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esander4


Nov 10, 2010, 9:45 PM
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Wanting to do big wall...
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Been trad climbing about 2-3 times a week for about a year now and I want to do my first big wall. But, I've never done a big wall. So I have a couple of questions for the experts.

1.) How different is big wall from trad?
2.) How much more gear do you need (assuming the standard trad rack+essential gear is already available)?
3.) Are there rap stations in big wall or do you have to leave gear?
4.) How much gear should you use to set up a portaledge (I'm obviously going to practice somewhere first), is it just hanging off of a standard belay station or should you use a lot more gear?

I have other questions but I'll get them answered by books and such.


theguy


Nov 10, 2010, 9:51 PM
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esander4 wrote:
How much more gear do you need?




skiclimb


Nov 10, 2010, 9:58 PM
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I'm no expert but have spent my time doing walls , gotten up the big stones here and there, failed plenty when getting my start too.

Best answer...

Depends..lol

seriously

Aid climbing if needed and it often is on manyt bigwalls, is extremely different from trad. free pitches are about the same but most folks lose a bit of their upper limit on a wall. Not at all unusual for a wall climber who trads solid 5.10 to not venture past 5.9 easy on a wall.

Even on a trad pitch More gear is needed generally since you have 2 anchors and multiple pitches with various different gear demands than say a single pitch you are familiar with and take just the right rack for. If aiding the whole pitch you could have a hell of a lot more gear than an average trad pitch.

Often rapping is not something you do on a wall if you get to the top. if you make the top then often there is an established descent with anchors or fixed ropes in place.

If you do have to rap before topping out there may be fairly good anchors and you may only leave a bit of webbing or a biner behind.

Or you may sacrifice serious gear.

Portaledges dont generally require any unusually fancy anchor in and of themselves. However your camp anchoring system will hopefully involve more points than the normal trad anchor and be a bit spread out for convenience.

Infact you might suspend a portaledge from a solid single point off to the side while keeping yourself and the bags on the main anchor.

the main thing is to get enough experience so you can quickly and safely adapt to the myriad conditions and clusterfucks that bigwalling can throw at you.


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Nov 10, 2010, 10:09 PM)


whipper


Nov 10, 2010, 10:24 PM
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fantastic response


moose_droppings


Nov 10, 2010, 11:15 PM
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1. A lot different. you'll need some aiding skills for most big walls and be prepared to suffer. It's takes a lot of endurance, but grinding away with fortitude will get you up one.

2. Depends, but in general, a lot more gear.

3. Sometimes, not always.

4. Depending on where your going , most wall routes have bolted belays.


Here's a great place to start that will answer a lot of questions.


wrbill


Nov 11, 2010, 5:05 AM
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I have only done a few walls and in no way a expert, but one thing that was told to me to help get ready for the wall was to aid single pitch routes. The reason for this was to help with the time that it takes to aid a route and to help work out a system that works for me. It is much easier to bail a single pitch route that you have done on trad than it is to bail 4 or 5 pitches up a wall. Hope this helps you out and again I'm no expert but this did help me on my first wall.


sspssp


Nov 11, 2010, 1:24 PM
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esander4 wrote:
1.) How different is big wall from trad?
2.) How much more gear do you need (assuming the standard trad rack+essential gear is already available)?
3.) Are there rap stations in big wall or do you have to leave gear?
4.) How much gear should you use to set up a portaledge

1. Its the difference between day hikes and backpacking. Most newbie parties move much slower than they expect--hauling is a usually a huge time killer--and get frustrated and bail; or run out of food/water and bail; or have a tantram with their partner and bail; or add excuse here and bail.

2. If you and your partner both have full trad racks, there are routes you can do. For full on aid pitches, you will have to back clean a lot. The extra gear is the haul bag, jumars, aiders, etc.

3. Most intro big wall routes in Yosemite have bolted anchors. For other areas, well, what area are we talking about?

4. You might want to start out with some routes where you can sleep on ledges and postpone the portaledge, especially if you shelling out for lot of other aid gear and how much you might enjoy big walls once you start trying them.

