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General => Beginners Area => Topic started by: lucky luke on November 04, 2014, 09:08:30 PM

Title: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke 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?

 
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Echo 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke 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!!!   
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: The other tomcat on November 05, 2014, 05:30:44 PM
Don't sell yourself short Dave, you bring plenty of negativity to the site.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: strandman on November 05, 2014, 05:50:09 PM
I neede a transition to indoors..never got it//LL  you exhaust me..
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Echo 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Echo 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".
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke 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:

Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: The other tomcat 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!


 
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: frik 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: JBro 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Echo 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: DGoguen 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke 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.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: sneoh 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. 
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: sneoh on November 06, 2014, 08:11:21 PM
A bad strategy is to learn movement
This I disagree with.  And I bet many others will too.
What do you call subtle shifts of the body to get more stable and fine footwork?
Maybe you call it Technique (so that is OK) ....  so much of efficient climbing, in trad, sport, whatever is about good and smooth flow of movement, to conserve strength and keep emotions in check.

Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: The other tomcat on November 06, 2014, 08:25:42 PM
I devote time to movement every spring. Usually at Jockey's Cap.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke on November 06, 2014, 09:14:12 PM
A bad strategy is to learn movement
This I disagree with.  And I bet many others will too.

Well, the exact words I used is: "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."

In the first phrase, you Have: "to know enough to be able to see the danger an avoid it"

Knowing how to climb is also knowing fine movement. But it is not the most important in trad, There is also other technique of rope management, weather forecast, knowing the fracture line of rocks, food/liquid, etc.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: markvnh on November 06, 2014, 09:18:32 PM
Echo...great story! I remember allot of what you say about Mill City. Here's a Mill City story for you. It was Devils night or Mischeif Night...whatever you call the day before Halloween. I was there after work that night with some friends and all of a sudden there was this big commotion near the entrance. Some punks most likely from Lowell were rocking a car and tipped the damn thing over on its roof! We were all freaking even though we outnumbered the punks. It was a junker car but still someone's car. One of the last climbers outta the gym was the owner. Looked at his car on its roof and said, to paraphrase - "fuck it, it's a junker, who's gonna give me a belay!"

Holy shit - I remember that to this day!

Not sure this is on topic however - almost every single one of my "adult" friendships has been forged through the bond of climbing. Nothing can replace that!
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Climber57r on November 07, 2014, 12:23:59 AM
Mill City Rock Gym in Dracut MA.


Well a few of us must have crossed paths. I also did the same. I spent a lot of time in the mattress filled cave climbing upside down. What would people think of that today, especially in that area? A long time has passed but I am grateful for all that Mill City offered. Mark was a great person to climb with, and you could not beat the cheap entry fee, especially if you gave a few belay lessons and climbed for free. And where else can you find a plywood slab like that these days?

I kept writing but I did not want to put a line through a whole paragraph so I opted for the delete option. I guess some of us are just more quirky than others.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: Echo on November 07, 2014, 08:13:29 AM
Love these Mill City memories... here's one... I was only 15, but I remember seeing Mark's daughter climb. She was a few years older than me, and quite the looker. I was a skinny kid with long hair below my shoulders (might help some remember if we crossed paths there). The day I built up enough courage to say hello to her was the first day I saw her boyfriend. Built like a lightweight ultimate fighter, shaved head, tattoos... that hello never came. But seeing her climb everything so effortlessly definitely motivated me to keep climbing... might have been the lycra too...
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: strandman on November 07, 2014, 11:47:43 AM
LL wrong again..movement is essential in all forms of climbing..learning is learning..I have decided to disagree with you 100% all the time.

Fuck freedom of the hills
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: markvnh on November 07, 2014, 11:53:45 AM
...Echo, you're great for laughs the last couple days!
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke on November 07, 2014, 04:46:56 PM
LL wrong again..movement is essential in all forms of climbing..learning is learning..

In "art of leading" of John long, he describes different kinds of basic movements that a leader most do before he can use more sophisticated movement. Those movement is for rest situation where you can...rest and place protection without using too much power.

