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Messages - deuce4

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Big Wall Forum / Any Webmasters Out There?
« on: December 08, 2015, 07:36:33 pm »
I am thinking of quitting my active WAMP server which hosts this forum, and transferring all my webpages ( and others) as static pages to another server, which will be much easier to manage and maintain.

Is there anyone out there who might be interested in taking on the mySQL export of the Bigwalls Forum and hosting it elsewhere?  There is a lot of good info on these pages, and I am loth to end this forum, but its just been harder to do the maintenance and upgrades that are required form time to time (I am a school teacher now and my programming skills are quickly forgotten).

Let me know if anyone would want to take it on--the zipped SQL export is only a 9MB file.  I transferred the site from one server to another once before--it generally takes a bit of troubleshooting to get it all working right, but not too bad.

If you are interested, send me a message at and let me know your ideas.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Beyers' latest Vandilism
« on: January 27, 2015, 11:51:24 pm »
On supertopo a year or two ago--i dont really recall--Beyer verifiably was reported chopping some bolts near or on the Wall of Early Morning Light, seemed like some wierd flashback to Robbin's act many years before.

But that was a while ago, and there was a lot of criticism and discussion back then.  I'd be surprised if he was doing it again, in the midst of climbing's biggest media event of recent decades.


Big Wall Forum / Re: Beyers' latest Vandilism
« on: January 26, 2015, 11:20:43 pm »
Mark, this sounds like a rumour gone wild--just the kind of thing that mixes half truths of the past and present fears.

I recall Bachar being accused of chopping some bolts in Tuolumne one time,  and everyone believed it and was up in arms,  but in fact he was in Europe at the time.

Can you verify this accusation?

I'm not saying it's not true--just that it rings of rumour-mill. 

Big Wall Forum / Re: Bolt Bag Deuce Model
« on: December 11, 2014, 12:22:12 pm »
I have been in touch with Fixe, they might send me a sample for the use of my nickname.  That's nice!

I posted the boltbag patterns somewhere.  Might have been supertopo.  Actually, i see bits of A5 design innovations all over the place. All good, but if there's a strong link to myself, such as using my nickname, it just seems a courtesy contact email would be nice.

My design fix these days fulfilled by folding mini quadcopter design, see

Big Wall Forum / Re: Bolt Bag Duece Model
« on: December 08, 2014, 01:14:27 pm »
Just checked.  Fixe got the nickname correct

Seems like they could at least ask though--i think i am easy to find on the net?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Bolt Bag Duece Model
« on: December 08, 2014, 01:07:16 pm »
Lame.  I freely give help and permission to use my old designs if asked (they did not), but they should at least spell my nickname correctly.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Leadheads
« on: October 05, 2014, 03:43:23 am »
I used some lead heads once-very tricky to place compared to copper or alumni heads in granite.  They're useful in soft rock--not soft like desert sandstone, but soft like the base rock at the Fisher Towers, where pasting a alumihead would simply shatter the placement.

Sílvia Vidal gave me some nice ones once--I think the properties of the lead (composition) is quite important-not too malleable, but not too hard either--I don't think they are pure lead, though I may be wrong.  Also I think the way the cable is affixed to the lead is quite key as well.

Clearly something the Europeans have worked out.  They're used for hard aid routes in Montserrat, I believe. I came across a guide here where they are mentioned:

Big Wall Forum / Supertopo hacked
« on: September 30, 2014, 05:48:09 am »
Holley moley.  Just went over to peruse Supertopo, and it was filled with spam.  Might have to spend more time over here with all ya real climbers! :)

Big Wall Forum / Re: A5 Double Ledge for sale - 300.00
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:27:21 pm »
That is a good ledge.  One of the ones i personally oversaw building in 1998 during my tenure as senior product manager at TNF.  Good materials and fabric and buckles.

Big Wall Forum / Re: The New Yosemite Bigwall Guide
« on: May 31, 2014, 10:14:25 pm »
Finally got a chance to have a good look at Eric's excellent new guide.

A few additions/corrections:
--When I soloed Never Never Land, I did an alternate finish to the last pitch to Thanksgiving.  It had no bolts, and involved runout 5.10 face climbing, as well as some A2/A3 (to the right of pitch 18).  I was actually a bit lost, very terrifying.

