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 Post subject: starting trad
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:41 pm
Posts: 24
hi i wanted to start trad climbing and i wanted to know wat gear is first on the list after a rope, quickdraws,
haunessand belay device???? and best way to start


:afro: thankssssssss


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Grant Marinus
I would buy a decent climbing instruction book to get an idea of the range of skills needed - knots, gear placements, anchor building etc ... get a decent idea of what its going to entail.
Best probably then to go with a decent trad climber who will let you second so that you can get first hand experience of gear placement and anchor building.
Start small, single pitch trad lines ... play around with the gear ... and be safe.
BUY A HELMET!


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:21 pm
Posts: 32
What kind of experience is required before one can venture onto trad. Also what kind of grades should one be able to climb on sport?


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 pm
Posts: 693
You should buy the best gear before you start climbing, especially cams. Then you can sell it to us on this forum after you used it once at a discounted price. I would recommend the wild country 1.25 and 1.75 technical friends (I don't have them so it would be a pleasure doing business with you). I also "misplaced" my #1 nut. I hope you get my point, climb with someone experienced so he/she/they can show you how. Try easy stuff first until you feel comfortable. Then try something harder. As for what grades in sport, try something way easier. (Join the Damn Easy club and climb only D's and E's - you will sh!t your pants if you try something harder first time). Last but not least, have fun and go rob a bank.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:49 am
Posts: 149
Hey "thebest",

A general rule of thumb I'm partial to, is not to climb trad at grades more than 3 less than what you on-sight in sports climbs. i.e. on-sight sports routes grade - 3 = hardest trad you should be throwing yourself at.

A book on trad isn't an entirely bad idea. One way I practiced placements was to use my favourite sports routes as a playground

As for gear.

Unless you've got more money than you know what to do with, avoid expensive cams for now.

Get

1 x set of nuts/stoppers
1 x set of hexes
2 x nut tool (or at least make sure you have 2 between you and your partner. nothing worse than following a pitch and realising your didn't grab the nut tool from your partner before they started the pitch. Anyone seconding should have their OWN nut tool).

New, you are looking at just over R2K....and that should get you +-17 pieces of pro....more than enough to start.

Quickdraws are fine to start with (esp. if you've already got them), but one thing you'll learn very quickly when doing trad is rope drag! Long term you just want 'biners and slings. i.e. chuck out the dog-bone.

zb.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 8:52 pm
Posts: 41
I have just recently started trad climbing myself (well 1 route, but anyway) and have bought myself a bunch of trad gear. I bought beaners and long slings, but not enough for all the cams and nuts I have. I was wondering about using my sport climbing beaners but am worried about one thing: The straight gate on sport climbing beaners generally tend to get damaged from the bolt and get micro sharp edges. I'm a little hesitant to use the same beaners on the slings of my camalots, since they could get damaged. Are my fears legitimate or am I being overly cautious? What about on the nuts? My thought was that it would matter less there because you're not clipping the beaners onto a sling, but onto wires.
I would appreciate any opinions from experienced trad climbers. :)


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Posts: 766
Location: Stellenbosch
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Totally agree, 1st piece of kit: A HELMET (falling rocks, dropped gear, long falls, zippers, screamers etc... need I say more)

Kit to buy: Set of nuts, some mid size cams (1-4), a bandolier with gear loops, 2 x nut picks, some hexes (one smaller than your smallest cam and 2-3 bigger than your biggest cam)

Gear arrangements: I guess most people do things their own way and there is no best way but this is my way: One biner per cam, nuts on biner (prefferably a snag free/key-lock gate), quickdraws for the nuts, and some slings with biners.

Hope this helps

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Nic


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:56 pm
Posts: 43
Location: SA
My Advice:

1) Get a helmet
2) Study John Long's 'Climbing Anchors' book
3) Get more slings and screw gate karabiners (so that you can second)
4) Get a nut pick (so that you can second)
5) Use your friend' rack to practice (i.e. climb with them and observe)
6) Get a tad of experience (on your friend's rack, leading easy stuff asking for a critique)
7) Get a rack


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 881
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Easy trad climbing is not scary but extremely dangerous and it is difficult to protect easy routes as the angle is generally too low and falls generally result in hard impacts on the rock. Ideally one must be fully competent on sport routes that are at least grade 21 or even harder so that you can very quickly progress to climbing harder and therefore steeper and therefore safer routes on trad.

In South Africa I am aware of only 1 death and besides the odd fracture ankle (Ed Feb on a not so steep trad route at Paarl) no serious injuries on "hard" steep trad i.e. harder than say grade 20 or 21 since I started climbing 30 years ago.

On the other hand, most deaths and severe injuries occur on the easier routes. This year alone there have been 2 serious injuries on Table Mountain on easy routes by experienced climbers. And there was the death on Mont Blanc a week ago, on what was probably also a relatively easy route????

Climb with experienced climbers who regularly climb grade 21's or harder on trad...