Have fun and be [reasonably] safe.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Nov 11, 2010, 1:25 PM)


majid_sabet


Nov 11, 2010, 1:36 PM
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trad is bachelor degree
multi-pitch trad is a master degree
and big wall is a PHD

edit: sport is a high school diploma
and bouldering is a high school reject and dropout


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Nov 11, 2010, 1:40 PM)


Partner xtrmecat


Nov 11, 2010, 2:00 PM
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Majid, funny assed shit right there. More truth than most will admit.

Great responses above, read them, there is much good stuff there.

I would like to add, the single biggest thing that helped me learn bigwall climbing, drum roll please, was,________________ mileage. Long pitches, short pitches, find a crack and go, and go, and go, and go. You can not get too many miles getting the systems and gear management issues worked out, and then when you do, go practice some more. Now that you can do any trad crack in under an hour or so, bring the piggy, fill her full of crap, and take her along for nothing more than the pleasure of pissing yourself off.

I am not joking, this was the key to finally going to a destination, walking up to my line, and climbing it bottom to top. Believe me when I say the efforts prior to the mileage were sincere, but success only came after the practice, and how sweet it is.

Burly Bob


wrbill


Nov 11, 2010, 2:12 PM
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+2


skiclimb


Nov 11, 2010, 3:04 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
trad is bachelor degree
multi-pitch trad is a master degree
and big wall is a PHD

edit: sport is a high school diploma
and bouldering is a high school reject and dropout



Nobel?

note one of Majid's better posts lol


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Nov 11, 2010, 3:06 PM)


majid_sabet


Nov 11, 2010, 3:41 PM
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skiclimb wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
trad is bachelor degree
multi-pitch trad is a master degree
and big wall is a PHD

edit: sport is a high school diploma
and bouldering is a high school reject and dropout

[img]http://www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com/ReferenceImagesF/Jannu%20North%20Face%20Direct.jpg[/img]

Nobel?

note one of Majid's better posts lol

That climb is an equivalent to earning multiple PHD in:
Rock
Ice
Alpine
and High Alt


esander4


Nov 11, 2010, 5:20 PM
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xtrmecat wrote:
Majid, funny assed shit right there. More truth than most will admit.

Great responses above, read them, there is much good stuff there.

I would like to add, the single biggest thing that helped me learn bigwall climbing, drum roll please, was,________________ mileage. Long pitches, short pitches, find a crack and go, and go, and go, and go. You can not get too many miles getting the systems and gear management issues worked out, and then when you do, go practice some more. Now that you can do any trad crack in under an hour or so, bring the piggy, fill her full of crap, and take her along for nothing more than the pleasure of pissing yourself off.

I am not joking, this was the key to finally going to a destination, walking up to my line, and climbing it bottom to top. Believe me when I say the efforts prior to the mileage were sincere, but success only came after the practice, and how sweet it is.

Burly Bob

What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?


bill413


Nov 11, 2010, 5:37 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
trad is bachelor degree
multi-pitch trad is a master degree
and big wall is a PHD

edit: sport is a high school diploma
and bouldering is a high school reject and dropout

+3


skiclimb


Nov 11, 2010, 6:04 PM
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esander4 wrote:
xtrmecat wrote:
Majid, funny assed shit right there. More truth than most will admit.

Great responses above, read them, there is much good stuff there.

I would like to add, the single biggest thing that helped me learn bigwall climbing, drum roll please, was,________________ mileage. Long pitches, short pitches, find a crack and go, and go, and go, and go. You can not get too many miles getting the systems and gear management issues worked out, and then when you do, go practice some more. Now that you can do any trad crack in under an hour or so, bring the piggy, fill her full of crap, and take her along for nothing more than the pleasure of pissing yourself off.

I am not joking, this was the key to finally going to a destination, walking up to my line, and climbing it bottom to top. Believe me when I say the efforts prior to the mileage were sincere, but success only came after the practice, and how sweet it is.

