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Messages - Baltoro

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Thoughts on runners/draws for solo-aid
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:44:10 pm »
Yeah I opted for the regular start, partially because I didn't want to carry up the giant cams for Planks and haul them up the route and down but I guess I could've just brought them back down after fixing. I was trying to get the 2nd pitch clean and managed to bend a Cliffhanger into a cam hook shape, taking a 30+ footer.

I'd love to go back again. I certainly feel a lot more experienced and prepared. That and I was psyched to see you guys managed it clean.

Big Wall Forum / Thoughts on runners/draws for solo-aid
« on: April 15, 2011, 11:56:32 am »
So I?ve done a fair amount of soloing as practice on single and two pitch climbs and made an ill-fated attempt on Mideast Crisis. During these climbs I?ve tried out prusik re-belays, lots of sceamers, screamers off the anchor and more. What I haven?t tried and I?m curious your thoughts on is basically eliminating anything longer than a screamer or regular loose quickdraw from my rack. Here?s my thinking on this:

If rope drag is not an issue as it?s not in soloing and rope length is not a concern as it?s often not when leading with a 70m then the only reason to use runners is to keep the minimal rope movement from dislodging nuts or making cams walk.

I guess you could have some longer slings around to equalize crappy gear as needed. Also my lightest draw setup is probably the 24?x8-10mm Mammut or BD slings tripled up so maybe it?s a moot point but it was aid related and since Supertopo seems to be an empty vacuum for any climbing related content I wanted something to talk about that wouldn?t immediately be relegated to page 5, buried under such hot topics as ?The Massive Ark on the Moon? (2584 posts and counting) and ?Politics, God and Religion vs. Science? (2949 posts and counting).


Big Wall Forum / Re: Psychovertical by Andy Kirkpatrick
« on: April 13, 2011, 11:38:28 am »
I picked up a copy and read through in a push. Great read. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him in many respects.

Big Wall Forum / Re: products for waterproofing portaledge fly.
« on: March 25, 2011, 12:37:42 pm »
Seam-Seal seems like the proven choice but someone did mention Nikwax. There's several different variations to Nikwax and most require heat to activate. I guess you'd likely need a commercial dryer to get the job done though you may check with Fish, Metolius, BD regarding temp concerns. If you spray Nikwax or similiar on there without heating it afterwards it'll be worse than before and suck moisture in rather than shedding it.

Oh and I used to rep for Grangers, a Nikwax competitor. By Grangers over Nikwax if at all possible. The only thing Nixwax is superior in is name recognition and marketing. It's an outdated formula with not even close performance. That being said it'll still probably get the job done.

Big Wall Forum / Re: these new shapes?
« on: January 04, 2011, 05:29:53 pm »
I have a set of these from a BD buddy and I too have 3.5 sets of HB. The offset is a slightly different angle (I believe 6 vs 7 degrees) providing one more tool in the kit. They're also sort of inbegtween the HB sizes. I don't know that I'd rush out and buy several sets if I already had HBs but I don't think haveing some of each would be a bad thing.

I will say I hate the black heat-shrink stuff on the HBs. This stayed in place for like five minutes or so. I'd take the BD swaged version any day so that's one big improvement.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Headed to the Ditch!!
« on: September 29, 2010, 10:47:41 am »
Nice work on MC clean! Glad sonebody got it done, though it honestly has me contemplating giving Tangerine Trip or Zodiac a go. Hmm...

Big Wall Forum / Re: carrying a fully loaded pig sucks!
« on: September 14, 2010, 12:49:05 pm »
I'm roughly twice your size and carry a fully loaded El Cap sucks. Remember that hiking is any haul bags secondary function. They all suck to hike in when loaded. Sure some are better than others but the brand/size may not be what's making you suffer.

Some tips though that have worked for me:Load it like you would a backpack, not a haul bag ready to haul. I try and keep the heaviest items close to my back and low. Normally when prepping to haul you might have water spread all around the bottom of the pig. Not conducive to carrying comfortably.

