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A couple big-wall theorist questions...
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Durin


May 12, 2009, 12:34 PM
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A couple big-wall theorist questions...
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I'm planning to spend most of the summer in Yosemite, and plan on tackling as many Grade VI's as possible.

A couple things I'm uncertain of:

I've read some places that a synthetic sleeping bag is essential, and some books don't mention that at all. If I'm in Yosemite from late May through mid August, do I really need a synthetic bag? And how warm of a bag would I need, assuming little to no insulating layers are worn at night?

Also, once the pig has arrived at the belay, what's the best way to load the weight onto the anchor and off the ratchet pulley?


sspssp


May 12, 2009, 12:38 PM
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A buddy of mine got hit with snow while he was on Half Dome in August. This was many years ago, and I don't think it happens often (especially if you only climb with good forecast), but still, how warm of bag would you want?


(This post was edited by sspssp on May 12, 2009, 12:39 PM)


Durin


May 12, 2009, 12:47 PM
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I would think a 20-30F bag would work... surely that's plenty for the valley floor in the summer, but I'm inexperienced on walls, and I could see windchill picking up even in the summer.

I'd really rather not carry a 0F synthetic, it'd either be huge and heavy or incredibly expensive.


krusher4


May 12, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Durin wrote:
Also, once the pig has arrived at the belay, what's the best way to load the weight onto the anchor and off the ratchet pulley?

might want to practice up a bit before heading up some grade VI's eh?


Durin


May 12, 2009, 12:51 PM
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krusher4 wrote:
Durin wrote:
Also, once the pig has arrived at the belay, what's the best way to load the weight onto the anchor and off the ratchet pulley?

might want to practice up a bit before heading up some grade VI's eh?

Maybe a wee bit. Tried hauling a pig full of rocks up a 50' cliff in boulder canyon and unweighting the pro-traxion was extremely difficult. Have yet to experiment with lowering the pig out.


ptlong


May 12, 2009, 12:53 PM
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Unless you can magically predict the weather, get a synthetic bag. For May-Oct, go with 25F or better.

To dock the bag, downhaul. An adjustable daisy is nice for a tether.


Durin


May 12, 2009, 12:57 PM
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ptlong wrote:
Unless you can magically predict the weather, get a synthetic bag. For May-Oct, go with 25F or better.

To dock the bag, downhaul. An adjustable daisy is nice for a tether.

I'll see if I can get a cheap synthetic then.

I can't find how to "downhaul" through a ratchet pulley. Could you enlighten me or point me to an article?


summerprophet


May 12, 2009, 1:01 PM
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Durin wrote:
I've read some places that a synthetic sleeping bag is essential...
The park service has taken the stance that if you get rescued and are found to have a down bag, then you will be charged for the rescue. It is a demonstration of competence.

Chances are you will not need anything maga warm. a -7C should do you fine, and even then you will likely be too warm.

Durin wrote:
Also, once the pig has arrived at the belay, what's the best way to load the weight onto the anchor and off the ratchet pulley?
your pig should have a full strength loop at the base of one of the haul loops. Girth hitch an adjustable daisy through this loop, and attach it to the haul anchor when the pig arrives.


ptlong


May 12, 2009, 1:36 PM
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Durin wrote:
I can't find how to "downhaul" through a ratchet pulley. Could you enlighten me or point me to an article?

I learned most of the basics from the Long/Middendorf book and then got help on fine points after that. But down hauling is a very basic skill.

The instructions for docking the pig start at the bottom of page 70 of that book. You can read it online:

http://books.google.com/...+middendorf#PPA70,M1

Notice that they don't explain how to down haul, they just say to do it. The take home point here is that it's too obvious to bother explaining. Like they don't mention how to zip up your pants after you take a leak either.

Think about it some and it should come to you.

By the way, do you know how to down jug?


