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andykirkpatrick


Apr 19, 2006, 12:46 AM
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Retreating off a wall article
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After reading rockermike's post about soloing a wall over on supertopo, I thought I'd pen something about retreating (wow ain't I Mr positive!!!). After all there's not much info on this out there, and it seems when it happens you often have to learn first hand. Maybe this will make things easier!

By the way this is only my view, and I'm sure there a lots of people who are bigger failures would can add alot to this article (I'm happy to include them).

http://www.psychovertical.com/?escapewall

Cheers

Andy


treez


Apr 19, 2006, 1:01 AM
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Cool site. Be sure to check out the remote screw removal trick. Clever.


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Apr 19, 2006, 5:03 AM
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nice site andy, my company has paid me allot of good money to read through it.

i appreciate the bail tips, i plan to put them to good use this summer.


dynamo_


Apr 19, 2006, 6:52 AM
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In reply to:
nice site andy, my company has paid me allot of good money to read through it. ...

:lol: Indeed.


ddoucet


Apr 19, 2006, 7:29 AM
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I've always been skeptical of that retrievable ice screw trick. Screws often re-freeze in their holes. It seems unlikely that this would work in any conditions where the screw was actually reliable. Has anyone actually gotten it to work?

I'm also not sure why I wouldn't just thread if I have the perlon to wrap around the screw, which is needed for this trick in the first place. I suppose if I had no hook to make the thread, as Andy says, but still..

-Derek


andykirkpatrick


Apr 19, 2006, 9:50 AM
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Hi

I've used it quite a few times - mainly when I was short of cord (and didn't want to thread my ropes through an ice thread). And yes it worked every time (needs to be a quality long screw though).

Andy


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Apr 19, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Hi Andy,

Great article as usual. It would be helpful if you could/would add a picture or drawing showing the configuration for rapping with the haul bag.

Also, spell check, buddy! :wink:

Best, Kim


andykirkpatrick


Apr 19, 2006, 2:23 PM
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Cheers Kim, pictures added, and spellings (well some) corrected.

Cheers

Andy


ddoucet


Apr 20, 2006, 7:10 AM
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Hi

I've used it quite a few times - mainly when I was short of cord (and didn't want to thread my ropes through an ice thread). And yes it worked every time (needs to be a quality long screw though).

Andy

That's wild. Intuitively it just sounds like it wouldn't work. Great to hear it actually does. One more trick to put in the quiver! Thanks.

-Derek


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Apr 20, 2006, 7:35 AM
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Hi Andy,

Thanks for the diagram. I have a question regarding the rappel backup configuration when rapping with a bag.

Then I rappel, I backup using a Shunt off my belay loop and then rap off a descender extended above the Shunt so the two don't interfere with each other. I realized yesterday that with the bags attached to the descender if the backup engaged, they would still keep going. Their weight would continue down the rope until the descender hit the backup. (Who knows what happens then).

So I took another look at your diagram and saw that you've attached the backup to the bags instead of to the climber. Won't you have the same problem but in reverse - the weight of the climber will continue to descend until the descender hit the backup knot.

I always learned that you should suspend the bags off your belay loop and then rap as normal. But I liked your way better because the climber is not so tethered to the bags and so can manage them better.

I assume I'm just confused - as usual. Can you clarify?

Thanks, Kim


andykirkpatrick


Apr 20, 2006, 7:47 AM
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Hi Kim

I can't quite work out what you mean. With a prusik ("Klemheist/AutoBlock)on either the climber or the belayer (atached to both ropes below the device and rigged so that it won't be blocked by the device) the whole lot should stop if the climber lets go (if you have tons of weight then then there is a chance it could slip, which is why then you should use two belay plastes/prusiks.

Does that make any sence?

ANdy


ricardol


Apr 20, 2006, 8:29 AM
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Kim ..

.. the heaviest load i've rapped with is about 120+ lbs .. (give or take ..)

thank god it was not a free hanging rappel .. but what worked very well for me was...

the load was 2 haulbags. -- tie them together using and upside down Y .. the at the main point, attach a grigri, put the load on rappel.

then with a daisy attach myself to the load (at the main point).

i could use the grigri to control the descent.and use my feet to kick the bags as i descended.. (brought much pleasure).

