Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Smelling Copperheads
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


spacecowboy


Jul 26, 2006, 9:38 PM
Post #1 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 22, 2001
Posts: 61

Smelling Copperheads
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

While i'm still nursing a weird injury in my left ring finger I've been doing a lot of reading of my climbing library in hopes of using the downtime to my advantage. I was tooling around in Climbing Bigwalls by Mike Strassman and was confused by a section in the chapter on placing copperheads. It not only described the final step as 'if they stink, get off!' but also pictured it in a diagram with a person smelling it.

I've never placed a copperhead, but don't understand how smelling the placement would help assess it. Does malforming the metal by hammering release a chemical odor, and why would hammering it properly release different odors as opposed to a poorly placed copperhead?

Help and idly curious and involuntary arm-chair climber out.


manacubus


Jul 26, 2006, 9:56 PM
Post #2 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 14, 2002
Posts: 141

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I love rc.com! :lol:


kman


Jul 26, 2006, 10:03 PM
Post #3 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 2561

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
I love rc.com! :lol:

:lol: Nice response :lol:


far_east_climber


Jul 26, 2006, 11:22 PM
Post #4 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2003
Posts: 873

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well, I actually remember someone mentioning on supertopo.com there were a few individuals out there who smelt their copperheads. Whether or not this is fully believed this/was a joke, I don't know... but just letting you know your question isn't stupid.


lambone


Jul 27, 2006, 1:52 AM
Post #5 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 30, 2003
Posts: 1399

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

one for Mythbusters!


svilnit


Jul 27, 2006, 3:28 AM
Post #6 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2002
Posts: 582

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Just don't smell the East Coast variety of Copperheads... they have big fangs and they are poisonous!

:righton:


sbaclimber


Jul 27, 2006, 3:56 AM
Post #7 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 3118

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Just don't smell the East Coast variety of Copperheads... they have big fangs and they are poisonous!

:righton:
True, but like many snakes, the can stink :wink:


Partner tattooed_climber


Jul 27, 2006, 8:32 AM
Post #8 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 13, 2003
Posts: 4838

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

:wtf:


whitribj


Jul 27, 2006, 9:34 AM
Post #9 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 145

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
one for Mythbusters!

I think we could come up with enough for a whole climbing myths for the show.


skinner


Jul 27, 2006, 9:44 AM
Post #10 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Posts: 1747

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Well, I actually remember someone mentioning on supertopo.com there were a few individuals out there who smelt their copperheads. Whether or not this is fully believed this/was a joke, I don't know... but just letting you know your question isn't stupid.

In reply to:
Smelt
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://www.afprotein.com/smelt1.gif
For other uses, see Smelt (disambiguation).
Rainbow Smelt, Osmerus mordax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osmeriformes
Family: Osmeridae

Genera
Allosmerus
Hypomesus
Mallotus
Osmerus
Spirinchus
Thaleichthys

Smelts are a family, Osmeridae, of small anadromous fish. They are common in the North American Great Lakes, and run in large schools along the coastline during their spring migration to their spawning streams. The family consists of some 16 species in six genera.


I can only assume by *smelling* they are referring to how it "appears" when you get your nose right in there to check your pasting job prior to clinching your sphincter and actually standing on the placement.


paganmonkeyboy


Jul 27, 2006, 9:56 AM
Post #11 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 29, 2003
Posts: 663

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i was told if they smell burnt you have overworked the metal...means the placement is even more suspect than a happy bashie...


iamthewallress


Jul 27, 2006, 10:04 AM
Post #12 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Posts: 2463

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was going to insert my Vertical Limit nitro copperhead joke here, except that I wondered the same thing for years after I read the same advice. :oops:

In reply to:
i was told if they smell burnt you have overworked the metal...means the placement is even more suspect than a happy bashie...

I've heard the same. Not sure if I believe it.

Better than looking at it or smelling it is probably doing your best to rip it off the wall, and if you fail to do so, then it's probably going to hold your body weight.


caughtinside


Jul 27, 2006, 10:19 AM
Post #13 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Posts: 30603

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

John Middendorf (coauthor of Big Walls) made up the sniffing thing as a joke. The steps to heading in his book were 1. place it. 2. paste it. 3. 'X' it. 4. sniff it for metallic odor.

