/ Mentoring noobs.

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Ann S on 07 Jun 2014

A huge percentage of people on here will have introduced newbies to climbing and will have progressed them through to leading, first single pitch and then multipitch. For those who have done this, as I have, I wondered if you felt you had always got it right.
I can certainly think of one occasion when I failed to fully account for an unexpected psychological element. The noob in question had been leading well on single pitch and his rope skills were fine, so I decided to introduce him to what I thought was suitable multipitch climbing.

I chose Gimmer's far right side where there is a short 3pitch, 2star VD called Main Wall climb. My thinking was it would give him the big mountain crag experience, (bit of a slog carrying full sacks, imposing crag etc) see how things went on a simple first climb and then have plenty of other routes to chose from depending how things turned out.

It didn't go well.

He set off up the first pitch and within minutes was looking for a belay. I joined him thinking it was just a route finding/assessing distance issue; gently encouraged him up the next section and the same thing happened. I then realised he was completely spooked by the sense of extra height and exposure from the height of the crag above a steep drop to the valley below. I finished the lead - no more climbing that day and I filed it away to experience.
Post edited at 23:04
SteveoS - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Ann S:

Could you possibly edit that into smaller chunks please?
Joak - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to SteveoS:
In a nutshell, a novice accustomed to single pitch cragging shat it on a multi pitch crag. It didn't go well!
Post edited at 23:12
Bulls Crack - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Ann S:

A huge percentage of people on here will have introduced newbies to climbing and will have progressed them through to leading, first single pitch and then multipitch.

Yeah? Doubt it. A few maybe
Orgsm on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Ann S:

Introduce them to seconding multi pitch first. If they seem comfortable with that then get them to lead a multi pitch they have just seconded. Let them lead as many pitches as they want but alternate allows a break. Save hardest pitch for yourself
CorR - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Ann S:

You can't expect someone to be an expert after a bit of single pitch. For any educator you can only provide access to the skills needed you can't really push a person to climb what you want them to climb.

You know you've done well when you stop calling that person a noob.
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MischaHY - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Ann S:

The gulf in experience and various skills needed between single and multipitch is pretty wide, and personally I like to teach people via simulated multipitch on a single pitch crag, getting them to set up a belay half way up a route that is well within their comfort zone. That way, they've already used the skills they'll need to rig up on the wall.

IMO folk new to multipitch should always second for at least their first two to three climbs, to give them chance to get used to the exposure. Some people cope very well, some people seriously freak out.

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