Traditional climbing is a way of climbing where you put protection such as cam (friend), nut or hex as you climb and don’t rely on permanent bolts.
They say: “only a pig doesn’t change his mind”
I had a fantastic climbing weekend in Sokoliki in Sudety (Poland). Climbed with Basia few great multi-pitch classic routes. This season I have decided to come back to my roots from the UK and climb only in the traditional way. To place protection such as cams and nut as I climb. Traditional climbing is an unforgettable experience – the only true climbing for me. Nobody tells you how to protect your climb, nobody tells you it is safe or not to proceed over your last protection, nobody tells you where to belay. Is adventure, is a look inside yourself, your motivation and desire. Your ability to read the rocks, your power to take control over your fear, your skills to protect yourself and second is under constant test. The grade is almost irrelevant.
For a long time, I was overwhelmed and scared by this experience and I thought that it is good to put bolts if the route is in my opinion “dangerous”. I viewed that mixed protection (some bolts, some trad gear) is ok.
It is not!
In Sokoliki you can experience that combination and I have sad thoughts now. Some people over there actually spoiled a true experience of climbing trad routes. They placed too many bolts and dictated you how to protect the great trad route which still can be protected by nut/cam/hex. They simply “Murdered the Impossible” for me and others (I recommended read an article by R. Messner about that). They imposed on the next generation their way of climbing, killed a traditional way of climbing, limit our self – development.
In such great granite rock that was not needed in my opinion. I have changed my view. To climb traditionally you need to grow up, mature as a climber. It took me some time to understand that trad climbing is not just another sport. Is not for everyone 🙂
I’m looking forward to the next trad climb! Leave trad routes free of bolts!
Check my trad climbing course at https://climbingholidays.eu/trad-climbing-course/