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#8378
Numbat
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Another good idea is to second an experienced trad climber. Then you can see how they put the gear in and where. It also helps you (as a potential leader) in the difficulties faced by the seconder in getting gear out that was jammed in by a panicking leader.

The other thing you need to learn is to set up good anchors at the top. While many climbs have bolt anchors at the top, many don’t, so you need to use cams, nuts and slings etc to set up. I have seen some belays set up where if the seconder were to take a big fall, they would probably pop all the gear and take everything and everyone with them. Like one I saw, where the belay was set up using a single nut. You’re gunna die sooner or later if you do things like that.

Having said all that, it is actually quite rare for gear to pop out if it has been put in OK. I have taken 8 m falls onto a small cam without any problems (apart from the obligatory scream of ‘Oh F***, I’m gunna die’ on the way down).

About the only time that gear regularly falls out is with nuts when there is a sideways or outwards pull because the route causes the rope to apply tension in an outwards direction. But usually by then you have managed to whack in a few ‘OMG I’ve saved’ cams, like at ‘Gates of Mordor’.

Try ‘First Route’ at Churchies. Nice crack, well protected until about 3/4 the way up, then it gets a bit thin.

Have fun!

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