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Topics - Garbonzo

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1
Big Wall Forum / Cheap wall hammers $30
« on: December 20, 2011, 03:51:51 pm »
Not my auction. No idea is they are any good, but for anyone who wants a just-in-case hammer, can't beat the price:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grivel-Mont-Blanc-Hammer-/300636847904?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45ff5a3f20

3
Big Wall Forum / Bigwall bootie! (no, not that kind)
« on: March 28, 2011, 05:22:25 pm »
Besides rogue nuts and boring pins, what are your best scores?

WFLT:
#1 camalot that my partner and the previous party both tried and failed to retrieve.
Whole pitch of gear on P1+2, including a screamer, offset alien, and a dozen draws (I found the owner and mailed it all back to him, honest)

Mideast Crisis:
#2 camalot on the 3rd class starting ramp (and I was worried about having enough cams in the that size too!).
Black Alien on P4, in the same spot where I later fixed a different Black Alien...


4
Big Wall Forum / What have you dropped on a big wall?
« on: March 28, 2011, 11:30:46 am »
Me:

Set of nuts and a ring angle claw hook on Tangerine Trip, found the nuts.

Mideast Crisis, surprisingly nothing on 2 trips, but one partner dropped a small pulley and one of my ascenders.

Prow:  My Chouinard butt bag.

Leaning Tower:  A stupid fixed line that wrapped around our bag on Pitch 3+4.  I think i dropped a hook the first time up, but not sure on that.

I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch.  Other slander?

5
Big Wall Forum / DIY portaledge bits
« on: July 14, 2010, 04:40:01 pm »
I'm in the the midst of my latest boondoggle, a double ledge.  I figured other sickos out there might be interested in a couple bits I scrounged up:

Corners:  Duece advocated for copper elbows, but I scrounged up 1" stainless elbows normally used for boat handrails.  I got mine off ebay for ~10 bucks each, but many places carry them (google "90 dregree elbow stainless marine handrail"):



Edge binding tape:  I have used nylon grossgrain webbing, which works well for straight runs, but is a pain for things like inside corners.  Bias tape conforms much easier, and if pre-ironed into a taco it is quite easy to bing an edge without any special attachments:

http://www.seattlefabrics.com/marine.html#Surlast_Bias_Trim

Spreader bar ends:  I've ordered these, but don't have them in yet, so my tune may change.  For $9 each from amazon (search for "Hollaender Structural Slip On Fittings"), and some hack sawing these look to be the ticket, just need to open it up into a half circle.  My joiners are 1 1/4" aluminum, and my spreader bar will be out of 1" 4130, so I'll need a chunk of 1 1/4"x0.058" tubing to shim the bar up to the size of the tee, but that should be easy enough:



At the rate I'm sewing, I should have a fancy new ledge in only a few more seasons!  At least it will be lime green.

6
Big Wall Forum / Russian Aiders, revenge of the Trangos
« on: November 23, 2009, 10:39:29 pm »
So, got an old haggard set of Trangos with worn our webbing and el sucko buckles?  Got a burly sewing machine?  Here's your guide to redo them from scratch, recycling your old hook.

Warning:  In multiple places there are high load webbing joints where you must sew through 3 layers of thick webbing with lots of stitches.  You'll break you're wife's machine if you try it on a home machine, and probably won't even get it under the foot.  A low end single stitch industrial machine will do fine with #69 or #92 thread, and can be gotten at Harbor Freight for ~400 bucks ($279 for the head, and $129 for the table last I checked), or watch craigslist till one in good shape shows up.  A speed reducing pulley, or servo motor with a low speed setting is HIGHLY recommended as most of the sewing is small runs, and high speed is NOT needed.  Better yet, rework this design for a bartacker if you have one.
Marking nylon for sewing isn't as easy as you'd think.  A dot of sharpie works, but is ugly and might weaken things.  I use a craft store chalker.  It uses powdered chalk and as a little metal nubby wheel that does a good job of easily making marks that last long enough to get your sewing done, yet the marks quickly disappear in simple handling.  I've yet to find anything else as good and cheap.
Hard Supplies:
1.  Your used Trango hooks.
2.  Aluminum Double Pass 1" from innermountainoutfitters.com.  Either make your own like Theron, or hit up gonzoguanogear.com.  The gal there was nice enough to sell me the nice ones you see in this refurb for just a few bucks each, a deal.  Get 4 per set of cuffs.
3.  Alternatively you can use a 1" cinch buckle for the calf strap from either gonzoguanogear.com, or from onrope1.com.  The one shown here is the same from either outfit, and is plenty strong.  Be warned that it does have the webbing go over a cinch bar that becomes a wear point, especially in muddy dihedrals.

Soft Supplies:
1.  4-5mm neoprene for padding?
2.  100 weight Polartech 100 fleece.
3.  Polyester 2" seatbelt webbing from rei.com or similar.
4.  Nylon Webbing, 1", about 102" total per leg (9' per color for ordering purposes).  I find tubular nicer to sew with than thick flat.  Climb spec is also a bit thick and I break a lot of thread and needles when I try to use it, so I recommend starting with Mil Spec.  I think the ridgier texture might also creep less in the buckles?
5.  56" thin flat 1.5" webbing for foot rash guards.
6.  30" 1" heavy duty elastic.
7.  3" hook side velcro
8.  6" loop side velcro
Cut List (per aider):
For a 15" calf circumference (right below knee) cut the following (all 2x, 1 each for each leg):
1.  15"x3"  neoprine, chamfer the corners 3/16" (adjust up or down for size, inch for inch)
2.  16.5"x7 1/2" fleece covering (adjust up or down for size)
3.  14.5" 2" seatbelt webbing (adjust up or down for size, measure is 1/2" less than the calf measurement)
4.  30" 1" tubular webbing, one end cut at 45, increase inch for inch over 17" circumference (length is to the middle of 45 cut, used for cinch strap around calf)
5.  48" 1" tubular webbing one end at 45 degree for jug loop and most of stirrup, adjust up if you are huge
6.  14" 1" tubular for stirrup buckle (adjust up if you are huge and want to keep the buckle low and out of the way)
7.  10" 1" tubular for attaching the buckle to the hook.  Use an 8" piece if using the cinch style buckles
7.  2x 14" 1.5" thin flat for rash guard
8.  15" elastic for chicken strap
9.  1.5" hook velcro for chicken strap
10. 3" loop velcro for chicken strap


Marking Nylon/Polyseter Webbing
I tried a lot of things, soap stone, vanishing fabric pens, pins, etch.  By far the best I've found is this widget my wife had but hated for quilting purposes.  It uses powdered chalk and has a little textured wheel for dispensing/grounding in.  Being chalk I have little fear that it will affect the nylon, and it mostly just disappears with handling.  You can also mark things using a dot of sharpy pen, but as we all know shrarpy pens are on the bad list for affecting nylon, and you'll have annoying black dots everywhere.  Sharpy doesn't help much on black webbing either.

