Trad Climbing Literature

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GClamp
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Trad Climbing Literature

Postby GClamp » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:18 am

Hi

Could anyone suggest a good book on traditional climbing techniques, instruction gear etc.

Essentially a book that teaches you how to climb trad.

Thanks
G

DeanVDM
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby DeanVDM » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:50 am

Get and read John Long's book "Climbing Anchors" (part of How to Climb series). Lots of photos and analysis of placements and stances.

Do a search on youtube: there are some good videos (the BMC recently did some videos on it too).

Start an 'apprenticeship' with an experienced climber. This is the best and safest way to learn on real rock.

GClamp
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby GClamp » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:06 am

Thanks for the advice on the book and videos.

"Start an 'apprenticeship' with an experienced climber. This is the best and safest way to learn on real rock."

That is a good idea but realistically this hasn’t happened for me:

Me: We must go trad climb!
Trad climbing Friend: Yea definately
Trad climbing friend leaves for overseas, without "me" ever going trad climbing.

I have found if you have to rely on other people and their gear, then you are going be waiting a while before going climbing. If I had just bought a harness and shoes and not the majority of my sport climbing gear straight away, then I probably would never have got on the rock.

The other issue here: Who has tested experienced trad climbing friend, how do I know that he is using universally excepted methods? Because someone has been doing something for a long time doesn’t necessary mean that is right.

I am playing the devils advocate with the above paragraph. However, I feel that if I have read reviewed literature on the topic and practiced the methods, I will be better placed to judge whether the methods “experienced partner” is using are correct or not.

I am a very risk averse person, so I would never head out if I didn’t know exactly what me or partner were doing.

Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:12 am

GClamp wrote:The other issue here: Who has tested experienced trad climbing friend, how do I know that he is using universally excepted methods? Because someone has been doing something for a long time doesn’t necessary mean that is right.


Is your trad climbing friend still alive? Then he's probably doing (most) things right.

I have no idea where you are based but the MCSA in Cape Town at least has regular intro to trad climbing days. Alternatively go to a sport crag like Lower Silvermine and climb the routes on trad gear, clipping the bolts too, then lob off on to your gear and see if it pulls (or ask a traddie at the crag to evaluate your pieces)

There really is no other way to learn trad than to trad. Follow the leader several times, see what they do in each situation and learn that way. Then start to lead yourself.
Happy climbing
Nic

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henkg
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby henkg » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:37 pm

The two books by Heidi Pesterfield, I can highly recommend.
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deSouzaFrank
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby deSouzaFrank » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:06 pm

Nic shot this one before me, but what he suggested is precisely the way I'm teaching my self. Take two ropes clip one to bolts and other to pro. I use two full ropes. Mine and my friends. This way also get use to belaying with two ropes. YouTube clips help a lot. Mike Barter (strange character) has a few clips on there that I have found very helpful.

Warren G
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby Warren G » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:22 pm

There is no single way to do trad: whoever you climb with will have preferences and habits, some will be useful, others cumbersome. There are some things I have noticed repeating though:

Climbers with a sport climbing background place the gear on their harnesses, while those who started on trad go straight of the bandolier around their shoulder. Sports climbers tell you its easier to place from the harness, Tradsters will say its easier to transfer gear on a bandolier. Your call to figure out which you prefer, but majority I climb with place them on their harnesses. If you are going to place them on your harness put the smaller pieces in front, and bigger at the back- this way they won't get in your way when you climb.

I assume you own no gear? The first piece you need to get is a nut tool. I would even say a sport climber who goes trad climbing twice a year should consider getting one. If you don't one have use a butter-knife with a bit of tat tied to the end to attach to your harness.

Otherwise I agree you need to find someone to learn from. If you are really lucky you will find a good trad climber who you sport climb better than, as this means you can easily follow them without holding them back, plus you can teach them some sport climbing skills.

