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Dr. Pitons's Ultimate Big Wall Checklist

Submitted by passthepitonspete on 2003-05-10 | Last Modified on 2010-02-26

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Like how's it goin', eh?

So here you are, yet again, at DR. PITON'S ULTIMATE BIG WALL CHECKLIST! With something in the neighboUrhood of five thousand hits, you are evidently not alone!

Please feel free to print off this checklist, and use it for your own big wall plans! Why go to the bother of making your own checklist when you can use this one instead? I mean, *I* sure as hell wouldn't bother if I were you! Sheesh.

Below you will find my actual working copy of the checklist Tom and I are using to prepare for our ascent of Bermuda Dunes on the Southwest Face of El Cap which we hope to begin around May 21, 2003. It's also my plan to make a solo ascent of Gulf Stream, a new wave A4 that has seen few ascents and is rated PDH/DFU. Gulf Stream runs up the "east coast" of the North America Wall on the Southeast Face of El Capitan in spectacular Yosemite National Park.

Make it your goal

In this article you will find listed every single damn thing I bring with me, along with detailed explanations for each. The purpose of this article is to provide you with a central repository of information that will be linked to various posts that I have prepared, and that I will be preparing.

Please feel free to post questions in the Aid Climbing Forum relating to systems or gear. Before you do so, however, I ask that you please send me a PM, just to make sure we're not duplicating our effort, or in case I've missed a link somewhere. Please do not clutter the forum with posts I won't be able to answer immediately!

Now that I have finally completed my Index to Dr. Piton Stuff, you can [along with this article] find most everything I've written with considerable ease. Note that all of the PHOTOS ARE LINKS TO THEMSELVES, so be sure to CLICK ON THEM if you would like more information, or to vote and leave a comment.[HINT]

So here you have it! Stay vell-organicized, and enjoy.


"Pass the Pitons" Pete and Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab

aka Dr. Piton - now a Senior Contributing Editor with his own page at ROCK & ICE MAGAZINE!

[Many thanks to Russman and the Great and Powerful Ooze for their assistance in "HTML-izing" my list, and to my mother for having me.]

Please note:

Anywhere you see bold text* with an asterisk, you will find a footnote of explanation at the bottom of the page. Please SCROLL DOWN to the footnote.


LEFT - Stuff left in California at Hans Florine's place to avoid overweight baggage expenses on the airplane

STUFF IN LIGHT BLUE - These are notes to Tom - this is sorta the colour of the Blue Whale. If you are not aware that pigs CAN fly, then you should click here to find out.

STUFF IN ORANGE - New for this year, stuff in my basement

* * * * *

NEW 1 x 68m x 10.5mm - Lead rope (blue - new May/03)
LEFT 1 x 60m x 10.5mm - Lead rope (turquoise - new May/01) *Good for fixing only after seven walls
LEFT 1 x 10m x 11mm - Solo tag extension
LEFT 1 x 62m x 10mm - Static haul line (white/blue Highline new Aug/01) *Probably OK for another couple walls - not too badly abraded*
LEFT 1 x 15m x 5/16" - Wall Flower line (cheapy Crappy Tire Cord)
1 x 20m x 5mm - Lower-out line (blue)
1 x 27m x 5mm - Lower-out line (red)

LEFT [Note: Above two lines are combined into 47m zip line* (blue North Face bag)]

TOM - Let's get a Zipline Extension - I want to lead more in blocks since we've got the longer rope. Can you pick up some 5mm cord or equivalent? I would say get about another 25m, eh?

LEFT 5 different-coloured catch lines* (2 on [yellow SMC], 3 on [ML]* )
Lead rope and solo tag extension bag - green Mountain Tools Feedbag [ML] (permanently on solo tag rack)
1 Knot protector* for lead rope above solo tag rack fifi

LOST Haul line bag (red Mountain Tools Feedbag) [DUDE! You frickin' OWE ME a haul line bag! Can you come up with something?? I don't want to sacrifice one of my Fish bags again. Lemme know...] We really should have a total of four haul line bags!

2 Knot protectors for each end of haul line (switch ends each pitch)

* * * * *

The Island In The Sky - Pacific Ocean Wall

Waking up after a good night's sleep on the Island in the Sky - Pacific Ocean Wall - May, 1997


Green synthetic* pit*
Blue compression sack
Blue Goretex bivi sack (DID I LEAVE YELLOW ONE? ** CHECK MY BASEMENT!! **)
Portaledge - clipped into purple sling in bag [old orange] on catch line [ML] (ENTIRE BED NEEDS REPLACING, WEE-WEE FLAG NEEDS SEWING!)

