First trad lead. HELP PLEASE!!


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Jared Benik

Sport climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 14, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
so i've finally started to pick up trad climbing and i have a trip out to Lovers leap but i'm not so confident in my anchor building so i'm sticking to bolted anchors for right now. anyone know of any good multi pitch routes that have bolted anchors at the leap???

Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
A single pitch route would be a much better idea for your first trad lead. Less to go wrong, fewer systems to work with. With single pitch, a tree is just as good as a bolted anchor.

Trad climber
Nevada City
May 14, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
knapsack crack isnt a bad one. there is a tree at the top of the 1st pitch, and 1 fixed piton at the top of 2nd pitch belay. admittedly, you should at least work on the anchor building down low for the 2nd belay first, , and have gear beyond just the piton, but, knapsack is a good one to start on.

Boulder climber
May 14, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
yer.. yer .. yer... gunna...

no I just can't do it.

The groove has a bolted anchor at the top of pitch 1 and should be at your level. Sling a tree for an anchor on the top. Surrealistic pillar has chains at the top of pitch 1, but at 10a you probably wont want to be leading that.

Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
What have you studied about anchors? Longs book is great, study the hell out of that and practice. There are a ton of threads here about ancors too...

Cheers and good luck.


May 14, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Here's a thought. Before you take off on a route, spend half a day walking around and rig anchors from the ground in a bunch of different crack systems. If you build one at head heigth, you can clip a couple of runners into your power point and bounce test it from a foot off the deck. Practice before you launch.

Looking forward to your trip report.


Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Get John Long's book "climbing anchors", you can check the local library for other rock climbing books--I have had good luck reading a variety of different "technical" climbing books that way.

You can also practice at home with your gear using chair legs or doors or something similar to practice equalizing your anchor.

you can also go to a local boulder pile or crag to build anchors on the ground...essential for putting into practice what the book shows in the pics and drawings.

On this forum I bet you can find pics of sketchy belay anchors to illustrate what NOT to do.

I think it would be beneficial if you cant get the books to post a thread asking for pics of solid trad anchors and study what they did and why--which is what John Long's book does.

Good luck!!

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
May 14, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
YGD if you start on The Groove... 5.8 move off the ground and the gear has to hold or you become a ping pong ball in the halfpipe...

Knapsack is the ticket after lots of anchor practice....

Social climber
May 14, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
You are comfortable having single pieces of gear keep you off the deck (leading) but aren't comfortable weighting 3 pieces with bodyweight?

Do NOT lead on gear if you are not confident placing gear.

Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
Prob it is better to start with some trad crag with shorter route? E.g. Ant Crack and Ko-Ki Box + Over Easy @ Phantom Spires or Table Manners + Banditto @ The Grotto.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 14, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
Dave, you n00b, didn't you get the memo about a 10 post minimum for flaming?

May 14, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
Knapsack crack

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
May 14, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Hire a guide for a half day. Petch at Lovers Leap Guides is a gem of a guide and will get you on top of your game. Give him a call.

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
May 14, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
I built my first anchors for setting top-ropes. Lots of time to sit and analyze and test, then commit the body to it by rapping off before top-roping it.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 14, 2013 - 09:31pm PT

Trad climber
Reno, NV
May 15, 2013 - 01:37am PT
East corner
Jared Benik

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2013 - 02:28am PT
i will totally have to read Longs book, thanks for all the tips guys. they help alot!

May 16, 2013 - 03:03am PT
I built my first anchors for setting top-ropes. Lots of time to sit and analyze and test, then commit the body to it by rapping off before top-roping it.

I don't know about that. I would say rappels are the last way to test one's anchors. It may even be the last test.

No one has mentioned redundancy. Even after getting knowledgeable first hand instruction, have two or more good anchors. First hand instruction shows one how to deal with a specific crack. No two cracks are the same.

Trad climber
Sacramento CA
May 16, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
I did my first Trad leads at the Leap...

I got up early and went to the Bouldering area and practiced building anchors in a few different spots.
Once I was feeling good about it, I woke up my girlfriend and we did Knapsack Crack and The Farce.

You can traverse at the top of the first pitch of the Farce and use the bolts of The Groove... Then rappel down and TR The Groove... or rappel down and lead The Groove. :-)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
May 16, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
My first trad lead was basically a free solo with a rope and some Sh**T gear. Choose a route well within your ability.

Good luck!!!
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