Help Devils lake trad climbers


Original Post
CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Looking for easy first trad climbs at the lake. Climbs with a decent amount of protection options and have pg falls. We have been practicing with top rope back up out the with placing and cleaning and falling on gear and now it's time to just leave from the ground up. I'll take whatever you guys throw out there big or small but I'd rather be a 5.7 or lower we recently climbed the bone(5.5) but the wasp nest in the middle v made for a horrible rope drag going left and on the face to get over em. Was not digging that with that little shelf it puts you on by that ole piton

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Queen's Throne and Cleo's needle are both great first leads...well protected 5.4s. Lost Face is a really nice lead. Brinton's Crack protects well and is classic but is super psychological/exposed/scary for the grade.

Mike Robinson · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 160

false alarm jam, double overhang, and coatamundi are all good leads in a close area on the east bluff.

CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Awesome I appreciate it guys!

Joe Z. · · Prairie du Sac, WI · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Is there a particular guiding company to recommend for learning more hands on about trad climbing? I wanted to sign up for the Crag Classic class but it filled so fast!

James Schroeder · · Sauk County, WI · Joined May 2002 · Points: 2,582
Joe Z. wrote:Is there a particular guiding company to recommend for learning more hands on about trad climbing? I wanted to sign up for the Crag Classic class but it filled so fast!
Devil's Lake Climbing Guides

But I'm admittedly biased.
James Schroeder · · Sauk County, WI · Joined May 2002 · Points: 2,582
CRAG-list-KILLA wrote:Looking for easy first trad climbs at the lake. Climbs with a decent amount of protection options and have pg falls. We have been practicing with top rope back up out the with placing and cleaning and falling on gear and now it's time to just leave from the ground up. I'll take whatever you guys throw out there big or small but I'd rather be a 5.7 or lower we recently climbed the bone(5.5) but the wasp nest in the middle v made for a horrible rope drag going left and on the face to get over em. Was not digging that with that little shelf it puts you on by that ole piton
Start on things that feel VERY easy. For about your first ten leads (or so), you shouldn't even have to consider the movement part of the climbing - only the protection system you're building. You should be comfortable soloing the terrain your first leads take place on, because until you know that you're building solid safety systems; soloing may be what you are effectively doing.

Have an experienced climber second your leads and check your system. When that person and you feel comfortable with your skills, you start to up the grade. There's no rush.
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
Ted Pinson wrote: Brinton's Crack protects well and is classic but is super psychological/exposed/scary for the grade.
Yeah I've mock led it on TR and have never fallen on the traverse but haven't led it yet out of a fear of falling there. Need to go for it one of these trips.

I second Queen's Throne being a good first lead.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Yeah, it's definitely a head point project for early leaders but not that bad if you just go for it on the traverse. I actually had more trouble on the obligate hand jam 2nd crux because I led it on a humid morning in early August, lol.

James M Schroeder wrote: Devil's Lake Climbing Guides But I'm admittedly biased.
Seconded, and I'm not biased. :)
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5

The hand jam is definitely the physical crux but at least its well protected and you won't pendulum if you fall there. The idea of falling on a traverse doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies haha.

Jay Knower · · Campton, NH · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 5,138

I agree with those who said that your first leads should feel VERY easy. My first lead was Turks Tooth, 5.2.

Assuming that your comfort zone includes 5.6, then I'd recommend these as good leads on which to work out your systems:

Foreplay, 5.5
Queen's Throne, 5.4 --only if you have some mid-sized cams
Sunken Pillar, 5.5
Everleigh Club Crack, light-duty 5.6

Chris treggE · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2007 · Points: 8,590

The 5.2 on Devil's Doorway leads to a nice summit. It's very short though.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
Jay Knower wrote: Queen's Throne, 5.4 --only if you have some mid-sized cams
Jay, you've been climbing with those springy things too long! I sewed it up on 1 set of nuts and 1 set of hexes as my second lead.
Jay Knower · · Campton, NH · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 5,138
Seth Jones wrote: Jay, you've been climbing with those springy things too long! I sewed it up on 1 set of nuts and 1 set of hexes as my second lead.
Really? That's bold!
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
Jay Knower wrote: Really? That's bold!
The chockstone in the main crack and the finger crack left of the dihedral made made it feel G rated to me. I certainly wouldn't consider myself a bold leader haha.
Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 20

My first lead there was the back side of the leaning tower (5.2) - it's just a series of steps you can't fall on that you can focus placing gear with both hands at every step and set an easy anchor at the top. There are great gear placements all over it.

Foreplay is good too, that was an early lead for me along with queens throne.

Don't do Cleo's needle as a first lead. The top is like 4 square feet with a single bolt, you have to sling the block, and space/rope management is going to be hard there your first time. Pick something straight forward, not something bound to be a cluster at the top.

Bill McKirgan · · Cedar Rapids, IA · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 483

The Bone 5.5 is a good one to try as a first lead.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-bone/105730562

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45
Seth Jones wrote:The hand jam is definitely the physical crux but at least its well protected and you won't pendulum if you fall there. The idea of falling on a traverse doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies haha.
Ha, my first trad fall was on a traverse (not at DL). It's actually not as bad as you think as long as you've extended your gear, as you're usually not too far ABOVE your gear and don't fall as far down. That said, I wouldn't want to fall on that...the landing if your gear goes is NOT pleasant.
CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks guys really appreciate it!

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 550
Bill McKirgan wrote:The Bone 5.5 is a good one to try as a first lead. mountainproject.com/v/the-b...
Nice lead, but maybe not the best 'first' lead. It is very exposed up there, and kind of scary for sure when you havent' led much. I know it wsa not in my first 10 leads when I began,,,needed a big of courage before going for that big a route. Those short 30-40 ft routes with nice landings over on East Ramparts are a great start.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

^^Guys, he already led the Bone.

Oh, stay the hell away from the Pedestal. It's a 2 pitch 5.4 found right off the CCC trail on East Bluff and therefore very tempting for new leaders, but it's a vicious sandbag...unless you're into traversing on good hands but god-awful feet (basically campusing) above your one piece of decent gear 20' off the deck...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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