Crab-O-Ledge on Mammoth Terraces

Crab-O-Ledge on Mammoth Terraces during my ascent of Jolly Roger - September, 1999

Tent pole for fly (in portaledge bag [ML])
LEFT Big wall sponge* (stored in fly bag)

* * * * *

PTPP Hooking P2 Lunar Eclipse

Russian Aiders and Adjustable Daisies at work on Lunar Eclipse - September, 2002. Photo by spike


Personal Stuff

LEFT Big wall harness with harness modifications*
LEFT Kong adjustable fifi on slippery 6mm cord (REPLACE WITH NEW ONE I BOUGHT)

Kong Adjustable Fifi tied to Harness

Correctly rigged Adjustable Fifi on Yates Big Wall Harness - photo by hans

LEFT 2 yellow* and blue Metolius adjustable daisies
2 pairs Russian Aiders
2 Aider lockers
2 Aider standards {purple Petzl Spirits}*
Gri-gri [blue autolocker*] (front R harness rack)
LEFT Backup knot sewn sling [green autolocker]
Ascender locker [blue gate Clog] - stays on front of harness
Ascender storage locker [BD Airlock] - (front R harness rack)
Ascenders (handled jug and Croll - pre-rigged for Frog System) (Upcoming Tech Tip in Climbing Mag!)

LEFT First "good" Wall Hauler [Petzl oval locker] - (back R harness rack):
    used for pulling up zipped stuff from your partner, or for pulling up your solo tag rack; a Petzl Traxion or Pro-Traxion would probably work better, but I don't own one yet
Yosemite hammer and maillon rapide on green shoulder-length sling
Funkness device (CHECK BASEMENT?!)
2 Beater crabs
Pouch [mauve BDB]
  • Penlight

  • Ibuprofen

  • Headlamp as needed
Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab and harness [BDA] - (front L harness) plus:
  • Topos (map seal, duct tape, clip-in loop on bottom) (MAKE UP TOPOS FOR BERMUDA DUNES AND GULF STREAM)

Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab

Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab

LEFT Nut pick {pink lightweight - busted?} - (front L harness rack) (CHECK BASEMENT!)
Personal rack [BDA] - (front L harness rack) with:
  • ATC

  • Duct tape on 3mm cord

  • Big wall gloves

  • Swiss army knife and cord

  • Lighter
Spare gear stored:
  • Spare 2m x 6mm adjustable fifi hook cords
  • Spare Rope Ratchet on cord
  • Spare rolls of duct tape on 3mm cord
  • Spare big wall gloves
  • Spare funkness
  • LEFT Spare nut pick
  • LEFT Spare Petzl hammer
  • Mini-Mag penlight
Helmet (remove carbide lamp bracket for caving)
Guide Almighty big wall shoes
Rock shoes*
Knee pads and spares (BUY NEW KNEE PADS!)

Page One Footnotes

[ ]
    Square brackets indicate locking crab. Virtually all of my lockers are designated for a specific purpose. You can never have too many lockers on a wall!

    "Mexican Locker" which is a standard carabiner with the gate duct-taped shut. Tear off a piece of duct tape half the width of the roll and about four inches long. After you wrap the gate connection three or four times, be sure to fold over the end of the tape on itself so you have something to grab when you unwrap it later.

Catch Lines
    Catch lines are approximately 2m-long cords either 5mm, 6mm or 7mm in diameter with figure 8 clip-in loops tied on each end. You make them from a piece about 3m long. They are used to hang stuff called "subloads" on the outside of your haulbag so you don't have to try to stuff these subloads inside. They are called catch lines because they sometimes catch on slabs. It is an established truth that a haulbag is never big enough to fit everything you bring.

    If you are clipping gear to the bottom of your haulbag in the traditional way, then you are doing it the stupid way. Catch lines are the better way because they allow you to simply pull stuff up you need, instead of having to do the upside-down-struggle to grab stuff, which you could easily drop during your contortions. You should never clip stuff directly to the bottom of your haulbag NEVER!

    Things I hang from my catchlines include my portaledge bag (empty of portaledge, which is flagged on the haul line, but containing the tent pole for the fly), the portaledge fly bag, a garbage bag, my "Grade V" subbag containing lightweight gear, an olive barrel full of beer, and sometimes my sleeping bag compression sack and my clothes compression sack. Make sure these compression sacks are absolutely bomber and are attached in at least two places to maintain redundancy.

    Make sure that whatever you hang from catch lines is lightweight enough that you can easily lift it with one hand. It is no fun, and not very smart, to try to haul up fifty pounds of gear hanging in your Grade V subbag!

    Tom Approaches 5 Cape Wild Bivi

    Catch Lines on Scorched Earth

    Sometimes if you are hauling on slabs, you might want to put an extra loop in your catch line and use an extra carabiner to clip the catch line to the strap on the bottom of your haulbag. This will keep your sub-loads directly beneath the haulbag. The catch lines must be long enough so that the subloads hang below, not beside, your haulbag(s). If you want to pull up a subload, you will have to first unclip it from beneath the haulbag. But because the subload is on the end of the catch line, at least you can't drop it during the unclip process.