.. it was all going well until i had to pass a knot..

andy's site describes how to do the above using standard belay plates (or atc's) .. since the load is heavy you can use 2 atc's in series to make your rapelling job manageable.

.. you then put a prussik backup on the line before it enters the 1st atc so that you can be safe with such a heavy load.

the prussik backup can also be added when you use a grigri.


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Apr 20, 2006, 8:48 AM
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Hi Andy,

Sorry I wasn't clear. I'm just now having my morning coffee.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=72435

So here is the climber and the bag suspended from the descender with the climber backed up.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=72436

If the backup locks, won't the bags continue to come down (it's not locked by the backup) causing a real clusterbugger - (Did I use "bugger" correctly there?) :roll:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=72437

Alternately if the bag is backed up won't the climber continue to decend?

As I write this I guess that the weight of the climber (or bag) would essentially act as a fireman's belay stopping all movement. So maybe I've answered my own question. But I guess you'd have to be careful about releasing the weight - e.g. stepping onto a ledge.

Thoughts?

Best, Kim


andykirkpatrick


Apr 20, 2006, 8:58 AM
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If this was the case then the belayer wouldn't be able to hold onto the rope anyhow! Plus I think if the bag was THAT heavy the ropes would probably snap!

The main aim is to be able to move the bags (which may be big), more easily, and you're kind of riding down on the bag, rather than the bag riding you!

Using a gri gri is OK, but they do get very hot under a big load (more so then two chunky HMS crabs and a belay plate).

Like all this stuff it's just a case of learning as much as possible, then appliying what you can when you can.

Cheers

Andy


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Apr 20, 2006, 9:15 AM
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In days of old when dinosaurs roamed the earth we put more friction in the system in this way.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=72440

I once lowered myself with a injured climber in a Stokes with this rig. Probably a total of 400 lbs.

Best, Kim


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Apr 21, 2006, 4:43 AM
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Last year I rapped 18 pitches of El Cap, Solo with about 140 lbs. It took two days. (couldn't ditch food, took water down/energy drinks/fun stuff for nose climbers)

Here's what I learned:

ATC Complications: When bailing, you have plenty of penjis/reaches to do. Rapping with ATC-only friction can get dangerous fast if you take the pigs down the pitch with you your first trip down the line. Be very careful if you are doing this, and add friction to the system with another ATC or twists around a biner below the ATC. You may be hating yourself if you add friction with a munter, the last thing you need is twists in your line when you are trying to bail/pull thru anchors, etc.

There are perfectly safe ways to rap with an ATC, I'm not saying its a bad idea, just that I prefer another way...and that one should be aware of the complexities of using one in this particular situation.

GriGri and Heavy Loads: When using a grigri to rap with a particularly heavy load, the handle becomes quite difficult to release, and points almost straight up in when weighted in the cammed position. Also, it heats up very quickly, glazing your rope.

The combined glazing of the rope (If you are so unlucky) and the strange loads on the grigri can result in a very jerky descent. If you are rapping a dynamic line, it can become pretty scary and maybe dangerous quickly. If your ropes are rubbing on an edge, wow, no good.

Additional Friction: You can add extra friction to this system by positioning an ATC on that line below the grigri, after extending the grigri with REDUNDANT slings.

Reaching the Next Station: If your pigs weigh more than maybe 70 pounds, you will find that if you rap with them without your line connected to the next anchor first, you may be in trouble. It is very hard to "penji" to a station with a heavy load. You may have to rap the pitch first, fix your line with some slack in it, jumar up, and then rap with the pigs, using jumars to pull yourself to the station when you beocme horizontal with it.

There are ways to do this without rapping the pitch first if you have to move sideways with a heavy pig, but if you can't figure it out on your own, its probably too dangerous to try.

"Riding the Pigs" Riding the pigs as described above, where the pigs are on rappel and you are clipped to the pigs, redundantly, is key.

Managing the Rope: In high winds, like on El Cap sometimes, just feeding your ropes thru the rings and letting them float in the wind is not a good idea. Control your ropes with rope bags clipped to your pigs as you rap. Stay tied/clipped into the ends as you rap for backup.