Padding:
In Process
Rash Guard:
a.  Sew the two 14" thin flat pieces of webbing together to make a tube, keeping your sewing within 1/8-3/16" of the edge, back tack at the ends (sew over the edge twice if using #69 thread, once for #92).




Cuff:
a.  Sew the top of the jug loop into the 48" piece of webbing (mark at 1" and 2" on one side, 6.5" on the other side, 8" for Theron's hooks).
b.  Sew the buckle strap into the jug loop (carefully mark this before sewing!).
c.  Sew the calf strap into the jug loop
d.  Thread on the hook, and sew the buckle into place.
e.  Sew the calf strap.








f.  Sew the lower buckle onto the end of the 13.5" strap
g.  Thread the end through the lower part of the buckle and sew onto the 48" piece
h.  Sew the entire assembly onto the 2" webbing (simply a force spreader for comfort)








Thread on the Rash Guard:



 

7
Big Wall Forum / Big Wall Dog (aka Show us your home shop!)
« on: November 16, 2009, 09:21:54 pm »
Now if I could train him to carry a haul bag...




I decided that my first new project with my new sewing machine would be a shameless knock off of a Fish One-Night-Stand, reusing the corner and side pieces from my loaner ledge (3rd or 4th hand ebay special, rather old).  Not done yet, still need to do the foot bucket and my own set fo straps (the old fish ones have plastic buckles)


"New" machine, a 1 hp, pnuematic, computer controlled walking foot monster


Old machine, just a simple straight stitcher.  Now I can leave it setup with lighter weight thread and usually just leave the binder attachment on it (PITA to swap out).


If I'd known then what I know now I wouldn't have gotten this tacker, only a 28 stitch.  Still it's very handy for things like alpine aiders, daisy chains loops on things like ledge straps or ledge bottoms.  Also handy for slinging your own hooks (i.e. not full strength stuff).

8
Big Wall Forum / Dorkalette
« on: July 22, 2009, 07:00:37 pm »
I'm probably a couple years behind the times, but I've been scratching my head over the Equalette, and frankly don't like it.  So I did some thinking, and came up with an alternate idea I like better that I think is slightly less dorky.  I figure using SRENE is a valid point for looking at any anchor.
 
BTW, SRENE is an oxymoron.  You can't really have equalization without any extension.  SRELE ("surreal", Strong, Redundant, Equalized, Little Extension) better describes what we really want/need in a climbing anchor.  Redundancy is not just multiple pieces, but also that no single point failure exists (i.e. you should be able to cut any one point in the system, and not have a complete anchor failure, a single sling in a sliding X is not redundant for example).
 
Cordalette:  Cordalettes don't equalize except for one direction (straight down if that's how they are tied), but are redundant, and usually have little extension.  Also most cordalettes are too short for 4 pieces of gear unless they are very closely spaced, or you do some additional tricks (i.e. 2 pieces of gear into one leg).  I particularly hate what a cordalette does for a fixed line on a wall if the last move was a traversing piece (i.e. the angle of pull changes 90 degrees when the cleaner gets to the anchor, leaving the cordellete looking FUBAR'ed either while jugging or once at the anchor).  I've used the cordalette on walls, but hated the lack of equalization for anything but vertical loads.


 
Equallete:  Largo's contribution is a decent one, but I'm just not a fan.  It is redundant, equalized, and has little extension, which is great.  It works with 3 or 4 piece anchors, is sort of equalized (dynamic sliding equalization between two statically equalized V's), also for 3 piece anchors the odd man out gets 50% of the load no matter what, with the remaining 2 statically equalized for the remaining 50%.  However in the case of purely horizonal pull in my jugging scenario the sliding region quickly maxes out and again you have only one piece taking the load.  Also it calls for two lockers to create the powerpoint, and has two big fat knots that are fixed in place.  On paper the Equalette sounds pretty good, but it just doesn't float my boat.  A few variations exist that get rid of the 2 locking biner requirement, but those result in bigger knots, generally it just isn't as flexible a system as I want and still doesn't solve the horizontal fixed line scenario.


 
Triple/Quad sliding X:  A single sling/cordalette loop can be looped through 2, 3, 4, or even more pieces to get a equalized anchor, but does not have redundancy, has lots of extension, and Largo argued that it didn't really equalize well due to friction at the master point.  More horrifying is that it is hard to inspect if the looping was done right, in which case the results can be quite bad if one piece pops.  Lastly, clipping biners into a loaded power point is really obnoxious for the 3 and 4 piece cases.  On the plus side it does actually do some equalization in the horizontal load case.


 
Alpine Equalizer:  Trango's wiz-bang toy is NOT redundant, has a lot of extension, but is equalized (and spiffy looking).  At $40 a shot, it's also a lot more expensive and specialized than folks like me like.  Mal from Trango says (right in the instructions http://trango.com/pdfs/EqualizerWebInstructions.pdf) you can either A) tie an overhand knot in the center strand to limit extension or B) tie three cloves in the protection biners.  Option A confuses the hell out of me because the main loop is a single strand, and is not sewn to the little loop with the metal rings (they share a rash guard, but that's it), so in the case of either of the two outer pieces popping, there is no improvement in redundancy or extension, WTF?  Option B is relatively brilliant.  You create 3 V's of webbing that cradle your biner.  Voila, redundancy, limited extension, but there is no longer full equalization.  Equalization is down to 50/50 between 2 pieces, with the third sitting there doing nothing (unless one of the two loaded pieces pops).  I like this a lot, as it's as close to SRENE as I think you can get without lots of complicated limiter knots.  However it is limited to 3 pieces, and costs $40 a pop.


