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early pro, scariest piece of home made trad gear
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Partner csgambill


May 18, 2006, 7:13 AM
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Re: early pro, scariest piece of home made trad gear [In reply to]
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#5 Slung tortise is where it's at. It can switch from passive to active mode in an instant.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=67994

edit: This is Corpse in May '05 testing out the brand new HCR #5 slung tortise. He's about to take a 15' whipper onto the piece. Nah, he's really about 3" off the ground.


sungam


May 18, 2006, 7:21 AM
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I can't remember which route, but in "mountain days and bothy nights" it explains that the FA of a route on the cobbler (scotland) was done by two guys, one with a tapemesure, hanging off of wood wedges hammered into the crack with slings around them, and the guy below, cutting them to size. the operation took several hours, and i belive a middle man was included to ferry to blocks up.

-Magnus

p.s. lol @ csgambill.


skinner


May 18, 2006, 7:54 AM
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In reply to:
http://www.needlesports.com/...m/art/camlocksxs.JPG

CMI "Swivel of Death" Cam (the springless ones on the left)...

I still have some of these :D

They didn't work worth a $h*t..
With no spring to hold them in place *cammed* they fell out more often then not.

A typical scenario with much of the early clean gear.. went something like this.

You are 50 - 60' above your belayer with all sorts of delicately-placed new fangled clean pro between the two of you.
You finally see a good placement just above your head, one that you know will actually hold. You un-clip your trusty MOAC and slide it in the crack, a sharp downward tug.. and it's bomber! You reach down grabbing a good length of rope to clip.
Your belayer is day dreaming and doesn't give you the slack you need. The resulting tension and few feet of rope you managed to pull up, lifts every piece of pro up, and dislodges them all simultaneously. Your belayer tries to shield his face with one hand as they all race down the rope towards him. But the rope is like a rifle scope with the cross-hairs aimed right at his crotch. He receives ample punishment for failing to be alert 100% of the time. Now you hang on your single piece cursing this "clean" climbing philosophy and wishing you had a hammer and some pitons.


Ah yes... the good ole days :wink:


golsen


May 18, 2006, 8:24 AM
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Re: early pro, scariest piece of home made trad gear [In reply to]
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You guys are kind of tough on those SMC Camlocks donít ya think? :lol: Not that I disagree but one of them saved my bacon once. Before Friends (about 1980) I was attempting my first 5.10 on-site and I had recently bought a camlock from some dude in the parking lot. One of the cruxes was an overhang with a fairly parallel sided finger crack to pull through. Being a cheap bastard I did not resling the camlock (I think it was about 5 or 6 mm cord. I placed that camlock, and proceeded to fall a good 20-25 feet on the puppy. While the camlock held, the sheath on the cord was destroyed. All in all a good learning experience.

I remember trying knots a time or too, I did not like them and thank god did not test them out. I used to use Forrest Copperheads wedged like a nut as pro. Not home made but kind of scary by todays stdís. My partners and I did an early ascent of a Fred Beckey route (Triple Overhangs on Lone Peak) where he had protected the route with a wooden piton. I donít have it but it fell out on us so I am pretty sure my partner has it. It was slung with twisted cord and was placed in the early 60ís.


Partner happiegrrrl


May 18, 2006, 8:51 AM
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In reply to:
Your belayer is day dreaming and doesn't give you the slack you need. The resulting tension and few feet of rope you managed to pull up, lifts every piece of pro up, and dislodges them all simultaneously. Your belayer tries to shield his face with one hand as they all race down the rope towards him. But the rope is like a rifle scope with the cross-hairs aimed right at his crotch. He receives ample punishment for failing to be alert 100% of the time. Now you hang on your single piece cursing this "clean" climbing philosophy and wishing you had a hammer and some pitons.

