:30:44 PM »
I'm with Steve!! If it works why change it? Of course I can't climb anything harder than moderate these days (moderate= 5.9+ according to the boys in the gym) but that's always been an interesting grade in NH, so ... Beer and Pizza it is ( and not your damn yellow fizz either!) 8)