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climberchaz


Sep 29, 2004, 3:45 PM
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Big Wall Gear Questions?
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After recently bailing off my first wall attempt I realized that I might have taken to much gear. I know about all the standard stuff you need but the main question is how many free biners should you take on a trade route. I took about 30 standard free biners and 10 free lockers, but I rarely used any of them except at belays. In the Big Walls book they say 40 free biners. Could you guys give me some feedback on this from your expirinces. Also I normally carry 10 shoulder legnth slings tripled to make quickdraws on my trad rack, I was wondering if if should carry these the same way on a wall, or seperate the biners and the slings.
Thanks!!!!!!


bandycoot


Sep 29, 2004, 3:56 PM
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I can't stress the "it depends" -ness of this enough. My first wall was Half Dome RNWF. I brought NO free carabiners (I had carabiners dedicated to anchor materials). Most of the route goes free, why would I want clutter when I'm trying to find a plug a piece? There was some aid, I just back cleaned since it is C1 with maybe 2 somewhat sketchy moves and they aren't in a row. With back cleaning I just left the slings for free climbing on those pieces left behind. If you're doing a very aid intensive climb with lots of fixed gear then biners for those fixed pieces would be nice, but it completely depends on the climb!

Josh


bandycoot


Sep 29, 2004, 3:57 PM
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Just a thought, it probably wasn't 40 carabiners that made you fail. Look to cut down weight other ways, even if this means going during a time of year you need less water or a wall that doesn't require a porta-ledge.

Josh


Partner holdplease2


Sep 29, 2004, 3:57 PM
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Did you bail off before you hauled/bivied? Hauling and bivying is where all those free biners and lockers come in handy. You don't have to carry more than half of them on your person when you are leading. This would be weighty, for sure.

Was it your haul bag stuff that was too much for you or did you find it impossible to "climb" with all of that weight on?

If it was climbing that was the problem: Consider using a "tag" rack if you are solo or leaving plenty of gear at the belay and having your second send up a "rack refreshment" mid pitch by clipping gear onto your trail line.

My "too much crap trap" is usually pro. Too many nuts (do you really need more than 2 sets? Maybe if its super thin, too small for cams) Do you typically need more than 2, sometimes 3 cams in every size if you backclean? Probably just on special pitches which are often noted on the topo.

I have "tagged" a rack on my most recent 25 pitches of aid...I climb with about 10 pounds of gear on my body and don't even attach the haul line to my harness...I attach it to the tag rack.

I recently decided to aid climb in a full rack with a spare line (thin) on my back. This is how I used to do it, after all...but never again! I decided I'd rather skip the climb altogether than suffer under the weight of a full aid rack and trail line.

Be aware that nothing can create more of a clusterf*ck than running out of biners. Then you start clipping multiple things into the same locker/biner at belays, things get tangled, things get trapped. This is the sure road to hell on a bigwall IMO.

-Kate.


atg200


Sep 29, 2004, 6:16 PM
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most of my aid climbing is on desert towers and not on walls(though i do both), so keep that in mind for my descriptions.

i don't use very many spare biners anymore, and what i do use are mostly for belays(hauling, clipping off water bottles, ledge if i'm using it, etc). nearly all of my cams aside from spares i don't expect to use are racked on single biners. i also carry a good assortment of tripled slings and shorter sewn quickdraws, and depending on the climb anywhere from 2 to 15 yates screamers. i don't generally carry more than 15 quickdraws total, but i also clip directly in to the racking biner on the cams as much as rope drag will allow. if i was in yosemite and placing more nuts, i would carry more slings. i very rarely pull the racking biner off the cams in order to make cleaning and reracking them in the right place easier(i also use very light biners like neutrinos for cams to keep the weight and clutter down).

in general, i bring about 10-15 extras on most 1 day tower routes. on multiday routes where i haul, i bring more like 30. if i expect to nail a lot, i bring quite a few more. i also like to have about 10 loose locking biners besides all the ones dedicated to my grigri, hauling device, daisys, etc. locking biners always seem to vanish when you want them most.

i doubt too many biners caused you to bail - it takes a lot of biners to weigh as much as one full water bottle. what caused me and just about everybody else to bail off their first walls is a combination of being light duty and just not being dialed. just expect to suffer, and remember that the more you do it the easier it gets.


iamthewallress


Sep 29, 2004, 6:39 PM
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Here are some things I do to cut weight.

