Author Topic: strategy for climbing  (Read 3071 times)

Offline lucky luke

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strategy for climbing
« on: November 04, 2014, 09:08:30 pm »
When you are a beginner, and you talk about climbing, what is your idea of the sport?

I asked that because some beginner think that the sport is climbing a mountain, is waterfall ice climbing, is multi-pich route, is crag pitches or is climbing boulder.

I can imagine that some one who think about doing the Everest could be disappointed when they have to climb a boulder.

for me, I make a distinction between two ethics:

"The reality is that a bunch of people like to make exercise and don't like regular gym, they have children and don't want to risk to be injure, they have a job, but don't want to invest time in preparation to do there sport. You take your harness and rope and you go climbing. For them, and it is a majority of climber, sport climbing is great. They went in a gym, socialize with other, reach high goal in terms of level of climbing (5.9 - 5.10) and do that in term of leasure. Boulder is like that too for some people.

Some other people, and there is a lot of them, like hiking. They went to the store, choose carefully there equipment, test it in bad situation, schedule there multi day trip, find partner, workout with full equipment. So, they take about the same amount of time to be ready for a big goal than to do the objective. Some people says: it took five minute to reach the summit, but five year of pleasure to be able to stand close to the summit. The summit is not the goal any more, went you reach the top, the way to go to the summit is the way you practice your sport. You are looking for the best partner and work hard to do a route".

But, as a beginner, your idea of the sport could be different?

what is the reason why you like climbing?

 

Echo

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 04:37:50 pm »
While I have only been climbing for 20 years I can remember quite clearly my early fascination with the sport. I also remember how cool it was that climbers seemed to be a different breed. Strangers made instant friends by the bond of a mutual love for climbing. To an extent that is still my overall feeling of the pursuit, despite enduring the amount of negativity your posts project (or create) on this website.

Looking at the current trends I still think climbers, in general, are an amazing portion of the outdoor rec population, and I hope current efforts from the AAC/Access Fund to help gym climbers transition to outside climbing have a noticeable effect. These are two great organizations I would encourage all climbers to support.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:37:13 pm by Echo »

Offline lucky luke

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 05:19:06 pm »
While I have only been climbing for 20 years I can remember quite clearly my early fascination with the sport.

[...] I hope current efforts from the AAC/Access Fund to help gym climbers transition to outside climbing have a noticeable effect. These are two great organizations I would encourage all climbers to support.

twenty years ago, it was in 1994. I bet you climb lake view, a multi pitch at canon.

What was your fascination with the sport? And, influence by the money they need at the access fund, your description of mountaineering, sport, trad, boulder...the four categories already describe in this forum, will be oriented for a guide to gave courses.

If you begin outside and went inside after... you don't need a transition to climb indoor???.

if you begin outside, you still can do mountaineering, trad or sport!!!   

Offline The other tomcat

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 05:30:44 pm »
Don't sell yourself short Dave, you bring plenty of negativity to the site.
Tom Stryker

Offline strandman

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 05:50:09 pm »
I neede a transition to indoors..never got it//LL  you exhaust me..

Echo

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 08:57:37 pm »

twenty years ago, it was in 1994. I bet you climb lake view, a multi pitch at canon.

What was your fascination with the sport? And, influence by the money they need at the access fund, your description of mountaineering, sport, trad, boulder...the four categories already describe in this forum, will be oriented for a guide to gave courses.

If you begin outside and went inside after... you don't need a transition to climb indoor???.

if you begin outside, you still can do mountaineering, trad or sport!!!

I knew I couldn't stay hidden long.

Disclaimer: this following life story is for LL... Tom you might throw up a bit if you read it... just sayin'

I actually started in a gym... Mill City Rock Gym in Dracut MA. I would get out of working my after-school job and drive down to the gym almost every night... I think they stayed open until 11pm. Mark, the owner, let me climb there for $3 a night or something? You could still smoke in the gym, though they had a "section" for that. Pulling a "5.eight" overhang that first season on their 25 foot wall was one of my fondest memories of being 15 years old. Also loved what ever radio station they were blasting in there... Green Day was never too many songs away... I would drive home with fried arms and barely make the bus to school the next morning.

