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Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant
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evanwish


May 13, 2009, 7:26 PM
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Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant
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So Id like to hear some interesting offwidth stories of memorable times using [or rather having to use] Valley Giants or any other large gear...



I'll go first; although not all that interesting, I led a route that involved tunneling through a super tight .10 squeeze and emerging from the other side of the crack. While seconding and halfway through the ow-traverse, my buddy couldn't find anywhere to clip the Giant and exhausted, he yelled that he was going to drop it. My heart stopped.

any memorable climbs involving the wide?


dr_monkey


May 13, 2009, 8:31 PM
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Re: [evanwish] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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Not quite a Valley Giant size, but...

In the N. Cascades with two canucks on the fourth pitch of a Beckey, old school 5.9. Getting off the belay was tight with three of us, and it was easier to pull the first move then have one of my partners unclip my leash from the anchor and clip it to my harness for me.

The pitch = about 60' (sure seemed like 200' though) left facing corner, a bit under vertical, with a crack that narrowed just enough in two places for a #4 BD. It's also a little wet inside.

So I stick my back against the wall, my left side in and commence to groveling ... definitely making up for a lack of skill and OW experience with some good old grunting and sweating.

After 25 hard-won feet I stick in the first piece (it might even have been my first #4 placement ever) and continue the struggle upward. Just two feet above it I come to a dead stop, can't move up. At first I think to myself "OW is supposed to be hard" and try to continue up with even more gusto (it had worked so far.) Then I realize that something is definitely not right, and I'm not going anywhere until I figure it out.

There is a vague sense of something new and more persistent than gravity tugging downward on my harness every-time I try to move up. WTF? I start feeling around my harness until I find some webbing pulled tight downward inside the crack.

Picture this...OW NOOB jammed half in this crack, already near redline, wet, it's snowing, and I have to downclimb to my piece, unclip my PAS from the loop of my harness (of course on the left side) and pass it through the GODDAMN TRIGGER WIRE! My partner had accidently threaded my leash through the wire when he clipped it for me.

I had planned on linking the next pitch, but by the time I reached the first belay option I was toast. Time to let someone else lead the next pitch. At least my partners had the decency to struggle on the way up.

Despite that it was a great climb with two crazy Canadians.


ryanb


May 13, 2009, 9:38 PM
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Re: [evanwish] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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A buddy and I set out to try "freedom rider" on Liberty Bell, also in the north cascades. We got some dubious advice from some dubious individuals and decided to avoid the 10d slab crux by doing a variation up a steep 3"-6" crack. We brought a couple of wide pieces and everything.

After a couple or rope stretching 60m 10- pitches we are at the base of the beast. My buddy starts up it. He doesn't exactly free the thing...but we don't really have enough gear to aid it so he kind of establishes a knee jam and pushes the only piece that will fit up and then collapses onto the rope swearing.

Takes maybe an hour for him to get up the damn thing and then its my turn and all the gear is pushed to the top of the thing and i've got to actually try and free it wearing a pack with a couple of liters of water in it.

Oh and I'm wearing a brand new pair of miuras because my broken in shoes blew out a day or two before.

Long story short, I make it to the ledge and collapse...sucking air hard and seriously trying to figure out what the best angle to puke off that damn ledge is...don't want it to drain down the crack or anything.

I look over and my buddy is untieing a couple of knots in the rope...he says "I was so sure I was going to pass out I kept tying you off while belaying."

I'm in no condition to lead so I start belaying but my hands cramp up into a pair of useless claws pretty quick. I have to yell up "are you in a good place? my hands don't work."


We bail onto liberty crack a few pitches later and summit up an awesome 5.9 slab hanging hundreds feet above a snow field.

At the top we meet a couple of women who came up another route. One of them sees our number 5 friend and comments "that's a hugh cam...do people actually climb cracks that big?"


(This post was edited by ryanb on May 13, 2009, 9:40 PM)


evanwish


May 13, 2009, 10:07 PM
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Re: [ryanb] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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dr monkey wrote:
OW NOOB jammed half in this crack, already near redline, wet, it's snowing, and I have to downclimb to my piece, unclip my PAS from the loop of my harness (of course on the left side) and pass it through the GODDAMN TRIGGER WIRE!

ryanb wrote:
I look over and my buddy is untieing a couple of knots in the rope...he says "I was so sure I was going to pass out I kept tying you off while belaying."

ryanb wrote:
"are you in a good place? my hands don't work."

ryanb wrote:
"that's a hugh cam...do people actually climb cracks that big?"

priceless.


evanwish


May 13, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Re: [evanwish] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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here are two REALLY CRAPPY pictures, the second of me half hanging out an .11 offwidth inside a cave (ppl who acctually fit through on the close side call it a .10)

legs are useless in this one.. so it felt really nice having that cam near me




sspssp


May 14, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Re: [ryanb] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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ryanb wrote:
Takes maybe an hour for him to get up the damn thing and then its my turn and all the gear is pushed to the top of the thing and i've got to actually try and free it wearing a pack with a couple of liters of water in it.

Oh and I'm wearing a brand new pair of miuras because my broken in shoes blew out a day or two before.

I think at that point I would yell for my partner to fix the rope and I would prussic/jug the rope...


ryanb


May 14, 2009, 12:19 PM
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I probably would have if time had been more of an issue but I feel when you do all the work to get on a big free climb you owe it to yourself to try damn hard to free it even if it just means you will have better beta for next time.

