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jhwnewengland


Oct 25, 2002, 11:15 AM
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OK, I've managed to convince a friend of mine to climb the Nose next summer, and I'm pretty psyched (yes, this can be construed as the announcement). Now it's time to start collecting gear! I've looked at Pete's checklist, but much of that would not be necessary on the Nose (pins, heads, ledge, etc.). I've also seen some lists for the Nose in a day, which I most definitely will not be doing. So, would you be willing to hook me up with a gear list for a regular, several day ascent?

Muchas gracias,
Jan

[ This Message was edited by: jhwnewengland on 2002-10-26 21:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: jhwnewengland on 2002-10-26 21:04 ]


tcollins


Oct 25, 2002, 11:34 AM
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Wow, more power to ya Jan. Good luck buddy.

TD


offwidth


Oct 25, 2002, 12:21 PM
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Go to supertopo.com and download their free topo to the nose.

It will recomend some gear for ya.


grippedclimber


Oct 25, 2002, 7:02 PM
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I wish you nice weather and a fat sendfest!!


jhwnewengland


Oct 25, 2002, 7:30 PM
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I have the SuperTopo but, well, I was hoping for a little more than

"nuts: 2 ea,
micro nuts: 1-2 ea,
cams: 3 ea .5-1
2-3 ea 1.5-3.5
1 ea 4.5"

I can just see myself at the base of El Cap... "20 nuts?, check. 30 cams?, check. OK we're good to go!"


jhwnewengland


Oct 25, 2002, 7:32 PM
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What I had in mind was something like PTPPs ultimate big wall checklist, tailored for the Nose.
------
Petzl Basic
Petzl Ascender
X feet of 6mm cord
Sleeping bag (synthetic "pit")
Bivy sack
etc.
------


passthepitonspete


Oct 26, 2002, 11:15 AM
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OK, I'm going to give this a shot here, let's see how we do.

The first thing you will need to do is to open Dr. Piton's Ultimate Big Wall Checklist in a separate window so you can follow along. I'm just going to run through it top to bottom.

Apparently quite a few people are using this - it is the most complete big wall checklist ever published. I met some climbers on the summit last month who had just completed The Nose, and who were amazed and amused to meet the author of the list - "my boyfriend printed that off and followed it religiously!" [They told me they found the uses of designated locking carabiners very helpful]

The Nose Compared to Nail-Ups

Dr. Piton's Ultimate Big Wall Checklist is designed for a solo of a hard big wall in Yosemite, California during the mildest months of the year. If you are climbing during the colder months, you will need to substantially amend the clothing list.

Because you are climbing The Nose, which goes clean, you can substantially reduce the gear list. The Nose also has some harder hauling near the bottom, so you may want to think of travelling a bit lighter. Certain luxuries may need to be foregone - for instance, you probably won't be sitting around long enough to warm the water in your solar powered shower, and you may need to heat the water in your big wall stove. Either that or you could shower cold [not recommended by Dr. Piton]

Or you could leave the shower behind altogether - your call.

You might also consider a Walkman in lieu of the full on ghetto blaster. However beer is mandatory, unless you substitute with whisky [there]no "e" in "whisky", dammit!] in which case you may need to bring extra water to counter the dehydrating effects. [You already have the ibuprofen on the list]


Ropes and Stuff

You'll probably only be bringing two ropes, a lead rope and a haul line. Don't be stupid - invest in a 70m 10 mm static haul line. The extra length can be used as a lower-out line - you attach the pig to the haul line with an alpine butterfly knot and use the excess haul line as lower-out line. Yes, you could get by with an old dynamic rope as a haul line, but why would you want to make things any more difficult on yourself?

For sure, you want to use the Wall Flower. So get yourself thirty or forty feet of 1/4" cord, and enough paper grocery bags.

Be sure to make up some Catch Lines - the Pig Corollary of Murphy's Law states that no matter how short your route or how big your pig, you will never have enough space for all your stuff.

Don't be a tool - buy or make yourself some rope bags. When you are climbing with a partner, you need two bags per haul line.


Bivi Stuff

Be certain you can weather a storm! At the very least you should have a bivi sack, and better still a tarp. Some people do bring a portaledge [and] up The Nose, if they plan to be very slow. But there are useable bivi ledges just about everywhere you could possibly want one. Unless the route is very crowded, in which case a ledge might be a good idea.

Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes and rain gear. Just because you don't plan to be up for a whole week doesn't mean you can't get hit! If you require rescue and have improper gear, you will be billed!

My 3/4 length Ultralight Thermarest weighs next to nothing, and [with appropriate mending of holes with Seam-Grip] has lasted me in continuous use since 1988.

