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Bailing on a Trad Route
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thun


May 5, 2004, 11:08 PM
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Bailing on a Trad Route
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I'm not a trad climber, but I'm very interested in learning. After reading a similar sport thread (http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iewtopic.php?t=58998), I'm curious to know how often everyone bails on trad routes and what - if any - tricks there are to bailing without leaving behind that valuable gear while working a route. Anyone had to leave some favorite pieces of gear behind?


rizzuh


May 6, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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unfortunately, it does happen sometimes. However, many trad routes have natural anchors (trees, sketchy bushes, and horns you can sling with webbing). When I go trad climbing I always carry some 1/2 inch webbing with a couple aluminum rap rings.

rock on,
nic


skiorclimb


May 6, 2004, 2:41 AM
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Yes people bail from trad climbs for all diferent reasons, if you are in a hurry ie:lighting hazard or similar than you would build rap anchors with the cheapest and least gear you could. As metioned above you would take advatage of natural anchors as a first priority.

Another option that is often available is to gain the top useing an easier route, than rap and clean the route you were originally on. If you are bailing because the route is a little to dificult for you, than you can sometimes traverse over to an easier route.

Their is also a way to down climb the route while still belayed from the bottom of the pitch. This is called down leading. First you would build an anchor at your high point. Next you and your partner would rap the route. Now you prussik back to the top placing pieces bellow each section that you deam would be difficult to down climb. Than you tie in get put on belay and down climb the route.

Down climbing is a necesary skill if you are going to get on any trad routes, it is easy to get off route. Down leading is only an option if you have some downclimbing experience. Also, you can save a time consuming step if you trust your second to make the call as to where to place gear, or if you led the route and know that you have gear before every tough section.

Hope that made sence.

Scott


mesomorf


May 6, 2004, 6:30 AM
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Here's a story that illustrates the kinds of things you can do.

Years ago I was trying to free an old Beckey route on Pingora, in the Wind Rivers. A storm moved in. Lightning was hitting nearby peaks. Sometime during our retreat, it hailed quite hard, and rained both before and after.

The retreat was just as well, because I'd reached a thin crack that I probably couldn't do anyway. There was a pod in the crack where I placed a #4 Friend.

First, though, I wrapped a sling around the stem ABOVE the trigger. Then by clipping all my remaining slings and nut to it, the resulting chain reached down to a rest spot 15 feet below me. I carefully lowered off the Friend.

When I got to the rest, I gave a strong jerk on the chain of runners. The Friend came flying out of the pod.

I downclimbed the rest of the pitch, cleaning as I went.

We needed to reach easier ground to the left as quickly as possible (rather than rappelling down the steep stuff we'd come up).

I rappelled diagonally off a horn, even penduluming to reach another crack. Then I climbed back up until I was level with the horn, and anchored in.

My partner used the horizontal line to clip into and use as a hand line to get across the traverse. After he reached me, we gave the rope a flip and recovered the sling on the horn.

Then I down-led a pitch. This means you climb down, placing gear AFTER any hard parts. Your partner climbs down too, but he's not toproped, that's why you need to place gear for him below hard parts.

So we got off the mountain without leaving any gear at all.


smallnutsandbigballs


May 6, 2004, 6:56 AM
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Knot-jam


moeman


May 6, 2004, 7:35 AM
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In reply to:
Knot-jam

:shock:

Sketchy...

Save your butt. Leave a nut.


micronut


May 6, 2004, 7:37 AM
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I met some Americans in B.C. that had just bailed from the Becky/Chimourd on S. Howser Tower. They were one day up, got their ropes stuck, had to use the haul line, and were limited to 25m raps. They left the whole rack on the mountain. It can happen.


boltdude


May 6, 2004, 7:57 AM
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A few years ago I met some folks who left their entire rack bailing off Temple Crag in a sudden BIG snow storm. They said they'd gladly leave the entire rack again, since they were alive.

People go to great lengths to avoid leaving their gear. But to avoid losing a $50 cam, are you willing to fall 40' to the rocks below? That's exactly what a friend of mine did years back in Moab. He couldn't get up the climb, was hanging on a cam, and got in what he thought was a good nut (he weighted it while backed up to the cam, etc). He took the cam out, started lowering, and the nut popped. Somehow he landed in the one sandy spot between all the boulders, and walked away with some big bruises but nothing broken. Lucky lucky lucky!

If you need to bail, evaluate the gear - sometimes you gotta leave whatever's going to keep you alive.


micronut


May 6, 2004, 8:25 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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In reply to:
A few years ago I met some folks who left their entire rack bailing off Temple Crag in a sudden BIG snow storm. They said they'd gladly leave the entire rack again, since they were alive.

been there, done that. I woulda left anything and fixed the rope as well if I had to. Reminds me, a little knife and a bunch of webbing can save your butt in the alpine.


