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Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners?
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zchandran


May 21, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners?
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I climb mostly single pitch sport due to geographic limitations, and haven't had an opportunity to learn proper aid climbing yet - so I am unfamiliar with the equipment but understand the overall idea. I only climb trad at about a 5.7 level.

What minimal gear would I need to downclimb rather than bail? There are some routes where the crux is well above my current climbing abilities, but I would like to give it a shot anyway. Bail biners add up over the season, and I think this would be a reasonable time to get a couple of etriers and practice with them.

I have a workable rack, but nothing in the "body weight only" range. Even with etriers, I would have no idea how to downclimb a vertical face where the holds are all tiny crimps, since the usual cams/nuts/slings won't work for that.

Couldn't find any older threads that deal with this, so any help is appreciated...


majid_sabet


May 21, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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have you done any aid up climbing ?


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
have you done any aid up climbing ?

None at all. I intend to practice that since my eventual goal, maybe in 2015, is to do a big wall. But I'm trying to keep my expenses under control, so for right now the plan is to just add the essentials to my rack to do some aid downclimbing here and there as needed.


Partner cracklover


May 21, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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zchandran wrote:
I climb mostly single pitch sport due to geographic limitations, and haven't had an opportunity to learn proper aid climbing yet - so I am unfamiliar with the equipment but understand the overall idea. I only climb trad at about a 5.7 level.

What minimal gear would I need to downclimb rather than bail? There are some routes where the crux is well above my current climbing abilities, but I would like to give it a shot anyway. Bail biners add up over the season, and I think this would be a reasonable time to get a couple of etriers and practice with them.

I have a workable rack, but nothing in the "body weight only" range. Even with etriers, I would have no idea how to downclimb a vertical face where the holds are all tiny crimps, since the usual cams/nuts/slings won't work for that.

Couldn't find any older threads that deal with this, so any help is appreciated...

Do I understand correctly that your objective is to avoid leaving bail biners on sport routes you can't get up?

GO


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 1:21 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Do I understand correctly that your objective is to avoid leaving bail biners on sport routes you can't get up?

GO

That is correct. My desire to learn aid climbing techniques is secondary at this point.


gene


May 21, 2013, 1:35 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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You don't need to aid-downclimb to avoid leaving bail biners, you just need to be willing to take falls.

If you were able to hold onto the climb to hang the draw, then you should also be able to hold onto the climb to remove the draw.

briefly pull onto the climb, call for a bit of slack from the belayer, unclip the draw from the bolt, and then let go and take the fall.

Repeat at the next draw until all but the last draw remains. Lower to the ground off the last (lowest)draw. Then climb back up, pull the lowest draw off, and downclimb to terra-firma.

Alternately, go to the hardware store and buy some inexpensive quicklinks (i.e. screwlinks) - like a link of metal chain, but with a screw-gate. They can be purchased for far less than a biner, and one is easily kept on a harness gearloop. Check out the "rated working load" of the screwlink when buying - if it's at all more than your bodyweight, then it's more than strong enough for lowering off, because the desgned-in factor of safety on items like that are very high.

Probably better to ask this in the Sport-Climbing forum, as it sounds like you're talking about a sport-climbing scenario. Guess you could do the same thing for trad-climbing - but you'd have to trust all your pieces (you should anyway), and might lose some gear by falling on it and making it difficult to remove.

-gene


(This post was edited by gene on May 21, 2013, 1:41 PM)


olderic


May 21, 2013, 1:41 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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Texas Rope Trip. You may well screw up and die - but you could do that with any other of the proposed solutions too. Hazard of soliciting advice on the Interwebs.


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 1:47 PM
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Re: [gene] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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Quick links are really frowned upon in my neck of the woods. They rust shut very easily in our weather, and then become a permanent part of the route and a pain in the rear until one of us goes up with bolt cutters.

I've fallen my way down routes before, and don't mind doing it in a pinch, but I'll usually sacrifice a biner rather than do that, especially since some of the falls might be dicey. I'm willing to put in the time to figure out the etrier thing since once I know how, I'm set.


edge


May 21, 2013, 2:00 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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I agree that the quicklinks suck, particularly for the next person to try and climb the route.

Leave a bail biner and lower. If the expense bothers you, you will quickly learn to push yourself and maybe even surprise yourself by getting up the route.

Besides, its people like you who keep me in a steady supply of bail biners. I prefer new wiregates, BTW.


doktor_g


May 21, 2013, 2:16 PM
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Re: [olderic] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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You can bail from the hanger itself provided you have the following: a good sewn sling, 2/3 of the rope still on the ground, the ability (holds) to clip in directly to the hanger, an ATC.

1.) Clip directly from your harness to the hanger.
1a.) Belayer gives slack.
2. Unclip the now unweighted quickdraw from the hanger.
3.) Use a 24" sewn sling, lace it through the hanger giving you a loop on each side.
4.) Untie. (don't drop the rope)
5.) Lace the rope through the sewn runner (in this example let's say left to right).
6.) Ensure that that end is on the ground. Now there is one end on the ground exiting the RIGHT side of the sewn sling.
7.) Pull up the other end of the rope (LEFT side).
8.) Tie that side (LEFT) to the LEFT side of the sewn runner.

Here's what you'll have.
-You clipped directly to the hanger via quickdraw chain or daisy or something suitably safe.
-From the Left lobe, the end of your lead line will be tied to the left loop then you should have a bite that goes ALL THE WAY TO THE ground and back up THROUGH the loop and back ALL THE WAY TO THE ground on the OTHER SIDE.

