Author Topic: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO  (Read 8103 times)

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Offline Mike.

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High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« on: September 05, 2011, 09:33:43 am »
A repository of psyche for Mark and Max, long-time free climbing and big wall aces, about to go big on the big part.

Get ready for the hang, doods!

Mark, what special provisions are you including for the steeps...advanced belay comfort technology? New butterknife set? Revelations from your recent sends going into action? Bringing tools to replace sad lead gear on the PO? Psyched to see the Home Depot anchor up high??

No more relaxing wallin' than coming off a solo and climbing with a pal...on steep stuff you can whip off if need be.

Woohoo!!!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 10:04:26 am »
Yeah, Baby!

To tell you the truth, I'm getting pretty emotional about being on El Cap again with Max, it was such a special time of my life climbing with him back in the 70s. I tell ya, I'm going to have a hard time not crying when we hike up to the base or topping off.

So far, Butterknives from Theron, the Belay Lounge from Zack Parke and the usual sandwiches for the first night and ipods, books, cameras and video cameras and,of course, the South Seas Blend from Hood River Coffee Co.

For my pitches, I can't say for Max, I'm planning on removing every head and placing my own. As per my current style, I'll remove every head, sling, bolt and pin I can. I'll remove all useless tat on the route and all waterbottles I can find on top.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 11:18:27 am by mhudon »

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 11:48:11 am »
Cool...

How do ya divvy the pitches? Flip for odds/evens? Take the first so Max doesn't have to refresh with deck potential? Yea, I say give him the evens. To blow his mind on P2 if no other reason.


I will say I think it's wrong to systematically remove every single piece of gear possible. Not saying it's wrong to remove fixed gear. Some bolts may be from the FA. Some pins or heads may break off and demand more impact than the gear represented. Some head placements could be damaged and rendered useless. I know you're conscientious about this stuff, Mark. Good on ya there.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 11:59:33 am »
As far as removing gear, it'll be piece by piece decision, I'm sure. I'm also sure that talk is cheap on the internet and that I'll leave probably 7/8 of what I find. By "every piece possible" I mean every piece that I can avoid my some other legitimate means.

Max gets the 1st, 3rd and 4th and then he gets the evens and I get the odds from there. I want him to get some mileage under his belt right away. I led that 1st pitch years ago and didn't think of any decking potential, is it really that bad/

What's the general opinion of the leaving or cutting down the Alcove Swing rope?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 12:01:50 pm by mhudon »

Offline lambone

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 12:48:10 pm »
Have fun Mark!

Curious why you'd remove a head just to place another in the same spot...?

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 01:01:14 pm »
I want to test my mettle, just like the first ascent did when they placed the heads originally.

If we're all going to clip up crappy heads, why don't we fix the entire route of pins and make the whole thing a clip up? If we're going to merely clip up the heads, why don't we just drill a rivet or bolt ladder to replace them? Head ladders are ugly and take no skill to climb so why not?

The use of heads, IMHO, was a major mistake in big wall climbing.

Offline lambone

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 01:07:18 pm »
I get it...just don't see the point in removing one good head to place another. Obviously bad ones and superfoulous ones are trash...

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 01:15:35 pm »
I agree with you but I don't see the point of fixed copperheads altogether. If it's just a piece to clip, shouldn't I jerk it and replace it with some permanent like a bolt or rivet? Someone at sometime will get to place their own head, why not me?

Don't forget that I am then planning to remove the heads I place. I'm sort of pushing the issue, one of these days the placement will be blown out completely and someone will have to place something permanent or drill a bat hook, exactly what should have been done in the first place.

Like I said though, talk is cheap on the internet, even mine, we'll see how it goes...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 01:18:55 pm by mhudon »

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 01:41:55 pm »
I'd guess many or most of the heads you'll encounter won't be from the FA. I don't think placing a head where a good one came out is a great test of skill or bravado. It's more like hoping the placement wasn't damaged enough so your new head can be as good as the one removed.

I'm more likely to leave a head if it's bomber, particularly if it looks like the rock will suffer by removal. I don't advocate keeping crap gear in situ, and I disagree that there is no skill in getting through a line of fixed heads. Testing should be happening, and replacing the heads which don't stand the testing. Jumping on a line of heads as though it was a bolt ladder could log some serious airtime or worse. Using other gear to bypass heads or head placements can be an exercise in resourcefulness and creativity (you know this well, Mark). Contrived "difficulty"--you bet. But because it is contrived doesn't mean we should drill up every head placement or ladder. If one blows out with no alternative, sure, drill a rivet.

Many or most heads are there b/c pins won't work, so replacing them all with pins is a moot scenario.