Put stuff you'll need in the top where it's convenient. This might be the guidebook, approach beta, camera, whatever. It's important to put it on the pig and not on your person because this gives you an excuse to stop and take off the pig. Sure it'll take you forever to get anywhere but life's about the journey, not the destination right? And for me the destination for now looks like that seat shaped rock over there.

Spot each other on awkward stuff. The last thing you want is for someone to turn an ankle because they couldn't negotiate a step-up and came crashing back down.

Pack one pig with the heavier stuff and one with the ledge. This makes for one really heavy pig and one pretty heavy and tall pig. Ducking under branches and such is not fun so make the tall unbalanced one a little lighter.

Get stronger.

Good luck.

Big Wall Forum / Re: A5 Expedition fly on a BD Cliff Cabana Double?
« on: September 14, 2010, 12:35:55 pm »
Whether I buy it or not I'm happy to try and get it to you after my trip. I'm happy to buy the BD version, I just don't want to spend the dough right now and need one right now. I'll keep you posted.


Ryan :)

Big Wall Forum / Re: A5 Expedition fly on a BD Cliff Cabana Double?
« on: September 13, 2010, 01:58:46 pm »
John Mac
A friend of mine has one collecting dust. I figured I'd ask here before I bothered trying it out. I'll report back.


Big Wall Forum / Re: Nanook's Rational for drilling a variation to GSR
« on: September 13, 2010, 11:21:37 am »
Certainly climbing the route before commenting on it would be nice but since you provided us with such a lovely trip report, complete with photos I think we can safely comment on the addition of bolts. Perhaps though the crux fell off entirely, leaving a complately blank slab. My guess is you would have mentioned this by now so no, people don't have to climb it to have grounds for commenting.

You are avoiding the questions that are being asked by rational, polite and active climbers. These aren't the cries of the "peanut gallery" or the old-folks who just don't get it anymore. These are your contemporaries, your community. You're attempting to back down from this crux and drill around it, just like you did on GSR. It shows an incredible lack of character and integrity. I don't know you personally and I'm sure you're a nice guy but you are being a coward, plain and simple.

Big Wall Forum / A5 Expedition fly on a BD Cliff Cabana Double?
« on: September 13, 2010, 10:56:51 am »
I guess the thread title says it all; Does anyone know if the A5 expedition fly fits on a BD Cliff Cabana Double?

I have the Simple fly but I'd feel warmer and fuzzier if I had a little more protection overhead. I can get the BD Deluxe fly relatively cheap but the A5 expedition even cheaper. Any beta out there?


Ryan :)

Big Wall Forum / Re: Nanook's Rational for drilling a variation to GSR
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:15:19 pm »
I had hoped for a more well thought out response from you but got what I feared most; you did it because you wanted to. This scares me and should scare you. Our community has been relatively small enough that we could police oursleves. People tended to respect one another and the rock. We haven't needed a great deal of oversight from landowners or government agencies. Obviously there's some exceptions to this and they stand out as instances where climbers have at worst lost access or at best got a bad name. The Ken Nichols debacle and Delicate Arch come to mind. More locally for me we had an unfortunate incident at Frenchman's Coulee, a basalt area a couple hours east of Seattle. A bolter and an un-bolter went back and forth until one of them took a hydraulic jack and toppled the column they were fighting over. This doesn't seem that far off from two kids fighting in a sandbox over a toy truck until one kid destroys it so neither of them can have it. Now I don't imagine anyone is going to topple Washington Column anytime soon with a jack but in the longterm the equivalent could happen. The NPS could step in if climbers can't police themselves. They could restrict climbing, perhaps adding a permit system to limit traffic and generate revenue for a massively underfunded system. Why shouldn't they? Let's not give them any reasons to.

