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Messages - johnmac

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Zenyatta Mondatta, Solo, June 2011 Photos
« on: June 28, 2011, 01:53:33 pm »

I'm sure you have been asked this before and you're answered it, but I can't find it. What are makes and models of your pulleys?



Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Shield TR 6/11
« on: June 28, 2011, 12:01:57 pm »
Many thanks for sharing and congrats on the trip.

Awesome Tr and pics.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Zenyatta Mondatta, Solo, June 2011 Photos
« on: June 28, 2011, 12:00:47 pm »
Many thanks for posting up the link.

I was in the garage last night till midnight (I get up at 4.45am for work) reworking my systems and incorporating some of your ideas into it.  Your willingness to share ideas and tips along the way is really really appreciated. I think that often we end up thinking our systems are the best and it isn't until you see what some other people are doing you realize you have the blinkers on.

I particularly like the way you set up your lead rope. Such a simple and safe system. Usually I use  sling to equalize everything, but that creates another link in the system and drops the height down.

You're an imspiration Mark, from day one when I read about you and Max in mountain magazine all those years ago and it just keeps on going...

This is what sets this site apart. It may be a small campfire but it glows really bright.

Thank you.

I kind of view tagging as a pretty specialized technique that you add to your systems once everything else is figured out. Right now, on your first aid solo I would keep it simple.

A rope bag will work best. A stuff bag or even one of those reusable shopping bags that you use at safeway, king soopers, etc works at a pinch.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hooks
« on: June 22, 2011, 11:36:18 am »
If you go to

and click on order online there are the 3 inch hooks listed. I'm at work so I can't purchase it, but I was able to add it to my cart, ....

By the looks of it, Pika is going to get back into business.

The big thing I would stay is don't put yourself under time pressure. Give yourself plenty of time to work and develop your systems.

Learning from other people is great and there is a wealth of information out there on the net and plenty of people on this site that are willing to share and help. The important point is that no two soloist do it exactly the same. You're end up developing your own systems that work for you. Have other people critique them to make sure they are safe, etc, but understand that it takes time to get a really smooth dialed in system. Be careful of not making things harder than they need to be.

Each time I solo something I find that there are little tweaks that I try. Sometimes I add things and think, yeah, that works, but I'll never do it again due to the complexity of setting it up. One example is fifi hauling. It works well when everything goes well, but can also turn to a complete CF, so I stay away from it.

Pay anal atention to rope managment. Be very very careful how you stack your ropes in your rope bag and envision where the rope will run.

Post up any questions you have. Don't be shy.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hooks
« on: June 21, 2011, 06:53:57 am »
Thanks Caz.

I have the 1.5 and the 2 inch modeals. I've also got the fish hooks. I'm really just adding to my collection/addidiction.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hooks
« on: June 20, 2011, 07:24:56 pm »
I'll take the other one if it is available.

Big Wall Forum / How's Mark doing on ZM
« on: June 18, 2011, 01:45:04 pm »
Since Tom Evans has stopped reporting I was wondering if someone could give an update on how's Mark doing on ZM. Is he off yet?

Those pics of the 9 o'clock roof looked fantastic.



Big Wall Forum / Re: 100m hauline?
« on: June 14, 2011, 07:04:30 pm »
70m is the way to go.... lots of options.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Rare copper corner A5 ledge sighting
« on: June 14, 2011, 12:28:01 pm »
There is another ledge for sale as well. The bed looks like it needs some work, but the fly looks great. Maybe I should try to buy it just for the fly and then resale the ledge?

crawled it!

Big Wall Forum / Re: 2:1 or 2 hauls?
« on: May 05, 2011, 12:57:40 pm »
2:1 for sure. No point hurting yourself on the first few days of a route. Use mechanic advantage wisely and listen to Mark!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Thoughts on runners/draws for solo-aid
« on: April 18, 2011, 07:23:08 pm »
I take a variety of slings and draws:

10-12 quick draws for extending pieces that I think the angel of the rope might pull in the case of fall (various lengths, extendable)
Half a dozen screamers
2 x 6 foot long prussik cords thats I use to reduce the weight of the rope when leading throughout the pitch or when I'm concerned about edges, etc.
Several double slings

Big Wall Forum / Re: Yos or Zion 12th-24 of April
« on: April 11, 2011, 10:22:15 am »
The vigin river has been running really high the last week and will probably continue to grow as snow melts occurs... I've crossed it up to 250cfs but the last few days it has been running at 800 +,00060,00010,00095,72020

What this means is that access to Angels Landing, Moonlight isn't so straightforward as you have to go via the old climbers trail from the Angels Landing Trail. Its okay, but makes a 30 minute approach into an hour and a half. There are lots of false leads and it pays to scout the trail without gear first.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Psychovertical by Andy Kirkpatrick
« on: April 08, 2011, 06:36:23 pm »
If it is the same copy that I sent to Mark, I purchased it directly from Andy and he offered to sign it for me.

