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Messages - Raaf

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Totem Cams
« on: August 23, 2015, 04:57:19 pm »
I have but a mere single set of the totems. Nonetheless. . . . they are definitely sweet. 

The new BD X4s are awesome too, especially the very smallest ones.

But totems are a must-have nowadays.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Gri Gri to clean/ jug
« on: July 08, 2015, 01:04:37 pm »
I like the one jug and a Grigri setup shown in the link below. It's useful when you're on anything traversing or wandering, since the Grigri is already in place for the lower-outs. (can't figure out how to make the image smaller, otherwise I'd post the photo).

Definitely not fast, but it gives confidence that the Grigri is your backup through the whole pitch.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Why are we not in Yosemite?
« on: January 20, 2015, 11:14:31 pm »
Original post: is that a shot looking down from Peanut Ledge, Zodiac? Ah. . . .memories. 

Big Wall Forum / Re: Big Wall glove rehab
« on: November 21, 2014, 11:58:38 pm »
Oh dude. Follow up report required.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Big Wall glove rehab
« on: November 19, 2014, 01:01:20 pm »
I can see how the damp towel strategy would keep them soft. But don't you get mold?

It was the "clean" factor that really surprised me. A good washing and leather moisture treatment made such a huge difference.

Big Wall Forum / Big Wall glove rehab
« on: November 17, 2014, 11:45:51 pm »
It's probably similar for a lot of people: you return from a Wall climb and the gear gets chucked in the corner . . . . neglected for the next however many months. No time for much maintenance.

But I got to wondering the other night about those nasty, crusty Wall gloves that weren't looking too good after our venture up Mideast Crisis last month. They're the classic Metolius fingerless leather ones. Hard to break in. Some would say the leather is a little too thick. After five walls and throwing them back in the drawer each time, they were getting a bit funky.

Curiosity led me to Google "wash leather work glove" and I followed the advice. Unbelievable! For starters, that lukewarm sink water turned darker than coffee for the first few rinses. So nasty. Was that all sweat, snot and dirt in there? They hang dried overnight. After applying some decent quality leather treatment today, these bad boys are totally back in action! They smell like nice leather again. At least one or two more trips left in them. It's like they're finally broken in, too.

Ok--mundane wall rant over.

Big Wall Forum / Re: End of the season!! Trip reports?
« on: October 30, 2014, 10:58:12 pm »
Oh dag nab it. (is that actually a phrase?) I planned to write up a full trip report, but time has gotten away from me. I'll get to it some time. Garbonzo/Moof and I made a clean lap up Mideast Crisis during "Heat Wave October 2014." (10/2 to 10/7)

Seriously--who cares about exposure when all you can think about is thirst and water?!?!?!  There we were in what's supposed to be prime Fall-weather big wall season. Envisioning cool, dry weather, I packed two puffy jackets and extra long underwear. Instead we're roasting in 85+ degree sun.

Mideast Crisis showed me what a "non" trade route looks like. Lots of two bolt anchors. Hardly any need for offset cams since there are no beat-out pin scar placements. So many overhanging, heavily traversing pitches. . . . it's a strenuous route both on lead and when following. Nothing too sketch on the route difficulty. But it was hard work plain and simple.

When we finished humping the haul bags down North Dome Gully, power had gone out in the Valley due to the unfortunate firefighter plane crash. There was no power to the Curry Village showers so we used headlamps and savored the last of the hot water. Temporary halogen lamps lit up the pizza deck. Thanks to the generators we got our traditional post-wall large pizza pie.

Crossed paths with Plaidman in the Ahwahnee parking lot---just before he embarked on the Jericho battle. Keep up the good fight Plaidman!!

Big Wall Forum / Re: My BD skylounge needs rebuild. I need advice.
« on: October 12, 2014, 04:06:22 pm »
Is this a single or double?    Random thoughts to forward this conversation:

Assuming single. . . sometimes deals come up (eBay, Craigslist) that are as low as $180-200 for a functional or even newish single. So cost-wise, that's your threshold.

Ways to get a replacement: I think Mark Hudon found a place in Hood River that does mainly sail repair, but has dome modifications to his portaledge fly. They might be able to replicate the bedding and straps. What I've learned when researching how to upgrade the straps of an older Fish Single is that it's a lot of labor to replicate them. The strap system alone might run $75-80.

It would be an excellent coincidence if you could find someone that has the same one with a damaged frame but usable bed fabric.