We have to police ourselves and sometimes that means infirnging upon the personal freedoms of a few here and there for the greater good of the community. If in fact you did what you thought was fun then that's fine but hopefully at least you can appreciate that what you see as "fun" is an atrocity to others and could potentially have far-reaching negative impacts. I hope you take a fraction of this to heart and really evaluate whether what you're doing is worth it. I'm sure Ammon had a blast during his recent BASE jump off El Cap but I'm sure he'd be the first to admit that it's at least a somewhat selfish act that could have negative impacts on climbers and BASE jumpers in the future. I would imagine "No Trespassing" signs within 100ft. of the summit of El Cap and rangers and fines to enforce it would be a bit of a drag for all climbers. Obviously these are extreme consequences for his and your actions but we have to be careful that we're not headed in that direction. Thanks for your time in reading and responding to this thread and again I hope you give it some thought. I'll PM this to you as well just in case so you don't miss it.



Big Wall Forum / Re: Headed to the Ditch!!
« on: September 03, 2010, 04:09:29 pm »
Thanks Skully and Garbonzo!
To my knowledge MC hasn't gone clean before so it's entirely possible that there is still some mandatory nailing. Sounds like we'll both see. Good luck to both you guys down there. have fun and be safe. Oh and don't get tazed. :)

Big Wall Forum / Headed to the Ditch!!
« on: September 03, 2010, 01:55:22 pm »
So I'll be arriving in Yosemite the evening of Friday October 8th. So happy to be back! I'm headed up to the Column to take another crack at Mideast Crisis.

The goal for the trip is to climb MC clean which seems like its within the realm of possibility. The route has seen a fair amount of traffic in the last few years and most reports seem to mention a pin here or there but it sounds like with a little creativity and patience it could go. We'll certainly have a few in the bag just in case. I've got to add that some of the other recent activity on the Column has further inspired me to try this clean.

So I know a few people on this site have been on the route and my question for you is if you were going to go back and try to do it clean what would you differently, aside from the obvious part about not hammering?

I'm adding Tomahawks to the rack in the hopes that some of those handplaced would get the job done. Ball-nuts as well.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance and maybe I'll see you down there.


Big Wall Forum / Nanook's Rational for drilling a variation to GSR
« on: August 24, 2010, 02:32:06 pm »
This thread is for Nanoonk (Erik Sloan) to attempt to justify his actions on the Great Slab Route. You can read the TR on this site.

This thread is not about name calling or mud-slinging.
This thread is not about Tom Frost and the Salathe Wall.
This thread is not about bolted belays.
This thread is not about past actions of Nanook or even future actions.
In fact this thread isn't even for anyone to reply to except Nanook. Please leave the first reply for him.

All this thread is about is drilling a variation around the crux(s) of GSR. That's it. Nothing else. We already seem to have a growing collection of threads focusing on the big picture. I just want to look at this one instance.

So Erik, here you go: Your very own thread to explain in detail why you thought it was a good idea to bring the drill along and you use it to place new fixed pro on lead.

Focus on this and nothing else please. We'll work in small steps to resolving some of these issues.

Big Wall Forum / Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« on: August 23, 2010, 02:31:35 pm »
My bad on the Hans answer. I figured he was the guy.

I guess my point was that adding hardware at the anchor is very different than adding hardware mid-pitch.

I haven't read the Fifi Buttress thread yet. I'll check it out though as I didn't realize it was related and I can only justify so much distraction from work a day.

Big Wall Forum / Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« on: August 23, 2010, 10:09:40 am »
I think you're right to remind everyone that this needs to be focused on the issue not on the person creating the issue. I don't recall any direct "personal" threats made towards Eric, at least not any ohysical threats. Maybe I'm wrong and should re-read it.

What someone did propose was to ignore him and no longer respond to his TRs/posts to show him we think what he's doing is wrong.

While all this is incredibly negative if Eric can't handle it then he should change his practices. And if Eric's "friends" support him then they should do what "friends" do and stick up for their friend. Somehow they should stomach all the negative energy and try and do something positive for their friend. My guess is they don't want to voice their support here (or anywhere beyond the campfire) because they know the community as a whole doesn't seem to approve of Eric's practices.

