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Messages - johnmac

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« on: March 22, 2009, 03:19:53 pm »
Ditch the pear shape biner and replace with either a steel biner or a Maillon Rapide D.

If you are going to use a gigri you might as well make it as safe as possible. There is one case of a Brit using a DMM Belay Master biner falling on Eagles Way and the biner breaking...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Protecting your portaledge
« on: March 20, 2009, 12:49:55 pm »
I was unpacking some servers from Dell this morning and I starting looking at the packaging material in lieu of protecting the ledge. They have some very light, dense plastic hard foam. I'm thinking I could make some "bumpers" out of it and try it next time I'm out. It would take up a little bit of room but it wouldn't weight anything...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« on: March 20, 2009, 12:48:04 pm »
You could do without it and just haul the knot up into the device to release the tension, but I like load release knots because they offer an easy way out incase something doesn't go as planned.


Thats the key statement there... it gives  you options!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Lead Rope Suggestions?
« on: March 20, 2009, 12:45:58 pm »
I've had really bad luck with PMI ropes. I've brought them on special and they have either become steel cables or worn very quickly!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« on: March 19, 2009, 10:46:57 am »
I use a short sling on top of the protrax to ensure that it has the ability to move about without restriction. Backup with a prussik or tie off directly with the rope below the device and then use a mini haul... I generally prefer the later. I've hauled on it a lot and never had an issue with it hauling up to around 100 pounds at a time.

The Kong Roll Block is heavy as hell and I'm not convienced it is the answer to all the issues that are being expressed. I would rather go with a big 3 pulley and a clamp than the KRB. It just doens't look that well made.... Its old technology, and there should be a better device out there. I wish BD put their thinking caps on and designed one.

There seems to be quite a few mitigating factors involved with this accident, with the lack of familiarity of using a protrac being one of the key points. If it was rigged correctly who knows what the outcome would have been...

We assume so much when climbing with partners, even ones that we have done walls with before, that they know every piece of equipment and know how to use it correctly. Likewise for us as well. Often we think we are using a piece of equipment correctly but later find out we weren't. Take a look at clean walls dvd, the protrax is set up incorrectly. Its not a case of competence but rather just plain simple unfamiliarity of the device....

I'm probably ranting a bit but I'm really getting really tire of people blaiming the equipment rather than critically looking at the processes.. End of Rant.

Non Climbing (if you must) / Re: FS: ****Wall Gear*****
« on: March 04, 2009, 12:37:18 pm »
I"m also looking for a Yates or a Misty Mountain Double Gear sling (size small)?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Protecting your portaledge
« on: March 04, 2009, 12:36:09 pm »
A friend of mine got a new Fish Double Whammy and he didn't take my advice to duct tape the wall side of the ledge. After one wall it looks like my ledge after many years of use!

I put on three layers of duck tape on the wall side and try to have the ledge even against the wall rather than it touching just one or two spots. Sometimes you can get it that way and if you can't using a "bumper" is a good way to go to stop it from ripping up.

I haven't seen the new BD ledges but I'm pretty sure they have a wall side with reinforcements...

Non Climbing (if you must) / Re: FS: ****Wall Gear*****
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:54:42 am »
PM Sent re the speed ladders...

Maybe post up on mountain project as there are quite a few people over on that site who are getting into walls.

If you don't have an account I can post it a link up for you.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Racking for efficiency
« on: March 03, 2009, 06:09:05 pm »
I use the "continuous loop" most the time but never figured out having an extension with a ligher rope.. I'll give it a try the next time out.

Thanks for sharing.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Securing the Hual Bag
« on: February 27, 2009, 12:20:30 pm »
I do pretty much the same as Mike states above.

I use a Fish adjustable daisy that I brought but never worked well as an adjustable so I'ts on the haul bag. The buckle is the same as the Yates. I then back it up with the haul line. The Munter hitch works fine but the ad Daisy is much faster.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Where to buy gear?
« on: February 23, 2009, 12:13:14 pm »
The of the main reasons is availability...

How many places do you know that almost always have aliens in stock? And if they don't they will have them next week?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Where to buy gear?
« on: February 19, 2009, 10:09:59 am »
Bentgate has offset aliens and std aliens in stock right now...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Where to buy gear?
« on: February 14, 2009, 03:44:45 pm »
Check out bentgate. They have a good selection of aid gear and have a good website and mail order business.

Big Wall Forum / Re: wall Shoes
« on: February 13, 2009, 12:11:07 pm »
Earlier today I tried on several pairs of Sportiva tradmasters and I was surprised at how comfortable they were. I played around with sizing (wore socks) and figured out that I would need to go up about a size from my street shoe size, but they might be a nice wall shoe. They are stiff and supportive.

I'm stick of carrying two pair of shoes on walls, particular in places like zion where you always have some "approach" or run out 5.8/9 on a wall. All I have to do is find them on sale somewhere so I don't have to spend 110 on my experiment.

Has anyone ever tried them?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Fish hooks (orginal unused - large photo warning)
« on: February 11, 2009, 06:06:21 pm »
The custom bent 2.5" ring angle hook is where it's at, a better compliment to the grappling hook than the 2" Fish hook, or 2" ring angle hook.  But sadly,  I dropped mine...