No one I knew climbed... so I read books. Freedom of the Hills was my bible at 15. I read it at least 3 times front to back. It actually made me a pretty decent salesman at that high school gig, since I knew the difference between white gas & propane, down & synthetic...  I didn't really know what "sport" climbing was... but loved the idea of cams & nuts. Other than 1 or two forays to Pawtuckaway I didn't really get a chance to climb outside until my dad had a business trip to Red Rocks... I had recalled reading an article in one of the climbing magazines about this place, and having just bought my first rope, a fat 11mm 50m Blue Water, I convinced my dad to bring me on his trip and drop me off in RR Canyon to go climbing.... The first day I met some sport climbers in the Calico area and they let me TR what ever 5.11 thing they were on... no fun for me, I wanted cracks, so the next day I had pops bring me to Icebox Canyon after getting a guidebook and seeing that was were trad was... I picked some 5.8 crack and tied a sling around a boulder so my dad could belay me (only had 1 harness). It was a pitiful attempt, and I abandoned a hex & carabiner at what "I think" may have been the crux.

After that I loved sharing climbing with who ever I could get to skip school. Multiple attempts at Lakeview, yes, before I even heard of Rumney, Cathedral, Whitehorse... another climbing magazine article...

Never really took to bouldering much... but I have enjoyed a few dozen days clipping bolts at Rumney on moderates... who wouldn't (if it isn't busy)....

As for "guiding to give courses"... seemed a good idea since I love sharing climbing with people, as I imagine you do. I sure as hell don't do it for the money.

If your last comment means starting outside first is better than starting inside, well... I totally agree... except starting climbing any way you can, is better than not starting it, and I'm glad to see the sport growing in all directions.

Echo

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 09:39:03 pm »
Don't sell yourself short Dave, you bring plenty of negativity to the site.

You are quite right. Something I hope to change if I'm to stick around. I've stuck the comment I wish I didn't make instead of deleting it. Hoping we can move forward in the forum "Where anyone can feel comfortable asking any climbing related question".

Offline lucky luke

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 10:44:37 pm »

I knew I couldn't stay hidden long.

Disclaimer: this following life story is for LL...

You  wrote that you can`t find people to climb, and i wrote that amc group is a good starting place to share with other climber experiences from the outdoors.

You wrote that you went away from guys climbing 5.11, and you try a 5.8 with your father on stopper and hexes. Maybe if you knew that the amc group will gave you the opportunity to climb as a trad climber, you will be more a trad climber. maybe if you had the chances to met trad climber from cathedral you will have more millage as a trad climber.

You seems to like multi-pitch and mountaineering with snow field...particularly those who make avalanches  ;Djust kidding you :o.

As some one know his dream, he can go outside and reach for good beginner courses in august and fall to go inside after and workout his weakness. if beginner know the distinction between ethic in climbing, they can choose without competing to know which one is better.

Iknew at your second or third post that it was you. :police:


Offline The other tomcat

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 07:39:48 am »
Really cool story  Echo. Mine is not so different, except...ahem...there were no gyms back then. The first thing I had was a rope my gf gave me for Christmas, so the first outing I realized I needed to figure out how to attach myself to it. I read FOTH religiously also, not sure your timeframe, but it's probably hard for people starting today to grasp how few resources there were. The Robbins books were heavy on pitoncraft and aid. The Chouinard catalog was the only cutting edge resource.

We toproped the five or six climbs we could get to and make anchors, then pooled all our carabiners, slings and nuts and started to lead. I had never followed anything on rock or ice before leading either. There were sketchy moments at times to be sure, but we learned so much that way.

I know you went for it and did Lakeview early on, quite an accomplishment. May I ask then, if you had it to do over would you miss out on those experiences, and just go the mentor/ guide/ route everyone prescribes today?

I would not trade those days for anything!