Thus far Eric hasn't really added anything relevant to the conversation other than saying he thinks criticism is great and open discussion is wonderful. His latest post about Hans and Salathe/Muir have nothing to do with this. Hans no doubt placed extra bolts but the key point is he was replacing old hardware with new. The actual belay bolts don't have anything to do with what Mike is talking about. Mike is talking about intentionally drilling new protection bolts, not anchors around the crux to make it easier. Please Eric tell us how bolts placed to go around a crux are good for walls, anywhere. And your comment about the hour approach and such should mean its even worse to do it here where the masses see it as an aceptable ethic and anyone can add a drill and hardware to their load.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hudon?
« on: August 11, 2010, 02:05:24 pm »
Amazing TR. Thanks for taking the time to share Mark. Inspiring stuff.

Big Wall Forum / Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« on: August 10, 2010, 10:42:02 am »
I believe Messner called it the "Murder of the Impossible" and I think in this case that's close but not quite right. I think "Murder of the Imaginable" fits better.

By bolting first you're not killing the adventure of the FAist. They're not likely to return and many are long since out of the game. By bolting first you're killing the adventure of everyone who's ever going to do that route and probably worst of all killing the adventure of every arm-chair big waller who's pouring over topos and dreaming about what it's going to be like staring up at that thin crux pitch, knowing that the only thing that will get them through is skill, the right tools and immense balls. And when I say the right tools I don't mean a drill!Now instead they'll see the crux pitch, or they can always take the easy way and do the via ferrata variation. How you can believe you're not lowering the bar I do not understand and clearly neither do those around you.

I'll let you in on a little secret of mine Eric. I'd love to do the first clean ascent of Mideast Crisis. To my knowledge it has never been done but several parties on this site have come fairly close without really focusing on it in the last few years. I think that would be pretty cool. In fact I think it would be so cool I've avoided doing a Valley trip this fall to climb El Cap for the first time with a friend who's done it and another friend who's an AMGA guide and has done it several times. Why? Because I want my first "real" big wall to be special. And doing Mideast Crisis completely clean to me would be very special. My rack will be loaded with all sorts of extra crap and I know it would take me much longer and I'm sure I'll put a few pins in the bottom of the haul bag but the point is the adventure. I can't be the first to climb the Column. I can't do the FA of the route. But I can do something that pushes my limits and hopefully sets a higher standard that might inspire others to achieve something greater than they thought possible. And make no mistake, clean ascents are something greater. Drilling around cruxes is anything but.

Now imagine you picked Mideast Crisis instead of the Great Slab Route for your latest project. I've provbably spent more time looking at that topo, reading about that route and tossing gear around than you spent on the Great Slab Route or would've spent on Mideast Crisis. Now imagine I open up this website in an effort to stay connected to all the monkeys and aspiring monkeys and see what others are doing. Then I see a Mideast Crisis TR from you. Now instead of getting psyched and living vicariously through your adventure I am horrified. The 5.7 Astroman start would no doubt have a bolt or two because there's not good gear every 6ft. The second pitch would now be C1 because bolts are so much easier than messing with a sometimes seeping crack. All the "loose" pitches above would certainly have bolts "just in case" that flake pulls off. You'd be doing the community a service, afterall it'll fall off eventually right? I can only imagine where Mike wrote on his topo "steepest pitch yet" or "way steeper than steepest pitch yet" you'd have added a few choice bolts as afterall who likes to be inconvenienced by all that flopping around trying to pace cams when you can just clip bolts so easily. Heaven forbid if the route actually had a legit A4 crux pitch or something like that. Surely there'd be a nice bolted variation for the masses to do.

Hopefully you'd have got the point by now but I fear you haven't. This thread is not an open discussion to have a dialogue about what is right and what isn't. This thread is a clear message from those who love the activity that you love that what you are doing is wrong and you need to stop. Any arguement from you to justify your actions is wrong. The people have spoken and the message is clear.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Mideast Crisis 3/25-3/27
« on: April 13, 2010, 04:03:03 pm »
I whipped on Pitch 2 trying to do it clean but it was user error for sure. After the whip I was too scared to try again so I nailed once. Totally could go without the pin.