In reply to:
If you need to bail, evaluate the gear - sometimes you gotta leave whatever's going to keep you alive.

so true


keithlester
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May 6, 2004, 9:03 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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I dont happen very often. dude, but if you has to bail, then you use all your skills and any or all of your gear if you has to. If you are insured for say 100,000 green, then someone must figure you're worth that much.

What's your gear worth?

If you have to RAP, dont leave the lightest cheapest piece behind. Build a safe anchor, just like a belay, and make it as bomber as you can. Then Rap off it like it was eggs. A retreat is not the time for being Gung-ho.

Like I said, though, it dont happen very often.


imnotbob


May 6, 2004, 9:24 AM
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depends on the route but always something worth evaluationg BEFORE you start your climb.

If it's just a single pitch and you have to bail - leave what you have to to get down safe. There is most likely an easier way to the top - rap down to clean later.

If that is not an option, look on the bright side - you get to go gear shopping!


-Bottom line though is do it safe so you can climb again another day


tedc


May 6, 2004, 9:44 AM
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In reply to:
...If you have to RAP, dont leave the lightest cheapest piece behind. Build a safe anchor,
YES

In reply to:
... just like a belay...
NO

Belay and rapel anchors are different beasts. A belay anchor needs to hold 5-10 times the force of a rapel anchor. Redundance is still key in a rapel anchor just to account for any error in your judgment of the individual pieces but you don't have to go nuts on the strength part.

It is frustrating (and sometimes costly$) trying to get down something with someone who will only rap of a multi piece 22KN anchor.

Of course it's worse climbing with someone who thinks that an old tattered rap station is acceptable for the belay.


petsfed


May 6, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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If you're just not good enough (and its not got long stretches of run out slabs), aid to the walk off/rap anchors. If its life threatening (hail, lightning, heavy rain, snow, etc) leave what you need to. Its just gear. However, a light drizzle is not life threatening. If you leave a cam over half an inch of snow, whoever retrieves that sucker deserves it more than you do!


sspssp


May 6, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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Build what you consider to be the minimum anchor to rap off of (which may be one stoppper or three cams--this is a risk assessment/judgement call). Back this up with more pieces for a "belay style" anchor. Have the first person rap off the minimum anchor with the back up anchor connected loosely (all the weight is on the minimum anchor). The first person should be heavier and/or bounce more. Clean the backup anchor and have the second rap down.

Is it worth rapping off just one stopper. Generally no, but if you are looking at a lot of raps all off of natural gear, you might have to worry about running out of gear before you get down. Not usually an issue, but something to keep in mind.


alpnclmbr1


May 6, 2004, 11:54 AM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I'm not a trad climber, but I'm very interested in learning. After reading a similar sport thread (http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iewtopic.php?t=58998), I'm curious to know how often everyone bails on trad routes and what - if any - tricks there are to bailing without leaving behind that valuable gear while working a route. Anyone had to leave some favorite pieces of gear behind?

In the context of the sport climbers bail thread.

Trad climbers do not bail that way. It would be a lot more dangerous and expensive. Sport climbers do this a lot, a trad would downclimb and back clean or find a way around the hard section. Whatever it takes to not have to leave anything.


Partner p_grandbois


May 7, 2004, 10:30 PM
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Everyone is so technical when all they wanted was a few tricks to do it, straight up, not KN this and KN that, the guy wants knowledge, not a science lesson. Buld it tough and build it to last the length of the rap. The cliche is that your life is not worth your gear and everyone elses, it is true. Use your common sense, and do the logical thing. Build of what you can and with the best placements you can. I am still pretty new to the game and have been tradding for about 2 years and have never had to leave a peice, once I was close, but I walked around, found an easy little climb and soloed up, rapped down got my peice and left nothing more that a peice of webbing.

Common sense may not be that common these days but it is a must have to Rock climb, especially trad, it will come, you will learn the trade, like anything else, just don't get overwhelmedby the extras, concentrate on the important thing, for a beginner, experience...

.......go ahead attack and argue with me.....it seems like that is how all these threads end, might as well make this one the same as everyone else, get off topic and make personal attacks


Partner coldclimb


May 7, 2004, 10:55 PM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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I can definately see that life is worth more than gear.

But...

It would be completely stupid to say "Oh crap, we gotta bail. Quick, find a placement for every piece we've got. We gotta survive, we gotta make the anchor bomber, the gear isn't worth dying for!"

Use your head. Leave as little as you can or care to leave. It seems to me that it's more personal preference than any real science, which is, coincidentally, what the majority of flame wars on this site are about. :wink:


nthusiastj


May 7, 2004, 11:01 PM
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Re: Bailing on a Trad Route [In reply to]
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I believe that it was MtnGeo that coined the phrase "deproach". You approach the route and climb until you feel done. Then you deproach. Bailing just sounds so uninspired...


keithlester
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May 8, 2004, 6:55 AM
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In reply to:
I believe that it was MtnGeo that coined the phrase "deproach". You approach the route and climb until you feel done. Then you deproach. Bailing just sounds so uninspired...

Do you mean dis-inspired :twisted:


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