Burly Bob

What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?

I usually haul off the same points as the main anchor just with a secondary setup underneath that drops the haul point below the the rest.

or

depends...


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Nov 11, 2010, 6:07 PM)


Partner xtrmecat


Nov 12, 2010, 8:59 AM
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esander4 wrote:
xtrmecat wrote:
Majid, funny assed shit right there. More truth than most will admit.

Great responses above, read them, there is much good stuff there.

I would like to add, the single biggest thing that helped me learn bigwall climbing, drum roll please, was,________________ mileage. Long pitches, short pitches, find a crack and go, and go, and go, and go. You can not get too many miles getting the systems and gear management issues worked out, and then when you do, go practice some more. Now that you can do any trad crack in under an hour or so, bring the piggy, fill her full of crap, and take her along for nothing more than the pleasure of pissing yourself off.

I am not joking, this was the key to finally going to a destination, walking up to my line, and climbing it bottom to top. Believe me when I say the efforts prior to the mileage were sincere, but success only came after the practice, and how sweet it is.

Burly Bob

What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?

The sequence(mine anyways) goes something like this: Arrive at the belay, Build an anchor and get on it, "off belay", when belay is off haul up lead slack and fix. Yell down that the blue or red or whatever color the lead line is fixed,(This allows the second time to start his end of the fiasco) then take one of the highest points I can, or off to the side we are not going next, and set up the haul. Rarely to never one piece of gear, sometimes one bolt, backed up to another or anchor of course. Getting the haul high is important. If soft sand stone or crap belay, disregard the above.

It is common to see three bolt belays on some walls, two is common at times, and I have seen as many as five crappy scattered out in a random pattern that boggles the mind. The point here is every station will be slightly different, ledge or not, easy to sort/spread out, or not. Practice and mileage will help you to learn what comes next and where it goes.

Pull up haul line slack and communicate this to the partner, "haul ready". The next thing I would expect is the pig will come onto the haul gently being lowered out, but at the same time I am finishing my end of the haul preparation, getting the rack stowed for the partners arrival etc. When the weight comes on the line and I hear, "Miss Piggy is free" I haul.

There is so much to do, that it is important to keep busy, think what goes where, and when, and over or under what, that focus is important. It isn't casual at all. Lots of work, engineering in the head, focus on how to anchor the haul when it arrives, will it be high, too low, etc.. The details go on and on and on. Double check everything every time. Keeping from getting dead is the single most important thing you can do on a wall. Work at it.

This is where reading comes in. Read until it all makes sense,(books, not my drivvel) and then go do it. Find out where your clusters are happening, work it out. Read the books some more and plot and plan the system you will use, and then do some more mileage/practice. When you get flustered after about a year of practice clusters, and make the mistakes, correct each one until the next problem arises, solve it, and again, rinse and repeat.

Eventually you will arrive, anchor, get on it with the right slack, set up the haul, commands will be given when they are needed, double check, haul, organize, get a drink, grab a snack, help rerack, laugh at the stupid partner joke when he is leaving the belay, all without having too much of an issue and under 15 minutes or so. Then grasshopper, you will be ready to flounder your way to the top.

I use a haul bag, one is a metolious and the other a fish. Both good products, differing sizes, the equipment is a mandatory investment, begging and borrowing can work, but I prefer to tear up my own stuff.

Burly Bob

Did I mention it will come if you practice a lot?


skiclimb


Nov 12, 2010, 9:47 AM
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xtrmecat wrote:
esander4 wrote:
xtrmecat wrote:
Majid, funny assed shit right there. More truth than most will admit.

Great responses above, read them, there is much good stuff there.

I would like to add, the single biggest thing that helped me learn bigwall climbing, drum roll please, was,________________ mileage. Long pitches, short pitches, find a crack and go, and go, and go, and go. You can not get too many miles getting the systems and gear management issues worked out, and then when you do, go practice some more. Now that you can do any trad crack in under an hour or so, bring the piggy, fill her full of crap, and take her along for nothing more than the pleasure of pissing yourself off.

