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Dec 21, 2002, 2:07 PM

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Registered: Oct 9, 2001
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[Like]FIRST HALF, eh?]

This is what you've been looking for! How to find my stuff here on Be certain to read the

Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POSTS, as these are the ones that will provide you with the most useful information.

Another great place to find lots of useful stuff is here in my Technical and Teaching Photos Album. Here you will find many useful photos of the various wall systems and their components. If you prefer pictures to words, this is the place for you.

And if you're bored, or just want to dream about the Big Stone, here is a link to my Big Wall Photos from El Capitan Album.

Finally, if you want to reach me these days, or find plenty of other big wall tips [although you will have to hunt them down for yourself], please go check out the Supertopo Climbing Forum.
I can be reached through Supertopo's website message service.


Here is the best place to start - a post with over six thousand hits! Start in the centre of the circle - YOU - and work your way outwards. Find out about adjustable daisies, adjustable fifis, and the Better Way to rig everything. Everything has been linked, so you can see it all! Finally, you will know the STUFF YOU NEED AND HOW TO RIG IT. You can click here to read this Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST entitled Ask Dr. Piton ... about moving systems.

There is a wrong way to do things, and there is a Better Way to do things, and nowhere will this become more apparent than when you are on the sharp end during a hard aid lead. If you want to live to tell the tale, then you should click here to read this Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST and Ask Dr. Piton....about how to move up on aid without blowing it.

Wanna try to put it all together and climb sick aid? Then here are some suggestions about how to climb HARD AID and LIVE to tell the tale. There are some thoughts about bounce testing versus funk testing.

When you are an aid climber, you must learn to stand tall in the saddle. I like to say, "It always looks better from the next step up." And quite frequently, the next step up is pretty darn high. If you are to succeed in aid climbing, then you should Ask Dr. Piton: What is the Better Way to topstep? This is a Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST.

Wanna hear a bold prediction? Wanna know what's about to take the aid climbing world by storm? It's the Russian Aiders, dude! These things are ETS and receive the Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab Seal of Endorsement. I believe that within the next five years, these things will become the standard aid climbing rig. You can click here to read more about the Trango Russian Aider system.

Unfortunately, Trango no longer makes Russian Aiders! But Russ Walling of Fish Products is stepping up to the plate to manufacture his version. You can click here and here and here to read Russ' updates, or to offer him suggestions for his design.

Can't get your hands on a set of Russian Aiders? Well, I'd recommend waiting until you can. But if you just have to [waste your money and] buy some traditional aiders, you can click here to Ask Dr. P: BD Alpine Etriers or Normal Etriers? I actually prefer something else.


So just how hard can hauling be, anyway? I mean, don't you just put the rope through your compound pulley and start pulling? [Spoken]Pepe Le Pew accent: "Ha-ha! Eet ees to laugh!"] After a hundred and seventy nights on El Cap, I'm still figuring stuff out. But for the most part, I think I "get" how to haul. You can "get it" too - by clicking here to read Dr. Piton's 1:1 Hauling Tips. In this Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST, you will learn how to set up your hauling system, how to position your body, and how to haul both from a ledge, and from beneath a ledge. There's even a troubleshooting guide for when that sow of yours just won't move. Don't try hauling without bringing a copy of this post!

Here it is - the most watched Dr. Piton post ever! Click here to Ask Dr. Piton....about Chongo's 2:1 Hauling Ratchet. Now you can find out how to haul everything you ever wanted to bring up a big wall - microwave oven, solar-powered shower, satellite dish, colour TV set, and lay-zed-boy recliner chair. Finally you can see how to build this thing so it actually works, along with a troubleshooting guide to fix it when it doesn't. A Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST, this little post has clocked up seven thousand hits[!]

OK, so now you have hauled your sow right up to your hauling device, but what the hail you gonna do with her now? Traditional big wall technology would have you clip it to the anchor with a carabiner, but this will leave you with something of a dilemma: how to unclip it later? The secret is to use a designated cord called a Docking Tether. You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about attaching your haul load to the anchor - the LOAD RELEASE KNOT. This post is fundamental to understanding proper pig-climber relationships.