Down Aiding - Setting up your fly pole as a "stick clip" can eliminate some down aiding and suffering, as you can use it to hook fixed gear and bolts when your plum line is taking you out too far from the wall or too far to the side of the station that you are trying to reach.

The key is: Don't Bail. Seriously. Bailing is often as hard as climbing, specially if you are solo, and on many routes, may be harder/more dangerous than actually climbing them as long as the weather is stable.

Andy's Article: This is a fine article with great illustrations. With so many ways to do things, we won't always agree. Here's a few points where Andy and I differ...

In the section with the prussik below the ATC...if you weight the prussick, as it is shown attached to a pig...and that pig weighs alot, good luck. It will not be fun using your knife that close to your lifeline, and that will likely be your only choice.

Also, three docking cords are, IMO not necessary, time consuming, and confusing which can be bad especially if your weather is deteriorating. . Connect all your pigs to one powerpoint and add one docking cord to that.

Ditching your stuff: Sure, ditch the unnecessaries. (This probably would not include survival gear.) But if your ropes get stuck, you are slower than you think (don't be surprised) you willl want more of your stuff than you might otherwise...don't ditch rain gear/warm gear and keep the ledge rather than kill someone when it lands on them at the base.

Finally: Please DO NOT cut your bags loose unless your only other choice is to die. On today's crowded routes with crowded bases, your lack of ability should not be compensated for in this way. You would stand a chance of killing someone.

But he is right, always always always have your knife on your person. It can be a great problem solver on a wall.

Hope this helps.

-Kate.


andykirkpatrick


Apr 21, 2006, 5:19 AM
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Thanks for the feedback Kate - I hope you don't mind but I added it too the article on my site.

Yes I agree with all your points, and I think ref the docking cords I think one cord on the sling would be best, although for some reason I ended up using the other system on the TRoll; I'll have to think about why that was?

For more control over a belay device look at: http://www.psychovertical.com/?increasingcontrol and yes I'm not a big fan of Gri Gris for big or small loads. The first time I rapped with a gri gri it was with a huge load down an old fixed line. Totally committed on a free hanging section I saw to my horror the core was hanging out of the rope below me. I didn't think I could tie off the damage and pass the knot, so thought's I'd just zipp past as fast as I could (hoping that the core was still OK). What actually happened was as I shot down the core got caught on the handle of the gri gri and I stopped dead. My only option (gulp) was to cut the strands of core and carry on down!!!!! Must add this was a LONG time ago, and I'd hope I'd come up with a better plan next time.

By the way was it you who rapped of Tribal Rite?

Cheers

Andy


andykirkpatrick


Apr 21, 2006, 5:22 AM
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One other thing - if you use a autoblock prussik (Kleimhest) you can realesae it easily - unless the bags are REALLY heavy. If doupt you could attach it to the bags with a tie-off munter hitch, so you could realaese them that way.

Oh yes and never clip all your empty waterbottles to the bottom of the bag as they are garenteed to catch everything!

andy


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Apr 21, 2006, 5:25 AM
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Hi Andy:

Yeah, that was me. :oops: :) But I learned so much and had such a great time on the deck when I got there that it was probably better than summiting in this case, though it sucked at the time.

Re: The Gri Gri vs ATC - Its a totally personal thing. I'm just so used to a grigri from soloing that I prefer it, I even squirm rapping sport routes with my ATC. NOT that I'd ever get to the top of one, of course. ;)

-Kate.


andykirkpatrick


Apr 21, 2006, 5:33 AM
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A Scottish mate of mine met you on the way down (handsome bearded Scotsman called Sandy - who also designed the biggest shit pump in the world ((it's in Turkey)).

Did you go back and solo something else?

I haven't been to Yosemite for 4 years, and I can't wait to get back on something.

ANdy


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I remember Sandy! That's awesome. I met some of the nicest people on the Nose. And every darn one of them was good looking!

I think there is a "you must be a hottie to proceed" kiosk around the base of the tripple cracks.