The only other pitch I think that wasn't clean was just below the midway ledge and somebody avoided that clean via some cracks out to the left. The TR's on here somewhere but I'm pretending to work. I'll quote it later.

Nice send. This route is my Unicorn for sure and I hope to get back down there before too long.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: A trip to the Tree... Yosemite style
« on: December 12, 2009, 02:01:23 pm »
I got goosebumps reading about you stopping just before you drove out. I did the same thing when I left. It's a magical place.

I can fully appreciate the difficulty it is in getting the stars to align to make a wall attempt. With time off and a "hall pass" form the wife I know I'm approximately three pee and gas stops and 15 hours away from El Cap Meadow so it always pains me to hear stories of anyone leaving before their routes were sent.

I've been away from all things aid/wall related but the last few days on this site have got me fired up again and oddly enough I've got a newly motivated friend who's wanting to learn the ropes (pun intended) and make a Yosemite pilgrimage.

Keep the TR's coming as they're psyche for all the wall brothers and sisters who can't be up there for one reason or another.


Big Wall Forum / Re: Suggestions on First Solo Wall
« on: December 09, 2009, 01:38:50 pm »
I think the beta I had was anything above Pitch 3 or so was good to go for a protected bivy though the ledge at Pitch 7 I think is not protected. Everything after that is under roofs I believe.

NDG wouldn't be fun to come down in winter though I can't imagine it's that much fun in the summer either.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Suggestions on First Solo Wall
« on: December 09, 2009, 11:38:25 am »
Here's a link to my TR which probably isn't that helpful but there could be some gems in there:

Big Wall Forum / Re: Suggestions on First Solo Wall
« on: December 09, 2009, 11:25:49 am »
I'll put it on here so anyone else who wants it can use it and Mike, Skully and others who've done the route can confirm or deny the info. Again, I have not done the route, but I'll put my personal beta on my next post, including a link to my TR. A bunch of the info below refers to "our" pitch as we somewhat re-worked the pitches figuring on linking pitches. The gear list is probably overkill as are most gear lists for people's first Grade V or VI.

Here's the beta:
Mideast Crisis Grade V 5.7 A2

P1- 5.7, maybe a move or two of aid if need be as it?s kind of sandy, creaking flakes. The 1st pitch of Astroman.

P2- C1-C2 though it sounds like it?s C1 this late in the year with dirt and junk cleaned out. This is the pitch that requires the monster cams, also known as the Plank?s Constant variation for all you quantum mechanics nerds out there. Coincidentally this pitch is part of a route called ?Quantum Mechanics?.

P3- 5.7 and/or C2

P4- C2+ loose/A1

P5- C2

P6- 5.8 flare w/thin crack in back or terrible aid, A2 then C2 loose. Good times!

P7- 5.8 face climbing to 5.7. Not that bad, requires a little gardening with nut tool possibly.

P8- C2+ rotten to C1 with some token pins thrown in at a belay that?s probably worth skipping.

P9- C1, big bomber cams almost the whole pitch.

P10- C2, though may take a pin or two. The anchor could use another bolt.

P11- C3/A2, not the finest rock, blah, blah, blah.

P12- There is no pitch 12 or at least not the way I?d link stuff.

Here?s all sorts of Pitch specific beta I?ve compiled by scouring the Internet. It?s rather hard to sort out climbing info for this route as it?s not like ?Googling? ?Mideast Crisis? gets you anything climbing related. I edited some of this and changed pitch numbering to correspond with which pitch numbers if you?re trying to link lots of pitches rather than if done traditionally pitch by pitch with no linking and no variations.

Pitch Beta:
All this is info for the Plank?s Constant roof pitch:
Our Pitch 2
Rack for Our Pitch 2
few medium nuts
1 set aliens
1-2 each up to #1 camalot
2 each to #4 camalot
2-3 each #5 and #6 (3 highly recommended), a green big bro is useable as a third piece, but not great.

