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timpanogos


Jan 28, 2003, 8:33 PM
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Like many my climbing is recreational – from couch (work) to wall. Now I’m not in horrible shape and generally speaking – on the athletic front (skiing, extreme hiking etc.)- I never hit expert or super athlete status – but don’t shy away from advanced realms. In trying to relate some alpine experiences to big wall – I’ve done the advanced things around the Wasatch front – 12 to 14 hour 7000+ vertical (up and down) days, and kept up with the pack (and lead several).

Anyway is bigwall just different – do only the very elite have the strength and speed to solo the likes of Prodigal Sun in 2 days? For those of you who have climbed Prodigal, how long does it take you to climb a pitch, clean a pitch and haul a pitch?

While you are waiting on someone – or holding someone up – what is fast?, what is moderate, what is slow?

While leading the other day on Prodigal, I continued to push myself, keep moving, place high – I felt that I was moving along well – but wham 2.5 hours for a 90’ lead.

Take something like Prodigal – 9 pitches – and you have a long summer day to do this (say 18 hours) you are going to have to climb and clean a pitch every 2 hours. Once again, do only the very elite do this?

Chad


wigglestick


Jan 28, 2003, 8:43 PM
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Well the "elite" solo prodigal son in about 8 hours. I have never soloed prodigal but I did climb it in a very long day (20 hours car to car) with a partner. One thing that has helped me climb faster is to look and think father ahead. Instead of focusing on what piece to put in right in front of your face try to think 2-3 moves ahead. Elcapbuzz is the resident expert on climbing fast so he may be able to add some more information (he soloed Spaceshot in under 4 hours).


crswallrat


Jan 28, 2003, 9:38 PM
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Unfortunately the only that really helps to get fast is mileage. Just keep practicing and soon enough everything will start to come together, even though it will seem like you aren't climbing any faster. And efficiency is key for going fast. I remember the first time I soloed that bolt ladder in Rock Canyon, it took me like 2 hours, and now I can do it in 20 minutes. Just be patient man, the speed will come.


flamer


Jan 28, 2003, 10:38 PM
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If you really want to move fast you might want to consider dropping all the extra junk you are carrying! Tag line for Prodigal? Ah, no! All those systems that Pete talks about are great for climbing Mutli day hard routes on El cap but you don't need them for little routes like Prodigal son! Simple rule- the less you carry the faster you go! Learn to do more with less! If you can't get your pig up using a 1:1 haul(for a route like prodigal)- You have to much stuff in it! Also consider that the more stuff you carry the more fiddling around you'll do!
josh


crswallrat


Jan 28, 2003, 11:51 PM
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Yeah, flamer makes a good point, anytime a tag rack is used, it will take longer, it's just the nature of the tag. Why do you think Pete takes so long on a wall? Being fast means keeping things simple and a tag rack isn't. Also, I just read your trip report and noticed you used your adjustable fifi "every move." That in itself is a big time eater. Get comfy standing on steeper terrain without it, and get your gear dailed so all you have to do is look at the next placement, grab the piece, and slam it in. Good luck man.


iamthewallress


Jan 29, 2003, 12:08 AM
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Regarding the fifi...

I've found that ajustable daisies cut WAY down on my fifi time. I grab the adjuster strap instead of the piece or the grab loop on my aiders while I climb up my steps. Pulling on the daisy actually helps to boost my sorry self up my steps, and when I get to my high point there's nothing to fifi in. I still keep a fifi girthed to by belay loop for special purposes, but usually the adjustable daisy works just fine.

I'm sure this is something that time would cure, but when I was first aiding with the fifi and traditional daisies, I'd usually go through a panic stricken few seconds whenever I arrived high in my steps on each piece as I anxiously tried to slap my fifi in the piece from 3 mm to low. I was not only wasting time, but a lot of energy doing this making me hang on the fifi all the more. Since the ajustable daisies are always pretty snug the way that I use them, I avoid a lot of these panic-induced lulls.


bigdan


Jan 29, 2003, 2:12 AM
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Less is better, for sure. On easier aid I usually don't even use daisies, and just two aiders. You risk dropping aiders, but for speed I find it better, especially on easy aid where you don't expect to fall, or any pieces to fail.


iamthewallress


Jan 29, 2003, 6:16 PM
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If Chad is like me...there is no easy aid.


climbhigher


Jan 29, 2003, 6:18 PM
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I agree with the last few posts. Keep it simple. simplicity leads to speed. Alot of Pete's techniques work great on A5 routes on the right hand side of El cap. On trade routes in Zion you don't need all that $#!&. You said that it took you an hour n a half to get everytthing in order. NO need. Just tie in the haul bag put the rack on and go. It's cool that pete gives out all that beta for hard aiding. I have learned alot from reading his posts. But they can lead you asstray (sp?) if you are just starting out aiding and climbing grade 4 and 5 walls. Cheers, keep it sane, Chris.
You will see me flailing in a couple of days when i go solo Prodigal son in the next couple of days. (first week in Feb.) Keep climbing Chad!!!! you sound like you have the motivation and that's awsome!!!


mrhardgrit


Jan 29, 2003, 6:48 PM
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" Less is better, for sure. On easier aid I usually don't even use daisies, and just two aiders."

