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Sport to trad

Original Post
Tim Heney · · South lake Tahoe, Ca · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Good day all,

Here is my question,  so I'm working from doing mostly sport ( avg of 5.11b) and getting into Trade climbing.  My main question is,  how do u get over the mental fact of the falls on trad gear.  

I do understand that a well placed cam/s during a fall should be able to hold but I still get this mind set in my head it's going to slip.

Tim Cooney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 113

The best way IMO is to just fall on it. I started leading and I didn't fall for a bit but I finally got tired one day and slipped out- it held. I guess you could practice with a crash pad below you or a top rope backup.

Nick Thomas · · Fargo, ND · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 30

It’s a good idea to learn from experienced climbers how to place gear.  One of the best ways to do this is just by following them up a lot of routes.  You get to see where they decided to put gear, how/what they placed, and lots of other things like if they extended or not.  Plus, since trad climbing involves some different techniques than sport climbing (jamming primarily) you’ll get experience with that so you don’t feel as rushed once you’re placing gear on the sharp end.  

When you are confident in your gear placing abilities jump on lead and give it a shot.  Choose your routes wisely, start below your limit and when you try ones near your limit make sure they are easy to protect.  Then you can feel confident in taking a fall on bomber gear.

David Kutassy · · Charlottesville, VA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5

I'm learning to place and trust gear too. I've been placing gear at ground level and on boulder problems. On boulders I'll wear my harness and clip directly to the placement with a quickdraw to test it with body weight.

There are two 5.8 sport routes a few hours away that take gear. So I took a few falls on gear backed up by bolts. C4s held perfect in the horizontal cracks.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125

How did you get over being willing to make a hard move 10' above your last clip?

Place more gear, and have other, more experienced climbers critique it.  I have placed a few bits of marginal gear, and every time, I know that they are marginal.  They are also the only pieces that have ever popped on me.  Eventually as you set more, you will set it and forget it.  In the mean time, place more gear, climb a bit easier, and really think about what you are placing.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Find a sport climb with possible gear placement high up, higher than the bolt with 0% decking even with some belaying screw ups, and take a fall. If the gear pops, you would, obviously, be protected by the bolts you already clipped.

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 215

In my opinion, aid climbing teaches you the intricacies of gear and what holds much quicker than beginning trad.  Find a straightforward splitter crack and aid it.  If it's a bolted crack or seam, even better; move upward on aid, and clip bolts for pro as others have mentioned here.

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

The funny thing is the biggest fall I ever had on a piece of trad gear held even though I was questioning if it would hold but because I was on an overhang when I tried to pull on the rope to get back on the wall it popped on me. Part of climbing trad is learning how good your placement is, plenty of times you don't have much of a choice but to place a piece of gear that you question about holding a fall and having the nerve to keep climbing.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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