Non Climbing (if you must) / FS: Haul bags---still time for Fall
« on: September 23, 2014, 01:23:31 am »
Paring down my selection.

Fish Budget Grade VI. Kinda hammered. But these bags hang tough.

A5 North Face Mid-Size, almost new.

Big Wall Forum / Ever give a slideshow about climbing big walls?
« on: September 09, 2014, 04:15:56 pm »
I'm planning to give a presentation to my son's climbing team (and their families) after next month's trip to the Valley. The central theme is to show what happens on a Yosemite Big Wall climbing trip. But I think it would be cool to add some background and history. Things like showing the picture of Werner with a huge rack of pins, or Yvon with his necklace of hexes.

Anyone here ever pull together a set of pictures to use in a slide presentation? I understand it's best to use the most high-resolution photos available for the large screen.

If you've done this before, post up your ideas and suggestions. Thanks.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
« on: July 23, 2014, 09:22:58 pm »
Right on. . . . agree 100%. Hard to put up with the mess going on at ST.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Humping Loads - on your shoulders
« on: February 26, 2014, 05:05:08 pm »
After daydreaming a little about how much I'd rather be humping a load of gear to any cliff base than sitting at my desk. . . . . I refocused on your original question.

Man--- a mid-sized gear pack is very unlikely to transfer weight on to your hips very efficiently. Even if you were a regular backpacker, your shoulders would get worked from a light load going any distance when the frame isn't doing the right thing.

You need a full sized legit pack, preferably a well-fitted internal frame rig. It doesn't have to be full when you use it. It's just that the frame is made to bear the weight on your hips. Even for us guys with pretty straight body shapes.

Good deals can be found. Last year while perusing the local Goodwill, I found a nearly new Mountainsmith pack for something like $15. (Didn't need it, but I bought it and gave it to a buddy.)

I usually do the first haul of wall gear with a Lowe Special Expedition, an internal frame pack I bought back in 1985. Still works great. And if I have to stash it at some base, I don't worry about it getting trashed. It's had a good life.

Edit: If I was taking a moderately (or heavily) loaded haul bag any further than the base of El Cap or the Column, I'd definitely consider strapping it to a frame pack rather than using the haul bag suspension.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Bigwall Lending Library
« on: February 12, 2014, 01:15:56 pm »
Hi Erik,

I'm sympathetic to the concept of sharing and lending big wall gear to people who are still accumulating what they need. It's expensive stuff and so many of the items are specific to a wall trip. Just this past Fall I responded to the plea of a acquaintance who posted a request list on Facebook. I lent her a haul bag, some aiders, adjustable daisies, hooks, etc. for the season.

Yet at the risk of coming across as negative: I'm a little skeptical about a permanent lending system. You posted a sample list of things that "don't get trashed too much". . . . . My experience is that everything gets trashed! And if you don't know something's history, how much can you trust it when you're up on a wall, all sketched out on lead?

I think an efficient approach might be to establish a separate 'forum post' category here (and maybe Mountain Project) where people post their borrowing wish list. If they are someone you're psyched to support, the two parties will figure out a private arrangement where they borrow some gear. Most of us have a few 'retired' wall items that are still functional. Maybe we can make borrowing/lending a more common practice.

All the best,

Big Wall Forum / Re: Using old Lowe Hummingbird as Aid Hammer
« on: February 07, 2014, 08:26:17 pm »
I give that a two thumbs up. Proud and attractive.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Upgraded site...
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:25:05 am »
Took a few visits to get used to. . . . . but it's pretty cool.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Atlantic Ocean Wall photos
« on: November 13, 2013, 10:51:01 pm »
Hey Mark,
Those shots are so excellent. Lots of blankness all around you. I appreciate the before/after photos of selective bolt upgrades, too. You guys had way too much sunshine. So unfair. I start shivering every time I think of my last trip up. (And only partly from fear.)

Thanks for posting,
Edit: Thanks to you those Totems rank way higher on my Xmas wish list.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:43:24 pm »
I'm a coffee drinker (i.e. require caffeine to maintain proper body chemistry) and have done wall routes with and without a stove (mostly without). I would lean toward not bringing it.