I am not joking, this was the key to finally going to a destination, walking up to my line, and climbing it bottom to top. Believe me when I say the efforts prior to the mileage were sincere, but success only came after the practice, and how sweet it is.

Burly Bob

What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?

The sequence(mine anyways) goes something like this: Arrive at the belay, Build an anchor and get on it, "off belay", when belay is off haul up lead slack and fix. Yell down that the blue or red or whatever color the lead line is fixed,(This allows the second time to start his end of the fiasco) then take one of the highest points I can, or off to the side we are not going next, and set up the haul. Rarely to never one piece of gear, sometimes one bolt, backed up to another or anchor of course. Getting the haul high is important. If soft sand stone or crap belay, disregard the above.

It is common to see three bolt belays on some walls, two is common at times, and I have seen as many as five crappy scattered out in a random pattern that boggles the mind. The point here is every station will be slightly different, ledge or not, easy to sort/spread out, or not. Practice and mileage will help you to learn what comes next and where it goes.

Pull up haul line slack and communicate this to the partner, "haul ready". The next thing I would expect is the pig will come onto the haul gently being lowered out, but at the same time I am finishing my end of the haul preparation, getting the rack stowed for the partners arrival etc. When the weight comes on the line and I hear, "Miss Piggy is free" I haul.

There is so much to do, that it is important to keep busy, think what goes where, and when, and over or under what, that focus is important. It isn't casual at all. Lots of work, engineering in the head, focus on how to anchor the haul when it arrives, will it be high, too low, etc.. The details go on and on and on. Double check everything every time. Keeping from getting dead is the single most important thing you can do on a wall. Work at it.

This is where reading comes in. Read until it all makes sense,(books, not my drivvel) and then go do it. Find out where your clusters are happening, work it out. Read the books some more and plot and plan the system you will use, and then do some more mileage/practice. When you get flustered after about a year of practice clusters, and make the mistakes, correct each one until the next problem arises, solve it, and again, rinse and repeat.

Eventually you will arrive, anchor, get on it with the right slack, set up the haul, commands will be given when they are needed, double check, haul, organize, get a drink, grab a snack, help rerack, laugh at the stupid partner joke when he is leaving the belay, all without having too much of an issue and under 15 minutes or so. Then grasshopper, you will be ready to flounder your way to the top.

I use a haul bag, one is a metolious and the other a fish. Both good products, differing sizes, the equipment is a mandatory investment, begging and borrowing can work, but I prefer to tear up my own stuff.

Burly Bob

Did I mention it will come if you practice a lot?


Excellent post above. Nice of him to take the time and point out the mental aspects of organizing everything in your head quickly prior to doing each step.

Bob is right about trying to get the haul point high IF you plan to remain at the belay station. I tend to like taking the elevator down the other side of the hauline and ascending back up while hauling. in which case i just find it more convenient and quicker to set up the haul under the main anchor. Lots of different ways to go. and you will find a need for all of them occasionally.


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Nov 12, 2010, 9:52 AM)


Partner xtrmecat


Nov 12, 2010, 10:18 AM
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skiclimb, true enough.

I guess the system that works for you will eventually come out if you do it enough. When a new partner and I talk about how we do things, we settle on systems on the ground, sometimes mine, sometimes theirs. Rarely do we stick to the "plan", but we do get it done.

After you haul a few pitches, systems like far end hauling, continuous loop lead, space haul, and on and on will make sense. Some will seem like "the shit", some will not look so good. Knowing how to do them all would be the ultimate though. The bigger the toolbox to draw from the better. Go solo and you will learn this lesson well.

