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Messages - Baltoro

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Big Wall Forum / Re: Bunk rurps
« on: May 15, 2009, 11:57:47 am »
You can get fairly beefy keychain rings that will still fit through Rurp holes. Bodyweight I'm sure but should be good enough for a move and they aren't super hard to thread through the hole.

Most of my aid is solo and like someone said before, their benefit when soloing is even greater ass so much of the battle is head games anyways. Having a little extra piece of mind is nice.

I've got 2 zipper screamers which are a bit longer and bulkier but reduce the load even further. I use those for the anchor, ideally rigged to the pig for added shock absorbtion. I've got two as when I'm not soloing I'll use them for shortfixing off of and the follower will tag up the one from the lower anchor.

I've got 8 or so of the Shorty Screamers and my regular partner has 4 or so. I take them all when solo and we take them all when together. I rack them like draws. I'll use them on C0 and up. If it's C0 then I better not fall and I won't deploy any. If it's C1-C2/A1-A2 if I fell I probably screwed up so their a nice insurance policy. If it's C3/A3 then I want as many as I can get. I don't tread into stuff harder than that yet but if I did I'd probably want even more.

The Shorty Screamers are nice as they're a little shorter and more compact than the regular ones. This helps to keep things from hanging up on the double gear sling. I rack the Shorty Screamers on the left side and any tripled 24" draws on the right side of the Yates Wall Rack. This allos me to put hooks, heads and pins on the left side as they don't get caught on the screamers like they would on the 8mm Mammut tripled draws on the right side. Make sense?

Nobody appears to have said it (or they deleted it out of shame) so I will:

The best pants are the ones having the most fun!

Sorry. Seriously though, there's a lot of options out there. Thrift stores are full of stretchy and ridiculously colored leg coverings. Durability be damned if you're paying $5 for them. That being said I rep for Marmot and have all sorts of expensive and fancy climbing pants in every gradiation of cotton/nylon/poly/silk/gold/schoeller/etc.

But just think how rad you'll look on Tom's El Cap Pics postings sending on the Captain in neon green pants!!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Lead Rope Suggestions?
« on: March 24, 2009, 10:38:22 am »
I highly endorse the Yates 10.3x70m.  It's been super burly for me. It also seems to have better impact force than lots of other ropes out there which instills nice piece of mind for strings of crappy placements.

My rules I try and live by when buying ropes:

-It's one of the very few pieces in the system that is not redundant. Money is no object here.
-Don't get a 65m when you really want a 70m. In fact don't get anything but a 70m for walls, assuming you're shortfixing. Your rope can aloow you to go faster.
-Get a dry treated rope. Even if it's not going to get wet, which it always does, they feed smoother and last longer as they don't let as much dirt and shit into the rope.
-Get a rope bag/bucket. Besides their usefulness at the crag or on the wall they keep your ropes clean when you're not busy getting them dirty.

Now I'm all fired up to go by a new wall rope but alas I don't need one because I bought the Yates in a 70m and it's still going strong. Sigh...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Bolt kit bag
« on: March 05, 2009, 10:17:02 pm »
I've found a very deep chalk bag works nicely.

-It's burly
-It has multiple clipping options as it's set up to clip or thread a belt through
-It has an easy open and close closure
-It was free which is probably the main reasoning

I clip it with a biner and then have all the bolting hardware clipped to a biner that sits on top. When I need something out of it I can clip just that biner to me and then open it up and pull the bag down and everything sort of slides out the top.

You can throw the bolts themselves or rivets in the bottom as they seem to weigh enough that when you give it a shake and open it up all that has fallen to the bottom.

Big Wall Forum / Lots of good info just make sure you listen
« on: March 05, 2009, 01:00:43 pm »
So I'm looking over topos again, trying to get psyched to go back down for Mideast Crisis on the Column. Then the filed hook thread reminded me if my own hooking debacle on that route.

So I take a closer look at my topos of Mideast Crisis. Both are photo-copied from SuperTopo or are atually printed pdfs from Mike's solo trip and have his edits here and there. Then upon closer inspection I realize one is a printed pdf and one is a copy I had made from Super Topo with handwritten edits added.

