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Messages - johnmac

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Hello....
« on: April 06, 2010, 01:52:02 pm »
I see the date I signed up as June 06, 2006, 03:24:29 PM but no User Number!

Non Climbing (if you must) / Re: FS - La Sportiva TC Pro rock shoes
« on: March 25, 2010, 11:58:39 am »
Some one should buy these shoes. The TC Pro's are awesome shoes and 95 bucks is a steal. I think I paid 160 for mine.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Lurking Fear TR
« on: March 25, 2010, 11:57:09 am »
Thanks for sharing... Yes, gotta watch those drives home.

My wife and I joke all the time that the most dangerous aspect of my big wallin is the last half mile to our house as I pass two roundabouts that seem to have crashes on a weekly basis!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge bed dimensions
« on: March 24, 2010, 08:16:03 pm »
A5/NF Standard Double Ledge

42 x 74.5 inches (external)
40 x 72.5 inches (interrnal)

The perfect one person ledge if you're about 5' 6" tall.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Single or Double, who to buy from?
« on: March 22, 2010, 09:16:34 pm »
The double is really nice when it's raining.  Lots of space to spread out and relax, sort gear, change, etc and stay away from the condensation.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Ladders
« on: March 22, 2010, 07:21:11 am »
I use 2 Yates BW Ladders and carry a speed aider as a third if needed. I find using adjustable daises or aiders just slows me down. The ladders work so well.

Big Wall Forum / Re: A5 Flys for sale over on Ebay
« on: March 21, 2010, 09:51:03 am »
Good to hear about the poles, they can be hard to find.

I'm still looking for a A5 Standard double expedition fly if someone ever sees one.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Rehab sucks (OT)
« on: March 21, 2010, 09:49:54 am »
Having been there and done a lot of PT ... initially it can be a little disheartening since the progress is so slow, but totally stick with it and you're be fine. Don't over do it, just do the exercises that you need to do so you don't go too fast to quickly. I did both achilles at the same time and I was in two casts and I could barely walk ...

I found that once I had move in my legs the best thing for me was a stationary cycle...

By the time spring really kicks in you're be doing fine and a few months later your "bad" leg will probably be the stronger one.

Good luck on the rehab and keep us posted.



I've known people that do the counterbalance hauling off a fifi to use a short piece of light cord between the end of the haul line and the haul loop on the harness that acts as a breakable link in the event of the haul bag falling off the anchor.

Must be real scary if it every happened.

I've tried this once and I ended up getting really tangled up. I think if you know how to do it and the haul is straight up and down it must be a big energy saver.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Portaledge Single or Double, who to buy from?
« on: March 16, 2010, 02:44:39 pm »
The fish ledge is great, light and easy to set up and has plenty of room. However, I really don't like the way the straps come together at the top. It really needs some way of bringing them together nicely so that they don't get all twisted, etc.

I still think the A5 double is the best design out there if you can find one.  I can easily set it up by myself hanging off anchors. The Fish ledge takes me longer.

If I was going to buy a ledge, I'd also by a fly with doors and windows, etc, so you can ventilate the ledge and also see what is going on outside.

The BD ledge is just too heavy.

I don't own a Metolius ledge but everyone I've spoken with about them like them.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Far end hauling
« on: March 15, 2010, 07:34:55 pm »
300 Pounds... Wow that's a lot of days ... Make sure you read the book I sent you. It has a nice section on hauling.

The far end system is a life saver when soloing. I always regret when I don't set it up BEFORE I leave the ground.

Big Wall Forum / A5 Flys for sale over on Ebay
« on: March 14, 2010, 07:52:33 pm »
There are several A5 rainflys for sale over on Ebay right now.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Personal 2 to 1
« on: March 14, 2010, 07:32:57 pm »
Thanks for sharing. That's a pretty cool idea.

I've done something similar several times when the haul bag/lead line has become a snag fest. Generally I improvise at the time and do a mini haul. Rather than using a docking cord, give an adjustable daisy a try. It's faster and provides more options.

Big Wall Forum / Re: "Yo" to Mark Hudon, new BW.c member
« on: March 13, 2010, 07:10:53 pm »
Welcome abroad Mark.

This is a great site for sharing and bouncing ideas around.



Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Lost in America
« on: March 11, 2010, 06:37:50 pm »
Great TR and thanks for posting the link. I missed this one on ST.

Big Wall Forum / Re: let's talk Mescalito and WOEML
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:00:40 pm »
I find checking this website out late at night can be unsettling as well. So many people doing stuff and I'm working all the damn time, etc. Fortunately, things are going to change soon.

I've always wanted to climb WOEML. I know its not the best climbing, has lots of ladders,. etc, but standing below it and looking up you can just feel the history.

I've got three more years to go before our mortgage is paid off so it's going to have to wait but as soon as I quit my job and head for california, this route is one that I want to climb.  Until then,  I've got plenty of stuff in Colorado and Utah to keep me busy.

Another lunchtime in cube hell looking at topos!