As my mentor [Amen] Chas Yonge would say,

"any fool can be uncomfortable."


Personal Climbing Stuff

A big cushy comfortable harness will make life much easier for you. I would emphatically recommend you bring either a butt bag, or better still, a belay bench. The benefit to your kidneys cannot be understated, and the extra weight is minimal.

Make sure you have your Metolius adjustable daisies [not] and adjustable fifi! Adjustable fifis are hard to find, but the Yosemite Mountain Shop usually has them in stock. You need to buy the slippery 6mm cord outside of Yosemite since the Mountain Shop does not have slippery enough cord. Do not climb a wall without this stuff! It is worth its weight in gold.

You'll need aiders, too. The leader should have two pairs, the seconder one pair.

If you are Leading In Blocks, which is highly recommended, then you will need the backup sewn sling and designated wide gate autolocker. You will also need two Grigris - one for belaying and cleaning, the other for solo leading.

Understand what I am talking about here! Leading In Blocks is the single best way to improve your speed! Nothing else even comes close! Your Down Time Wank Factor can be reduced to nearly nil.

Understand the Better Way to clean an aid pitch, which is to clean with a single jug and a Grigri. Do not clean with two jugs!

You probably won't be climbing a lot of fixed ropes, so might not need to rig a Frog ascending system. Though if I were jugging to Sickle Ledge, I would consider rigging it. The jug is not quite vertical, so you might get away with the Yosemite jug system, if you have big biceps, which I don't.

Even though The Nose is clean, you must still bring a hammer for cleaning nuts, along with a nut tool and spare. People Like You who do not bring a spare nut tool, and drop it, end up leaving lots of nuts for People Like Me. [People Like You left me twelve nuts on the Leaning Tower in May. Thank you.]

Yes, you need a helmet. Duh.

If you do not have a Big Wall Crab, then you may substitute another crustacean such as a Lobster. Certain hotties may even bring a Stuart Little. If you are desperate, then you can look around here in RC.com and find a scum sucking bottom dweller.

Incidentally, if you are finding my Big Wall Checklist to be of benefit, please click here to make an entry! Thanks, eh?

It is highly recommended by Dr. Piton that you modify your lead rack! You will want the front subracks for your free carabiners and wires. You really do need the tethers so you don't drop your rack!

Once you have modified your rack, it would be an awfully good idea to know how to rack your rack. You will need a Cleaner's Rack, too.

Make certain that you and your partner agree ahead of time about how to organicize all your stuff on your rack! Also, when the cleaner MUST rack as he cleans. This is fundamental.


Hauling and Piggage

Personally, I hate fighting carabiners at any time, so I rig the haul bag strap load release knot cord. A docking tether is MANDATORY, while a swivel is nice to have.

You must prerig your foam liner for your pig. This is much better and easier than just wrapping a foamy on the inside.

If you have ever used a Wall Hauler, then you will never go back to using a jug and a pulley. And if you have ever used a Kong Block Roll, you will never go back to a Wall Hauler or a Traxion.

Look, a Block Roll is only about thirty bucks more than a Wall Hauler.

Don't be stupid - FIND ONE AND BUY IT. [I got mine from Inner Mountain Outfitters.]

You shouldn't need a 2:1 Hauling Ratchet since you are probably planning to do the route in 3 1/2 days. If you are planning on taking longer, you might want to bring it.

Note: If you are one of those free climbing hotshots who can climb the Nose In A Day, then you can kiss my aid climbing lard ass.

Finally, make sure you have a couple cordalletes. I prefer 7mm for big walls.


Climbing Hardware

You won't need any pins or heads, so you can deduct about fifty pounds from my list. [Honest!] You won't need any rivet hangers, either - every bolt you'll need has a hanger.

There are no hooks on the gear list, but I wouldn't leave the ground without one pointed Skyhook, and one pointed Grappling Hook. [There is no benefit to not pointing these hooks, so you might as well do them all.] If you are familiar with cam hooks, there might be some good places to use them, though I'm not sure.

I see the topo calls for cams up to and including one only 4.5". Chances are, if you need one, you're going to need two! Would you want to stare at ten feet of 4" crack, and only have one piece? Not me, mate!

It's hard to have too many Aliens! Especially the hybrids, which totally rock on El Cap! You'll want a few extra pieces in the Stovelegs for when you are "crack jugging".

As far as nylon and free carabiners are concerned, you cannot have too many! Bring every damn free carabiner you can. Make sure you have plenty of nylon, too, though you might need as much since you're not setting up multi-person hanging bivis, which really eat up the slings. I really like Screamers, and would probably bring a couple. When you start aiding on micros, you will be happy.

