'Trad' climbing. Or is it?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 42 of total 42 in this topic
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 22, 2012 - 11:11am PT
I know a few long time climbers who ONLY lead pitches that they top roped, ‘mock led,’ or followed, unless it is at least a few grades bellow their limit. Do you guys think it is still ‘trad’ climbing if you ALWAYS know you can do it? Not sure how to call it, since by definition you are placing clean pro and are going up, but something is missing here…to me ‘trad’ involves some unknown, some risk, some challenge. Any thoughts?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:12am PT
If it works for them, who really cares? Do you need to feel better than them on some subtle level so as to necessitate exact labeling?

Snobbery sure feels good sometimes but it ultimately makes you a dickhead only other dickheads tolerate.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:13am PT
are THOSE the guys decking all over when their shyt pulls??
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:15am PT
I don't care nor do I give a flying f*#k...they should think the same way.

J
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:16am PT
I say more trip reports less trolling!

Trad seems to refer to one or two things.

Protection ie some type of removable gear thus placing nuts and cams makes it a traditional ascent.

Style ie ground up style is often referred to as Traditional style.


Most people call leading routes that you have top roped headpointing.

Very often done in the UK.

 Luke
jstan

climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:18am PT
Very often done in the UK.

where the is often no protection at all.
ncrockclimber

climber
The Desert Oven
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:20am PT
Whatever. "Trad" means somewhat different things to different people. If they are having fun and not retrobolting established routes that take gear, I could really give a flying f*#k what they call it.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Can you ever climb the same climb twice?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:43am PT
yes,,, right down to the crystals... ive seen it many times lol!
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:44am PT
Trad is a type of climbing.
Trad onsight is a style.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 11:51am PT
If it works for them, who really cares? Do you need to feel better than them on some subtle level so as to necessitate exact labeling?

Snobbery sure feels good sometimes but it ultimately makes you a dickhead only other dickheads tolerate.

It is discussion I want to encourage. See what different people think about the word ‘trad,’ seems it could have many definitions to many people? Not comparing anyone to my far ‘superior’ style (Sarcasm. I do not lead hard and have mock led before!). Personal story- one time my friend convinced me to lead a 5.9 I TRd clean. At that point I never led a 5.9 or a 5.8 OS. I wasn’t comfortable with my gear placements. Next time I went up I put in gear while on TR and had him examine it. He said it was good, cleaned it, and I led the climb clean. Was super happy after I did it. Next day decked from 12ft up trying to onsight some 5.8. So this thread was started to encourage discussion, not put people down.

PS: 'trad onsight' thread got me thinking about this.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:56am PT
i think back to the late eighties, when terms like "PINK point" came about..??? PINK POINT!!!! BWWAHAHAhahahahahahaaaaaaa0a0000aaeeee
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 11:57am PT
what does it mean 'pink point'? There are a lot of terms I am overwhelmed by. I guess it will be more clear with time...


edit: got it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkpoint
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
well, we went a whole udder direction with "PINK POINT" ...During those days with the new terminology flooding in to the scene , there was loads of opportunistic moments in which to play with said terms..;-) I NEVER did embrace the hangdog philosophies. Sure it MAY have made me a better numbers climber, but it just bored me to DEATH. If the route wasnt in my ability to get it after one or two g/u lead attempts, it went to the future todo list, or was simply forgotten. Breashers, Wunsch and the gangs style interested me the most from bitd.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
subjective hell
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
good points, all. while i dont think it really matters at all, one way or the other, my personal take is this : "traditional" climbing simply applies to the means used at the current point in time on the climb, irregardless of whether it has been seen, practiced, etc previously.

would practicing something on tr mar the experience somewhat? ofcourse. but climbing is a personal thing so i guess it depends how "traditional" one wants to be.

that being said, i can honestly agree that a purer "traditional" experience is had when it is genuinely onsight, unpracticed.

however, this does lead me to wonder, if it isnt trad climbing simply because you have climbed it on tr, practiced it, or in some way it wasnt truly "onsight" then anytime anyone uses a guidebook that gives any sort of beta whatsoever this would in this same vein not be "traditional" either because they didnt have to figure out all out on their own.

is truly "traditional" climbing only when you make your own first ascent, ground up? maybe for some, but not for me.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
It is discussion I want to encourage.

It's a topic beat into the ground already, and one that quickly devolves. Luke's right, less trolling, more trip reports ;).

