emperor: Photograph of me climbing. (climbing)
[personal profile] emperor
I'm hoping someone else will answer the related prompts about indoor climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, and ice-climbing, but this is a short piece about how great trad climbing is :-)

Briefly, trad climbing is what most outdoor climbers did before sport climbing (where routes have bolts in the rock for you to clip to) was invented - you place your own protection (nuts, hexes and cams) in the route as you go, and your second takes them out as they follow you up. This means that the leader needs to be able to follow the route up the crag (based on a more or less useful guidebook), and place appropriate protection. Unlike sport climbing (where you tend to push your grade and fall a lot), the aim is to climb routes cleanly on your first attempt. Trad grades have two components, one describing how technically difficult a route is, and the other an overall indication of how tough the route is. For example, a route graded HVS 5c would probably be well-protected and have a short crux sequence, a route graded HVS 4c would be more sustained and/or hard to protect.

If you want to go outdoor climbing in the UK, most of the crags are trad-only. That notwithstanding, what's so great about trad, given it's probably riskier, and certainly more complex than sport climbing? Paradoxically, despite all the iron-mongery, it feels like quite a pure form of climbing - just you and the rock, and precious little sign of your passage once you're done. There's something pretty adventurous about standing at the bottom of a crag, looking at a line, and then getting on and climbing it - and a great sense of achievement when you get to the top! I also like that fact that I can find my own way up the rock, and make my own mind up about when to place gear - I'm not constrained to the red plastic holds, nor to where someone else thought a good place to clip was.

Also, the mountains in the UK are so damn pretty, and stopping on a belay ledge half-way up a mountainside to appreciate the width of the view in all three dimensions is just amazing. It makes my day every time!

[I am happy to answer trad questions in comments]
rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: Katy Whittaker on Kaluza Klein (E7 6c).

In case it's of interest: I made an Exercise/Sport/Movement Friending Meme.
rydra_wong: stick figure on an indoor climbing wall -- base image taken from the webcomic xkcd (climbing -- xkcd)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Frequently (Or Not So Frequently) Asked Questions About Climbing

How it works (wording stolen from [personal profile] crossedwires):

-- ask questions/leave prompts about anything climbing-related in the comments; please put 'prompt: [your prompt]' in the subject line

-- claim prompts or make up your own climbing topics you would like to write about for 'Three weeks for Dreamwidth'; please put 'claimed: [your claim]' in the subject line

-answer in the comments or provide a link to your post

-- [community profile] fonsfaq is a comm created for fonsfaq answers if you'd rather not answer in your own journal

ETA: I don't see any reason why multiple people can't "claim" a prompt and answer, especially as different people will have different advice and perspectives. So don't be afraid to jump in.

Topics so far:

Where to begin
Strengthening muscles
rydra_wong: "i like to climb alot". The xkcd stick figure climbs up the side of Hyperbole and a Half's yak-like "alot." (climbing -- alot)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
There's a meme going round for Three Weeks For Dreamwidth in which people volunteer to host a Frequently (Or Not So Frequently) Asked Questions post on a particular topic.

The idea is that in the comments, other people can ask questions about that topic, and then anyone who wants can chime in to provide answers.

Would comm members be on for a climbing FONSFAQ here? Thoughts, objections, suggestions?
rydra_wong: stick figure on an indoor climbing wall -- base image taken from the webcomic xkcd (climbing -- xkcd)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
This is a post where you can ask all the questions you're always wanted to ask about climbing, whether you've already started or are just beginning to think about maybe possibly kind of giving this a try.

Or maybe you've been climbing for decades, and have always wondered about that one thing, and by now it would be OMG TOO EMBARASSING to admit you don't know.

No topics are off-limit, no questions too clueless, so let rip and get answers from demi-n00bs experienced climbers.
rydra_wong: "dreamwidth" on green/red background (dreamwidth -- green)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Okay, I'm plotting things for Three Weeks for Dreamwidth, the fest to celebrate Dreamwidth's anniversary with new content, which starts on Monday.

My entirely unscientific poll suggested that a surprising number of people are curious about rock climbing.

I was thinking that it might be cool to (among other things) start an "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Rock Climbing But Were Afraid To Ask" post in the comm and point people over to it, so they can ask whatever they're curious about and get answers from the rest of us demi-n00bs experienced rock-climbers.

Would you folks be on for this?


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