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New and Experienced Climbers over 50 #5


Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 112

^^^that ie killing patients vs taking a safe plop off some sport route is not comparable should be patently obvious.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: ^^^that ie killing patients vs taking a safe plop off some sport route is not comparable should be patently obvious.

One would have to agree with that logic under the assumption that the "safe plop" doesn't (or could never) end with the belayer, (the Dr in my story) dropping the climber (the patient in my story) on his/her head, breaking his/her neck and killing him/her dead.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: ^^^ all really poor analogies.

@Lori all the lead test routes at PW are closer to 10a than real deal 10c and easier than many, many outside trad 5.9s...its a reasonable standard as that level of fitness is easily approachable in a gym.

Which shows what a good climber you are... and how much more work I have yet to do.     Whatever the grade in reality, at PW I'm not quite there.  I haven't fought that requirement, because I can see that it's all i can do just to get up those routes--and what's the point of trying to add in yet another task if this is still a struggle.  I'm not in a big hurry--I'm really trying to take one day at a time and learn what I can and to TRUST that the time will one day soon be right to add in leading.  

That green route that you thought was soft (it's still there) is a total enigma to me.  It's pretty cool to think that you and others climb it so easily... so it can be done... and the learning is all mine to do.    

This is one of those ventures where the minute I start looking at what others can do and comparing my progress, I can get pretty down on myself.  It's gotta be just me... on me, however long it takes, however far I get. 

-------------------

John, you speak of the speed at which we newbies are trying to get seaworthy (or rock worthy   ),  And part of that seems to be the discussion on 'learning to fall' so as to get that chore out of the way and continue to press forward.  Lost in 6000 posts is my opining about the opportunities missed in not learning to climb 'naturally'... as a kid, or a young adult hanging out in parking lots, out playing in Yosemite over endless summers with packs of other climbers... or wherever...  And now, staring at this PROJECT of learning to climb, for me at 65, with little strength and no past experience and weird phobias...   --and I wish I could just check off a list, but I don't think it can be done by a book, after all.  I like your analogies--or what I THINK you are saying: this art of climbing can't be rushed, and going at it for the speedy lesson may not be so helpful.  It's only unfolding with time, and experience... probably the same as the kids got it.     
Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 112
  • Belayer screwing up is pretty much never as compared to 100% killing the patient to learn...
  • Modern Sport Climbing is about taking falls all day and every day all over the country with few accidents per man hour.
  • If you don't recognize that you are out of touch and don't understand current practice.
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311
Lori Milas wrote:
Thanks, Guy... and Mark (and all).   I'm still so much an apprentice... this advice is so appreciated.
Guy... so New Jack City is where all the sport routes are?  Bob helped write a book on sport routes in J Tree and he says there are hundreds.  Will check that out.  Thank you!  

Lori... there are sport climbs in Josh and the new book is pretty good at pointing them out. But the stone found at JT is really textured like 60 grit sand paper! Lots of broken ankles and big road rash happens to people who fly there! 

NJC is about an hour drive from Josh. Steep smooth stone with great protection. I run into many citizens of JT when I climb there. The lower angle stuff is fine climbing with mostly positive holds. Check it out. 
I have known people who get into climbing, are very enthusiastic and they get proficient at leading. Until THAT DAY when they miss a move and take a real fall, pick up some speed and bam! Big time road rash, broken ankle or worse! Go look at Randy’s profile picture.... he is on The Beaver. Ya fall off of that, you only punch a hole in the sky! That is a safe climb, if ya get the gear correct. Roy S might have something to say about broken ankles. Tony is on the cover of one of the best Josh Guide Book you can ever buy. Climbing “Clean n Jerk” another steep climb. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: do not be afraid of steep climbs they are your friend, beware of josh slabs even if Sport climbs. Have fun, March is usually the prime climbing season, much much better than Dec or January! If your lucky you can experience a weather phenomenon. Sometimes you can get the greatest diurnal (sp?) - min to max temperature range found on earth. Get up before dawn.... have coffee in a soon to be sunny spot... and feel temperature go from like 22 to 80 in about 1.5 hours! Have fun
Oldtradguy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 15

Lori

Do not try to learn to fall in the gym with the rope around your knees. Most gym ropes are not dynamic climbing ropes. They are not designed to stretch enough to absorb impacts. You could get serious internal injuries.