    Make sure you use different coloured catch lines or you will be forever guessing which one to pull up! Colour code your subloads for instance, I hang my blue sleeping bag compression sack on the blue catch line. Something like your portaledge bag or your portaledge fly, which you are unlikely to need during the climb, is ideally attached to the end of the catch line with a Mexican locker. This will free up a regular locker.

    Anything on a catch line must be able to withstand being dragged up a slab. Don't put anything sharp inside of a subbag or you will wear a hole through it. One bad haul is all it takes.

    You can click here to catch onto Catch Lines!

Zip Line
    This is a thin line used to "zip" gear up and down to the leader. It is only used when you have a partner. You will not use it during a solo - you will be using your Solo Tag Rack.

    It can be extremely handy to use a juggable and rappelable 8mm zip line which I did with my partner Nick on Sea of Dreams. It can be used to fix pitches very handily.

    It is also very clever to have a Petzl Mini-Traxion pre-rigged on the top of your zip line for pulling stuff up. Clip it by a designated locker to your harness. This is a key link so you must use a locker.

Knot Protector
    A two litre plastic pop bottle with only the bottom cut out. Leave it long! Big Wall Theorists use only the top of the bottle.

    Brit slang for kipping bag

Where You'll Find Us at Night

Pete in his ledge, and Wee-Wee in his ledge
    To sleep

    Do NOT bring a down bag on a wall or you may die by freezing to death when it gets wet! If you take advantage of the free rescue service in Yosemite, but they find out you brought a down pit, then you will be charged for your rescue! This will cost you $big bucks.

    My length ultralite Thermarest has served me well for over twelve years. Don't waste time and money buying their repair kit - you can patch it permanently and easily with Seam Grip. This thing is so small you can take it anywhere, yet you can sleep on solid rock in total comfort. Any fool can be uncomfortable!

Portaledge Fly
    When I bought my fly, I sealed the seams inside and out with Seam Grip. It took me five tubes and eight hours. Then I recoated the outside with sealant. It does not leak.

Emerging after the storm on Excalibur - May, 2002

Big Wall Sponge
    For sopping up water on your ledge when it rains. Buy a new one, not a soapy one you stole from your mom's sink. If you use one from the sink, you will end up with bubbles everywhere. Sheesh.

Harness Modifications
    Ask Dr. Piton. LINK THIS to discussion in Aid Climbing Forum under title of Moving Systems.

    I wanted two different coloured adjustable daisies, but they only had one colour in the store. They come in blue and yellow. Get one of each.

{ }
    Standard (non-locking) crab designated for a specific purpose.

    Your belay device, regarless of which type of device you use, should be on a reliable auto locker. This way it is always locked! Duh. The one I use has very sweet curves that allow easy rotation of the Gri-gri. If you are going to be alone on the wall for a couple weeks, it is better to fondle sweet curves.

    Topos must be prepared in the following way.

    Take the photocopy of the topo from the guidebook and cover the back with duct tape.

    Next get a product called Map Seal, available at sports store or map store, and lightly coat the front side of the topo. If you're impatient, dry it with a hair dryer. This will render the topo impermeable, yet still allow you to write notes on it with a ballpoint pen. Clever, eh? This product will also make your topo maps for camping and fishing last almost forever.

    Lastly, put a clip-in loop made from 3mm cord or shoelace in the BOTTOM of the topo. This way when it is hanging from your harness, you can lift it to read it right side up. Reinforce the hole with 3 extra layers of duct tape on both sides. Note that Big Wall Theorists can be easily identified by their clip-in loops on the top of their topos.

Rock Shoes
    For those rare occasions when I may be forced to come out of Free Climbing Retirement. Not required for many aid routes, thank goodness! (or at least the ones I choose to solo!) Frig. I just saw the topo to Bermuda Dunes. Gads, what the heck is wrong with me?! There's some HARD free climbing! Sheesh. Guess I'd better practise a bit, eh?

Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab models the latest in climbing footwear

Gear Racks

LEFT Modified Big Wall Lead Rack* and tethers
LEFT Zodiac cleaner's rack and tethers
LEFT Solo tag rack*
[purple BDB] - connects lead line to top of solo tag rack fifi
[blue BDB] - connects top of haul line to solo tag rack

Looking down on the Island in the Sky on Day 6 of Pacific Ocean Wall - May, 1997

Far End Hauler, Haul Bags, Hauling and Belays

Suspension Point arranged as Far End Hauler, and listed from top down:

LEFT Inverted Wall Hauler* [Petzl oval locker]
LEFT Gold Petzl swivel
Master suspension point locker [big autolocker of JK's]
Transient haul line backup locker [big old locker of JK's]
2 Quadrupled standard slings* (formed into inverted "Y" * )
Metolius Chief haulbag suspension point [green autolocker]
LEFT? Metolius Chief docking tether (5m x 7mm doubled with fig 8 in middle, used with load release knot)
Designated docking tether crab [ML] on Chief suspension point
LEFT First transient catch lines locker [ML] - catch lines are too crowded on only one locker!
Metolius Chief haulbag* w/haul bag strap load release knot cord *
(2.5m x 6mm) permanently attached to shorter haulbag strap Blue foamy liner*
Carboard bottom protector
LEFT? Haul bag internal daisy*