Ah yes... the good ole days :wink:

Now THAT is funny.....I can just see it in my mind.


cincysam


May 18, 2006, 9:53 AM
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Interesting - I just sold a few of those CMI swivel cams on Ebay. They came with a full set of Forrest Titons (T-chocks?), which is what the guy actually wanted.


dawid72


May 18, 2006, 11:10 AM
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In reply to:
Yup: Czech and Saxon Sandstone Pro. Not bad as one would think but still a little scary. Try it!

After trying I always carry some extra cord with me. Best weight/cost/bulk to use ratio. :D

- Daniel

Same in Poland (on the Czech border). Simply because any other gear (and bolting) is banned in that National Park.

dawid72


krusher4


May 18, 2006, 11:44 AM
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bailing off of a wedged nalgene bottle set as a chock.... bomber placement though!

OHH That is so hard-core, props!


skinner


May 18, 2006, 9:30 PM
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I remember trying knots a time or too, I did not like them and thank god did not test them out.

Ah the memories.. no *good* ones of knots though.. but some funny ones.
I tried aiding up a crack with knots once, The funny thing was that it worked fine for me, but for my burly partner it was a totally different story. Weighing at least 80-90 lbs. more then me, the knots would slowly tighten, become smaller, and start sliding down the crack. It was hilarious to watch him clipping away in a frenzy while swearing profusely as he tried to get off each knot before it blew, all the time watching them shrink right in front of his nose.

I am glad you brought up the *knot* thing, because it reminded me of one of the home-made pieces of mank we experimented with and thankfully never took a whipper on.

It was our first set of wedges, at the time they cost 5 or 10 cents each and were all the exact same size.

http://www.punchstock.com/...humb72/187869sdc.jpg

That's right.. aluminum pencil sharpeners, available at the local drug store.
We'd put them in a vise, run a drill through them and then thread a piece of doubled webbing through the hole, knot it, and voila.. more mank to add to our pathetic rack.

I have another tale of stupidity, but can't remember what the goofy thing was called. Without and image (if I can find one) it just wouldn't make any sense.. not that it ever did mind you.
Anyone know what those stands were called that you would use in the science labs at school? The were adjustable, and you would use them to hold a flask over a bunson burner, etc, etc, etc.


112


May 18, 2006, 9:43 PM
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I think we called then 'ring stands'


skinner


May 18, 2006, 9:50 PM
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In reply to:
I think we called then 'ring stands'

Hey.. you're right :)

OK.. now picture every one of these:

http://www.hometrainingtools.com/tbimages/398.80.225.jpg

missing from the high school lab come Monday morning.

Then imagine them with the thumb screws removed and a piece of cord looped through and knotted.

Now picture a couple of less then brilliant high school students on a mountain with a string of these jammed in the rock as pro..

You get the idea :roll:

To make matters worse, we didn't actually have any cordage, so we improvised. We would take a piece of Goldlineģ and split the strands into... pieces of really awful and twisted cord


el_layclimber


May 18, 2006, 9:58 PM
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Re: early pro, scariest piece of home made trad gear [In reply to]
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In defense of camlocks, if you do manage to get them in good, they aren't going anywhere. I have been cursed by many a second over that very issue.
I went climbing with a German guy a few years back who had an oversized chopstick on his rack for adjusting placements when using knotted slings as chocks. I suppose this upgrades a knot from passive to active protection.


Partner heiko


May 19, 2006, 5:45 AM
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Knots are ALWAYS active pro, as they adapt to the form of the crack! :lol:

But seriously, the scariest pro I've seen has always been "natural pro", in the form of dead twigs or roots. This stuff is SO popular here! :shock:


gunkiemike


Jun 25, 2006, 3:58 PM
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The first pitch I ever aided (1976 or thereabouts) was done totally on wooden pegs.