 
Well Shit.  Lots of options, none perfect, and only the dorky Equallete and cloved alpine equalizer meeting the SRENE/SRELE (and again, only 50/50 load sharing guaranteed), and even the equalette fails the SRENE/SRELE criteria for horizontal loads (depends on exact gear location of course).  So either $40 a shot, nerdy equalette, or find something new.
 
So I played with a bunch of crap (making lots of needlessly complex setups) and came up with a simple variation that comes close without being complex, or requiring anything special.  It's just combining Mal's clove hitch fix to the Tripled sliding X to come up with something with all the benefits, without being a specialized piece of gear or costing $40 a pop.
 
3 Piece Anchor:
1.    Start like with a cordalette, looping through all three biners.
2.    Pull the strands down and overlap the loops to create your master point and wiggle to get the strands even them out (clip a biner in to keep it open).
3.    Clove-hitch the loops to the 3 protection biners, and tug on the master point to cinch them up.
 
SRENE'ish:  Redundant, check.  Equalized, sort of (statically equalized for downward pull, but off center pull loads 2 pieces 50% each), Little Extension, check.  Horizontal fixed line case, check (a little ugly, but maintains 50/50 equalization).  Essentially this is the same underlying physics as the alpine equalizer done with clove hitches, but using $15 of cord instead of a $40 specialized piece of gear, and most folks are already have a chunk of cord for this exact purpose.
 
Note:  Full redundancy requires the cloves hitches don't slip, so probably best to use 7mm nylon, or nylon webbing for your material.  A standard 20' cordalette works for this thing, but is pretty long, a ~16-18' one would probably be better if you like the length you get from a normal cordalette.
 
4 piece anchor:
1.    Put a half twist in the middle of the cordalette loop to create a big "8", clipping one loop through the leftmost two pieces, and the second loop through the rightmost two pieces.
2.    Pull the strands down similar to a cordalette and clip a biner into the loops to create a master point.
3.    Clove-hitch the loops to the 4 protection biners and tug on the master point biner to cinch things down.


 
The half twist in the middle changes how the thing extends if a piece pops, but it makes little difference except in the case of the it being pulled far from the nominal position, like a horizontal fixed line in the case that the upper right piece popped.
 
Why I like this approach:
1.    Fairly easy to add biners to the master point even when loaded.
2.    No piece takes more than 50% of the load, and you have static equalization in the vertical case.
3.    Clove hitches are easy to untie, and there are no extra fixed knots like with the Equallete.
4.    There is still at worst 50/50 load sharing for a 90 degree change in load angle.
5.    No specialized gear beyond the cordalette you likely already have, and even a 6' or 8' sling will work (if a clove won't slip, so probably a bad idea with those mammut slings).

Stupid?  Comments?

9
Big Wall Trip Reports / Mideast Crisis, team clod hopper edition
« on: May 31, 2009, 11:17:32 am »
Plan:  My man Ivan the Black can carve out 7 days, Portland to Portland, no more, over Memorial Day.  Schiza that leaves so little margin with two 12 hours drives in there...  But we're stoked, my second attempt on Mideast Crisis, his first wall and first time in the valley.

Wednesday:  Get to the Choppa!!! (name that movie!)  Start the 12 hour drive at 5:30 PM, pull into the bivy for a couple hours nap on Thursday at 5 AM, ugh....

Thursday:  Grab the rack and start the hike.  Beautiful blue skies, warm sun, cool shade, phenomenal weather.

P1:  We let the French (I think?) pass us since we're casual stylin' it, and they're headed up Astroman.  Speakers are pumping out Factory Girls by Flogging Molly.  Fuck yeah.  Ivan's full head of steam runs into the wet 5.7 crux onto the ramp, ugh, but there's nothing that a complete lack of style and a pair of aiders can't solve.

P1 rack notes:  single set of cams from green alien to #2, half dozen draws, pair of aiders if it's wet (or free solo it if you have any fucking free climbing skills!).  Watch for rope drag if linking over to the anchors for Planck's Constant Roof (spectactular variation).

Planck's Roof:  Screw P2/P3, there is a killer roof dude!!!!  My lead, clip a fixed pin on the ramp, slot a green alien, back clean a red alien, and rip through the rack up to #5 to get to the mid-way anchor.  Rope drag my ass, I'm going for it!  Holy shite!  Woop Wooop!  Wanring Will Robinson, that flake rings like a damn tamborine!  Screamer deployed, go back to Yellow Alert boys.  Leap frogging big green monsters in space, oh yeah!  Awkward aiders kicking cams loose back in a flake at the end?  Thank you ma'am!  May I have another?  Phew...  Enough of that, back to the car, there's cold beer waiting!

Planck's rack notes: 1x green alien, 2x red alien to #2, 3x #3-#4, 2x #5, 2x #6 (old school #5 camalots are perfect, #6 friend is almost too big in several spots).  Extra's in #5 C4 size helpful.  Zip the big green cams you had to leap frog back to your partner (easy with a single 60m haul line) and have your partner re-aid.  Rap down on your gri-gri to watch the show and to give moral "support" ("Yurr gunna DIE!!!!!").

Planck's roof, how can you not want do this pitch?!?!




Then rap down and taunt your bud as he re-aids it?


Damn, still conscious, but not enough light to finish another pitch.  Back to the car for a load of water.  50L should be enough, right?  Crap, too slow, miss the Pizza Bar by 5 minutes on the final trip down the trail.

Friday:

Haul... Bags...  Heavy...  Ugh....

Slow start, and lots of bag packing later, and it's time to start jugging.

Haul goes badly, Louisiana boys below bail us out by unsnagging the bags, but they are heeeeeeavy.  More snags, gotta rap and kick, crap.  Daylight burning....  Note:  Hauling from P4 anchors would snag less than hauling from the Planck's anchors, so aim for those before blasting.

One more pitch today, this being a link between the Planck's Constant roof anchors to P3 anchors, then linking through to P4 anchors.  Ivan takes this one.  30' of offset nuts, aliens, and such get to the ledge for the P3 bolts, with some minor gardening required.  From the P3 anchors I con Ivan into aiding up around left instead of pulling the 5.7 moves to free climb the loose pillar.  Basically this requires putting a #2 at the base of the pillar and leaning way out left for an alien.  The rest of the pitch is pretty straightforward, taking up to a #5 before traversing over to a lower out to a yellow alien sized crack.  Once the bags are released it's clear hauling will be our crux (remember that 50L of water?).  I get to the belay at dark and we set about our bivy.  Team clod hopper is moving slow, but at least we're off the ground.

