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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call
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passthepitonspete


Jul 11, 2002, 3:57 PM
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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call
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Five or ten years ago, it was very rare for people to solo big walls. Big wall soloing was left in the hands of the experts, who for the most part were few and far between.

I believe the primary reason for this was because of the lack of published information on big wall soloing. What information existed was for the most part useless.

All of that changed when Chongo published his Complete Book of Big Wall Climbing in 1997. Suddenly here was a text that told you everything you needed to know!

I believe Chongo's book is responsible, more than anything else, for the great resurgence of solo big wall climbing.

Nowadays, climbers are of the attitude that climbing big walls solo is an acceptable and desirable practice. No longer is it the realm of the expert - even condo-dwelling life insurance agents can solo big walls, and live to tell the tale.

For the most part.

Soloing a big wall is still hard, and takes balls (or ovaries!), but a lot more people are doing it.

Nowadays, there is another source of solo big wall tips, and you get it right here in the aid climbing forum of RC.com, for free it pains me to say.

I would be overjoyed to hear from those who have successfully put my big wall tips to use. This will provide me with further motivation during those moments when I think, what the hell am I doing spending so much time writing here?

I would very much like to call upon those people on this website who have successfully soloed a big wall of Grade V or harder. Especially if you have managed to put some of my ideas to use!

Tell me which of my ideas you liked, and which ones you didn't.
When I was last in Yosemite, I must have met thirty people who read my stuff, but have never signed onto the website as legit users. If any of them are reading this, I would encourage them to sign on and tell us about yourselves.

Dr. Piton would be delighted to get to know as many of his "wall patients" as he can!

In this thread, Big Wall Theorists, Wannabes, and those who have bailed need not apply, for you are a dime a dozen.

Note: If you are one of the people I describe in the paragraph above, do not despair! We all started out that way. It is my fervent desire that you will one day be able to answer this thread. The reason I write all this stuff is to help people!

It sure ain't for the pay. [Note: this is changing...]

So this thread is for those climbers who have stood on the summit of a big wall, and climbed every inch of it themselves.

Big Wall Soloists, please sign in here, and please tell us what you've done.

Stand tall, stand proud - you've earned it.

Cheers,

Dr. Piton,

who wishes for all Big Wall Theorists to become Big Wall Soloists.





Edit: Oh my goodness, this is rare - a spelling mistake! It is totally counter-intuitive to me that "roll" would be spelled with two L's, but three dictionaries and one very smart luke can't be wrong. Damn and double damn, but like thanks to luke, eh?

All I can say is, "Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!"


spike


Jul 11, 2002, 4:46 PM
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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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Hi Pete,
I solo'd my first big wall 07/02/02 - 07/05/02 West Face Leaning Tower, my 3rd big wall and first summit in Yosemite Valley. The information YOU provided in the Aid forum got me up the wall in style.
1. Cleaning --- 1 GriGri and 1 Ascender.
2. Load Release knots.
3. Far End Haul & butterfly knot.
4. FROG Tech. for jugging overhanging walls.
5. Adjustable FiFi & big cord to pull on.
6. Adjustable daisys.
7. Haul w/static rope - tail for lower out.
8. Attach adj. daisys to aiders w/locker.
9. Attention to details - make a list.
10. Keep an open MIND to new ideas.
BIG WALL SOLOIST - SPIKE


[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-07-11 16:49 ]


wallhammer


Jul 11, 2002, 8:12 PM
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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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hey spike, sorry i forgot to congragulate you on that ascent. you rode your motorcycle there, no? had to be fun with your haulbag and rack. anyway good job, definitly something to take pride in, Len


karlbaba


Jul 12, 2002, 4:49 PM
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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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I soloed my second grade V (Prow in 1981) and my second grade VI (Zodiac in 1982) there is a trip report at http://member.newsguy.com/~climbing/Zodiac%20Solo%201982.html

I had to invent my own systems because there wasn't any info available to me at the time. Since then, I mostly soloed free climbs since I wound up taking lots of friends up walls and later, guiding.

Now, I'm appreciating the innovations of others. The ex-girlfriend I did the Nose with would have loved it if I set the haul bag up with a load releasing munter on the Grey Bands traverse. (Story at http://member.newsguy.com/~climbing/El_Cap_with_the_Marmot.html
She cursed my named after that. Now I'm getting wiser, but still want to learn more.

