Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Catch Onto Catch Lines!
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


passthepitonspete


Jun 26, 2002, 9:15 PM
Post #1 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Catch Onto Catch Lines!
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

[Note: I apologize for making this post but leaving it unanswered - during this short period of time it sat here, it received over two hundred hits! Not bad for an unwritten post, eh? Dr. Piton sincerely thanks you for your interest and support! He finds this very flattering, to say the least.]



A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on my portaledge high up the Southeast Face of El Cap enjoying yet another cup of Big Wall Coffee. This is the privelege of climbing alone - there's nobody to tell you it's time to start climbing. Since for me this time to begin rarely occurs before noon, I have plenty of opportunity to fester in the sun. My insulated coffee press keeps the joe scaldingly hot for nearly an hour!

From my vantage point on The Shortest Straw, there is a commanding view of Zodiac, which attracts big wall theorists, big wall gumbies, and big wall pros alike. If you want to see a representative sampling of the best and worst climbers on El Cap, look no further than Zodiac - I saw plenty of all types during my week on the wall.

Take for instance the poor bugger I spied who was standing in his aiders beneath his haulbag struggling to clip stuff to the straps on the bottom of his pig. Talk about a pain in the ass! Not only do you have to waste five or ten minutes and suffer unnecessary discomfort by downclimbing to a point well below your campsite, but you risk dropping your valuable gear as you clip it and unclip it from your pig. So imagine my surprise when I realized that the drama unfolding beneath me was not taking place on Zodiac - rather, it was happening on my route!

So here were a couple of guys who really should have known better - evidently, they had never heard of Catch Lines - the Better Way.



You'll notice that when I write stuff, I do not say the Best Way, because there is always the possibility of improving an existing system. And rarely do I say "never" or "always." But this is one of those rare times when I write,

"NEVER attach anything directly to the bottom of your pig!"

What are you, NEW?! Do you like to cause yourself unnecessary heartache and grief? Why don't you join the New Millennium and make yourself up some Catch Lines? This way, instead of having to climb down to your subloads, you merely PULL THEM UP TO YOU.

Voila!


Am I making sense here??

A Catch Line is a two- or three-metre long hunk of coloured 5mm, 6mm or 7mm cord that attaches a subload which hangs beneath your main load to the Suspension Point of your load. [The Suspension Point is the locking carabiner that attaches your pig to your haul line.] A Catch Line is therefore also a tether by definition. You make these things up ahead of time, and tie a figure of eight loop in each end.]

The purpose of using Catch Lines is to save space in your already overstuffed sow by allowing you to hang conveniently-packaged items outside of your pig. It is an established truth that a haulbag is never big enough to fit everything you bring.

Typical subloads that I hang beneath my pig include my portaledge bag (just the bag - you all know by now that I 'flag' my ledge on my haul line above the load so I don't have to take it down and set it up every day), my portaledge fly, my sleeping bag, and my compression sacks containing my clothes and my storm gear. Make sure these compression sacks are absolutely bomber and are attached in at least two places to maintain redundancy.

I also hang my garbage bag, my toilet bag, and my Fish Grade V subbag from Catch Lines.

Other stuff you commonly see hanging from Catch Lines include haul barrels, plastic food buckets and the like. From time to time you may even see a Blue Whale.

Note: Some whales can fly.



There are a few things to remember when making up and using Catch Lines:


Make sure the Catch Line is long enough to allow the subload to hang beneath and not beside your pig - otherwise the pig will crush and abrade your subload when it rubs against the wall

Anything on a catch line must be able to withstand being dragged up a slab. Don't put anything sharp inside of a subbag or you will wear a hole through it. One bad haul is all it takes

Use different coloured Catch Lines which are colour coded to match the colour of your subload. For instance, my sleeping bag compression sack is blue, so I put it on the blue Catch Line. This makes it much more easy to grab, and also easier to untwist from the other Catch Lines

Attach your Catch Lines to the suspension point with a designated locker or Mexican locker [A Mexican locker is a regular carabiner whose gate has been secured with duct tape. Use a strip half the width of the roll and about three inches long. Be sure to fold over the outside end upon itself to give you a tab to lift when you unwrap it]

Attach you subload to your Catch Line with a designated locker, or if you are short of lockers, with a Mexican locker. Use Mexican lockers to attach subloads which you will not access every night, like your portaledge fly - save your lockers for the stuff you're grabbing every night, like your garbage bag

If you do not use a locker, you will lose your subload. This is not Big Wall Prophecy - this is Big Wall Fact.

