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funkness device?
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cryptoboy


Jan 19, 2002, 9:11 AM
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funkness device?
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Dear Dr Pete,

I have read about and seen drawings of a "funkness device" and it seems like it would be very useful for cleaning and testing placements.

Is such a device part of the "Better Way" or is it just for BWT's?


passthepitonspete


Jan 19, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Dear Cryptoboy,

I am honoured (with a "u") that you chose to Ask Dr. Piton as your very first post! Not only that, but I can see from writing that you emphatically "get it". Believe me, we need more people like you on this website who "get it," not to mention people who can actually spell.

A funkness device is not only part of the better way, but it is the ONLY way. A funkness is as essential to your Big Wall Arsenal as is your hammer! The two are inextricably linked, and often physically linked with "beaters".

For you see, a funkness device is a steel cable with swaged loops on each end that is used to remove pins and sometimes heads. Be careful with heads - better to leave it than to bust it and create a deadhead.

One end of your funkness is attached to the hole in your hammer head, the other to the piece of gear you are "funking out." Because the cable is steel and therefore allows ZERO stretch, it is possible to exert an enormous shock load on the pin you are funking with just a gentle flick of your wrist.

You will need two "beater" crabs to put on each end of your funkness. These crabs will get beat to shit, and will never again be useable as a part of your belay system. You must mark your beaters with RED TAPE so that you will NEVER accidentally use them in a life-supporting situation.

You must make sure that at least one of these beaters will fit through the hole in your hammer head!

Duh.

If your hammer does not have a hole in its head, then get a new hammer.

Dr. Piton himself uses a Black Diamond Yosemite Hammer, which as far as I am concerned is the ultimate wall hammer. I have had mine since 1995 and it is indestructible!

Note that those buggers linked above will sell the thing to you for $85 Merrican whereas these buggers - type "hammer" in top right box will sell it to you for $110 Cdn which is under $70 US. Of course they probably won't ship it to you in the US because it would get your US distributors mad!

That being said, if you have a big order of wall gear to fill, Dr. Piton just might be willing to do it for you and ship it to you from the U.S. next time he's caving in Kentucky, which is frequently.

Remember that Dr. Piton is a commissioned salesperson, but believes that everything is negotiable.

Funkness devices that are made the better way have plastic tubing wrapped around the cable to protect against burring. My funkness device is 21" long, and this seems to me to be about perfect. I could not imagine it being any shorter to work, and you sure don't need it much longer.

Historically speaking, funkness devices are a relatively recent invention! Royal Robbins didn't have one, that's for sure. There's no mention in Basic Rockcraft. [Sometime I'm going to have to quote you from that - what a hoot!]

I'm not sure how the Bird cleaned his pins back in the 70's. The first published reference I saw to a funkness device was in Climbing Mag when Onan Goat's girlfriend talked about funking out pins with a chain of carabiners.

It was not until my first Post-Divorce Renaissance trip to Yosemite in 1995 that I saw the first funkness device made from a swaged cable. Big Wall Eric made them in the back of his pickup truck (the one with the ELCAP5 license plate,) and he laughed when I mispronounced "funkness"!

Incidentally, you should click here if you are not familiar with The Amazing Story of "Big Wall Eric".

Without doubt, "Big Wall Eric" was the FINEST EXAMPLE OF A BWT I have ever met!

In fact, careful examination of a funkness device can be one of your very best clues as to whether the person with whom you are speaking in the parking lot is in fact a BWT. If the funkness is in perfect shape, with no burrs to catch on your slings, you may well be speaking with a BWT!

Beware.

Examination of the pin rack is a further clue - unless the Lost Arrows have nearly every scrap of black paint knocked off from repeated abuse, and unless the knifeblades are mangled and twisted and require straightening with a hammer on top of a bear box, then you are in almost all certainty speaking with a BWT!

Note:

Last fall, I sold most of my rusty beat-up pins to some of my Camp 5 patients, since you can buy them cheaper in Canada, eh? If you clicked on the link to the Co-op above, then you will have figured that out, too. These Camp 5 adherents appear to be successfully making the transition from BWT to wannabees, and I have utmost faith that they will one day become real big wall climbers because they actually listened to what I was teaching, and made copious notes. The Mountain Shop sold a lot of adjustable daisies and fifis that month, lemme tell you!