Far End Hauler rigged and ready to fly on Lunar Eclipse - September, 2002
Please click the photo for detailed explanation

Metolius El Cap suspension point [green autolocker]
LEFT? Metolius El Cap docking tether (5m x 7mm doubled with fig 8 in middle, used with load release knot)
Designated docking tether crab [ML] on El Cap suspension point
LEFT Second transient catch lines and wall flower line locker [yellow SMC]
Metolius El Cap haul bag w/haul bag strap load release knot cord permanently attached
Blue foamy liner
Cardboard bottom protector
LEFT Haul bag internal daisy
LEFT Fish Grade V sub-bag [green autolocker] w/haul bag strap load release knot cord permantently attached
Note: Grade V sub-bag though OK needs duct tape repair, but blue drawstring closure is toast
Blue foamy liner
Cardboard bottom protector

LEFT 2:1 Hauling Ratchet:
    LEFT Hauling ratchet cord (3m x 6mm blue)
    LEFT Hauling ratchet locker [black Petzl Spirit]
    LEFT First red Petzl pulley with 7mm cord tied through in as short a loop as possible
    LEFT Second red inverted Petzl pulley [Petzl oval]
    LEFT? Inverted Petzl Basic ascender* (CHECK BASEMENT!)
    LEFT Holding ratchet hanging device (shortest F.R.O.S.T. draw) [old HB caver locker]
    LEFT First "good" Wall Hauler (same one I carry on my personal harness)

2:1 Hauling Ratchet - photo by spike.

LEFT NEW Kong-Bonatti Roll Block*
LEFT 4 Cordalettes*
LEFT 4 Power point lockers* [big DMM]
1 Lead rope jugging crab [transient* Petzl ball autolocker]
2 Docking loops (directly into power point locker, short sewn or tied slings)
2 Docking lockers (for attaching docking tether with load release knot) [Petzl Attaches]
LEFT 1 S'mac-o-lette*
LEFT 1 S'mac-o-lette locker [big gold-grey locker of JK's]

Joebuzz and PTPP schlepping pigs to the base of Lunar Eclipse - September, 2002. Photo by spike.

Climbing Hardware



9 Small pitons:
  • 2 Big Peckers
  • 5 Beaks
  • 2 RURPs

15 Knifeblades:
  • 5 #1 short/thin
  • 3 #2 long/thin
  • 2 #3 short/thin Bugaboo
  • 2 #4 long/thin Bugaboo
  • 2 #5 short/med Bugaboo

17 Lost Arrows:
  • 4 #1 short/thin
  • 4 #2 short/med
  • 4 #3 short/thick
  • 1 #4 wedge
  • 2 #5 long/thin
  • 2 #6 long/med

13 Angles:
  • 1 1/2" baby
  • 2 1/2" sawed-off* baby
  • 2 5/8" stubby
  • 2 5/8" sawed-off stubby
  • 2 3/4" standard
  • 2 3/4" sawed-off standard
  • 1 1"
  • 1 1" sawed-off

  • 10 #1
  • 25 #2
  • 25 #3
  • 10 #4
  • 2 #5
  • 10 Assorted circleheads
NOTE: I have NO FRICKING CLUE how many heads are left in California! Will likely need to buy some heads in Yosemite. Bryan Law? Tucker? Klaus?

Scary heading above duct-taped Talon hooks for "pro" - Jolly Roger - September, 1999

Red beef bag to store heads (or as a hook bag??)
2 dulled chisels on cords
1 Big punch on cable wristloop FILE ROUNDED TIP FLAT!
2 Wire toothbrushes (for cleaning head placements)
9 Cinching rivet hangers*
5 RP hangers *** check caving gear! ***
5 Removable bolt hangers

  • 2 standard Grappling
  • 1 pointed* Grappling
  • 1 standard Sky

  • 2 pointed* Sky
  • 2 Cam
  • 2 Fish
  • 2 Captain
  • 3 Talon

NOTE: Everything above is LEFT except for 3 hooks [2 pointed Sky, 1 pointed Grappling] and maybe a couple pins

Hook bags* (??)
3-4 sets of wires (check Racking Labels*)

Note to readers:

I have WIRED STOPPERS FOR SALE! I have so frickin' many of the damn things I'd be happy to sell a few. Leave me a note on my "answering machine" in Camp 5. I've got all sizes - a bit beat up from being hammered out, but certainly functional.

