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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 ] 

Routes for new leader / Your 1st lead.

9:31:24 AM
On 19/03/2009 psd wrote:
> Bushrangers bluff looks an excellent
>starting point.

I think it's a great beginners area. If the easy stuff is too easy, the 14/15's around the cave are all worth doing. Some engaging climbing above gear.
Lee C
10:49:03 AM
This thread makes me wonder how much your 1st lead and who teach's you sets the scene for all the rest, any thoughts?

Before my uncle gave me the how to and maybe more importantly the how not to lead on the ogan pipes finest, I rambled up some NT 1st ascent with my Dad holding a static rope that I occasionally clipped to one of my 4 nuts. Having seen it all in a book it just seemed like that was what you did. After that and armed with even more know how it always seemed like things would turn out ok.

11:08:55 AM
On 19/03/2009 Lee C wrote:
>This thread makes me wonder how much your 1st lead and who teach's you
>sets the scene for all the rest, any thoughts?

Definitely made a big difference to me. My teacher was a lazy Canadian with a fondness for safety and a hatred of bolts. He also liked to drink a lot of beer and smoke enormous joints. My first trip to Araps has totally set the scene for my climbing, but I'm not sure if it was nature or nurture. IE, I found a partner that agreed with my views, rather than he bought me around to his.
11:12:13 AM
I'm not so sure Lee. I started climbing at 14 with Jack in Nowra on homemade nuts (undrilled machine nuts, car battery cable, shackles) which we'd made to look like photos in a book called Rope and Rucksack. We had a 3ml nylon ski tow rope.

Fortunately we ran into an English climber in Kangaroo Valley who told us to f*ck off his land, and that the gear we had was dangerous. We bought a hawser laid rope, some steel crabs, and some pitons. Even though perlon, alloy krabs and nuts were available. We didn't know enough to trust that sh1t.

At uni Jack and I joined the UNE mountaineering club who were a bunch of no nothings and we promptly got kicked out for dangerous behaviour.

It was not however until I started climbing with Brian Birchall at UNE that the whole climbing thing began to make sense. So much so that I dropped out of school and moved to Arapiles.
Lee C
11:24:18 AM
On 19/03/2009 hero wrote:
>I'm not so sure Lee. .........a book called Rope and Rucksack.

Mmm, ok well sounds like a good thing.

At least you know how to mantle properly, there are some good pictures in that book.
11:34:38 AM
On 19/03/2009 psd wrote:
>My first was the towering mega-classic Yesterday's Heroes (17) on shiny
>rings at Berowra in Sydney

mine too! except back then it had droopy old rusty carrots. I think my second lead was one of those chossy 16 trad routes at diamond bay. all these arapiles coddled babes don't know how good they've got it

>On 18/03/2009 Wendy wrote:
>>I would hope that our new leader toddling up multiple super easy leads
>>is getting good advice on their gear placement and belays by a competant
>>teacher and given extra lessons on the ground if necessary thus they
>wouldn't get through all those easy routes still placing gear that was going to
>For sure Wendy - we've been climbing trad together for many years so she
>has done a lot of seconding

without wanting to harp on about it ... even the best theoretical advice from an experienced seconder to a learner leader is after the fact, and usually out of sight of the crappy placement being critiqued, which limits how much the leader can learn from it. Also, basic human nature is that no one likes being criticised, meaning that comments about what "might" have happened or what "might" have improved the placement don't always fully sink in. From my observation it is scarily common that a person who's done heaps of easy leading still places rubbish gear. Sure you'll get there eventually, if you don't kill yourself first. Or you could do a day or 2 of aiding a few pitches with TR backup and get feedback on your gear placements which is immediate, tangible, without interpersonal obstacles, and safe.

seconding also will only give slow progress - when a second finds a loose/popped wire they just whack it on their harness. it doesn't teach them how to make it a good placement. ok i will shut up now
11:42:08 AM
On 19/03/2009 Lee C wrote:

>At least you know how to mantle properly, there are some good pictures
>in that book.

And I do know a lot of painful ways to do a classic abseil. Somehow we never had as many clothes on as the people in the photos.

11:42:56 AM

>On 19/03/2009 Lee C wrote:
>>This thread makes me wonder how much your 1st lead and who teach's you
>>sets the scene for all the rest, any thoughts?

>On 19/03/2009 evanbb wrote:
>Definitely made a big difference to me. My teacher was a lazy Canadian
>with a fondness for safety and a hatred of bolts. He also liked to drink
>a lot of beer and smoke enormous joints.

Explains a lot.

11:45:01 AM
On 19/03/2009 Lee C wrote:

>............. to one of my 4 nuts.

This explains those huge run outs you handled in Yosemite.

You have 4 nuts.

Eduardo Slabofvic
11:58:37 AM
On 19/03/2009 Lee C wrote:
>This thread makes me wonder how much your 1st lead and who teach's you
>sets the scene for all the rest, any thoughts?

I'm still waiting for someone to teach me. I had not placed one single piece of gear in my life, nor had I
ever followed anybody else's lead, when I did my first lead. Nor had anyone else in the party.

I had seen some photos in a magazine and thought that that looked like fun. I had 6 or so wires, a No.1
Friend, no quickdraws and no idea.