Big Wall Forum / Re: wall Shoes
« on: February 16, 2010, 10:14:18 pm »
The fit is true to size but I recommend going down 1/2 size if your going to be aid climbing or climbing rock pitches in them.  This is from the link below:

Big Wall Forum / Re: let's talk Mescalito and WOEML
« on: February 16, 2010, 10:09:40 pm »
Interesting read .... The 17 foot stickhook move .... who the hell carries something like that? I still don't understand why someone would destroy bolts and anchors on a route such as WOEML.

Quote from the alpinist article: "The seventeen-foot stickhook move on pitch 24 bypasses a super-thin flake, but has real bloodbath potential"

Big Wall Forum / Re: New Yosemite Bigwall guides
« on: February 14, 2010, 11:46:31 am »
Regarding the emphasis on clean grades I suppose that is because I do most of my climbing on sandstone so I've seen a lot of destruction over the years. I'm no zealot regarding clean climbing, I just try to always climb clean if I can. I select routes with clean climbing in mind.

If the first clean ascent could be included that would be awesome.

I think a lot of times people think aid climbing has a hammer and a nail mindset and people just don't know about the options climbing clean. If the topo stated that the first climb ascent was such a date, and topos showed pitches with both the clean and the aid rating that would really help convince people what the options were.



Big Wall Forum / Re: New Yosemite Bigwall guides
« on: February 13, 2010, 09:04:10 pm »

I think your new topos look great and think that there are going to be comparisons made between your topos and others out there regardless of what you do. Choose a line thickness that works best for your topos.

I'd like to see the following:

- Color: I think this really helps to visualizing the route
- Photo overlay: As well as the topo have a photo that clearly shows the route as well to help pick up the features
- Grades: I would like to see the C grade proceed the A grade. For example if the route goes at C3 / A2. Then emphasize the C3 first, followed by the A2 grade afterwards
- Cost: I think it great that you are doing this as a community service but please put something somewhere on your site to let people donate towards the cause. There will be lots of costs involved and I'm sure that there will be plenty of people out there that who would like to support you.
- Book: I'm not sure if I misunderstood but are you still producing a book that will contain all the topos or just the topo downloads. I hope you produce a book as well, as there is nothing quite like pulling out my guidebooks while having lunch at work (in cube hell) and taking some time out and looking at a topo at random.

Thanks for your efforts and community service.



I think the key here is not to be hard set on your systems and continually evaluate them. Often as soloist we don't have people who critique our systems and what we think is a great system can be flawed. That's what makes this forum so different than all the others. The willingness to share and be open about things. Also, just because your system is different doesn't mean its bad, but rather just another way of doing it.

I spend a lot of time practicing systems and testing other peoples ideas in my garage. I really get a kick out of it. If my wife can find me she knows where to look! I often don't drastically change the way I do things, but rather just tweak it a little and compare and contrast. If it snows on Sunday I'll be spending most of the day day testing out some of the ideas shared here.

Thanks for sharing that seems like a really simple and safe way to do it.

Those photo's over on mountainproject are probably mine. I've rapped using a protrax and a prussik cord holding the weight of the rope. Backed up to the powerpoint. If you are interested I can try to dig them out and post them up here.

I did some drawings for someone over on supertopo a couple weeks back and I could send them to you if you wanted them.


Big Wall Forum / Re: New Yosemite Bigwall guides
« on: January 31, 2010, 09:27:59 am »

Thanks for taking up this challenge. I'm really looking forward to it!

I like being able to compare routes like in the sp guides as well. With purchase of the guidebook, being able to download pdf files or topos would be great.

Please try to really emphasize routes that have gone clean as well. History is very important and an area that many guide books fail at. If you capture the history and imagination of the first climbers then you're have a big winner on your hand.

Safety and technical stuff doesn't need to be included, it's a guide book not a "how to climb big walls book.

Also, the topos don't need to be "super detailed", as I've often found that some of this information is either out of date or incorrect. Choose a nice blend between straight lines and supertopo!



Big Wall Forum / Re: Suggestions on First Solo Wall
« on: December 09, 2009, 07:50:49 pm »
Great info in this thread!

Thanks for sharing.

Big Wall Forum / Re: I need a Static Line recommendation please.
« on: December 09, 2009, 07:48:10 pm »
I have no worries juggling my old lead lines. When I say old, they're still in great shape and I would have no problem leading on them if I had too. I like newish ropes since I use a silent partner a lot, and once they get a bit furry I retire them. They make great haul lines, spare ropes, etc.

Big Wall Forum / Re: I need a Static Line recommendation please.
« on: December 09, 2009, 10:12:18 am »
I always just use an old 10mm lead line. 70m is nice.

I've yet to haul loads where I felt the added benefit of a static line was worthwhile.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Some Wall gear for sale over on mountainproject
« on: December 01, 2009, 09:16:51 pm »

Some wall gear over on for sale...

Biners, rurps, belay seat, rivet hangers, pings, wires, tricams, etc

Big Wall Forum / Re: Gear Deals
« on: November 24, 2009, 09:28:30 pm »

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