A good test paceis to go to Silvermine and do all the routes on trad and clip the bolts as a backup and take a fall on your gear having climbed with your feet above your gear. All those routes are steep!! and you really should not hurt yourself. If you flunk that then don't bother w trad. Quicksilver is the best one to do but do them all.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 719
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Just start.

Less plotting & planning. Trad is not rocketry.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 248
Mostly good comments here. Yes it is true that easier routes are often more dangerous because you're going to hit things as you fall. Having said that, when you start trad, it's about milage, and you should spend a long time doing the easiest lines for the experience of it - ie generally it's no gymnastic challenge at all and you're placing gear every meter with both hands while standing on ledges. Start doing really short pitches. Routes will take a long time, but don't get frustrated, after lots of milage you'll be placing trad kit and doing all the multi-pitch rope work as easily as you place quickdraws at the moment. As you get more experience you'll start to merge the mechanics of trad climbing with climbing of a challenging nature.

Agree with the comments about 'apprenticing' someone else for a while. You can get some good downloads of experience (but also some bad so keep your head about you) and see what works and what doesn't. Once you've done this you'll have a good idea of what gear to go buy. (By sometimes tagging along and seconding someone experienced it'll help with the impatience of climbing only easy stuff in the beginning)


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 881
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Ant your comments and your behaviour on rock if you are the the Ant I think you are, are too conservative and I contend, dangerous too. Nobody I know climbs trad competently and anywhere near their sport grade following your advices. Have you ever climbed, deliberately, a metre or two above bomber trad gear knowing you might fall off and then actually taking a "screamer"? On safe steep rock?. Tell us about it!.

Your advices are what's stymieing trad climbing in SA. The only way you are ever going to climb trad satisfactorily is if you get on steep rock and climb above your (bomber) gear and fall off!!!!. Use two ropes, back up your gear by climbing routes with bolts as back up. But go up there and fall off and make sure the gear you placed is what holds you. Test it!!! And get used to it.

The reason why alpine climbers, paragliders and base jumpers and all those kinda dudes get injured and die is because it simply isn't scary enough! Period! Nobody I know, willy nilly climbs 3 metres above even bomber gear on trad knowing they are going to fall off. It is simply too scary and that's what makes it one of the safest of the so-called extreme sports!!! have your tried and done it? The trick is to think you are going to fall off, commit to it and then just do it. As John Bacher said, and their is no truer take on this. None of these other sports are as commiting as trad climbing is!(even though you know that statistically it is one of the safest things you can do (on steep rock with bomber gear even if it is a long way below you!)


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 139
Location: Crab Nebula
I like Marshall1's comments. Get on with it, but keep your brain engaged. It isn't rocket science, mainly just common sense and self preservation.

Just to make sure I'm absolutely clear on the central theme from SNORT (I found the post a bit vague). We should aim to climb steep rock with bomber gear, then take some falls. Is this the gist of it? :wink:

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You have an opinion, so do I. When these differ, please don't confuse your opinion with the truth, nothing is absolute.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 pm
Posts: 693
bold words :afro:


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:48 pm
Posts: 39
Snort, I have fallen on trad gear just for the hell of it. it was to get my mind right cause i was freaking out. it works wonders!

I like what you're saying about testing gear on sport routes with back up bolts. I believe people are not pushing their envelope on trad cause they don't trust their gear. I do believe there's a better way than jumping off each piece of gear. Jump on it.

What i mean is a technique called aggressive testing. It is an aid technique. you place a piece of gear, clip an aider or sling onto it and then slowly place boby weight onto the piece. once you're comfortable with that then start to bounce on it. Bouncing on a static piece of equipment like a sling or aider will produce the same force as a fall (read up Funkness device in aiding literature also). this means that the piece you are now standing on will hold a fall. you can then place the next piece and repeat the procedure, knowing that if it should fail on testing then the piece you are standing on will hold your fall. it's the only way to string together consecutive dodgy aid placements and still stay sane. you'll soon work out what holds and what doesn't. you need to incerase your knowledge of gear placement that hold and this is the only way you can test effectively. go to a crag and aid along the base, so your feet once placed in sling/aiders are only a few centimetres from the ground. then a fall is safe.

As for an earlier comment about taking your on sight sport grade and reducing it by 3. I have heard this plenty and it is valid advice if you don't trust your gear. if you don't trust your gear you are effectively soling and so you need to pick a grade you are comfortable soloing.

If you trust your gear then I don't believe there should be any difference in your sport/trad grade. if you trust your placements like bolts then why should there be? And yes, my trad/sport grades are the same.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 881
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Douard, your approach is also a good way - aiding sideways close to the ground. That way you get to grips with what works. But if you are going to climb with trad gear and not have the confidence to trust in it then why bother doing the 3 grades easier version? Why bother? You are going to bounce sometime when a hold breaks or something goes wrong and it simply is not what it's about if you are climbing trad and you cannot test your technical and physical limits doing this.

