Learning to outdoors rock climb

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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docinco
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by docinco » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:15 pm

dogshit sums it up nicely.
Delprincipe_mike
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by Delprincipe_mike » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:16 pm

Get yourself a section of rope and learn your knots. Start with the figures 8s (on a bite, follow through, inline, there are lots.. ), clove hitch, and bowlines, and then on from there. Plus a thin cord for the different flavors of prussiks. Be able to tie them upside down, backwards, blindfolded, and in your sleep. Fundamentals! That'll set you up for learning to build and clean anchors, rappel, self rescue, etc etc.
https://www.vdiffclimbing.com/ is a good resource for knots and other things.

Good luck, take it slow, be safe!

ps when people take you out don't just solo stuff right away they'll think you're dumb and won't want to take you anymore.
ltlFish99
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by ltlFish99 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:56 pm

+1 on the freedom of the hills recommendation and also the you tube videos recommendation. There are more free videos than one can watch.
I used a 10 foot section of rope from one we had retired from use due to damage to practice knots.
The CMC tech section sponsors weekly top rope climbs at various locations by Denver. Castlewood canyon, 1st tunnel in clear creek, etc. These were great when I started out as they would rig 6 to 8 top rope climbs and that would help keep the wait times to a minimum. Very friendly people would always show up to help out. The were in the evening during the week.
They also have a good selection of weekend climbs in the schedule along with what they call area climbs, where they go to a specific area from Friday evening thru Sunday afternoon and people show up for some or all of it. What's really nice about all of the CMC stuff is that all you need is a harness, helmet, gloves, shoes, a belly device, and a couple of locking carabiners. This was helpful for myself in the beginning as I was low on funds, and would not have known what to purchase even if I had the money.
This allowed me to obtain enough of a trad rack over time to go out on my own with friends from the club.
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jscully205
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by jscully205 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:00 pm

One thing to add is, although gym climbing might help your confidence, be wary of some "old school" trad routes rated 5.6-5.8 range that will climb harder than the equivalent gym grade. Maybe even feel 3-4 grades harder. I've seen 5.10 sport climbers get shut down on Calypso in the Eldo which is rated only 5.6. People have fallen on Bastille, only 5.7 thinking it's a good first lead... Just something to consider.

Technique wise, you cannot practice climbing cracks, flakes and off-widths in the gym with much effect either. Chimneys are another thing too. If at the end of the day, your goal is to become a better mountaineer, I personally think it's better to find someone that will let you follow easy climbs outside to start and gain experience like that. This after of course you know how to belay, tie a few knots and learn a few common anchors. My first rock climb was E face of Seal Rock and thought it was a good experience.
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daway8
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by daway8 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:03 pm

jscully205 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:00 pm
One thing to add is, although gym climbing might help your confidence, be wary of some "old school" trad routes rated 5.6-5.8 range that will climb harder than the equivalent gym grade. Maybe even feel 3-4 grades harder. I've seen 5.10 sport climbers get shut down on Calypso in the Eldo which is rated only 5.6. People have fallen on Bastille, only 5.7 thinking it's a good first lead... Just something to consider.
Are there actually outdoor routes anywhere for which the ranking is equivalent to what you find in a gym? In my admittedly exceedingly limited experience I've found outdoor rankings night and day different from the gym.

For example, in the gym I consider 5.7 an easy warm-up. 5.9 I can typically do without too much trouble, by 5.10 I'm struggling but finishing; on 5.11 my arms typically give out before I reach the top (just on auto-belay so I can't call 'take').

Whereas outside at the Flatirons I take one look at a 5.4 and walk on to the next feature. I've done class 4 routes there which felt much more challenging than a 5.7 in the gym (possibly a route finding issue??). Granted I'm not roped at the Flatirons which dramatically effects confidence but still the rankings for gym vs. Flatirons seem so radically different as to be worthless for making comparisons.

Is that true in other outdoor climbing areas too or are the Flatirons in a category of their own? (Or maybe I'm making invalid comparisons and/or not climbing what I think I'm climbing??)

