Recommendations for a first trad lead?


Original Post
Br3tt · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Any recommended routes? Looking for something relatively easy for my first time. Thanks in advance (and, as an aside, if you're looking for a ride out to JT on Saturday I'll be leaving LA at 5am...not sure if i'll camp out or return that night so I can't promise a ride home)


Josh Romney · Apr 10, 2016 · Kaysville, UT · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0
I'd suggest leading some sport routes outside and getting those on point. Leading routes outside is a hell of a lot different than gym leads where bolts are placed every 5 feet. I have just started leading trad and it truly is a whole different style of climbing and mentality. If you haven't crack climbed before you are in for a huge beatdown.

Also, do you have experience placing gear? Blindly trusting cam placements is asking for broken legs or worse.

Br3tt · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
I have experience placing/removing gear and building anchors. The sport route was something I thought about and I'll take into consideration.

Chad Namolik · Apr 10, 2016 · Three Rivers, CA · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 1,340
The Eye
The Bong
Mikes Books (2P)
Toejam

AndrewR Rzepka · Apr 10, 2016 · Minneapolis · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 0
Br3tt, My advice to you, even though you may not like to hear it, is to TAKE IT EASY, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TAKE IT SLOWLY. I've seen way to many climbers advance too quickly. We never like to hear this, cause most of us want to get up that climb and get going! I agree but I'd just continue to second with someone who has a lot of experience leading, and then with time, take the sharp end on something 5.6 or 5.5ish. Seriously, I've been there! We think "Hey! I can climb 10s and 11s in the gym" but believe me, this is SO different. Please, just go slowly. Learn all of the tricks to lead climbing (and no matter what anyone says, there are many!), gain experience slowly and I think you'll be happier (in the long run) and safer (which is much more important!). If that doesn't convince you, get an older copy (2015 or before) of the Accident in North American Mountaineering, and that should convince you. AR

Br3tt · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Really appreciate all the thoughtful advice. Think I may follow Josh & Andrew's advice and pump the breaks a little.

Locker · Apr 10, 2016 · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,635
Just a suggestion.

If it really is your first outdoor gear lead, it might be wise to pick something well within limit first, until you get your shit dialed.

Have someone that knows gear well second and check your placements.

You don't want to find out the hard way.

REMINDER: PLACE GEAR IN DIRECTION OF ANTICIPATED FALL

EDITED:

I must have been typing close to when Andrew was. Andrew is correct!

Michael Colby · Apr 10, 2016 · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5
There are a couple perfect first trad leads at trash can rock.

tomallen112190 · Apr 10, 2016 · yucca valley, ca · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 15
I'm blessed by living right down the street from JT and try to go out at least once a week or more. I'm getting a trad rack set up now and haven't got the experience yet to recommend any routes to you, but I've been leading sport for a while now (9 months on and off) and can at least help you select a few sweet sport routes in the park if you're interested. I've (stubbornly and hesitantly) taken the same advice given me as Josh just gave you and I've found that there's more than enough to do out here to keep you busy and entertained. Right off the top of my head I would send you to the hall of horrors area or headstone. They don't see too much traffic and both are great.

christoph benells · Apr 10, 2016 · tahoma · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 55
jumping right into gear climbing is fine, but look for the absolute easiest routes you can find.

my first was called "giant staircase" and I remember sitting down at one point while placing a cam...it was that easy.

I would say walk around J-tree and find cracks that are so easy they are not even considered a climb worthy of a MP page, do that for several outings then step up into the 5.6-5.7 range.

Locker · Apr 10, 2016 · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,635
Unless you want everyone and their cousins watching you, DON'T GO TO "TRASHCAN"!

Use Mt Projects "Best routes for you" thing, type in 5.0-5.5 "TRAD", pick something.

A bunch to be had.

EDITED:

If it's "Sport" you want, you'd do better to go to New Jack City or one of the other areas similar. Much more concentrated and "Sport" specific.

IMO you had the right idea first time around. Grab you RACK and start learning to stuff gear. It's Joshua Tree, aka CRACK CITY.

Dow Williams · Apr 10, 2016 · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 75
My favorites to teach trad leading on at Jtree.

Mental Physics; Double Cross; Toe Jam; Maggies Farm; As the Wind Blows, Dappled Mare, Sail Away; Gem...but there are a ton of good choices, great place to learn..good luck

NeilB · Apr 10, 2016 · Tehachapi, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 30
Chad Namolik wrote:The Eye The Bong Mikes Books (2P) Toejam
+1 for The Bong. Straight forward gear placement and great climbing all at 5.4. Sew it up (which means place lots of gear, in case you didn't know)!
Also, Sail Away is a good one and was my first lead on gear.

brat · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 35
Go to Short Wall in Indian Cove and do Double Crack and Donna T's Crack, 5.3 and 5.5.

David Hous · Apr 10, 2016 · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 145
FWIW when I take someone on their first trad lead now I take them to a 5.2 crack that is not too steep and has lots of good placements and then have them place gear (as much gear as possible) while trailing a rope and clipping the gear all while I belay them on a top rope.

Locker · Apr 10, 2016 · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,635
SMART!

"Mock lead"

"FWIW when I take someone on their first trad lead now I take them to a 5.2 crack that is not too steep and has lots of good placements and then have them place gear (as much gear as possible) while trailing a rope and clipping the gear all while I belay them on a top rope."

And on that note, a PERFECT crack to learn gear on is out at Bear Island...

A 5.2 that takes good gear.

EDITED:

"Go to Short Wall in Indian Cove and do Double Crack"

Bad choice for first gear lead in my opinion.

Too easy/tempting for a n00b to stuff their needed holds.

Carey De Luca · Apr 10, 2016 · Yucca Valley, Ca · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 0
My first trad leads were in Jtree after years of following a really strong climber. I suggest going to Atlantis Wall off of Lost Horse Road. You can set up a TR on all of the routes. Top rope them, get a feel for the rock. Maybe pre-place the gear and then lead. The easier routes on the wall have amazing pro placements. My first time up each of those routes I places 12 pieces in the 45 feet, no joke. Great practice, great stances for placing. And again, great top rope set up, just bring long webbing.
FyI-I live out in Jtree. The rating are crazy. There are 5.7s I will not lead because they are sketch (double cross), yet 5.11s I will lead. Don't assume all 5.6s and 7s are created equal. Climb smart and have fun.

EthanC · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 219
Mikes Books was my first trad lead in JTree, I would not recommend it as a first trad lead. The Bong is solid.

simplyput · Apr 10, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0
Uhh... Yer gonna die?

FrankPS · Apr 10, 2016 · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
EthanC wrote:Mikes Books was my first trad lead in JTree, I would not recommend it as a first trad lead. The Bong is solid.
The downclimb on the Bong would be the scary part. Very exposed.

Locker · Apr 10, 2016 · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,635
"My first trad leads were in Jtree after years of following a really strong climber".

He left this note for me. I have to admit that it's a bit concerning.

LOL!

...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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