Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Impossible Top Rope

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
 

Impossible Top Rope

Postby Guyzo » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:05 pm

Things do change in climbing as the years blow by. One of the more frustrating things I encounter when I go to popular climbing places is “Top Ropes”. Nothing wrong with that IMHO. As long as the top ropers are willing to let me pull their junk aside so I can lead the sucker.

Most folks are pretty accommodating and that is just great.

I am always willing to wait my turn while the other climbers try the TR 8)

I have observed this occurrence more and more lately.

Almost all the climbers I see are not even close to doing the climb, at all. If the climb is 5.11, none of the climbers are even getting the 5.9 opening moves. Lots of pulling on the rope gets them up to the 5.10 part…. again nothing. More pulling on the rope, gains a few more feet… lots of people yelling “awesome”…. but still nothing. :roll: :roll: :roll: :?

To me it’s very obvious that they don’t have the skills acquired to climb at that grade.

Sometimes I like to go give advice and I try to approach in a nice way and I sometimes point out this fact and I tell them this. “you need to bring your aim down a few notches, go climb something easer, when you can do that with no falls, go up one notch and repeat the no falls thing. That is how you will get the skills needed to climb harder stuff.” :)

The most common answer I get is this: I don’t know what’s wrong; I can climb 5.11 all the time in the gym.

Am I the only person who has a problem with this? :?:
User Avatar
Guyzo

 
Posts: 2567
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:11 am
Location: Moorpark, California, United States
Thanked: 24 times in 13 posts

Postby nattfodd » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:57 pm

If they're having fun, and as long as they're doing it safely, I don't really have a problem with that. Sure they may be missing out on something much more fun, since a clean lead will give the climber a much bigger sense of accomplishment than a TR hangdog, but if they're enjoying their day, then good for them. And even if they claim afterwards having climbed that 5.11, so what? Climbing at that level is just a game and grades should only matter to the climber himself, if at all.

What I do have a problem with, though, are people who TR a 5.11 at the crag and then think they can go lead the same grade in the mountains and get hurt. That, and people who leave their toprope all day on a line I want to climb...
User Avatar
nattfodd

 
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:11 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanked: 10 times in 5 posts

Postby kiwiw » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:02 pm

yeah! I can toperope 12a and lead 11c in the gym! why can't I do it outside?!?!?!
seriously though, I can maybe lead 10b on occasion outside, and thrutch up on TR a 10d. Life isn't fair!!!
User Avatar
kiwiw

 
Posts: 353
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby nartreb » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:06 pm

Not sure this is much different than boulderers who fall off the same "project" for a week straight, or big-wall climbers who leave the ropes up for a week so they can come back and finish later. This is how some people choose to spend their climbing time. Many of them do improve this way, but so what if they don't? I guess I'd quietly disapprove if they're batmanning up the rope, but even then, style is up to them.
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 1978
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 106 times in 87 posts

Postby Rocker Paully » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:17 pm

The funniest thing I see outdoors when gymmies come to crags is they can't crack climb! They might be able to crimp the crap out of edges but they don't know what a jam is :lol:

My outdoor rock climbing far outweighs my indoor climbing but I have done enough indoors to know that it's not very comparable to actual rock.
Gym grades are overrated compared to actual rock because of :
1. The holds on your route are labeled, most Gym holds come out at you, so handholds almost always become footholds
2. Most routes, from what i've seen, are straight up jug hauls.
3. Gym holds don't make you bleed or scream in pain.
4. Gyms are hard to smear in and you lack most of the technical footwork in stemming, dime edging, and so on, that is required on 5.11 or harder routes outdoors.
5. You don't lead trad in a gym and the gym has lacks the sense of risk involved with leading a climb, such as not knowing how good the bolts are or pieces blowing and you decking on hard, uneven ground.
User Avatar
Rocker Paully

 
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:11 pm
Location: Green River, Wyoming, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby rpc » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:21 pm

how about this one:

city of rocks, memorial day wknd. A QD hanging on the 1st bolt of a route & an old/non-climbing couple sitting nearby. When asked if anyone's climbing the route, they respond "yes, our kids" pointing to a trio on another route 50 feet away & start calling them. One of the 3 quickly lowers, runs over & let's us know that they will be climbing the route very shortly & we have to wait.

