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hatafan


Dec 11, 2009, 8:27 AM
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trad cragging in rain / wet conditions
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I'm in southern ca never climbed in rain or wet conditions before.

After going through some of the older threads, my impression is it's not too big a deal to keep going in light or intermittent rain on good rock like at Josh? Just not the time to be pushing grades or your protection, and good to have a dry rope, bail if any indication of thunder etc.

One thing I didn't see addressed was how much does it affect cam placements. Given how much people climb in wet conditions in other parts of the world or do alpine, I assume a good tight cam in dry conditions, is still safe in wet, though somewhat more likely to pull?

Any other suggestions, thoughts on climbing in wet conditions? thanks


shrug7


Dec 11, 2009, 9:30 AM
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Re: [hatafan] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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I believe wet sandstone is known to be a problem (sometimes) on gear placements.

And thunder... ya, might want to take cover.


brokesomeribs


Dec 11, 2009, 9:52 AM
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Re: [hatafan] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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Every placement is different. I certainly trust cams way less on wet rock.

I did a nighttime headlamp ascent of High Exposure in the Gunks about 2 weeks ago with running water coming down the rock. A lot of the normal placements didn't look trustworthy.

A well seated nut is always preferable in the rain.


Partner cracklover


Dec 11, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Re: [hatafan] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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hatafan wrote:
I'm in southern ca never climbed in rain or wet conditions before.

After going through some of the older threads, my impression is it's not too big a deal to keep going in light or intermittent rain on good rock like at Josh? Just not the time to be pushing grades or your protection, and good to have a dry rope, bail if any indication of thunder etc.

One thing I didn't see addressed was how much does it affect cam placements. Given how much people climb in wet conditions in other parts of the world or do alpine, I assume a good tight cam in dry conditions, is still safe in wet, though somewhat more likely to pull?

Any other suggestions, thoughts on climbing in wet conditions? thanks

Agreed on all point.

Wet cam placements, IMO, are only an issue on:

- soft desert sandstone (death)
- dirty placements (mud gets in cams - cams don't work)
- heavily lichen-covered placements - that lichen becomes slick as snot in the rain.

With that said, I've had excellent days climbing in light/intermittent rain in the Northeast.

GO


hafilax


Dec 11, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Re: [cracklover] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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Cams are still good in wet conditions in really constricted placements kind of like a hex or nut placement where the cam would have to seriously compress to pull through the opening if it could pull out at all.

Depending on the type of climbing it can get really slick in a hurry. I climbed a route in Quebec in the summer during a major rain storm and the friction went to pot. I was searching out finger locks wherever possible because the face holds were totally slick.

In Squamish routes can be wet for weeks after the last rainy period and the difficulty definitely takes a jump when it's wet. Some days we'll just do some clean aid if it's raining too much for free climbing. You'll definitely learn what placements work in the rain under those conditions.


coastal_climber


Dec 11, 2009, 6:47 PM
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Re: [hafilax] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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I've never had an issue with a cam in a "wet" crack/feature, and I live on the coast.


billcoe_


Dec 11, 2009, 7:56 PM
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Re: [coastal_climber] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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Outside of the exposure and lighting issues. It's probably less of an issue with gear than it is just getting up stuff at all. However, each area and rock have differing things you'll confront. I was in Yosemite once, and despite the fact that I was commonly getting up dry 5.10d's (with an odd 5.11 here or there) all over the valley, I was unable to free a 5.7 in a heavy rain....and it was an easy 5.7 I was familiar with and a crack too, not 5.7 friction (shrudder). If you are on a glacier point friction route, probably best to just give up and head down, but I've never climbed there wet. I've noticed that Squamish friction seems to dry quickly once the rain stops in the summer.

I would think Joshua tree would be better as the rock is coarser with sharp little crystals, furthermore, the commitment level is so much less. Never been rained on there...so I don't actually know. Around here, we have basalt, and you lose a few grades for sure, but folks often get out on easier stuff and it's good as the rock often is incut and have these little ledges for edging.

Sandstone, like most rock types, has a lot of different characteristics. For most sandstone, the grit gets wet and all slurry like and it will wear grooves in your biners mighty fast on raps....actually, I was in Australia, lots of sandstone there, the day after a rain when it appeared mostly dry, we went out, and while standing on a popular rap point, I had a chuck of stone just break off on me. They say DO NOT climb on sandstone while it's wet or right after as it drys out as you will break off flakes that would otherwise be good holds. Good advice I think.


Durin


Dec 12, 2009, 1:41 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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Sandstone is far more porous than granite, and all types will lose substantial strength when wet. Desert sandstone is already pretty damn weak...

I tend to think that the sandstone found in places like the Colorado Front Range (flatirons, flagstaff, Eldo) would still be pretty damn strong in most cases. That stuff is super dense.

I have a little bit of experience on wet granite -- the idea of peeling off more easily was of more concern to me than cams popping. I could see it being terrifying on some flaring placements though.


jeepnphreak


Dec 12, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Re: [hatafan] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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hatafan wrote:
I'm in southern ca never climbed in rain or wet conditions before.

After going through some of the older threads, my impression is it's not too big a deal to keep going in light or intermittent rain on good rock like at Josh? Just not the time to be pushing grades or your protection, and good to have a dry rope, bail if any indication of thunder etc.

One thing I didn't see addressed was how much does it affect cam placements. Given how much people climb in wet conditions in other parts of the world or do alpine, I assume a good tight cam in dry conditions, is still safe in wet, though somewhat more likely to pull?

Any other suggestions, thoughts on climbing in wet conditions? thanks

Yes water does affect placement stability a bit. But not till the water startes to freeze do placements really get sketchy.


aid climbing up a water fall 20 miles south of my home town



bill413


Dec 14, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Re: [jeepnphreak] trad cragging in rain / wet conditions [In reply to]
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Your hands won't feel as secure on many types of holds. And, if it's actually wet, chalk won't do much.

As for pro - what people have said - use constrictions. If you doubt your pro, climb something else with better pro.


(This post was edited by bill413 on Dec 14, 2009, 6:46 AM)


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