I use solo techniques on walls that I'm not soloing. Besides an occaisional short-fix, I'll start soloing the next pitch when my partner is packing the haulbag or setting up camp.

I'm pretty lazy so I'll continue to sample Dr. Piton's methods and put them into practice.

Peace

Karl

[ This Message was edited by: karlbaba on 2002-07-12 16:53 ]


cantwinifyoudontplay2003


Mar 5, 2003, 12:33 PM
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Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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Was doing the nose solo many years back.....Ended up hooking up with some poor dude who was scared half to death, his partner did the I'm scared and going to quit climbing right now.. Said he was going to rap with or without him. So we linked up for a day only to get rained off.....We also bailed from 8 or 9 pitches up... But hey one thing that was working good for me was to leave the pig on a hook at the belay. Clip the haul line into something that would break away before it would pull you to your death and climb on.... When you rap down to clean you then can also haul the pig at the same time. Not bad eh ? Then you just jug up and all is good. I would like to think up something that the haul sack can just lift off of that might be a little better than a hook.. Any ideas???


elcapbuzz


Mar 5, 2003, 1:36 PM
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Soloing IS dangerous!!!

(strike me from the list)


passthepitonspete


Mar 5, 2003, 3:08 PM
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Like, uh, you're already on the list, eh?

As for me,

Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!


rockprodigy


Mar 5, 2003, 3:09 PM
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How 'bout a fifi hook.

My first (and so far, only) solo was Moonlight Buttress in Zion back in 1999. I did it in 14 hours (Booya!) I thought that was pretty good for my first time.

I didn't use any of Pete's tips then, I just worked it out on my own. I can't really say I've used a lot of your tips because they cater more to the style of doing everything with the minimum possible amount of effort, rather than trying to go as fast as possible. Different strokes.... You do have good ideas, though, if you don't mind carrying a whole lot of sh1t and going real slow.


rollingstone


Mar 11, 2003, 4:09 PM
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OK. I confess. I soloed Liberty Crack, on Liberty Bell Mtn. in the North Cascades the summer of 1975. My then-girlfriend, now-wife dropped me off at Washington Pass, and I hiked up and did the climb with one bivi, I think. In those days it was a big deal to climb it hammerless, and no one had tried yet to free climb the first pitch (to my knowledge.) I had fun fiddling with thin nut placements and even (gasp!) my first hook move! After I rapped off the mountain and hiked back around to the road, I hitched rides from there to Pullman, just in time for the first day of classes.

I don't think PTPP had started climbing yet...?? :P


copperhead


Mar 11, 2003, 10:27 PM
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What a crock of Schist.


kindredlion


Mar 11, 2003, 11:47 PM
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If only there was a way to deep fry beaver tails without bringing too much gear...


Kilaloe Sunrise mmmmmm... :wink:

Take Air All,

Adam


joebuzz


Mar 12, 2003, 2:03 AM
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First Solo!! [In reply to]
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Well, I've been slacking on this for almost a month now, but... PTPP tells us that's an important part of soloing. Anyway, I soloed my first wall back in the first week of February. It was only The S. Face of Wash. Column, but I was pretty stoked nevertheless.
As far as using The Doctor's advice, I just went up and kind of beat my head against the rock for three days( non-consecutively), yet got it done anyway. I'll be back for something else in the near future, after a little more studying of Pete's word.

Buzz


flamer


Mar 12, 2003, 8:06 AM
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Stroke...stroke..stroke.....ego.
josh


passthepitonspete


Mar 12, 2003, 8:11 AM
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Beating your head against the rock, Joe, is actually a pretty good way of succeeding.

It comes down to, "keep on keepin' on, don't give up, and eventually you will reach the summit if you are merely stubborn enough."

Fundamental advice.

Works for me.


freeclmr


Jul 27, 2003, 11:16 PM
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South Face WC solo [In reply to]
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Well, I also spent three days on the SFWC 7/24-7/26/03. Nice route, Awesome roof. Enjoyable, non-strenuous climbing. But sucks for hauling to Dinner. It was pure HAULING HELL (and lugging WAY TOO MUCH food and water didn't help much either.....) Definately the crux of this whole climb is the haul on Pitch 3. I spent more time on this pitch than any other. But, like true true hardcore sick-o wall climber, I can't wait to put myself through hell again.........