Why perpetuate the head mistake if it was a major one? Each to his own, but demanding that the heading all be done by you is needlessly accelerating our impact, and more quickly leads to additional drilling, tat solutions, etc. Bolts and rivets aren't permanent either. Some aspects of a route are simply no longer available as an experience once the FA and subsequent ascents are done.

Thanks for the straight talk, Mark. Power on.

Cheers...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 01:43:59 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 02:16:30 pm »
Very true, Mike. Probably at the end of the day, I'll take out some useless ones, place a few of my own and clip up the remainder.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 04:06:50 pm »
i dig listening to folks approaches to the gear and ethics of it all.

The danger seems to be in simplifying the approach (for whatever endeavor). And you guys are really good at seeing the different 'angles' in the complexity.




To the question of copperheading generally: what is the main value on a first ascent? 

I think it is for speed. But the few heads I've bothered to place took me forever. And now I can drill a 3/8 by 2.25 in 15 minutes. (less as my elbows get older)

So I think for inexperienced headers the speed value isn't there.


thots?

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 05:27:07 pm »

To the question of copperheading generally: what is the main value on a first ascent?  

I think it is for speed. But the few heads I've bothered to place took me forever. And now I can drill a 3/8 by 2.25 in 15 minutes. (less as my elbows get older)

So I think for inexperienced headers the speed value isn't there.


thots?

Good thoughts, Munge.

I think heads have been "okay" with the wall crowd long enough that their use is considered legit (has been for some time). I know there has always been a minority--C. Porter included--of dads who didn't/don't embrace heads (or at least sculpting head placements) and thought a rivet or bolt should be drilled instead. I think heads, like rivets, were/are a way to keep the route sporty (and keep the hole count down, maybe the biggest reason). Expedience also a factor as you cite, but I'm guessing as much for cost savings as time savings, seeing how quarter inch Drives go in so fast with little thought, more options and less skill than most(?) heads.

I'd like to hear JM's take on this.




Back to those other high mileage doods...Mark, what kind of vittles ya treating Max to up there? Nostalgic fare for old comfort, or JetBoiled delicacies of the modern wall rat? How many pitches a day ya shooting for? Fix three per standard SS/PO m.o.?

BTW, thanks a hundred times in advance if you hack down that tat people call the alcove swing. That thing is a magnet for idiots and idiocy of all sorts, and it doesn't reflect well on others not there for non-committing playground tricks. It also puts our legit fixed lines, gear and caches under needless scrutiny. We watched last summer as a handful of goons doubled and tripled up on that unknown cord. And when done, they unleashed a solid 10-minute torrent of trundling, attempting to tell us later that all that tonnage of rock was just up there "ready to go." This is the element that the MF swing attracts. I know decent people also do it and have done it. Sorry. I say if you want to swing the alcove, fix a route and do it on your way up. Ironically it's really not even very thrilling. I got a way bigger rush pendi'ing Rockreation.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 05:30:52 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 06:24:14 pm »
I wouldn't think speed was the desire, certainly speed over bolting but, more naturally, the climber's desire to climb the features on the rock without resorting to bolts.
Unfortunately, head placements degrade rapidly and even fixed heads degrade. Pins certainly degrade the rock but their scars tend to allow better and better pitons to be placed. Copperhead placement and removal tend to destroy its placement.

Again, I'd agree with Mike as far as non-chiseling heads and keeping the sporty nature of the route. BUT, once a route starts to sport long lines of fixed head, any subsequent climbers are robbed of their "first ascent" experience. Don't we all go up there to test our skill and nerve? If we do, then I would have to say that I was robbed of the experience on numerous pitches on Tribal Rite, The Shield and ZM.

All in all, it's selfish to remove existing heads to place my own, but, I'm going to use my best judgement to clean up the route, make it more challenging for me and hopefully leave it so the next party up has a fun experience.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 06:38:03 pm by mhudon »

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 06:50:26 pm »
Quote
Max gets the 1st, 3rd and 4th and then he gets the evens and I get the odds from there. I want him to get some mileage under his belt right away. I led that 1st pitch years ago and didn't think of any decking potential, is it really that bad?


I'm planning to fix three, hump loads the next day, haul and bivy right there on top of pitch 3. I'm figuring 3 pitches a day and sleeping on top for the 7th night. I already have porters lined out.

Max is providing only his clothes, food, camping gear, harness and gear sling. I'm providing everything else. He doesn't know anything about docking cords, tether cords, 2:1 hauling or even setting up a modern portaledge. I left him a bunch of gear on my way through Carson City this spring and have been emailing him instructions about hauling, knot tying and all that.

All in all, I expect him to be fairly clueless for a little while but, you know, he's Max Jones and he's Badass?!