P3/4 (link from Planck's to P4):




Saturday:

Slow packing procedure, as will be the theme of team Clod Hopper.  My lead, P5, where in 2004 I fell while solo and while overly back cleaning, past the anchor, losing a fingernail, and soon bailing.  Payback time!

This pitch leads out a roof and around a corner to a nice vertical dihedral.  The start is a bunch of decent alien placement, and then near the end you get to a weird pin scar.  I believe this is where Mike probably placed an angle, and where my purple TCU had popped in 2004.  After giving up on aliens, and not wanting to pound a pin for some reason, I rummage around and place a #3 ballnut, which is mostly OK.  A bit higher as I enter the dihedral it's two peckers in thin slots.  I don't know how these would go clean, maybe #1 RP's?  Anyway, I give in to the hammer and tap in a couple peckers to get to the alien promise land of the corner.  Beta note:  go up the left side of the dihedral, not the right, I wasted a couple minutes scratching my head on this.  Near the end of the pitch you want to stay left and pull some weeds to get access to #1 and #2 placements to get to the left most bolt of the 3 bolt anchor, don't waste time trying to mantle onto the slopey stance, the bolts will still be out of reach (sheesh).

P5 start:


Ivan took the very steep next pitch, P6.  Lots of #1-#3 cams, some aliens, and a lead bolt go up through an overhanging dihedral to a hanging belay.  Steep!



P7, Enter the Suckage!  OK, Mike's annotated topo makes a note of "Terrible Aid".  What a fucking sandbag.  Terrible doesn't come close to capturing the suckage of this pitch.  You start by continuing up the corner crack from P6 on about 4-5 #1 placements, C1 with minimal back cleaning to avoid screwing the second, but make sure to save a couple #1's for the end of the pitch.  The topo sends you right into the flare, a ~30 degree angled slot of sufferage.  I started with a #3 ballnut, moving on to nuts, small aliens and a LA.  Aiders clog the bottom, trip your feet, and you feel like your are wrestling a damn octopus.  Suckage.  When the worst is over things get more vertical and the LA's and beaks come out.  At the very end you reach a ledge with no obvious way up.  I went from a small nut and was stuck for about 10 minutes desperately clawing around while waiting for the nut to pop.  Eventually a large pecker I'd back cleaned bailed me out (long reach and a hammer tap).

Awoooga!!  I highly recommend someone try staying in the dihedral crack, it connects to the same ledge, and looks to be all #1-#3 pieces and be very casual.  I could see both ends of the crack, but cannot vouch for the middle.  If you make it work, do the community a favor and chisel a fucking arrow in the rock to save humanity from the unnecessary suffering of the flare.

Pitch 7 from below, the flare is just visible up and right, but the straight up crack appears to be a worthy bypass option:


From the ledge halfway up P7 (taking me probably 2 hours to sumo wrestle in a closet) go up the dirty loose looking dihedral, even though it looks a bit improbable.  I slung the largest loose block and clipped it into a red alien to keep it from trundling if I kicked it going up, suckage.  Higher up you burn a large piece (you know, the one that kept ass raping you while swimming in aiders back in the suckage), then a couple C1 moves take you out the roof and on up to the ledge (save a #2 or #3 to put under a block to help pull onto the ledge).  Rope drag will suck, but you still have to scramble up and over onto a ledgelet to clip the bolts (again, out of reach from the ledge proper).  I hauled through the V-slot to the climber's right with no troubles.

Distant shot of all of P7 showing the hateful flare:


Ivan just done with jugging:


The ledge is indeed large, and not very flat.  The 2 bolts over by the bivy ledge are also not great, one Rawl 3/8" spike and one 5/16" button head as I recall.  Consider popping in a third good bolt before hauling up large loads.

Deja Vu Ledge (not very good picts of the real size):



Full disclosure:  I convinced myself something was just wrong, mainly due to the metal stress of the flare, and lowered out of the upper dihedral for the night, fully convinced I'd ended up off route.  I went back up Sunday and finished it off once mostly refreshed.  Poor Ivan was stuck at the P6 belay for about 18 hours total...  Sorry dude!

Sunday:

After finishing P7, Ivan took the P8slab pitch.  He reported modest gardening, and several french style freeing sections.  Hauling was rough, as the ledges snagged, then the bags snagged, etc.  The low angle nature of the anchors makes hauling heavy bags very awkward.

Ivan also took P9/10, finishing up near darkness (damn hauling nightmares...).  The start is rotten and takes some easy free moves to get to the start.  The gear near the base is in semi-rotten rock, so beware!.  Lots of #1, 2, 3 cams get burned, so be careful to conserve yet not screw the second.  The P9 anchor location has a fixed pin to lower off of, so #3's leading out of the roof can be leap frogged a ways.  Ivan reported much hassle due to the crack being just right to let biners wedge sideways.  The pitch ends with upside down dangling while going from an inward facing dihedral to and outward facing dihedral.  Wild!






Monday:

Steepest pitch by far...  P11 is killer!  Basically you start by aiding out a roof on red aliens up to #2'still you hit a corner.  From there dangle as far out as you can and slam in a #5 (make sure you take 2, you'll need the second one soon enough).  From the #5 you have another really long reach to get a #1 into a funky pocket on the other side of a rotten 5" flare, the crux of this pitch.  A decent reach attains a bolt leading up to an only modestly overhung dihedral.  A could cams gains height to a pair of bolts (alternate anchor to P11 anchors?).  A rivet and two bolts aid past the thinnest bottom edge of an overhanging block and soon you pull up to the bolts, with the last move being a pretty long reach from your second #5 (watch out for the sharp edge right there).

P11 is practically slab, if you do a head stand:



Looking back on P11:


From the P11 anchors looking back at the last bit:


Ivan got the last real pitch, pitch 12 which soars over the belay.  It's not clear how wildly overhung it is till you realize your partner is dangling away from wall, toes barely touching the dihedral.  The pitch takes lots of aliens, nuts, and such.  At one point a black alien or a #3 ballnut is needed, but you'd have to ask Ivan exactly where.  Once the dihedral peters out you traverse up and left on some fixed pins, a couple bolts, small cams, and finally some #2 and #3 cams out to the anchor, on an OK stance, finally with sky overhead and not towering rock.




