Am I A Trad Climber?
If you’re under the age of 50, probably not. But hey, you’re here so let’s just make sure. Trad(itional) climbing is what a lot of people who don’t climb think all climbing is because they’ve seen Cliffhanger. Generally, it’s defined by the use of passive protection—stuff you jam in cracks to secure the rope and take out when you’re done—rather than bolts.
Those cracks will be where you spend a lot of your time, jamming your hands, feet, legs, arms—literally whatever—into constrictions and hanging the entirety of your mass from them. It hurts, sure, but your shoes will be pretty comfy.
Ok, Now What?
That’s it—simple, huh? All that’s left now is to strut into your local gym tomorrow and proudly take your place amongst your new tribe—trad climbers, check the saunas for yours. Introduce yourself and then start watching and listening.
No class, book, or magazine will ever teach you more about being a better climber than a better climber can. It’s called mentorship and it’s worked for centuries. Get into it!
Oh, and one more thing. This is important. Whether you’re a pebble wrestler, rope weenie, or geriatric/old-soul, do not get suckered into Alpinism. Inevitably, you’re going to see Meru and think ‘That’s what I want to do!’ But the thing is, it’s much too cold. You’ve been warned.