Honestly curious if I'm the only one who feels the Flatirons ratings are dramatically different than gym ratings...
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by justiner » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:15 pm

By in large, gym grades are usually soft, to allow people to more easily feel a sense of accomplishment, and make them want to keep going. This is less so when you get around .12+ gym grades. Then, hard is hard.

But style also makes a big difference. As was noted, a crack route outside will climb a lot different than most gym climbs, which will be face climbs for the most part. There are some outside areas, like many of the sport climbs at Red Rock and the Red River Gorge that do climb much like inside, and gym rats do well there. "much like inside" also means the grades are a bit softer than other areas like: Eldo.

Talking just about Flatirons slab - well: it's similar to a crack route - you just don't see too many 50 degree slab climbs put up inside. Funnily, the gym I frequented in high school - Prime Climb in CT, actually had such a wall

And by in large, grades don't translate well across areas, so you can think of, "the gym" or just "your gym" as one area - an island where grades compare OK to other routes - but only at that area. You can't do a super great job comparing Eldo to BoCan either.

So if you're transitioning from inside to outside, give yourself time to adjust to the new style of climbing. You would do the same going from one outside climbing area to another.
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d_baker
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by d_baker » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:26 pm

+Gravy wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:54 pm
Anyone interested in doing a gym to crag class for transitioning from indoor to outdoor sport climbing?

Pikes Peak Alpine School next public class isn't until June 19 and I'd kind of like to start climbing outdoors ...well, now..

You can book em for a private class and it's less expensive the more people there are, up to 4.
I can be very flexible on the date.

Alternatively is there anyone on here willing to teach me, ahem, the ropes, with outdoor sport climbing?
Open to trade, barter, or pay. I might be able to offer a free place to stay 15 mins from excellent climbing.
Gravy, where do you live that is 15 minutes from excellent climbing?
If it's the Springs area, Front Range Climbing could be another outfit you could look at for guiding/learning.

I was climbing at Red Rock Canyon open space (in SPrings) on Saturday, and pinched a nerve in my neck somehow, thankfully on toprope, and had to be lowered. A nearby climber climbed our route for us to clean my anchor because I didn't think it was a safe idea for me to belay my friend to get our gear. The guy thought we were on a 5.10, but looking at MP, I think it's a 5.9+ (Arapiles).
Another person I know said to me, "there's 5.10's in RR??!"
So yeah, grades vary. IN particular RR grades (slab friction smeary sandy climbing) compared to other areas. I used to lead up to 5.10ish +/- at Red Rocks Canyon, but elsewhere, forget it!
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+Gravy
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by +Gravy » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:08 pm

There is a lot of great information on here -- thank you so much to those of you who shared your thoughts respectfully and for giving me your time by doing so. I really appreciate it and am taking notes/actions based on some of your advice.

I think somewhere in here I miscommunicated though, or perhaps my excitement came through as overzealousness? Not sure.

In simplest terms possible: I currently climb plastic walls with plastic lumps on them; I would LIKE to climb rock walls with rocky lumps on them, using ropes. I am under no illusion that the two are equivalent. And I also know that I don't know anything about ropes climbing outdoors.

I do know there are many ways to do that, and I do know I learn best by being shown, taught, participating, and being hands-on in the literal sense. So, I am hoping to find people I can learn from... starting at the very beginning with the simplest most foundational stuff.

I have climbed enough different plastic gyms to know that a. the rating system is subjective and varies gym to gym (I think 5.10's at my new gym are what the 5.7's and 5.8's were at my old place); and I have enough common sense to know that b. indoor ratings are not going to be perfectly translatable to outdoors ratings. And given a. + b., it is likely that c. outdoor ratings also vary place to place. I just threw a number out there so people might understand generally where I am coming from, giving that info at face value, as in "indoors".
I was NOT saying, hey, someone come show me the ropes on 5.10+ routes outdoors and by the way I expect to be able to free solo 5.12's after two lessons!

Not at all.
I think maybe my excitement came through the wrong way?

Bottom line is, I have zero outdoors ropes climbing experience, of any kind, and I would like to get some, of any kind.