Cleaning P12, nope, not steep at all...


After reading about the neglect of the final pitch, and the relative freakiness of the Astroman finish, I had to give a go at it.  The old Reid guide doesn't help things much, simply showing and arcing crack to a vertical crack to a tree with 100' of 4th class to the top.  As expected there was modest gardening as I went out right and hooked up with the straight section of crack.  The angle is low, and the rock is actually pretty solid with only a crust of loose crystals.  About 2/3 of the way up I was stopped by a spot where the crack runnels out and has a vertical'ish bulge.  I didn't spend much time messing with it, as it looks like a free move (and my left shoe was half duck tape by this point).  Instead I looked left to a flake system that looked like easy climbing.  A black alien to a yellow TCU got me into it, then biggish cams (#2-4) took me around the far side of the flake and to easy scrambling all the way to the tree.



Distant shot of the last pitch as I did it:


Then came the crux...

The slab creating bad hauling, requiring some bag tending by Ivan to get the bags to the tree.  From there the 100' of 4th class is mostly a walk up with just a few actual moves in a chimney thing, and those were easy even with a duck taped foot.  The final haul to the top went very poorly, getting us to the top at about 2:30 in the morning.








10
Big Wall Forum / Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
« on: January 28, 2009, 11:29:40 pm »
Warning:  In multiple places there are high load webbing joints where you must sew through 3 layers of thick webbing with lots of stitches.  You'll break you're wife's machine if you try it on a home machine, and probably won't even get it under the foot.  A low end single stitch industrial machine will do fine with #69 or #92 thread, and can be gotten at Harbor Freight for ~400 bucks ($279 for the head, and $129 for the table last I checked), or watch craigslist till one in good shape shows up.  A speed reducing pulley, or servo motor with a low speed setting is HIGHLY recommended as most of the sewing is small runs, and high speed is NOT needed.  Better yet, rework this design for a bartacker if you have one.
Marking nylon for sewing isn't as easy as you'd think.  A dot of sharpie works, but is ugly and might weaken things.  I use a craft store chalker.  It uses powdered chalk and as a little metal nubby wheel that does a good job of easily making marks that last long enough to get your sewing done, yet the marks quickly disappear in simple handling.
Hard Supplies:
1.  Hook from strapworks.com, 1" bent wire hook made by Suncor Stainless, about $4/ea.  It might be worth filing the hook end to a rounded point before you sew them in place, but I really haven't found it necessary, and I'm lazy.
2.  Aluminum Double Pass 1" from innermountainoutfitters.com, about $3/ea.  They also carry CMI burly ones if you want overkill, and somewhat more annoying snugging up and double backing.  Onrope1 has some $5 ones I have not tried.
3.  Heavy Duty nylon ladder locks from seattlefabrics.com, strapworks.com, or owfinc.com, about $1/ea.
Soft Supplies:
1.  1/4 closed cell foam, 6lb polyethylene recommended (google it).  Anyone ever use something better?  Neoprene maybe?
2.  100 weight Polartech 100 fleece, or smooth nylon in ~200 weight (Cordura is a bit harsh on skin after awhile, avoid it) or equivalent.
3.  Nylon or Polyester 2" seatbelt webbing.  I prefer a slightly softer feel of the Nylon stuff I've gotten over the stiff Polyester stuff REI carries.
4.  Nylon Webbing, 1", about 74" total per leg (7' per color for ordering purposes).  I find tubular nicer to sew with than thick flat.  Climb spec is also a bit thick and I break a lot of thread and needles when I try to use it, so I recommend starting with Mil Spec.  I think the ridgier texture might also creep less in the buckles?
5.  48" thin flat 1" webbing , 24" per stirrup.
6.  56" thick flat 1.5" or 1.75" webbing for foot rash guards.
Cut List (per aider):
For a 15" calf circumference (right below knee) cut the following (all 2x, 1 each for each leg):
1.  15"x3" 1/4" foam, chamfer the corners 3/16" (adjust up or down for size, inch for inch)
2.  18"x7" fleece covering (adjust up or down for size)
3.  14.5" 2" seatbelt webbing (adjust up or down for size, measure is 1/2" less than the calf measurement)
4.  28" 1" tubular webbing, one end cut at 45, increase inch for inch over 17" circumference (length is to the middle of 45 cut, used for cinch strap around calf)
5.  42" 1" tubular webbing one end at 45 degree for jug loop and most of stirrup, adjust up if you are huge
6.  14" 1" tubular for stirrup buckle (adjust up if you are huge and want to keep the buckle low and out of the way)
7.  2x 14" 1.5" or 1.75" thick flat for rash guard
8.  24" thin webbing (stirrup cinch strap)


Marking Nylon/Polyseter Webbing
I tried a lot of things, soap stone, vanishing fabric pens, pins, etch.  By far the best I've found is this widget my wife had but hated for quilting purposes.  It uses powdered chalk and has a little textured wheel for dispensing/grounding in.  Being chalk I have little fear that it will affect the nylon, and it mostly just disappears with handling.  You can also mark things using a dot of sharpy pen, but as we all know shrarpy pens are on the bad list for affecting nylon, and you'll have annoying black dots everywhere.  Sharpy doesn't help much on black webbing either.

Padding:
In Process
Rash Guard:
a.  Sew in the 1" ladder lock with a box X, and sew fold the loose end twice and sew.  This tab makes a nice grabby, and keeps it from unthreading from the plastic buckle.
b.  Sew the ladder lock assembly onto the first rash guard strip, 6" of total sew length centered on the rash guard.  Leave ~1" between the end of the box X to the sewing on the rash guard.
c.  Sew the two rash guards together to make a tube.  Double sew so it doesn't fall apart too easily from abrasion.  For 1.5" webbing you really have to keep the sewing within 1/8-3/16" from the edge, or the 1" stirrup webbing won't fit inside without bunching up.




Stirrup Assembly:
a.  Start by sewing one 1" metal buckle to the end of the 14" piece of webbing with a 1.5" joint.  Set aside.
b.  Fold 4" of the 42" piece over and make a 1" joint.
c.  Thread the 14" through the bottom of the hook and line it up below the Jug loop.  Mock up this spot with the cuff pieces to mjake sure you understand where the 28" calf piece will lay over the hook.  Sew a 1.5" joint.