It is possible to put more than one subload on each Catch Line - just remember to group like with like. For instance, I put my portaledge fly and portaledge bag on the same Catch Line, since I will likely not need to access either during the climb

Do not overload your Catch Lines! Make sure that you can easily lift each Catch Line with only one hand. Don't make things harder on yourself than you need to! Remember, it pays to be lazy

Your Wall Flower line, which is a designated Catch Line, does not need to be fancy perlon - cheapy quarter-inch cord from the hardware store will do fine

Typically you might use up to a half-dozen catch lines, approximately three per haul bag. It pays to separate them a bit as they twist around each other a bit in the wind

NEVER allow your lead rope or haul line to dangle beneath your pig - keep those loops under control at all times by using rope bags. If you happen to drop a loop beneath your load, you will quickly understand how Catch Lines got their name

Check your Catch Lines from time to time for abrasion. Mine have done over a dozen walls, and are just now looking like they need replacing


So quit doing things the Traditional (i.e. Stupid) Way, when you can do things the Better Way.

"Catch onto Catch Lines!"



Cheers,

Dr. Piton

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2003-01-08 19:51 ]


passthepitonspete


Jun 28, 2002, 8:49 AM
Post #2 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hmm, you guys are pretty hungry, eh?

Sixty hits on an empty post...

So do tell: just how hungry ARE you?


taxexile


Jun 28, 2002, 8:58 AM
Post #3 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 21, 2002
Posts: 97

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Pretty damn hungry - it's almost dinner time here in Blighty. Think I might have chicken salad tonight. Probably give the mayo a miss though.


verticallaw


Jun 28, 2002, 9:43 AM
Post #4 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 20, 2002
Posts: 552

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

common pete what's up in the new adventure of Dr. Piton! gotta be some new stories or are ya just racking up ego hits (just kidding) fill us in man

Oh and by the way I heard about your loss of pic's on the site. sucks man.... all that hard work.

Cheers
Mike


radistrad


Jun 28, 2002, 10:04 AM
Post #5 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 25, 2002
Posts: 800

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

PTPP
the only thing I am hungry for is quitting time at 2pm! I'm sure the rest of us looking at your blank post are in a similar boat as I.
We are frigging bored at work!


billcoe_


Jul 3, 2002, 9:25 PM
Post #6 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4693

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Damn hungry!!!


MORE PETE!
MORE PETE!
MORE PETE!
MORE PETE!

BTW Pete, What IS the better way for connecting 2 ropes together for rappelling, asks one too lazy to go and find the answer which has probably been discussed ad-nauesum and beat to death already.


spiffdog


Jul 4, 2002, 12:13 PM
Post #7 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 59

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Any recommendations for bomber compression sacks? I have one set of Fish wall bags, but I was going to use those inside the pig. Are they suitable for external use or do you have another solution?

Incidentally, how do you keep the subloads out of offwidths and chimneys? Far-end haul perhaps?

Also, what kind of wall stove and coffee press are you using? Hope the insurance game is treating you well, at least as well as it can..

Spiff

[ This Message was edited by: spiffdog on 2002-07-04 12:22 ]


passthepitonspete


Jul 4, 2002, 1:47 PM
Post #8 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have a bunch of Fish bags, and they are The Shit, at least for inside the pig. I recommend you buy a bunch, in different sizes and colours, as they greatly simplify your clusterf*ck management.

Hanging from the Catch Lines on the outside, I use Serratus Compression Stuffsacks which you can buy from the Mountain Equipment Co-op.

They're like, made in Canada, eh?



Chimneys and offwidths are the reason they call these things "Catch Lines!"

If you're with a partner, then she would guide the bag past the obstacles. If alone, then you are right - the Far End Hauler would be the optimal solution.