It was the 35' tall poured concrete wall of the college science building. And being a poured wall, it had 1 inch dia. holes every 3 ft where the forms were wired together. These were plugged with plastic discs after the forms were removed but there was still an inch depth of hole available. So I went into the back yard and snapped off a branch from the pine tree that looked the right size, and cut it into 4" length. I tapered the end of each one a bit and stuffed them in my pockets. Then off me and my partner went to the wall. My hammer was a carpenter's claw hammer from our garage. I pounded the first peg in, tied it off with a hero loop and stepped up. Repeat with the next peg. It was all so simple. EXCEPT... there's a funny thing about tree branches. They get smaller as you go along. So most of the pegs I had were too skinny. I had three or four that were the right diameter, the rest I had to back clean. But I made it to the top and brought my partner up (not sure if he re-aided or jugged the rope.) Then we rapped off and got roofing tar all over my Goldline.


oldrnotboldr


Jun 26, 2006, 8:52 PM
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Here's one: a 1960's era soft iron knife blade and steel oval carabiner I picked up once in Colorado back in the 1990's. I remember clipping a similar one and rapping off a couple in Colorado back in the 1990's.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=75176


hibby11


Jun 26, 2006, 10:14 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
CCH Aliens
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Of all the days to not have trophies....thanks 4 the laugh

Don't worry I got it for ya


Partner heiko


Jun 27, 2006, 7:00 AM
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Hey, these "tricams" are on ebay Germany right now. Looks like scary pro to me, as I have no idea who might have made them, except maybe for some russian garage shop (maybe the same one that sold the spray-painted "camalots" the other day?) :shock:

http://i1.ebayimg.com/02/i/07/89/6d/79_1.JPG


svilnit


Jun 27, 2006, 8:04 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
CCH Aliens
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Of all the days to not have trophies....thanks 4 the laugh

No worries, I trophied him for you! :lol:


bagels


Jul 24, 2006, 3:15 PM
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My dad was telling me of his days when he first started climbing ( im guessing 1950's) him and his friends used to sneak into neibors yards and steal their cloths lines to use as a rope. For a harness they simply tied it around their waist. Then they would go find railroad spikes to use as pitons. I think that I would rather free solo.


claramie


Jul 24, 2006, 3:55 PM
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/...topic=73490&forum=23

Why litter when you can use it as pro?

CL


gerrybo


Jul 24, 2006, 4:38 PM
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In the Balkans (i.e. Croatia) don't they still use monkey fists as protection? Nothing like a ball of rope in a crack to hold your weight.
In reply to:

While climbing in Slovakia I was mocked by a salty old climber for using "that fancy American gear that harms the rock." Whats' more he said if I didn't know how to tie a knot for protection I should not be climbing. He was drunk and I almost fell over laughing.

What is really funny about the story is that he did not expect that my partner and I were able to understand the Slovak language. We called him on it, and he gave us some of the best homemade alcohol I ever tasted.


lunabruandabby


Jul 24, 2006, 6:40 PM
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Wow, those wooden chocks are beautiful!

Justin


jmvc


Apr 1, 2008, 10:50 AM
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[quote "mikej"]I realize that "home made trad gear" and "scary" are redundant, but i still have to ask. I had a physical therapist for a back injury, who was a trad climber in the 70's and earlier. He told me they used to use wood blocks and wedges for pro. Anyone got a better one?[/quote]

Not so out of use.. This month's edition of [i]Desnivel[/i] (important spanish climbing mag) had a perfectly serious article about how to properly use wood as pro..

They claim you get some bomber placements by filling up holes with wood and banging a piton into them.. And also they were using them stacked with nuts, filling up the gap for a cam that was too small...


therat


Apr 1, 2008, 11:23 AM
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"El Matador"... probably the most famous pitch at Devils Tower... STILL has plywood wedged into the left crack!


knieveltech


Apr 1, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Re: [cincysam] early pro, scariest piece of home made trad gear [In reply to]
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[quote "cincysam"]Interesting - I just sold a few of those CMI swivel cams on Ebay. They came with a full set of Forrest Titons (T-chocks?), which is what the guy actually wanted.[/quote]

*weeps quietly* I've been trying to get my hands on a set of Titons for months now. :( *sniffle*

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