The sniffing thing was a joke, but this was one of the first time a 'how to head' thing had been put in a book, so people who didn't know, read the book, and started sniffing heads.

Now, you all can think this is really dumb/obvious, etc, but Middendorf later mentioned that his instructions, including the 'sniff it' test were later reproduced in an edition of Freedom of the Hills!

Anyway, this is a synopsis I picked up from a thread in ST where Middendorf posted.


marc801


Jul 27, 2006, 10:49 AM
Post #14 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2806

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ARG!!! Of all the days that I can't rate posts it has to be when this appears!!!

:roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


lambone


Jul 27, 2006, 12:55 PM
Post #15 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 30, 2003
Posts: 1399

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
i was told if they smell burnt you have overworked the metal...means the placement is even more suspect than a happy bashie...

first,

no

second,

you can't "overwork" a head.


stymingersfink


Jul 27, 2006, 6:37 PM
Post #16 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 12, 2003
Posts: 7250

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i was told if they smell burnt you have overworked the metal...means the placement is even more suspect than a happy bashie...

first,

no

second,

you can't "overwork" a head.

i might respectfully suggest you can, if by "overworking" a head one means to imply damaging the integrity of the (placement,) cables or the swage.

FWIW, the sniff test... that's just the turtle snapping at your back door. If you're not careful, the impending fall will cause him to poke his head completely out to see "what the F^@K is goin' on out there!?"

edited to add "placement" in clarification, a response to the post below


stymingersfink


Jul 29, 2006, 2:50 PM
Post #17 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 12, 2003
Posts: 7250

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
^^^ Hehe, Sty.
They key part of the sniff joke isn't such a joke: "If it stinks, get off it."

Agreed, thus the reference to shitting one's pants at the thought of stepping onto the smelly thing.


mdude


Jul 29, 2006, 2:55 PM
Post #18 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 8, 2003
Posts: 198

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Cheese Wiz!!!

Troll!!


deadhorse


Jul 29, 2006, 4:10 PM
Post #19 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 26, 2006
Posts: 241

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

yeah i don't know anything about your copprheads- but what i think of is a very poisonous waterdwelling snake- and on a related note At the crag today we were going to go for a swim and saw not 1 but 3 copperheads... 2 that were full grown. one got damn close to a calf muscle bite of one of my boys.

i wouldnt smell one of those for $10


ratmnerd


Jul 29, 2006, 4:17 PM
Post #20 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 4, 2006
Posts: 120

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :wtf::wtf::wtf::wtf::wtf: :lol:


brianri


Jul 29, 2006, 4:51 PM
Post #21 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 28, 2003
Posts: 126

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Copperheads do in fact smell like cucumbers. See: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for46/for46.htm
However, I've never used them for pro. I suppose they could get very nasty if you tried to jam them in a crack and I bet they would bite you for sure if you hammered on them.


russwalling


Aug 2, 2006, 8:16 PM
Post #22 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2002
Posts: 239

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

AFAIK, the first time this came up was long time ago on Hockalito on El Cap. Doug McDonald and myself were running low on heads, but had plenty of broken wires. We were thinking that we could make "shiit heads" by using our own feces and applying it to the numerous broken cables we had and letting them bake in the sun. The joke being, if it stinks, get off it.... meaning it was not "set" yet.

The x'em paste 'em rock 'em and sniff 'em was hatched around the same time in camp 4 as we (JM, me, Doug, Billy Russell, Charles Cole, and many others) practiced placing heads in a boulder in the rescue site, seeing what would hold and what would pop.


jaybro


Aug 2, 2006, 10:12 PM
Post #23 of 23 (7210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 2, 2005
Posts: 441

Re: Smelling Copperheads [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Strange but true. Good ones smell like air cooled VW engines. '63-67.

Bad ones have a kind of Hindenburg/Tacoma bridge odor


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