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Old 10-27-2008, 08:23 AM   #88
JClimbs
Callousedhand
 
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SE Adks
Posts: 436
Good analyses. Sometimes, y'just gotta run it out.
If I could ask for more details, what did you think of the pc. when you placed it? Were you confident in it, or did you wonder about it?
There's all sorts of for/against arguments regarding questionable placements; in the end, anyone can question any placement, so the academic discussion is pretty worthless. It's where the rubber hits the road - in situ - that the question becomes paramount. If you're looking at a long runout and have pro options that you are not confident with, then it's questionable pro and you, personally, will have to calculate the potential risks vs. rewards.
I believe it boils down to a leader understanding that climbing past questionable placements is effectively free-soloing; i.e. the rope is no longer helping. One of the most common causes of serious injury is leading far above pro on "easy" ground. Even good pro in such circumstances is suspect, and falls tend to be deadly serious.
I've spoken with several guidebook authors (present ones included) and found that their parameters for "G" vs. "PG" vs. "R" were quite different from mine. These folks have as much or more experience and skill as I have, but their climbing style, or cleverness, or maybe even their rack, are different. I recommend sticking to "G" terrain until you are well-versed in leading, say two or three years of frequent leading (min. four or five full days/month during the season). Start by leading only routes you have TR'd or followed, preferably with the thought of leading them in mind. Ask more experienced friends who know you and your ability level to recommend routes...and listen to their judgment. Finally, be stoutly conservative at crunch time: the go-for-it mentality is better on harder routes when you've developed more stamina and the angle is steeper (less chance of injury that way) than on training runs.
Using such guidelines, you are less likely to find yourself on a heinous runout w/questionable pro underfoot early on. Of course, that may just mean you're there later on (Hour of Prayer on Huckleberry being my favorite mistake!).
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