1.  Belay at the bolts drawn in this topo after the very first pitch, halfway between the McTopo bolts, and the fixed pins on that sloping ledge system.
2.  Use a couple cams and a nut to traverse to the vertical crack at the far end (climber's right) of the ledge system.
3.  A1 moves to an intermediate anchor (don't stop).  You need a #4 or #5  as your last piece to get tot he bolts (#5 Tech friend was perfect), back clean the piece for the traverse.
4.  You need a #3, and all your #4 and larger pieces for the traverse.  You'll need two 6" pieces and a draw for the end of the roof, you can leave the rest in (old school #5 Camalots are the perfect size, #6 tech friend's can be tight in spots, but work, not sure of C4's).  In the middle of the roof is a flake that takes the #3 behind it.  The flake is completely detached but captive, so put your cam up high in inside (blind reach around to the left).  If you make sure the cam is compressing the flake against the roof it is bomber.
5.  After some wild crack jugging with the big green cams you get to the anchor.  Zip the cams to your partner so he can re-aid the end of the roof.
6. I needed one #5 tech fiend (#5 C4?), but nothing bigger.  The very start takes offset nuts and aliens, and felt C1 after gardening, not C2 as marked.

Other beta for Plank?s Constant:
There is a bolted anchor not shown on the topo. It's on the sloped ledge below the roof, maybe 40-50' right of the tree, and 40' left of the fixed pins that are shown on the topo. If you belay from the ground for P1 you can't make these, but if you belay from the tree 60' up P1 as shown in the supertopo (easy 3rd class to tree), they are easy to reach. Doing so will allow you to do the roof and still get to P4 anchors in 3 total pitches from the ground.

From these bolts you can easily scamper up the ramp with minimal pro (one 0.75 camalot or so) to the fixed pins. From those scamper over a small crack for a good nut and/or green alien (about 5' along the right face of the dihedral under the roof). Downclimb/tension easily down to the crack leading to Planck's Constant roof. This crack uses 1 each from red alien up to #5 camalot (skipping a couple sizes depending on your reach). C1 bomber placements the whole way, so backclean a few to ease cleaning and reduce rope drag. Don't bother stopping at the bolts, clip one, hang your red aliens and smaller on the other to lighten the load, and backclean the big cam at your feet. The roof take 0.75 and bigger, mostly bigger. Once you are into the roof you'll only need 1x #3, 1x #3.5, 1-2x #4, 1-2 #4.5, 2-4 #5's, and two draws. I think I used a #1 or #2 at the very start to traverse the large block.

For the roof I aided under the block at the start, going over it looks doable too, not the crux. Bring as many #4.5 and #5 camalots sized pieces as you can beg, borrow, and hump up. I got by with a #4, #5 tech friend (~#4.5), a #5, a #6 tech friend (~#5), and a #3 big bro. That is extremely minimal rations, and required several out and backs to figure out ways to not need the piece I was on, or had left as pro to proceed. Use your reach and get the most out of every piece. Clip the heavy mothers into you daisy so you can dyno aid them further out with confidence (fun for the cleaner). You'll need a #4.5 and two #5's near the end of the roof, so keep back cleaning them. You can leave the last #4.5 right before the first bolt, it's all #5's from there. Particularly after the second bolt you'll need the two #5's to get the last 8' up to the anchor, or it's 10+ OW free climbing at best. Zip the two #5's back to your partner once you get to the anchor so they can use them to clean the darn thing. Belay here, about 160'.

There is a flake in the middle of the roof. DO NOT PUT GEAR ON THE FRONT OF THE FLAKE! It groans, it moves, it is f*#king scary. It will try and steal your #1 camalot as punishment. Blindly reach behind it to the left and place a #3 up high. It didn't groan or moan or move for me, and basically shoves the flake up against the roof block. The #3 nice and mid-range Probably a good idea not to fall on it, but leave it to help the cleaner.

Here?s where beta for the rest of the route begins:
Our Pitch 3 has a large block that you are supposed to free climb.  It?s less scary to go 4' left at the anchor bolts and make a couple alien moves before rejoining the route.  Call them C1+ moves at worst.