I can see your point and I have myself done the same often, but.... If you want to make it simpler just use single aiders and go with the daisy chain/adjust' daisy. I think that having the daisy there teaches you the basic skill of keeping everything at your waist and higher level organised. If you look at someone who has just started aiding, they will get their daisies and rope twisted to high hell again and again. Also I think that the time wasted using daisies with far out weigh the hassle caused if you drop and aider...

PS. I have seen loads of people on Zodiac (presumed first-timers) drop their aiders and watched the shouting and cursing ensue!


rocknpowda


Jan 29, 2003, 6:58 PM
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Regarding the fifi-

I've found that it is fast for me when I put a quickdraw onto my harness right where I tie my fifi. A standard length quick draw levers me in perfectly against the wall in my upper steps (my waist is above the piece the same distance that the qd is long). In this position I can stand hands free and go for the next piece. My system is as follows.

Put in piece.
clip daisy and set of steps.
Climb up steps.
clip quickdraw to the piece or to the daisy biner.
climb up two more steps.
Put in piece.
Clip daisy and set of steps.
hang on it just long enough to unclip the qd and clip the rope or clean the piece.

REPEAT.

It sounds like alot but it is pretty quick and it's easy to get in your upper steps.

However. if there are hand holds, hand jams, finger locks etc. then I just climb as high in my steps as possible and use my hands as though I am free climbing. Much of Prodigal and the other trade routes in Zion are like this.

Also, look ahead and figure out if you can just leapfrog the same pieces. This really saves time. In Zion there are places where you can put the same cam on each set of steps and just haul ass on bomber pieces!

Good luck.

[ This Message was edited by: rocknpowda on 2003-01-29 11:00 ]


flamer


Jan 29, 2003, 11:24 PM
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Chad,
Are you using a GRIGRI? Also are you using the "frog" method? What are you using to rappel? Tell me these things and I might have a couple more suggestions...
josh



timpanogos


Jan 29, 2003, 11:34 PM
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Josh:

Yes, I'm using a Grigri for lead and clean and have a croll/torse (frog) for pure jugging - I've been just loading up in the croll and leaving it on all the time. The Torse actually made for handy raking for potential next pieces, and/or the lead binner.

I used my grigri to rappel for cleaning the pitch at Zion, but found it very jerky - or you just had to cut it lose and hold a lot of breaking force - I had kind of decided I might just use my B52 (reverso type of deal) for rappelling from here on out - I've been keeping the B52 on my personal harness all the time anyway?

And thanks everyone for all the suggestions - keep them coming.

Chad


flamer


Jan 30, 2003, 9:21 PM
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Sorry chad I've tried to type in a system that would work well for you twice now. But the system logs me out before I can submit it! Sorry! If you want to hear about it PM me.
josh


flamer


Jan 30, 2003, 10:48 PM
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Ok, here I go!
This system will work well for straight forward routes, where you don't have any MAJOR traverse's or huge roof's. It also assume's you are using a GriGri for self belay. Also this works best on routes with 2-3 bomber bolts at belays (like Prodigal). You will need 4 short(10ft before you tie) cordelette's. Divide these up into "anchor kits", with 2 cords ea. and the apropriate biners.
Ok I'll start a the point where you would be finishing a lead.
When you reach the anchor clip a big locker to the middle bolt and a standard biner to the outside bolts. Now clip another biner to the big locker. Next clip one cord to the big locker and one outside biner, Tie a power point. Pull up the free END of the lead line and tie it off(figure8 on bight) to this power point.This line is now fixed, unclip your GriGri and set it up to rappel the lead line(note:this is the only time you will unclip the GrGri from the lead line). Now clip the other cord the the extra biner on the middle locker and the other outside biner. Tie a power point and clip in the hauler. Next pull out all of the slack from the haul line stacking it(for the next lead) as you do. You will actually unweight the pig from the lower anchor- just enough so the upper anchor now bare's the weight of the pig.
Now rappel the lead line, CLEANING and RERACKING as you rap.
When you reach the lower anchor DO NOT CLIP IN TO IT! Instead continue hanging on the fixed lead line, and setup your jugs to reascend the rope- due this first thing. Note that if you are using the standard jugging method you will use the GriGri to back up your jumars. This doesn't matter when "frogging" because you're already going to use the GriGri.
Next step is to untie the lead line from the lower anchor. If you need to lower out the bag(and you won't on prodigal) use the extra slack on the lead line.
Now unclip the bag from the lower anchor. I use an adjustable daisy (YATES) to clip the bag in, this makes getting the bag on and off the haul extremly easy. Let the bag hang free on the upper anchor.
Now clean all the cords off the lower anchor, and speed jug the free lead line.
When you reach the upper anchor take your ascenders off the line.
Next stack the lead line for the next pitch (note that the GriGri is already properly set for leading the next pitch).
Now start hauling the pig- for routes like Prodigal a 1:1 should be enough. Finish stacking the haul line as you go(remember you start stacking when you pulled the slack out). When the pig gets to the hauler use the adjustable daisy to unweight the hauler.
Now unclip the haul line from the pig and clip the other end of the haul line to it (according to how you just stacked it). Reset the hauler on end you just unclipped.
Now everything is ready for you to start leading the next pitch!
This system is very streamlined and easy to use. It adds an element of safety in that you only unclip/tie from the lead line(via the GriGri)once.
It has some obvious flaws on Extremly traversing pitchs or when there are BIG roofs (you might not want to clean these on rappel).
But for straight forward routes(like the trade routes in zion) it is very fast.
Hope this helps!
josh
P.S.
Thanks to iamthewallress for helping me with this computer stuff!