1. The Supertopo usually tells you to bring a lot more gear than you need. On C1/C2 typically you can get away with no more than two each cams, and a couple sets of nuts. (Yosemite is what I'm thinking about...Not sandstone.)

2. Backclean. Remember if it's C1/C2, the piece you are on is probably not going to pull, and if it does, there's decent stuff underneath you. I tend to leave nuts and keep my cams b/c they place and remove easier for leapfrogging.

3. This one doesn't set well with some of my larger or more weight tolerant partners, but lose rope weight. I'm 120 lbs, so I feel that my risk on a 9.7 is kinda like a 200lb guys on a 10.5. If I'm doing a hauling type of thing, I prefer a 10 mm lead and a 9 mm static haul. Static is lighter.

4. If you tag a lot on your first C1/C2 wall, you are probably more likely to CF and bail. Some manage it, but keeping it simple can be better than keeping it light.

5. Drop the cash on the neutrinos, lighweight lockers, and other light gear if you can. It does add up.

6. You'll drop roughly a pound if your on-board water supply is .5L instead of 1L and 2 lbs if you are camel enough to lead w/o it.

7. Skip the big wall harness.

8. Leave one jug and the gri-gri at the belay when you lead, if you'll be able to haul w/ just one.

9. You can cut down on biners by girthing your sling into the piece and just using one biner. It's not the very safest way, and you don't want to do this for your only decent piece before some long run out, but it's probably perfectly adequate much of the time. As for how many you need, figure out how many you'll need for the peices that you think you'll leave, and how many each belay will take. Then add 10. At some point, I prefer the convenience of having them over the burden of the weight.

10. Free climb in your wall shoes if you can. Bring light shoes like moccassyms if you can't.

These are all pretty minor, but it adds up to quite a few lbs.

Practice will make your rack lighter, and it will also make it matter less if you don't get it as light as you might have. Good luck with your next attempt!

M


Partner coylec


Sep 29, 2004, 7:09 PM
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9. You can cut down on biners by girthing your sling into the piece and just using one biner. It's not the very safest way, and you don't want to do this for your only decent piece before some long run out, but it's probably perfectly adequate much of the time. As for how many you need, figure out how many you'll need for the peices that you think you'll leave, and how many each belay will take. Then add 10. At some point, I prefer the convenience of having them over the burden of the weight.

I'm glad you pointed out the risk in girth-hitching slings. Here's the reason why its not the best idea:

Chris Harmston (BD) did some testing on girth hitching with slings, showing it weakened them considerably.

In reply to:
Sample 1: 2- 5/8" Spectra Runners Girth hitched: Failed at 3678 lbs,
at the Girth Hitch knot. This is 1492 lbs below our 3 Sigma rating of 5170
lbs.

Sample 2: 2- 9/16" Nylon Runners Girth hitched: Failed at 3191 lbs, at
the Girth Hitch knot. This is 630 lbs below our 3 Sigma rating of 3821
lbs.

However, 3191 lbs is still 14kN ...

coylec


russwalling


Sep 29, 2004, 7:20 PM
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Girth hitched slings are rated at 1.36 times the bursting limit of your spleen. Put your worries somewhere else.


iamthewallress


Sep 29, 2004, 7:22 PM
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However, 3191 lbs is still 14kN ...

Exactly...So as long as you don't take a winger with the pig on your back on the WFofLT, you probably won't bite it b/c you ran out of biners and started girthing your slings to your alien stem.


lazide


Sep 29, 2004, 7:29 PM
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Girth hitched slings are rated at 1.36 times the bursting limit of your spleen. Put your worries somewhere else.

but russ, that is only like a 36% spleen-rupture margin! Think of the children!!