Runout solo hooking on Native Son - May, 1999

Page Two Footnotes

Suspension Point, Haul Bags, Hauling and Belays

"Pinless" Wall Hauler
    The cheapy split ring on the older model cam apart, and I lost the damn pin for holding the cam shut. NEVER use a Wall Hauler without the cam pinned shut! The rope you are using to haul WILL pop out! This is not Big Wall Prophecy, it is Big Wall Truth. I used my pinless Wall Hauler inverted above my haul bag, and I duct-taped it shut. Fortunately, the new Wall Haulers are made with a swaged wire cable to hold the pin in place. Duh.
    DO NOT BUY A WALL HAULER! They are obsolete when compared against the Kong Block Roll - see below. While I have admittedly never used one, a Petzl Pro-Traxion is probably a better bet for use with a Far End Hauler, and for pulling up your Solo Tag Rack.

Standard Sling
    Regular shoulder-length sling

Inverted "Y"
    When I solo, I use two haulbags side by side as pictured above. Rig them with an inverted "Y" of slings as you see. Make sure the tops of the pigs are at the same level. Do not rig them one above the other as I have seen Big Wall Theorists routinely do! I shouted down to some BWT's on Zodiac once, and they fixed it on the next pitch, then shouted up to thank me. Sort of a "shouted mini-big wall tutorial"...

    I like Fish's portaledge, but his haulbags suck compared to Metolius or A5/North Face. At least the old style used to. I am not sure of what he has done to improve them. Jim Bridwell told me this, so I bought one. Good move. LISTEN to people who know stuff! [HINT]

Haul Bag Stap Load Release Knot Cord
    A Dr. Piton Original! For those tired of fighting carabiners on their seemingly always-overloaded haulbags. Shorten the shorter strap of the haulbag, and install a permanent load release knot cord, and tie the shorter strap to the main suspension point carabiner with a load release knot. Cool, eh?
Blue Foamy Liner
    Line your haulbags with a pre-cut and duct-taped hunk of closed cell foam like what is used for sleeping pads. If you do not line your haulbag with a foamy, you will wear holes in it! This is not Big Wall Prophecy, this is Big Wall Truth. Dr. Piton predicts that someday all haulbags will be sold with pre-installed foamy liners.

Haulbag Internal Daisy
    Made from hand-tied 4mm cord. Hangs inside the bag. Clip the contents into the daisy before you lift it out. Fighting your gear in and out of haulbags is a necessary chore at least this you way you can't drop anything, which you surely will if you do not make yourself one of these! It also builds redundancy into your system if your pig fails.

Fish Haul Bag
    By Russ' ledge, not his haulbag. His Grade V is OK as a subbag.

Petzl Basic Ascender
    This is the compact handle-less ascender cavers use. I prefer it to the regular handled ascender as my inverted ascender on my Hauling Ratchet since it will fit up tighter against the teeth of the "holding ratchet cam" when you pull the "Z" in the cord tight. And it's pronounced "zed", eh?

Kong-Bonatti Roll Block
    Or is it Block Roll? The Wall Hauler is a piece of crrrrap! It is poorly constructed, and not very strong at all! You need to take it off the frickin' crab just to get the rope in and out. Sheesh. The Kong-Bonatti Roll Block is truly the Better Way. It is beefier and stronger, with a bigger wheel for easier 1:1 hauling, and you can get the rope in and out without detaching it from its crab. The best part is you don't have to fight that stupid pin it has the same type of cam mechanism as Petzl ascenders.

    This puppy is Emphatically The Sh*t! It is highly recommended by Dr. Piton and wins the Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab Seal of Approval!

2:1 Hauling Ratchet made using a Kong Block Roll

    I usually use two power points on each belay station when I'm climbing with a partner. This keeps things less crowded. I have two different-coloured cordalettes for each station. One is made from a 6m loop of 7mm cord, the other from a 7m loop. The latter will clip up to four widely-spaced anchors. You can get away with one cordalette per station when soloing.

Power Point Locker
    You need one for each cordalette. Get the biggest honkin' wide-gate locker you can find! Once you close it, you should NOT have to open it again until you clean the belay. Maintain degrees of freedome and clip into it only with Transient Crabs.

Transient Crab
    Any carabiner you clip into your Power Point. This is preferable to opening and closing your Power Point Locker which may well be impossible under load, and it will also save you the indignity of hosing yourself behind a weighted crab!

    A handy-dandy sliding web-o-lette used to equalize three anchors, given to me by Chris McNamara for editing his Supertopos Big Wall Guidebook (after its publishing, unfortunately) and his Yosemite Classic Free Climbs. I just completed editing Chris Mac's newest SuperTopos release - Yosemite Valley Free Climbs.

Chris McNamara's thank you note for editing his SuperTopo guide

Climbing Hardware

    To make a sawed-off, use a hacksaw to cut off 40% of the blade of the pin. Then file the points smooth. Finding someone with a power saw would definitely be the Better Way! Do not buy those pre-made short pins which I believe are sold by Pika. They might work OK in limestone solution pockets, but I'll take a good ol' sawed-off angle any day for granite.