But have fun with it, many of us have already told us our views of this topic if you weren't listening.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
style----rules---sometimes blurry .. this all means NOTHING, because your climbing lives will be like a big curved graph, starting out with dubious technique to make up for a lack of experience then upward as knowledge and skills are gained,, then,,,,,THE SLIDE back down the hump as your body no longer listens to your mind as much,, techniques and the lack there of bother you LESS, and the terms loose their meanings entirely.;-)
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
No one has cared about any of this since about 1986.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
that being said, i can honestly agree that a purer "traditional" experience is had when it is genuinely onsight, unpracticed.

however, this does lead me to wonder, if it isnt trad climbing simply because you have climbed it on tr, practiced it, or in some way it wasnt truly "onsight" then anytime anyone uses a guidebook that gives any sort of beta whatsoever this would in my mind not be "traditional" either because they didnt have to figure out all out on their own.

is truly "traditional" climbing only when you make your own first ascent, ground up? maybe for some, but not for me.

Exactly the kind of discussion I wanted to encourage! You pointed out the same questions I had in my mind. Personally I thought to OS is to climb something from ground up, without hangs, without ever attempting to climb the route, or working it on TR. Somewhere I read that to onsight you can't have beta and couldn't look at other people climbing it. But than what if you saw others TRing it only, which is a lot sloppier technique than when you are on lead?

Jebus, yes maybe this subject is beaten to death, but maybe better to beat it a bit more than to have 10000 political threads.
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
Recreate the original experience of any point in climbing history by going without guide or topo and with the original equipment. Like this guy:

Inside the Tweeds of a Victorian Gentleman Climber

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5011
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
if your looking for the best "style" of any climb, that would be ground up, on lead everything, first ascents done with CLEAN pro ethics first and foremost. ( naked and barefoot would add mega points)
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Toms-Thumb-10-19-2012-My-first-lead-after-a-30-year-climbing-hiatus-Many-pics/t11722n.html

for further defining trad climbing:^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
crasic

climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
Recreate the original experience of any point in climbing history by going without guide or topo and with the original equipment

Why?

I mean I understand doing it for fun. But BITD they were using state of the art equipment and gathered as much beta as they could before going. That spirit really hasn't changed in modern trad climbing



Alpamayo

Trad climber
Chapel Hill, NC
Oct 22, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
"Traditional" climbing as a term only came about in response to sport climbing. Before that it was just climbing. So the term was coined to differentiate "traditional" methods with those used in sport climbing...hangdogging, pre-inspecting, preplaced and or rap-placed protection (bolts), rehearsing etc...as opposed to the traditional style of ground-up (on-sight being the higher standard). Only leading routes that you have wired only after following, hanging, or top-roping (head pointing) puts the ascent closer to the realm of sport tactics IMO. I'm as guilty as the next guy of doing this more than I should. Nothing wrong with that as long as you are honest about things with yourself and others.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 22, 2012 - 02:09pm PT
I know a few long time climbers who ONLY lead pitches that they top roped, ‘mock led,’ or followed, unless it is at least a few grades bellow their limit. Do you guys think it is still ‘trad’ climbing if you ALWAYS know you can do it? Not sure how to call it, since by definition you are placing clean pro and are going up, but something is missing here…to me ‘trad’ involves some unknown, some risk, some challenge. Any thoughts?

OK, I'll bite.

Not that anyone cares about my opinion, but if the person you were describing was me, then no, I would not call myself a trad climber. To never even try to onsight a climb is to tear out the heart of trad climbing, IMO. It would be like calling yourself a sport climber, and never trying to redpoint, only ever hangdogging routes and then moving on. I mean, that would be fine if that's what you wanted to do, but call a spade a spade.

As for what to call it? Damned if I know. I guess if that were me, I'd call myself... hmmm... first thing that comes to mind is "pussy". Not terribly PC, but can't think of a better term at the moment.

GO
LongAgo

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:13pm PT
Once upon a time when "traditional" and "sport" first began to diverge, here were the key differences in styles of protection and progressing on the rock, in a one page table:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=19

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
I have never met a climber who never led a pitch he hadn't top roped. Is that a local phenomenon back there?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
"if your looking for the best "style" of any climb, that would be ground up, on lead everything, first ascents done with CLEAN pro ethics first and foremost. ( naked and barefoot would add mega points)
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Toms-Thumb-10-19-2012-My-first-lead-after-a-30-year-climbing-hiatus-Many-pics/t11722n.html

for further defining trad climbing:^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"

Wow, Ron thanks for the mad props!

