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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 57
Author
Gym climbing difficult tonight

kerroxapithecus
7/09/2005
9:07:57 PM
I have a difficult time climbing at the gym tonight. I'm new to this and found the holds were more difficult than last time. Freaked out too and didn't want to go to the top when I couldn't get secure holds. I reckon it's because of all those posts about breaking ropes and ff whatever number falls. I came to this website to learn more about climbing. I was interested in assessing the dangers too. Too much information may not be good. Blissful ignorance was nice!

Anyway my friend and I really enjoy the gym climbing regardless of the fear but no way am I ready for the real rocks yet. I know you're all wiz-bang climbers so you'll think i'm a woos (don't know correct spelling for that one). Maybe a year in the gym and i'll think about venturing out to do the real thing

Any thoughts on how some of you guys started?

Sabu
7/09/2005
9:58:38 PM
im assuming you don't lead, so a fear should be easily overcome with a bit more experience and technique. you'll find that soon you will want to climb outdoors because you have a bit more confidence iin your ability. it's all about trusting the rope and yourself etc.
Outdoors is 10 times better than the gym, as a beginner you should hook up with a club (VCC or uni club) and subsequently you'll be taken on a trip and shown the basic ropes. best part about an organised trip is that the leader will do all the hard work while you just climb!! then after a lot of practice you can go learn how to lead and then venture out with another person and lead to your hearts content. But make sure you get someone experienced to teach you otherwise u'll end up with bad and dangerous habits.
i started through the school club and jumped at my first oppertunity to go outdoors since then i've taken every single oppertunity to go as well as to learn to lead. if i could climb outdoors 2-3 times a week i would but because i can't, i climb in the gym!!!
it's all about confidence; not being brave!!!

nmonteith
7/09/2005
10:39:11 PM
On 7/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>I have a difficult time climbing at the gym tonight. I'm new to this and
>found the holds were more difficult than last time.

It was a high humidity night for me at the gym. I had to chalk for every move so everything felt hard! Bring
back the cold weather.

>Maybe a year in the gym and i'll think about venturing out to do
>the real thing

No way! Get outdoors as soon as you can. For most climbers gym climbing is something we do to keep
fit (and sane) during the week. The are super easy outdoor routes (Tiptoe ridge at Arapiles - grade 3) that
will be very enjoyable and not techincal.

>Any thoughts on how some of you guys started?

I bought a rope and some long slings and went top-roping at small local crags. Once I got happy with
toproping (a few months) I moved onto leading easier climbs. The more milage you do on ropes the
happier you will be. Practice absieling to get confident with the gear.

kitty-cat
8/09/2005
2:47:31 AM
I was the Queen of super scaredy cat ness with heights etc. I am still super 'respectful' of them and it might take me a few minutes to abseil down a cliff. So yup I guess technically 'fear' is still there it's just been shoved a bit further into the closet.

I started out being scared of climbing in gyms with 10 metre walls (yup okay laugh all you want). It made it more fun when I got to the top compared to the next person cos I must have had 100x the adrenalin due to the initial fear. But then a month later I didn't get a buzz at all from the height and still don't.

I started out on real rock about 2 weeks ago, and it was kind of like starting all over again in terms of being spooked. Cos of exposure etc... but adrenalin shot right up there all over again and I suddenly had 'forgotten' all I had learnt at the gym. The reason I got into climbing was to be outdoors doing it, so it was a bit frustrating. IBut know it's one of those things that will improve though, you know? Plus the whole secure holds thing... I mean you just need to shift your definition of what 'secure' is really. Nothing is going to feel 100% comfy starting cos I reckon as a beginner, it takes a while to thrash out what your personal kinda balance is.

Be nicer to yourself, so long as you're doing your best, pushing your limits (um okay so maybe just having fun?? isn't that the whole reason at the end of the day... experience being enjoyable??)

dr_fil_good
8/09/2005
9:19:45 AM
Agreed, better technique builds confidence, more experience on rope builds confidence, and once you are confident with top roping, now you have to go out and feel unconfident leading ;-) Rope sports are probably the best character building I've done.

Spend time talking to the regulars and the old school guys - don't think you're smarter than them because you've read 'Freedom of the Hills' or the entire 'Falcon Guide' collection - please don't get defensive and let what people say go in one ear and out the other - listen to what they have to say, try what they teach you - 9/10 you won't be able to do it straight off but keep trying, give it a couple weeks and then it'll all fall into place.

Climb more frequently - you would be surprised at how quickly both technique and confidence build!!! Watch other climbers, learn about basic techniques such as the layback, side pull, crimp, etc. and remember to climb with your legs as much as you can trying to only rely on your hands as balance (that'll take a while).