There is a corollary to Murphy's Law which states, "you will always pack to the available space." This means that no matter how big your pig is, it will never be big enough. And if by some small miracle it is big enough, then you will have a helluva time getting stuff out of it. You can click here to find out how to prepare your sow for the wall, for there are a number of things you must do for her. You will also read how to prepare other stuff for the wall, and finally your can learn how to pack your porker. Click here and exclaim, Dr. Piton, my pig's not fat enough!

What! After all that, your sow still ain't porcine enough? Fortunately, there is a way to hang stuff outside your pig! If you want to create huge volumes of space in your beloved pig, then you really should catch onto Catch Lines!

OK, so now you have wrestled your sow all the way to the summit, but how are you gonna get that pig back to earth? Is she gonna crush your gonads while you rappel, or are you gonna show her who's boss? If you, like Dr. Piton, consider your bollocks to be of immeasurable worth, then you really should click this Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST and Ask Dr. Piton ... about how to rappel with a very heavy load. This post is one of Dr. Piton's funniest, and is worth reading just to see the squirrel!

So here you are, riding your pig down the fixed ropes on the East Ledges, when all of a sudden all three hundred and fifty pounds of you finds yourself approaching a knot in the rappel rope! [Don't laugh, it frickin' happened to me....] It's hard enough to pass a knot on rappel when it's just you, but how the heck do you do it with your pig?! This Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST will explain to you precisely in step by step fashion the trickiest rope maneuver of all - how to cross a knot on rappel, and how to do it while riding your pig. Great pictures and stuff to look at in this one! You can click here to Ask Dr. Pee'd On...How to pass a knot on rappel?

No fly for your ledge? No problem. You can click here to read about how to make a home-made portaledge fly. Just be sure to test it first on the side of your house - bring a garden hose and a friend with a good sense of humour!

Are you tired of hanging belays? Do you want to belay in comfort on every pitch? Do you have a recalcitrant ledge? One you have to beat into submission every night? You can lick both problems by learning how to "flag" your portaledge. You can click here to see a swell photo of a flagged ledge.

For an even better version of this article with lots of photos, you can click here to read about How to "flag" your portaledge


Jugging and cleaning - what could be easier, eh? Just buy a couple jugs, throw 'em on your aiders, and away you go. Piece of piss, or is it? While it's no problem on a straight crackline on an eighty-degree wall, things become exponentially more difficult on overhanging and traversing pitches. The inability to jug and clean is responsible for more big wall failures than you might believe. Get your systems dialled first.

For an even better description of how to set up a Froggy jugging system, you can click here to read about Jugging the Froggy Way


Do you have weiner arms? Do you want to be able to jug about three times faster than most everyone else? Do you want to go screaming past guys with biceps bigger than your thighs? You can! The Better Way to ascend a fixed rope is by using the Petzl Frog ascending system. Nothing else even comes close, and you should not go anywhere near a big wall until you have rigged your ascenders thusly. You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about the Better Way to ascend a fixed rope. Be sure to look at the diagram on page two, as it will show you the correct lengths for your footloop. Dr. Piton is also a caver, and generally speaking, cavers have nothing better to do than perfect their jugging systems. You learn a thing or two after you've jugged about twenty vertical miles. You can also read about the Ropewalker system. A Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST.

While there are a number of different methods you can use to hold up your Croll ascender in the Petzl Frog ascending system, I believe the Better Way to be the Petzl Torse chest harness. Cheap, compact and effective, the Torse will substantially improve the efficiency of your Frog system. I just got mine, and have only tried it so far in a cave, but man does that little gizmo rock! I can't wait to use the thing on the big wall. Man, if you think I could jug fast before.... [heh]

You can click here for some ideas about how to connect your Croll to your wall harness when using the Petzl frog system.

If you are interested, you can click here to read a testimonial from a satisfied 'wall patient' who I helped to rig the Frog system.

