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Partner eyecannon


Apr 17, 2005, 8:53 PM
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Stacked Hexes = bomber
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I had my first 5.8 trad lead earlier in the day (Nurn's Romp), and felt good and tried for another. Perhaps you are familar with the peculiar climb Wallaby's Crack on Trashcan Rock in JTree. Looking at it from the ground, it looks like it starts off with a V0-V1 bouldery start and right about 12 feet up it looks like it becomes a piece of cake. Oh not so! It turns into this hellacious off-width to shitty chimney with unreliable hand locks.

The climb didn't start off too hot, I was about 14 feet up and looking for my first pro. I placed a medium sized hex from a bad stance, which quickly popped out of place and careened towards my belayer's crotch leaving me totally unprotected and almost 20 feet up. I got up to just below where the chimney starts, and my palms became sweaty and an pinged off and took a 10-footer onto my #3 Camalot, which thankfully held. My first actual trad fall btw. Despite my being areligious, I made a quick prayer to the BD gods, rested for a minute, and got back in the crack. I made a little more progress and managed to get some more pro in and work my way up to the chimney.

I must have spent a good 10-15 minutes in that chimney, looking for some protection before proceeding upwards. I desperately swept the area with my blue alien looking for a slight nook or cranny to jam it into, but what miniscule cracks were available were far to flaring to properly accept it. The chimney constricted a bit in the back, but the minimum size was about 6" and I used up my #4 camalot a few feet below. The only largish pro I had left were some hexes, but they paled in size to the main crack itself.

Just as I was contemplating jumping off out of sheer frustration, my faithful partner, snoopy138 yells out the magic words, "Yo, stack some hexes!" The sheer brilliance of this plan could not be denied, as I started fiddling around with my remaining hexes (the ones I hadn't send careening down towards his crotch), and after a few minutes, found the perfect configuration. I of course tried to set the hell out of them so they wouldn't pop out when I moved past; despite the metal-to-metal contact, I am confident it would have held in a fall, which luckily I didn't have to repeat.

http://eyecannon.com/...ng/stackedhexes1.jpg
http://eyecannon.com/...ng/stackedhexes2.jpg

So in conclusion, I have a love/hate relationship with Wallaby's Crack because despite the fact that it spanked me, I was able to harness the power of stacked passive pro!

Credit to snoopy138 for cleaning and snapping the pic.


scuclimber


Apr 17, 2005, 9:05 PM
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That's sweet man. Don't know enough about placing pro yet to offer a critique (whether welcome or not :twisted: ), but they look pretty solid to my untrained eyes.

Colin


boss


Apr 17, 2005, 9:15 PM
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I'm curious as to what the right side of the rock was like. If it was parallel to the red hex, then I think I might lay a deuce in my pants just due to the chance that it could easily slip out. Also, the opportunity for rotation of the hexes on themselves here is kinda scary because there seems to be a minimal amount of contact between them. Kudos for makin' the best out of what you've got though.

-boss


addiroids


Apr 17, 2005, 9:18 PM
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First off, awesome job at being creative. It's that kind of thinking that will make you a good aids climber. That is what you want to be someday right? Just kidding.

Well dude, there is a slight problem with your picture there. Notice how you clipped both at once. The red hex is the one that will be holding your weight, because notice how the grey one is lower than the red.

If you fall and the grey one gets weighted first (although red is shorter due to height position, think if the rope ran slightly to the left) it will be tugged out from under the red. This is almost indistinguishable from the pic, but it is something to look at.

What you should have done, was clip into the red only, and then clip a keeper sling from the grey into the sling of the red (or the cable of the red), and not the rope. That way, if you fall, the red gets weighted only, and the grey only serves to act as an extended part of the crack. You also could have turned the grey upside down so that it is flaring upward, further allowing the red to be in a constriction (you would then put your keeper sling on the grey cable that you feed through the top (facing downward now) of the hex).

However, good job on the climb!!! I am just giving you things to think of.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


Partner eyecannon


Apr 17, 2005, 9:31 PM
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First off, awesome job at being creative. It's that kind of thinking that will make you a good aids climber. That is what you want to be someday right? Just kidding.