Burly Bob


marc801


Nov 12, 2010, 10:59 AM
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esander4 wrote:
What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?
It would probably be a good idea for you to read some of the books on the subject before continuing to ask some incredibly basic questions. It's easier for you and everyone else.


esander4


Nov 12, 2010, 11:49 AM
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marc801 wrote:
esander4 wrote:
What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?
It would probably be a good idea for you to read some of the books on the subject before continuing to ask some incredibly basic questions. It's easier for you and everyone else.

There always has to be one of you. It's a forum man. Someone asks a question, that questions gets answered and discussed. Why did you even bothering posting if it would be "much easier not to"? Get over yourself. Some people don't have the money right now for books and don't trust stupid youtube videos and would rather get info from people who have done it before. If people don't want to answer they don't have to. It's that simple. But obviously there are good hearted people who actually like to help less experienced people.


esander4


Nov 12, 2010, 11:52 AM
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skiclimb and xtrmecat, thanks for all the good info


KeitaroHoshi


Nov 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
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esander4 wrote:
What exactly do you do for a haul sack, do you have to set up a separate belay station for it, do you raise it off of the belay station you're on, or do you just stick a single piece of pro in and raise it off that?
Some times there is a hooking section after the bolts station and no avaliable pro placements. Mabye you could/should learn to do a lower out with your self and learn to lower out the haul bag.
marc801 wrote:
It would probably be a good idea for you to read some of the books on the subject before continuing to ask some incredibly basic questions. It's easier for you and everyone else.
Marc this is a fourm it is here for people to get together and communicate with each other. The reason people come here is to talk with every one else. I would probably be a good idea for you to stop being such a vindictave prick.


marc801


Nov 12, 2010, 12:19 PM
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esander4 wrote:
There always has to be one of you. It's a forum man. Someone asks a question, that questions gets answered and discussed. Why did you even bothering posting if it would be "much easier not to"? Get over yourself. Some people don't have the money right now for books and don't trust stupid youtube videos and would rather get info from people who have done it before. If people don't want to answer they don't have to. It's that simple. But obviously there are good hearted people who actually like to help less experienced people.
I think Chris McNamara of Supertopo has actually done a few big walls. Did you even look at the link moosdroppings posted? If you had bothered instead of asking the most basic questions, you'd have found extremely detailed answers for your questions about the amount of gear, how to haul, anchors, hanging a portaledge, and bivis.

Here's the link again: http://www.supertopo.com/...-Contents/a139n.html

It's not that experienced people don't want to help, but you really should be willing to do the initial learning on your own. The answers to the questions you're asking are easily found - read all of that Supertopo link. It's like the n00b asking the best way to mark the middle of the rope for the 1000th time.

Let's see, you say you can't afford a $25 (or a lot less) big wall book, but you're talking about a particular type of climbing that's going to involve a $1000 or more for the additional gear you'll need. What's wrong with this picture? Amazon has used copies of "Climbing Big Walls" for $0.75. Consider it your first big wall gear purchase. Now quit asking how to tie your shoes.

And here's the obligatory:

STFU, n00b!
Yer Gonna Die!!!!!!!!!!


KeitaroHoshi


Nov 12, 2010, 12:52 PM
Post #24 of 28 (6507 views)
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Posts: 171

Re: [marc801] Wanting to do big wall... [In reply to]
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Hey I'm not asking how to questions
I'm trying to make a few friends
And you Sir(marc) are none other than an egotistical jerk prick

Marc is probably the guy who you always see talking the talk and never climbs anything. Now I am being vindictive and I don't even like that word.
Forget all this aid climber poser junk.


majid_sabet


Nov 12, 2010, 1:59 PM
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Posts: 8352

Re: [KeitaroHoshi] Wanting to do big wall... [In reply to]
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KeitaroHoshi wrote:
Hey I'm not asking how to questions
I'm trying to make a few friends
And you Sir(marc) are none other than an egotistical jerk prick

Marc is probably the guy who you always see talking the talk and never climbs anything. Now I am being vindictive and I don't even like that word.
Forget all this aid climber poser junk.

I will be your friend so when do you want to go aid climbing with me

how is your survival skills cause you may never make it back

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Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


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