On Cosmos, the variation Jimmy and I did branched off at Pitch 19.  I led two pitches in a fierce storm to the place called "The Big Chill", which is right below the traverse to the left (the dihedral next to where it says "original route" is actually a very short section before you start climbing out the roof, which Jimmy led after our surviving the storm).  Thus, the "original route" should be the line to the left, not the right.

Wyoming Sheep Ranch direct finish--I don't ever recall naming this the "psycho killer variation"; in fact, I think that name referred to one of the pitches on the original route.  We just named it, The Cylcop's Eye variation (2 long pitches to NA).

On the AO, I think we had a separate belay from Iron Hawk below the roof, but that's inconsequential--people seemed to have figured it out!  The "Hourglass" is actually called "Hourglass Timebombs" but I have heard that timebombs have since exploded.

Nice guide!

I think, where the info was available (i.e. Walt's topos), it would have been nice to see the original hole counts per pitch.  Lots of new bolts added on some routes, I see (like Kali Yuga).


Big Wall Forum / Re: Weekly Favorite Big Wall Pics Thread
« on: February 17, 2014, 01:57:56 am »
Hi Mark-

It has to do with the new forum version I set up a few weeks ago--the old version you couldn't post pictures, so all the pictures before had to be linked to an external url.  Now you can just upload pics directly to the forum (that was my main reason for wanting to upgrade--so we can post pics easier).  cheers!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Crazy Pitches, weird antics?
« on: February 08, 2014, 12:27:28 pm »
I recall Charles Cole telling me about his solo first ascent of Queen of Spades.  He climbed up, dropped a rope though a hole, then descended and climbed up the rope he had dropped down. 

Big Wall Forum / Re: New How-to Bigwall book--need your stories
« on: January 25, 2014, 12:35:17 am »
All we knew back then was what we could discern from Robbin's Basic and Advanced Rockcraft, which was outdated even then, and the pictures from Yosemite Climber, which had just come out and only provided photos, not many descriptions, of the state-of-the-art.  My first big wall was Half Dome, when I was 17.  I had started climbing on the crags of the San Juan mountains, and to me, the ultimate goal in climbing was to climb bigger rock walls.  My friend John Ely and I had practiced rope techniques on the crags of Carderrock, and climbing in aid ladders on some tall trees using 6" nails and a framing hammer. There was one other reference--the National Geographic article of the first clean ascent of Half Dome, which was our inspiration.

This of course was before camming devices or any other fancy gear--we had a few sets of Chouinard stoppers, mostly slung on Perlon, hexes of course, and some odd pieces like the Gendarm nuts from Seneca Rocks.  Also new to our arsenal was a 45m Perlon rope--the latest and greatest shipped from Europe (prior to that we only had three strand Goldline, which we used for our haulline).

After a long drive out west from the East Coast, we set upon our goal, first free climbing around the Valley cumulating in the East Buttress of El Cap, then our first aid wall--the South Face of the Column.  Finally we were ready for Half Dome.

We hiked up and around (the "slabs" approach was not then known), and arrived at the base late morning only to find to our dismay three other parties waiting to begin.  We only had three days of food, so if we had to wait a day, it could have been tough.  As we were waiting at the base with two other groups, a interminably slow team struggled all afternoon on the first pitch.  The hours went by, when suddenly, a scream and the lead climber took a huge whipper and slammed into a ledge about 50' off the deck.  He shattered his ankle, and we helped with the rescue.  The helicopter coming in close at the base did nothing to braven our spirits--quite the opposite of course, but we were determined to stick around and see if we could get a chance.  But all the afternoon's action did dampen the spirits of one of the teams waiting ahead of us, and they chose to bail in the morning.  The other team graciously gave us first go--they sensed we would be faster and well ahead in no time, and we were off.

We made it to the first bivy after a tough day of climbing and hauling.  Our haul bag, an old army duffel bag with some straps speedy stitched onto the top, was already wearing thin, and one of our Clorox bottles--the only suitable water bottle back in those days--had leaked one of our precious gallons of water.  But we were over a third the way up, and the next days would bring steeper (and thus easier hauling) and cleaner climbing. 

