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Messages - johnmac

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Wall Free climbing
« on: June 26, 2009, 12:24:54 pm »
For me it depends a lot of what sort of footwear I'm wearing. If I'm wearing my stiff aid boots then I basically don't free anything unless I really have too! If I'm wearing my 5.10 tennies (my current favourite wall shoe with ski boot inserts), I'll get out of my aiders from time to time to get ahead on 5.6 - 5.8 terrain, etc.

Right now I'm looking at buying a pair of sportiva tradmasters that I've sized for a comfy fit wearing socks to become my next wall boot. I think having a rock shoe will really help me free more than I currently do. I used to have a pair of old oversized aces that worked a trick at this. If they don't work out I'll just sell them on Ebay and probably make a profit!

Big Wall Forum / WTB - A few angles and KBs
« on: June 26, 2009, 10:27:05 am »
I'm wanting to purchase a few BD pins:

2 x 3/4 inch angels

2 x 1 inch angles

2 or 3 knife blades

Sawned offs are fine since that will save me the effort of hacksawing them!

So if you have any extra iron lying around and don't need it anymore please shoot me an email.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Back Cleaning question for discussion
« on: June 25, 2009, 10:39:31 am »
I only climb sandstone these days and with no trips to the vallley planned in the near future, I tend to back clean only specific pieces such as hybrid aliens or pieces that i only have one of.  In Yosemite I used to back clean aggressively to lighten the rack, but in Zion I'm pretty conservative.

If I'm climbing with a partner I'll backclean to make the cleaning easier.

Big Wall Forum / Re: New way to do a adjustable daisy...
« on: June 25, 2009, 10:36:16 am »
I really would need to see this is action before I would want to go out and spend money and try it.

I'm still using my legs to stand up rather than pulilng myself up on adjustable daisies. Maybe I'm slow but I just don't see the need. Up to c3 I don't even use daises, just have two wall ladders floating. C3 or harder then I use one traditional daisy and one adjustable. The adjustable is part of my jugging set up so it is used for other things as well.

Sometimes I think we tend to make aid climbing a lot more complicated then it needs to be.

Maybe Pete or Kate will post up some pics from their climb on el cap this week and it might change my mind and I'll finally get it.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Batting a 100
« on: June 18, 2009, 08:35:47 am »
Stop now while you are ahead!

Wall climbing for me igenerally seems that I get up every 2nd or third go around.

I introduced one of my climbing partners to walls and we drove down to zion climbed a wall the next couple of days and drove back and he thought, wow, whats the big deal. Next trip we only got a couple of pitches up and had to bail due to heat exhaustion (late September) and then a month later due to rain... Now he understands that getting up the wall is only a bonus, its the journey that what makes wall climbing so intoxicating.

Big Wall Forum / G-Money Zion
« on: June 16, 2009, 05:47:14 pm »
Anyone got an updated topo for G-Money in Zion. I

I believe it goes at c3 and it looks like a nice route but i haven't been able to track down a topo for it yet. (Park Hq didn't have any.)



Big Wall Forum / Re: Bruce Binder.....
« on: June 16, 2009, 08:20:06 am »
Like I said over on the taco stand...  I never met Bruce but felt that I had know him for years from his posting on supertopo.

Sorry for your lost.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Looking for 70m Static line! Ahhhh
« on: June 16, 2009, 08:16:05 am »
I've personally never seen the benefit of a 70m cord for hauling...  It gets heavy. If there are a lot of lower outs then carry a light cord for this purpose.

i would go with a 70m lead line before a 70m haul line.

The BW 10.5 60m rope is a good cord for hauling but my preference these days is a 10.5 or 11mm retired lead line. I just like the extra options it gives you. I don't notice the stretch much at all.

Whatever way you decide it will work out fine.

On a recent trip back home I found a spare copy of Yosemite climbs by George Meyers. Its the yellow, 1st edition.  Its never been read, so its in mint condition. Asking 40.00 obo.

I also have a copy of Climb, by Bob Godfery, 1977. (1st Ed.) The jacket is ripped but the book is in very good condition. 100 obo.

I'm trying to get some money together to buy some offsets!



PS: If anyone is interested I can post up pics.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Post Wall Disorder
« on: May 29, 2009, 09:36:55 am »
I'm pretty much the same way...

Sometimes I don't want to top out and plan on spending another night just below the top, or start late on the first day and bivy low so a two day climb becomes a 3 dayer with two bivies... Especially if I'm soloing ...