As it was we were slowed down a bit and ended up opting out of the last few 5.10 pitches in favor of the old school 5.8 and 5.9 finish to liberty crack but still managed a pretty proud line on a big cascade face.

As I mentioned, we met a team of women on top and, no doubt impressed by our big cams and dazed looks, they gave us water, let us rappel their ropes and even went out to dinner with us that night in a near by town.

I think things went south when they figured out we had blown our meager funds on burgers and beer and were planing to sleep in a trail head parking lot instead of paying to hang out in the camp ground with them but still it was a damn fine day all and all...


salamanizer


May 14, 2009, 10:00 PM
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Re: [evanwish] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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Valley Giants are more of a luxury piece. Usually the only time they're needed is in a bombay squeeze. Otherwise the size of the crack is your pro.

Evan, when you gonna come out and let me take you up a real offwidth for once? You gotta stop playing around on those 20ft boulder problems.


Partner climbinginchico


May 15, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Re: [salamanizer] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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Don't listen to him Evan! He's a sadist and will actually do it!

Speaking of sadism... When are we doing YPB Chad?


skibum14


May 15, 2009, 1:41 AM
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Great story, man. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm digging all the stories from the cascades.


evanwish


May 15, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Re: [salamanizer] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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salamanizer wrote:
Evan, when you gonna come out and let me take you up a real offwidth for once? You gotta stop playing around on those 20ft boulder problems.

climbinginchico wrote:
Don't listen to him Evan!


i'll think about it..... ok cool when/where are we going? ha

but yeah really those are really short at Cosumnes, i usually have to make the most of what i've got, none of my partners will even touch an offwidth.... so its always just me climbing them so that rules out multipitch Unsure
i wanna lead Eeyore's Enigma!!! :D


evanwish


May 15, 2009, 7:59 AM
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Re: [skibum14] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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not quite VG size, but here's one where i was climbing a short ow (would be a just boulder if the landind wasn't sloping into the river) i had climbed it a few times before, but one unlucky day this block shifted and dropped a few feet squishing my arm...



i left my number there in tape in case anyone cleaned my #6 and was feeling nice. we dropped the block the next day


coastal_climber


May 26, 2009, 8:10 PM
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I used the 9" valley giant on P1 of Gold Wall. fuckin' rad!


billcoe_


Jul 23, 2009, 1:08 PM
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Re: [coastal_climber] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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Here's a Trip Report of a First Ascent I did that Russ converted to a PDF. There's some formatting errors but you'll get the drift. The title says it all: "I Hate Wide Sh*t"!!

http://www.widefetish.com/...te%20wide%20sh*t.pdf

pics don't show it, but I had some rubber kneepads. The left knee was getting some pretty acceptable jams off to the left allowing me to move my hands up.





Something like this.

The downside of the Valley Giants is the weight. You just want to dump them off stat as they feel like boat anchors.


evanwish


Jul 23, 2009, 2:36 PM
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Re: [billcoe_] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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yeah they are heavy.. i think they're just more cumbersome and take up space more than they actually weigh you down..

lately i've just been running out sections that would require the valley giant or big bro... but i can't wait to find another sustained route of that size around here (tahoe)


lithiummetalman


Jul 23, 2009, 2:41 PM
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Re: [evanwish] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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Evvanwish, That's Batman Can't Fly!

I got stuck inside that crack, took me hell of a long time to get unstuck (thank god it was raining)


(This post was edited by lithiummetalman on Jul 23, 2009, 2:43 PM)


DexterRutecki


Jul 23, 2009, 3:13 PM
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Re: [lithiummetalman] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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http://www.widefetish.com/trip_reports/I hate wide sh*t.pdf

Access to this web page is restricted at this time.

Reason:

The Websense category "Sex" is filtered.

Go corporate America!


evanwish


Jul 23, 2009, 4:21 PM
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Re: [lithiummetalman] Getting to/Having to use a Valley Giant [In reply to]
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oh damn!! how'd you end up getting out and what pro did you use? Great climb!!

and thanks for the link!


goober


Aug 24, 2009, 1:26 PM
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Did the Salathe Wall a few months ago. We could have probably used them on the Hollow Flake pitch. Since we didn't have any I sent my partner up that lead instead...Shocked


adatesman


Aug 24, 2009, 1:48 PM
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jeremy11


Aug 24, 2009, 2:10 PM
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That is absolutely gorgeous!
New desktop background.
Very Inspirational.

I've been plotting up some fun Monster Cam ideas for the 2010 Homemade Cam World Cup.
But with more intense hand machining, not sure I'll want it destroyed.....
I'm curious how he interfaced the double axle termination to the rigid stem, without immobilizing the stem


acorneau


Aug 24, 2009, 2:37 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Funny this thread should pop up again... I got an email the other day from a guy headed to El Cap in a couple weeks who was wondering where he could get his DIY 9" cam for the Hollow Flake proof tested to 10kN. So far I've only seen pics, but it looks like he did a nice job on it.

Double axle?!? That sucker's got to be heavy!


coolcat83


Aug 25, 2009, 10:59 AM
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nice! but holy double axle overkill, looks like from what i can see that the stem is not independent of the axles. It's nice but I'm not sure why at the size you really need the double axle other than to look pretty.


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