Partner xtrmecat


May 12, 2009, 1:57 PM
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  Durin, good of you to ask before taking a trip up the big stone. Although it is a lot of aspiring wallers dream to get on grade VI climbs, please heed the advice given upthread. I would like to express committing to several or more gradeV's solidly under a persons belt being quite an education to what is really involve on climbs as large as HD or ElCap.
I do not want to offend you by saying this but if you ask these questions, then more mileage is probably in order.
As far as the bag, the other posters are right on. I think of it this way, what is the worst scenario I can encounter, and will my gear see me through it? And then I suffer too hot and try to sleep in an unzipped bag. Same advice goes for bivy gear.
Unweighting the pig is less hard once you have done it. Someone upthread mentioned an adjustable daisy to dock the pig. Seen it done this way by many. I solo a lot so I go with a docking tether, just a piece of cord, and an autolocker tied to the haul loops. When the pig arrives I haul as high as possible, and then just tie a load releasable knot, back it up, and then weight the cord via downhaul. I also can lower the pig with this same cord is not too far from plumb. Otherwise I lower out with the bottom of my now fixed lead line, purposely fixed long for lower out duty. Hope this helps.
I hope you do indeed make a trip or ten up grade VI routes, but in case you do not, don't despair, many people set their sights on this big of a commitment, only to have their resolve tested beyond where they are really willing, or able to go. The routes you seek will always be there, and patiently await your attempts, just please do yourself and others a favor and not try them out until you are ready.
Oh yea, and enjoy yourself, as Yosemite is truly a remarkable place
Bob


Durin


May 12, 2009, 2:40 PM
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Thank you everyone for the replies.

I definitely intend to attempt some shorter stuff first -- I need more aiding and jugging practice as well as hauling (obviously) and the Nose won't be my first wall -- I was thinking SFWC.

As for committing to Grade VI: xtrmecat, I appreciate your concern. So far I've only been up Grade IV rock routes, but I have some mountaineering experience (Cascades and Sierras), which has taught me to suffer. I'm 20, and I've dreampt about the Nose and the face of Half Dome since I first saw them when I was 6.

I'm pretty fucking determined =)

Hell, I'm eager just to experience that extreme sense of humility and nervousness the night before my first grade VI.


shimanilami


May 12, 2009, 2:53 PM
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If I was you, I'd work out the docking/undocking thing while 20' off the ground. And on a nice ledge. There's no point in trying to figure it out while 180' off the ground at a hanging belay.

Of course, 20 year olds are gluttons for punishment, so do what you will.


Partner xtrmecat


May 12, 2009, 3:02 PM
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Hell, I'm eager just to experience that extreme sense of humility and nervousness the night before my first grade VI.


Then your first look at the route from ElCap meadow will not disappoint. My wife said I stood there for at least five minutes, mouth agape, just staring. No talk, barely blinking, realizing that I must climb that.


Bob


bill413


May 12, 2009, 5:46 PM
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ptlong wrote:
Notice that they don't explain how to down haul, they just say to do it. The take home point here is that it's too obvious to bother explaining. Like they don't mention how to zip up your pants after you take a leak either.
Ummm...had to learn that at some point. Probably my parents that taught me...
Of course, i have a pair of pants that zip down (great for use with the harness on)....so, not everything is so obvious to everybody.


bill413


May 12, 2009, 5:47 PM
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xtrmecat wrote:
Then your first look at the route from ElCap meadow will not disappoint. My wife said I stood there for at least five minutes, mouth agape, just staring. No talk, barely blinking, realizing that I must climb that.
Bob
I remember that sense of awe walking just 50 feet from the road. And 95% of the tourists never see that!


ncclimber


May 12, 2009, 6:46 PM
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Have to second the docking teather mentioned by xtrmecat.
Hauled PO with team of three with lots of gear and comforts. Using a length of cord with a munter hitch and over hands hold the bags until you are ready to lower them out for the next pitch. Especially good on wandering routes.