The next morning, we took turns posing at the famous traverse shot featured in Galen Rowell's National Geographic article, and continued up the mostly free climbing pitches above.  Big Sandy came mid-afternoon--we were making good time and decided to call it a day.  I discovered my first joys of sitting on a ledge perched in the middle of a massive cliff, looking down between my toe-worn boots, absorbing the depths of the view, and enjoying the adrenaline high that comes with such moments.

to be continued...

Big Wall Forum / Upgraded site...
« on: January 24, 2014, 01:52:11 am »
Hello All-

I have upgraded the site.  Let me know how you like the new "theme" (the site's look and feel).  The old theme had some glitches. Please report any new glitches!

Thanks for enjoying the Big Walls Forum.


p.s. Testing the new attachment feature (easy to post photos now):

Big Wall Forum / Re: Fighting the Paine.... Old, yet what went down
« on: December 05, 2013, 11:07:14 am »

Big Wall Forum / Re: Lurking Fear?
« on: August 17, 2013, 05:18:35 pm »
Rapping the route seems like good practice to do every once in a while.  It's a significant challenge to rap with haul bags (take your time doing it methodically), and a useful technique on many of the remote big walls.  Perhaps taking the time to hike to the very tip top of El Cap would be a good thing to add into the process--as it rarely gets visited by big wallers and would be a nice way to move the legs after time on the vertical. Plus it's always an adventure to commit to the downward vertical after being on horizontal land for a while.

I've been asked this before, but unfortunately, I wasn't involved with the first five pitches.
This route marked my return to yosemite wall climbing (after a 3 year hiatus) after our epic on the South Face.  I came to the valley to visit for a week or so (A5 was keeping me busy), but ended up staying a month and doing 3 new big wall routes and a speed record.

I had no intention of climbing a big wall, as it was late season and I still remembered wicked shivering on the South Face.  But the next thing you know....

I bumped into Walt in Curry Village.  He had a huge haul bag on his back and had just bailed from his solo attempt of the route because he felt the season was too late, and winter was coming on.  We had some beers and he was in extreme angst about his decision (anyone who has bailed will know this is one of the lowest feelings a wall climber can experience). Over the course of a beer or two, we agreed to go back up and tackle it together.

After that I was bit again, and went on to climb a couple other new walls, and a speed record on the column.

But it was all a rush, and we started on pitch 5 after jugging Walt's ropes.  I looked around and recall not even knowing where Walt had climbed--it looked a bit devious and there were lots of potential but discontinuous features.  Walt was in extreme Bipley mode and in no mood to dally explaining his previous weeks' efforts.

Didn't the bottom fall off anyhow some years ago?

John Middendorf

Big Wall Forum / Any glitches in forum? Please report.
« on: July 09, 2013, 05:26:34 am »
Hi All-

I'm getting a cyrptic auto-send message from the forum every so often reporting an error in the forum function--is anyone experiencing any problems--perhaps with the member-to-member email, or something like that?  Please report here if so.  Thanks!

Non Climbing (if you must) / Re: working on some technical issues
« on: June 23, 2013, 03:57:36 am »
Think its all good now, many thanks to Armin from Mallorca for help with the SQL cleanup.  On a new server, might be a few glitches but nothing the mighty Munge can't handle When he gets back from climbing.  Thanks munge!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Standardizing "Nice Ledge" topo designations
« on: May 06, 2013, 01:15:46 am »
How 'bout Chickenhead ledge.  Not quite stellar with all those chickenheads poking into your ribs at night, but pretty darn good.

Perhaps S1, S2, S3 for stances, L1, L2, L3 for ledges.  Chickenhead L2+ perhaps?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Silvia Vidal on Solo Climbing
« on: December 20, 2012, 10:29:47 pm »
Amazing woman.  I sensed something special in her ever since I started helped her with gear and advice back in the A5 days, even though she hadn't yet done any of the amazing feats of which she has now done so many.  She was one of our featured climbers in the 1997 A5 catalog.

Big Wall Forum / New Shop!
« on: March 08, 2012, 07:52:50 pm »
Just finished my backyard shop.  Built three walls to extend our covered garage, and now have room for some real prototyping.  Here's some pics.

