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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Seating trad gear vs making your partner happy Thursday, 17 November 2011 At 2:21:57 PM Macciza
Message
The answer is somewhere in between, imho . . .

Sometimes it adds a grade or two to the climbing having to extract welded gear, and it's best to get the leader to rap back down and remove it themselves.
Seems strange to weld gear in if you are not going to go for it and fall on it, and falling off because you took so long welding gear is likewise strange . . .
For me there is quite a difference between gear that has been 'set' and gear that has been 'welded' - the former does it's job but can be removed easily . . .
If your gear is falling out then it's not set properly, if your gear in not coming out too easily then it's 'set', if its not coming out without a fight it's 'welded' . . .

Some guidelines . . .
All gear is 50/50 - It either holds or it doesn't; half of your 'good' gear is 'bad', so don't trust it; and vic--versa, so trust it . . .
Treat every piece you just placed as a potential timebomb whilst implicitly trusting the gear placed before it as bomber . . .
Remember it's only the last piece you placed that needs to hold you, don't worry about anything below that, just don't fall before the next placement . . .
Climbing is an affirmation of success, Protecting is an recognition of failure - Climbing, rather than protecting, is a more positive state of mind . . .
Deliberately lobbing off onto your gear is sometimes scarier than simply 'falling' - try it often to develop belief in your gear, helps clear the 'jeebies' . . .
Aiding is really good gear placement practice, with in-situ testing - it also allows you to 'play' with possible placement options - ie equalised small nuts . . .

And now for something completely different . . .
'Free-climbing' on Doggie is a real learning experience, both physically and mentally . . .
Standard mid-climb scenario involves stopping to place gear and getting something in asap to calm the nerves, then adding a second piece to back up the first before fiddling with /swapping out the first piece, before adding a third piece in a better placement and fiddling with the other two and not knowing which piece is best or if any of them are any good. By this time you are either starting to feel a bit pumped or your holds are disappearing so the only thing left to do is keep climbing otherwise you need to take a sit on the gear which sometimes seems more confronting then actually continuing to climb because you think you see a bomber placement 3 metres higher . . .
After all this, climbing on 'normal rock' with 'normal gear' takes on a very different light - lob in a nut, whack in a cam and it's good to go, bomber . . .

I think part of the overall problem with this issue is peoples expectations of 'absolute safety' which to me goes out the window when I start climbing . . .
Remember, climbing is inherently dangerous - treat every 'protection' as your first and every 'progression' as your last; and enjoy the moment . . .

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