Love the Reticent solo chapters.

Big Wall Forum / Re: scored a verm hook
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:01:49 am »
At gearheads over the weekend in Moab I saw a large variety of some huge hooks if anyone is looking for them. They also had the Kong Block Rolls as well. Kong has really improved the design. This current model is considerably lighter. It is no longer a boat anchor which was my issue before. The action is really nice on both the clamp and the pulley.

Unfortunately it comes with a 160 price tag. Id like to get one at some stage but it's hard to justify when I'm not going to use it soon.

Big Wall Forum / Re: DNC Management housing in Yosemite
« on: March 24, 2011, 09:20:39 am »
Thanks Nanook.

Yes, the devil will be in the details....

Big Wall Forum / Re: DNC Management housing in Yosemite
« on: March 22, 2011, 06:26:06 pm »
Thanks, I haven't got it yet, but it's down to three people... haven't talked money yet either, so that might be a stopper....

Big Wall Forum / DNC Management housing in Yosemite
« on: March 22, 2011, 12:47:14 pm »
My wife and I are looking for a change and I'm shortlisted for a job in Yosemite with DNC. The position comes with "Director/Managment" housing so I was wondering what that actually entailed. I've got the official version from the HR Director but I was hoping someone would be able to let me know what it really is... Where exactly are they located. I was told in the Park not in El Porta.

I figured that if I posted this over on supertopo I would get a lot of comments about why not to work for them, but honestly I don't really care. All companies have their good and bad points...

However, if someone works for them...




Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Design Discussion
« on: February 20, 2011, 12:12:33 pm »

Thanks for the info. Sounds like a great fabric.


Big Wall Forum / Re: TONS of Aliens on Ebay, whats the deal?
« on: February 19, 2011, 05:41:59 pm »
Thanks for the heads up.

I'm really surprised that there are so many on ebay as well. Even if I loss my job and couldn't pay the mortgage I wouldn't be selling my aliens. I'd sell c4's before that.

I also can't believe that people are selling them at cost and switching to master cams. The master cams that I've used to date complement aliens but I'm still not convinced that the trigger wire is that dependable, especially in the smallest size. Sure, they fit some places where aliens don't since they are narrower, but the flexibility of the aliens still rules.

What are the rumors you are referring too?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Ebay Alert - A5
« on: February 18, 2011, 06:26:52 pm »
That's the fly that I want to get, I've been watching it for a couple days. I'll try to get it on Monday.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Design Discussion
« on: February 16, 2011, 08:40:44 pm »
Does anyone know what the "breathable" material that the North Face A5 Alpine fly's were made out of? I'm guessing it isn't goretex but some type of similar material.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Design Discussion
« on: February 16, 2011, 08:25:15 pm »
You're got some great ideas there! And thanks for the analysis on the BD ledge.

Basically the BD ledge is just total overkill. I was really interested in it when I saw it online but as soon as I looked at it in the shop and saw how heavy it was, I figured I would never use it. The difference in weight between the A5 and BD is just too much.

I'm surprised no one has purchased Luke's single ledge. It looks great. If I had the money I'd buy it. Unfortunately, my wife is in the process of losing her job (Operating Room Clinical RN) due to the economy. Centura Health just isn't making enough money so we trying to bank it away while we can.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Design Discussion
« on: February 16, 2011, 12:07:03 pm »
That's great that you and Luke are in touch. Hopefully, you can help each other.

There must be an alternative out there rather than heavy ledges! Personally, I don't like Fish ledges. I just don't like the tangle of webbing. My fav ledge is still the old A5 Double, but at some stage I'm going to have to replace it. I've been looking for a alpine fly for it for years, and each time I either get auctioned out or the lead I'm following goes no where.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Design Discussion
« on: February 15, 2011, 06:52:13 am »
Maybe email luke and chat with him about designs. Some of the stuff that he is doing is pretty impressive and between the two of you, you might be able to make great strides in design!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Gri gri on the big falls?
« on: February 13, 2011, 12:10:19 pm »
Get yourself a silent partner. You're love it for those free pitches and it works great aiding as well.

For free pitches I carry the rope in a small pack. For aid I just use one loop and when the loop runs out I pull up another 30 or so feet and carry on. The harness attachment removes any worry of cross loading or breakage. The grigri isn't designed for soloing, the silent partner is.

People bitch about the cost but is a couple hundred bucks really that much these days for a piece of quality equipment.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Gri gri on the big falls?
« on: February 11, 2011, 02:00:38 pm »
Didn't the accident on Eagles Way years ago result in a broken biner/girgri attachment point. I don't know the specifics but I've seen Pete post it up on supertopo.

The Silent partner works so well that I haven't used a girgri for solo leading in probably ten years. 

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