The two fish hooks I have are 2" and 3".

I didn't know that Russ sold the ring angle hook at 2.5 inch. I'll sell my 2 inch on Ebay and maybe get a 2.5... Not sure when I'm going to use it though...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Fish hooks (orginal unused - large photo warning)
« on: February 10, 2009, 08:15:31 pm »
I've got plenty of other hooks, but other than a 2 inch fish ring claw hook, I've been looking for these for many years...

Anyone want to buy a 2 inch fish ring claw hook. I think I paid 20 bucks for it from Russ. Unused. Offers?

Big Wall Forum / Fish hooks (orginal unused - large photo warning)
« on: February 10, 2009, 11:03:47 am »
I've just scored a couple of Fish hooks that have never been used before .... been looking for them for years...

I paid 19 each, which was the orginal price. Sweet deal...

Anyone used these before, are they as good as people say?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Warm fingers
« on: February 06, 2009, 11:51:31 am »
On cold days throw a heat pack into your chalk bag!

Simple and cheap and works very well. Although not the best for the environment.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Alien cams
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:52:02 pm »
Bentgate has hybrid and standard aliens in stock right now.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Solo aid tagline...
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:51:26 pm »
I've used a tag line in the past and I have a light 6-7mm x 60m line for this purpose. I leave the gear that I might require later on a fifi hook. If it's windy it can be a real pain in the neck as it gets caught up on everything. Likewise with traversing as well.

Many of Pete's systems work for himself but I've found that they are way too complicated for me. They're good because they get you thinking and wondering about how to do things differently. However, most the time I've found that pros don't outwiegh the cons. I just like simple things. There are exceptions to the rule, such as far end hauling which I've used time and time again.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: TR: Zodiac Oct 08
« on: February 04, 2009, 11:35:19 am »
Thanks for posting up and sharing the TR. Excellent!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Haul Line - Which?
« on: February 04, 2009, 10:19:07 am »
I used to swear by static haul lines, 7/16 or 11mm in diameter. I have tended to buy Sterling and have had good luck with them. I've never brought anything longer than 60m.

Now I only use dynamic ropes in the 10.3 to 11mm diameter.  I'm using an edelweiss ally 10.3mm x 60m right now. I purchased it new for just over 100 dollars from bentgate. I use it as a backup lead rope as well.  I've had too many weird things happen over the years to fully trust static now.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Help the mentorless
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:32:50 pm »
If you want to watch all the instructional video's that Chris McNarma has produced then click on the link below:

It will save you quite a bit of time!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Zion- how long to dry out in winter temps?
« on: January 26, 2009, 11:16:19 am »
In the summer time I wait two days before getting on a wall.

At this time of the year you probably want to wait longer as once things get a good soaking it needs good sun and temps to really dry it out.  Something like Touchstone that faces south you might be able to get away with it but the descent is going to really suck.

Personally i would wait until the weather is a little more stable and warmer.

PS: I don't consider myself a Desert Rat, but Zion is the place I kind of climb the most.

Big Wall Forum / Re: A few technique questions
« on: January 24, 2009, 12:04:44 pm »
2 hours for CC crack is pretty damn good. Congratulations. I've seen people on it for at least 4 hours....

Like it has already been said many times aid climbing is about reducing unnecessary movements since they tend to be repeated and over a course of a pitch can add minutes and hours to a day. Keep things simple and stick with a system until you feel you have the actions down patt and you're not doing anything unwarranted.

Have you seen the DVD Clean Walls? If not I could lend it to you. I live in Littleton, close to Golden.

It has some good tips on keeping things simple and some nice footage of Zion.

If you need any Zion Beta drop me an email.

Welcome to clean aid clean climbing. Its a blast.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Aider usage
« on: January 24, 2009, 11:59:38 am »
I'm an odd ball and love the fish system which uses two pair of aiders.  I've never met anyone else that uses it in the last 10 years or so. A lot of people like Yates ladders, but I don't. I think they are heavy and catch on everything.

I've tried just about every system (2, 3, 4 aiders, ladders, etc) and I've come to realize that this system works for me best but might be slower than other systems. I accept that. 3/4 tape keeps them light.

If you can borrow some aiders and try different systems its the best way to figure it out.

Big Wall Forum / Re: ROAD TRIP
« on: January 20, 2009, 06:51:06 pm »
I was at city or Rocks a month or so ago and there were more ice climbers than rock climbers. Camping wasn't much fun. You could climb in the sunny aspects but you spend more time trying to stay warm than climbing....

I'd head south at this time of the year. Today was 65 degrees on the front range in colorado!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Lower Out Vid instructional - Erik's vid
« on: January 18, 2009, 11:32:25 am »

More vids would be great...

One on hauling would be great. Particular heavy loads when soloing. I only solo in Zion so my loads are pretty light but I would like to solo el cap one day when I have time.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Lower Out Vid instructional - Erik's vid
« on: January 13, 2009, 11:55:28 am »
Yeah, its great that someone would go to the effort to demonstrate lowering out. The quality is improved too!

if a picture is worth a 1000 words then this video must be worth a million!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Guidebook for Zion big walls
« on: January 12, 2009, 11:15:32 am »
No guidebook but you're get great information for all of those routes off

If you have any specific questions please email me.

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