The only thing I forgot to add from Mike's notes on the whole topo is "#5 cam helpful" on the second pitch. Unfortunately I grabbed that topo when I went up and as such went up pitch 2 armed with lots of gear, but only up to a #4. I'm soloing by the way and wasn't tagging as the pitch goes around a tree and would be a pain to solotag on.

The pitch went relatively smoothly and clean which was my goal, at least until right near the top. The crack goes from very thin to a very wide flake pointing downish. I placed a small C3, maybe a 00 or 000 near the top of the thin crack. The crack seemed a little crumbly at the lip and I've never been super confident of microcams with their limited range in less than stellar rock. I placed my Cliffhanger on a nice edge and get up in the steps, or rings as it were as I'm on Russian Aiders.

So now I'm trying to place my #4 where a #5 should go. The #4 gets better and better the higher I shove it, but it still sucks. Unfortunately this means I have to transition to 'fraid climbing which for me is part free, part aid and all afraid.

Somewhere during all the fun I slip a bit and let go of the #4 which stays put. I take a daisy fall onto the Cliffhanger which bends it to 90 degrees (I'm 275lbs. with an aid rack on easy) which spits it off its bomber placement. I then come to that suspect little C3 which comes out easier than it went in. Unforunately for me I backcleaned the placement or two prior to this. Fortunately for me I had a properly brazed Offset Alien up next which caught my fall, just as my feet touched down onto the slab below. Sigh.

I jugged back up, hammered in a pin above where the C3 was and the confidence of well sunk steel got me freeing up to the #4 and eventually the anchor.

And all of this was because I got great information off the internet from some of the great resources we have here and I didn't implement it.

So the moral of the story is, listen to those who've gone before you and bring the #5!!

Big Wall Forum / Re: filed to a point cliff hanger
« on: March 04, 2009, 03:37:10 pm »
My "custom hook" was forged on the second pitch of Mideast Crisis when I bent a Cliffhanger open. At least the placement was good right?

Now it's a Cliffhanger that's bent into a cam hook shape. It could be really bitchin for super thin cam hook placements that you can get back in there a ways with. You have tons of camming action as the webbing pull point is so far from the pivot point but my guess is now that it's been bent once it will crumple with that kind of load.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Racking for efficiency
« on: March 04, 2009, 03:32:43 pm »
As always, good info here-

Like Mike said a 80m haul line allows you to link hauls, not just pitches, just not two long pitches.

As for the little loops in front of the shoulder pads, I think the advice that anything longer than two biners will interfere with everything else is sound. I'm relatively tall with a big chest and I still have issues with overlap between my waist and chest harnesses.

If I put anything there, it's a biner or two or panic pieces though those seem to live on the little rap ring right in the "sternum strap" on my Yates rig.

I'd be hesitant to put anything too sharp and pointy like hooks and peckers and such there as in a fall that stuff would/could be right near your face.

Big Wall Forum / Re: filed to a point cliff hanger
« on: March 02, 2009, 01:51:42 pm »
Regarding getting supertape through, I had good luck starting with a much longer piece and getting the end at a very sharp angle, like not flat per usual. Then seal the end with heat/flame whatever and then you can usually work the tape through.

It's a pain but it gets the beefier webbing through and will be much less painful and time-consuming than jugging back to your highpoint and trying to get past that flake without your hook of choice since you broke the weaker webbing and your hook is somewhere in the talus below.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Securing the Hual Bag
« on: February 26, 2009, 02:51:59 pm »
While I think the Munter Mule is the way to go I've used another method that I like.

I use a spare grigri.

I'll have a "hard line" tether that goes direct from the bag to the powerpoint but that is slack (just barely). Then I use the grigri on the tail of the haul line. This allows you to adjust the height of the bag super easy as well as lower it out nice and smooth. Just make sure you undo the "hard line" tether.

I solo more often than not so I like having a spare grigri along as it's kind of important. Yeah you can do without it but it's easier for me to use that.