Brian


alpinestylist


Jul 28, 2003, 9:32 AM
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a kid named spaz told me a "better way" story about some guy almost decking hauling the first pitches of Aurora?

Troll Troll...stroke stroke.

I don't think that guy was soloing that time though.

I solo therefor I am? or maybe because I couldn't find a cute partner?

When there is only one sailor, everybody is the captain!
the one the only Chongo said that (I think)


lambone


Jul 28, 2003, 10:15 AM
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soloing [In reply to]
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I just soloed Zodiac a couple of weeks ago, but it had absolutley nothing to do with Chongo or anyone else....

The most usefull beta I got about soloing came from Mike Ousley and Minerals.

I did flag my ledge though, and have to say that it worked pretty well. You can see a photo in the Big Wall Gallery.


passthepitonspete


Jul 28, 2003, 4:17 PM
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Re: soloing [In reply to]
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Congrats Brian! [and Lambone, whoever you are.... How about a HINT as to your identity?]

Here's the photo - pretty good shot of a flagged ledge and Catch Lines. Looks windy, though!

Note: Dr. P. recommends you buy a double ledge, rather than a single. It is not much more expensive, not much heavier, hugely more comfortable, and gives you the opportunity to invite a partner who doesn't own a ledge, which can be especially valuable if your prospective partner happens to be a hottie.....

P.S. You know what you have to do next, Brian, in order to join The Club.


lambone


Jul 28, 2003, 10:00 PM
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Re: soloing [In reply to]
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Thanks Pete,

I own a BD double as well, but I prefer the single. It has plenty of room for me...all those alpine bivis broke me in good I guess...

Unfortunately my wife won't let me share the BD with any hotties though...

It was super windy, 10 minutes later thunder and lightning were rolling through. Luckily I was in the Grey Circle dry as a bone, and the cool breeze was a relief. The bags were trying to knock me off the wall though, and the ledge almost took my head off before I got it clipped to the line...

I got some good tips fom Pete's stuff as well, but it wasn't much different than stuff I had learned way before looking at this web site. Still, thanks for the good beta dude.

Matt
Ashland, Oregon


justsendingits


Aug 11, 2003, 3:46 AM
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Richie C. in the HOUSE..........


passthepitonspete


Aug 11, 2003, 6:32 AM
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Oh sure, leave us hanging, eh? Sheesh.

Cuz they didn't see your PM I just read! Wow! Rich has been tearing up the Valley! Lookin' forward to a few more details, mate!

Good work. You know what's next.....


ricardol


Nov 18, 2003, 5:26 PM
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Re: soloing [In reply to]
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i went and soloed zodiac this past september

anywas -- it was a grand time --

-- ricardo


bigfoot


Nov 18, 2003, 5:51 PM
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Re: Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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referring to yourself in the third person is ridiculous- when you step down off whatever pedestal you have put yourself onto, you'll realize your just like everyone else- it doesnt matter if you write for a magazine or not, when you strip away the societal baggage, you'll see we're all the same blood and guts.


passthepitonspete


Nov 19, 2003, 4:42 AM
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Re: Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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Ridiculous indeed. Upon further thought, we have decided we will no longer refer to ourselves in the third person, but rather in the first person plural.

In reply to:
"i went and soloed zodiac this past september because i wanted to post on this thread .. "

We are delighted indeed that this thread had our intended effect - inspiration - on at least one person, and this is very gratifying to us.

We are Dr. Piton,

and we are not amused.


lambone


Nov 19, 2003, 9:16 AM
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Re: Dr. Piton's BIG WALL SOLOIST Roll Call [In reply to]
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Pete,
Your starting to sound like Smegal...let go of the Precious dude...

I think this thread is cool, not for ego-boosting "chestbeating" purposes, but because I think it's cool to know who fellow soloists are on this board.

The climbing community is relatively small, and the sub-sector of that community who solos big walls is even smaller...I think its cool to know who shares this crazy passion and commitment.

Personaly I dig being in the Valley, getting ready for a climb..resting or whatever, looking up at the one lonely dot on El Cap and saying hey that's my friend Pete, or ricardo...right on. Because even if we've never met and we disagree on the Better Way of doing things, I pretty much consider anyone who shares in these discussions to be my friend. Ok, thats my cheesy $.02...don't ask for change.

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