    You will use mostly #3 heads on easier routes, and #2 on harder. For all sizes bigger than #2, use aluminum. See my Jolly Roger photo for further explanation.

    Rack your heads on the same side of your rack as you rack pitons, rivet hangers and big cams. Hooks and wires generally go high on the front subracks of your rack. Do not mix any of these items with your small cams, or anthing else on a nylon sling the burrs on the head cables and rivet hanger cables will catch in your nylon.

    I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a vell-organicized rack! If you do not rack your rack correctly, and be consistent between you and your partner, you will have UTTER CHAOS! Learn how to do it the Better Way - reduce your Wank Factor and your changeover times. You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton how to rack your rack.

    Do yourself a favour - print off a copy of how to rack your rack, and save yourself heartache and clusterf*ckage.

The "Pseudo New Yorker" on Peanut Ledge - Zodiac - October, 1995

Cinching Rivet Hangers
    These rivet hangers are the Better Way and are shaped in the form of a letter "Y". They render traditional elliptically-shaped rivet hangers obsolete because they stay attached better, and can be removed easier. Do not buy any rivet hanger that is not the cinching type and shaped like the letter "Y".

Keyhole rivet hangers
    These things are also nice, but have to be unclipped to place over a rivet. Don't drop 'em!

    Tie each set of hooks with a different-coloured sling. Then you can rack each set on a single crab for redundancy. If you drop that crab, you are guaranteed not to drop all your hooks of the same kind. Dr. Piton highly recommends you do not drop your hooks. Please read of my ascents of Mescalito and Zenyatta Mondatta to understand why.

    Be certain you know the correct way to tie your slings! Tie them short - just big enough to fit a carabiner into with a bit of slack. One and a half inches is plenty! Any longer and you are sacrificing height.

    You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about the Better Way to sling hooks.

Pointed Hooks
    File into a near-point leaving about a quarter- to eighth-inch flat. This will give you tremendous bite. I'm thinking I should probably file all of my Sky and Grappling hooks. The flat tip isn't really a benefit, I don't think.

Hook Bags
    Store each set of hooks in a little drawstring bag that you put around the hooks when they are attached to their crab. This will save you endless heartache.

Leeper Cam Hook - photo by spike


25 Aliens*
  • 2 #0 black {purple helium} [FIXED BY TOM]
  • 2 hybrid black/blue {pinky} [PETE]
  • 1 hybrid black/blue [FIXED BY TOM]
  • 4 #1 blue {blue helium} [PETE]
  • 3 hybrid blue/green {purple/dark green helium} [PETE]
  • 3 #2 green {green} [PETE]
  • 2 hybrid green/yellow {yellow-green} [PETE]
  • 1 hybrid green/yellow {yellow-green} [TOM - NEW WIRES]
  • 2 #3 yellow {yellow} [PETE]
  • 3 #3 yellow {yellow} [FIXED BY TOM]
  • 2 hybrid yellow/red {yellow-red helium} [TOM - NEW WIRES]

3 Small Friends:
  • 1 hybrid #0/0.5 {yellow-green} [PETE]
  • 1 #1 flexible {yellow} [PETE]
  • 1 #1 1/2 {blue} [PETE - straighten bar]

2 Sm.HB Quadcams:
  • 1 #1 green {green} [TOM - new wires and trigger]
  • 1 #1 1/2 blue {blue} [FIXED BY TOM]

1 Sm. Metolius Quadcam:
  • 1 1" orange [TOM]

4 Medium Friends:
  • 2 #2 {red} [PETE]
  • 2 #2 1/2 {blue-green} [FIXED BY TOM]

A perfect placement for a medium Friend or Big Wall Crab
[Note: A Big Wall Crab will also be your friend!]

4 Big Friends:
  • 1 #3 {blue} [PETE]
  • 1 #3 1/2 {blue} DMM Quadcam [TOM - NEW WIRES]
  • 1 #3 1/2 {purple} [TOM - NEW TRIGGER BAR AND WIRES]
  • 1 #4 {green} [Eaten by the Poison Pill! Sheesh]

4 Camalots:
  • 1 #3/4 {green} [TOM - NEW TRIGGER RING]
  • 1 #1 {red} [FIXED BY TOM]
  • 1 #2 {gold} [FIXED BY TOM]
  • 1 #3 {blue} [FIXED BY TOM]

5 Big Camalots:
  • 1 #3.5 {grey} [PETE]
  • 1 #4 {black} [PETE]
  • 2 #4 {purple} [TOM]
  • 1 #5 {green} [TOM]
  • Note: 1 #5 Camalot missing from Hans'