:lol:


atg200


Sep 29, 2004, 10:10 PM
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losing rope weight is a way bad idea in my opinion, and especially if you climb in the desert - it is really easy to chop a beefy rope jugging on even a slightly rounded edge. there is no way in hell i would ever jug a 9.7 lead line, especially somwhere roadside like yosemite or zion. i can't imagine bailing off a wall because the rope weighed too much.


climberchaz


Sep 30, 2004, 12:48 AM
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Thanks for the Input!
Just to clarify, we did'nt bail due to lack of biners or any other lack of gear. IT was mainly because there were too many people on the route ahead of us and not being in proper shape.
I appreciate all of your comments though!


cjcalls


Sep 30, 2004, 7:01 AM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the Input!
Just to clarify, we did'nt bail due to lack of biners or any other lack of gear. IT was mainly because there were too many people on the route ahead of us and not being in proper shape.
I appreciate all of your comments though!

What? You didn't make reservations first. You should have called first. Park service would have keep everyone else off the wall for you.


cdb1386


Sep 30, 2004, 8:07 AM
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What route was it?


lambone


Sep 30, 2004, 8:28 AM
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chaz, was that you on Leaning tower this weekend? If so we shared the belay together at the top of P2. Sounded to me like you had some heat exaustion, sorry to hear it...you made a good call by bailing though.

let me know if it was you and I can give you some pointers from my observation.

by the way, we toped out at 2am....wouldn't have happened if we couldn't have passed you guys, thank you.

Matt


iamthewallress


Sep 30, 2004, 9:29 AM
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In reply to:
losing rope weight is a way bad idea in my opinion, and especially if you climb in the desert - it is really easy to chop a beefy rope jugging on even a slightly rounded edge. there is no way in hell i would ever jug a 9.7 lead line, especially somwhere roadside like yosemite or zion. i can't imagine bailing off a wall because the rope weighed too much.

How much do you weigh though? Me on a 9.7 is probably no worse than you on a 10. I would never try to talk a big partner into a skinny rope...Well I wouldn't try too hard anyway.

I'd be really interested to see a stat about how much slower a 10.5 or 10 would cut under a jugging style sawing motion over an edge. Whatever the rope size...keeping the rope off of the edges is key, for sure.

I've jugged the entire Nose twice on a 9.7. It was always a calculated risk, and we were always really careful about paying attention to where it was running. Although it deserves an age related retirement now, that rope is still in good shape. If I knew I was going to be someplace really jaggy or was going to fix someplace for which I had no info, I might want bigger.

I don't know if I'd bail over the rope weight alone, but I really do struggle under the weight of the ropes and gear at the end of a pitch. It's wears on me as much if not more than any other thing when I'm on a wall.


atg200


Sep 30, 2004, 10:15 AM
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i 6'1" and weigh 175 or so, though i used to be well over 200 when i did most of my aid climbing. i really like being lighter when i'm jugging or on bad gear, but it sure is a bummer when i'm hauling. the weight of the rope doesn't really bother me, but i think you are right that my extra heft probably makes it a lot more bearable.

i climb mostly in the desert, and out here i am more worried about ropes being abraded over time then cut over something sharp. on a lot of towers the rope runs over lots of bulges where there really isn't anything you can do it about it, and the sand really tears at them. i don't climb with anything but 10.5 mm edelweiss stratos lines anymore because everything else i've used just gets torn up too fast.

personally, i like my lead lines to be as fat and abrasion resistant as possible just because i am scared and the fat lines sure look stronger. if i was doing more wall in a day speed climbing i would probably be interested in using a skinnier line(though i don't think i would go any lighter than a 10.2), but for everyday workhorse stuff i want it fat. and i would especially recommend relatively inexperienced wall climbers to use fat lines just because it takes awhile and a lot of pitches before you can really pay attention to rope management and edge avoidance while leading. i know on my first outings i was really gripped about the climbing and the exposure, and i wasn't considering the poor bastard who had to jug the lead line enough. rookie mistake i know, but i suspect most if not all of us started out that way if we are being honest with ourselves.


lambone


Sep 30, 2004, 10:34 AM
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If you guys are talking about safety of ropes and realative "bounciness," I think you need to think about some other rope properties besides diameter and your own body weight.

