Learning how to use rope

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Re: Learning how to use rope

Postby DaveLanders » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:06 pm

There have been some great posts on this thread. I would like to suggest another benefit of
doing some low 5th class climbing as prep for 3rd/4th class scrambles. If you wear your hiking
footwear (boots, trail runners, whatever) while toproping some low 5th class rock (say up to 5.4),
you will learn what footholds work (or don't work) with your hiking footwear. This will help your
footwork, and your confidence, on 3rd/4th class scrambles. This training is better done on real rock,
but could still be somewhat helpful if done in a climbing gym.
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Re: Learning how to use rope

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:40 pm

DaveLanders, good point about shoes. I LOVE the 5.10 Camp Four's for summer scrambling. The soles are Stealth One with Stealth C4 on the edging area. This means that you have a hiking/running type shoe with soles made of the same rubber as climbing shoes. They are unparalleled in their application to dry scrambles. So, VERY good point.

Bohlsen, winter 14ers are a whole nuther animal. Not too much snow climbing (that's more in spring) but a topic for multiple considerations beyond those in this thread. Search the database and you'll find a lot of good stuff on winter 14ers here. Also, check back in late fall when the winter lunies start getting ramped up for the perennial invernal insanity.
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Re: Learning how to use rope

Postby pseudoghost » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:19 pm

Also, not to hijack this thread but on a similar line of thought I'm wondering how you'd go about gaining experience for snow climbs? Would you suggest taking a class somewhere or trying to find more experienced people to hike with or something else? Also, how steep of a learning curve is it? I'd like to someday do Dead Dog or Holy Cross couloir and maybe do some winter assents on some of the class 2+ or 3 14ers, how much experience is necessary to do something like that safely?

Take a class. Seriously. Technical climbing is not something you want to learn from your friends. Even on "easy" snow climbs, you could easily injure yourself or die; and that's not even really taking into account factors beyond your control such as: avalanche, rock fall, other climbers, etc.

As far as the original discussion, I'm strongly of the opinion that a rope is a waste of time and effort if you don't know how to use it correctly. In my mind, that means that you need to be capable of setting protection, building anchors, self-rescue and rappelling. If you can't do those things, then find an easier route or a different mountain to climb. If you or your partner think you need a rope for Class 4 climbs, then you aren't ready for them.
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Re: Learning how to use rope

Postby jomagam » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:10 pm

pseudoghost wrote:If you or your partner think you need a rope for Class 4 climbs, then you aren't ready for them.

Agreed for routes like Capitol Peak, but there are some class 4 ridges where you do the occasional rappel.
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Re: Learning how to use rope

Postby mountainlover153 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:22 am

Okay so my own thoughts/comments

(1) This is why I love this site. The knowledge everyone has imparted here is really amazing to me.
(2) I will continue my current plans to attempt a class four in August, having now completed several class 3 and "difficult" class 3 peaks. I'm not planning on using rope, therefore I won't be pursuing routes which rope would be required, or even advisable. I am already comfortable with exposure. Also per the suggestions of this forum, I will look both here and on another board for an experienced climbing partner with plenty of class four experience to complete that peak with.
(3) I will continue to hone my rope skills, both indoors and outdoors, per all of the suggestions on this board, so that I can in the future pursue class five terrain and more substantial peaks.
(4) I will increase the amount of training I do in my climbing gear, even if the training isn't itself a climbing type activity.
Things others have said that I've thought about myself:

(1) Mountain climbing is dangerous. Things move, shift, slide. The more one climbs, the higher the probability that something like that will cause issue (though one may argue that it may remain a constant probability as increasing experience would likely lead to increased skill, however conversely increasing experience tends to lead to the individual attempting harder terrain).
(2) Body awareness is very important, possibly more so than having a rope. Knowing what route to take, being able to identify good rock, proper foot placement and balance, are all very important skills. Said skills are for the most part acquired through climbing itself, and it's always better to over-prepare than the converse.


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