Big Wall Forum / Re: WOS: The Film - Ammon ups the ante......again
« on: September 27, 2011, 03:35:58 pm »
This looks to be good. 

Though it might be another anomaly, like the story of Chongo in the New York Times, representing the whole to the public at large.

But I suppose history's often perceived through the anomalies.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Rare copper corner A5 ledge sighting
« on: June 12, 2011, 03:35:13 am »
only 30 of those ever made.  we produced them while i was still developing the a5 corner system and investing in a milling machine to make them.  the hardened copper corners are surprisingly quite robust.

Big Wall Forum / Open Source A5 HaulPack and Grade VII Haulbag
« on: May 11, 2011, 08:19:51 pm »


HAULPACK  (batches of 4)

(4) 1 @ 50"  **mark at 9"**
(4) 1 @ 88"  (44" x 2)
(8) 2 @ 12.5"
(4) 1 @ 17"

(4) 1 @ 47"

(4) 1 @ 47"
(4) 1 @ 52"  waistbelt
(4) 1 @ 12.5"

(8) 2 @ 32"  **cut angle at one end**
(8) 2 @ 23"
(8) 2 @ 14"  **cut angle at one end**
(4) 1 @ 17"
(4) 1 @ 19"
(12) 3 @ 6"
(4) 1 @ 12"  **cut angle at one end**  sternum strap (female)
(4) 1 @ 18"  **cut angle at one end**  sternum strap (male)

(8) 2 @ 18"

(4) 1 @ 60"
(32) 8 @ 4.5"
(4) 1 @ 6"

SUPERTAPE WEBBING  (can use scrap and narrow is best)
(8) 2 @ 5"  inside of handles
(4) 1 @ 9"  inside of handles

3/8" FOAM:
(4) 1 waistbelt
(8) 2 shoulder straps

(4) 1 waistbelt
(8) 2 shoulder straps

(4) 1 lid  **two cuts**                                        
(4) 1 small and narrow piece  **one cut**
(4) 1 small piece  **one cut**                  
(4) 1 long narrow piece  **one cut**
(4) 1 long piece  **two cuts**

(4) 1 lid  **two cuts, two marks**
(4) 1 bottom  **four cuts, one grommet/sm. reinf. on rough side**
(4) 1 small waistbelt patch  **one cut**
(4) 1 back piece  **one cut**
(4) 1 pack piece  **three marks, one is long, one cut**  (can cut pieces
with stray marks on large side of line mark, area will be covered)
(4) 1 main body  ** 14 marks, two cuts**



GRADE VI HAULBAG  (batches of 4)

(4) 1 @ 119"  (59.5 x 2)  long haul strap
(4) 1 @ 110"  (55 x 2)  short haul strap
(8) 2 @ 21"  bottom strap
(8) 2 @ 15"  shoulder straps scuff

(4) 1 @ 58"  top stiffener

(4) 1 @ 58"  bottom scuff
(4) 1 @ 52"  waist belt
(4) 1 @ 14.5"  scuff above waist belt

(8) 2 @ 32"  **CUT AT ANGLE**  shoulder strap bottom attachment
(8) 2 @ 23"  shoulder strap top
(4) 1 @ 18"  **CUT AT ANGLE**  sternum (male side)
(4) 1 @ 12"  **CUT AT ANGLE**  sternum (female side)

(4) 1 @ 10"  scuff side daisy loop

(40) 10 @ 4"  top pull loops
(4) 1 @ 69"  draw cord for pull loops

(8) 2 @ 6" inside of bottom handles
(8) 2 @ 10" inside of top handles

(4) 1 @ 69"  draw cord for packcloth skirt

3/8" FOAM:
(4) 1 waist belt
(8) 2 shoulder straps

(4) 1 waistbelt
(8) 2 shoulder straps (same color)
(4) 1 pocket
(4) 1 skirt  **grommet (webbing reinforcement/noncoated side)**

(4) 1 waistbelt patch  **1 cut**  (smallest piece)
(4) 1 bottom  **8 marks, 8 cuts, 1 grommet (reinforcement/rough side)**
(4) 1 back piece  **1 cut**
(4) 1 main body  **9 cuts, 31 marks (includes line)**