The loose scary block with the 5.7 move at the start of Our Pitch 3 can be minimized. Trying to aid it with a #3.5 high up made it creeeak and move, screw that. Place a #2 at anchor level where the leverage is much reduced and lean WAY left to get a good alien in a different, more solid block. Back clean the #2 so you don't fall on it and pull the block loose. There are good C1 and C2 placements up the left side to avoid the free climbing on the loose scary block. The remainder of Our Pitch 3 takes all kinds of gear from black alien to #4.5 (1 each on #2 and larger is plenty).

Our Pitch 6 is the crux. Watch out for a teetering spike sitting on the ledge right after the "A2 arrows" section. If you trundle it you will most likely take out your belayer or your pig/anchor. Oops!

Our Pitch 7 has mandatory free, interspersed with sections of grass and dirt which were difficult to protect. The nut tool was carried on lead to excavate placements plugged by the previous winter's work. Atop the slab, you?ll see the bolt out left which can lure you off route.

Our Pitch 8 has some spicy sandy climbing at the start, and some 1/2" and 5/8" angles were useful at the belay (natural belay) though I?d skip this.

Our Pitch 9 overhangs at least 60'! Replace a bolt at the top of this pitch as the anchor needs the upgrade.

Our Pitch 11- This is the other ?crux? pitch. The pillar stance midway up this not-steep pitch would make the fall less than clean. The fixed heads seemed good, but their cables were thoroughly rusted. Shallow square holes appeared in rotten rock between expanses of bottoming seam. A blue Alien out right bypassed one such scar. Pecker pitons tapped into the back of the rotten scars worked better to protect the marginal finish than to calm my concern. A two-lobe Alien placement to reasonable but rotten cams. One more cam and I can mantel and step up to the tree. Cam looks cocked but okay, get on it. POW, weightlessness. Plunging backward I wait for the stop, which thankfully comes quickly and softly. Yellow Alien holds. A blue-black hybrid Alien dangles in my lap; another yellow Alien swung in the breeze at the end on my aider. Jugging back up, I knock in a sawed-off angle piton between the former two cam placements. The rotten rock expands and rattles with each hammer tap. Looks good, step up, to the tree...GOT IT.

Logistics stuff:
I hammered 14 lead placements. 

Fixing/Rapping info:
Supertopo is a little misleading as to the length to the ground from P4. It's less than 380' listed, but the intermediate anchor is a red herring. It is just under 100' to the Planck's Constant belay, about 110' to the intermediate anchor they call out. From Planck's it is 230' to the ground, from the intermediate it is probably about 215'. However from P4 to the sloped ledge anchor is 185-190'. Once you are at the Planck's or intermediate anchor level you can clearly see your ropes piled on the ledge next to the bolts for additional confidence before committing. From the sloped ledge to the ground is another ~130-140'. Or just tie your ropes together than do one massive rap/jug/haul.
Sheltered climbing except P1-2, upper P7-P8 and last pitch

Our Pitch 6 ledge is not protected from weather.

Anchor at the top of Our Pitch 7 does appear to be protected from the elements.

Our Rack:
2 sets of C3?s
2 sets of Hybrid Aliens
3 sets of C4?s from .3 to .5
4 C4?s in .75
6 sets of C4?s from 1-3
3 C4 #4?s
1 Metolius Large Super Cam
1 BD old-style 4.5
3 BD old style #5?s
1 C4 #5
1 C4 #6
1 #6 Wild Country Tech Friend

2 #1 Peckers
1 #2 Peckers
1 #3 Peckers
2 each Lost Arrows 1-3
2 each Sawed Angles from ??-1?
6 misc. Heads
Few misc. rivet hangers

Drill and bolts for anchor upgrade

Big Wall Forum / Re: Suggestions on First Solo Wall
« on: December 08, 2009, 07:47:53 pm »
I made an attempt on soloing MC in Oct. '08 and highly recommend it (and I did the "garbage pitches").