Are you too cheap to buy a Croll ascender? Well, you shouldn't be. But in case you are, you can Ask Dr. Piton .... about substituting the Basic for the Croll in a Frog ascending system.

When I first started surfing around the net for technical information, I came upon a thread in the rec.climbing newsgroup asking about when to tie backup knots while jugging. Talk about an information vacuum! Nobody, and I mean nobody, had the first clue. It really ain't that hard to figure out! Sheesh. You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging.


You would be amazed at just how difficult it can be to clean an aid pitch! Especially one that traverses and overhangs. Well, you need struggle no more. When I was sitting up in my portaledge drinking coffee one day, I wrote down the exact sequence in step-by-step fashion of how to do it. Please click here to ask, Dr. Piton, cleaning an aid pitch with two jugs is a pain. Is there a BETTER WAY? This is one of the most useful posts the Doc has ever written, a Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST.

For an even better description with lots of photos, you can click here to read about The Better Way to clean an aid pitch.

When you come to clean a traversing section, chances are that sooner or later you will have to construct a 4:1 lower-out. You can click here to read Dr. Piton ... please explain 4:1 lower-out. Be sure to click here to have a look at Bob Shaftoe's diagram of the 4:1. While you're at it, please click here to see an excellent photo and explanation of the 4:1 lower-out.

For more along the same lines, you can click here to read thoughts on cleaning a traverse. It ain't the best way, as the title indicates, but it is the Better Way.

Dr. Piton talks about Fixed Lines Here are a few things you should know about rigging fixed lines for jugging and rapping, be they on walls or be they in caves. Take note: many people die when fixed lines break! Don't become one of them.

Ever wondered about how to join two fixed lines when you don't have a rebelay station available? You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about a REALLY CLEVER WAY to join ropes.


Do you want to read about The Continuous Loop with Solo Tagging method of soloing? I bet you would. Some day I might even get around to redoing my sketches so I can write it up. It's a rather complex topic to say the least, but perhaps you can figure it out yourself. It starts right here where you can Ask Dr. Piton.....about the Solo Tag Rack ["Le woof..."]

Still confused? Join the club! You can click here for Q & A for Dr. Piton regarding Solo Rope Systems.

Once you complete your solo lead, you still have to return to your lower station. Here you can Ask Dr. Piton - How do you Rap Severly Overhung and Traversing Pitches?

How would you like to start your solo wall with a brand new rope, and complete your solo wall with a brand new rope? Rebelaying your solo lead rope with prusiks - page one and rebelaying your solo lead rope with prusiks - page two offer some really cool ideas that will allow you to completely eliminate lead rope abrasion on your solo walls, believe it or not! You can continue reading still more on this fundamental topic by clicking here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about Grigri soloing. These posts are FUNDAMENTAL to the solo wall climber.

Voice of Karl Malden in the old American Express commercial: "You're solo hauling on a big wall and your pig gets stuck - what will you do, what WILL you do?!" If you are a Dr. Piton aficionado, then this will be no problem for you, because you have already set up your Far End Hauler. This amazing invention allows you to haul your pig FROM your pig! Your pig hangs up under a roof? No problem. Need to haul your pig up a low-angle heap of choss? No worries, mate. You won't even abrade your haul line because it doesn't move! Solo hauling while your partner solo leads in blocks? You can click here to Ask Dr. Pins ... about Far End Hauling [I typed it on Brian's laptop while he was driving me to Yosemite, so it appears under his name] Be certain to click the link at the bottom of the page which will take you directly to this photo and detailed explanation of the Far End Hauler.

Ever wondered how to introduce some dynamic belaying into your self-belay system? You can click here to read about some ideas to introduce dynamism into your solo belay, including some ideas on how to reduce your fall factor.

The Body Hoist - page one and The Body Hoist - page two - a way to recover after a lead fall, and what to do when you find yourself dangling in space on the end of your lead rope. How on earth do you regain your high point without risking a further fall which would be held by the toothed cams of your ascenders? Find out here.

