15 yr old transitioning to outdoor climbing

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  cawa@climberswa.asn.au 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #156448 Reply


    Hi guy’s.
    i am a 15 yrs old and have been climbing in the gym for awhile i also boulder outside. I would just like to ask you what is the best way to transition from leading indoors and bouldering outside to climbing outside. i have good physical climbing skills(leading 21s and bouldering R6s and R7s at rock face) however because my parents do not climb its hard to learn technical and safety skills required for outdoor climbing e.g cleaning routes, building strong safe top rope anchors and hopefully eventually placing gear(probably not for a while.) what i am asking is how and where do gain this knowlage seeing as i am too young to go on CAWA trips, are the courses available in WA any good? (I Know they are pricey but i could probably safe up as i have a part time job). The other option is to keep training hard indoors for comps and Bouldering.
    Thanks guys would love to hear your opinions.

    #156454 Reply


    Hi Henry
    The time-tested method is to tag along with a group of outdoor climbers and spend time being the second on a trad lead. Going on a lead course first would definitely help to give you a grounding before getting out there. The trick is to not pick up bad habits particularly as you won’t know any different 🙂
    Give me a text 0432991091

    #156472 Reply


    Hey Henry there’s a good book called “Climbing Anchors” which is full of useful information and many other publications on the subject available. Seconding some routes and learning bomber toprope setups are a good place to start understanding some rope work skills and anchoring methods..
    Mick at Margaret River Climbing Co. runs courses at Wilys. There are also some young crushers your age around Dunsborough that are always keen to get out and some of the states best bouldering. If you can get down south give me a call stay psyched 0488517860

    #156474 Reply


    I have the book Kym mentioned, Climbing Anchors. It helped a lot sussing out how anchors work (or don’t). It should be floating around in the state library system somewhere, or a secondhand bookshop. Failing that, ebay is bound to have it.
    ‘Climbing Anchors’ by John Long and Bob Gaines. Published by Falcon Guide, part of their how-to-climb series. My 2nd edition copy has three climbers on a knobbly pillar on the cover.

    #156483 Reply

    Hi Henry

    It’s a bit tricky when your folks aren’t climbers and that must be a bit frustrating. It isn’t a case of being too young to go on trips but the need to be independent as we are not able to conduct training on trips and a number of locations are not well suited to beginners and those who are not yet leading outdoors, unless they are accompanied by an experienced person.

    CAWA has run a number of training events for members over the last year that you would have been able to participate in to gain some of the basic skills you need to survive outdoors. We recently ran a ‘transition to outdoors safely’ clinic at low cost and there was a free night run by Adventure Out back in December 2015.

    One of best ways to gain some of the skills you need and be certain that what you are being taught is solid, would be to do one of the courses run by a commercial operator. There are a number of providers listed on the website under ‘Climb’,’Courses’ who may be willing to offer a discount to CAWA members. We are not affiliated with any particular organisation and do not recommend one over another but do very much appreciate their efforts to help us promote safe climbing practices. CAWA members are already offered discounted rates on certain Adventure Out courses and I will shortly be posting the details of a couple of upcoming courses. Likewise, if there is enough interest from members, a number of the commercial operators are happy to help out with specific member training days, as we had in January, doing vertical rescue techniques. There are no scheduled CAWA training events at this stage as we are about to head into a new committee year.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Dena Rao
    CAWA President

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