lambone


May 14, 2009, 2:15 PM
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get yourself a synthetic bag, and learn he Munter-Mule knot.


graniteboy


May 15, 2009, 2:35 PM
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While on the topic of what the NPS will fine you for...be sure to include a good visqueen tarp in your haulbag. It can make a big difference for those "sleeping on camp 6 when a rainstorm comes in and soaks the hell out of everything" nights....and will keep NPS from making you pay rescue costs if you get Helo'd out.


scottydo


Nov 22, 2009, 6:52 AM
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Durin wrote:

As for committing to Grade VI: xtrmecat, I appreciate your concern. So far I've only been up Grade IV rock routes, but I have some mountaineering experience (Cascades and Sierras), which has taught me to suffer. I'm 20, and I've dreampt about the Nose and the face of Half Dome since I first saw them when I was 6.

I'm pretty fucking determined =)

Hell, I'm eager just to experience that extreme sense of humility and nervousness the night before my first grade VI.

I know this is an old thread, but was cruising through some and saw this post. It made me smile. That is freaking sweet.

Durin, if you read this, let us know if you got up those walls. Hope you did!


Durin


Nov 28, 2009, 11:34 PM
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Thanks scotty!

I didn't make it up half dome or the captain over summer -- though I did do S. Face of Washington Column and W. Face of Leaning Tower.

I also did the Palisades Traverse, hitting 5 fourteeners in a day, as well as Positive Vibrations on the Incredible Hulk. Probably the cleanest, most virgin and perfect line I've ever been on.

I then found myself in the Valley in scorching mid July, and all of my partners had left. Contemplated soloing some route on el cap, and then thought it would be a little silly calling Yosar:

"Hi, I decided to solo the Salathe for my first route on El Cap. It's mid july, no one else is on the captain, and I'm really fucking thirsty."

Just makes me more psyched to go back and crush come May. Like, go for NIAD first go. And free way more of it. Or hop straight on the Shield or something.

Just got back from my second trip to the Creek... had a decent week, sending Blue Gramma on my last day =)


scottydo


Nov 28, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Well congrats on SFWC and WFLT! I'd be happy to get those done in a trip! Don't blame you for holding out in July. I can only imagine how hot the walls would be. I'm hoping to get up Half Dome next may myself. Good luck to you when you get up on the Cap!


charlie.elverson


Dec 3, 2009, 7:50 AM
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What did you think of WFLT for one of your first walls? I'm in about the same place you were. I'm hoping to get on my first wall this summer and am considering WFLT.


Durin


Dec 3, 2009, 9:50 AM
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I thought WFLT was a great beginning wall - it's 10 pitches total, and the ahwahnee ledge is atop the 4th, so it's set up nicely for you for 2 days. We fixed 5&6 before going to bed. Also there are some nice bivy spots at the base. Just beware of bears.

We linked 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 8&9. Some people apparently link 7&8 and 9&10, but that seems like it'd give you retarded rope drag. In my mind I figured it would be "only 6 pitches" over two days... it's a pretty long 6 pitches, and took all day both days. I finished fixing pitches 5&6 in the dark.

Make sure you're comfortable using hooks, and that you know how to lower out while cleaning. I got waaaaaaay better at cleaning on WFLT.


Partner xtrmecat


Dec 3, 2009, 10:21 AM
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  Durin, my hat is off to you. Way to go. I hope you got the full value on all you have done so far. Good job for sure, and I hope you attain the goals you seek.


Bob


Durin


Jan 12, 2010, 9:55 PM
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My ambition doesn't ever seem to rest.

Over my Christmas break from college I showed up to the Valley and pulled off a winter ascent of Zodiac, gumby mode. My partner was a bit more experienced than me -- we did WFLT together, and since then he's done the Prow and the Pan Am route in Mexico. But still, it was the first El Cap route for either of us.

Pics/TR on the way :)


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