Tim also mention that it is a bad idea to push off when you fall. In trad climbing when you place gear on lead, you never set the piece and try to pull it outward to see if you set it properly. You want to make sure that you set it downward. We were at Seneca Rocks when day when a leader did pull outward on his gear. The piece came out and he catapulted himself out from the wall and decked. It was not a pretty site.

I have taken multiple leader falls. My two longest falls where were one of my feet slipped off the wall. I can still remember thinking that I am falling really far and I hope that I stop before I hit the ground. Both were soft catches since I lifted my belayers off the ground. My wife was one of the belayers and she was tethered in. I still lifted her up so that her feet were off the ground.

John

Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588
Screamer of the month 1993 lol. R&I mag.
John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote:
  • Which is pretty much never as compared to 100% killing the patient to learn...
I never said the Dr intentionally killed the patient to learn now did I?
  • Modern Sport Climbing is about taking falls all day and every day all over the country with few accidents per man hour.
One could argue my driving analogy fits here, people drive with few accidents per hr. Often accidents occur without injury. Yet we don't encourage reckless behavior in the interest of "learning"
  • If you don't recognize that you are out of touch and don't understand current practice.

Maybe I am out of touch. But from my perspective "modern sport climbing" is responsible for both over-reliance on the rope and systems and the uptick in injuries and deaths simultaneously with no sign of the trend slowing.

You can dismiss that notion under the "there are more climbers now" argument if you like.

This is why I said I try to stay out of the "falling is good/bad" argument anymore. My analogies were both satirical in nature and in my opinion, sadly true.

I think encouraging Lori on her journey is a great thing. She's started on the path and is injury free thus far. I would hate to think any of us would encourage "safe" behavior outdoors or in the gym that could get her hurt.
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588

Fact is if you never fall climbing Trad/Sport/Gym or any type of climbing you are not pushing yourself to improve, just stagnating. 

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 112

Every gym I've ever climbed at has a falling portion of the lead test...who knew they would test such things?

  • And you practice for tests....practice falls are not risky when done in a controlled environment. 
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

Jeff.... True! 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 873
Jeffrey Constine wrote: Fact is if you never fall climbing Trad/Sport/Gym or any type of climbing you are not pushing yourself to improve, just stagnating. 

Jeffrey, if I tried to emulate you? I don't think it'd be pretty. That said, I tried ice climbing post 60, Mr. Its Always Sunny in California Why Can't You Climb as Hard as Me. So there. ;-)

I agree that sport and gyms have changed attitudes, a lot, especially now, with the rise of both. Gym climbers, even strong sport leads, aren't necessarily prepared for outside, particularly in areas with "old school" bolting.

I've seen this first hand, with the major gym closure here. I gave up my climbing time to keep the party of four who showed up at our crag safe. The help was very, very welcome. They just simply had no idea what they were in for.

The "crashing your car" analogy doesn't quite fit, that would be groundfall, to learn how to be comfortable splatting, lol! I would say, going out to a parking lot, first snowfall, and peeling around, skidding (BITD, cars are different now), is a pretty good analogy. That skill, saved my life on a dirt road once, stopping the fishtailing and controlling a spin to not go over the side.

Oh! Rich!! I thought about it....except for bouldering, I haven't fallen for quite a long time, inside or out! Including when I knew I simply was in "no fall" territory. Including new crags,  onsight leading, new gyms, and climbing harder, longer, and more often than ever before.

Best, Helen
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 873
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: Every gym I've ever climbed at has a falling portion of the lead test...who knew they would test such things?

  • And you practice for tests....practice falls are not risky when done in a controlled environment. 

Hey, I went to a new to me gym recently, two hours from here. They did not have anyone fall for the belay "test". Instead, they had a section of rope on a carabinier near the front desk. They had you taje turns, to tie in, had the "belayer" pull up slack, and yanked on the rope to see if they caught it. That was it. No feet left the ground.

EDIT to add, I didn't ask about the lead test, but Monty Python did come to mind...

Best, Helen
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
John Barritt wrote: thing. She's started on the path and is injury free thus far. I would hate to think any of us would encourage "safe" behavior outdoors or in the gym that could get her hurt.