Can you generate a fall factor of 10?! Sure you can! Click here to read where Dr. Piton talks about The Via Ferrata, a DIFFERENT kind of fixed line. Here is a way for total wankers to take to the hills in relative safety.'s own Oozing Pustule, who is Stu Hammett, has set up a via ferrata at his Nelson Rocks Climbing Preserve. Stu is a lawyer, and if you think my disclaimer is pretty good, you should read his!

A post that I really do need to write is to Ask Dr. Piton ....... about the Continuous Loop Method with Solo Tagging. A rather involved post, it requires me to redraw a bunch of sketches. Sheesh.


Are you wanting to get started in aid climbing, but don't know what to buy? You can click here to find out: Dr. Piton - I need advice on a starter aid rack.

Ever wonder what you should have for a pin rack? Look, they don't call me "Pass the Pitons" Pete for nothin', eh? You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about a Typical Aid Rack. The emphasis in this post is pitons, and there are some swell pictures to look at, but if you want to know more about what you need, you can follow the links in the post to get to Dr. Piton's Ultimate Big Wall Checklist. [Please excuse the ranting...]

If you're climbing a beat-out aid route, chances are you're going to need to use sawed-off pins. But just how do you make a sawed-off? And what kind(s) of pins are best? You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about how to make a sawed-off?

Hey - is your piton sticking out too far? Want to minimize its bending moment? Then you should click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... about hero loops and tie-offs. This'll tell you what you need and how to rig it - all about keepers, and how to pre-tie your tie-offs into mobius strips.

Ever wondered how hard you should drive a pin? I'll give you a [HINT] - it pays to have a musical ear. You can click here to Ask Dr. Dumped On ... How hard should you drive a piton? You probably never knew what pitons and trombones have in common. I'm reasonably qualified in both. Reading this post will save your cleaner countless agonizing funks, which can be a VGT if you just happen to be your own cleaner!

Here's a post I *** still need to answer: *** Ask Dr. Piton ... about slings.

If you're climbing hard aid, a properly-positioned fall arrester can make the difference between a gentle catch, and a heart-stopping gear-ripping monster-horror show zip out every last piece to the anchor aid fall! You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... is there a Better Way to use Screamers?

Just how sick is sick? One of the sickest inventions known to aid-climberkind has got to be the head. Here you can Ask Dr. Piton How to Place Heads? Every aid climber needs a little head from time to time.

It's possible that there is a way to climb that's sicker than heading. If you've ever used a hook, then you'll know what I mean! You might think it's pretty straightforward to sling your hooks, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is some important stuff you should know, and you can click here to find out about how to sling your hooks. You'll find some cool photos in this Dr. Piton SIGNATURE POST.

You can find what is probably the most comprehensive posting ever written about how to place heads by clicking Dr. Piton's Heading Tips

STILL not sick enough for you? How about hooks and heads on an expanding flake?! You can click here to read some ideas on climbing expanding flakes. Great comments by Copperhead, too!

Wanna try to put it all together and climb sick aid? Then here are some suggestions about how to climb HARD AID and LIVE to tell the tale. There are some thoughts about bounce testing versus funk testing.

Is your screwgate crab stuck? Don't have a leatherman handy? You can click here to Ask Dr. Piton ... How would you open a stuck screwgate carabiner? Maximize your worth!

Ever wonder what to do when faced with a blank section of rock? And what the heck is a rivet, anyway? You can Ask Dr. Piton ... what's up with rivets?[color="DDEEFF"]

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2003-02-10 08:28 ]

(This post was edited by cliffhanger9 on Mar 26, 2013, 6:33 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by cliffhanger9 (Moderator) on Mar 25, 2013, 11:01 AM
Post edited by cliffhanger9 (Moderator) on Mar 25, 2013, 9:51 PM
Post edited by cliffhanger9 (Moderator) on Mar 26, 2013, 6:03 PM
Post edited by cliffhanger9 (Moderator) on Mar 26, 2013, 6:33 PM

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