Cuff:
a.  Mark the 2" seatbelt webbing at 1.5 and 2.75".
b.  Sew on the 28" tubular with a 1.25" joint.
c.  Thread on an aluminum buckle and line the end up with the end of the 2" seatbelt webbing.  Sew the loose end down with a 1" joint, putting extra vertical tacking in where hook tube will be (5 tack minimum, 6-10 preferred).
d.  Line up the top of the 1" joint of the Jug Loop with the bottom of the 28" calf strap.  TRIPLE CHECK IF THIS IS A RIGHT OR LEFT FOOT!  Sew a 1" joint to attach the jug loop/stirrup assembly to the seatbelt webbing.
e.  Pinch aside a small amount of webbing for the hook tube (or life will suck when you try to wrestle the hook into place).  Sew down the remainder using extra vertical tacks at each end, especially at the hook tube area.
f.  Contort and insert the hook to verify it fits before sewing on the padding.  A blunt screwdriver is very helpful, as is a beer.  If it looks good, undue the hook and proceed.  If life sucks, figure out what you fucked up and try again.  Webbing is cheap, as are seam rippers.







Thread on the Rash Guard:


Joint Discussion:
I have not pull tested any of my sewing.  However, none of my stuff has ripped or broken on me, and my sewing has vastly improved over the first stuff I made myself years back.  I base my joints largely on the discussion in the book On Rope (good resource for vertical dorking).  Particularly my style joint is considered the strongest joint style, stronger than a similar number of stitches in a bar tack.  Bar tacks create a stress riser, and as a result can only get at most ~66% of the webbing strength no matter how many tacks are used.  I'd rather used bar tacks, but I don't have a 1" tacker, but my point is simply that there is nothing magical about bar tacks, they are just the best way to do things commercially and repeatably (see: http://www.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/pull_tests_11_98.html for some limited but interesting test results, such as home random sewing beating out commerical tacked stuff).
Stirrup Buckle Joint:
I counted ~180 stitches in the 1.5" joint.  I use #69 thread with a 10 lb nominal strength.  The buckle strap gets 1/2 the climber's weight (assumes equal distribution between two legs of stirrup), and the joint has another 2:1 through the buckle (ignoring friction that is in the joints favor.  On Rope lists a fudge factor of 1.8 as how much strength you get per stitch relative to your threads single strand strength.  So:
Force needed to rip 1.5" stirrup buckle joint = 2x2x10lb*1.8*180=12960lbs*
*webbing or buckle will break first
Hook ripout:
I counted ~180 stitches in the 1.5" joint.  To rip the hook out of its spot it has to pull the short end of the 14" piece of webbing out from in between 2 other piecees of webbing (it's in the middle of a sandwich).  Optimistically this adds a another 2x in strength, but I'm goine to ignore it as I have no reference to tell me how much of the 2x I get.  It has a 2:1 disadvantage due to the pulley effect.  So:
Force needed to rip 1.5" hook joint = 2x10lb*1.8*180=6480lbs*
*hook will unroll first, it has a WLL of 400 lb, so probably a 2000lb break/unroll strength (5:1 safety factor is typical for non-man rated gear)

Jug Loop Joint:
I counted ~200 stitches in the total 2" joint.  Their is a single 2:1 advantage for the joint due to the pulley effect of the biner you'd clip in with.  So:
Force needed to rip 2" jug loop joint = 2x10lb*1.8*200=7200lbs*
*webbing will break first, as a single strand is rate for only ~4,000 lbs
*the 1.5" hook joint would be under shear at the same time, and the previous 6,480 lb calculation would apply here, still stronger than the single strand of 1" tubular by a large margin.
I feel pretty comfortable that I'm using plenty of stitches and a good pattern on these.  It is my belief that you'll break before my aiders do.  When I get spare cash I'll make a couple sacrificial aiders and see if I can get them pulled to destruction by someone for further assurance.  At the very least know that I am FAT, and mine have not failed, even the ones I made years back on my crappy ebay special sewing machine.  I encourage you to vigorously bounce test and reef on yours on the ground before going up real stuff, otherwise your widow might hunt me down for putting the fool idea in our mind that you could make your own climbing gear.



For reference, last years version:  http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=312.0

11
Big Wall Forum / New Years Resolutions
« on: December 30, 2008, 10:19:30 pm »
1.  Mideast Crisis in Spring
2.  T-Trip in Fall
3.  Get a better bar tacker
4.  Lose 25 lbs.

Anyone else?

12
Big Wall Forum / Wall bumpers
« on: October 26, 2008, 11:32:29 pm »
Last winter's discussions of ledge design got stirred up in my mind again recently (as once I finish building doghouses I will once again have time to go fire up the sewing machines).

The design issue I want to particularly focus on is the ledge to rock interface.  On my ledges the wall side fabric gets chewed up pretty fast (duh).  I've yet to deploy the fly (thank god!), but it doesn't exactly have any extra immunity.

Presently the approach on BD, Fish, and probably Metolius is just extra rash guarding, a sacrificial layer to take the beating before the structural fabric starts getting chewed.  My fish has 3" webbing, and the fly has 18 oz VCN.  Yet, despite this, I got a hole due to a fairly shallow blunt edge as there is still a hell of a lot of force concentration even with the extra layer of webbing.  No biggy, but it seams clear to me better can be done. 

1.  Previous posters used clamp on rubber blocks that could even be clamped on the outside of the ledge with bolts and wingnuts.  Neat, but kind of awkward.  Also I don't see someone going out in a storm to deploy them...


2.  Recently I saw a home brew ledge on Ebay with rubber donuts on the wall side poles.  Also neat, but these looked like they would really reduce the packing efficiency, unless of course the could be removed (didn't look like it would be easy in this case).  Also the looking like big rubber washers, thin and flat, so they would just fold over and really not keep the ledge from wearing away against any bump more than 1/2" high.