I’m having a good laugh here...just leaving the gym where everything went wrong today. Took a big swinging fall from an overhang, came down, started up a second time, got a hard leg spasm at the same hold on the roof, let go in pain, swung hard and nearly hit my head swinging back on towards the wall—had to brace with my legs.  I immediately thought of this conversation.   

It’s all good. But I couldn’t get the leg spasm to stop (when does it stop?) , tried one more overhung route, swung from that, and said I’m done for the day.  Lots of falling and lots of swinging...I’m sure this is not like a “real fall” but close enough for today. 
I just realized something—kind of hard to confess here. My interest has been so much towards trad climbing that I may have skipped right past thoughts of bolted routes. But I suspect I’ll catch the magic when I’m finally climbing them.
Besides getting back to the desert for more focused learning and climbing my thoughts are already on summer and that granite range up in Soda Springs/Truckee that looked pristine and untouched and aching to hike back there and see what’s really there.  There’s a lake on the other side...for cooling off from all that climbing.   
Is everyone ready for spring and summer? Got plans? I’m really done with weeks of rain...
(It’s the orange route, Harumpster knows it I’m sure). 
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588
Summer in Japan!! My plan.
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588
Good driving Helen. For you.
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 873
Jeffrey Constine wrote:
Good driving Helen. For you.

You have so many great photos! I've not come close to anything like this. Playing with the cops on their high speed training track was fun, though. Other than that, being the "victim" for various training operations, impalement being the best...

The rest of the time...the old lady who works in a library, with an overgrown garden and too many cats.

Who loves to climb.

Best, H.
Victor K · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 170

I've commented on this elsewhere in the forums. Last summer, after 20 years of climbing, I took Arno Ilgner's falling clinic. It was revelation. "The Rock Warriors Way" re-frames falling as a discipline. He proposes that it is a skill, developed with practice, over time, similar to martial arts training. The rest of the discussion, like where you can, shouldn't, or must not fall is absolutely critical to managing risk. However treating falling as something you just get used to doesn't positively help one's climbing development. I've noticed that since the course and subsequent practice, I'm climbing harder and calmer. I didn't realize how much fear was putting a cap on my performance. I think as an older climber, my natural inhibitions seemed real and seemed like good judgement. And with the amount of time I've been climbing, I had taken plenty of falls, both in the gym and outside (sport climbing). So, imagine my surprise when I learned something new about myself (at 61).
If you have an opportunity to take one of these classes, I strongly recommend it. I think it's particularly valuable for those of us who've started late. Two more bits of anec-data: I did the course with two young guys (mid-20's), one of whom has a decade of climbing experience (mid-12's) and the other has only a couple of years (mid-11's). Both of them were shocked that it was so useful.

dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 666

Speaking of gym climbs: I attacked the pink route multiple times, today.

As a reminder, here's a link to the original post. And here's a link to the post with the previous video.

In this video, I was able to get higher, moving up onto the second rail. I used Pacman's mouth to move up. It worked, but it's not easy. In case you can't tell from the way I'm shaking, these moves are incredibly difficult for me:


The route has been graded. It's a 10d. Oh, that's why I can't do it!   

Another climber offered to belay me on this, so I was able to spend some time trying that section in different ways. It turns out that if I put my left foot on hold #10 (just up and right of Pacman), the layback feels pretty solid. Unfortunately, getting my left foot up there is extremely difficult; I can't even recall how I did it anymore. In the video, I use my right foot on that hold, and it's tenuous; I'm sort of flagging out. Terrible form.

I have been told that the crux is where I fall off in the video, moving off the second rail and onto the holds at the right.

I don't think I'm going to get this one clean before they take it down. The good news is, I "onsight flashed" a 5.8. That's my second "onsight" of a 5.8 at this gym (top-rope onsight, that's a thing, right?). Either I'm getting stronger, or they're grading softer.

I wonder if any of this will translate to outdoor climbing, when the snow finally clears out. I think it will help at Rumney (sport), maybe not so much for trad.
wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10

Nice work, dragons. Hope lives on the pink route. If there's a next time, maybe try putting your right foot on hold #11 and turning your right hip in. I think you can get it.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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