Now at least I have heaps of wires, loads of cams, and lashings of quickdraws; but still……..
Lee C
12:44:16 PM
On 19/03/2009 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
> I had not placed one single
>piece of gear in my life, nor had I
>ever followed anybody else's lead, when I did my first lead. Nor had
>anyone else in the party.

cool, adventure at its most pure!
12:56:40 PM
Being taught by someone who knows what they're doing and picking suitable routes is one side of it,
but the intangibles of having good spatial awareness, being sensible and showing good judgement is
the other. Some people pick it up quickly, some never do. I know someone who enjoys leading but
doesn't have the type of brain to visualize placements very well despite a fair bit of instruction. At
least she admits it so leads easy climbs and puts in a lot of gear.

So one's progress as a leader is unpredictable - starting at Bushranger is a good idea, but our new
leader could be nutting her way safely up I'm a Little Asteroid before too long. Sometimes beginners
can be a bit overfocussed on cams, encourage her to find plenty of passive placements. Speaking of
Trapeze, I too have seen pieces pull at the end of the traverse.

I think my first lead was Frontignac (11) at Onkaparinga. Belaying someone on their first trad lead can
be a little concerning. One girl was keen when she was living here in Adelaide and I started her on The
Pleasure Dome (15). Only one piece to arrange and nothing to hit but air. She did it!

3:15:18 PM
My first lead was "Son Of Epic", a grade 16 at buffalo, although I bypassed the 6m of unprotected slab at the start by climbing up a chimney to the right and traversing back once I could reach the big horizontal overlap (where I placed a cam). Still remember topping out to get a fantastic view across the Buckland Valley to Mt Bogong!
In retrospect, I think mikl's suggestion is the best, for the same reasons already outlined by someone else. If I was teaching someone to lead then I'd recommend them to do that.

..::- Chris -::..
3:52:25 PM
My first real lead was Big ears at Werribee.....

I think a leader should have followed an experienced leader(s) up at least 1km of climbing plus the usual training about tricks safety and emergancy contingencies...

Leading easy stuff (Sub grade 10) is usefull for the initial gear placement and finding practice but realistically you don't really know if you can lead safely until you take your first fall and see it all work!

I have used the following structure (approximately) in teaching people i have introduced to leading over the years...

Following (seconding) for quite some time, combined with allot of practice setting up top ropes etc and then over time some easy leads (grade 10 or below), followed by the final test a hard lead (top rope lead) with enough slack on the top rope that the top rope only comes into play after (if) the last piece has pulled (if they do fall)....

It is important as a teacher to obviously thoroughly check each piece as you pull it out and provide as much feedback to the leader as possible (Eg the yellow cam was overcammed or the second nut you put in didn't support a ? directional fall or I would have used a longer sling on the 3rd piece etc.

I had a really good main teacher who is still one of my main climbing buddies today. I also think it is very usefull (if possible) to climb with as many people as possible as you pick up different tricks etc over time.... I'm always constantly learning....

Best of luck with it (whatever you decide to climb)
Be safe,
Chris. : )

My recommendation (once she has done the basic's which it sounds like she has) is
Mantas 14/15 (Fang Buttress). Great gear, a little pull over the roof above gear, can be a little pumpy for someone starting out more so when your leading it but has an easy belay and is easily accessible... Uses Nuts, Cams has a old piton and it's a route that really takes well to slings / longer draws to lead it neatly.... so good alrounder gear wise...

5:33:23 PM
On 19/03/2009 ..::- Chris -::.. wrote:
>My recommendation (once she has done the basic's which it sounds like she has) is
>Mantas 14/15 (Fang Buttress). Great gear, a little pull over the roof
>above gear

Before committing to the move the roof can be protected with a big bomber nut so your well covered if your fall off anyway. Definately a great early lead.
10:23:08 PM
My first climb was a FFA grade 27 XXX. Second climb E12 7c - FFA onsight. After that I thought
climbing was overrated and gave up. Here is my weblink.

Eduardo Slabofvic
10:58:52 PM
On 20/03/2009 richardo wrote:
> Here is my weblink.

I heard Mr Gribble say that your mate, Chuck Norris, is a pussy who can only do E5 7a on grit, and can’t
handle more than 6 pints of Barngates Chesters Strong and Ugly.
11:20:07 PM
I'm not sure aiding a pitch is doable, unless it is a crack and then that is only going to help you when you're leading cracks. If you're being taught then its up to you to choose a teacher who will check your gear, if they can't tell your gear is crap find someone else.

Having said that, we taught ourselves to lead and my first trad lead was a 15 at Gunners Quoin, I went first as I'd bought most of the gear. We'd done a full year of top roping every weekend which taught us how to place good gear but it took us a while to see the placements when leading, I think I found about 5 in 25m.

Set up a top rope off trad gear and then rap the line, you'll learn to place good gear.
10:43:02 PM
I remember this Euro rocking up to the backpackers in Natimuk a few years ago looking for someone to climb with. He had never climbed trad so I totally dismissed him (probably because he was the wrong sex).

The following day he hooked up with some outdoor ed students and he on-sighted Faultline (24) and then Undertaker (25) as his first trad leads. He didn't know how to rig belays either and had to ask the outdoor ed student how to rig an anchor after topping out on Undertaker (this was before it had a lower-off). The outdoor ed student then had the frightening task of seconding a route about 8 grades harder than he had ever climbed on a potentially dodgy belay.

It turned out the Euro was a hot shot boulderer who competed on the circuit back home, so grade 25 was relatively easy compared to what he was capable of climbing.

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