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Presentation for Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Climbing


Original Post
andrew.reed · · Louisville, KY · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

Hey Everyone,

We all know this is a contentious topic, and the source of many a thread on MP.  What I am trying to do is plan a presentation that we can hold at our local climbing gym to discuss ethics, techniques, logistics, general info on how to safely and respectfully transition from the indoor environment to outdoor venues.  Specifically, with our home "crag" being the Red, I will be catering to single pitch sport climbing techniques.  I have the experience and knowledge to cover these topics with sufficient depth.  What I am asking our community here is to provide feedback.

Does anyone have existing planning documents that they wouldn't mind sharing?  It would be awesome to draw from other experiences and help reduce duplication of effort.  
Some questions to the general community:

Have you been to an event like this before?
If so, what did you like, what did you not like?

Constructive feedback is welcome!

Thanks,

Andrew

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

The biggest point to remember is that all the ethics you will be talking about could mean nothing when you go to another area. Ethics in different climbing areas can be different where you are ok to lower from anchor or expect to rappel etc.

andrew.reed · · Louisville, KY · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35
ViperScale . wrote: The biggest point to remember is that all the ethics you will be talking about could mean nothing when you go to another area. Ethics in different climbing areas can be different where you are ok to lower from anchor or expect to rappel etc.

This is certainly true.  My focus will be on the ethics of the Red.  But I will make sure to qualify everything with the disclaimer that ethics vary based on location, history, style, etc.

jason oliphant · · warren, Pa · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 20

I here am new and didn't know it was a difficult subject; (?)
but generally I would think that , there is a lot to say about the change of technique when transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor and

much LESS to say of the ethics.  I mean- what more can you say then "don't play music, drop lots of trash, and leave stuff all stewn around (like you do at a climbing gym)"

go off on it in a long rant and you're audience is sure to tune you out.
IMHO

as a matter of curiosity, I take it there's lots of difficulties sometimes between climbers in the Madness that is the Red.

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

In my opinion, behavior at the crag should receive a fair bit of time  - covering music/smoking/drinking/crowding/trash/poop/dogs. Talking about crag babies is probably not worth the time - your primary audience is likely to be more interested in birth control.

A few things related to climbing -
- No TR through fixed gear! Even though there might be cleaning carabiners at the anchors, they are not for TR sessions.
- Route sharing - if your gear is on the route, and there is a line, let the waiting party use it. Better yet, invite them to use it.
- Anchor cleaning - if someone is about to clean route you intend to climb, give them your anchor draws. They get to the top, clip your draws, transfer the rope, lower off. Quick, safe and saves fixed gear.

If you climb at RRG, donate a few bucks for RRGFGI ( super safe Ian Kirk) for rebolting.

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
jason oliphant wrote: I here am new and didn't know it was a difficult subject; (?)
but generally I would think that , there is a lot to say about the change of technique when transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor and

much LESS to say of the ethics.  I mean- what more can you say then "don't play music, drop lots of trash, and leave stuff all stewn around (like you do at a climbing gym)"

go off on it in a long rant and you're audience is sure to tune you out.
IMHO

as a matter of curiosity, I take it there's lots of difficulties sometimes between climbers in the Madness that is the Red.

Ethics is more than behavior. Ethics as it relates to anchors changes from crag to crag and is important to discuss. 

jason oliphant · · warren, Pa · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 20

so these are rules that different groups of climbers are expected to follow?

what happens if climbers don't know the rules??

: curious

I would know nothing about sharing gear at an anchor, per Amarius's post

but then my only exposure to outdoor climbing is bouldering.  it is even possible to adequately describe the topics of anchoring at a climbing gym?  take  "cleaning an anchor",  I could google it ofc
but it would surely be better to see it done in an outdoor setting.

I'm sure Amarius has said it plainly; but I barely know what he means.  just a point to make regarding a presentation at the gym.

andrew.reed · · Louisville, KY · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35
amarius wrote: In my opinion, behavior at the crag should receive a fair bit of time  - covering music/smoking/drinking/crowding/trash/poop/dogs. Talking about crag babies is probably not worth the time - your primary audience is likely to be more interested in birth control.

A few things related to climbing -
- No TR through fixed gear! Even though there might be cleaning carabiners at the anchors, they are not for TR sessions.
- Route sharing - if your gear is on the route, and there is a line, let the waiting party use it. Better yet, invite them to use it.
- Anchor cleaning - if someone is about to clean route you intend to climb, give them your anchor draws. They get to the top, clip your draws, transfer the rope, lower off. Quick, safe and saves fixed gear.

If you climb at RRG, donate a few bucks for RRGFGI ( super safe Ian Kirk) for rebolting.

Excellent points.

https://www.facebook.com/RRGFixedGearInitiative/photos/pb.105779769588366.-2207520000.1530282018./1039297429569924/?type=3&theater

There's the link to Rebolt the Red 2018.
jason oliphant · · warren, Pa · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 20

ok. googled.
"cleaning an anchor" means get your stuff out of the anchor (so other people can use it)
:(
that wasn't rocket science. my bad.

still think it might be easier to show outside; but perhaps if you can set up an anchor in your climbing wall...

Adam Ronchetti · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2011 · Points: 25

Group size is probably another big one. This is one of those true at the red, but also true everywhere, things. My personal feeling is that the largest reasonable group is 4-6 people. 

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585

The AAC has a decent video series on some of these topics (less about ethics, but plenty on cleaning anchors, preparing for outdoor climbing, etc.):

https://americanalpineclub.org/videos/

Peter Y · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Are you mentioning Roadside Crag's history for the "respectfully" transitioning part?

