/ NEW ARTICLE: Ten Ways To Succeed on a Trad Route by Hazel Findlay

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UKC Articles - on 16 May 2012
Hazel Findlay climbing '69' the 5.13b/c (E8?) crack in Squamish, 3 kbSuccess in climbing can be hard to quantify. It can be difficult to ascertain exactly why you managed to get up that last hard route. What can be easier to pinpoint is why you fell off.

In this article, Hazel Findlay, one of Britain's top climbers, takes an upside down look at succeeding on trad routes - with her top ten reasons for failure.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4655

valentinesbabe - on 16 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: I loved the content of the article, it is excellent but I'm "old-school" and don't believe that "it's okay as long as the message gets across"...it really needed proof-reading before publication :-/
pebbles - on 16 May 2012
In reply to valentinesbabe: I thought it was excellent, very readable and entertaining, and I didn't even notice whatever the typos/grammatical errors/spelling mistakes were that you have spotted (hastily adds an apostrophe to post ;-D )
Monk - on 16 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:


I enjoyed the article as well, and although I climb at a far more modest level, I have been applying these sort of things to my climbing as well and I have been climbing as well as ever despite a massive reduction in days out/training.

As for the typos - they were mostly towards the end of the article, and mostly homonyms that wouldn't be picked up by a spell checker. It's not the worst example on UKC by a long way, but is a little distracting.
Skyfall - on 16 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

"Although I'm a half decent trad climber". Um, yes, well what does that make the rest of us? ;) Contender for British understatement of the year award...

Nice article though, despite the apparent Americanism of calling gear "pieces" - yuck.

Nice advertorial too...
mikeski - on 16 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Interesting article but really needs some proofreading/editing. I don't, know what half, the commas were, doing.

I like the idea of the no take game. Might have to try and force that on people at the wall. Doubt I'll succeed though.
DAVETHOMAS90 - on 16 May 2012
In reply to Monk:

Always great to hear the reflections of another climber - particularly someone who is as motivated to "make it happen" as Hazel clearly is.

I think it's the strong self motivation, or drive that some climbers possess, that means they are possibly more likely to do all they can to keep moving in the right direction.

Isn't Hazel's obvious motivation the best "tip" we can take from her article?

Interestingly, I read this after a session on my "finger bored" ;-)

Dave T.
In reply to DAVETHOMAS90:
> I read this after a session on my "finger bored" ;-)

I wasn't quite sure whether that one and "route of the problem" were puns or typos!?

I liked "Firstly: you and your belayer should be wearing a helmet", which left me thinking, one each makes life much easier! But silliness apart, this is an interesting point - I wonder why Hazel says this but, at least in the numerous photos I have seen of her climbing over the last few years, she doesn't wear one herself? It seems a bit unlikely that she often wears one and it just by chance that in all the photos that go into the magazines and catalogues she isn't? People shouldn't be made to wear helmets if they don't want to, but it just seems peculiar advice if she prefers not to.
henwardian - on 16 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> I liked "Firstly: you and your belayer should be wearing a helmet", which left me thinking, one each makes life much easier! But silliness apart, this is an interesting point - I wonder why Hazel says this but, at least in the numerous photos I have seen of her climbing over the last few years, she doesn't wear one herself? It seems a bit unlikely that she often wears one and it just by chance that in all the photos that go into the magazines and catalogues she isn't? People shouldn't be made to wear helmets if they don't want to, but it just seems peculiar advice if she prefers not to.

"don't do as I do, do as I tell you" ;{p
Seriously though, without wanting this to deteriorate into a helmet debate thread, she is talking about loose rock in that section. If you can be pretty sure the rock is solid where you are climbing then you can decide not to apply the helmet rule.
As far as she is concerned, I guess a lot of her climbing photos are on headpointed routes (yes, I know she climbs a lot of hard on sights too, don't jump on me!) and if you are headpointing something, you really already know there is nothing that is going to snap off/pull out when you climb it.
DAVETHOMAS90 - on 16 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Although I posted earlier, I'd like to add the following.

First, thank you, Hazel, for your article; I'm certainly not one to underestimate the effort and risk involved in thinking things through, and putting pen to paper.

Secondly, I don't like the presentational errors either, but it's a shame people are more intent on "rating" the article, and criticising minor errors as a priority, rather than using the forum to discuss their own thoughts, conclusions and interpretations of what she is saying.

But hey, there will always be those who cunningly use every opportunity they find, to learn something, and therein take responsibility for their own progress. And those that don't. "Honest..it's broke Guv!"

And of course, it's UKC.

Dave T.
In reply to henwardian: amusingly, just noticed a photo on Facebook of from the Hotaches crew who are filming Hazel and others on a UK tour and she is of course wearing a helmet! :)

Strawberries also got onsighted today by the sounds of it, by yet another uber-talented johnny foreigner! Congrats to Hasjörg Auer.
DAVETHOMAS90 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to DAVETHOMAS90:

My last post was a bit strong, and an overreaction as I feared the worst! Sorry.

I wonder, do we ever really fail on anything, or do we just become more restricted in what we can say about things? Where is the failure, other than possibly in our failure to learn from our experiences? After all nothing goes "missing". In this respect there is no failure "out there"; we can only defeat ourselves.

I remember years ago, on Cockblock in "the Pass", spending about 20 minutes trying to fiddle in RPs down by my feet, getting pumped stupid swapping between side pulls and pinches - rather than place them from below, where it was steeper, I'd thought I'd be cunning, and climb on through to place them from above. When I was happy with them, I looked up, to see the sinker nut placement that protects the crux, staring me in the face. I Fell off the top, gutted and feeling like a bit of a fool!

Dave T.
snoop6060 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

What's short roping?
remus - on 17 May 2012
In reply to snoop6060: Not giving enough slack when you go for a clip or a move.
snoop6060 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to remus:

OK cheers. I'm all too familiar with that (you know who you are!)
The Pylon King on 17 May 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

I hope they paid for the advert.
valentinesbabe - on 17 May 2012
In reply to DAVETHOMAS90:
Don't worry Dave, you'll notice that I did actually start my post by saying it was an excellent article :-)
My criticism was borne out of frustration having just finished a book which had similar errors all the way through it and it's just one of those irrational bugbears that I have so I apologise for inflicting it on you and other readers :-)
Ackbar - on 17 May 2012
In reply to remus: Her criticism of belayers short roping seems a bit unfair if the reason is that they are trying their best to avoid the leader taking a long fall (of course if they just aren't paying attention that is another thing).
http://www.vimeo.com/42304150 Chapeau! in both senses.
Skyfall - on 17 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:

> Strawberries also got onsighted today by the sounds of it, by yet another uber-talented johnny foreigner! Congrats to Hasjörg Auer.

Where did you hear this Toby? This is starting to get embarrassing - I must get training ;)
Smiler H - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Ackbar:
> (In reply to remus) Her criticism of belayers short roping seems a bit unfair if the reason is that they are trying their best to avoid the leader taking a long fall.

I'm not so sure. As a leader, I'd rather the rope had some slack in it so that when I go for a move, I am free to execute it. This sentiment is felt more so on a bold route, if I fall I don't want it to be because I've been pulled off by a belayer not giving me enough slack.

Obviously, preference varies from person to person, but I don't know many people who prefer a tight rope.


James Oswald - on 17 May 2012
In reply to JonC:
Paul Diffley's facebook page I think.
jon on 17 May 2012
In reply to Smiler H:

I think it's more down to belayers who just can't feed enough rope out for you to clip gear. I've watched some really clueless ones recently, who seem intent on letting the leader try to pull them off the ground when clipping, rather than actually yard out two armfulls of slack.
pebbles - on 17 May 2012
In reply to mikeski:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
>
> I like the idea of the no take game. Might have to try and force that on people at the wall. Doubt I'll succeed though.

I really like the idea of that too , but in practice I find it really hard to not just shout "ignore what i said and *@@#ingTAKE!" when a lob looms. It would take a nails hard belayer to ignore the abuse. So if anyone has any tips on shutting that little voice saying 'panic!' up...
flaneur - on 17 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:

> I really like the idea of that too , but in practice I find it really hard to not just shout "ignore what i said and *@@#ingTAKE!" when a lob looms. It would take a nails hard belayer to ignore the abuse. So if anyone has any tips on shutting that little voice saying 'panic!' up...

The traditional forfeit is to wear a dress in the Padarn bar, though that might not be very effective in your case.


Monk - on 17 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to mikeski)
> [...]
>
> So if anyone has any tips on shutting that little voice saying 'panic!' up...

Get good at falling - try the no take thing indoors or on sport climbs first. I now consider it a failure if I shout take. For me, doing a lot of sport climbing, and getting completely used to taking big falls did have an effect on my trad climbing. I still don't fall off often on trad, but I have become a lot calmer and prepared to do bigger runouts. If I know I have a solid piece of gear or two just beneath me and I feel the panic rising, i take a few deep breaths to calm myself down, rationalise that the gear is good and the fall is clean and things start to come back in control.
pebbles - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Monk: I'm talking about indoors or sport! I dont tend to be that tempted to rest on trad gear, I guess one of the things is its much easier to rest on sport than trad, as there is rarely any uncertainity about the gear
flaneur - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Formerly Known as Pylon King:

This was a good article that had some interesting and original ideas, much better than some of the "how to climb 7a at Kalymnos" pieces that you read.

Of course it is a plug for the trad. course and for Hazel as a coach but it was pretty subtle as these things go. Gal's gotta make a living...

The advertising / content was better judged than this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=340871
reinmessner - on 17 May 2012
Hi everyone, I really enjoyed this article. But the problem I have is that I that mostly climb at S and VS level and a lot of the time you don't have clean air below you, the routes aren't as steep as the higher grades. Even though I have gear in that I can trust I find that on a lot of routes I'm never looking at a clean fall. So the idea of learning to take a fall and trust your gear is a tricky one to master.
Dave 88 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:

Yeah, penalty slack. Half a metre for every time you squeal the forbidden word!

This can have consequences though, as I found out when a clip attached itself to my leg loop and I took the most jarring fall of my life because my belayer wouldn't believe me that there was a problem!
jon on 17 May 2012
In reply to Dave 88:

Friend of mine grabbed a Mamba quickdraw rather than fall a metre or so. Unfortunately the sharp nose of the karabiner went through the 'web' of skin/flesh/tendon in the palm of his hand between his thumb and index finger and he was left hanging on it. That'll teach him.
pebbles - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Dave 88: haha, thats a good idea!
Monk - on 17 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to Monk) I'm talking about indoors or sport! I dont tend to be that tempted to rest on trad gear, I guess one of the things is its much easier to rest on sport than trad, as there is rarely any uncertainity about the gear

In that case, have a look for the UKC article on falling practice - I think Mick Ryan wrote it. Some good advice in there. There is really very little to worry about when falling indoors. Learn to trust the rope and belayer, build up some confidence in controlled falls, then give yourself a stern talking to every time you are tempted to shout take.
Ramblin dave - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to pebbles)
> [...]
>
> In that case, have a look for the UKC article on falling practice - I think Mick Ryan wrote it. Some good advice in there. There is really very little to worry about when falling indoors.

*waits for the hobnail brigade to arrive*
pebbles - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Monk: then give yourself a stern talking to every time you are tempted to shout take.

ah, but I'm so stroppy that when I talk to myself I argue back!
Robert Durran - on 17 May 2012
In reply to pebbles:
> I guess one of the things is its much easier to rest on sport than trad, as there is rarely any uncertainity about the gear.

Surely that makes it much easier not to rest!

Dave 88 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to jon:

Good god! That made me do a shudder like when you think about someone breaking an ankle.
alan_davies - on 17 May 2012
In reply to James Oswald: Yeah I've been following the progress of the Hotaches crew too. Sounds like some fantastic climbing getting done. I have to say though, hiring a 7.5 ton mobile production wagon and titling the film "Odyssey" I'd hoped might lead to some exciting footage of less filmed areas and routes. So far Tremadog, Gogarth and the Quarries which doesn't break much new ground filming wise.. Where next? Burbage? Stanage? or even Roaches Upper Tier?
Banter aside I think Diff and the crew have made some of the best climbing films out there, just hope this one carries on the standard.
Robert Durran - on 17 May 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Dave 88)
>
> Friend of mine grabbed a Mamba quickdraw rather than fall a metre or so. Unfortunately the sharp nose of the karabiner went through the 'web' of skin/flesh/tendon in the palm of his hand between his thumb and index finger and he was left hanging on it. That'll teach him.

Very similar thing happened to a friend of mine. Lucky not to do bad damage. Messy though I believe.

GuyVG - on 17 May 2012
In reply to alan_davies:
> (In reply to James Oswald) I have to say though, hiring a 7.5 ton mobile production wagon


that sounds really expensiv

on topic:

Good article, some feelings confirmed, many things to take away.
muppetfilter - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> *waits for the hobnail brigade to arrive*

It's not the Hobnail Brigade but the "Claims Direct" lot that will descend if someone gets injured .

In reply to JonC:

> Where did you hear this Toby? This is starting to get embarrassing - I must get training ;)

Yep, at some point I followed Hotaches on Facebook and it was on one of their posts, and the link to the short vid of the Cad.

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