For a Big Wall Stove, I use a very simple Primus setup with a little burner that screws into the top of the little cylinder.

I got an old aluminium pot about a foot in diameter and a foot deep, and drilled a hole through the bottom. I simply screw the burner into the cylinder through the hole. The whole assembly hangs from its handle, and the pot windproofs the flame.

Clever, eh? Beats the heck out of paying a hundred bucks for one of those stove conversion kits. On Sea of Dreams, I borrowed Chongo's "kitchenette" which was the same sort of stove affair made by cutting a hole in the bottom of a plastic bucket.

I'll post a photo of my stove setup when I get the chance.

As for the insurance game, to the question "how's business?", the answer is always the same:

"Unbelievable!"

Cheers,

Dr. Piton

P.S. I will soon be publishing some really bitchin' textbook-quality photos of my Far End Hauler in action. Stay tuned!


apollodorus


Jul 4, 2002, 3:31 PM
Post #9 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 18, 2002
Posts: 2157

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

PTPP forgot to mention that the Blue Whale was WAY too heavy to pull up on a catch line. Lucky for him, he was climbing with a Big Wall Theorist of the Worst Sort (BWTWS), who cheerily went down with aiders and jugs to scramble head first into the Whale to get stuff. And when the Food Bucket catch line was twisted around all the others? And we couldn't pull it up? The BWTWS scrambled to feed PTPP's addiction to the fine California Haas Avocados (twenty is NOT enough for a wall with PTPP...)

In his defense, though, I do remember being able to pull up my sleeping bag on a catch line once. But, I couldn't use it. My Pretzel Ledge had twisted itself silly, and I wound up sleeping on a 1.5 x 3 foot ledge, like some sort of wayward Special Forces guy who forgot to listen to the General's orders.


copperhead


Jan 3, 2003, 6:10 PM
Post #10 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 25, 2002
Posts: 668

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Quote:
"NEVER attach anything directly to the bottom of your pig!"


I clip my empty water bottles (I don’t chuck ‘em; I re-use ‘em) to the bottom of my haulbag. Be sure to keep ropes from getting wrapped around the bottom of the pig. Depending on what is hauled on the sub-haul (light haul on zip-line through Wall Hauler), I might also clip my portaledge and food bucket to the bottom straps. If there is no room inside the pig, I will clip my portaledge rainfly to the bottom too, using a locker. Do not clip a full haulbag to the bottom of another; the bottom straps are not designed to hold such weight.

Quote:
Typical subloads that I hang beneath my pig include… …my portaledge fly, my sleeping bag, and my compression sacks containing my clothes and my storm gear. Make sure these compression sacks are absolutely bomber and are attached in at least two places to maintain redundancy.


A ‘catch line’ can snag on flakes and wear-through if caught between the haulbag and the rock. Pete has said that this is not a problem but I am still weary. If you can’t fit all of your necessities in your haulbag(s), then you need another haulbag. To dangle such important gear such as a sleeping bag, clothing, and storm gear on 5mm cord seems silly to me. It is just more crap to get caught on flakes, stuck in cracks, and tangled in ropes. The plastic buckles on the stuff-sack pictured above can break if smashed against the rock, especially in cold weather. Minimize the amount of extra gear that is clipped to the outside of the haulbag. These items should be safely stored inside your haulbag. You’d be pretty screwed if you lost them.

Quote:
So quit doing things the Traditional (i.e. Stupid) Way, when you can do things the Better Way.


Thanks Pete, but I think I’ll stick with the stupid way.


I have brought a stove up a wall once, and that was in January. If you are not doing a winter wall, a stove set-up is just an extraneous luxury and more weight to haul. Leave it on the ground.

