Author Topic: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)  (Read 1037 times)

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Offline Paul B

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West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« on: January 07, 2013, 01:23:59 pm »
First post on here after lurking for a while (I've looked at the DIY thread for a long time for some perverse reason).

The Mrs. (soon to be wife if we fit it in) and I are looking to come climbing to the USA and Canada this year which will hopefully include a fair few walls! Currently its looking as if we'll:

Fly to Denver then work West through Utah (Zion etc), Nevada (Red Rocks + a wedding) and into California (Yosemite, Tuolmne, High Sierras, Needles) before heading on up to Canada for Squamish and the Bugaboos. We'd arrive on April 1st and then spend our 90 days (standard tourist visa) in the USA before moving up to Canada with the potential of coming back after a 2 month 'exile' in Canada to go back to wherever we most enjoyed before flying home shortly after. Does this sound like a half-decent plan?

We've done a fair bit of European stuff (Val di Mello, Dolomites, Verdon gorge, Riglos) however these have mostly consisted of free routes or nearly free (as in I did an impression of a sport climber aiding up bolts on the aid ladder I encountered in the Verdon and in Mello I had to employ some guerilla aid to pass a REALLY hard move. i.e standing in a tide off sling on the only bolt on this particular slab).

That said, we're not completely green when it comes to placing gear having done a lot of UK trad climbing over the years and with the floor ever present I feel we're fairly good at 'getting some in'.

When it comes to aid and wall climbing I've mostly been ingesting all the information I can from Chris Mcnamara's almost finished online book. Is there anything else I should really get a look at? I currently work in a climbing-wall (gym) and thus have somewhere to practice anything I read before we leave (within reason).

Moving onto my next question(s) (whilst desperately hoping you're not all bored already):

Hauling - We're both pretty scrawny and when I say scrawny I mean the two of us come in for a little over a 100kg. Are we going to be able to shift bags 1:1 if they're loaded for a 3 day ascent or in all liklihood will we need to look at 2:1? The plan was to buy a micro/mini traxion (I work in a gear shop at the wall so gear is relatively affordable), if 2:1 is necessary I also have a petzl fixe kicking around (ironically from a 1-arm assistance rig), will this do as the second pulley?


Also our rack really needs filling out. If someone popped into our shop and asked re: the UK I'd be able to help but I haven't a clue when it comes to the areas listed. I have plenty of wires but not all that many cams. We're aiming to ensure we have this:

set of double ropes
single (currently 9.4) + tag (7mm?)
Petzl locking pulley
Petzl Fixe

4 jumars
2 ladder aiders (yates)
2 normal daisies (DMM)
2 speed daisies (Metolius)
2 speed aiders (Metolius)
2 fifi hooks

20 light draws (some made up of long slings)
I own about 3 sets of nuts, how many do I bring?
offset nuts (alloys)
brass offsets + imps + peenuts
full set of BD Camalots
full set of BD C3s
full set of DMM Dragon cams (N.B. there's not that many in a set!).
3 smallest mastercams
all of my other rotting cams made by various Eastern Bloc manufacturers
Slings
Belay devices + prussiks, Gloves? Headtorches Waterproofs  etc.

What have I missed? Apologies for the brain dump, I hope I haven't out-typed my welcome already!

Paul

ps: I'm gunna die/I'm going home in a pine box. If anyone ever needs to ask anything regarding the UK and europe then I think I probably owe them an answer already so send me a message!

Offline SLareau

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 09:26:57 pm »
What sort of wall are you looking to get on? Moonlight, HD, leaning tower, el cap? It sounds like you are planning on getting a route that will go mostly free for you with limited aid.  Is that the case?  The answer to that is going to wildly affect whether your are bringing an adequate gear or not. 

Chris Mac's gear lists or the supertopos are a good starting point.

Offline Paul B

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 05:04:07 am »
What sort of wall are you looking to get on? Moonlight, HD, leaning tower, el cap? It sounds like you are planning on getting a route that will go mostly free for you with limited aid.  Is that the case? 

Yes that's the plan. Having not done any real aid I thought a few practice routes might help. Things that have been suggested are:

Space Shot, Zion
Leaning Tower
S. Face of Washington Column (friends chose this as their practice route before the nose, same friends will be lending us a few cam hooks).

but to be honest, we've been so lost in trying to organise the bigger picture (gear needs ordering now so it'll come into the shop where I work) that specific routes haven't yet been broached.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 10:35:41 am »
South Face of Washington Column is a great one to get used to things. Often it gets traffic, but if you're flexible on timing, you can make it all work.

keep stoke alive!

Offline SLareau

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 12:10:43 pm »
A more detailed response is warranted but two things that stand out to me:

1. Hooks  -- Bring some cam hooks (you said you are borrowing) and some traditional hooks (BD talon, cliffhanger, grappling etc)

2. your 9.4 rope might a little thing for something you plan on heavily aiding.  Then again, I may just be a whimp

Also, if you want to dial in your haul system it's worth setting it up at the top of the wall on your gym and practicing.  That way you can figure out if you can get away with 1:1 or need a 2:1.  There are strong supporters in each camp but I think it's a matter of whichever works best for you and your load.  Also noticed you don't have a haul bag on that list.

Chris Mac just prereleased his how to big wall book -- check supertopo and you can get the ebook copy now.  Also andy kirkpatrick has written some shortish books on hooking and pitons/heads.  Interesting reading and there are kindle versions.

Offline Paul B

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 12:24:59 pm »
1. Ok, I have a Talon and the others are kicking around the shop.
2. Pretty happy for it to take a hammering during the initial part of the trip and then replace it with something a little beefier (unless that's a really bad idea?).

We were thinking of buying a used haul bag out there (is this a bad plan?) as we hoped that up until the valley we'd be mostly doing things in a day and (if) hauling (it'll be) something relatively light (just so the second doesn't have to use a rucksack or anything).

With regards to practice hauling, that's exactly our intention. I was recommended the Mark Hudon pdfs which I've been reading through today.

Brilliant news about the Supertopo pre-release, I'll look into that. Does the kirckpatrick stuff have images? I've read some of his other articles and whilst they seem full of good knowledge I get a little boggled when there's nothing to look at.

I look forward to your more detailed response (the time taken to post is much appreciated)

Paul

 

Offline YetAnotherDave

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 06:14:04 pm »
there are lots of cool grade V walls here in squamish, to distract you during your 'exile'

http://www.mattmaddaloni.com/Guide%20Books,%20Squamish%20BW.htm

sounds like a fun trip!

skully

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 12:23:21 pm »
Space Shot is a really cool route, but remember to be gentle with Desert Sandstone. No camhooking there.

Offline Paul B

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Re: West Coast Walls (then into Canada)
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 12:31:47 pm »
Space Shot is a really cool route, but remember to be gentle with Desert Sandstone. No camhooking there.

Noted that they're not for use on Sandstone/Soft rock. Thanks.