[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2003-01-30 14:52 ]


timpanogos


Jan 30, 2003, 11:27 PM
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Thanks Josh,

That sounds like a very sweet system for the straight up stuff - It would be a big energy saver to frog ascend and clean on rap!

I need to study this out closer - might have more questions later.

Thanks Again

Chad


grippedclimber


Jan 31, 2003, 4:17 AM
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I know some dudes that sent prodigal in 4 hours! Some have sent Prodigal, Spaceshot and Moonlight in a 24 hour day. Fewer have done those three plus Touchstone in a day. Sick!


flamer


Jan 31, 2003, 4:33 AM
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I believe the biggest Zion link-up so far was: moonlight, Prodigal, spaceshot, touchstone, and monkeyfinger, in under 24hours. I think one of the climbers was Conrad Anker. It's been awhile since this story was told to me, so if I'm wrong please correct me!
The best I've done is Moonlight in 9hrs.
and then the next day onsighting Touchstone in 8. These were 2 great days!
josh


evoltobmilc


Feb 7, 2003, 6:41 AM
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I did Prodigal a couple years ago, as my first wall. We fouled it all up, going slow and were practically sponsored by Team Clusterf#ck. We ended up bivying at the top of the first pitch. That said, we finished the climb the next day- barely. So, in response to your question, I'd say, yes, 2 days is a very reasonable time to do Prodigal solo in. What I'd say though is this: get your systems dialed in, and learn hauling and setting up the ledge, and that kind of crap BEFORE you get on the wall, not like us WHEN we got on the wall.


elcapbuzz


Feb 7, 2003, 9:07 AM
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Great post. I like the title. I was drawn to it right away.

You all have some good points. Also, remember... what works for one person, might NOT for another.

I like to use a fifi. I somtimes use an adjustable if the route has a lot of roofs or high angle the entire time.

After testing the peice (if necassary), I walk up my aider and fi directly into the biner.

My buddy Fly'n Brian likes to use adjustables only. Find out what works for YOU.

As far as elite? Well, I think it's more in the mind.... than the body. I've seen the best climbers, SNAP... because they couldn't hang with being in such an intense situation for so long.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers, Ammon

Flamer. Good suggestions and link up in Zion.

See you out there.


[ This Message was edited by: elcapbuzz on 2003-02-07 02:17 ]


bigdan


Feb 7, 2003, 7:35 PM
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we did moonlight onsight in 6 hours in december. in october spaceshot was the same onsight. both could obviosly be faster. a friend of a friend did moonlight in four. zion would be a sweet place for linkups...


flamer


Feb 7, 2003, 11:49 PM
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Ammon,
wow thanks for the compliment.
I couldn't agree more, with your statement concerning finding the way that is right for you.
I'll be in the valley this spring, maybe we can hook up and you can show me what works for you...seems that whatever it is must work pretty good!
josh


gawd


Feb 8, 2003, 12:16 AM
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timp,

i am not elite, yet i have soloed many a wall in zion under a half a day. you just have to mve away from your preconceived notions of the way you do it(the rc.com way(no offense pete)) and the way it gets done.

leave the extra crap. on c2 you should practically put your gear in and move. no testing. it is only c2.

just keep at it and it will come.



karlbaba


Feb 11, 2003, 2:44 AM
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Gear and systems are important for speed, but as someone who has taken lots of folks up their first wall, my observation is:

A lot of the things that slow folks down aid climbing are mental.

1. It does take mileage to make the procedures second nature enough to do quickly.

2. Once you've tested the piece, get on it asap and climb up the aiders quickly, with a sense of slight urgency, until you are as high as you can comfortably climb without ackwardness. Only then start looking for your next placement. Everything looks different when you're high in your aiders so don't waste time worrying low in your aiders.

3. Speaking of worrying, place the best piece you can quickly, test it quick, and get on it! Don't fret that a slightly better piece is possible, don't test it and then continue to fret. Place a piece that works and go for it.

All this advice doesn't necessarily apply to hard aid, but fretting and puttering defeat the beginning aid climber. Everyone can aid climb, it's speed that shuts folks down on their first walls

Peace

Karl


ebrmusic


Feb 11, 2003, 3:07 AM
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Thanks for the info Flamer, it cleared up a lot of my questions about soloing, being that i have never done it before.


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