Well dude, there is a slight problem with your picture there. Notice how you clipped both at once. The red hex is the one that will be holding your weight, because notice how the grey one is lower than the red.

If you fall and the grey one gets weighted first (although red is shorter due to height position, think if the rope ran slightly to the left) it will be tugged out from under the red. This is almost indistinguishable from the pic, but it is something to look at.

What you should have done, was clip into the red only, and then clip a keeper sling from the grey into the sling of the red (or the cable of the red), and not the rope. That way, if you fall, the red gets weighted only, and the grey only serves to act as an extended part of the crack. You also could have turned the grey upside down so that it is flaring upward, further allowing the red to be in a constriction (you would then put your keeper sling on the grey cable that you feed through the top (facing downward now) of the hex).

However, good job on the climb!!! I am just giving you things to think of.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag

I know what you are saying about using a keeper sling, and I would have done it except the loops magically lined up perfectly. I tried all sorts of configurations, like one hex upside-down like you'd do with stoppers. It took a while to get it perfect with one sideways and the other long-ways. I also made sure to set them by pulling down on the extended sling part. I admit that there was a possibility that they could have rotated out in the event of a fall, but in the particular case, I don't think that would have happened.

Oh, and I might do some AID climbing one day, but hopefully I'll never have to do any AIDS climbing! :P

As far as the right side where you can't see very well, it had good contact, I guess you'll have to trust me on that one!


addiroids


Apr 17, 2005, 9:42 PM
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No man, I was saying it was a great placement. I am just glad I haven't had to climb above something like that. I bet it looked bomber when you set it, just giving you something to think about.

And aids climbing is a disease. Characterized by weight-loss from suffering up walls without eating/drinking/sleeping enough, and having your circle of climbing friends dwindle to only the ones who know how to belay/haul/sort gear/crap at the same time. Also, free climbing in your wall boots in Josh, just to be sure you can still lead 5.9 in boots if you had to.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


chanceboarder


Apr 17, 2005, 10:17 PM
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nice job with the climb david. glad that #3 held the fall and you made it through ok.

what can i say about those hexes? you got balls dude, i think i might have s--- myself climbing above those. i've never stacked pro on lead, only done it on the ground a few times for practice. your hexes look bomber but i guess only you and snoopy now for sure just how bomber they were. way to be creative and make use of what you had on hand given the situation. i think i agree with addiroids, the red hex would have held all of your weight and should have been the only one clipped even if both cables lined up perfectly. way to go!

-jason


healyje


Apr 17, 2005, 11:46 PM
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Well dude, there is a slight problem with your picture there. Notice how you clipped both at once. The red hex is the one that will be holding your weight, because notice how the grey one is lower than the red.

If you fall and the grey one gets weighted first (although red is shorter due to height position, think if the rope ran slightly to the left) it will be tugged out from under the red. This is almost indistinguishable from the pic, but it is something to look at.

What you should have done, was clip into the red only, and then clip a keeper sling from the grey into the sling of the red (or the cable of the red), and not the rope. That way, if you fall, the red gets weighted only, and the grey only serves to act as an extended part of the crack. You also could have turned the grey upside down so that it is flaring upward, further allowing the red to be in a constriction (you would then put your keeper sling on the grey cable that you feed through the top (facing downward now) of the hex).

Good job on the stack. While uncommon today, stacks were business as usual in "ye olde pre-cam days". Addiroids is correct, though, that in this or any other stack you want to only clip the piece that will be holding the fall. The grey could have been clipped to the red with either a keeper sling or just another biner. Also, I might have had the red down and the grey up a hair, but I'd still fall on that all day from the look of it...


alpnclmbr1


Apr 18, 2005, 12:22 AM
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I had my first 5.8 trad lead earlier in the day...

Based on the number of mistakes that you have related about this single climb. I would have to say that you might be better off finding another hobby. Something safer. Really.


Partner eyecannon


Apr 18, 2005, 12:30 AM
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I had my first 5.8 trad lead earlier in the day...

Based on the number of mistakes that you have related about this single climb. I would have to say that you might be better off finding another hobby. Something safer. Really.

I can assure you most of my climbs are not this mistake ridden!


