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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Pro per metre 25-May-2021 At 6:43:03 PM IdratherbeclimbingM9
On 23-May-2021 Groveller wrote:
>Yesterday went climbing with my son who moaned about how much pro I put in. I put 7 pieces in for a 14 metre climb. He suggests one piece every 5 metres.

Apart from the semi-flippant replies so far that do actually contain good grains of truth, I suspect that you’re seeking more generalised constructive feedback so I shall try to oblige...
A 14m climb eh.
In my opinion gear per metre is related to many things; eg grade involved with associated natural features or lack thereof (pro opportunities and difficulty of placing same), the rock quality (pro quality), the ability of the leader and the associated risk they’re prepared to run (includes fear factor of the landing and any obstacles between falling point and same), and... the length of the climb.

Short climbs (imo 14m is short), demand more gear to prevent decking.
The spacing of the gear is important, as the further out you are from the belay, the further you can space the gear to prevent decking while all the time being mindful of rope stretch assuming the gear placements are up to task. By default this means more gear placed early on the lead.

The Jesus-piece, ie first bit of pro, should especially consider upward forces lifting out subsequent placements when the belay rope comes tight during a fall, and should be good for upward loading.
If the short pitch happens to be way off the deck on a multipitch, then the Jesus-piece needs to also be good for downward loading to help minimise forces being transferred to the belay. Equalised doubled up placements often solve this scenario.

So, 14m with a sport-climbing safety mentality... I reckon your 7 pieces equals that scenario assuming the rock quality is good, placements are easy and the landings not horrendous.
More gear required if the above factors are in the ‘iffy’ category, and less gear required if the grade is well within the leaders ability.
As mentioned earlier, the climb itself dictates many of the parameters involved.

>Can you put in too much gear?

See above.

>Should I climb with my wife more who doesn't complain but only climbs once every 2 months.

... It depends on how much your ears hurt after your recent experience!

As an aside; the spectrum is wide - ranging from Alex Honnold free-solo of major walls in Yosemite to the grid bolter mentality of doing that to any available piece of rock...

To quantify my reply; I tend to consider myself to be in the generally considered ‘scarier leads’ end of the spectrum.

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