Big wall climbs : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

I have been climbing for five years now and would like to start big wall climbing. Is there any advise that you could give me to get started. How to start, safe way to practice, etc. Thank you for your time.

-- Robert Hecker (, September 17, 1998


First, try to get your aid technique a little dialed. Clean aid some free climbs (steeper is better), and just get used to the system, and what is involved. Buy the book "Big Walls" by Long, and MIddendorf, and READ IT! Practice jugging on a steep wall, get that system dialed also. Practice hauling something,knock your kid brother out and haul him up a short route. Basically get used to organizing a ton of crap, and setting up and breaking down complex belays. Do an aid route (if there is any) in your area. Practice all this stuff until you feel confident to put it all into use. Then use it, and enjoy the view! Cheers-Feelio

-- Feelio Babar (, September 18, 1998.

big walls are about pain and misery and watching your buddy taking a shit. also, feelio babar is about *the* coolest goddang name i ever heard.

-- joe a. (, November 03, 1998.

big walls are about pain and misery and watching your buddy taking a shit. also, feelio babar is about *the* coolest name i ever heard.

-- joe a. (, November 03, 1998.

The best advise to give is never give up. The worst times and my best times have been on a wall. Wall climbing has a "funny taste" to it, and most people don't enjoy it. There is a lot of pain and suffering that comes with the territory, but you get the best view on earth! Be wary of the Big Walls book (John Middendorf & John Long), the have very good points to start out with but everybody has there own style. Don't start off to easy or to hard either. Trade routes (The Nose, Salathe', Zodiac, etc.) can leave a bad experance lurking around. there are plenty of good routes that are not as hard as they seem. There is a whole lot more adveture in them too! Well good luck and remember, the summit is nothing, no bands, no fire works, just a long walk back down, but the wall is everything.

-- Burt (, November 16, 1998.

Oh but there are fireworks.... If you bring them

-- Spawn (, March 12, 1999.

Yeah, walls are pain, suffering, and sometimes watching your buddy taking a shit but they are also tons of fun- depending on how you define fun. Dont waste your money on pins. Go practice clean aid and choose a clean aid route to do first. The W face of Leaning Tower in Yosemite is a great C2 for a first wall. Easy hauling and great exposure. Try to get your climbing system dialed in on a shorter route first so you dont cause a clusterfuck on the wall and ruin another parties attempt! - Good luck.

-- Wade Griffith (, April 11, 1999.

do not do the west face on leaning tower as your first wall. anybody who has done it recently knows it is not a begginers climb.


P.S. there is a lot of bullshit going around about it just being a bolt ladder.

-- Ben (, August 11, 1999.

I disagree, the West Face is a beginner route. It was my first route and I am happy I chose that one as my first wall. The route is technically easy, no placement is difficult. The thing that scares people is the exposure. Yet, the overhanging nature of the route makes a person commit to the summit. That commitment is about 90% of what a new rall rat needs to bag their first wall, hell, every wall! So, go for the tower, you will not ever forget the feeling of standing on its summitt. The other traditional beginner route is the South Face of Washington Column, but do it as you want!!! Just comitt!

-- Ronnie Miller (, August 11, 1999.

Ron that is BULLSHIT, 1 month ago when one of my friends did the climb almost all heads where gone, on pitch 6 there were 3 bolts in a row that required hard bat hooking, and putting in heads is not for begginers, he has done salathe, the prow and Zodiac and it felt almost as hard as Zodiac. i don't know when you did it but right now it requires a lot more than a beginers skills.


-- Ben (, August 11, 1999.

Settle down there Ben. Hey I think it was Alex Huber (one of the Huber's) climbed Gulf Stream VI 5.10 real A4 for one of his first walls. Size doesn't matter guys, just how much fun you can have. If you want a good adventure go to the tower, if you want not so much adveture (but still just as much fun) go to the column. Climbing is for you not the mags or the people involved, just for you. Chongo Chuck spent 12 days or longer soloing Eagles Way on El Cap, everybody dogged him, but I know he had a better time than all those people on the ground. Think before you climb, if its not for you go home with no shame, but stay and kill yourself or somebody else shame on you.

-- Burt (, August 12, 1999.

The West Face of Leaning Tower was the first wall I soloed in the Valley, and it was great. I think it is a great first wall choice. Even if some of the fixed gear is missing and there is bat hooking you can never fall very far. Plus, it is so steep it feels like you are way out there. Every wall is a challenge, no matter how technically easy it is. We all know that it is much easier to be drinking beer down in the meadow than it is to be up on a wall. The key on any wall is to be patient and organized. All wall climbing takes is determination. I've done a lot of walls and some of the easy trade routes were just as hard or harder for me than difficult nailing routes. It all has to do with where your head is and what you're thinking about. They key to being successful on any wall is to focus on the summit and what it is going to take to get you there. If you go at it with a half hearted attitude, it's hard to get up anything.

-- Ben Folsom (, October 03, 2001.

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