11 Valley Giants:
  • 2 #7 aluminum
  • 4 #9 aluminum
  • 2 #9 composite
  • 2 #12 magnesium
  • 1 #16 composite

Tom attacks the monstrous cracks of Excalibur
with his #12 Valley Giant SLCD

2 Big Bros:
  • 1 #3 {blue} LEFT
  • 1 #4 {green} LEFT

Equalized Belay Anchors - #4 Camalot and #3 Big Wall Crab


~150 [?] Standards:
  • __ Old lightweight
  • __ Misc. old
  • __ Lucky black straight
  • _5 New Lucky red straight
  • 15 New Lucky straight
  • __ BD red gate
  • __ BD yellow gate
  • __ Lucky bent
  • __ DMM straight
  • __ DMM bent
  • __ Old bent
  • __ BD oval
  • __ Old oval
  • __ Petzl Spirit bent
  • __ Beaters

  • 1 Blue autolocker (Gri-gri)
  • 2 Grey Petzl ball autolockers (lead rope jugging crab, one is buggered)
  • 1 Blue clog (ascender locker, permanently on front of harness)
  • 4 Big Green autolockers (3 haul bags, -----)
  • 2 Big Gold autolockers {Backup locker on sewn sling, ----}NEW
  • 5 DMM big (4 Power points, ----? )
  • 1 Big gold-grey locker of JK's (S'mac-o-lette)
  • 1 Big autolocker of JK's ("Y" below swivel)
  • 1 Big old locker of JK's (transient haul line backup)
  • 1 Small gold-grey locker of JK's ( -----? )
  • __Black Diamond Bayonet [BDB]
  • 2 purple (portaledge bag, aider)
  • ? red ( ----? )
  • 1 green (aider)
  • 2 blue (ghetto blaster, sport camera)
  • 1 mauve (pouch)
  • 1 grey (Lowe Pro)
  • ~4 Petzl Attache (2 docking loops, 1 beater on fly, ----? )
  • 3 Petzl oval (inverted pulley, first Wall Hauler, inverted Wall Hauler)
  • 3 BD Airlock (Personal Rack, Ascender storage, Wee-Wee)
  • 1 Black Spirit (Hauling Ratchet)
  • 1 DMM small (Hauling Ratchet)
  • 1 Old orange (Portaledge)
  • 1 Yellow SMC (Catch lines)
  • 1 Old Omega (catch line)
  • 1 Old Bluewater (solo tag rack)
  • 1 Old HB caver locker (holding ratchet sling)
  • __ Whatever Tom has

Humpin' the pig down from El Cap's summit with Half Dome in background - May, 1997


  • Coloured short 9/16" tie-offs (made from 68 cm piece) (have 7m purple)
  • Long black 1/2" keepers (made from 75 cm piece)
  • Green 4mm keepers
  • Short sewn
  • Standard sewn
  • Double-length sewn
  • Screamers
  • Scream-Aids

NOTE: Do inventory of Screamers - do I need any more?

  • Solo prusik rebelay loops
  • 10 Standard sewn
  • 5 Double-length sewn
  • 2 Old daisies

Bolt Kit [PETE]

  • Yellow beef bag
  • Drill handle
  • Blow tube
  • 1/4" bits
  • S.S. Rivets [TOM]
  • 1/4" stainless bolts for beefing belays
  • 3 wrenches and cords (for drill handle and screwing in bolts)
  • 1/4" nuts
  • Spare Petzl hammer*
  • **Note: Not bringing 3/8" drills or bolts

An amazing view from El Cap Meadows!
Tom belays from Pete's Crab-O-Ledge on Scorched Earth - September, 2002


  • Big - 2 purple, 2 red, 1 crimson
  • Med - 1 red, 1 crimson
  • Sml - 1 red, 1 crimson, 1 purple, 1 pink

  • 1 Old Chouinard rope bag
  • 1 big red Rob-O-Bag (bog kit)
  • 2 North Face down bag stuff sacks (zip line, rain gear)
  • 1 Small old blue bag (hooks - *FIX*)
  • 1 Small ratty old purple bag
  • 1 MSR stove bag (hooks)
  • 2 Large black/red OASIS bags
  • 2 Green Outbound bags [One needs clip-in loop]
  • 1 Red Beef bag (hooks or heads?)[LOST?]
  • 1 Yellow Beef bag (bolt kit)

Page Three Footnotes

    Each of my Aliens goes on its own designated colour-coded crab - very very sweet! In fact, every one of my cams has its own designated colour-coded crab! Sure makes it easy when you're looking to find one.

    You will use a ton of nylon on a big wall! Bring lots! 20 shoulder-length slings and 6 double-length is not too many. You will need more tie-offs than keepers since you wreck them nailing and funking.

    Make your tie-offs from a 68-cm-long hunk of 9/16" tape tied in a mobius strip. Then you can tie off your pins with a slipknot. Clever, eh? Make sure you crank those things tight as the nylon is slippery. Hang 'em over the end of your door, clip in your aiders and bounce [gently], the same way you tighten your hook slings.