For instance, what is the static elongation value of the rope? What is the % sheath slippage? How thick is the sheath? Is there a core filiment that prevents the rope from completely severing over an edge?

These factors are all more important than the diameter. For example, Sterling makes a rope called the Marathon with a sheath that is twice as thick as a standard rope sheath, offered in 9.5 mil with a very low static elongation. And my 9 mil Edlewise Stratos is probly safer then alot of 11 mil ropes because it has a burly sheath and a mono filliment that allows it to pass the UIAA edge test.

For alot of ropes, in order to increase the diameter of the rope all they do is add one more twisted strand of kernmantle, which when you are talking about a rope being severed over an edge, that one extra strand isn't going to do much for you if the rope has been damaged to that point.

Ok, sorry to go so far off topic.


Partner holdplease2


Sep 30, 2004, 10:42 AM
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SToD: Jugging

For a rope to cut over an edge during jugging, I bet it usually has to be sawing up and down due to jugging movements. The more it saws, the more likely you are to have a problem

For new aid climbers, Jugging can be an awkward, bouncy experience.

Focus on jugging so smoothly that the rope isn't bouncing up and down any more than necessary. Its not that hard and it may improve your overall efficiency and prolong the life of your rope AND yourself.

-Kate.


crotch


Sep 30, 2004, 10:47 AM
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No need for full-strength biners for you food bag, water bottles, gloves, and other miscellany. I try to have a surplus of $1 home despot keychain biners for clipping stuff off at the end of the day. And like all other biners, I never seem to have enough of them around dinner time.


iamthewallress


Sep 30, 2004, 11:21 AM
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In reply to:
If you guys are talking about safety of ropes and realative "bounciness," I think you need to think about some other rope properties becides diameter and your own body weight.

Ok, sorry to go so far off topic.

I think that they were great points. I awarded you a trophy.


waynski


Sep 30, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Just a couple things from an old school wall climber:
1) Water sure weighs a lot, but I now suffer from kidney problems that I'm sure are related to not having enough water at that level of exertion. When you are young you think you can do anything, but you will pay.
2) I never realized how much unnecessary gear I carried until a partner dropped half of our wall rack half way up the Tang. Trip. Carrying alot of gear on a wall adds a certain sense of security in a "what if" sort of way.


iamthewallress


Sep 30, 2004, 11:57 AM
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i know on my first outings i was really gripped about the climbing and the exposure, and i wasn't considering the poor bastard who had to jug the lead line enough. rookie mistake i know, but i suspect most if not all of us started out that way if we are being honest with ourselves.

This is kind of a bleed over from the SToD thread, I guess...

My first outing rapidly devolved in to me taking the jug betty role, and man-oh-man, was I ever aware of my partners errors with the way the rope was run.

Judicious use of runners can be helpful for keeping the rope off of edges, and this is a good reason not to try to go too light on biners or runners.

Short fixing before an edge if bomber gear can be a mind-rester.

Also, if the leader has a slung pencil with a nice little role of duct tape on it, everyone on the team can have a bit more peice of mind while the jaggy pitch is being cleaned. The second, of course, should remove the tape.


lambone


Sep 30, 2004, 12:21 PM
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The second, of course, should remove the tape.

nah, better to just leave it...somebody else is going to need it there anyway. Unless you are on some wilderness route. IMHO


iamthewallress


Sep 30, 2004, 12:34 PM
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In reply to:
The second, of course, should remove the tape.

nah, better to just leave it...somebody else is going to need it there anyway. Unless you are on some wilderness route. IMHO

For a lot of popular starter routes in Yosemite there's already so much trash and a low incidence of people sawing through their ropes despite a high incidence of cluelessness. A little tape can ease your seconds mind, but I just might think it's litter when I come through...And if I think it's a place where tape would be good, I can add and then remove my own. It seems that residue gets the worst when tape rots in place over time. Besides, there's so much dead duct tape at the bases of these climbs...I'd rather see it all get packed out every time.

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