I agree that finding a regular climbing partner is hard, much less someone who prefers a different type of climbing. This is why people buy their own gear. Don't be offended that regular partners are hard to find, because there are few regular people. I have noticed more regularity from foreigners working/studying here than locals, because the locals tend to have other commitments like family and friends. While if you are only in a place for 6 months wouldn't you want to do as much as possible? Foreign psyche will always beat local. Keep an eye on this forum for people looking and don't be afraid of the one-off weekend with someone, who knows where it will head.
Sandbagging is a dirty game

ant
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby ant » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:49 pm

I had many failed attempts at persuading a mentor to take me out when I was 17.
I persuaded my parents to sponsor a 4-day instructed trad course and have never looked back. (Further mentors and partners were far easier to attain)
What they will teach you is the entire methodical suite of skills first-hand so that you can go out and practice with confidence.

I can recommend www.ventureforth.co.za, and several other folks. Where are you located?

I become an instructor myself although am 'semi-retired' from this profession, so can speak from a position of non-bias ;-)

Ant

GClamp
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby GClamp » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:35 pm

Thank you to all, for all the advice and suggestions been provided.

Nic Le Maitre wrote:I have no idea where you are based but the MCSA in Cape Town at least has regular intro to trad climbing day


I have been part of the MCSA CT for about 6 months and haven't seen anything like this in the weekly news letter. However, I will keep a lookout for one.

Nic Le Maitre wrote: Alternatively go to a sport crag like Lower Silvermine and climb the routes on trad gear, clipping the bolts too, then lob off on to your gear and see if it pulls (or ask a traddie at the crag to evaluate your pieces)


This is a good idea and probably the best way to teach yourself. Hence, my question on instructional material, literature etc.

henkg wrote:The two books by Heidi Pesterfield, I can highly recommend.


DeanVDM wrote:Get and read John Long's book "Climbing Anchors" (part of How to Climb series)


Thanks guys I will check these out!

deSouzaFrank wrote:Nic shot this one before me, but what he suggested is precisely the way I'm teaching my self. Take two ropes clip one to bolts and other to pro. I use two full ropes. Mine and my friends. This way also get use to belaying with two ropes. YouTube clips help a lot. Mike Barter (strange character) has a few clips on there that I have found very helpful


I agree, thanks!

Warren G wrote:There is no single way to do trad: whoever you climb with will have preferences and habits, some will be useful, others cumbersome.


I agree completely Warren. Even with the simple lower off in sport climbing, people have different methods and preferences and it is something you will only pick up through experience.

Warren G wrote:I have noticed more regularity from foreigners working/studying here than locals, because the locals tend to have other commitments like family and friends. While if you are only in a place for 6 months wouldn't you want to do as much as possible? Foreign psyche will always beat local. Keep an eye on this forum for people looking and don't be afraid of the one-off weekend with someone, who knows where it will head.


This is kind of what I am aiming for. If I am in the position where I have the gear and knowledge, then finding partners is much easier. I have found this with sport. I feel that you have to be proactive if you want things to happen. As you have mentioned everyone has there own commitments etc. that is why I feel it is important for me to put myself in a better position to "get out there".

ant wrote:I persuaded my parents to sponsor a 4-day instructed trad course and have never looked back. (Further mentors and partners were far easier to attain)
What they will teach you is the entire methodical suite of skills first-hand so that you can go out and practice with confidence.


I agree with you on this Ant a course is beneficial. I have actually done the abseil supervisor training and assessment and I must admit I did learn a lot. However, I would like to start off by doing some of my own learning and training first. These course are obviously very expensive and I would like to see how far I get on my own before doing one again.

Cheers

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robertbreyer
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Re: Trad Climbing Literature

Postby robertbreyer » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:26 am

we sell a few "how-to" books, including the climbing anchors one.
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=199

personally, i started by taking a trad leader course with Tony Lourens. not sure he still does courses.
a few of us did it together. the benefit being that you then have some partners to go climbing with.

do try Ross Suter (highadventure.co.za) or David Vallet.
MCSA Cape Town section definitely a good option. Delaney Carpenter.

but you have to practice your social skills to find partners.
in general, i do find climbers very sociable and happy to take beginners or leaders-in-training along.
but you not going to get unless you ask.

- Robert
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