Every year, and I am turning 50 this year, I take at leats one "proper" trad fall. This year it's been more than one. I did "No longer at Ease" 25 and took a screamer going for the rail and missed but came back a week later and did it. It is scary and intimidating and has had very few if any onsights. Maybe Clinton? I will ask him. But at the crux where I fell off you can plummet 25M and not hit a thing!!! It is very safe the whole way. And that's the way to do it if you want to really climb well on trad. My climbing buddies Tini Versveld and Tony Dick also, once a year or so, climb above their runners on steep rock and plummet.

You simply cannot climb as well as you should on trad unless you peel off and take dinkum falls on the gear you placed once in a while...


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 719
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Does all this hectic talk forward trad climbing in SA? or does it just put off joe average who wants to wonder up a few lines & have a bit of fun in the sun.

John Bacher quotes make me want to snort my chalk.

Rather a screamer than a sweater. Nothing worse that a woman who sweats.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:18 am
Posts: 64
yeh, this fella 'thebest' merely asked what trad gear one should start off with! haha, now it's become a debate on how to psyche yourself :lol: gotta love forums eh

@thebest - get some nuts to start. dont waste your cash on hexes. look at some cams too, small and medium sizes. Get a couple cheap ones (they are ALL safe). Then jump on some easy routes like 12's. oh, and slings, you need sh!t loads of them.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
i saved-up and bought a full rack (nuts, hexes and cams) before i climbed one trad route - if you are going to do it, do it proper man. i do not get why beginners should start on less gear (unless its for financial reasons). but the best advice by far is to team up with an experienced trad climber; go and second a few multi-pitches and get your head around the whole thing first.

ps: keep an eye on the US-gearshops. when they have a sale you can save big RRRs on gear. got my rack at approx half price of what it would have cost me here.


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Posts: 766
Location: Stellenbosch
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
@the beast: I totally agree that you should climb with some one with experience of leading trad, get experience that way. Look for some old ballie who has been around for awhile, preferably one with bad eye sight and poor short term memory, that way you can score some free gear... :thumleft: (or join rescue, we have mountains of gear that I'm sure you could borrow... JUST KIDDING)

@SNORT: I'm glad I don't have to clean the routes that you climb, especially since you have been taking factor 1-2 falls on the gear, it must be a real bugger to get the nuts out :D

_________________
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Nic


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 248
Snort:
Yes indeed I am the ant you are thinking of, and your prose leaves no doubt in my mind that you are the one and only snort that we all know and love! ;-)

Conservative and dangerous? That’s quite an accusation, so let me reply:

The forum topic was “starting trad…’
The first post was “wanting to know what kit to buy and how to start”

In light of your accusation you must remember that not everyone
• Presently climbs grade 21
• Presently climbs grade 21 with enough spare effort, care and attention to make correct trad placements (especially experimentally!)

And it’s pretty off-sides of you to declare that anyone who cannot subscribe to Snort’s minimum standards should leave it well alone and take up knitting

Regarding danger: While quite a lot of people, and certainly most beginners cannot subscribe to snort’s 21+ standards, there are a LOT of people who can climb grade 14 on trad with more confidence than snort climbing 21, and equally as safely (IF they so choose.)
The potential problem that most of the above posts allude to, is that as people gain milage they get confident, they start leading easy, on-angle routes with more confidence, placing gear every 5-10 meters, (just as snort does on steep 21s) and this is where most of the above points apply

Snort, considering the question I think my comments are perfectly valid and appropriate. Then, as I say when people have got the milage and want to get ambitious and mix the mechanics of trad with gymnastic climbing, there will be another post entitled “how do I climb kak hard like Tinie Versveld and that other nerdy friend of his”
Your post would fit in beautifully there :-)
Thanks for the kick in the pants though, I’ll just have to go back to that Kevin Smith 22 that I backed off this weekend with your comments in mind… ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: starting trad
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:21 pm
Posts: 354
It was only after taking my first dinkum trad fall that I started climbing trad properly. So I agree with Douard and Snort, if you want to progress in trad, the sooner you start taking falls the better. But there are lots of people perfectly content to climb 15's their whole lives. If thats your thing, then taking repeated huge whippers is pretty pointless. But still, even if climbing easy stuff, you have to know if your placements suck or not. The only way to do this properly is to test them, either at a sport crag, or by aiding and bouncing, or by rigging something and dropping a sack of bricks on it or whatever. If you dont know whether your gear is good, you may as well just be soloing. Equally important is to know when there is no good gear around, and what to do (down climb? abseil? back off? solo? call search and rescue?).

Once you trust your gear placements, and your ability to make good decisions to get out of sticky situations, then whether you just climb easy stuff, or push the grades doesnt really matter.

I dont think theres some equation that says trad grade = sport grade - X. I've always climbed harder on trad than sport, just because I'm more motivated for trad, and I trust my placements more than bolts.


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