Spare Hammer
    You'd bloody better have one if you're soloing a nailing route! Sheesh.

Fish Bags
    Fish makes a great selection of extraordinarily handy drawstring bags with clip-in loops. Very very handy for staying "vell organicized" you can't have too many Fish bags!

    If you are an outdoorsman, you probably have a few nylon drawstring bags you can "rob" from other stuff. [I really mean "steal", but my dad always talked about "robbing" parts, so there ya go...] And if you are not an outdoorsman, you have no business being on a big wall!

    Take the bag and sew a clip-in loop onto it opposite the opening of the drawstring and voila! - instant wall bag.

To be b*tchin', ya gotta look b*tchin' - Salathe Wall - October, 1995


Binocs* {2 lightweight standards}
35mm SLR camera body

NOTE: I need new batteries for the SLR!!!

ALSO: Grab some colour print film, eh?

28-75 mm zoom lens HILLARY
100-300 mm zoom lens HILLARY
Lowe Pro [grey BDB] HILLARY
Sport camera [Have I lost this?]
Mini-tripod and tie-in cord
5 rolls 100 ASA colour slide film
Black & White film for Hottie Pictures
Spare lithium cell (in Lowe Pro)
Chalk bag
White tape
Lighters (stored several places for redundancy)
Petzl Duo lamp
Penlight (stays in pouch!)
"AA" batteries for penlights and two-way radios
C cells for Duo
Spare bulbs for Duo
Spare bulbs for penlight
Wee-Wee's portaledge and bag

Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab enjoys his Complete Big Wall Bivi

Big wall spoon
Big wall funnel
First aid kit:
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetominephen
  • Anti-nausea
  • Famotidine antacid
  • Loperamide anti-diarrhea
  • Gastrolyte oral rehydration
  • Preparation H
  • Oragel 20% benzocaine
  • Polysporin
  • Bactine
  • Garasone ear drops
  • Robitussin cough and cold
  • Athlete's foot cream
  • Betaderm steroid hydrocortisone anti-itch cream
  • Benadryl anti-histamine
  • #15 sunblock
  • Bandaids
  • Big bandage
  • Gauze pads
  • Butterfly closures
  • Q-tips
  • Moleskins
  • Whatever else I can find upstairs or in basement

22 two-litre plastic pop bottles, deflated and squished, brought from home so I don't have to scrounge in Camp 4!
Like beer, eh?

Sean, Chris and Pete enjoy [not so] Cold Golds on Wino Towers - Reticent Wall - September, 1998

Iced tea crystals
Gatorade crystals
Tie-off cords* for water bottles (removable, made from 3mm cord clip-in loop in one end, slip knot in other end)
Canned brie cheese
Bag of bags
Copies of this list
Book(s) for wall
French press **NEED to get spare plunger from Adventure Guide!! **

Brewing coffee prior to blasting off on Lunar Eclipse - September, 2002

Paper towels
Glasses, case and cord
Sunglasses, case and cord
Spare sunglasses and case
Sunscreen (various SPF's)
Skin moisturizer
Foot powder (oh, hell yeah!)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Pit juice (damn straight!)
Shaving cream
Baby wipes (bring lots of the biggest wettest ones you can find. Superb!)

Pete and Kurt on El Cap Towers - The Nose
Check out the Fires in the foreground, eh? - September, 1983

LEFT Solar powered shower
4 Two-way radios [Need clip-in cords on two new ones]
Cell phone
2 Batteries fully charged
Ghetto blaster
D cells (lots! You will use up two sets of batteries per wall)
Route topos [Prow, Skull Queen, Bermuda Dunes, Gulf Stream, Quo Vadis]
Soap for wall
Shampoo for wall
Kitty litter for wall flower paper bags about two pounds or so per person per week

Dr. Piton sponsored by Guinness Beer - March, 2003


Big walls guidebooks (Reid and Chris Mac)
Other topos
Camera bag
Seam grip
Sewing kit
Soap and shampoo for ground
Shaving cream
Airline tickets
US Passport** (yes, Dr. Pee'd On is a Merrican)
Padlocks and keys
Nail polish* for marking gear

Spike pours coffee before another day of fixing on Lunar Eclipse - September, 2002


2 Red compression sacks
1 Rad pants
2 Convertible shorts
1 Set convertible pantlegs
1 Old green convertible wall pants
Old green heavy furry top
Black medium furry bottom
Arctic lifa top and bottom
Old green furry bottom
Light blue kangaroo top w/zipper
Blue toque*, eh?
Down vest
3 warm sox
Lots of white sox
T-shirts (wall and good)
Underwear (Hanes only)
Bit of laundry detergent
New grey Goretex top
Black Mountain Hardwear Go

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10000+ HITS
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Any chance the images will get fixed?
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Wow, that's a LOT of kit. You must need a team to carry it all in!
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