/ New to Lead- Question about placing protection
Sorry if this is a stupid question
I am fairly new to climbing, been indoor and outdoor bouldering for a few years and just moving onto the ropes now. I have done an intermediate course on setting up for basic top roping, and I have a good understanding of ropes, slings, carabiners etc but I am now reading up on nut, hexes, and cramming devises.
Obviously I will not use them until taking a course but my stupid question is... once placed in the rock, what is to stop them from moving upwards as the climber ascends and coming loose?
Extending gear using longer quickdraws or slingdraws will also help reduce the chance of it lifting out especially cams.
You isolate them from rope movement pretty well using a sling or quickdraw. The krab on the quickdraw slides freely on the rope. Wherever possible you 'seat' the nut giving it a little tug (tug the quickdraw or the rack of nuts) so the rock bites into the nut surface holding it in place.
Where this isn't possible or the placement is really critical and still prone to lifting you can sometimes tie the nut down (or across) to another bit of gear so it can't fall out. Generally that's overkill, you just put plenty in and rely on the combination of well seated, well extended and redundant gear.
The aforementioned cramming devices might help you with this ;)
Gear can indeed lift out if you aren't careful (and sometimes even if you are). However, you connect the gear to the rope with what is normally called a quickdraw (two snapgate krabs joined by a sling), or an extender, which creates flexibility and helps prevent ropedrag. This means the leader doesn't feel like he or she is being pulled backwards but also helps the gear stay in place. Also, the gear isn't exactly loose in the crack - you tug your nuts in to "seat" them properly and cams, by their nature, expand into the crack and generally stay put (though they can "walk" a bit).
Serious point - it's a shame to feel you need to take a course to learn to lead. Most of us on here will have learnt to lead trad without any course. It's very normal (and cheaper!) and more in the spirit of adventure (I note your username) to start without formal instruction. I think most people learn to lead by seconding some routes and looking at the gear you remove, how it was placed, the belay set ups the leader used etc. We used to call it serving your apprenticeship though, with climbing walls etc, that seems to have gone out of fashion. Do you have anyone you could tag along with to have a look to see how it works, second some routes etc, before trying it yourself on some nice friendly easy routes?
So, I'm all for professional instruction. It's great if you are time poor and have spare cash. But...I'm not sure I agree with your use of the word obviously! About half the stuff I do I learnt in person, the rest from books/internet.
Most of the time, the only upwards force on a piece is friction of the rope against the biner, but if you extend well then the weight of the carabiner tends to win out.
The bottom piece if the belayer isn't standing under it is an exception, if to take an extremely silly example your belayer is standing 5m back from the cliff and your first piece is 1m off the ground, then near the top of the pitch you take a fall, the load on that piece will be up and outwards.
Hence, the common advice to make the first piece capable of handing multidirectional loads.
How awfully Old Skool of you, dear chap..... ;-)
In reply to the OP:
You've had some good, detailed answers - in short, that's the main purpose of using a quickdraw (etc) to extend a piece of gear - it isolates it to some degree from the rope pulling it about, and reduces the chances it'll lift out.
On reflection, I did pick up some awfully bad habits from the person I served my (short) apprenticeship to. For example, I got the impression that every knot I tied had to be a figure 8, which made for some incredibly bulky belay set ups in my first year or so of climbing. I also got a grade A grounding in how to faff, both before setting off on a pitch and whilst on it. Anyway, it was all character building stuff. Oh yes, and to wear walking boots at all times when not climbing ;)
I am sure the question has been answered by those above, but there is nothing to stop you climbing before you have taken a course. It isn't rocket science. Just get out there, get on something easy and give it a go. You don't have to wait for someone to give you the nod. In my experience most gear (including my own) from newbies often pings out, but as long as you are on easy ground this isn't a huge problem. Practice placing gear at ground level and then go for it!
RE placing gear at ground level
Aggressive bounce testing will give you an idea of what definitely won't hold in a fall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krH-bTSuilo 2:00 onwards
Don't need aiders/daisies, just girth hitch a sling to your belay loop, and try not to fall on your ass or get hit in the face with a nut.
I started off at a club and have to admit that there were a lot of dangerous practices going on which were oblivious to me at the time. Instruction is a great way to get safe practices.
I was going to reply, but no follow up from the OP.... anyone else smell a Troll? Not really allowed in this forum.
Perhaps enumerate them.
> Perhaps enumerate them.
1. If it blows you are going to land on your a**e and probably loose a tooth or 2 when the nut hits your face.
2. It will wear the gear placement or perhaps bust the rock.
3. The nut will get stuck.
4. It makes you look like a wally.
> 1. If it blows you are going to land on your a**e and probably loose a tooth or 2 when the nut hits your face.
Good, so you'll learn quick. You're no more likely to loose teeth than when normally aid climbing.
It's at ground level, nobody needs those placements and again, you're no more likely to bust the rock than in a lead fall normal bounce test.
Good practise for the real deal then.
Arguably, but I don't think that should be a barrier to learning.
Needvert is right. Testing gear at ground level is integral to any sensible lead climbing course.
> Good, so you'll learn quick. You're no more likely to loose teeth than when normally aid climbing.
> It's at ground level, nobody needs those placements and again, you're no more likely to bust the rock than in a lead fall normal bounce test.
> Good practise for the real deal then.
> Arguably, but I don't think that should be a barrier to learning.
> Needvert is right. Testing gear at ground level is integral to any sensible lead climbing course.
Think i'd rather look a wally at ground level than 40ft up!!!
The main factor is a good placement, which is one with the maximum amount of metal snugly fitting against rock. This has maximum friction with the rock, so is least likely to walk, and is the strongest type of placement. One generally gives a nut a slight jerk or a stronger jerk, depending on rock type to make the nut stick.
Another point to watch, when you are new to this, is not to put your placements too deep. Generally, one or two inches into the crack is the maximum, and flush with the surface is fine. This way you can place the nut better and see how well it is seated, and it is also quite easy for the second man to get out. If you put them too deep, you can't see how well seated they are, and they have a tendency to fall deeper into the crack and get into a position where they are really hard to extract.
When you fall your gear will be pulled down thats the important part, place gear in direction of fall.
To lessen chance of gear moving extend it, still unsure back it up.
also make sure belayer is close to the wall... a bad belayer can strip a route because your first piece is pulled out or diagonally upwards. test it you'll see. :-)
Elsewhere on the site
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
Climbing Technology’s range of winter hardware continues to grow and for winter 2014 they have a crampon in the range to... Read more
Steve Dunning has made what is likely the tenth ascent of The New Statesman, the classic and bold gritstone arete at the Cow... Read more