You will need to assemble and sort all your lockers. Chongo's book presents a very detailed analysis of how to properly prioritize your lockers.

My suggestion is to just buy a bunch. Use my checklist to figure out how and where to use them.

Also, make sure you organicize your stoppers with racking labels, which is emphatically the Better Way. You don't rig your stoppers for aid climbing the same way you rig them for free climbing. I almost always bring too many stoppers on walls, but chances are you will use more of them on the C1 cracks of the Nose, than you would on a standard or hard nail-up.

Obviously you won't need a bolt kit.


Camping Stuff

Just like nylon and free carabiners and Aliens, it is impossible to have too many wall bags! You can make up a bunch of your own by finding sturdy drawstring bags, grabbing some 9" lengths of 1/2" webbing, and bringing them to the shoe repairman in your local mall. If you are a Wall Rat, then you and he will become best of friends.

[Note: Pay by cash to avoid paying sales tax]

Bring your camera! Bring two! It's very difficult to take a bad picture on El Cap. Each person should have a camera and lots of film. A flash is fun for the nighttime bivis. You should have two lightweight standard carabiners to attach your camera to your harness. This way it will never be unclipped.

This is probably your first El Cap route, so take lots of pictures! And like display them here at RC.com, eh? We are planning to redo the El Cap section, and link all the photos to the routes on which they were taken.

It's a good idea to assemble your two-litre pop bottles at home so you don't have to fart around Yosemite trying to find them. Note that the Park does not sell two-litre pop bottles, so they are very difficult to find in the park. Be sure to make up a bunch of 3mm tie-off loops for them. Anything more is overkill.

You should buy all your wall food outside the park, too, since it will be a lot cheaper. Trader Joe's is ETS! [Emphatically]The Shit - despite their too-small checkout counters - what IS their fricking problem?! Sheesh.]

The rest of the stuff you should be able to figure out on your own.





The Nose may be the World's Greatest Rock Climb, and EVERY trad climber should aspire to climb it one day.

You can click here if you would like to read my near-epic ascent of The Nose in 1988 when I graduated from Big Wall Theorist to Big Wall Gumby. [There]no BWT's on the summit.] If nothing else, it will demonstrate the effectiveness of simply not quitting.

If you are finding my Ultimate Big Wall Checklist to be of benefit, then please click here to tell me how.

My feedback from satisfied Dr. Piton patients like you is the only "payment" I get for all the work I do round here. It's nice to hear it in person in Yosemite, which I frequently do, and it's just as nice to read it here. [HINT]

Cheers,

Dr. Piton

P.S. When you "Ask Dr. Piton," I cannot help but respond quickly since I cannot bear to leave the question sitting unanswered in the Aid Climbing Forum for too long!


jhwnewengland


Oct 26, 2002, 9:01 PM
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Well Pete, once again you are the man! I only hope you're in Yosemite when I'm there so I can thank you in person, and help you carry your gear to the base of your next route.

Rest assured that I've devoured all your other articles, and I like to think that I get it. Your reply is an immense help to me, and I will be sending this over to my partner to try and get him up to speed!

Thanks again, PTPP.

Jan


boz84


Oct 26, 2002, 9:07 PM
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It seems like PTPP is in Yosemite 24/7/365... I don't think it'll be hard to find him.... lol

Seriously, how many months in a typical year are you in "the park", PTPP?


karlbaba


Oct 27, 2002, 12:00 AM
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Dr. Piton has many useful and wise points listed above. I would like to suggest a few additions and subtractions though. (done the Nose 4 or 5 times myself)

First, the Nose is rarely overhanging and traverses a lot. It seems like a poor route for the "wallflower) system since the paper crap bags will take a beating and there will certainly be folks below you. Raining poop on them from busted bags might be rude and they might even catch up to you!

Bring cam hooks. They rule and will come in handy from the great roof right up to the top.

Bring a fair supply of #3 to #4 camalots. the bigger wimp you are, the more you should bring. There are a number of hard 5.9 easy 5.10 cracks down low that have long sections where only a #3 or bigger will work. I "crack Jumar" sometimes which involves hanging off your daisy chain off a cam which you keep pushing up. To move up, you can just jam or, if it's hard for you, use another cam with an aider to be your "bottom crack jug" You'll also want to leave pro now and then.

Learn to follow pendulums before you go! It will save you time and trouble!

Hauling is much harder than on the overhanging East end of El Cap. Keep it light but safe.

