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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Arapiles (General) (General) (General) [ Arapiles Guide | Arapiles Images ] 

Author
First trad lead recommendations at Araps?
martym
11/04/2011
5:38:22 PM
Dec crag or Bushrangers - because then you can have someone helping out from the bottom & another person at the ready with a top rope if the climber freaks.
Anchor teaching is also crucial - so those two spots are ideal.
Parsley in the Grampians is also a great line which swallows gear. And what's the one on the other side, astroman or something?

I saw a very good climber cry on diasopan because they just wouldn't trust that their placements would hold.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
11/04/2011
8:26:12 PM
Why not let the new leader decide on what takes their fancy?

Yeah, yeah, give advice to fine tune it (if you must), but it is their experience/choice.
There is every chance that they will achieve what they want to do.

Another way of saying the above, is that motivation counts for heaps, and to back this up I cite my own experience of being self taught, ... and at the time there probably wasn't an experienced lead climber to ask within a 100 km, even if I had wished too!

salty crag
11/04/2011
8:30:57 PM
I have used the dribble as a first multi pitch lead a few times, pretty soft at the grade, lots of good placements and good belays (especialy the bolts on 3rd). When they get to the top and take in the view it's a real "wow" moment. This is after plenty of single pitch and ground built belay's.

My first multi was Bard and it scared the shite out of me, the traverse really got me.

shortman
11/04/2011
9:54:42 PM
On 11/04/2011 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Why not let the new leader decide on what takes their fancy?
>
>Yeah, yeah, give advice to fine tune it (if you must), but it is their
>experience/choice.
>There is every chance that they will achieve what they want to
>do.
>
>Another way of saying the above, is that motivation counts for heaps,
>and to back this up I cite my own experience of being self taught, ...

I'm with you M9. And after 6 months reading your posts this is the best. Learn from the old fella! I don't know sh*t, but don't lead your first climb if you would'nt solo it. Puts you in the right head space.

>and at the time there probably wasn't an experienced lead climber to ask
>within a 100 km, even if I had wished too!
vonClimb
12/04/2011
9:19:26 AM
On 11/04/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>On 11/04/2011 PDRM wrote:
>more background they seconded Tannin clean (and looking comfortable) the
>other weekend so climbs in the 10-12 grade should be ok.

I don't think it matters what grade he can second or top rope. As wendy says its about the process. I think it is important to get practice placing gear and coming to grips with important aspects of lead climbing (rope drag, placing gear in a good position etc) on a nice EASY climb. Putting them on a harder climb that has a couple tricky moves or difficult gear placements will only compound their difficulties.

Speaking of my own experience, I was also seconding 19 or 20's. My first lead was one of the 6's on the back of the bushrangers. Should of been a piece of cake, but I do remember a moment I was getting pumped placing gear because I was doing it in a very awkward stance. I also took an eternity to climb it. I was much happier this took place on a 6 rather than an 11 or 12. I might have completely freaked out.

As somebody else mentioned its the leaders call as to what their first lead is. Maybe they should be reading this forum to aid their decision.


widewetandslippery
12/04/2011
9:53:24 AM
Not at araps but my first lead was guico piton at narrow neck graded 9 in ewbanks guide now uped to 15. It was raining and it is capped by a roof. We had one set of RPs and 2 moacs and it was a thin crack. I wish I could still enjoy lobbing off onto a 3RP now as I did then.

For araps Pedro is good. Just be prepared to solo on second.

ajfclark
12/04/2011
10:15:32 AM
I've had huge communication issues on Pedro before when the leader set the belay right up next to the wall at the top. They learned how to extend a belay when I got up there, but establishing what was going on was problematic.

Climboholic
12/04/2011
10:55:52 AM
On 12/04/2011 vonClimb wrote:
>On 11/04/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>>On 11/04/2011 PDRM wrote:
>>more background they seconded Tannin clean (and looking comfortable)
>the
>>other weekend so climbs in the 10-12 grade should be ok.
>
>I don't think it matters what grade he can second or top rope. As wendy
>says its about the process. I think it is important to get practice placing
>gear and coming to grips with important aspects of lead climbing (rope
>drag, placing gear in a good position etc) on a nice EASY climb. Putting
>them on a harder climb that has a couple tricky moves or difficult gear
>placements will only compound their difficulties.

