What Is Trad ?????????


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Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jun 5, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
Donini bump!
bit'er ol' guy

the past
Jun 5, 2013 - 08:33pm PT

Still ?

Jun 5, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
MH2, awesome loincloth, yours??

Where do I get one?

Jul 4, 2015 - 11:12am PT
1300 posts. Too much for me.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Jul 4, 2015 - 11:56am PT
Jstan, wow, you've been deep in the archives. This thread got a lot of people going, BITD! Thank you, by the way, for helping develop and champion clean climbing!

This is where TarBuster started (I miss Roy):
Start from the bottom, carry gear on a sling, protect as you go, top out, pound chest and yell like Tarzan.
Fall on the way up? Lower down, pull rope, try again. Three strikes and your out. At the worst, yoyo.


Here is my unofficial summary. You're, respectfully, included as the originator of a unique subset of the free climbing game. The following is also with respect for Lito Tejada Flores and his article, "Games Climbers Play."

1) Free Climbing - what climbers did before trad (up to around 1972); almost exclusively pins and hand tied slings for pro, one inch swamis; body belays; fall occasionally on some climbs, usually only a few times (see John Stannard Free Climbing as a subset that makes an exception to this rule); no hangs, lower to a rest stance before retry, no pulling on pro; on some routes better not effing fall.

1a) Free Climbing (John Stannard subset) - Boldly and doggedly fall and keep coming back til you get that sucker!

2) Old School Trad - associated with the clean climbing revolution that was catalyzed by the 1972 Chouinard catalog which contained "The Whole Natural Art of Protection" by Doug Robinson; mostly disappeared after cams (Friends) became more widely available around 1980; almost exclusively nuts (primarily hand knotted perlon sling hexes and stoppers) and hand tied slings for pro, two inch swamis (occasional Whillans or Forrest harnesses); usually includes use of chalk; a mix of body belays and belay plates (sometimes a chain link) for belaying; take a few falls on some climbs; no hangs; lower to a rest stance before retry, no pulling on pro, yo-yo once in a while; on some perfectly parallel cracks you either have to work freakishly hard to hang on long enough to get a hex in or can't get a hex to stick, sometimes best to just gun it until you can get something in and hope you don't effing fall; on offwidths you'll either have nothing for pro or you will have wobbly tube chocks that will help you deceive yourself into believing you have pro (using bigbros when aiming to climb Old School Trad might or might not be cheating; let's have a discussion).

2a) Old School Trad (Henry Barber subset) - pull your rope through your high point in order to re-lead your next attempt; occasionally climb barefoot and use only jammed knots for pro.

2b) Old School Trad (Arizona subset) - no chalk.

2c) Old School Trad (Jim Erikson subset) - no chalk and if you fall you don't try again...ever, unless it's Half Dome.

3) Classic Trad - same as Old School Trad except you get to use cams and all the other modern gizmos.

4) Modern Trad - same as Classic Trad except you get to hangdog and all the other stuff from sport climbing when climbing Free Climbs (established before 1972) or Trad Climbs (established ground up after 1972; may include hand drilled bolts placed on stance which is the same as for Old School Trad and Classic Trad.

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Jul 4, 2015 - 12:35pm PT

2b or not 2b?

I choose 2b - or not to be at all - in my climbing.

I don't get the advantage of chalk and never use same. Tried it once, but saw no benefit. Looks a lot like a nervous tic to me. Like not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk - a nervous dip before the climber commits to a move.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 4, 2015 - 12:40pm PT
"White courage."
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 4, 2015 - 12:45pm PT
"Placebo dust"

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 4, 2015 - 12:50pm PT
"Disco Powder"

No wait, that is the other white dust of placebo courage.

Jul 4, 2015 - 01:02pm PT
In the times I climbed with Henry, I never saw him fail. So I can't vouchsafe whether he ever pulled a rope.

Now that I am,briefly, on the topic of Henry, it has taken me all these years to figure out why he left Wharton School of business. At the time I thought his intelligence and ability such that he would have wound up CEO of Exxon. What a missed potential.

But I have recently heard of business practices associated with Wharton that had problems. Henry left Wharton because he simply could not tolerate such stuff. IMO.

Anyway, on to the theory I am working on regarding climbers. We are drama queens. If there is drama, we love it. Whether it is poo fights on ST or run out climbs, it's all good. I don't need to present data here. It's bloody obvious.

Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Jul 4, 2015 - 01:13pm PT
Awesome Mark! I will add...

5) Throwback Trad: a modern era ascent conducted in accordance with the classic trad ethos, sometimes combined with one or more subsets.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Jul 4, 2015 - 01:14pm PT
I don't know about drama queens. I'd say we tend to be "spice" addicts. We each like the effects of various "spices" and each of us have our favorite "blends."

"Throwback Trad" - nice!!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 5, 2015 - 09:07am PT
It's all just inning....


Tradclumbing is like sport climbing, only without the training wheels...
Big Mike

Trad climber
Jul 5, 2015 - 09:38am PT
It's that thing when you put those widgets in a rock right? ;)
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Jul 5, 2015 - 10:49am PT
...we tend to be "spice" addicts...

Credit: Ojai Alex
Trad babe...

Jul 5, 2015 - 03:06pm PT
So many words

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 5, 2015 - 03:16pm PT
That's because every short definition of trad is wrong.

Trad climber
Jul 5, 2015 - 03:21pm PT
Trad is what I say it is.

Fricking nOOBs.

edt: Sitting in a hot cubicle on Sunday. I'm pisssed.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 5, 2015 - 03:42pm PT
Trad is the silly name imposed on rock climbing by the advent of "sport climbing." The need was felt to differentiate climbs with preplaced bolts, where no gear would be placed by the leader, from the rest of climbing, hence the term sport climbing.
Once that term got established I guess it was felt that what had previously just been referred to as climbing needed an adjective added to differentiate it from sport climbing. To me it's all just climbing.

Oops, just came in from four pitches of sport climbing....no, I mean, climbing.

Jul 5, 2015 - 03:45pm PT
I'm guessing sport climbers will have big problems with arthritis in thirty years. Trad climbers, on the other hand, will be broke from paying for all the artificial arms. Then all of the argument will be about how long an arm you can ethically have put on.
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