Big Wall Forum / Re: North Dome Gully descent (pics)
« on: February 23, 2009, 03:35:37 pm »
I remember hearing something about occaisional fixed lines across the "exposed" section or maybe it was something about you could fix lines through there. Any insight from anyone who's done it recently?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Warm fingers
« on: February 06, 2009, 01:30:47 pm »
In the PNWet we get all sorts of Hellish weather and doing aid at Index can be a little grim but the right techniques can help for sure. Here's a few possible suggestions that might help:

Hand warmers in the chalkbag is good.
Handwarmers on the back of your neck held in place by a headband perhaps
Handwarmers on your ears also held in place by a headband (I valeted for a couple years in Seattle and this was the best method for staying warm in winter monsoons while still trying to run and not sweat out everything.
Hand warmers on the back fo the hand under fingerless gloves
Bike arm warmers. Word of caution here-make sure they aren't overly tight. I'm not a small dude and biker's forearms are most definitely different than your average climber's forearms so mine actually made it worse until I stretched them out. You can also put a hand warmer in these.
Garlic and lots of it the night before
Something warm in a Thermos to drink and eat

I think I read something about Tommy Caldwell projecting in icy temps where he'd put his hands in the snow or on ice for painful periods of time and then warm them up and he'd be good to go for the rest of the day. Sounds awful but mabe it works?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Solo aid tagline...
« on: February 05, 2009, 11:59:53 am »
I've used it a few times and it seems really nice when heading off into the unknown. It's particularly handy for:

pitches that start with some free and/or mixed free and you'd rather not bust it out with the whole doubled sling
pitches that require wide gear at almost any point
pitches that requre a lot of pins
pitches early on where you can tag up the bigger hauling device (Kong) rather than dragging it up with you

It seems like it's a pain when things traverse to terribly much of your route wanders around trees, bushes, rope eating flakes, etc.

It's also one more thing to futz with at belays so I like to plan it out in advance and it stays tucked away unless needed

Big Wall Forum / Re: tie offs
« on: December 22, 2008, 10:47:22 am »
Unfortunately yeah. Finished the pitch and bailed shamelessly.

Big Wall Forum / Re: tie offs
« on: December 16, 2008, 08:01:12 pm »
Pika is legit if nobody has responded on your other thread.

As for hook tie-offs, I presume you're talking about slinging hooks as opposed to tying off hooks as pro like one might tie off a pin.

Overhand knots are actually prefered and you want it on the backside of the hook, like just behind the holes. You can use an overhand here because you'll have bounced the bejeesus out of the sling to make sure it's not pulling through and so it doesn't "settle" on you while you're on some manky edge that you tried everything to avoid using.

Keep the slings super short as hooking is scary enough and top-stepping on hooks is even worse. Don't make things harder on yourslef by having way too much slack.

Have fun or something similiar and don't take a daisy fall onto them and bend one open to 90 degrees and take a 25 footer and touch down on a slab while soloing something obscure.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Jackin' up the winter walls...OOOOOHHHhhh
« on: November 05, 2008, 03:52:56 pm »
Will do Dave. I've shockingly yet to climb in Squamish even though I'm this close.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Leaning Tower and Mideast Crisis attempts
« on: November 03, 2008, 09:16:38 pm »
I figured if it was going to be light on actual climbing it should be compelling in other ways. More often than not almost all of us go down. That doesn't mean it's not worth a write up sometimes.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Jackin' up the winter walls...OOOOOHHHhhh
« on: November 03, 2008, 06:51:31 pm »
TR added in the TR section.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Re: Leaning Tower and Mideast Crisis attempts
« on: November 03, 2008, 06:15:18 pm »
Thanks Mike. I meant to put a link in the last winter thread thing so I'm glad it got noticed over here. Hopefully many more to come, maybe some with some summits.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Leaning Tower and Mideast Crisis attempts
« on: November 03, 2008, 04:30:59 pm »
"Witness the Fitless- A Yosemite TR"

So here goes my first TR effort. Caution though; It's very long and there's practically no beta in it and lots of grammar errors. If you want beta let me know. If you want good grammar look somewhere else. I'll add some pics when I can dig the camera out from under the pile of gear in the gear room.