ASTRO PACK  (batches of 4)

(4) 1 @ 78"  haul strap
(4) 1 @ 47"  **mark at 9"**  haul strap

(4) 1 @ 40"  bottom scuff
(8) 2 @ 10.5"  shoulder straps scuff

(4) 1 @ 51"  waistbelt
(4) 1 @ 40"  bottom scuff
(4) 1 @ 10.5"  belt scuff guard

(8) 2 @ 31"  **cut one end at angle**  shoulder attachments
(8) 2 @ 21"  shoulder straps
(4) 1 @ 19"  lid strap (male)
(4) 1 @ 6"  lid strap (female)
(4) 1 @ 18"  **cut one end at angle**  sternum strap (male)  
(4) 1 @ 12"  **cut one end at angle**  sternum strap (female)
(4) 1 @ 30"  rope strap on lid

(4) 1 @ 14"  bottom clip

(28) 7 @ 4"  top loops
(4) 1 @ 56"  top pull

(4) 1 @ 5"  center strap
(4) 1 @ 7"  long strap

(4) 1 @ 51"  drawstring

3/8" FOAM:
(4) 1 waistbelt
(8) 2 shoulder straps
(4) 1 back piece

(4) 1 skirt  **grommet sm. webb. reinf. on noncoated side**  **two cuts**
(4) 1 pocket
(4) 1 waistbelt
(8) 2 shoulder straps
(4) 1 larger lid piece
(4) 1 smaller lid piece (to make pocket)
(4) 1 strip to make lid pocket zipper flap
(4) 1 small rectangle to make cover for foam pocket
(4) 1 back piece

(4) 1 main body piece  **14 marks, two cuts**
(4) 1 small waistbelt patch  **one cut**
(4) 1 bottom  **two marks, three cuts**
(4) 1 back piece  **one cut**
(4) 1 back piece  **mark one line, one dot, 3 cuts**



ALPINE PACK  (batches of 4)

(16) 4 @ 3"
(8) 2 @ 7"
(16) 4 @ 23"  front and shoulder straps
(16) 4 @ 16"  sides
(12) 3 @ 25"  wings and ice axe loops
(4) 1 @ 18"  **cut one end at angle**  sternum strap (male)
(4) 1 @ 12"  **cut one end at angle**  sternum strap (female)

(8) 2 @ 34"  **mark 11" from one end, 8" from other end**

(8) 2 @ 22"  waistbelt

(4) 1 @ 9"  clip in handle

3/8" FOAM:
(4) 1 back stiffener/padding

1/4" FOAM:
(8) 2 shoulder straps

BALLISTICS (all same color):
(4) 1 top piece
(4) 1 bottom **1 cut**
(4) 1 front
(4) 1 **flip flop pair**  shoulder straps

OXFORD CLOTH (any color):
(4) 1 inside back
(4) 1 **flip flop pair**  inside pockets

PACKCLOTH (color combinations are in A/B & black color scheme):
ANY COLOR: (4) 1 inside pocket
       (4) 1 **flip flop pair** shoulder straps
BLACK:  (4) 1 back piece  (truncated equilateral triangle)
      (4) 1 back piece
      (4) 1 zipper/top flap  **mark line on coated side**
COLOR A: (8) 2 **flip flop pairs** (truncated right triangle)
       (8) 2 **flip flop pairs** other small piece
       (4) 1 **flip flop pair** front panels
COLOR B: (4) 1 **flip flop pair**  side bottoms  **2 marks non-coated side**
       (4) 1 zipper piece front/top  **5 cuts**


Cost Sheet:

Big Wall Forum / Re: Stiffener in Yates Aiders?
« on: May 11, 2011, 12:25:19 am »
yep, weed eater cord.  Great stuff.  We used it for chalk bag stiffeners, aiders, and to keep portaledge vents open, though for the latter, we found that a stiff foam worked a bit better.

Look in McMaster Carr--we also used some flat material that was made of the same type of plastic as weed eater (I forget the name of the plastic now--some derivative of nylon, I believe).

Tried to, every lap up that route.  But never thought of walking it with back to wall--clever!

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