I find the PWD kicks in only if I don't have another project in mind. Hence a couple days after getting off a wall, I start researching and gathering beta, buying specific gear, etc, for the next route, even if it 6 months away. I block out the time in my work calendar and tell my boss that I'll be away that week, etc.  This really helps me and fills the void so to speak.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Short fixing with 4
« on: May 26, 2009, 07:03:12 pm »
I've climbed in a group of 4 a few times and it worked okay. You can have a lot of idle time unless you are the person doing the leading... Best to do it in blocks swapping daily.

1. Group 1 leads and 2nd jumars up with 2nd rack.
2. Group 2 cleans and hauls and then passes the rack to first time.

You will have to take a 2nd rack and extra lead and haul line. Take a tag line as well.

The pair hauling will need to be pretty self sufficient and know how to clean and haul without slowing the leading pair down. That's the challenge. Once you are off the ground into the second day it goes pretty well. Anchors can be a challenge, especially if you don't have four or five bolts so you can get separation and have enough room to hang two ledges.

Which route are you looking at doing?

By the way have a great time.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Mountain Tools Wall Bags
« on: May 26, 2009, 09:27:48 am »
I haven't noticed that thing about small orders with Russ. That's all I do.

i ordered several orders from him, for one or two items, like less than 25 dollars and he has always come through on time.

Let him know what you want and specific a drop dead date and he will make it.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Tricams
« on: May 18, 2009, 09:43:41 pm »
I use tricams all the time for aid. They're great for blown out holes in zion.

I have the smallest 6 sizes including the new black and white and two pinks. I hadn't thought of modifying them ... good idea. Any chance of posting up a pic showing a modified tricam.


Big Wall Forum / Grey Aliens
« on: May 18, 2009, 10:22:00 am »
Does anyone buy the Grey Aliens...

They are supposed to fill a gap between the Yellow and Red sizes but I haven't found that to be an issue...

Also likewise with the grey/red and yellow/grey hybrids...

If I go buy what's available in the shops these sizes are probably the easiest ones to buy.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Reid Big Walls book
« on: May 15, 2009, 03:38:41 pm »
Looks like Chessler has it for 35.00.

Big Wall Forum / Re: new lowering out video w/ audio
« on: May 04, 2009, 06:03:15 pm »
Yes, the lower out sling does change color, black to red and back to black.

One question I had was your top (Blue) clamp setup. It looks like you have clipped your aider in to the biner hole with a plain biner and then clipped your teether into that biner user a locker. I do the absolute opposite. The locker goes into the clamp and then the aider is clipped in with another biner.

Other than that point the vid is amazing. Thanks for putting it together and sharing.

Big Wall Forum / Two Aider Experience
« on: May 03, 2009, 10:26:40 am »
Last weekend on a wall I committed to the route without my usual aider setup and found it pretty enlightening so I thought I should share. Usually I take the following:

* 2 pr of Aiders (4 in total)
* Set of speed slings for cleaning
* Yes an old heavy system, but very comfortable.

The aiders are free floating. I don't connect them with daisy's until I start hooking etc.

On this wall I only took 2 Yates wall ladders and after the first couple of pitches I was really wondering why I had changed my tried and true methods but my the top of the route I knew I wasn't going to go back to the old system. I had used ladders in the past but hadn't liked them so I knew what I was getting into.

To make the transition easier try this:

1. Wear sticky shoes, such as five tennies. You want to be able to smear and be able to create a stable platform for your other foot. Try placing the heel of your free foot against the heel of the foot in the aider. It works surprisingly well. I wear stiff ski boot inserts in my wall shoes for extra support.

2. Teeing off helps a lot in keeping your body in position. If you don't know what I'm talking about buy Jeff Lowes, clean walls DVD. Toes got a little tender but not too bad.

3. The edges on the Yates aiders are sharp (new) and this caused my shins to get cut up and tender. Usually I wear knee pads but in this case having them slip down and cover my shins worked pretty well. Hopefully with use this issue will go away.

4. Jugging with the ladders were fine and as long as I keep my toes pointed slightly down my feet didn't come out. No need to carry my jugging system anymore.

5. A third ladder would be helpful in some situations such as going through roofs, etc.  I'm going to buy a Yates speed ladder for this.

6. Top stepping is pretty easy in ladders since the distance between steps is less than some of my aiders. Just have a fifi set up with the right length prior to stepping up. In my garage on my climbing wall I have a series of anchors set up as a bolt ladder and over the years have practiced top stepping. With some practice you will be amazed at how big a step you can take.