3.  So I want to propose a cheap option I have yet to see.  Pipe insulation.  Yep, that black closed cell foam crap from Home Despot.  My idea is simply that by putting a layer of squishy stuff over the wall side tubing, the force is spread out more, keeping nubbins and blunt features from creating pressure points.  I'm thinking that in addition to the usual rash guard, you'd have a limp tube of ballistics (or whatever) that would allow the pipe insulation to be slid in (and over the tube).  Packin size would go up, but it would also even reduce chewing of the fly, as the pressure would be spread over a large area of the rock/fly, so there would be less pressure on the fly fabric as the ledge shifted.

Other ideas?  Thoughts?

13
Big Wall Forum / Wingnuts for tangerine trip?
« on: March 30, 2008, 10:36:46 pm »
I know there has been a fair amount of rebolting of assorted sections of the trip, are the 1/4" wing nuts still advised, or is that chapter done?

14
Big Wall Forum / Open Source Russian Aiders
« on: January 15, 2008, 01:57:22 pm »
Note:  Draft form, still needs some editting for clarification and such.

Warning:  In multiple places there are high load webbing joints where you must sew through 3 layers of thick webbing with lots of stitches.  You'll break you're wifes machine if you try it on a home machine, and probably won't even get it under the foot.  A low end single stitch industrial machine will do fine with #69 or #92 thread, and can be gotten at Harbor Freight for ~400 bucks ($279 for the head, and $129 for the table last I checked), or watch craigslist till one in good shape shows up.  A speed reducing pulley, or servo motor with a low speed setting is HIGHLY recommended as most of the sewing is small runs, and high speed is NOT needed.  Better yet, rework this design for a bartacker if you have one.

Hard Supplies:
1.  Hook from strapworks.com, 1" bent wire hook made by Suncor Stainless, about $3/ea
2.  Cinch buckles, 1", 1000lb rating, from onrope1.com, or innermountainoutfitters.com, about $2/ea
3.  Aluminum Double Pass 1" from innermountainoutfitters.com, about $3/ea.  Onrope1 has some $5 ones I have not tried.
4.  Heavy Duty nylon ladder locks from seattlefabrics.com, or owfinc.com, about $1/ea.

Soft Supplies:
1.  1/4 closed cell foam from seattlefabrics.com.  Not great, but OK.  OWFINC.com also carries foam, but I haven't tried theirs yet.
2.  200d taffeta to cover padding from seattlefabrics.com.  I prefer slippery over fuzzy, YMMV.
3.  Nylon or Polyester 2" seatbelt webbing.  I prefer a slightly softer feel over the stiff stuff REI carries.
4.  Nylon Webbing, 1", about 7' total per leg, with 17" of it required to be tubular per cuff, the rest either thick flat or tubular.
5.  11/16"ish supertape, 40", 20" per stirrup
6.  48" thin flat 1" webbing (3/4" works too, but you'll need 3/4" ladder locks and they always look wimpy to me), 24" per stirrup.

For a 16" calf circumference (right below knee) cut the following (all 2x, 1 each for each leg):
1.  16"x3" 1/4" foam, chamfer the corners 3/16" (adjust up or down for size)
2.  18"x7" 200d covering (adjust up or down for size)
3.  15.5" 2" seatbelt webbing (adjust up or down for size)
4.  24.5" 1" thick webbing, one end cut at 45, increase inch for inch over 17" circumference (length is to the middle of 45 cut, used for cinch strap around calf)
5.  20" 1" thick webbing, one cut at 45 (stirrup to cuff strap, might need longer for >7 footers)
6.  17" 1" tubular, ends singed OPEN (rash guard on stirrups, might need to increase for size 14 folk)
7.  18" 1" thick webbing. (hook/buckle/toploop piece, might need to increase for size 14 folk)
8.  24" thin webbing (stirrup cinch strap)



Padding:

a. Sew the 200d covering, good side in, into a tube with a 3/8" seam allowance
b. Sew one end shut with 3/8" allowance (center first seam before sewing)
c. Stuff the padding inside, it is a snug fit intentionally.  Set aside.





Hook/lower buckle:

a.  Thread the 18" webbing through the lower buckle, and over the bottom of the hook.
b.  Fiddle with the spacing till it looks right (I'll add a picture and a couple critical measurements).
c.  Bartack, or zig zag sew a ~1.25" joint with good stitche saturation.  Make sure there is proper tension to decently embed the stitches for decent abbrasion resistance.  Note:  Many opinions abound as to what is best for a pattern, my stitching handles bounce tests, do whatever you darn well please.
d.  Loop the top loose piece of webbing back and make a 1" joint.  Note it is critical to leave the 1" aread that will be sewn onto the 2" seatbelt webbing clear.  This section of stitching is largely overkill, but I was not happy with just a 1" joint.





Cuff:

a.  Line up the 1" cuff strap 2.5" from the end of the 2" seatbelt webbing (small overlap), and make a 1.25" joint.
b.  Thread the 1" cinch buckle (double check orientation!!!) onto the cuff strap.
c.  Fold the cuff strap back along the 2" seatbelt with minimal slop (but not super tight) left for the buckle to move.
d.  Secure the cuff strap with a 1" long box X, with lots of burly stitches where the hook will go.  Fold the strap back out of the way.
e.  Sew on the hook/lower buckle assembly with a 1"x1" joint.  Spend extra time arranging where the hook and cuff strap with sit.  DOUBLE CHECK LEFT VS. RIGHT orientation!!!  Don't make 2 right legs!!!
f.  Fold the cuff strap back into position and sew it down in a simple box outline with lots of burly stitches at both ends.  The far end of the box should be ~2" from the end of the seatbelt webbing (depending on how much adjustment rang you want).
g.  Sew the cuff onto the padding starting at the middle of one side, not the end (the padding and buckle shrink slightly, and your perfectly centered padding will be wonky...).  Put the open end on the strap side, not the buckle side.  Tuck the open end under as you sew around the end.  Wrestling in required in the hook area, though using a zipper foot helps a great deal.









Stirrup Cinch Strap:

a.  Mark the 1" thin webbing at 5", then 6" and 11" on opposite side with chalk.
b.  Thread the ladder lock on, and fold the end back (melted end on the outside of the foot!) to the 5" mark.
c.  Sew with a Box X, about 1.5" long.  Not a body weight joint, but make sure it won't fall apart mid-wall
d.  Fold 1/4" of the then over, then over again (three layers thick).  Stitch with a single row of back backstitched stitches.  This will keep the end from falling out of the ladder lock too easily once threaded through.