I must've skipped the chapter on the route reservation system I guess. next time I'll be sure to call ahead and reserve all the lines we wish to do on a given weekend.
User Avatar
rpc

 
Posts: 2567
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States
Thanked: 16 times in 10 posts

Postby fatdad » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:25 pm

You are totally not alone. I've found this to be really annoying at places like Josh, where it's easy to set up a toprope. A small group will monopolize an entire crag, not even thinking that others might actually want to LEAD something. It's almost always gym rats or maybe a guy taking out a bunch of girls he wants to impress, something like that. I've seen the entire spectrum. Check out anywhere around the Lost Horse area on a weekend and you'll see what I mean.

Sometimes the person(s) might be cool and offer you a ride on their ropes. But when you tell them that you want to lead the route, they either don't get it or their demeanor changes and you get the 'I was here first' attitude. One time a guy (with a bunch of girls) actually let me lead the climb. (BTW, I watched them before I asked and no one even came remotely close to even reaching the crux). I and my partner took about 30 min. to lead and follow the pitch, and the guy gets all irritated that I took all day. Whaaa..?!

Unfortunately gyms are alot like bike shops selling mt. bikes. The give them the tools to go outside, but completely fail to educate them about ethics, sharing resources, etc.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 83 times in 57 posts

Postby ksolem » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:47 pm

Actually this business of flailing on toprope on climbs which are out of reach is having an impact on many routes in joshua Tree. The rock there becomes altered by climbers with lousy footwork repeatedly slipping off the same foothold, and hand holds erode and break when abused by climbers who are not skilled enough to understand that certain features need to be used gently.

I can name many frequently tr'd routes in Josh which have sufferred from this practice. Most recently I was astounded to see the damage to the start of the classic .11d arete "Split Personality."

Even when they don't actually wear out the route, these top roping crews could at least have the courtesy to spend a few minutes brushing their copious amounts of chalk - most of it off route - off the holds so the next leader to come along has a chance.
User Avatar
ksolem

 
Posts: 5719
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 4:25 pm
Location: Monrovia, California, United States
Thanked: 12 times in 9 posts

Postby HeyItsBen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:57 pm

Last time I was at Josh, a group of 5 people had 5 TRs set up on the Atlantis Wall :twisted:
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Re: Impossible Top Rope

Postby rhyang » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:14 pm

I can climb 5.11 all the time in the gym.


I wish :cry: :cry: :cry:

:mrgreen:
User Avatar
rhyang

 
Posts: 8963
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 58 times in 37 posts

Re: Impossible Top Rope

Postby mconnell » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:36 pm

Guyzo wrote:The most common answer I get is this: I don’t know what’s wrong; I can climb 5.11 all the time in the gym.


Reminds me of a "5.12 climber" that we saw bail a few years ago. He chickened out on the Class 3 approach. (Yes, Bob. I know I bailed as well but at least I made it part way up the climb!)
mconnell

 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:28 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 321 times in 193 posts

Postby Mark Straub » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:26 am

I think it's fine. Hogging an entire crag or hogging a route for a long time is not acceptable, and tearing off holds is definitely not acceptable, but working a toprope in an area where nobody else is currently climbing (and falling, that's one of the reasons why you have the toprope up, isn't it?) seems fine to me. I don't get much better by climbing at the grade I won't fall on. I get better by trying things above my abilities to figure out how to climb them cleanly and efficiently after falling on them.

-Mark
User Avatar
Mark Straub

 
Posts: 530
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Everett, Washington, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby fatdad » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:55 am

Mark Straub wrote:I think it's fine. Hogging an entire crag or hogging a route for a long time is not acceptable, and tearing off holds is definitely not acceptable, but working a toprope in an area where nobody else is currently climbing (and falling, that's one of the reasons why you have the toprope up, isn't it?) seems fine to me. I don't get much better by climbing at the grade I won't fall on. I get better by trying things above my abilities to figure out how to climb them cleanly and efficiently after falling on them.

-Mark


True, Mark, but the issue here, in part, are topropers not making space for other climbers. Also, I alot of the old farts (most of whom climbed pretty hard in their day) got real good without resorting to top roping climbs you would otherwise lead. At a place like Tahquitz or Suicide, how are you supposed to throw a toprope on a 3 to 5 pitch climb? You don't. You get better on lead.

When I was 15, I jumped from leading 5.8 to 5.10b in one day at Josh without having to toprope. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did toprope, but it was at areas like Mt. Rubidoux, where it's pretty much just bouldering and TRing, so you don't get in anyone's way. It was actually a great apprenticeship because when I sacked up and started going for it on lead, I had lots of practice building good anchors I could trust because of the toproping.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 83 times in 57 posts

Next

Return to Ethics, Spray, and Slander

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.