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80 degree dirt chutes
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Partner philbox
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Aug 16, 2002, 12:22 AM
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80 degree dirt chutes
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   Ok, so I`m scoping out a new climb up an unclimbed face on a mountain that I`ve been checking out for a while now. Problem here is that in between the rock bands there are 80 degree dirt chutes or more precisely dirt bands.

I have asked around once before over on rec.climbing about thos idea but now I`m starting to get serious about the mechanics of surmounting these dirty difficulties.

The idea is to take a set of ice axes and crampons up to dry tool my way up these dirty and loose bands of soil. Mebbe I`ll have to use snow stakes for pro.

This could be the closest I`ll ever get to ice climbing as for all intents and purposes I hate the cold and I live in a subtropical area.

Just to keep it within the posting guidelines this climb will be interspersed with much aid climbing. I`m sure that once done no one will ever repeat such an obscene and dirty climb eh, I know sick and twisted fool that I am even considering getting up something like what I have described. It sounds more like an alpine route without the freezing kahoonas.

Lemme know what you think I orta do to get myself up such a geologic formation.
...Phil...


theclimer


Aug 16, 2002, 2:36 PM
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80 degree dirt chutes [In reply to]
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Certainly should be possible, although how enjoyable the experience is is anyone's guess, and depends in large part on how twisted your idea of fun is...

Last June I was in BC making an attempt on Mt. Garibaldi (outside of Squamish), and on the slog out, what were 60 degree snow and ice slopes on the way in were now sloppy, wet, loose and utterly hideous mud slides that we had to surmount with ice axes. I can tell you that it was probably the scariest part of the trip out, simply because there was no protection and a slip or fall would have deposited one's body some 75 feet downslope onto a talus field.

Caveat Emptor to all mud fiends.

J

[ This Message was edited by: theclimer on 2002-08-16 07:36 ]


benfieldj


Aug 16, 2002, 3:05 PM
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At 80 degrees if the soil is loose at all I am not so sure it will work. Crampons and axes are pretty much only for something relatively solid like ice at that steep an angle.
The only thing I know of close to this is some guys used to climb on the chalk cliffs at Dover in England. The chalk is relatively soft almost like a hard clay, but it isn't loose like dirt, so they were able to front point some and use their axes very similar to mixed climbing. For protection they drove iron rods into the chalk and tied off slings to the rods, don't know if they ever fell on it, or if it would hold. Cheers and best of luck.


aarong


Aug 16, 2002, 3:43 PM
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I've eyed a few dirt-death climbs. I think you could pick up a couple of army-shovels with the adjustable heads at an army surplus store. Bend the shovels to 90 degrees so that you can swing them like axes. Then get a pair of good gardening gloves. As for shoes, I'd go with a pair of Wolverines from Wal-Mart. Now that's climbing in style!

Also, don't forget the goggles.

[ This Message was edited by: aarong on 2002-08-16 08:44 ]


Partner philbox
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Aug 16, 2002, 10:07 PM
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I`m thinking for protection I should cut some short steel star pickets and just hammer them in up to the hilt. These dirt chutes are pretty well vegetated so that`s a plus as the roots should help to hold the dirt bands together hopefully. The face of this mountain appears to never have been climbed and this fact could well be for good reason, still I think that I should try eh.

...Phil...


beyond_gravity


Aug 16, 2002, 10:27 PM
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Man, that sounds sweet!!

For protection, I'd get some of that metal 1 inch plumbing pipe, and cut it into lengths of about 2 feet. hammer thoughs in and Voila! However it may be pretty hard to hammer in while hanging off the wall...

I'd definatly wear one of the suits that mechanics wear, your probably going to get really scraped up.

I dont think the army shovels will work, you can't just swing a shovel like that. I would use ice axes (Do you have them? Can you rent them?) Crampons would probably be a good idea too...


hollyclimber


Aug 16, 2002, 10:41 PM
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sounds crazy to me...


pbjosh


Aug 16, 2002, 10:50 PM
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I know that Pete Takeda and Duane Raleigh did a pretty hard route in the Fishers (vertical solidified mud towers in Utah, very unique and f*cking frightening climbing) where they climbed a curtain of hardened mud with tools & crampons (sans pro). For trivia buffs, Jim Beyer did a solo route on one of the big Fishers (Echo, Cottontail, King or Titan, don't remember which) that was rated A6 - yup, you fall you die 'cause you're going to rip the belay as well).

Anyways, If it's in a dry area and that steep it'll likely be hard enough to climb w/ tools and crampons (and goggles!). For pro either run it out (yikes!) or try some pieces of aluminum pipe (2-4cm maybe) in like 12-18" lengths - people use to use these to rap off the top of ice climbs instead of leaving gear before they knew of threads.

Have fun...
josh


Partner philbox
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Aug 16, 2002, 11:10 PM
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   I don`t have ice tools or crampons but I can always order some. I`m thinking more like technical ice axes with leashes and for crampons I`m thinking that the biggest front points I can find. For pro, Aluminium (Oz spelling) star pickets.

Of course because these dirt bands are interspersed with significant rock bands, sort of like a layered cream cake, I`m going to have to do the old switcheroo from aid climbing to dry tooling up the dirt bands.

Crampons could well need to be front points only so that I can switch to hard aid at a moments notice and not have to take the crampons off every time a rock band is encountered.