PEace

karl


jhwnewengland


Oct 27, 2002, 5:56 AM
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Thanks Karl! I was thinking of using a couple dry bags to replace the wallflower... paper just doesn't seem like it would hold up. And cam hooks, sweet! I'm looking forward to learning how to use those. As for larger cams, I already have them so I'll definitely bring them up as per your advice. My partner Theo is a free climbing hot shot, but you never know when I might get stuck with the lead on one of those 3-4" cracks!

Thanks again Karl!

Jan


karlbaba


Oct 27, 2002, 7:27 AM
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Thanks Jan

With the right rope gun, you don't have to get excessive on the big cams, which I should say should include the #2 size as well, but too few will scare the crap out of you!

Practice with the cam hooks before you go. They save more time than anything. At first they seem sketchy but they go in fast and rarely pull. I backclean a lot anyway so I doesn't bother me (particularly on A1) that you don't leave em as pro. Speed climbers sometimes put on on each aider and just cam jumar up the crack with them, clipping into fixed gear for pro.

Have a great climb, unfortunately the crux is the crowds. Make friends! My partner from my first Nose climb in 1981 wound up climbing in the Himalaya with some guys we had to share (shudder) camp 4 with

PEace

Karl


duracellbunny


Oct 27, 2002, 8:27 AM
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Hi!!
PTPP is the most experienced person in climbing The Nose. After reading his PM, full details, I have not doubt that you have to carry out with you everything he had said.
PTPP, thanks for sharing your experiences with us!!!!!!!!!!


[ This Message was edited by: duracellbunny on 2002-10-27 14:31 ]


passthepitonspete


Oct 28, 2002, 8:02 PM
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All of Karl's points are valid. I've only done The Nose once back in '88, so I'm guessing a bit.

I suppose he's right about the Wall Flower in this instance because of the low angle, and because of the crowds.

I have used the Wall Flower extensively, and were it me on The Nose, I would still use it because I am familiar with it, in particular the proper way to seal the bag [roll tightly around itself, seal with duct tape] and how to attach it to the cord [self-tightening slipknot].

The Wall Flower is much more bombproof than you might guess!

The Nose would be a great place to learn how to use cam hooks! You want to learn on easy aid where you have other placements to rely on.

Believe it or not, I'm not that familiar with them! I usually climb hard aid, and am too scared not to whack in a pin, given the opportunity. But I used them on some expanding flakes on this last trip of Scorched Earth with considerable success.

As for me living in the Valley, I am an "Itinerant Local". I live there, either on the wall or under a rock from about mid-May to late June, and then again from late August to early October. These are the ideal climbing months.

When I'm on the ground [which is not all that often because I spend so much time on the wall!] I'm Curry Village based, rather than Lodge based. Since I am blessed to look a lot younger than I really am, I rather look like an employee, and tend to pass unnoticed. [There are advantages to appearing to be "plain vanilla"...]

You can find me at the Koffee Korner in Curry Village most mornings where they offer unlimited free refills on coffee.

[Note: There appears to be no time constraint on this refillable feature, and this fall I drank free coffee for well over a month! I could tell you that I actually bought my first coffee cup, and thence refilled it, but that wouldn't be true. I picked it up from the garbage can.]

Emphatically, Jan, you do "get it," and that you get the [HINT]. This I know when you write stuff like this:

Quote:"Well Pete, once again you are the man! I only hope you're in Yosemite when I'm there so I can thank you in person, and help you carry your gear to the base of your next route.

I have made note of your kind offer! Thank you!

I should mention that thanks to the support here from users at RC.com, my efforts are repaid in the best possible way - by people schlepping my loads to and from the base!

So many thanks to the many people who have helped, which you can read about here in my thank you note from May and my thank you note from September.

The benefits of being if not "famous" then "notorious" cannot be understated! If you're in the Valley, be sure to stop by for an almost free Dr. Piton Mini Big Wall Tuturial.

Cheers,

Pete


jhwnewengland


Oct 30, 2002, 7:56 PM
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Any beta on the best time to be there to avoid the crowds, yet still have good weather? Any day better than another? I assume Wednesday is better than Saturday...


passthepitonspete


Oct 31, 2002, 10:07 AM
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NOW is the best time! Perfect dry weather, and no crowds.

It's a bit cool, though.

I prefer to climb in September because it's warmer.

If I'm not climbing almost naked, I figure I'm overdressed.


karlbaba


Oct 31, 2002, 5:26 PM
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Very Early spring or now are least crowded. As for the day of the week, it's a crapshoot and you have to trust God, Luck, Something. Saturday is theoretically worse but, since everybody knows this, you might get lucky!

Started the Prow on Saturday this year and it worked!

PEace

Karl


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