The Alcove swing is as good as gone.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 06:57:57 pm by mhudon »

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2011, 07:04:50 pm »
Old Badass guys get it done...nice. Like the three-pitch/day plan; alternating light leading/hauling days.

Nothing like easing him back into wig balling...on SS! And, you get P2! You guys will be flying up the PO, probably catch air at the lip.

Porters? Jayzus, I think I'm doing it wrong.

Thanks for your efforts in tidying up the place.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 07:07:01 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2011, 08:53:09 pm »
Yeah, I'd chop that manky swing. Let those that lead the 1st three have a swing, if they wish to.
Max is gonna like 1. That's a good pitch.
On heads, I generally test & replace as needed. If there is a viable alternative, it's History.
Copperheading is an addiction, like many others....Good intentions, and all.

Have a good time up there, you guys! The Grandest part of The Wall......

skully

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2011, 09:17:15 pm »
Hey, Mark...Top of three ain't the best bivy. I guess if you got high enough, it'd be ok.
You're at the edge  of the skinny slab. Top of 4 is better.
Just an opinion.

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 09:47:35 pm »
Skully,

I was thinking that if we got up there with enough time I could convince Max to lead out on that pitch. What about hanging down below that slab?

skully

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2011, 05:39:28 am »
You could do that...

Offline johnmac

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2011, 07:53:03 am »
Have a great trip!


Offline *Mucci*

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2011, 10:06:31 pm »
Mark,

I agree with your charge in removal of bad heads.  I dig standing on my own heads as well.  EVERY head gets a yank?  probably knott.  The trick to aid climbing these days is to recognize when a head is in a fragile/natural placement.  That is when care is needed on removal or if you decide to clip up.

Now I would venture that a good portion of heads on the standard routes are in trenches or were enhanced.  Removal does no damage to these trenches if you use an appropriately sized butterknife ( I carry 3 different sizes).  Now, if you go all oldschool and clip in your funkness to your waist, put yer feet on the wall and use the ole back to yard em out, you may just accomplish your goal of getting a rivet by a former head placement.  Which by the way i think is a step in the wrong direction.

Heading and beaking have been two of the most intricate and tenuous forms of progression I have done, both tend to show up around the same time....on the same pitch.  Finding your mojo with #2 heads is what makes it all worth it.  Nothing else will work bar drilling.  Nothing for a beak, just a groove.  Now that is climbing to me, hard to replicate on popular EC routes I would think.

Another aspect to consider is that most heads you see are the wrong size for the placement, 3's where 2's should be, 2's where 1's should be etc...  More metal to rock is not the answer to heading. 

Not trying to come off pro heading these days, just want to point out that it can be done thoughtfully and with minimal impact.

Good luck on SS Mark! 

Cheers!

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2011, 12:14:36 pm »
Mucci,

Thanks,

and as far as heads go, believe me, my bark is worse than my bite. ;-)

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2011, 12:27:14 pm »
Hey, also, the topo calls for 2 4.5" units. Do I really need 2 or will one do?

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 05:44:36 pm »
Hey, also, the topo calls for 2 4.5" units. Do I really need 2 or will one do?

Hey, Skully, what do you think?

I don't recall placing two big cams in a row on SS, but on the PO I did. Out of convenience since I had them?

I probably wouldn't leave the ground on a big EC route aid line without two big cams, at least a couple old purple Camalot size.

Not much of an answer for ya, Mark. FWIW...
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2011, 09:10:18 pm »
The Great White Shark is pretty wide. We had two big cams...a 4.5 & a 5, I think.
There's a couple other spots, too.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 09:22:42 pm by skully »

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2011, 02:21:22 pm »
Quote
More metal to rock is not the answer to heading.

Mucci, talk more about this. Heading is a lost art and good info is hard to come by.

got any good photos?



show us the beaks man, show us the beaks!

Offline jake

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2011, 12:35:48 pm »
HOLY FUCK!!!  

Repeaters being robbed of FA experience, this route was done way before I was born! 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 12:43:57 pm by jake »

Offline mhudon

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2011, 01:31:14 pm »
I remember watching Bill Price jug lines on the first ascent.

Offline Mike.

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2011, 02:20:53 pm »
The only thing worse than wall aces bragging about their skill, is when they brag about their youth. STFU, Jake! : )
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Offline jake

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Re: High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2011, 10:06:34 pm »
I'm no wall ace!  The desire to repeat the FA experience is an understandable one.  Yet, as most of us know, we can't. You are only following those before you and adding history to the route when you climb an aid route.  Should ones  mark be a line of rivets next to a blown out head seam?  One that a real wall ace could get head to stick, where others have failed?