We`re talking say 3 or 4 hundred metres of this stuff.

...Phil...


tylerphillips


Aug 17, 2002, 12:09 AM
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One word REBAR!!!


marcel


Aug 17, 2002, 12:35 AM
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Here is a link that might be of intrestet to you. My wife and I have used these crampons on mud and steep heather as well as snow:
http://www.promountainsports.com/crampons-camp-6pt.shtml


climberfrazier


Aug 17, 2002, 12:36 AM
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To me it sounds crazy , but if you go for it take some photo's and don't forget to post them for all to see .


Partner philbox
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Aug 17, 2002, 12:48 AM
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Oh yes, Photos will indeed be forthcoming, however you will have to wait until I`ve actually done all my homework and of course accomplished this dirty deed.

Rebar, heh, yeah, ceppin I think it would be too heavy, I like the idea of aluminium star pickets or snow stakes.

...Phil...


jmlangford


Aug 17, 2002, 1:44 AM
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Josh...Beyer did the route Intifada, rated 5.10 A6, in 1988. Tim Wagner repeated it. Both were solos. It was on Cottontail Tower.


apollodorus


Aug 17, 2002, 3:14 AM
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I don't think you'll be able to front point any sort of dirt gulley. The ice axe pick might get a solid bite, and maybe you can cut steps with the adze. You should probably treat the dirt like an avalanche about to come loose at any second, and not have all the party's anchors driven into it.


bigwalling


Aug 17, 2002, 4:44 AM
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Ben Folson also reapeated it and many other lines in the fisher towers. He is a user on this site.


jmlangford


Aug 17, 2002, 4:57 AM
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Ben did it recently, correct? My info was from a climbing mag from just a few months ago. Isn't his handle Unclebiggreen or something like that?


bigwalling


Aug 17, 2002, 5:02 AM
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His name is Benjo. Here is a link for Intifada. Richard Jensen and Mark Smith climbed it also. But I don't think their ascend really counted or something(I think they add a bunch of holes). I think Wagner said it was hard A4.


rockclimberdude


Aug 17, 2002, 6:07 AM
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I would suggest not doing it because the dirt isnt going to hold. If there is a top rope access it would be a lot safer. You really shouldnt try.


beyond_gravity


Aug 17, 2002, 6:25 PM
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Hey, how about combining some ideas? Metal spikes for protection, and aiders. Of course that would take forever. If the slope is not too steep could you pound in the spikes and hitch a ladder to them? kinnda like, super top stepping! If the terrain is less then vertical I think this would work quite well. Assuming the apporch to the gullies is not too long.


krustyklimber


Aug 18, 2002, 2:14 AM
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Dang, I hope for Jeremy's sake this gets to be a theme... but then again maybe I'm slippin'

Good idea Jeremy!

That is just what I was going to say...AID IT!!! Maybe some Snarg/Platypus type of crud hook or some huge bongs could gain enough purchase to stand on and aid your way.

I am afraid to ask the name of the bushes, after the last tropical big wall flora lesson we had! But like most wall brush they may be your friends or foes, and you never know 'til you bounce test 'em.

There must be an impressive line above it, or you are just a plain nut!

Good on ya, Mate!

Jeff


bigdan


Aug 18, 2002, 2:43 AM
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snowstakes work good in dirt, if it's compact enough (it doesn't have to be hard).

pete takeda and co. did some crazy dirt towers near grand junction (called the i-70 towers, i think) and used snowstakes effectively, so i heard.

by the way, somebody described the fisher towers as vertical solidified mud or something like that...not exactly. they have alot of mud on the surface, but on many routes it's not even that thick. the mud curtain they climbed was pretty raunchy, but most stuff is reasonable. the core rock is excellent stuff, and the only manky pieces are small nuts, tiny cams, heads, hooks, etc.

not that it isn't scary stuff, but it's reasonable. it looks much worse than it is, and the fisher towers reputation is a bit exaggerated, in my opinion.

[ This Message was edited by: bigdan on 2002-08-17 19:46 ]


atg200


Aug 18, 2002, 3:25 AM
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ice tools actually work well in mud. i've climbed some mud buttes in the badlands in south dakota with them, and it was surprisingly solid. similar climbing to late season very rotten ice. if its fairly low angle french technique may feel more solid than front pointing. pickets may conceivably work in very soft dirt, but pound-ins and just plain not falling are probably a better option.

as bigdan says, the fishers are overhyped as far as muddiness is concerned. the core rock is actually pretty damn hard, you just have to excavate it from a layer of mud. the mystery towers on the other hand are freakin sick - i've walked up to them but haven't had the stones to get on anything there yet. anybody have beta on the doric column or gothic nightmare?


bigwalling


Aug 18, 2002, 4:26 AM
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Atg I heard that the Doric is a grade 6. I also think it is only like 500 feet. That is crazy.

Anybody on this site(beside benjo) done any of the Beyer routes?


punk


Aug 18, 2002, 12:46 PM
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Phil,
How long is the chute? What are the natural features around/in it? To your best judgment, what is the dirt composed of? What is the most abundant natural resource around? Iím thinking more of a project rather then a push
Maybe this will give u some Ideas(page 28 and on)


[ This Message was edited by: punk on 2002-08-18 06:26 ]

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