A "bigwall adventure" had been planned for Matt and I for quite a awhile. We'd wisely chose to hold off a year last fall and this year we tricked ourselves into percieved readiness. The plan had Matt there for a week and me there for just over two. We'd get on something "easier" together and then Matt would help me stage for something interesting, ideally Mideast Crisis on Washington Column.

We arrived in the Valley late on Saturday the 4th of November. Sunday saw us sorting ang gawking at basically everything. We'd decided on the West Face of Leaning Tower and carried a load up on Monday. The plan was to carry the last load up Tuesday and fix as high as time end energy allowed and bivy at the base and blast on Wednesday morning. All worked well until we actually had to start the climb.

Matt is a little on the slow side which he'd be the first to admit. This whole trip was going to be a stretch for him and a big learning experience. We anticipated some epic moments here and there, just not quite so early. I decided to do a recon on the "4th class" traverse while Matt finished getting prepped. I carried over the rack and a rope. As it turns out, the traverse is scary. It's fixed for basically all you'd want a rope for but you don't ease into the exposure like a traditional wall. You're a few pitches off the ground before you even leave the ledge. It took me a bit to adjust and feel comfortable but I made it in one piece and went back for Matt, coming up with the best adjectives for how to describe the traverse in a favorable light. I also added a few pieces of gear to help protect the traverse and minimize any swinging if one slipped or broke a hold.

Matt did pretty well on the traverse, a little slow in spots but I think he was feeling okay at this point. Now the first pitches.

The plan was for me to lead and Matt to follow as we figured that would be our fastest arrangement. We'd shortfix everything and ideally fix to the top of three or four today with me cleaning some of it on rap as there's no point in everyone coming up then descending for the night.

Things didn't go quite to plan. The first pitch says something regarding gear to bring. My honest assessment is you could get by with a green 0 and red 1 BD C3 and maybe a cam hook as well. Other than that the first two pitches are all bolts and a fixed head or two and two fixed pins. The bolts are mostly big fat ones too so go fast and confident. I clipped very few of the bolts as I was planning on having gear for the ground ahead and I felt pretty sure I wouldn't fall. I maybe clipped ten bolts on the first pitch, shortfixed to a screamer at the top of the first pitch and clipped another five bolts to the top of the second. I was psyched and feeling really fast and efficient. The two pitches took maybe 40 minutes or so at a guess.

The problem was that now I was out of rope and needed Matt to hit the first anchor and give me more rope. I looked down to see him below the first roof which is still a long ways from the first anchor. Here's how the conversation went:

Ryan: How's it going?
Matt: Uhmmm... Not so good.
Ryan: Is it the jugging or your head?
Matt: Ummm... Both.
Ryan: Ok. Keep going and we'll talk when you make it to the anchor.
Matt: Ok.

Time proceeded to stop and Matt slowly inched upwards. I tried to tell myself that hanging in my harness and being uncomfortable was not nearly as bad as spinning in circles trying to clean draws and being terrified at the void below.

As some point a soloist on Jesus Built My Hotrod proceeds to pull off a plate sized flake. He carefully calls out "Rock" before letting it fly. This gives Matt and I the chance to watch it's path, falling and falling and falling until it smashes onto the slab below. Well at least we'll know for sure where we'd hit instead of speculating.

Finally Matt reaches the anchor. He's worked and there's no point in going up as it's not going to get any better. We decide to bail which is great fun on the Tower. I rap and clean the second pitch which is an adventure in and of itself. Then I send Matt down. We clipped the end of our haul line to the anchor knowing we'd need it to get into the ledge. Matt also left some draws clipped in to ease descent. This system worked sort of until Matt had issues with a prusik backup and more waiting followed. Finally Matt was down and I met him on the ledge. He wasn't hugging the tree as the tree looked like it was as likely to pull you off when it falls but he looked happy to be down. We proceeded to narrowly avoid epicing on the reverse traverse as the sun slipped lower and lower. We made it back to our gear, quickly decided to not epic on the descent taril in the dark and proceeded to have a really good time eating as much as we could so we didn't have to carry it down.

We spent the next few days flailing on V0's and styling up Sunnyside Bench (5.4 3 pitches Grade I). We spent lots of time in the meadow watching the Hans and Yugi show which is amazing in person. Soon Matt would have to leave so we hiked a load up to Mideast Crisis and Matt went on his way.

I had no regrets from our time together down there. We came and tried and failed and that's ok. There may or may not be a next time for Matt but I was still excited and motivated which was a good thing since I had lots of gear below MC. The plan was to fix to four before blasting and then launch solo.

Mideast Crisis shares its first pitch with Astroman. Now if you're a solid 11c climber headed up Astroman you probably don't think twice about the sandy 5.7 first pitch. But if you're solo aid climbing on an unmodified grigri and your lead limit is 5.10ish then things get interesting. The first pitch is not super clean, with lots of sand and flexing flakes. The pro is not great by my soloing standards but fortunately it is not sustained. This allowed for lots of tugging to feed rope and thinking about avoiding falls onto questionable gear.

I finished and cleaned the first pitch and prepped for the second. It goes at A1 according to the topo. I was hoping to do it clean but brought some pins along just in case. You free out right on evaporating sand hummocks to a crack splitting a roof. A fixed pin starts things off to good cams (.2 C3-.75 or so) to the lip of the roof. A nice big #1 makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. I was feeling pretty good at this point as things were going just fine so far and the crack ahead didn't look too bad.

The roof is topped by a slab, then things go mostly vertical to another slab at the anchor. Some cam hooks and small cams and nuts brought me to an impasse. There was a nice flake that would take a #4 a couple moves away. Sadly I only brought up to a #3, with the #4 hanging at the anchor below. Normally I'm psyched on tag racks for soloing but this would require tagging through a tree so I didn't set one up. The #3 would have to do. It looked like I might be able to shove it up higher but first I ahd to get there. The crack was fairly thin and kind of crumbly at the edges. I still wanted to keep things clean so I hesitated to sink a pin there. There was also a really nice hook placement a foot or so to the left of the crack but my grappling hook seemed to rock a little there. I decided I'd equalize a 000 C3 in the crack and the hook to the left. This kept the hook oriented in it's best position which was slightly askew. I topstepped up, using the flake that I could no reach for support. This soon turned into one of those fraid moves, where you're partially free and partially aid and fully afraid. I could no shove the #3 up higher where things constricted a bit more. I was playing around to get it just right as I was going to backclean the hook and cam if this worked and wanted good gear. That's when the cam blew and things got interesting.

Here's the more or less what I think happened: The cam blew, thus shockloading the hook and orienting it downwards instead of slightly askew. I felt the cam blow and the drop. This drop was quickly followed by a daisy fall onto the poor hook. Well I guess the hook wasn't so poor as it bent the hook to 90 degrees. I discovered this later as before I knew it I was dangling some 30ish ft. below where I was just moments before. I'd backcleaned before the fall so I fell a bit further and the system had a bit of slack in it but fortunately not any mroe as my feet were just about touching down onto the slab above the roof. Whew! I clearly remember being psyched and not scared, at first at least. It happened so fast that there wasn't time to think and I'm proud to say I didn't make a sound. I would've shit myself but my bowels didn't react that quickly and I was so puckered that nothing could get out anyways. I care fully jugged up to figure out which piece was my new favorite on the rack and discoverd it was a red/yellow offset Alien, fortunately pre-recall. Joy!

This time I busted out the hammer and a tiny sawed angle. With every tap my sphincter relaxed a little more. Sigh... My #3 was still above, just waiting for me to clip into it. Sometimes when I get bomber gear I'll clip into it with the rope before putting the aiders on it as I know it's not going to go. This saves me from having to reach down after and clip in. I'm glad I didn't this time as if I had fallen while clipping I would've hit the steep slab for sure. This is also when I noticed my hook was bent. Part of me was psyched and the other part that puts a great deal of faith in his gear was terrified. What else could bend?! After clipping the #3 I could see I was just a few moves from the anchor so I knew I'd survive the next few minutes. Some trickery was required as I didn't feel up to 2 moves of 5.2 and my fvorite hook was bent. Eventually I made the anchor and rapped off, leaving the gear to be cleaned tomorrow.

Going down, I knew it was going to be a tough night of decision making. I was scared, my back hurt from carrying all sorts of shit up here, my stomach felt like I had a hernia and who knew which gear would betray me next. On top of it all I was going to have to battle the ring tailed cat for base camp supremacy. I set up camp and proceeded to eat and drink as that always helps. Washington Column has better cell service than Camp 4 so I called a friend to vent. The plan was to wait until morning before making any final decision. Things might be better then right? Darkness...

The ring tailed cat is evil. There are at least a thousand of them and they are fearless. They don't even really want your food. They want you. I spent the better part of the night fighting them off and praying for daylight. Thumping my empty haulbag with a trekking pole was good at scaring them off but I quickly determined that I was more afraid of them then they were of me. Bastards!!

I awoke exhausted as I more passed out than fell asleep. I knew I was going down. It would also take me forever to get all my crap down from here, let alone down the North Dome Gully. I wisely chose to bail. Work demands would be calling soon and it was time for this adventure to come to an end. An Angel from Heaven in the form of Ben from the YOSAR site came through and offered to carry a bag down to the bike trail for me. Thank you so much as you basically saved me a day. I already had two bags to shuttle. There was one Metolius Quarter Dome with all the heavy stuff and one Metolius El Cap with the ledge and all the lighter stuff. This produced two obvious names for the pigs: Dense Pig and Tall Pig.

They both had their own personalities and quirks and I would get to know them well before the day was over. I began the descent hating Dense Pig and telling him so every time he threw me off balance. He always replied with something snarky about how he'd much rather be empty and I was the one who put all this shit inside him. Tall Pig on the other hand couldn't have been better behaved. He apologized the few times the top got hung up on branches and seemed to behave himself quite well with none of the backtalk I'd come to expect from Dense Pig.

I'd carry one down aways, set it on a nice rock and go get the other. Soon though things changed as now Tall Pig was getting hung up more often in the trees. Dense Pig kept pointing out how much easier he was to carry and that Tall Pig was intentionally grabbing branches. I told Dense Pig that I couldn't really see what was going on back there and it's not nice to point fingers at others but I think he was right. In Tall Pig's defense, he had the portaledge sticking out the top. The ledge has spent many, many nights in my gear room and none to date on a wall. I don't think it wanted to leave. I can't blame it as neither did I so I promised we'd come back. Eventually all Dense Pig and Tall Pig made it back and I returned to pick up the little pig that didn't get a name as I wasn't hallucinating when I carried it. I was worked and looking at a 15 hour drive to Seattle so I thought it better to crasah one more night in Camp 4 then fall asleep somewhere along the highway.

Again, no regrets on the whole adventure. I had a blast and learned a lot. I feel mentally more prepared and know my way around the Valley a bit. I discovered that I need more of a reserve of strength to solo harder stuff for me and that regardless of how strong or psyched I'm feeling that doesn't make up for a partner who isn't feeling good. It takes two feeling good and all those things are what I came to find, not what the summit of Leaning Tower or Washington Column looks like.

I forget which famous climber said it but it was something along the lines of "After all these years and all these mountains I don't remember the routes or the moves or the summits. I remember the people I did them with and the relationships I built on those climbs." This fit my mindset perfectly. The plan was to come climb with Matt, not come climb something with just anybody. The plan was to try and solo something hard for me, not just get up something. I think we could've done some easier stuff and eased into a bit more. The South Face of WC together or the Prow solo or whatever. We may have succeeded on both routes and ultimately it wouldn't matter. I think I learned and grew as much climbing, flailing and bailing with Matt and by myself as I woud've had I topped out on something else with someone other than Matt. It's not like I'm gonna get a free pair of shoes when I fax my send to the mags anyways.

Since the only climbs we finished were Sunnyside bench and some sick V0 boulder problems I'll refrain from adding a bunch of route beta. I did put together some pretty good beta on both routes prior to leaving so if anyone's interested I'm happy to forward it along or answer questions on the two pitches of both routes I did climb.

The move by move beta TR for Sunnyside Bench will most likey never make it to print as that was just too amazing a climb to try and express into words. It's actually really cool and I highly recommend it regardless of ability. Thanks and I hope you enjoyed my TR.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Jackin' up the winter walls...OOOOOHHHhhh
« on: November 03, 2008, 12:09:14 pm »
Ah winter in the PNW... 

After scaring the shit out of myself in Yosemite I've discovered that I really wasn't as scared as I thought I was and I want to go back and I don't mind the sight of my haulbag and aiders aren't the worst thign in the world so I think I'm months ahead of schedule.

Winter to do list:
Get wet and tell myself I'll never do this again at Index, then do it again weeks later.
Ski. Lots. No I mean lots. Well lots for me at least.
Train 2-3 times a week. Actually train as in work on things that need work like getting the weight down.
Run stairs. I hate running and I'd actually rather run stairs than flat.
Do the God-forsaken Columbia Tower stair cllimb next spring. 69 floors as fast as you want to go. Try to crack 12:30. We'll see.
Climb something harder (for me) at Smith; Magic Light 10c would be nice
Dunk a basketball again. Obviously not climbing related but if that's going well good climbing usually follows.
Prep for spring goals:
Squamish Walls
Green Drag-on and Town Crier in a day
Maybe Zion or a return to Yosemite...

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hey Lambone!
« on: September 26, 2008, 10:05:12 pm »
Sounds good though I'm  not very good at hacky-sack.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Hey Lambone!
« on: September 26, 2008, 03:36:02 pm »
I'd be psyched to see up to date info on Zodiac. With that route it seems like it's as key as a weather forecast as it changes so much. I had osme friends get absolutely shut down in early spring and other friends had it feel casual for them. Go figure.

When are you heading down? I should be in the Valley and fixing on WA Column by Sunday the 5th but will be possibly looking for partners for the week after beginning on the 12th.

Big Wall Forum / Fall Wall Plans
« on: August 20, 2008, 04:24:06 pm »
So I guess if I declare to the world what I'm wanting to do for climbing this fall it'll make it that much more likely to happen. I've previously talked about Zodiac but I don't think my partner is ready and I'm not ready to go it alone, so the new target is a nice starter Grade V with him and then to solo something a touch harder but still Grade V.

We'll likely go for WFLT or South Face of Washington Column. The Column would work out nicely as then we could leave some gear at the base and save me the trouble of carrying it up again as I'm leaning heavily toward Mideast Crisis. I was very much into the route before and now there's a bunch of added beta and buzz which is surely I sign that I should get on it.

So that's the plan for me. What is everyone else shooting for? Put it in writing in front of all your bigwall support network friends and it'll happen.

I'll be getting into the Valley on October 4th and leaving on the 21st or so. Let me know if anyone's in the neighborhood to hook up down there. Cheers!

Big Wall Forum / Re: Where to buy tag line?
« on: August 13, 2008, 10:38:52 am »
You can certainly get it off the spool at REI or similiar. I used it as a good excuse to buy another half rope so I went a little big at 8.1mm.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Mideast Crisis, Washingtom Column
« on: August 04, 2008, 10:54:43 am »
Hey Mike
I noticed on the routes page you had some info for Mideast Crisis including a ?topo with notes?. Unfortunately the link or picture isn?t working. Any chance of getting that from you and/or any other beta you can pass along. Thanks.

Big Wall Forum / Re: The Big Wall Mindset
« on: May 14, 2008, 03:14:04 pm »
This more than almost any other thread on here is probably most relevant to succeeding on a wall.

I did a lot of my practice aiding while solo. I just couldn't connect with any regular partners. Then when a partner couldn't make it on a trip I contemplated going solo. I went out for a practice day with the mindset of me soloing a wall and it was completely different. Like Jake said, the what-ifs really get to you. I'd done the majority of my pitches solo and all the sudden every pitch wiped me out, even though they were pitches I'd soloed many times before. Weird.


I think reading stories of others suffering more is helpful. Minus 148, Annapurna, any early bigwall tales, pretty much anything by Twight, Shackleton. That sort of stuff seems to make aiding by choice seem not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Better (or worse I guess) yet would be to read stories about people suffering not by choice. Realizing struggle is a way of life for so many in the world and that here we are, able to recreate and suffer for fun, sort of...

As for laughing when the aiders catch while going free, that's what partners are for.

Big Wall Forum / The arrival of non-climbing threads/trolls
« on: May 01, 2008, 04:02:54 pm »
So, due to some recent activity here on, we're confronted with the same thing that seems to plague many other "climbing" websites out there. Non-climbing posts and/or "Trolls" showing up. I know that I for one have enjoyed this site because of its aid/wall focus, the willingness of its participants to share and the encouragement of others, regardless of ability. There's some great info to be found on other sites but you must wade through a fair amount of BS to get to it. If that's what you're into, then fine. Enjoy because there's plenty of it out there. That's part of what makes this site special though is the lack of distracting threads mixed in. The number of climbing related posts outnumber the non-climbing 30 to 1.

It seems once "trolling" and alter-ego/avatar postings begin they can spread like wildfire. Obviously I'm exagerating and it really isn't that big a deal but I think we can protect the climbing content by ignoring the non-climbing content. I guess what I'm proposing is for people to not reply to suspected "trolls" and non-climbing content that is posted in the climbing forum. There is a non-climbing forum within this site as well for folks who want to post there. I'd imagine if "trollers" or alter-avatar posters don't get the attention they're looking for here they will go elsewhere. Maybe not but it seems it would be worth the effort to ignore them.

The other issue, and maybe it's just me, but can we leave the shorthand typing and foul language and insults to If you've got something to say, say it in reasonably understandable language and be polite. God knows there's going to be horrible spelling, typing and grammar but come on. As far as the insults, that's something that has always drove me crazy about the internet is how a little bit of anonymity suddenly gives everyone the right to call one another F'n Noobs.  If you met these people in person through a friend they'd likely be a friend of yours by the end of the day even if they (shudder to think) carry nuts up to a #11!! (F'n Noob!) Let's play nice.

Sorry for the brief preaching, I just think this is something worth protecting and whether or not todays posts were legit it's something we should be aware of so our beloved site doesn't turn into something we'd rather it didn't become.

Just before I hit the "Post" button I realized the irony of me posting this in the "Climbing Thread" section given it's not about climbing but I think that's where it belongs. Thoughts?

Big Wall Forum / Re: Am I the only one with an anger problem?
« on: May 01, 2008, 10:13:13 am »
I think what Lambone was trying to say is that this site provides a nice alternative to Supertopo, as for the very reasons you said, can get a little distracting. Climbing content, particularly aid/wall climbing content tends to get lost amongst all sorts of political, social and cultural conversations. While that stuff is fine and we all partake in it as well, this site has traditionally always been more climbing content focused and my guess is most users would like to keep it that way.

Obviously you can post whatever you want, I just imagine that some people might not engage you in conversation in those threads as I for one am not interested in them on this site and my guess is that others aren't too interested either. To each his own though.

Big Wall Forum / Re: Dealing with sharp edges and soloing
« on: April 12, 2008, 09:57:54 pm »
I think you lost it the day you created your user name and password. It's all downhill after that.

That last picture looks good in theory.

In a perfect world there would be a nice bolt or fixed piece leading up the roof or under the roof itself that when cleaning you could lower out off of thus only putting your weight onto the piece above the roof after you were clear of the sharp edge. Soloing can have it's advantages over belayed climbing as there's not as many options for this sort of thing when the rope needs to feed through pieces.

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