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Am I ready to lead adventure style trad.


patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
limpingcrab wrote: In reality, if you have the basic concept of climbing down and have enough common sense to tell if something is safe then all of the practice will just make you faster and more efficient.  The tricks you learn usually make things faster, not necessarily safer.

True, though in many cases faster is safer.  This is doubly so if no contingency escape is planned for.  (Which is hardly necessary for single pitch or busy crags with easy access.)


One local climb near me seems to attract the most rescues because it is a 900foot 5.10 that is fully bolted, a classic with few other bolted climbs of this length and grade in the area.  It attracts the gym climbers who go out expecting to just cruise up it and take photos for instabook and facegram.  They end up stuck on the wall as night comes in with no way to escape and call emergency for rescue because they are now cold hungry and tired.
michael s... · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60

"never try, never know"

Professor Snax · · Atlanta · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15

“Lack of experience with complicated rappelling” is a bit of a red flag, but otherwise yeah just go for it. Just make sure you let folks pass if you’re slowing them down. 

Jeremy R · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 25

You may be ready, you may not be. Just go find out, you might surprise yourself :)

Jason Baksh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Go do "Early Morning Fright" (if you did Duet (which is wanderish) it's to the climbers right - and not hard but exposed), then do "Ladies on top" (not hard but deeyum that traverse and those gargoyles!!) at Moro Rock. Also tryout East Buttress (original route - chimney), Korbek, and Central Pillar of Frenzy on Middle Cathedral. I am basically telling you to do the things I did which help me develop some skills that as stuck with me. Also, go do the first couple pitches of el cap routes.

Disclaimer: I don't climb all the time and I don't climb "hard" stuff, but I do like the longer pitches and stuff.

D14411 F · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 770
Wesley wrote: Based on my experience, listed below, I have 2 questions:

  1. Am I ready to embark on more big adventure climbs in and around Sequoia/Kings/Yosemite with someone of similar skill level? 
  2. Am I ready to embark on more adventure climbs with a beginner following me?
I assume that if the answer to both of those questions is no, I should seek out more experienced partners for a little longer. If that's the case, how much longer?

My experience:
  • Followed a few single pitch trad routes in the 5.7 to 5.10 range. 
  • Bought a rack and have lead a few (~10-12) single pitch routes in the same range. Focused only on routes that have "good protection" in the description.
  • Followed two big adventure routes. Lead a few pitches on these, but mostly just followed.
  • Lead one 3 pitch climb in the back country of Sequoia (Duet at Chimney Spire).
My skill sets
  • How to build a master-point or quad anchor.
  • How to do a basic belay from above with an ATC guide or similar device. 
  • Basic gear placement.
My climbing ability: 
  • Sport, Overhung, vert and slab are all equal for me. I'm flirting with some easy 12s, but mostly I'm an 10+/11- climber. The exception here is friction slab, which I have little experience on. 
  • I've lead some 5.8-10a cracks both bolted and gear. Almost all of them kicked my ass. Overhung hand cracks seem to be my nemesis. Dihedrals come a little easier for me (maybe every one?).
My concerns
  • Lack of knowledge of alternate systems for belaying and building anchors
  • lack of experience with complicated rappelling
  • Lack of experience navigating routes that "wander"
  • Lack of experience in off-width climbing. I've done exactly one that I can think of
I hope that's sufficient detail! I am moving to Sequoia when I finish my master's in the spring. My main climbing partners will all be less experienced than me.

You’ll be fine.  Technical difficulty level is largely irrelevant to “adventure”.  I couldn’t huck myself up a 5.11 or harder on top rope if my life depended on it, but I’ve ventured far and wide in the wilderness to take on lengthy all day/multi-day 5-easy climbs/traverses.  


If you just drop the difficulty 4+ grades below your max, all that is left is self confidence, a positive attitude, and knowing the basics to the point you can adapt/improvise safely on the fly even when tired and hungry. 
Once you get a couple under your belt the technical grades will catch up on their own with frequent climbing.  I’d say the same for myself but I get out so infrequently I’m always starting back over at 5-easy every season.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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