Partner j_ung


Apr 18, 2005, 2:20 PM
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Good on ya for figuring that out with the level of experience you have. Buuuuuuut... taking falls on your second ever trad lead seems a bit premature. Pick your routes carefully, especially at this critical stage of the game. Live long! Prosper! :D


chanceboarder


Apr 18, 2005, 2:28 PM
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Good on ya for figuring that out with the level of experience you have. Buuuuuuut... taking falls on your second ever trad lead seems a bit premature. Pick your routes carefully, especially at this critical stage of the game. Live long! Prosper! :D
i believe that eyecannon was stating that this was his second trad lead at that grade, not second trad lead ever. he has been leading trad for a while at lower grades and i'm guessing now worked his way up to the 5.8 level and that day was his first two attempts at a 5.8.

-jason


holmeslovesguinness


Apr 18, 2005, 2:40 PM
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LOL - this definitely gets an 'A+' for creative use of passive pro, nicely done.


trenchdigger


Apr 18, 2005, 2:56 PM
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I had my first 5.8 trad lead earlier in the day...

Based on the number of mistakes that you have related about this single climb. I would have to say that you might be better off finding another hobby. Something safer. Really.

I can assure you most of my climbs are not this mistake ridden!

I won't be quite so harsh, but it sounds like you may want to be taking this trad thing a bit slower. :roll:

I applaud your creativity with the hexes, but at the same time it worries me that you took a 10 footer on your second trad lead after failing to judge properly what gear you'd need to lead it.

~Adam~


trenchdigger


Apr 18, 2005, 3:05 PM
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I had my first 5.8 trad lead earlier in the day...

Based on the number of mistakes that you have related about this single climb. I would have to say that you might be better off finding another hobby. Something safer. Really.

I can assure you most of my climbs are not this mistake ridden!

I won't be quite so harsh, but it sounds like you may want to be taking this trad thing a bit slower. :roll:

I applaud your creativity with the hexes, but at the same time it worries me that you took a 10 footer on your second trad lead after failing to judge properly what gear you'd need to lead it.

~Adam~

I stand corrected... second 5.8 trad lead.

Congrats on the first lead(s) at the grade. Nurn's is a great one.

Perhaps placing a hex in place of the #3 or #4 you left below would have been possible, saving the cams for the more flaring crack above.

~Adam~


snoopy138


Apr 18, 2005, 3:08 PM
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As eyecannon's climbing partner and belayer on this climb, I'll point out that this was not his second ever trad lead, it was his second at 5.8. As for knowing what pro to take, the Vogel guide says pro to 2.5" for the climb. Having the first hex pop out as soon as he climbed above it, well ... that's his fault for not putting a cam in there.

Also, I seconded the route and though it looks to ease off after the bouldery start, it doesn't. Lastly, my picture didn't show it because it was hard to get a good shot, but the right edge of the black hex was lined up well with the rock.


petsfed


Apr 18, 2005, 3:09 PM
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Another thing you might want to try next time is to simply thread the sling (or wire) of the red hex through the sling (or wire) of the gray hex. Saves a carabiner, keeps the weight on the red one.


urbanfood


Apr 18, 2005, 3:36 PM
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aving the first hex pop out as soon as he climbed above it, well ... that's his fault for not putting a cam in there.

since this was his first piece, it should be a no-brainer that it should be a multi directional, i.e. cam, opposed nuts, etc. to avoid the zippering effect. also as his belayer, you might have pointed this out to him when he was placing the first piece. even if that hex didn't pop when he climbed above it, it most certainly would have popped when he fell, thus starting the "zipper". it's important to make sure your first piece is bomber.


thegreytradster


Apr 18, 2005, 4:02 PM
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Another thing you might want to try next time is to simply thread the sling (or wire) of the red hex through the sling (or wire) of the gray hex. Saves a carabiner, keeps the weight on the red one.

I was going to bring up the same point.

One little bit of info to file away for future reference as far as sugested gear sizes in the guide books. They are mostly written by folks from my era that cut their teeth on these climbs BSG (before spring gear) Hexes and jaming skills substituted for frequent bomber pro now commonly placed and runouts on easier ground were an accepted part of the game. Some of these wider sections are easy and secure for us and thus generaly not memorable as far as gear size or requirement. You can't learn wide crack skills in the gym, but once mastered the sections where you felt insecure will feel like a cruse. New Josh leaders should carry a couple of boat anchor size pieces as a general rule, (3-1/2 and a 4 camalot) to stay out of trouble. After a while you will figure out when you don't really need them.