Happy to pass along beta for parts I did do and I have lots of info compiled from parts up higher.

Whatever you do, just throw the right stuff in the bag and keep going up until you have to go down. It's often just as easy to bail from a pitch above as it is to bail from where you're at. Give yourself a pitch of upward progress to think about going down before you commit. Shit, give yourself a night and then wake up and send!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Back Cleaning question for discussion
« on: June 27, 2009, 04:59:25 pm »
I seem to backclean quite a bit on C1, a little on C2 and not much on C3. I haven't really done much harder than that. I also tend to use a lot of screamers which can provide some good piece of mind on those pieces left behind.

Obviously being aware of ledges, rope stretch and corners is a good thing.

I guess assuming a given pitch will require a diverse range of gear sizes I'll usually take a double set of everything (C4's, C3's, CCH Hybrids and nuts) and try and leave behind only redundant gear. I carry C4's all the way down to .3 so there is definitely some overlap between the C3's, C4's and Aliens so that's a common size range for me to leave behind as pro.

Often too it seems you may need certain common pieces for upward movement but once you reach the only next availalbe placement you've got another placement option just above it that you could leave pro in and clean the piece you needed for movement. Does that make sense? So you're placing gear closer together than you would for upward movement but it might allow you to take advantage of a nice protection option that you might not otherwise use for upward movement.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: *wet denam daydream*
« on: June 20, 2009, 02:24:05 pm »
I didn't get a chance to see Mike's comments before he pulled them so I'm sorry if this has been brought up before but HS and his partner having some squabbles after a wall doesn't seem too unexpected.

Shitting on the ledge isn't cool and neither is calling out people on the internet for being slow or whatever. Didder

Calling people out for things they don't have control over (like speed or lack of ability) isn't cool.

Calling people out for things they do have control over like placing bolts where they shouldn't and whatnot should be expected. If someone is trying to get a pitch done and it takes them forever believe me they are going as fast as they can at that time. One of my partners is super slow at everything. He'll be the first to tell you it takes him ten minutes to brush his teeth, let alone clean an anchor and jug a pitch. He's still one of my best friends so it's worth it to me to climb with him.

Don't get mad at people for things they don't have control over and then point it out on the internet. PM each other to work it out. Airing out dirt laundry smells as bad as shit on the only ledge.

So in that theme of calling people out for things they do have control over who the Hell are you HS to throw out the word nigger?!

This isn't Mississippi. This isn't 1952. This isn't 7th grade. Too much shit gets tossed out there in the internet because there is anonymity. The mods could kick you off but you'd just come back with a new avatar and be the same old asshole. We have to police ourselves and we do that by not tolerating shit like you throwing around language like we're all your homies or this is a KKK rally. Don't fuck up this site and make it like so many others.

I don't care if you've got black friends and their cool with it. I don't care if you're black, brown, white or purple. It's that much more ignorant if you are black.

So bail and send. Put all your TR's out there and spread the psyche. Ask and answer questions. Connect and commiserate. Do all the things you want here, just don't bag on people for things they can't control and check the redneck ignorance at the door.

Welcome to some new folks this thread brought out. Glad to have you aboard this fine vessel and I swear it's not always like this.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: AfroMan!
« on: June 19, 2009, 03:28:52 pm »
Does anyone have a topo or any beta for H/J? It would be cool to have an alternate start to Mideast Crisis as it seems the money pitches on that route are the corners up above, not for their difficulty but for their position.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Tomahawks avaible at Mountain Gear now
« on: May 28, 2009, 11:48:42 am »
We sell to Mountain Gear and most of what they buy doesn't make the paper catalog. Space is very limited.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Grey Aliens
« on: May 18, 2009, 06:20:19 pm »
I think I bought my grey/red hybrids because I was excited that they had Hybrids at all and I couldn't contain myself. That being said, I'm doubled up on all sizes and it seems like a triple set might be a bit much but that grey/red somewhat gives you a little of two both sizes above and below. I could also just be trying to justify my purchase which is probabl mostly the case.

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