A sport climber arrived in a very hard 5.7 move...I say hard because he used a fine technique that he learned else where. In fact, he did a 5.11 move in a 5,7 rest.

I was at the crag and i asked some one what was a layback, if he can do a mantle, to describe the technique to past a roof... he didn't know any thing, but was able to climb 5.11 after some fall.

The purpose here is not to say that the climber was weak, but that climbing hard have to be paid with less technique, If you took ten hours in a gym to do a move, you are going to be able to do the move outside. if you took five hours to find a place to rest, three hours to place the protection...you are not going to be, in two hours of training a technique, as good as some one who take ten hours.

So, the importance of knowing your ethic is important to meet the idea that you have of climbing. You learned in a gym. You think that you are safe...who said: it is not what you don't know who will kill you it is what you think you know!!!

note I am still learning.   
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: sneoh on November 07, 2014, 06:41:28 PM
A sport climber arrived in a very hard 5.7 move...I say hard because he used a fine technique that he learned else where. In fact, he did a 5.11 move in a 5,7 rest.
You are way over thinking this.  This climber in question has not learned the required movement and technique to do a 5.7 rated move at around 5.7 difficulty.
It has nothing to do with sport or trad or bouldering.  He/she has just not learnt a particular technique or move that makes that 5.7 section go at around 5.7.
Or unable to figure out a tricky move or hold.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: strandman on November 07, 2014, 07:45:57 PM
I learned about the flag in '79 from Coach Niland..bouldering at thr Alcove..I thought it was fucked, take your foot off  I learned a TON top roping at the Quarries  and yes , leading at Cannon

SEE VARIETY ?

Just because FOTH names a move doesn't mean shit....it's like Chouinard with hir "pied a plate" or whatever..keeps your crampons on the ice ?


GOD..I would love to take you out on an f/a..if such a thing existed ;)
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke on November 07, 2014, 09:52:32 PM
You are way over thinking this.  This climber in question has not learned the required movement and technique to do a 5.7 rated move at around 5.7 difficulty.
It has nothing to do with sport or trad or bouldering.  He/she has just not learnt a particular technique or move that makes that 5.7 section go at around 5.7.

Sneoh he was a good friend. he was a sport climber. he is just accostumed to do hard move. He climb the route...but in 5.11. It was in missing link.

He place too many pro for the easy move. In some route, you will need extra gear for high above. It is strategy that a beginner can not see.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: sneoh on November 07, 2014, 09:58:26 PM
He place too many pro for the easy move. In some route, you will need extra gear for high above. It is strategy that a beginner can not see.
Common "mistake" for all of us during our early days.  It is all part of the life-long learning process.
Title: Re: strategy for climbing
Post by: lucky luke on November 07, 2014, 10:13:06 PM
I learned about the flag in '79 from Coach Niland..bouldering at thr Alcove..I thought it was fucked, take your foot off  I learned a TON top roping at the Quarries  and yes , leading at Cannon[...]

GOD..I would love to take you out on an f/a..if such a thing existed ;)

Strandman, you are a leader, not just in climbing, but in a group.

I am sure that if we meet in les hautes georges, where the ice route la pomme d'or is (golden apple), I am sure that we can do amasing first ascent in trad. i can figure by what you wrote that you have a lot of skill and knowledge. Still trying to push the limit or to not lower it too much (aging is for every body).

Some people never met Coach Niland and echo report that he learned mostly by reading a book and trying routes, after the gym. it is not your case, you learned from the best trad climber and you didn't transmit there knowledge to climb sport. Which is good for a sport climber.

People who climb 5.12 climb more than fifteen hours per week to keep there level. eight hours on saturday, two or three hours two nights during the weeks, an hour or two of running, some exercises and you can be a 5.12 climber. I never saw a guy, playing chess for ten years, able to climb 5.12...even if he his good at strategy. To climb 5.12, you most be good at all ethics of climbing...except if you are doing a route to learned the movement to do the route, not the technique.

The heritage of your trad teacher is that they teach you the technique, not the movement. You improve in both technique and movement. And the new generation try to imitate what you are doing. They can't so they are cheating.