-----
typo

[ This Message was edited by: copperhead on 2003-01-03 23:33 ]


alpinelynx


Jan 3, 2003, 6:59 PM
Post #11 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 11, 2002
Posts: 280

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

thanks bryan for an alternate view point. efficiency is key..


andyk


Jan 4, 2003, 11:04 AM
Post #12 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 4, 2002
Posts: 26

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I think backing up the secondery gear clipped to the bottom of the bag with catch lines is a good idea, rather then using just one or the other. When the second jugs up and cleans the last pitch they can unclip the junk below the bag ready for hauling it up for the night.
I'm a big fan of alloy Mallion rapides instead of screwgates for safegaurding really important stuff,as there is almost 0% chance of them coming undone by themselves, yet they can be unscrewd by hand, and they are also cheap, light and very strong. To save a tangle I keep the stuff clipped to as few lines as possible, and have several things cliped to one line (a figure of eight with two bights), like my ledge and fly.
Last winter my second small metolius haulbag and A5 exped portaledge got riped off my grade VII while on the dru (the bottom strap ripped off and they slid into the night). This dumped both our sleeping bags, spare clothes and a $3000 video camera 300 metres down the wall (amazingly the video camera still worked...sort off, and we did make a film!). Needles to say standing on an alpine wall in the dark, knackered after a hard day I had plenty of time to regret not using some form of back up.

You live (hopefully) and you learn (hopefully).

Andy K


elcapbuzz


Jan 4, 2003, 11:41 AM
Post #13 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 24, 2001
Posts: 460

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 
I guess I do it the "Stupid way" as well, eh?

I usually ignore most of the posts the Doc has to offer..... mostly because I know how to wall climb (also, because they are so damn long, and complicated).

I have my own "better way". It's called simplify EVERYTHING.

I think the main difference between the "Doc's way"... and the "traditional way" (aka: "the stupid way") is that the Doc is on vacation when he climbs big walls.

Therefore he WANTS all the luxury of having coffee, warm food, etc.

On the other hand..... "The stupid way" is to climb the route as clean and simple as possible. Therefore sending the route in a few days rather than a couple of weeks.

I will continue climbing "The stupid way".

Cheers, Ammon


flamer


Jan 5, 2003, 7:08 PM
Post #14 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 22, 2002
Posts: 2955

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Agreed! I'm a firm believer in the less you carry the better, mentality. Also while climbing a wall in zion I had a "catchline" get a core shot after one haul! In fact another 30ft and it probably would have worn through!Good thing It was just backing up the straps on the bottom of the pig! The way PTPP does things and the methods he teach's my be completely proven and sound ...however keep in mind that learning the basic's first is key! Trying to use complex systems(hauling, jugging,etc.) on your first couple of walls will surely frustrate you! Get the basic's down then start tweaking your systems(and possibly using PTPP's). Not to knock the good Dr. as he is a knowledgable person!
josh
Edit- I can't spell for s***!

[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2003-01-06 17:35 ]


climbhigher


Jan 6, 2003, 2:02 PM
Post #15 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 5, 2002
Posts: 224

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I am with you. The simple way works for me. Catch lines on steep routes with easy hauling. CHEERS


passthepitonspete


Jan 8, 2003, 8:30 PM
Post #16 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Catch Onto Catch Lines! [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hmmm, interesting post.

First of all, let me repeat:

Dr. Piton does not purport to use the Best Way, nor does he purport to teach the Only Way. He writes about what he believes to be the Better Way.

The Doc has, for the last year or so, been one of the very few Wall Doctors to make the substantial effort to attempt to teach and explain big wall stuff to the hungry [and indeed appreciative!] masses. [And by "substantial" I mean "hundreds of hours" if not "damn near a thousand hours" writing this stuff here in the Aid Climbing Forum of RC.com for free] It is for this reason that Dr. Piton seeks a paying gig. [HINT]

The Doc is more than a little relieved that there are now others around who can help, others who can bring a different viewpoint as to what they believe to be the Better Way.

The Better Way is what works better for you.

Dr. Piton Technology is like a smorgassbord - you can put some stuff on your tray, and you can leave other stuff behind.

"On a toujours la choix..."

Now this being said, I will repeat my assertion that I believe Catch Lines to be ETS!