Once again, you'd be surprised how quickly it all happens - it's this incredibly curvie exponential curve!!!

As for "how did you start out" - I was dumb enough to spend my first two years in the gym only going outdoors when hooking up with mates in Sydney who are in a caving club I'm involved in. Now I climb mostly rock and LOVE it! Follow Niel's advice, get out onto the rock ASAP!!!!

Guaranteed in three months time you'll look back at this post and blush, give a little chortle, and ask yourselt "that was me?!?" but who cares, that's what these forums are great for, information.
Flip
~ just another newb on the rock ~

Rich
8/09/2005
11:34:37 AM
On 7/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
woos (don't know correct spelling for that
>one).

wuss

Rich
8/09/2005
11:36:35 AM
Also check out some of the literature about climbing setups and strengths of equipment. When you come to trust your gear implicitly, and you will, the fear will go away and you can concentrate on the fun of climbing.

gordoste
8/09/2005
11:46:51 AM
On 7/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>I have a difficult time climbing at the gym tonight. I'm new to this and
>found the holds were more difficult than last time. Freaked out too and
>didn't want to go to the top when I couldn't get secure holds. I reckon
>it's because of all those posts about breaking ropes and ff whatever number
>falls. I came to this website to learn more about climbing. I was interested
>in assessing the dangers too. Too much information may not be good. Blissful
>ignorance was nice!

don't worry dude, it's definitely not in the gym's interest to try and use ropes until they do what neil's did... also on rock the rope tends to rub against all sorts of things whereas in the gym it typically doesn't touch the wall at all (just straight up to the top & back down).

i get a bit worried in airplanes sometimes because the consequences of a failure are so much worse (at least you can survive a climbing fall but very few people survive plane crashes). but then i remember all the safety checks and stuff that they do, each part of the plane has to be replaced after a fixed amount of time --- i figure climbing gyms must do something similar or they wouldn't be in business.

kerroxapithecus
8/09/2005
2:09:29 PM
On 8/09/2005 Rich wrote:
>Also check out some of the literature about climbing setups and strengths
>of equipment. When you come to trust your gear implicitly, and you will,
>the fear will go away and you can concentrate on the fun of climbing.

I was trusting it until last night. But I think I have doubts about the belayer....afterall she did slam into me on a skifield once in Austria wide enough to land an aeroplane on (long ways that is) when I was the only skier within cooee. Has anyone had this problem?...ie.not sure about the belayer?

There's something about some people and you feel they're capable. I have climbed with two others at the gym whom I would have absolutely no doubt about - one who climbs all the time and another who never had climbed before. Mistakes can't happen in this sport. I grew up with doing lots of sports and activities and being taught correct procedures and putting my mind to safety issues without really even thinking about it. It's something very natural for me but I don't think it is for everyone and I can see that when I do participate in sports with people - not many people, but some.

Anyway thanks for the encouragement. I can see you are all very passionate about getting out there and doing the real climbing thing. I'm not really into indoor sports except just to keep fit which climbing at the gym will be good for. I love getting outdoors. I'm just a snow bunny at heart though. Love skiing but hardly every get to do it. I might need to move to Vancouver. I don't think I'd ever be that devoted to or obssessed with any one thing though........except of course my baby!


kerroxapithecus
8/09/2005
2:22:45 PM
On 8/09/2005 gordoste wrote:
>
>i get a bit worried in airplanes sometimes because the consequences of
>a failure are so much worse (at least you can survive a climbing fall but
>very few people survive plane crashes). but then i remember all the safety
>checks and stuff that they do, each part of the plane has to be replaced
>after a fixed amount of time --- i figure climbing gyms must do something
>similar or they wouldn't be in business.


not sure i'd put so much faith in people running businesses for profit. Negligence happens all the time and many people are seriously injured as a result of gross negligence. This can be a topic for another thread that I'll get around to putting up sometime. I've been thinking about it for a while - can't help it really being in the legal profession - but there are issues about the disclaimers that you sign when climbing at gyms and about legal liability as a climber, belayer or person bolting routes possibly being responsible in some way for injury or death of another person.
dalai
8/09/2005
3:01:43 PM
On 8/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>there are issues about the disclaimers that you sign when climbing at gyms and
>about legal liability as a climber, belayer or person bolting routes possibly
>being responsible in some way for injury or death of another person.

We should follow the Swiss way, where the onus is on the person to use some common sense and take responsibility for there own actions. Rather than use the US model of sue first, ask questions later...

nmonteith
8/09/2005
3:21:16 PM
I have noticed Cliffhanger gym staff take maintenice of gear very seriously. On most nights i see them
inspecting and replacing worn gear. They have a special set of worn rope and metal equipment to
compare to in a 'secret' cuboard near the bouldering cave. I have talked to them on many nights about
the worn gear - and they seem to be throwing out perfectly good gear much of the time. If it gets slightly
worn then they replace. I feel very safe climbing at Cliffhanger.