When you don't have a stove for coffee you can stave off the dreaded caffeine withdrawal symptoms with energy drinks, Mountain Dew, ibuprofen, and like Gagner said--espresso beans. The canned Starbucks double-shots have served me well as a breakfast beverage. For warm meals, I've had good luck with the MRE heater units. (Credit goes to Garbonzo/Moof for the MRE supplies) They get super hot when activated, and will bring something like a Trader Joes "tasty bites" meal to a nice warm temp.

When you do bring a stove--of course it's awesome to have that hot cup of coffee in the morning. And your planning expands to include dehydrated meal options, since you'll have boiling water. But particularly in the morning it slows down your departure because you end up lounging around longer nursing the coffee process. And as others have said, it's more weight and bulk in the bag.

All of this assumes you're going in the usual seasons where it's a bit cold at night, reasonable in the day. May June, Sept October. I think it's pretty clear that a stove would be appropriate in the Nov. to April months.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Kneel before Zod
« on: June 18, 2013, 11:13:42 am »
Sweet trip report Munge. I'm jealous of your Tom Evans photos. Moof and I were there the first week of May, just missing the ElCapPics season by a day or two.

You definitely found some of the same heads-up spots I remember so fondly. The pitch leading up to Peanut---with the detached block. Cringe-worthy. And how a rusty, cracked piton counts as "a respite" from what you've just been doing.

Big Wall Forum / Re: wall Shoes
« on: May 28, 2013, 11:32:22 pm »
For sale: A pair of classic Mariacher Dru wall shoes, size 44 that are in great shape. Bought in Feb 2013 on eBay. They would fit me great----but are too narrow for my feet. To get them right I'd have to so some serious breaking in. And even then I think they're just made for narrow while I am regular or wide footed.

Willing to sell for what I paid. . . about $50. They're practically unused, even though they're late 80's, early 90's shoes.
Pics available.

For reference--I recently bought Sportiva Boulder X wall shoes in 43.5. They are similar length to the Mariacher Drus I'm selling.

Very disappointed that these were not a better fit. They would be such a sweet big wall shoe.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Spring Wall Plans?
« on: April 14, 2013, 04:32:07 pm »
Actually it was two years ago that we bailed on the Zodiac intentions due to it being too wet. So if it's dry enough this year when we go, that could be the Plan A. I'm sure those beautiful sawed-offs will wait patiently for the next time.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Spring Wall Plans?
« on: April 13, 2013, 11:20:37 am »
Eat the donut!!! Suffering will commence regardless.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Spring Wall Plans?
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:47:45 pm »
Not saying much since plans are dependent on weather and other parties. But we've got some items ready for Plan A.

I'm mostly biking - road for cardio (AKA my commute) and north shore foolishness for mental training.  I keep saying I'll drag myself to the climbing gym more often, but it never seems to happen...

And my toddler helps with motivation.  A peaceful night of sleep in the portaledge seems worth any amount of fear and freight hauling  :)

Ditto on that one. Love the kiddos, but uninterrupted sleep is gold.

Big Wall Forum / Re: FLEABAY ALERT!! TNF A5 double with Fly
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:55:04 pm »
Love the way the fly condition is described as: "the thing smells FUNK-AYYY."

Honesty is the best policy I guess.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Big time crackup sale on eBay!
« on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:22 pm »
Holy smack! Auction finishes with a winner---$338.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Virginia to T Trip Solo 6/21/12-6/28/112
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:08:36 pm »
Super-impressed with the committment to solo. Two-three pitches a day. . . . that's a big effort. I fixed pitch #14 (bolt/rivet ladder pitch) when we went as a party of three. With your vid, I got to re-live the "Pucker" of rapping back to the belay.

Cracked me up with the disco-boogie celebration at the end.

Thanks for sharing!

Big Wall Forum / Re: What's your weather prediction?
« on: March 25, 2012, 11:40:20 pm »
Seems like an overly wet Spring to me. My upcoming trip is the first week of May--and I've been lucky in both of the last two years around that time. We'll see about getting lucky again.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: NEW DAWN
« on: September 28, 2011, 11:05:00 am »
Special footage at 13:45. . . . . don't see that every day.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Zodiac Solo Aug 9-13
« on: August 17, 2011, 12:09:28 am »
Great post. . . . . hope to have that experience one day.

Big Wall Forum / Re: How to make sawed offs?
« on: April 21, 2011, 11:11:49 am »
A friend of mine used a Dremel cutting wheel, the special kind--carbide, a little more expensive. Says it went through like butter. Didn't see it myself, but I believe him.

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