Ammon is quite correct when he tells you that I am on vacation while climbing walls. Ammon has a different approach to climbing than I do, and he has the skill to climb fast. Were I to climb fast [Pshaw!] I would certainly pare down my load and simplify things by not using Catch Lines. But if you are a wall climber and you have ever fought and struggled to fit stuff inside your pig, you might be someone who would really like using Catch Lines.
Unfortunately, I really only climb about two months of the year, and virtually all of my climbing is "off the couch". By the time I get my systems dialled again, it's time to go home. [I really ought to take a year off and just climb solidly. I might actually get pretty good....] I'm really not that good of a climber. If you saw me in the gym I would be embarrassed. I'm just a life insurance agent who solos big walls on his holidays.

While Ammon has a number of Speed Records on Hans' Speedclimb Website, it is a little known fact that Dr. Piton is also on Hans' website, and holds some 'speed' ascents of his own.

But when it comes to climbing big walls, I never want to work any harder than I have to! I like to take lots of stuff with me. It never seems to fit inside my haulbags, so I hang some of it outside on Catch Lines. For instance, my sleeping bag and trash bags work very well hanging on Catch Lines, but my solar powered shower, ghetto blaster and microwave oven will ALWAYS go inside my pigs. While Bryan might be prepared to live without coffee on the big wall, I emphatically am not.

Personally, I find it extremely difficult, especially when soloing, to reach under a haulbag and unclip stuff. It totally sucks, and I get a sore back and side from twisting my body upside down to reach the stuff. And it is a royal pain to downclimb or rappel to your stuff clipped beneath your pig.

If you have read my post about vertical camping, [a Dr. Piton Signature Post] you will realize that once I set up my ledge [about a foot beneath the top of my pigs] I get into it and relax. The last thing I want to do is try to reach beneath the pig to unclip something when I can pull it up instead! Besides, I just hate trying to get stuff into and out of an overloaded pig. I mean, I REALLY hate it....
Not only that, but it is quite easy to drop stuff while clipping or unclipping it to the bottom of your pig, as I have to confess I've done in the past! But I have never dropped something that was attached to a Catch Line.

At least not yet.

It is so easy to pull stuff up on a Catch Line, instead of reaching under the haulbag to unclip it, that using Catch Lines makes sense to me.

That's one heckuvan expensive lesson that Andy learned about backing up the straps beneath his haulbag, eh?

Ouch.

But I like his suggestion to also clip in his Catch Lines to the strap beneath the haulbag. This is something I do from time to time [to keep the stuff more centered on low-angle hauls] but totally forgot to mention in my original post!

If you see my Catch Lines you will see three figure-of-8 loops - one on each end, and one mid-way along for [optionally] clipping into the strap beneath the pig. But I just hate unclipping the things so much I very seldom use it.

To finish up, I would like to address some specific issues raised by Bryan. And he makes some good points!

I have used Catch Lines on about thirteen El Cap routes, and I have never had one break or fail. I check them for abrasion after each climb, but on the steeper faces, abrasion is virtually non-existent. At least one of the Catch Lines I'm currently using has lasted thirteen Grade VI walls without enough abrasion to warrant me replacing it.

Catch Lines can and do CATCH! That is why they are called Catch Lines.

Duh.

If you are dragging your pig up a low-angled face, or hauling up the summit slabs, perhaps you might want to think twice about leaving anything dangling. [Note that if you are nearing the top, then you should have plenty of room inside your pigs by this time to fit the stuff that earlier on had hung from your Catch Lines] Just use good judgement as to when Catch Lines might be inappropriate.

I have dragged my Serratus stuffsacks pictured above up a dozen or so walls, and I have only had to replace one buckle as far as I can recall.

As for Bryan's supposition that the buckles on my stuffsacks could break in very cold weather, it is extremly unlikely I will ever find this out. Someone else will have to tell you.




I am Dr. Piton,

and there ain't nothin' attached to the bottom of my pigs, mate!


passthepitonspete


Apr 22, 2003, 9:54 AM
Post #17 of 17 (11672 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Spike's Butterfly Knot Idea [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I really like Spike's idea of the Butterfly Knot in the Catch Line to help you more easily lift stuff up.

You can also clip your ledge in beneath the pig as shown to reduce clusterf*ckage when hauling on slabs.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=13116


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook