Author Topic: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?  (Read 6567 times)

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Offline cobbledik

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Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« on: March 24, 2011, 04:28:25 pm »
As I was reading the Shortest Straw thread, I came up with this question.

Are there instructions on how to make a butterknife? Or some other way of getting a hold of one?

I've used my chisel and punch on a few heads to strip out deadheads and overused heads on a few of the boulder-aid problems I've played on. (Lost Lid in Joshua Tree was one where I took out more than enough deadheads and extraneous head and still left enough heads fixed so that someone could do it as a head ladder if they wanted to.)

(Edit: took out oversized image of deadhead and extrahead aftermath)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 10:57:02 am by cobbledik »
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

skully

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 05:12:47 pm »
Check it out.
http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=545.0

I think you'll find it quite useful...
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 10:39:21 pm by skully »

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 05:46:43 pm »


You will need a grinder, and a bucket of H2o.

It takes a while to get the stock knocked down enough to shape it, dunk in water often.

I like a 1/2" for #1-#2's, and a 3/4" for #3 and up.

It amazes me what kind of crap people are willing to trust.  With a BK, you can have a new head set in 1 minute.

Skully's link nails it.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 07:58:04 pm »
The guys down the street from the Coffee Co. made mine in about five minutes and didn't charge me anything.

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 10:15:53 am »
Created a butterknife this week and wanted to get comments on it if anyone has any.





Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Caz

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 11:08:37 am »
Fish made me one...
I do this for fun...

skully

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 09:34:44 pm »
Well, it looks like it'll work. Just watch how it performs, & fine tune from there.

Offline Greg German

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 09:08:09 am »
I made this one a few weeks ago.


Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 10:55:54 am »
Went up the first pitch of Mescalito with it this weekend and was able to easily clear out ~%75 of the deadheads on that pitch without issue. Whoohoo!
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Caz

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 07:54:03 pm »
Nice work! I'm sure it needed it...
I do this for fun...

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 08:38:27 pm »
ZM is going to be quite clean of copperheads after John and I get done with it next week. There is no way in hell I'm clipping long lines of heads like I did on Tribal Rite last year!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 08:55:31 pm by mhudon »

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 11:40:41 am »
Anyone been up the nose recently enough to say whether there's many deadheads such that bringing a butterknife up this weekend would be worth it?

or even pointless chicken heads?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 11:44:27 am by cobbledik »
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Mr.

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 03:36:32 pm »
Quote
ZM is going to be quite clean of copperheads after John and I get done with it next week. There is no way in hell I'm clipping long lines of heads like I did on Tribal Rite last year!

pulling all the heads on lead while you are still under them! whoa....

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 03:55:45 pm »
If the head looks like it might be hiding any sort of clean placement, I'm going to jerk it out. If the wires are wasted, I'll replace it. On Tribal Rite, I could have cleanly climbed past at least 1/3 of the heads.
I'll be doing the same with any pins I come across also. I'm trying to get a little adventure back into these walls, ya know. Knowing what I know now, I'd climb Tribal Rite and the Shield differently than I did.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 04:22:19 pm by mhudon »

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 04:25:46 pm »
Anyone been up the nose recently enough to say whether there's many deadheads such that bringing a butterknife up this weekend would be worth it?


No, it is knott worth it.

NOw SEND!!!

Mark-  Nothing better than setting your own head, sometimes WAY more bomber feeling than a descent beak.

Which brings up a question to the masses, I recall on the PO wall, Ricardo? was facing a blown out head placement, and rather than enhancing the same placement which would take 2 seconds he chose to drill a rivet.

Maybe it's just me but, if faced with the same situation, you better believe there would be a head placed.

What are some of your takes on dealing with that kind of junk while on lead.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 05:03:14 pm »
I wouldn't drill to replace a blown rivet, I'd do my damnedest to create a head placement.

The invention of heads was real unfortunate for El Cap climbing, IMHO. Repeated placing and removal would surely destroy any placement pretty damn quick so the alternative we've been left with is clipping up ugly wires. In my latest El Cap routes (2 of the 3 in the last 30 years ;-)) I've seen that copperheads are the first resort of the unable. Tribal Rite was quite the bummer with all it's heads in obvious pin, nut or beak cracks and the Shield certainly didn't need any. Charlie didn't use them so I don't see why subsequent ascents needed to.

skully

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 10:16:38 pm »
Quote
Charlie didn't use them so I don't see why subsequent ascents needed to
Word.
They DO seem to be the first resort of the inadequate. There ARE places where heads are needed. There are MANY places where they are not.
There have been a couple instances where I cleaned a deadhead & thought Homan...I can get an offset or a wire in here. Maybe a beak. I'd like to see folks think the choices through. Options, right? It's the 21st Century(by some accounts). Let's get modern.

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 08:33:17 am »
As of a month ago there's a random head between the first bolts and the feature of P1 on Zodiac. Seemed like someone wasn't comfortable leaning out off of a bolt to place obvious clean placements so they placed a head sideways in order to approach the feature head (hahah) on.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 09:05:10 am »
As far as my posts of intent go, let's not forget that talk is cheap on the internet and everyone is brave in the Meadow. We'll see how it all turns out in a couple of weeks....

Still though, we're going up there with the intention of doing a good job on it.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2011, 10:02:44 am »
Mark-

Very few climbers are relaxed enough to remove/replace the trashed heads/fixed gear on most routes.  Just clip the time bomb and say you lead A4.

I know you will do a good job up there and make the next teams exp that much better.

Cobble- You got a "HEAD FIXATION" and the only cure is more COWTAILS :)

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2011, 10:51:54 am »
No doubt, I've got a fixation. The finer points of the darks arts have definately got a hold on me. What matters now is figuring out how to avoid using these things as much as possible in order to focus on clean instead. 
I figure though that if I want to push my abilities in clean climbing, I need to know as much as possible about heading and nailing in order to be able to get out of any situations that are beyond my current clean skill/mental states. Which is part of the reson why I;ve been doing as much single pitch aid routes and aid bouldering on junk rock whenever possible. 
The pursuit of technical ability and systems is as important (or more) to me as the pursuit of the top.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2011, 07:59:21 pm »
No doubt, I've got a fixation. The finer points of the darks arts have definately got a hold on me. What matters now is figuring out how to avoid using these things as much as possible in order to focus on clean instead. 
I figure though that if I want to push my abilities in clean climbing, I need to know as much as possible about heading and nailing in order to be able to get out of any situations that are beyond my current clean skill/mental states. Which is part of the reson why I;ve been doing as much single pitch aid routes and aid bouldering on junk rock whenever possible. 
The pursuit of technical ability and systems is as important (or more) to me as the pursuit of the top.

werd

Offline lambone

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2011, 09:05:19 pm »
heads are the tool of the incompetent

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2011, 11:14:18 pm »
You still clip em though Bone.

Bet you would change your tune if you were strung out on a new route and the only thing that would prevent a rivet is a #2.

I wonder how many routes would get sent if Head sections weren't fixed?  Problem is most of the "Incompetent" can't tell the difference btw a head placement and a beak placement.

Is clipping your way up A4 via fixed heads really climbing? 

Honest Question.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2011, 09:20:06 am »
It's a real quandary, don't you think?

If a head is used in a legitimate head placement, that placement by definition is delicate. Removing and replacing the head on subsequent ascents will rapidly destroy the placement. Once the placement is destroyed what do we do?

Since the American style of ascent dictates that you place and remove all of your gear so that the next party can climb the route in it's "original" state, we feel legitimately cheated if we have to clip fixed gear. We are cheated out of having to test our skill of making our own placements. Removing and replacing heads destroys the placement so if rivet or bolt is placed what's the real difference between clipping up a rivet/bolt ladder or a crappy copperhead ladder? Let's not even get into all the heads placed in spots that could be climbed by other means.

All in all, my original comment stands, The invention of heads was real unfortunate for El Cap climbing. (although you could say the same thing about pitons. Their intended placement is quite a bit more robust, but pins still wreck the rock and placement. Look at the Shield, what used to be A5 placements are now, for the most part, marginal A2)

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2011, 10:03:13 am »
When I was practicing Aid in Joshua Tree on Lost Lid (which I refereed to in the first post) I found it disgusting that there were heads literally 1 foot apart all the way up the ~50' boulder.  It certainly did not feel like "A4"  That and I was able to climb it completely clean after the bolt and was able to skip past some of the heads below using hooks. Apparently there used to be a bathook to start the route but when I got there, someone had shoved a #2 head into the hole, wtf?
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2011, 10:21:37 am »
Removing and replacing the head on subsequent ascents will rapidly destroy the placement

The old method was to clip in and yard the head out with your feet on the wall using all of your back power.  Yes this does damage to the placement.  With a butterknife, you can surgically remove the head, and leave a perfectly good placement behind.  Sustainable?  Not for the long haul, yet better than the alternative.

How did ZM get climbed for the first 15 ascents?  I promise you  heads were not left behind, it just wasn't the style of ascent in those days.  You removed your heads on the way up.  SOOOOOOOO did all of those head placements get blown out?  Nope.  They got fixed, and so the trend began.

Trenching need not come into this conversation, seeing as how that was a favorite tactic of many at that time, not to mention that route. 

I would venture to say that "Most" EC climbers have never climbed pitches where they were forced to head there way up.  It just isn't the way aid climbing progressed over the years. Style changed and so did the climber.

So, new wave climbers, clipping their way up A4 routes, are getting the short end of what used to be a mandatory skillset in aid cllimbing.  That is why many "Incompetent" and "Green" aid climbers can send routes that "Were" testpieces due to the lack of technical hammer work needed.

Offline lambone

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2011, 02:15:01 pm »

I wonder how many routes would get sent if Head sections weren't fixed?  Problem is most of the "Incompetent" can't tell the difference btw a head placement and a beak placement.

That's exactly what I mean.

Offline BriGuy

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2011, 02:19:21 pm »
This is a cool thread. I'd like to hear from some other long time el cap veterans on the subject.

Mark, I will be interested to hear about your experience on ZM based on what you have posted here. There are lots of heads up there.

cobbledik, nice work on P1 on Mescalito. I've led that pitch twice and couldn't believe all the deadheads in there...it looked like shit.

I have only had to place one head on el cap. It was just up from the belay on a pitch on Sunkist. I pulled the previous fixed one out with my fingers.....it was an obvious placement as there were no other options for gear that I saw....a flaring, bottoming out seam, it was an onsite, I was psyched. I'll be taking a butterknife with me on my future el cap climbs for sure.

There are some cool photos of homemade BN's on this thread. If anyone that has made one is willing to make another, I am willing to pay you for it...please send me an email if you want to hook a brother up.

BriGuy

Offline Wade Icey

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Re: Making or getting ahold of a butterknife?
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2011, 03:00:23 pm »
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