, or traditional
is mostly followed in England
, Ireland Scotland
The principle ethic in traditional climbing
is to climb without artifical aid,
and to leave the rock after the climb exactly
as it was before the climb.
Examples of what might be considered artificial aid
would be placing a ladder on the side of the mountain
(common in the Alps on popular routes) or using
one's helmet to lasso a spike and then pull up using the
helmet (A friend of mine brought a caver climbing,
and the caver did just this. When my friend complained
at him that this was unethical the caver pointed out that in caving the ethic tends to be to get out of the cave
system alive and this leads to all sorts of ingeniousness
on the part of cavers). Using artificial aid to climb
a route is Aid climbing. Climbing without aid is
When trad climbing the leader climbs and then attempts to
place pieces of equipment onto the rock which will hopefully catch her if she falls. These pieces of equipment (pro) must not
damage the rock and must be removable by the climbers second (the person who holds the rope for the climber and then follows up after her).
Climbs which do not offer the ability to place protection
on them must either be top-roped
soloed or left unclimbed. In general Top-roping is looked down upon unless it is in preperation to solo the climb.
Soloing is climbing with no equipment other than boots
and chalk. It is a lot of fun and the type of
climbing that is most likley to kill you.
Because of the commitment involoved in trad climbing
(having to learn how to place gear properly on the rock)
trad standards in trad climbing have not increased
as rapidly as they have in sport climbing.
A new breed of trad climbers have appeard in recent years in Britian. These people climb extremely hard climbs with little or no protection on them in a traditional style.
A climb of this sort is termed a death route for obvious reasons. These climbers will top-rope the route repetedly
and when they are capable of climbing the route more than 50% of the time (sometimnes perhaps a bit more than this)
they will lead the route. This trend has been
termed Head Pointing. In order to succsecced
on a near suicidal route it is nessacary for one to be
very mentally in control of the situation and this is where that therm comes from.
Some people think that this is pretty unethical
(John Redhead was the first great objectionist
to this style of climbing) and en even more
interesting movement has begun in Britian.
In this movement people clim silly hard death routes
on-sight groud up (i.e. never having attempted
the climb before).
To my knowledge no one has yet killed themselvs
in either of the two most reecent trends in trad climbing, but that is sure to change with time.