Big Walls Forum

Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: csproul on September 14, 2010, 11:04:59 am

Title: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: csproul on September 14, 2010, 11:04:59 am
I am brand spanking new at aid climbing. I have been practicing some solo-single pitch stuff at my local crag. This last couple of weeks, I have tried to see what it was like to pack, carry, and haul a semi-loaded haul bag. I have a Metolius El-Cap bag, and I loaded it about 3/4 full with all my gear and extra water and made the 30 minute walk up. It really sucked. The bag sagged horribly, it was really awkward and I can't imagine having to carry it for real up/down any real approach. I think that not having it full made it a little worse, as I've since tried filling it and it fits better, but still pretty bad. It wasn't the weight...I put everything in a smaller bag and strapped the ropes on the outside and I could walk just fine, so it was definitely the way the large bag fit. Any tips for adjusting or packing a big bag and making it tolerable to carry? Is this just too large a bag for a smaller person to reasonably carry (I'm 5'7" and ~140 lbs, anyone want to trade an El Cap bag for a Half-dome)? Or do I just need to suck it up!?
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: mhudon on September 14, 2010, 12:09:05 pm
Welcome to big wall suffering.
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: skully on September 14, 2010, 12:17:32 pm
I hump loads with a pack & load up the pig at the base. Now, only the deproach will suck.
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: Will on September 14, 2010, 12:20:24 pm
It's not fully loaded as we're on the way down, but it does have the portaledge in it (which the announcer meant to say rather than "haulbag"). But yeah, carrying the pig sucks.

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14947830" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0"></iframe><p>Haulbag Olympics (http://vimeo.com/14947830) from Will Whitney (http://vimeo.com/user4716860) on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com).</p>
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: Baltoro on September 14, 2010, 12:49:05 pm
I'm roughly twice your size and carry a fully loaded El Cap sucks. Remember that hiking is any haul bags secondary function. They all suck to hike in when loaded. Sure some are better than others but the brand/size may not be what's making you suffer.

Some tips though that have worked for me:Load it like you would a backpack, not a haul bag ready to haul. I try and keep the heaviest items close to my back and low. Normally when prepping to haul you might have water spread all around the bottom of the pig. Not conducive to carrying comfortably.

Put stuff you'll need in the top where it's convenient. This might be the guidebook, approach beta, camera, whatever. It's important to put it on the pig and not on your person because this gives you an excuse to stop and take off the pig. Sure it'll take you forever to get anywhere but life's about the journey, not the destination right? And for me the destination for now looks like that seat shaped rock over there.

Spot each other on awkward stuff. The last thing you want is for someone to turn an ankle because they couldn't negotiate a step-up and came crashing back down.

Pack one pig with the heavier stuff and one with the ledge. This makes for one really heavy pig and one pretty heavy and tall pig. Ducking under branches and such is not fun so make the tall unbalanced one a little lighter.

Get stronger.

Good luck.
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: Burt on September 14, 2010, 01:43:22 pm
Oh the best way to remedy this problem is to climb faster and do the route in a push! Carrying loads just sucks, I really hate hiking, I can't imagine carrying loads up to the dome. I am way too lazy for that!
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: mungeclimber on September 14, 2010, 02:12:26 pm
Quote
I think that not having it full made it a little worse


definitely agree with that.

good advice in the thread.

Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: Mike. on September 14, 2010, 05:37:53 pm
What skullduggery said. Get the most comfy 90L backpack you can find and load that sucker up. I don't hump with the bag until the very end--unless I need it at the base to get stuff off the ground.

Shuttle loads off the top down to the raps and on if you have to. It sucks, but it's the price of admission if you don't pay for help.


Oh yea, what Burt said, too. Suffer on the climb rather than before and after it. Overall it's way less work (and lost wages).
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: skully on September 14, 2010, 09:18:13 pm
Great vid, Will.
The crux, sometimes, is gettin' yer pig on.
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: xtrmecat on September 15, 2010, 09:54:29 am
  I usually carry up the first load with the rack, ropes, and anything else gear wise and heavy, keeping the load managable in weight. Then just buck up and do it, keeping your smile on, it sucks, but it is part of the game. I aquire the water as close to the base as I can to minimize the work. Share it with your partner, you wouldn't want to cheat them out of the same experience, would you?Skully is wise. I also use a pack for the next loads, as well as the other pig should she need to go along. The ledge in the pig, and top loading a rope make it just plain miserable going through brush and low branches, and I would highly recommend avoiding it if possible.

  The crux of last winters wall was just this, a ledge and two top loaded ropes to make it top heavy and hang on every branch, thorny whatever. To make it better, I was totally worked trying to get down before dark and hadn't take a moment to rest for many hours, and hung up on every obstacle for several hours straight. I had issues with my smile, couldn't find it easily, and my vocabulary regressed to a pretty primitive state. Hindsight says two loads, with an extra trip up the approach from hell would have been better.

  Like Mark said, welcome to the suffering that makes this hobby obscenely great.
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: mungeclimber on September 15, 2010, 11:09:24 am
Quote
hobby

WHA!??  shut yer mouf!


call it a dream, a pursuit, a way of life, but for gods sake it isn't building model airplanes!!!  (NTTIAWWT)


haahahaha
Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: smack on September 15, 2010, 12:35:45 pm
A few things I've found that help; trekking poles, prophylactic doses of ibuprofen, and a willingness to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Title: Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
Post by: johnmac on September 16, 2010, 11:51:00 am
Climbing walls without some suffering just wouldn't be right!