 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 07:41:46 am by The other tomcat »
Tom Stryker

Offline frik

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 08:28:03 am »
Those are some cool "starting out" stories... maybe someone should start a "first time" thread. Folks could describe their first trad experience - where they lead or swung leads on an outside climb.

Offline JBro

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2014, 10:10:57 am »

I knew I couldn't stay hidden long.


I'm not sure you made it more than a day or two.
Have a quiche, now, or maybe a tort.  You deserve it!
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This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.
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Echo

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 11:36:40 am »
... if beginner know the distinction between ethic in climbing, they can choose without competing to know which one is better...

I think there is way more awareness of the different types/styles of climbing these days when someone is starting out than when we started. Back then it was just climbing, which is why some may tire of the constant Sport/Trad/Bouldering debates that crop up here. I get your point, just don’t think it is as big an issue as you make it out to be.

...May I ask then, if you had it to do over would you miss out on those experiences, and just go the mentor/ guide/ route everyone prescribes today?

I would never want to miss out on those early days of “figuring it out”. That being said, had I been able to afford a guide, or find a great mentor, I’m sure I would have gained skill faster & safer than I did. Indeed, like you, I had a few “sketchy” moments where things could have gone south fast. There is no doubt luck played a part in our survival.

It’s a good thing we have so many ways to learn these days. Gyms, guides, how-to-books, videos, YouTube, clinics, climbing clubs, even forums, all help keep the accident rates down despite the absolute explosion of the sport. If everyone entering the sport today went about it the way we did, some might say “innocent ignorance”, the amount of accidents would have climbing outlawed.

Offline DGoguen

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 12:27:12 pm »
I think there is way more awareness of the different types/styles of climbing these days when someone is starting out than when we started.
I'm not even close to the most "seasoned" veteran here, but if you started climbing in NE around 1980 there wasn't much else to be aware of.
Everybody had the same shoes, never mind other gear.
You stared at the pictures in "50 classics" and hoped to get there someday. You went, got your ass kicked, went back and got up a few things.
I'd like to think I would start the same way today, but you'll never know I guess.
Don't Climb

Offline lucky luke

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 07:57:55 pm »
I think there is way more awareness of the different types/styles of climbing these days when someone is starting out than when we started. Back then it was just climbing, which is why some may tire of the constant Sport/Trad/Bouldering debates that crop up here. I get your point, just don’t think it is as big an issue as you make it out to be.

There is a big issue. Before people climb with piton and a lot of them have really good strategy to keep there energy to place the piton and to have enough pro to be safe. You learned with those strategy as the fifth edition of mountaineering freedom of the hill is the best bible ever wrote. In the book, you will find the physic of climbing in detail.

In a safety issue, you have those pionner who learned the basic of placing pro and you have the other extreme, a bolt where ever there is a run out of more than five feet. In school, we have an institutionalization of the sport, a climbing for every one mentality.

If sport climbing is more accessible, the commitment in trad made the activity more at risk. And it is not every body who can sustain the stress of being in an extreme situation. For that reason, the person most be able to think under stress. It is a psychological adaptation to gravity.

So, one good strategy in trad is to test your reaction to stress and to know enough to be able to see the danger an avoid it/going out of it.

A bad strategy is to learn movement and when you are in problem...crying that you need bolt.

Offline sneoh

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Re: strategy for climbing
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 08:06:11 pm »
I think there is way more awareness of the different types/styles of climbing these days when someone is starting out than when we started. Back then it was just climbing, which is why some may tire of the constant Sport/Trad/Bouldering debates that crop up here.
It definitely seems that way now.  When I started, there were many fewer fully bolted routes in NE.  As was said, it was just climbing then.  We beginners, as a group, did many things; followed trad, lead trad, TR, gym, even boulder problems at Hammond Pond.  Hardly anyone viewed themselves as a 'specialist' in bouldering for example. Sure, there were close calls, but somehow we survived and no ER trip was required. 
Starting out these days sure seem different these days, not sure better or worse, but definitely different. 

"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