I have to go against the consensus and disagree with Wendy. The climber should know the process before doing their first lead. If they are comfortably seconding high teens then a first lead in the low teens is fine. You want a first lead to be memorable. If you put them on something they could solo, placing gear will seem pointless and they'll lose interest.

My first lead was Muldoon. Plenty of gear, easy to place and steep enough for a clean fall if it came to that.

Let the objections begin...

Sarah Gara
12/04/2011
11:31:12 AM
MULDOON!!!! no way man. no way. I cry on second on that one. I agree about bullet buttress. hammer and cartridge arette for newbies but if you defo want a grade 10ish one. i'd go the dribble (I did that without crying) and Mesa -only a little cry. nude balloon dance -reckon that ok -not going to get terrified on that. Also exploding tomatos would be ok.

Pedro - too hard for a newbie, as is piccolo - I split that into 2 and still needed more draws. horn piece v. scary -try conifer crack first. i can also support that camalot is scary as is hold up line -I've still never done that on lead. (probably never will now -It's my deamon!

When you've seen that they've not freaked out on mesa dribble etc... by all means go piccalo - x
off_route
12/04/2011
12:06:51 PM
I took a friend out a few weeks ago for his 2nd trip outdoor climbing, first time leading. He did Hammer and Sunny Gully, loved 'em both, particularly Hammer. Was great for me to be able to run up to the top and go through making the anchor before climbing each route as well.

I did my first trad lead at Bushranger's, can't argue with that either. On the last trip out we did some anchor-making practice on some boulders in Central Gully, that is a great learning experience for beginners, getting them to hang off their own anchors.

Not sure if you've been to Charity or not before, but it's actually a really easy approach.
satan
12/04/2011
3:24:21 PM
I think the way to start is to find some obscure (one day destined to be famous) cliff where there are no routes and then jump on something your partner has failed on (make sure they are no more experienced than you) then run it out and haul on to the belay shitting yourself. Give it a grandiose name and undergrade it.

That was my first lead.

Just remember that Darwin is an excellent teacher.

ajfclark
12/04/2011
3:30:34 PM
I'm not sure of the wisdom of both the router and the route being virgin.
satan
12/04/2011
4:13:57 PM
how did you know i was a virgin? i was only 14 though.
simey
12/04/2011
4:35:13 PM
On 10/04/2011 Wendy wrote:
>I remember the last beginner with a feel for climbing you put on Camalot
>as his first lead. A little birdy told me he said he was abjectly petrified
>on it and enjoyed his 2nd and 3rd leads of the much better chosen Bullet
>Buttress and Little Revolver crack a lot more.

Well who was this little birdy? I don't recall anyone else at the crag and I don't recall an abjectly terrified leader either. It sounds like someones second-hand impression without any real understanding of the situation.

My recollection is of a beginner leader who might have been a bit nervous, but who actually climbed confidently and placed gear pretty competently. Given his skill level at seconding me up climbs I made a decision to put him on Camalot due to the limited time I had available to introduce him to leading. I didn't want to give him some Mickey Mouse experience and I wanted him to have a respect for being on the sharp end. I had a strong feeling that he would enjoy the challenge and I was right - soon after he went out and bought a new rack!


Wendy
12/04/2011
5:22:01 PM
On 11/04/2011 shortman wrote:

>
>I'm with you M9. And after 6 months reading your posts this is the best.
>Learn from the old fella! I don't know sh*t, but don't lead your first
>climb if you would'nt solo it. Puts you in the right head space.
>

Ni! Ni! Ni!!!
Wendy
12/04/2011
5:29:56 PM
On 12/04/2011 Climboholic wrote:

>
>I have to go against the consensus and disagree with Wendy. The climber
>should know the process before doing their first lead. If they are comfortably
>seconding high teens then a first lead in the low teens is fine. You want
>a first lead to be memorable. If you put them on something they could solo,
>placing gear will seem pointless and they'll lose interest.
>
>My first lead was Muldoon. Plenty of gear, easy to place and steep enough
>for a clean fall if it came to that.
>
>Let the objections begin...

Ni, ni, ni again ...

I want a first lead to be memorable in a good way, not a "I felt like I was going to die" way. This is about implementing and practising the process and skills they have been taught on the ground and witnessed on second. It's (rather obviously) a different kettle of fish to seconding. Many people can second well into the teens or even twenties and won't want to solo many of the things I suggested. Not to mention any discussion on what are safe and sensible decisions about what and when to solo. And it's not like I am suggesting doing crap/boring/terrible climbs. Most of them are 2 or 3 star classics. What's there to loose about doing them first? There's a whole climbing career of time ahead of them to do harder things.