My answer to some of the criticisim, "Never let the perfect become the enemy of the good". A creative solution to a schetchy situation!


Partner eyecannon


Apr 18, 2005, 6:24 PM
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aving the first hex pop out as soon as he climbed above it, well ... that's his fault for not putting a cam in there.

since this was his first piece, it should be a no-brainer that it should be a multi directional, i.e. cam, opposed nuts, etc. to avoid the zippering effect. also as his belayer, you might have pointed this out to him when he was placing the first piece. even if that hex didn't pop when he climbed above it, it most certainly would have popped when he fell, thus starting the "zipper". it's important to make sure your first piece is bombr.

This is good advice, and something that I should have done.

And just to reclarify what was already clarified, this was my second 5.8 lead.


ben87


Apr 18, 2005, 8:13 PM
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arguably there were a few errors in judgement leading up to the situation in which you found yourself, but I think those have been covered pretty well. Having arrived at this juncture, you did a remarkable job of protecting yourself with what was available. nice.


coreydacat


Apr 19, 2005, 9:36 AM
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youre crazy, D! way to go on the creativity, congrats on your first 8 trad lead from that day, and glad you had a fun safe trip out in josh, and im sure we will hear more of your crazy antics on and off the rock... climb on!


azrockclimber


Apr 19, 2005, 10:01 AM
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Good advice from thegraytradster...at your level of experience carrying way more than you need is an excellent idea. I alwyas did. And I still sometimes do in areas that I am unfamiliar with. Having a nice big piece for a spot like that would be really great. You totally should have only clipped one. "At the end of the day" I would have to say this had a higher chance of pulling than i would be willing to rely on as my only piece off the deck. Very creative though. However, and a big however, place creative, almost experimental type pieces like that when you don't really have to rely on them(at first) then when you really need them...farther along in your career you will have the skills and the creativity to hook up something creative & bomber. Another thing..I saw a very bomber spot for what looks like a #2-#3.5 cam..hard to tell from the pic...and on a climb that looked anything like this those piece should totally have been with you.


Partner eyecannon


Apr 19, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Good advice from thegraytradster...at your level of experience carrying way more than you need is an excellent idea. I alwyas did. And I still sometimes do in areas that I am unfamiliar with. Having a nice big piece for a spot like that would be really great. You totally should have only clipped one. "At the end of the day" I would have to say this had a higher chance of pulling than i would be willing to rely on as my only piece off the deck. Very creative though. However, and a big however, place creative, almost experimental type pieces like that when you don't really have to rely on them(at first) then when you really need them...farther along in your career you will have the skills and the creativity to hook up something creative & bomber. Another thing..I saw a very bomber spot for what looks like a #2-#3.5 cam..hard to tell from the pic...and on a climb that looked anything like this those piece should totally have been with you.

The stacked hexes were not my only piece, I had the #3 camalot that held my prior fall, and I believe I had something in between as well. As far as other spots in that pic, it's hard to tell, but the rear of the crack was a good 1-1.5' out of my reach, so I couldn't access it at all.


healyje


Apr 19, 2005, 11:50 AM
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"At the end of the day" I would have to say this had a higher chance of pulling than i would be willing to rely on as my only piece off the deck. Very creative though. However, and a big however, place creative, almost experimental type pieces like that when you don't really have to rely on them(at first) then when you really need them...farther along in your career you will have the skills and the creativity to hook up something creative & bomber. Another thing..I saw a very bomber spot for what looks like a #2-#3.5 cam.

azrockclimber,

And as I said earlier, I'd fall all day long on the stack in the picture (though, again, I'd adjust the red down and grey up a bit first). The only thing "experimental" about stacking hexs and stoppers is the fact that you guys are young and grew up with cams. Stacking passive pro was just a normal, everyday part of placing pro before cams came along. I used to stack on just about on about every other route back in the day. In fact, we used to have some of our stoppers doubled up on webbing/perlon just so you could fold the top one down for stacks.

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