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Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:38 am
by Overide
Good morning ladies and gents,

I was curious at what point would you say someone could start lead climbing? Should they be climbing in the 20 plus grades? I can do a 19 fairly comfortable and there is a few 18 routes at my gym I would like to try out but they are lead climb routes

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:50 am
by mokganjetsi
lead climbing is to be started as early as possible; not contingent on your grade. make sure the belayer knows what they are doing. and know how to fall. be extra careful on slabby / positive routes - be sure you won't hit something on the way down. overhanging routes gives the safest falls.

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:57 am
by Overide
Alright thanks man,

I shall try set up a lead climbing lesson with my gym for myself and my climbing partner :)

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:16 am
by clickbutt
>and my climbing partner

I would highly recommend you take at least one confident leader on your first trip to the crags. Getting training is awesome but its best to have somebody that can spot if you make mistakes and help you learn "on the job" so to speak.

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:21 am
by Overide
clickbutt wrote:>and my climbing partner

I would highly recommend you take at least one confident leader on your first trip to the crags. Getting training is awesome but its best to have somebody that can spot if you make mistakes and help you learn "on the job" so to speak.

I definitely will do that, we are yet to experience the wonders of outdoor climbing we have been invited before but could not make it. So hoping by the next invite we will be able to add finishing touches (advice from the veterans) to both the lead and top rope climbing

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:26 pm
by Gobsmacked
Depending on which part of the country you are in attend an MCSA Orientation meet. Otherwise at least get taught by someone else who does a fair bit of lead climbing. Practice on an absolute staircase until you are proficient at clipping correctly, being correctly belayed and at lowering off. At some point you will need to learn to clean a route but initially leave that to your more experienced tutor.

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:58 pm
by PeterHS
I agree all the good advice above. Start in the gym, then sport and then trad is a sensible progression. Short single pitch to start. Lead a route that you have seconded before and are familiar and comfortable with. Look at the route too and make sure you have enough quickdraws (sport) and rack them on both sides of your harness according to the route and bolt positions.

Most important, learn the correct procedures - tying off and lowering, abseil too - at the top of the climb (sport especially) and know them intimately. You'll often be alone and generally unable to seek advice or have anyone double check you. This is where tragic accidents can and sadly do happen. I'm not trying to put you off but learn well and from trusted experts before your first lead.

Stay safe.

Peter

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:45 pm
by Chalk
If you can confidently climb a 10 on top.. try leading an 8, and take it from there. start small, your body will punish you for scaring it!

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:30 am
by Warren G
Top rope is for seconding multipitch routes only. The sooner you get over your irrational* fear of the sharp end the better: People under-estimate how much top-roping and avoiding the lead slows down the development of the climber.

One of the biggest mental shifts is the change in thinking from "Bolt to Bolt" to "Rest to Rest". One must accept that the rope, draws and all the "safety" gear is your backup safety: you are your primary safety. Trust your abilities, its amazing how well they can protect you, and where they can take you. Once you start thinking like this then you can think about skipping draws that add rope drag, or are tiring to clip because this type of thinking increases your chances of sending.

The next step (as I see it) is the mantra of "There is no Take": one should be completely committed to sending the line, on lead, with as few attempts as possible. To call "Take!" is to admit that you are not committed, and are wasting your time and the time of your belayer**.

* rationalizing what is rational or irrational fear is the first step to over come it.
** on a send attempt, working a route is a separate matter, please be considerate of your catch and clip in directly to bolts when resting: just because you're resting doesn't mean they are.

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:09 pm
by Old Smelly
Good Advice - but not particularly relevant to a beginner! A beginner needs to learn to lead "bolt to bolt" in a fairly safe and controlled manner and from there should actually do their first falls in a fairly contrived manner - unless they are totally fearless and don't mind a few broken ankles before they learn to clip. All that other stuff follows quite a lot later - when clipping is automatic and falling is par for the course!

What Warren said is certainly inspirational and aspirational though! :thumright

Re: Lead Climbing

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:19 pm
by Overide
Yeah that is why I was definitely thinking of doing the course the gym offers. They have the bolts and the quickdraws in place