So while ownership of rusty pins MAY be indicative that the person is not a BWT, said person could have bought them from someone like me!

Conversely, the fact that I - Dr. Piton will show up in Yosemite in May with a shiny new rack of untarnished pins is NOT in any way indicative that *I* am a BWT!

To funk out pins, you clip one beater to the pin, and the other to the hole in your hammer head. LET THE HAMMER DO THE WORK! It's like a golf club - don't try to overswing. Jerk gently in a diagonal direction and work the pin out. When you become well-practised, you will know to the very funk when your pin is ready to pop. Like in driving pins, having a musical ear is of enormous benefit.

Be very careful you aim away from your face! You don't want a stray LA knockin' out your front teeth! And wear a helmet! It's for this reason that you never look up when you're bounce-testing gear, either.

Do not overdrive your pins! If you do, you will get a very sore wrist. When I climbed Reticent Wall, Sean overdrove his long KB's in the new wave A2 pitch above The Irie. He was expecting a sandbag new wave A2, but in fact it was a bomber pitch!

It took me a bloody hour to funk out all those long overdriven KB's. There were a couple pins I'm guessing took me eight minutes to funk out. Man, my wrists hurt for days! That boy should solo more walls, and clean his own pins.

In fairness, I am sure he has soloed lots of walls.

There is a fine art to driving pins.

If you would like to know why having a musical ear is important when you are nailing, then you should ask a Trombone Player.

Gosh, said Trombone Player is creeping upward in "points". Oh me oh my, this could mean I am becoming "popular." While I expect a five out of five for technical merit, I would wonder how I could garner more than one out of five for popularity!

Cheers,

Dr. Piton


cryptoboy


Jan 19, 2002, 11:31 AM
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"Get it" may be a bit strong. I'm just learning to free climb, and don't plan on trying aid for a year or two (but am looking forward to it)

Do you ever use the funkness device to test placments?


paulc


Jan 19, 2002, 12:02 PM
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Test placements with a funkness device???

You do want to go up right? Bounce test your placements for sure, but save the funkness device for cleaning.

The amount of force that you can generate with one of these devices is sometimes scary and if you test pieces with it you will likely pull them all out and then be too scared to get more than 10 feet off the ground.

I'm sure Pete has more useful info here and once again I seem to have beaten him to the punch.

Paul


passthepitonspete


Jan 19, 2002, 1:10 PM
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"Getting it" is more a state of mind and a desire to learn the better way. You can spell and think - this is what I mean by getting it. Only people who "get it" tend to hang around here.

Do a word search with "get it" with me as the author and you will understand what I mean!

You do not have to wait to learn to aid climb. As I have written, but can't be bothered to link because I am too lazy this afternoon, aid climbing will accelerate your gear placement learning curve.

Solo aid climbing will accelerate this further. Maybe someone else can find those links for me. [burp]

Bounce testing is a fine art about which I will speaking shortly when I write of, "how to move up on aid without blowing it." I'm in a state of transition right now since The Boss has asked me to start transcribing my techie posts into Articles for better presentation.

Once I learn the html, presenting my tech tips in the form of an Article will clearly be the better way!

Generally speaking, I do not test pieces by funking them, although there is one possible exception. I sometimes funk test hooks before getting on them. This can be [burp] a good idea when you are really scared.

I probably wouldn't funk test a hook when it is on obviously good rock. But I might consider it if the rock were crumbly, or the placement were marginal.

[As I have written before, merely being scared shitless is a normal and expected component of aid climbing. I say this to differentiate from when I am really scared.]

It is hard to gauge the force you generate while funk testing. Body weight with progressively harder bounces is a better way, as Paul points out.

Cheers,

Dr. P.


nabisco


Oct 6, 2002, 11:20 PM
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Awesome slogan 'he may not be a priest, but he can save your sole'

classic climber comedy


cjburchell


Oct 8, 2002, 1:17 PM
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last year I was looking for a good funkness device and a friend of mind who worked at a bike shop stumbled upon
this. It's a bike seat lock but it is the exact size for a funkness and it work's great.


[ This Message was edited by: cjburchell on 2002-10-08 13:18 ]


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