It was already mid-October, too late to try a long solo again if you're as slow as I am. Most importantly, after whipping like that I didn't feel like aid climbing for awhile. In fact, I still don't feel like it.

;)

-Kate.


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In reply to:
The key is: Don't Bail. Seriously. Bailing is often as hard as climbing, specially if you are solo, and on many routes, may be harder/more dangerous than actually climbing them as long as the weather is stable.

-Kate.

Hi Kate,

Has your thinking changed about whether it was the right thing to do to bail - the "phantom fear" being a clear and present danger? Seemed right to me.

Best, Kim


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Apr 21, 2006, 6:49 AM
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Hi Kim:

Of course, I've thought alot about this.

Well, the source fear was a little irrational (like I said to you before) as I had already climbed the supposed crux (A4 by the topo, prolly A3) and am in the 20s as far as pitches at the difficulty of the remaing routes goes (A3/C3, maybe alittle harder). 18 down, 9 to go.

But my response to the situation, fear, was still there and still impacting my climbing. And by being afraid, I would have climbed less well than usual, not stepping high and climbing fearfully.

That would likely have been enough to have put the route beyond my ability at the time.

Of course, if you see the warning flags and Still make an error that could have been avoided and could have killed you, well, maybe you're in over your head in the first place? Somthing to think about. ;)

Also if you take one fall, don't get hurt, and still have to bail, maybe it means you didn't have the reserves to deal with adversity.

If this is the case, you were climbing at your limit, with nothing to spare when things go wrong. This activity is for alpinists and hardmen/women. Running into this situation you end up in that category or the other. I am happy in the 'other' category, that's how I know so much about rapelling. ;)

I learned a little about what happens to normal people when you are climbing at your psychological limit and something kind of big goes wrong. The people who don't turn around at that point are my heros, and some of my heros are dead.

Wall climbing is a matter of judgement...and the best place to use your best judgement is on the ground before you ever start climbing. I hope I can decide on the ground to climb with something to spare in the future, but its hard to tell when you're on the ground looking up how tall you stand beside a mountain. (El Cap's not a mountain, but that sounded better)

I'd appoloigize for thread drift, but I think that, for me anyway, the above psychological aspect of bailing is almost as relavent as the technical aspects...


-Kate.


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Apr 21, 2006, 8:25 AM
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In reply to:
Also if you take one fall, don't get hurt, and still have to bail, maybe it means you didn't have the reserves to deal with adversity.

If this is the case, you were climbing at your limit, with nothing to spare when things go wrong. This activity is for alpinists and hardmen/women. Running into this situation you end up in that category or the other.

I learned a little about what happens to normal people when you are climbing at your psychological limit and something kind of big goes wrong. The people who don't turn around at that point are my heroes, and some of my heroes are dead.

Wall climbing is a matter of judgement... the above psychological aspect of bailing is almost as relevant as the technical aspects...


-Kate.

Kate,

To a lesser degree, I too came across this situation on Washington this winter - where I was operating at 90% and knew if I continued my reserve would be gone and it would be questionable if I could get myself out. So I bailed. The mountain isn't going anywhere - I'll climb another day.

Would your or my continuing make us "hero's?" I'm thinking, of course, of Tomaz Humar who had to be rescued off of the Rupal Face last year putting all the rescuers at risk. He knew conditions were bad when he started, and yet he went anyway. It seems to me that you're the hero for getting yourself out and not endangering anyone else while doing it.

I agree that the physiological maturity to make sound judgements is the really interesting question. Maybe we can get Andy (and others) to chime in with their thoughts.

Best, Kim


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Apr 21, 2006, 6:22 PM
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Thanks for this topic as only having done one wall so far, the whole rapping with pigs scares the crap out of me.

I've practised it but always wondered if I was doing it right. When we rapped with a pig (only 3 pitches SFWC) my brother lowered the pig via our static line, and I rapped the dynamic line via grigri that we fixed to the anchors so I could move the pig around. Granted it was a light load, is this how you guys do it when theres two of you?

When I've pracitsed solo rapping I've always rode the pig, is there ever a time when it's better to attach it to your belay loop?

Thanks Geoff

p.s. if any of you want to drag a rookie up a rock theres always me. :wink:

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