BITD we didn't call it trad, it was CLIMBING and we got up a route using our mental/physical abilities and the tools of the trade (swami belts and hip belays) we had available at the time. Until recently I did not know what sport climbing was, that's where you just clip bolts right?LOL
Tad
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Oct 22, 2012 - 08:19pm PT
Seems like Alpamayo has it about right.

bit'er ol' guy

climber
the past
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:16pm PT

really?

no, REALLY?

still?

that's the topic? "what is trad?"

who are you guys?

sorry man, but no one cares about your little climbs!

NO-ONE-CARES-DUDE!

climb for yourself.

you might like it.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
I have never met a climber who never led a pitch he hadn't top roped. Is that a local phenomenon back there?

They would lead pitches that are way bellow their lead ability without TRing them, but if it gets to their limit, they never try to lead without working it first.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
I mostly just climb. I let you folks worry about its nomenclature.
locker

Gym climber
DUH!!!...
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:23pm PT


...

toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
"trad climbing," waaay bitd...the version I recall

--no previewing via toprope or rap inspection...brief, written route descriptions only (no topos)

--generally, no preplaced protection

--no falls, no tension, no weighting the rope, no frenching the pro, obviously, for an ascent in the "best style"

--if the leader fell on a single pitch route: leader was lowered to the ground, untied, pulled the rope down, started again with pro in place ...OR the leader was lowered to the nearest decent rest, then tried again

--if you fell on a toprope, then automatically you WERE lowered to the ground

--chalk was approved of, generally

--AND if you broke the "rules" ...no one gave a rat's ass really, as long as you were HONEST about your shortcomings, and did not try to bullshitt anybody!

-
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:25pm PT
trad climbing to me means placing gear for protection on lead, end of discussion, for me at least. some routes are bolted and are sport climbs. some routes have bolts and gear, those are bolts and gear climbs.

traditional style, in my opinion would involve a frighteningly skinny rack by today's standards, no helmet, a 50m rope and some big wool mittens.
jstan

climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
They would lead pitches that are way bellow their lead ability without TRing them, but if it gets to their limit, they never try to lead without working it first.

People do first ascents that turn out to be at their limit quite frequently. (Indeed some look for situations that might be at their limit.) In either case since it has never been done you can't know.

Let's look at a specific case of a route with little protection. I'll ask a question. What portion of the people trying the Bachar Yerian top rope it first? My guess is the answer is as diverse as are the people who try it.

The preemptive quote above seems too strong.

Since it is related I will repeat a practical observation I posted elsewhere. Top roping as a percentage of the total climbing being done today is quite apparently far higher than I have seen over the past forty five years. Top roping to the extent that leading is entirely excluded. This makes a great deal of sense. With our health care system a serious fall can, in minutes, convert a home owning wino into a homeless wino. Based upon this, assuming Obamacare is not reversed, one needs to get their hard climbing finished by the age of twenty six. If it is reversed, I expect the cost of cams will drop substantially.


The purest trad is onsight in the dark.

Testimony from one of William Shockley's climbing partners. After extended bouts at the Brauhouse, the two would solo climb routes in the dark. It is perhaps only by pure chance that you have that keyboard in front of you. I say "perhaps" for a good reason. Bardeen with his two Nobels, was no slouch.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
The purest trad is onsight in the dark.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:57pm PT
trad is rad
NigelSSI

Trad climber
B.C.
Oct 22, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
Let's not forget that there is a whole lot of top roping in trad climbing... Whoever follows a pitch is still trad climbing despite the rope above them.

I mean jeeesus... I'll hand it to anyone who cleanly follows long 5.hard+ routes, and gives a good belay.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Oct 23, 2012 - 07:03am PT


There was a climber named Thad
Who thought he was quite rad
Until he decided to go trad
When it got wide it all went bad
That was the end of Thad

OK weak, here's the start for the next:

There was a climber named Jim
Who was often found in the gym
.....any takers?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 23, 2012 - 07:18am PT
^^^^^
Climbed a trad .10 on a whim
placed a cam when it got thin
it pulled and the result was quite grim?

I know, poetry is not my strength,
Tad

GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 23, 2012 - 07:20am PT
I hate the word "trad." Especially when used as a verb.
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Oct 23, 2012 - 07:30am PT
When you on-sight a trad climb, no matter how far below your level, you'll understand. If you don't then, you never will. I'll never climb as hard as 95% of the pos(t)ers here, but on-sighting any trad climb is, for me, infinitely more satisfying than any hangdog pinkpoint redpoint. On the other hand, it's all climbing, and all fun.

TE
Messages 1 - 42 of total 42 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews