/ what grade should I climb...
Climbing indoors doesn't translate very well to trad, but the strength and technique it gives you is certainly useful. There's more to trad than the 'head game' - it's a different sort of fitness where you spend quite a lot of time hanging onto the same holds placing gear, or going up and down to suss out moves before you commit.
Also, the grades don't work in a very linear way: since it's generally a bit more than pulling on holds, what grade you can climb will probably vary a lot from one style to another (this is more true on some rock types than others, limestone tends to be pulling on holds, so might be more linear). If you're good at bold slabs you could get up an E4 slab while still unable to climb an HVS crack.
I'd say try an E1 that suits your style, if it goes OK try an E2. E3s are likely to be very very scary if you're inexperienced, although you should theoretically have the strength or whatever, ignoring all the other skills that are needed to successfully climb an E3.
You just have to pick some routes that aren't likely to kill you and see which ones go well. Some HVSs will be nightmares (guaranteed), some E2s will be OK (if you choose wisely).
Straightforward answer, eh?
The general rule I've heard though is that once you've on-sighted 10+ routes of a particular grade, that's your general trad grade. I've done 1 HS 4C, but I wouldn't say that's my proper grade. S 4A is, because I'm sure I can do them all.
if you've led one single sport 6a outside, to do E1 as suggested above would be reckless beyond belief. you could get on one with serious consequences.
get your gear placement and ropework up to scratch on lower grades and work up, it needn't take particularly long. Start HS or something, even if technically easy for you, and work up, so that if you get a snorter of a VS or HVS you don't get stranded on poor or badly placed gear and deck out.
> to do E1 as suggested above would be reckless beyond belief. you could get on one with serious consequences.
Reread the OP:
point taken, sorry, skim-read.
but E1 after a 'few HVS' could still land him in deep doodoo and quick.
So yo climb hard inside, so what, outside is completly different!
Can you even set up a belay and how is your rope work!.
You state grades as if they are the epitomy of climbing, wrong.
start at a low grade and work your way up, Id recommend you start at probably severe, or possibly if your gear palcements are crap just VD you probably wont fall off that so will be safe till the top.
gain experience learn from that experience and build on it, become safe forget about indoor gardes they dont translate to outside trad.
just get out on the crags take it easy build on your experience with competent trad climbers and go from there.
PS there are no coloured holds outside to show you the way.:)
What justifies your snide, superior attitude, exactly?
Ffs read the damned post before mocking it - he leads VS/HVS and has done a sport 6a outdoors already.
In reply to luke glastair:
Theres no "should" that can apply really I'm afraid. I always found indoors harder than outdoors but came from an outdoor background so found that I lacked the aggression and pe that a lot of indoor climbing requires. Others find it wildly different. There have been posts above that suggest it's a different kind of ball game on trad - certainly aerobic training is very important since you spend longer on the routes, but if you can bring across some of the positive, faster style of climbing from your indoor climbing and use it safely outdoors that will be worth dozens of training sessions in its own right.
Note that's the opinion of someone who's only seconded E1 and only onsighted F6a! But I have climbed with quite a few better climbers.
Did you actually bother to read the OP's post properly?? he climbs Trad up to HVS and if you take the time to look at his log book he's done 176 Trad routes.
He may be still be a beginner (like lots of us) but he's obviously gaining experience!
I laugh when I see posts like yours, jumping in with both feet first happily mocking those you think are beneath you.
Luke, from someone around your standard I'd go with some of the sensible replies above. I've unsighted a shed load of 6a and 6a+ sports routes but only led 2 E1's (and one of those was a push over). HVS and E1 are HARD! Take your time and enjoy yourself with Trad, don't worry about the grade just enjoy the experience and exposure and get your gear and rope work skills honed.
Good reply, my thoughts (and my standard / experience) exactly but I took about 15 mins typing my answer up (was watching The Half Blood Prince my daughter).
I'm not bothered by the grades as u seem to think I am obsessed by them. If I only ever climbed vdiff for the rest of my life id be happy. Just interested in what grade it should equate to. My head would never let me climb much harder than I am already . Cheers.Luke
If exploring your limits is what you want to do, don't let posters like Up High put you off - I got into trad this year, and I found pushing my grade on gear to be the most rewarding thing I'd done in climbing.
It's certainly more risky than logging hours and hours of HVS, but whether or not you choose to take those risks learning how to climb hard safely is entirely up to you.
I think if you're smart about managing those risks you can push yourself physically to the limit just as you can in sport (although generally at a much lower technical level, as the stamina required for placing gear makes it impossible to climb at your technical limit).
Here's what I thought about the process at the time:
> Ffs read the damned post before mocking it - he leads VS/HVS and has done a sport 6a outdoors already.
> In reply to luke glastair:
You might want to re-read the OP.
Also, I don't want to encourage a cavalier attitude to safety, but if you're of a technical mind ropework and protecting yourself is not anywhere near as difficult to figure out as some people find it.
Try reading his OP a bit more carefully.
Possibly a better way of putting it than "what should I be able to climb on trad" is "what's holding me back on trad". To which the answer is probably "something other than what I'm learning indoors". I know it is for me...
Assuming the wall grades are about right (some walls are way too soft/harsh!), you should have the physical ability to climb sustained 5c, ie E3 5c with reasonable gear. To a lesser extent you would have the technical ability for 5c, particularly for limestone as that tends to be most similar to typical wall climbing. Most VS leaders I know can climb 6b indoors at most. So you should aim higher outdoors, if you want to. Obviously take it steady and gain experience through the grades. By the way, the lower E grades aren't necessarily scary, there are plenty of reasonably well protected ones.
Oh come on that doesnt make any sense it depends on the route you can eqwaully hit a ledge on a VS or an E1 depends if the ledge is there or not,..... comes back to my original point about rope work and protection, if there's a ledge below a crux move there are certain actions you take to ensure you dont hit it!
> Oh come on that doesnt make any sense it depends on the route you can eqwaully hit a ledge on a VS or an E1 depends if the ledge is there or not,..... comes back to my original point about rope work and protection, if there's a ledge below a crux move there are certain actions you take to ensure you dont hit it!
I think the point he was making is there's usually more to hit on the way down falling off a VS than there is from an E1
First off, don't give yourself any limits and don't let anyone else give you limits either.
Second, climbing indoors is completely different than outdoors. Aside from placing gear and managing rope, the climbing itself is very different. The footholds are much larger indoors and there is a clear path for you to follow. At the same time, the routes can also be more sustained and, for me at least, harder.
I learned how to climb outdoors at traditional areas. I onsight e2/e3 but I had never really climbed indoors until moving to London and man do I suck at plastic. It took me a while to be able to consistantly onsight the same grade inside as I can outside.
But the real answer is that you should be able to xlimb pretty hard once you gain some experience. Like some others have suggested, get a lot of mileage on HVS, then E1 and so on and so forth. I spent a whole year doing nothing but onsight 5.10 before trying many 5.11s.
Up High is obviously on his horse.
I'd say that would have a fair chance of climbing E2 trad solidly in 2013 based on your indoor grades. I was leading trad routes like Left Wall E2 5c (but failing on E3s like The Foil) the same month I onsighted my first f7a sport route.
More likely, based on the average progression of UK climbers, is that you will end up climbing around E1.
I started on Trad. 2nd'd a VS had a look at how the gear worked and then led a VDiff. I then led a VS and did my first HVS a week later. It's horses for courses. i had a very nice, experienced, partner who took me under his wing and helped me through. that counts for a lot.
FWIW a bit like AJM i climb worse inside than out generally.
When i climbed E4 ( my one and only ) i was steady at 6b indoors and RP about 6c.
My point is that it is very different but 6c on-sight indoors shows you have the capability.
Keep safe and go within your comfort zone. You will know when you're ready for more after the amount of routes you've climbed. I think this post suggests you want to climb different terrain and get more of a challenge. Just pick safe routes to start.
And HVS/E1 is not hard despite what people may tell you. They are just conforming to the statistical norm in this country. It may be hard for some and i am no grade elitist but don't let other people limit what you want to do.
In my experience 6c is more like a mid to hard e3 while 7a is a mid to hard e4. It obviously depends on the technical grade too but I've always felt (and read) that 511- is similar to 6c is similar to E3 6a.
But obviously as everyone else said, that isn't a useful way to think about it because indoors on bolts really doesn't translate to outdoors on trad at all.
Equally I've known one longstanding E5 leader who only ever onsighted around 6c+/7a indoors.
One balance I'd still say that at least 50% of E4s are no harder than 6c and only very few (such as Tangerine Dream) come close to f7a climbing.
but thats exactly what he was asking about...
Yea it doesn't make sense to make any more comparisons than we already have. It's always different.
The more I use the E grades the more I realize that it is even useless to compare them to trad climbs that are graded with the YDS. An E2 doesn't really feel like a 5.10, it just feels like an E2.
I wish! Perhaps your wall has pretty stiff grading. I find there's a big difference between trad 5c and 6a, I tend to really struggle on 6as and have only done a few clean, whereas 5c I can usually get up clean unless it's really sustained. Whereas 6c at the wall isn't normally a problem to onsight. Outdoors I don't onsight F6c as regularly, which I suspect is because technique and route/hold finding is more of an issue.
When you say you're climbing vs/Hvs are you comparing grades from trad to sport or have you actual climbed those grades, and if so how many? This should answer your own question. Hvs is easier than sport 6a, did it feel it? How much was in the tank on those hvs's?
From my personal experience I on sighted a 6b at tintern this year and also did my first e1 nearly a year ago. My experience of both is that the e1 is one of the most scary but rewarding things I've done in climbing, while the tintern 6b was just another climb. (I have climbed harder sport climbs).
Also having moved to the Netherlands this year and struggling to climb 6a on top rope here has reminded me that indoor grades vary a huge amount, and are even more subjective than outdoor grades.
As others have said, pick a venue, climb fun climbs and work up to finding your limit, both technically and mentally, while remembering to be safe with gear placements.
ie they perform much the same across the genres with roughly 'equivalent trad and sport grades - I used to be like that now my trad grade has slipped and equivalent grade or three!
In which case, I'd say it is often hard to break into a new grade but breaking it down into a few mini steps might help, e.g:
1) get some topropes on some harder routes, you don't need anyone to climb the route, just go round to the top of the crag and set up a toprope on the desired climb.
2) try leading a climb of the next grade after a few goes on it toprope.
3) try leading a climb of the next grade after just abseiling down it, having a pull on the holds and a look for the gear.
4) try onsighting a climb of the next grade.
5) consolidate the next grade by forcing yourself to get on something that hard on as many of your outdoor trips as you can (I often find that if I break into a new grade I celebrate and then quietly back back down to the previous grade and suddenly the conviction needed to climb your new grade is like you have never done it all over again!).
All off the above are suggestions if you don't have a partner who climbs harder than you.
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