[i am not sponsered by cliffhanger - i just don't gym climb anywhere else at the moment since VR burnt
down]

kerroxapithecus
8/09/2005
3:25:13 PM
what if you're once healthy, happy, love of your life, child who attends the gym for a party is permanently wheelchair bound and intellectually disabled because someone who worked at the gym didn't tie the knot properly that day or didn't bolt the plastic in properly and the person who was to check it didn't do so and when you looked into it you found out there was no routine checking and the owners hired inexperienced people who knew nothing about the safety requirements and whatsmore they gym had been in financial difficulty and unable to buy badly needed new equipment but had continued to operate regardless.

this more like the real story behind most negligence cases. I'm not suggesting that there are any climbing gyms like this but I'm just providing some insight into the possibilities and the realities. These things happen more often than we'd care to think about. No-one wins a negligence claim where they themselves have been negligent.

Super Saiyan
8/09/2005
3:41:54 PM
i think the inclusion of gri gri's definately makes u feel safer when ur climbing at C'Hanger, but i do notice i am a little bit slacker when using a gri gri as opposed to a ATC type setup

Super Saiyan
8/09/2005
3:45:00 PM
On 8/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>what if you're once healthy, happy, love of your life, child who attends
>the gym for a party is permanently wheelchair bound and intellectually
>disabled because someone who worked at the gym didn't tie the knot properly
>that day or didn't bolt the plastic in properly and the person who was
>to check it didn't do so and when you looked into it you found out there
>was no routine checking and the owners hired inexperienced people who knew
>nothing about the safety requirements and whatsmore they gym had been in
>financial difficulty and unable to buy badly needed new equipment but had
>continued to operate regardless.

that sounds like a very specific 'hypothetical' scenario! any gym we know???

Sabu
8/09/2005
3:57:18 PM
we had a fairly close call at our school wall the other night. We had a sling hanging from the bar for clipping into when leading, so that one can be taken of belay and the rope pulled through and put over the bar for toprope use again. my sister had already used the sling once that day and i was climbing up (toprope) and noticed a section of the sling had been well worn away. i had a close look and what had happened was the toperope had run along that section of the sling and melted/cut into it. it was close to breaking, we could like pull melted parts off it etc. it was a lucky find as we did heaps of leading that day!! What we'll do it cut that part out and retie the sling to keep using it. but it's a lesson learned, don't let the rope run along the sling!!

nmonteith
8/09/2005
3:58:06 PM
On 8/09/2005 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>because someone who worked at the gym didn't tie the knot properly
>that day

umm - you tie the knots, not the gym staff. That why there is two points of connection - a clip in and
knot tie.

> or didn't bolt the plastic in properly

If a gym hold snap, unscrews then you fall onto the rope. Doesn't matter?


>you found out there
>was no routine checking and the owners hired inexperienced people who knew
>nothing about the safety requirements and whatsmore they gym had been in
>financial difficulty and unable to buy badly needed new equipment but had
>continued to operate regardless.

I think you would find many experianced climbers wouldn't be climbing there if it was obviously not
safe. I am constantly visually checking my connections in the gym. For a gym to maintain its
insurance policy it needs to maintain constant checks and double checks on staff and equipment. If
they don't follow strict rules their insurance won't cover diddly sqaut.

nmonteith
8/09/2005
4:00:09 PM
On 8/09/2005 Sabu wrote:
>What we'll do it cut that
>part out and retie the sling to keep using it. but it's a lesson learned,
>don't let the rope run along the sling!!

Anyone there think of two points of safety backup for an anchor? or a metal chain instead of a dodgy
sling???

Sabu
8/09/2005
4:19:22 PM
On 8/09/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>Anyone there think of two points of safety backup for an anchor? or a
>metal chain instead of a dodgy
>sling???

there are chains up, but they were used prior to the bar. the slings are good, most of the time i use mine which i take up and down anyway, there aren't many leaders at school! it's fairly safe for the 30 seconds you spend hanging there and it's static use as well no big shock loads etc. i have once used a two point anchor and that was two slings around the bar, that was when we though it would be fun to create an actual hanging belay on a 7m meter wall, i brought steph up then we abseiled down :) !!

nmonteith
8/09/2005
4:29:27 PM
On 8/09/2005 Sabu wrote:
>it's fairly safe for the 30 seconds you
>spend hanging there

I'd like to see you argue that point to your schools insurer!

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There are 57 messages in this topic.

 

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