For example, Prodigal Sun is a very popular route in zion and the first pitch is often a horror show for people due the distance between bolts. The first time I climbed that pitch I was cursing the person who put it up the entire way and I had to make a stick clip to reach the fixed pro.  It took like 3 hours to climb the first 2 pitches.

The next time I climbed it I was able to top step easily and kept waiting for the long reaches that never came. I can't over emphasize how important this is.... It saves time  (1 hour lead compared to 3 hrs) and allows you to make better placements.

7. The aiders show more wear and tear than I thought they would after one wall. I'm going to have to apply some edge protector to the edges of the aiders and all the joins. Note: The wear and tear is cosmetic only.

8. Less clutter to worry about. 2 aiders is less work than 4.

There is probably other things I can add but can't remember right now and the sun is coming out so its time to head outside...

For hard aid I'm going to stick with my 2 pr for aiders but for routes up to C2 + I'm going to be using my new system from now on.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Pipe right up, Guest
« on: May 01, 2009, 09:37:24 pm »
I'm kind of surprised too that not more people post here. Especially, considering the willingness  that people share all sorts of experiences and ideas freely and there is absolutely no ego involved. Good open discussion. No political BS, that's what attracts me to it.

Regardless of ones experience I would whole heartedly encourage lurkers to post up. The only stupid question is the one not asked.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Ratings
« on: April 29, 2009, 05:36:48 pm »
I'm pretty sure they mean the following

goes at c3 with Fixed pro in place (F)

However, the route is X rated, no don't f..k up.


Big Wall Forum / Re: Far end hauling
« on: April 29, 2009, 11:16:12 am »
Regarding the location of the tied off rope below the sviwel....

I screwed up in my demo. It should be above the swivel.  I have another picture out there that shows how it should be set up with the rope tied off above the swivel.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Far end hauling
« on: April 28, 2009, 08:48:50 am »
Hey, they're my pictures....

I've used by set up many times and it works very well. A lot better than rapping down to unstick the pig, and getting back to the anchor and still not being able to haul... 

Always back up the haul line to the bag. in the picture I have the haul line tied into the lower biner but some people have told me that it should be tied into the biner where the mini trax is located. The reason for this is if the bag starts to spin the rope could get badly messed up. However, I haven't seen this yet. I've tried it both ways.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: The Prow - Solo
« on: April 21, 2009, 10:08:07 am »
Thanks for sharing, great TR.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Fish One Night Stand
« on: April 14, 2009, 03:19:20 pm »
I have single point hammock that is nice to take when you might end up spending the night but don't want to take a ledge. However, the few times I've used it I haven't really slept that much. I suppose once you get use to using a ledge it is so hard to go back....

Big Wall Forum / Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« on: April 14, 2009, 03:17:22 pm »
The mallion goes on the other end of the grigri, so it replaces your biner. I have a petzl mallion that was designed for Caving. Not sure whether it is any stronger than the hardware shop type but the finish is very nice and shiny....

Big Wall Forum / Re: Solo aid tagline...
« on: April 04, 2009, 12:15:45 pm »
Petes diagram - solo Tagging

Continuous loop

Big Wall Forum / Re: Solo aid tagline...
« on: April 04, 2009, 12:09:43 pm »

I was working with Pete for a while to move all his stuff from to mountain project where I'm one of the admins of the site. We kind of got blogged down and it didn't fully happen. However, I would still like to make this happen if we ever have the time. I have a lot of his stuff from including the tagging stuff. I'll post up the pics shortly.


I have several of the standard screamers that I incorporate into my anchor system and the first couple of pieces when soloing and a half dozen of the yates aid screamers. I don't climb any harder than c3+ and just keep them for really dodgy pieces. I'd like to have more but will need to win Lotto to afford them.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« on: March 26, 2009, 09:54:58 am »
What a great link... don't know how I missed that discussion. excellent!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« on: March 25, 2009, 01:48:17 pm »

Every time I look at one of those Kong devices I just think I'm better off using a large pulley and a a jug if I was to haul large loads.

The Kong seems just too heavy to me and I wasn't impressed with the way the jug is attached to the plate... Seemed real old school in the design.

If you have a picture of a new one that you or someone else could post to show how wrong I am that would be great.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« on: March 23, 2009, 02:31:20 pm »
Yes, he was tied to the end of the rope...

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