I am a jump right in and start learning-by-doing kind of person. I read for a living and do not want to read about how to climb. Barring finding others willing to take a small group class with me before June, I want to make friends and climbing partners who are willing to narrate what they're doing and why, even if that means I am not on the wall yet and just watching and learning. If I am outside, I am having fun.

I am patient and not in a rush and have no expectation of mastery by one-time osmosis (although if you can do that I am totally interested), I am just very excited to climb rock walls using ropes so that I don't have to go to the gym for that kind of fun anymore.

I will also add that I tend to err conservatively on the side of safety when it comes to learning new dangerous things (I enjoy doing lots of other dangerous things, and I am only alive and with all my limbs because of my penchant for taking things safe and slow; shout out to my brothers for being the opposite and showing me how NOT to behave).

Thanks again to everyone who has been generous with their time and respectful with their thoughts for a stranger on the interwebs. There are so many helpful posts in here.
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+Gravy
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by +Gravy » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:38 pm

Just wanted to add for context: I am close to outdoors climbing, but I am far from the nearest climbing gym.
Last edited by +Gravy on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jorts
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by Jorts » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:10 pm

Welp, if you ever want to learn to climb at White Cliff in Tenmile Canyon on easy bolted routes, holler.
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jscully205
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by jscully205 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:13 am

daway8 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:03 pm
jscully205 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:00 pm
One thing to add is, although gym climbing might help your confidence, be wary of some "old school" trad routes rated 5.6-5.8 range that will climb harder than the equivalent gym grade. Maybe even feel 3-4 grades harder. I've seen 5.10 sport climbers get shut down on Calypso in the Eldo which is rated only 5.6. People have fallen on Bastille, only 5.7 thinking it's a good first lead... Just something to consider.
Are there actually outdoor routes anywhere for which the ranking is equivalent to what you find in a gym? In my admittedly exceedingly limited experience I've found outdoor rankings night and day different from the gym.

For example, in the gym I consider 5.7 an easy warm-up. 5.9 I can typically do without too much trouble, by 5.10 I'm struggling but finishing; on 5.11 my arms typically give out before I reach the top (just on auto-belay so I can't call 'take').

Whereas outside at the Flatirons I take one look at a 5.4 and walk on to the next feature. I've done class 4 routes there which felt much more challenging than a 5.7 in the gym (possibly a route finding issue??). Granted I'm not roped at the Flatirons which dramatically effects confidence but still the rankings for gym vs. Flatirons seem so radically different as to be worthless for making comparisons.

Is that true in other outdoor climbing areas too or are the Flatirons in a category of their own? (Or maybe I'm making invalid comparisons and/or not climbing what I think I'm climbing??)

Honestly curious if I'm the only one who feels the Flatirons ratings are dramatically different than gym ratings...
There are a couple of sport climbing areas come to mind that are generously bolted and feel close to gym grades, and that's Shelf Rd and Clear Creak Canyon. I think if you're sending 11s in the gym, you'd be a solid 10 climber in those areas. BoCan too is an area that you probably won't feel sandbagged. I also thought that Royal Flush climb in Frisco is very soft for 5.9. Softer than a gym rating

Flatirons are very unique geological formations. There isn't anywhere in the country I can think of where you climb over 1k ft of low 5th class slab. There's not much simulation for this in the gym. Slab climbing is also a technique in of itself. 5.10 slab is different than 5.10 face or 5.10 crack. The idea is be solid on different types of climbing to be well rounded at the grade. Some people may feel really scared soling on the 5.6 start on the First flatty vs much more confident soloing on 5.6 face. This kind of reminds me on the next biggest thing not talked about on this thread, and that is how important your head game is if you intend to lead.

That being said, I think the flatirons are great place to go if you're a new person just starting out climbing. Even the Maiden and Matron have good beginner climbs. I think Yvonne Chouinard rated the E face of the 3rd Flatiron as the best beginner climb in the country. - and he's climbed a lot places.
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SchralpTheGnar
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Re: Learning to outdoors rock climb

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:42 am

There’s lots of things not talked about on this thread cause the OP just asked if someone would take him sport climbing outside. 😂
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