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

Decommission the bathrooms at your Gym, turn off the AC, release 1,000,000 hungry mosquitoes and biting flies, bring in some potted Poison Oak, a few big out of control dogs will add a realistic twist and to top it all off a few screaming children with clueless parents.
Then there will be no need to transition to the great outdoors... you will have it in your gym!

Good Luck   

Justin Veenhuis · · Ferndale, MI · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 101
Peter Y wrote: Are you mentioning Roadside Crag's history for the "respectfully" transitioning part?

I'd also bring up Torrent Falls

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,881

First of all - despite the fact that ethics can vary, I venture to say that some rock climbing ethics are common to all areas, you should isolate and emphasize these first. At the risk of sounding like an old geezer you should also explain the history behind the common and local ethics - making people realize that they are there for a good reason.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

The path along the base of the cliff is just that, a path. I´ll make an effort not to inconvenience a belayer standing there, I´ll make no effort whatsoever to avoid the dead bird jacket/rucksack/iphone/Nalgene bottle lying in my way. My dog will take care of any food.

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181

Items I think would be worth looking at, may not fit in the presentation.  Lot's of this stuff is really basic and it may have been taught somewhere else.  But I have run into some folks fresh from the gym, believe it or not they didn't know any of this.

The dangers of setting a top rope. How to set a tag line. How to keep debris from falling down on other climbers.  

What to pack for the approach. Typically outdoor climbing is an all day affair. Sun Screen, bug spray, lunch etc.

Don't lower on fixed gear.

Don't leave a rope hanging on a route without someone climbing, aka don't tie up a route.

The dreaded American death V.  Proper extension on oddly placed anchors.

Quad anchor vs sliding X vs double quick draws, pros cons of each.

How to set up a rap. Who goes first. Staying on route. How to secure the rope so it doesn't get dropped. Extending and using an auto block. Throwing a rope. Saddle bags.

How to pull a rope. Check for knots, lay the rope on rap so it won't bind.

The dangers of going too far off route, How much swing is acceptable. What will you hit if you swing. There are no colored tabs to keep you on route.

When/how to place a redirect biner for the next climber, many outdoor routes are angular or traverse.

Loose holds/rock. Stuff that will pull loose when you go to yard on it.  Knock on it, hollow sound or solid.

Loose rocks falling. "ROCK ROCK ROCK" Don't look up. Move close to the wall or behind a tree, let your helmet take the hit, not your face.

Loose rocks/debris falling while pulling a rope, stand to one side of the fall line when pulling rope.

Be diverse in you holds: knobs, knibbies, cracks, under clings, jugs, smear, stemming etc. While gyms do a pretty good job of setting up these opportunities if someone has never climbed outdoors the diversity may be a new concept. Probably worth a few minutes of open discussion.

How to seek help in a remote area.  aka, your cell phone won't work.  When to leave, when to stay. Have someone who is not going with you know where you are going and when you expect to be back.  

Techniques for finding the climbing area.  Maps, guide books, GPS.

 

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Dallas R wrote: Items I think would be worth looking at, may not fit in the presentation.  Lot's of this stuff is really basic and it may have been taught somewhere else.  But I have run into some folks fresh from the gym, believe it or not they didn't know any of this.
Lot's of really excellent points. Just to point out something from OP's post - he is focusing on the Red, aka Red River Gorge, primarily single pitch sport and trad climbing. Local ethic encourages to lower off fixed gear.
Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35

In my mind the presentation should cover five things.
1) Presentations cannot replace proper instruction on how to climb outside.  This presentation is intended to help you learn but by no means replace proper instruction from an experienced climber or guide.
2) Climbing outside is a LOT less controlled environment than in a gym.  You are responsible for your own safety but you will also hold others safety in your hands.  If you don't know what is the safe thing to do then ask.  There are no stupid questions and any self respecting climber would be more than happy to help out particularly if its preventing someone from getting hurt.  If you are not comfortable doing something then don't do it.  There are loose holds, falling rocks, bad bolts, sketchy clips, bad spots to fall, places where you can't hear or see the climber, etc. that don't really exist in the gym so be aware.  
3) Be respectful getting to and at the crag.  Leave no trace, keep your gear pile tidy and out of the way, do your fair share of the work (belaying, hiking in gear, tidying up, etc.).  Even if you are literally being guided, don't act like its someone else's job to do everything.  Climbers aren't the most loved users of land so be a good steward as it helps everybody.
4) How to get off a climb.  First, have an agreed on plan with the belayer on how you are getting off the climb before you leave the ground (lowering, rapping, clean and lower, walk-off).How to clean an anchor, rappel, and always tie a stopper knot. Holy moly this kind of stuff injures and kills a lot of newer climbers.  Re-emphasize #1 and #2.
5) Have fun!  That's the whole point!  

I've never been to a presentation but from the informal group climbs/outings I've been apart of they seem to focus on the wrong things or focus on running before people learn to walk so to speak.  People get intimidated, or don't want to sound stupid, or think they know everything from a YouTube video so they don't ask questions and do some really sketchy stuff just out of ignorance.

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181
amarius wrote: Lot's of really excellent points. Just to point out something from OP's post - he is focusing on the Red, aka Red River Gorge, primarily single pitch sport and trad climbing. Local ethic encourages to lower off fixed gear.

That's good to know, thanks for making that known. 

That ethic is safer for new climbers, more gym like.  It takes away the whole rap thing.  It takes a really strong climbing community to sustain that process.  Cudos to the folks that maintain that area and buy the gear.
hemp22 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 50

I would recommend contacting the Access Fund or RRGCC to see if they already have presentations or other materials that match up with what you're looking for.

I know I've seen posters & pamphlets in climbing gyms, put out by the Access Fund, that give tips on how to transition from gym to crag.

The AF also has a pretty good list of considerations online here:
https://www.accessfund.org/learn/the-climbers-pact
(bottom of the page below the email form)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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