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Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Shawnee Bob » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:58 pm

What always spooked me was the SCALE of the exposure. Done Class 3,4, and 5 here in my home state, but the exposure on the rock formations and mountains (you all call them "foothills") in OK don't have the scale of what's seen in CO. So I took a cautious approach. My first Class 3 in CO was Matterhorn Peak. Talk about just dipping your toes in the water! Next one was Torreys via Kelso Ridge. What I found was that despite the exposure, there wasn't much there that bugged me. Not that I didn't take care. My approach was uber conservative. I believe Kelso Ridge would be a pretty great place to start on Class 3.
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby MuchosPixels » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:31 am

Lot's of good info on this thread!

My opinion is that not all class 3/4 routes will feel the same. Some might feel MUCH easier than others. Rock and surface quality and conditions place a huge role as does exposure (which is more mental). Rotten rock makes even a small exposure feel much more dangerous.

Also, there is a huge difference from going Solo on a new route to going with someone who knows the route. Id say moving up to class 3/4 is obviously best done with a knowledgeable buddy or two on a good route like it was mentioned.

Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby metalmountain » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:40 pm

Rock climbing, as mentioned, is a great help. Indoor won't help at all in this regard though so keep that in mind. You can get out to Table mountain or Boulder canyon even this time of year and get some routes in. It really helps you to focus on the task at hand and ignore everything else. It also increases your confidence in regards to what you are capable of. Ultimately, it really just takes going out and feeling the exposure.

If you want an "easy" class 3 route, hit the Sawtooth. When its dry its not that difficult or long. Its barely class 3 but you get a healthy dose of exposure. And the exposure is on the class 2 section. Its not the greatest class 3 type route around, but its a good start. The routefinding is pretty simple and you can take the standard route up Bierstadt to get to it. Take someone with you who has experience and that you trust. It will do amazing things for your confidence.

Eventually you will figure out that technical climbing is where its at anyway and be done with class 3 shenanigans \:D/
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:33 am

metalmountain wrote:If you want an "easy" class 3 route, hit the Sawtooth. When its dry its not that difficult or long.

I disagree strongly with this. The route, as a whole, is long and committing, and there have been several fatal and injury accidents on this route in recent years. Better would be Kelso Ridge or the east ridge of Father Dyer; unlike the Sawtooth, you can reasonably bail from these ridges without it turning into an epic.

Just recall the dog rescue from last year; that's what can happen if you can't finish the Sawtooth.
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:38 am

Jim Davies wrote:
metalmountain wrote:If you want an "easy" class 3 route, hit the Sawtooth. When its dry its not that difficult or long.

I disagree strongly with this. The route, as a whole, is long and committing, and there have been several fatal and injury accidents on this route in recent years. Better would be Kelso Ridge or the east ridge of Father Dyer; unlike the Sawtooth, you can reasonably bail from these ridges without it turning into an epic.



I found Kelso to be more difficult than Sawtooth. I found Sawtooth to be quite easy.

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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:39 am

Sandbagging doesn't help if you really want to help a newbie. The point is commitment; once you're in the middle of the Sawtooth, you have to either climb out or wander off into the wilderness. FWIW, I've done the Sawtooth three times and Kelso five, so I have some idea of what I'm talking about here.
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:41 am

Jim Davies wrote:Sandbagging doesn't help if you really want to help a newbie. The point is commitment; once you're in the middle of the Sawtooth, you have to either climb out or wander off into the wilderness.



You can leave Sawtooth anytime you want. Just walk down, hug the sawtooth and just go back up Bierstadt.
Last edited by Somewhat of a Prick on Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Kojones » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:41 am

MonGoose wrote:I agree with what has been stated so far but I would add that having a climbing partner that you feel comfortable with and trust can help immensely in these types of situations.

Agree 100%. I have done 90% of my climbing without a partner, including Sunlight (class 4) and the class 4 route on Lindsey. I felt 200% better about myself when some other climbers on Sunlight were nearby. I had nobody near me on the class 4 section of Lindsey and had a moment of panic when I got stuck (physically wedged) halfway up it. If someone else was there, I think that feeling would have been a lot better.

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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby I Man » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:42 am

Somewhat of a prick wrote:
Jim Davies wrote:
metalmountain wrote:If you want an "easy" class 3 route, hit the Sawtooth. When its dry its not that difficult or long.

I disagree strongly with this. The route, as a whole, is long and committing, and there have been several fatal and injury accidents on this route in recent years. Better would be Kelso Ridge or the east ridge of Father Dyer; unlike the Sawtooth, you can reasonably bail from these ridges without it turning into an epic.



I found Kelso to be more difficult than Sawtooth. I found Sawtooth to be quite easy.


I have to agree that the Sawtooth is one of the easier Class 3 routes out there. I have done it 3 times now, in 3 different seasons. One can keep the route almost entirely at Class 2 and the exposure is on the easiest section. Proper research beforehand can mitigate a lot of the risk.

I have not done Kelso Ridge, but I did not find Father Dyer to be Class 3.

Either way - I think a good "first Class 3" is a route that requires only one way and then offers a Class 2 descent...Sawtooth and Kelso Ridge each have this.
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:47 am

I Man wrote:I did not find Father Dyer to be Class 3.

That's kind of the point - if you stay on the ridge, it's class 3, but you can drop off the side a bit and make it easier if necessary. Remember the topic: stepping up in class.
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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby jaymz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Though I've only done them once each, throw me in the camp that would recommend Kelso Ridge over the Sawtooth. Especially given the vertigo issues of the OP, the exposure around the Sawtooth is much more dramatic-looking and might cause problems if it freaks him out.
In addition, you have to do a lot more hiking before the Sawtooth than you do before Kelso Ridge. Of course each person's endurance is different, but for me I was pretty tired by the time I got to the Sawtooth, which made it harder (I took the Tour d'Abyss route - would have been even more tired had I come from Guanella), and a little scarier that I might slip or make a mistake.
In my opinion, the knife edge on Kelso was a great spot to get a feel for exposed scrambling on solid rock, without too dramatic of a drop. The only spot on that ridge that freaked me out a little was the move right afterwards.
Haven't done Father Dyer yet, but Cooper does describe it as a good intro to the art of scrambling, for whatever that's worth.

Just my (perhaps inflated) $0.02.

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Re: Mentally moving up from class 2 to class 3/4

Postby edhaman » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:48 pm

Between the Sawtooth, Kelso Ridge, and Father Dyer, my vote is Father Dyer. It's somewhat similar to Kelso Ridge, but shorter, and without a move quite as potentially frightening like the Knife-Edge on Kelso. On the other hand, the Class 3 section on the Sawtooth is not where the exposure is.

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