Stirrups:
a.  Feed the 20" supertape into the 17" rash guard.  Mush the 1" webbing into the center to give yourself at least 3.5" of super tape on each end for sewing.  Marking with chaclk at the 3" point is advised!
b.  Sew the two end of the super tap together with lots of burly zig sag fill lines.
c.  Slide the rash guard back over the joint with ~1/2" overlap.  The joing will sit at the outside of the foot with the lower mented end to the OUTSIDE of the foot.  Pay attention to the tracer orientation if you care about subtle cosmetics and don't make two right feet.  Fiddle before sewing!
d.  Sew both ends of the rash guard in place with a single back-tack row of stitches.
e.  Put the cinch strap onto the stirrup with the end of the box X matched up with the end of the now captive super tap joint.  Sew in place with three rows of stitches between the 6 and 11" marks, and extra beef at the ends.
f.  Mark the stirrup to cuff strap at 6" from the square end (not the 45 cut).  Fold over the stirrup and line the end up with the mark.
g.  Sew a 1.5" zig zag joint.
h.  Thread the strap into the double pass buckle and enjoy!






15
Big Wall Forum / Short Fixing Ettiquette Question
« on: October 31, 2007, 11:36:25 pm »
On my last failure I dabbled with a bit of short fixing, but what came to mind was who hauls?  It occurs to me that it should be the cleaner most of the time, since you want to keep the leader leading as much as possible.  Kinda sucks for the cleaner (boohoo).  Is this the proper setup, or should you generally haul, then return to leading?  I guess if you have a bad haul, you'd have to haul first to make it possible for the cleaner to un-stick the back as you went along.

Other thoughts?

16
Big Wall Forum / Cutting Weight
« on: January 24, 2007, 05:43:33 pm »
For backpacking I've got my 3-4 day pack under 25 lbs.  When I first got into it it was typically 50 lbs for a weekend trip.  I keep thinking more can be done to shave things down for bigwalls long before reaching the "suffering" point.  For ultralight backpacking dudes go nuts when paring every item down to it's absolute minimum.  Folks spending big bucks for a wind shirt out of 0.9 oz ripstop to replace their 1.1 oz version boggles my mind as much it shames me.  Meanwhile we have ledges with 420d fly fabric, and double thickness 420d bad material...

Obviously water and water content of food really can't be compromised on too much.  Water can always be poured out or donated to the next sucker.

What are your tricks?

Confessions:
I end up with 2 pigs for even short stuff, and only have used single ledges.  20 lbs potential savings there
I always have leftover food, probably 5-8 lbs worth.  Appetite is just lessened on the wall.
I don't pre-rig my poop bags, and always bring too much kitty litter.
I suffer badly from the "just in case" mindset when putting together the rack.

17
Big Wall Forum / Christmas Bonus!
« on: December 21, 2006, 04:21:20 pm »
So I just got a bonus of $600 bucks that my wife actually said I could keep!  Wishlist suggestions?  Here's some of the ideas so far:

1.  New wall gloves.  Last ones wore out helping a friend put in a horse fence
2.  New knee pads
3.  Fresh storm gear.  Current storm jacket was a $30 campmor goretex knockoff special, bought 7-8 years ago
4.  Ipod for those loooong belays.  My mp3 player has gone all intermittent on the sound jack
5.  More valley cams (feel bad, since I don't have a route in mind)
6.  More brass offset nuts (HB or try the new metolius ones?)
7.  Replace my mangled blue Alien
8.  Used industrial sewing machine that can actually sew through webbing

Other ideas?

18
Big Wall Forum / Budget gear testing?
« on: October 20, 2006, 03:21:10 pm »
I'm making more and more soft goods for myself.  Stuff like redoing the straps on my daisies (Fish's replacements have way too big of a girth hitch loop), home made russian aiders, harness for a chest roller, and so forth.

I'd like to venture into more stuff, but the more "life supporting" it gets, the more I want to at least proof test things at say up to ~10-15 kN.

While a full hydraulic rig with a calibrated load cell of some sort would be nice, it is way outside my budget.

I'm envisioning some sort of rig with a big lever arm attachment of a known mechanical advantance of say 20-30:1 with a steel pin to pull with, and stationary steel pin (moveable to multiple holes) to pull against.   Using known dead weight you could readily put pretty accurate forces onto gear.

Anyone else do such a rig?

Should I just sew the crap out of it and hope for the best?  For example I put about 300-400 stitches of #69 thread into my replacement diasy strap.  With an expected break strength of >10 lbs/stitch, I'm looking at >3000 lb break strength of the seam, which is well above where the ancra buckle cuts the webbing.  Sounds good, but it would be nice to really know.

Other ideas?

19
Big Wall Forum / Big fat pulley question
« on: October 09, 2006, 12:28:06 am »
Anyone got experience using the funky looking hollowshaft pulley Yates is selling?

bottom of page on:
http://www.yatesgear.com/rescue/hardware/pulleys/index.htm

Found the weight listed elsewhere at only 9 ounces, which is the same weight at the petzl pro traxion, but with a big fat 3.5" sheave instead of the Petzl's 1.5".  It's way under the 27 ounces listed for CMI's 4" pulley, and the 21.6 ounces for the CMI 3".  Best of both world's?

Obviously still need a jug to use for hauling, but rated at 10,000 lbs it will rid my brain of the heabie jeabies I got from that supertopo thread on all those busted traxion's.

Thoughts?

20
Big Wall Forum / Wall next week? C2/A2'ish
« on: April 21, 2006, 02:58:40 pm »
Looking for a partner for a wall next week, like Thursday-Tuesday'ish (28th-2nd).  My dates can be moved a day or two if necessary.  I'm planning of drivng down Wednesday night and spending Thrusday ferrying and fixing, so I could even handle Someone showing up Friday morning if you don't mind me fixing the first pitch or three.

I have gear, most anything you might need short of daisies and a helmet.   I'll lead C2/A2 kind of stuff.  I'll lead like 5.7 stuff out of aiders.  If you want to do harder, I'll happily follow and watch in amazement.  I've done 2 walls in good style (well, my pitches anyway), and bailed off a couple more.  Maybe the trip?  Mideast Crisis?  Lurking Fear?  Other?

I would really prefer someone who has done a wall, or at the very least done a bunch of practice aiding/cleaning.

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