1000Pks wrote:Leading takes some skill and experience, if you have no one to tell you anything, probably best not to try it.
I've gone off this particular piton as the third person in a group; the leader had checked out the anchor beforehand, but I'm not sure what he did. Nothing metallic to tap it with except what was on my harness-- no piton hammer e.g. This crack is very
tight, but gets snow freezing and thawing over it throughout the winter. Most piton placements in RR are in places that drain well.
Next "good" anchor is a pinyon at least 30 feet away.
In the context of trad climbing, "leading" is the act of placing protection (such as cams, nuts, even pitons) and "following" is the act of cleaning the pro, which in the case of a pin would require a hammer.
Most of us when we go trad climbing without pins don't bring a hammer, but many routes in the Sierra do have fixed pins. The usual test is to just try to wiggle it out and see if it moves .. obviously not much of a test
Generally it's best not to trust old pins; try to back it up if you must clip it. As you mention, rust, age, and weather can all make a fixed pin untrustworthy -- both the pin and the rock around it.
But as with all rules, sometimes you do what you gotta do ...