sport climbing


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Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 4, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
"Yeah but... swami, smearing, BITD, sputter, sputter..."

Jan 4, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
I used to be an elitist prick. I learned how to climb in the Gunks. As traditional as it gets. The only bolts I ever clipped where the ones on climbs there and they are few and far between. I finally reached the level of being able to onsight 5.10 there. Then I decided it was time to take a road trip. You guys who have sold everything you own and put the rest in your buddies garage know the trip I'm talking about. Then I made the list. You know THE list. Every major trad area in the US. Then what climbs your gonna do their. The test pieces. The climbs that get your buddies to buy you some beers if you manage to get them onsight. There was not a single sport area on that list.

Fast forward a few months. A buddy of mine has some time off as well. He wants to get some climbing in. Great. The problem is he wants to do it in El Portrero. I am not stoked to go clip some bolts but he's a good friend so I suck it up and decide to go. On the drive down I repeat every "sport climbing" joke I can think of a few times. It's a long drive. We get there just before Xmas. The first day we do some single pitch routes. My stoke remains low but it's still climbing and beer is cheap. That night we talk about getting on some of the longer routes. My stoke meter is slowly starting to rise. We pick a route called Yankee Clipper. A 15 pitch 12a.

We get up and get on it. Most of the climbing is 5.9ish. The last pitch is the crux. We literally fly up the route. Linking pitches puts us at the crux in a few hours. I get the crux pitch. I've never even been on a 12 before. The moves are hard but the bolts are bomber. So I keep scratching my way up. I finally fall at the last hard move. Did I really just do that? Can I really climb at that grade? Wow this route is cool. All these thoughts are creeping into my skull. I finish the climb and we rap down. We hit the ground just over four hours from when we started. 1500' in four hours and we weren't even trying to go fast. That rocked.

A little over FOUR months later I finally left Potrero. It's the place that opened my eyes and made me drop the BS attitude I was carrying around about sport climbing being inferior. It's just different. It allowed me to push into grades that most likely would have taken me a few more years to get to if I was just trad climbing. It made me realize that if I can climb those grades with bolts that I could also climb them on gear. It made me a better, stronger, faster climber physically. Mentally it unlocked part of my brain to allow me to try harder and reach further. Now I clip bolts. Now I boulder. Now I trad climb harder. Now I am a climber.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 4, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
this just in

north fork
Jan 4, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
Now I clip bolts. Now I boulder. Now I trad climb harder. Now I am a climber.

Well said. If you have to tell people how much bolder you are than other climbers, you're missing the point of climbing. Climb for yourself and let your climbing speak for you. Climb on Reed.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 4, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
ruppell, that was VERY well written. I wish you wrote trip reports....and you have plenty of boob pics to supplement them.

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 4, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
I soloed an easy 300' route once and didn't think it was all that great. I'd much rather do hard moves on a boulder or with a rope. I will never be a climber... I'm just not bold enough.
all in jim

Jan 4, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
Sport climbing... I guess.


Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Jan 4, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Ruppell,well said.I am just a bit behind you,but want to keep that attitude.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 4, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
I think the legendary Doug Scott said it best about sport climbing. It stokes our egos because with the closely spaced bolts, as we age, we can climb at the same(or higher) grade than we climbed trad.
this just in

north fork
Jan 4, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
Really good video Jim. Thanks.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jan 4, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
Ruppel... +1 sums it up.

I love to sport climb and I have a bit of advise for you 101.....

You will need more than 10 draws.... buy like 20.

I prefer ones with large biners so you can hang on while you dog.

And make up a few Jesus draws for safety, you know the ones with locking biners at both ends.

But you do not need a cordellete...

Just the fact that you posted on this site shows that you have some stones.

Don't mind all the naysayers .... they just be yanking your chain, remember they are climbers and that is part of the deal.

Just have fun.
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