Sarah Gara
12/04/2011
5:41:35 PM
On 12/04/2011 simey wrote:
>On 10/04/2011 Wendy wrote:
>>I remember the last beginner with a feel for climbing you put on Camalot
>>as his first lead. A little birdy told me he said he was abjectly petrified
>>on it and enjoyed his 2nd and 3rd leads of the much better chosen Bullet
>>Buttress and Little Revolver crack a lot more.
>
>Well who was this little birdy? I don't recall anyone else at the crag
>and I don't recall an abjectly terrified leader either. It sounds like
>someones second-hand impression without any real understanding of the situation.
>
>My recollection is of a beginner leader who might have been a bit nervous,
>but who actually climbed confidently and placed gear pretty competently.
>Given his skill level at seconding me up climbs I made a decision to put
>him on Camalot due to the limited time I had available to introduce him
>to leading. I didn't want to give him some Mickey Mouse experience and
>I wanted him to have a respect for being on the sharp end. I had a strong
>feeling that he would enjoy the challenge and I was right - soon after
>he went out and bought a new rack!
>

I recall you saying ...em yeah huh maybe I was being a bit lazy. maybe that wasn't the best choice. I don't think he was abjectly petrified but certainly scared/nervous. He defo commented that he prefered little revolver crack. I think he was going to buy that rack regardless too - he'd been looking on gear express for ages. and wh you getting so defensive anyway?

And you didn't know he was going to climb confidently either he could have freaked out. but I agree he does and it was all fine - but you fully admitted to me afterwards that you could have picked a better route. .

He is good though and I'm lokking forward to him dragging me up some harder stuff fairly soon - He's good. x
Sturge
12/04/2011
5:42:50 PM
Do peoples opinions on this subject shift if the prospective leader has previous experience leading bolted climbs (particularly multi-pitch)?
Wendy
12/04/2011
6:54:50 PM
On 12/04/2011 Climboholic wrote:

>
>My first lead was Muldoon. Plenty of gear, easy to place and steep enough
>for a clean fall if it came to that.
>

Actually, there's not plenty of gear on the crux of muldoon. Nor is it a clean fall. Since the piton on the arete came out (for whatever good it was in its final years), there are only 2 small, shallow wires which are not easy to place protecting the moves out of the first cave and around the arete, with the last gear before that a piton on the ledge and before that, at the corner. And a bloody great big ledge to hit, or should the gear fail, some horrid to imagine bouncing on ledge, swinging around to the wall of the corner and probably being very near hitting the ground. Then there's the multiple dimensions in which rope drag is possible on the route, it's pumpy and exposed, on top of all my earlier objections to harder routes and multipitch routes. Terrible choice. And if you can't see why, then maybe you need to have a look at other judgement calls you make in your climbing as well.

On which note, this is a problem with M9's suggestion of letting the beginner choose a route. Some might make great choices. But the world is full of examples of people who seem to have exceptionally strange perceptions of their abilities and what is appropriate. I imagine we've all bumped into numpties who do things like decide that seeing they'd top roped little thor, they'd just lead that. It might be nice to point out a few appropriate routes and get them to choose from them, but really, if you pick something that meets all that criteria discussed before and is pleasant to climb, in a nice spot, who's going to complain? "Oh my god, Exodus was such a horrible climb, i can't believe Steve made me lead Exodus, the rock was crap, the line shocking, belaying looking out over the lake just pitiful..."
Wendy
12/04/2011
7:04:18 PM
On 12/04/2011 Sturge wrote:
>Do peoples opinions on this subject shift if the prospective leader has
>previous experience leading bolted climbs (particularly multi-pitch)?

Not really. Bolts are just totally different. If they were competently leading grade 24 multipitch sport routes, i might give them a little more grade leeway, but generally, I don't think leading sport gives you that much more of an advantage in learning trad leading. If people prefer to demonstrate that they can set up good belays and place solid gear by doing so on the ground and whilst bouldering and jump straight onto slightly harder routes, fine, but isn't it more fun to just do a couple of easy routes? Arachnus is just such a crap climb, up such a manky feature and I really hate that belay with the terrible vista over the right watchtower face.

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