NOW:
9. Like a normal rappel insert the rope through your ATC and rap to the ground. Do NOT use the end that is TIED to the sling. If you avoid this you'll avoid a potential catastrophic failure of the system.
10. Rap to the ground.

RETRIEVE THE SYSTEM:
1. Pull on the bite to pull up the free end of the rope. It will slide through the sling and back to you.
2. Pull the single strand and the rope, knot and sling will come back down to you.

OK that's a lot to take in and you sound like a novice. This is a good skill to have but I do not use it routinely as it is unsafe in general. Practice down low. Be safe and don't get in over your head.

Buy a "self rescue" book and read it. The mountaineers make a good one.


(This post was edited by doktor_g on May 21, 2013, 2:18 PM)


doktor_g


May 21, 2013, 2:24 PM
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Re: [doktor_g] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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Oh and down aiding will be impossible without hooks in most sport climbing areas. Furthermore, if you want to bring the wrath of locals faster than adding quicklinks, start breaking off crimps with inexperienced hooking.
DrG


(This post was edited by doktor_g on May 21, 2013, 2:52 PM)


majid_sabet


May 21, 2013, 2:26 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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zchandran wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
have you done any aid up climbing ?

None at all. I intend to practice that since my eventual goal, maybe in 2015, is to do a big wall. But I'm trying to keep my expenses under control, so for right now the plan is to just add the essentials to my rack to do some aid downclimbing here and there as needed.

the way you are headed with trying to save $2.60 on a SOL rap ring sold on ebay, you may not even make it to 2015


marc801


May 21, 2013, 4:40 PM
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Re: [gene] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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gene wrote:
Alternately, go to the hardware store and buy some inexpensive quicklinks (i.e. screwlinks) - like a link of metal chain, but with a screw-gate. They can be purchased for far less than a biner, and one is easily kept on a harness gearloop. Check out the "rated working load" of the screwlink when buying - if it's at all more than your bodyweight, then it's more than strong enough for lowering off, because the desgned-in factor of safety on items like that are very high.
This is a pure gumby n00b move. Never, ever do this, anywhere, unless you like fucking things up for future parties.

To the OP:
1. just leave the damned bail biners
2. get better
3. maybe reassess your ambitions and rationalize that with your current ability
4. get better

If you're leaving so many bail biners that it's an issue, then maybe you're doing it wrong.


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 7:20 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
the way you are headed with trying to save $2.60 on a SOL rap ring sold on ebay, you may not even make it to 2015

You use a rap ring on a bolt instead of a bail biner? That's a first...


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 7:30 PM
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Re: [marc801] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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I think I'll take your suggestion and hold off on the aid downclimbing for now. I'll start with easy aid climbing and re-evaluate after I've done that a while.

To reply to others:

- I've done the Texas rope trick. Same difference since you're out a sling rather than a biner.

- Didn't realize that hooks broke small holds so easily. Will wait until I have more experience before trying anything like that.

- No idea where rap rings come into play for bailing from a sport route.


edge


May 21, 2013, 8:38 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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zchandran wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
the way you are headed with trying to save $2.60 on a SOL rap ring sold on ebay, you may not even make it to 2015

You use a rap ring on a bolt instead of a bail biner? That's a first...

I think either the bolt hanger or the rap ring needs a hidden gap. Bring a hacksaw.




ncrockclimber


May 21, 2013, 8:54 PM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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Just leave a carabiner. Buy some cheap ones online. You can get them for less than $4 each. Quick links are a douche move. Think about the next gal that will climb the route. All of the rest of this stuff, especially that BS with a sling, is just a bad idea.


UpToTheOzone


May 21, 2013, 9:58 PM
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Re: [ncrockclimber] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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As opposed to down falling, learn to down climb. Trust me it'll be a skill that you'll be very glad to have learned . Later in your life, you may find yourself high above your last piece of pro and in a desperate stance with a nice rest below you, you'll be glad to know how to down climb.

On another note... when I first started climbing I didn't want to spend any money and had 6 quickdraws and couldn't climb routes with more than 6 bolts. I now have a trad rack with doubles of most sizes, some triples, 3 ropes, 2 pairs of shoes, and an actual climbing helmet instead of a bike helmet!

If you really enjoy climbing, you'll get there eventually. Until then, have at least 1 bail biner with you before you start up a climb... you don't want to leave an entire quickdraw behind!

Is climbing an easier route or walking around to the anchors and rapping the route not an option?


zchandran


May 21, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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UpToTheOzone wrote:
Is climbing an easier route or walking around to the anchors and rapping the route not an option?

I'll take those options if I have them. But on a lot of routes the anchors have a roof above them, or they're on a boulder. I realize the long term solution is to improve my climbing skills, but of course that's not going to happen overnight.


walkonyourhands


May 22, 2013, 2:22 AM
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Re: [zchandran] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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zchandran wrote:
UpToTheOzone wrote:
Is climbing an easier route or walking around to the anchors and rapping the route not an option?

I'll take those options if I have them. But on a lot of routes the anchors have a roof above them, or they're on a boulder. I realize the long term solution is to improve my climbing skills, but of course that's not going to happen overnight.

Don't forget that in sport climbing, the easiest and safest way is up. You can use every dirty trick imaginable, eg. takes at each bolt, french free (or do you still say freedom free?), hanging your chalkbag belt to a bolt and using it as a step, asking other parties to get your draws or for permit to use their rope, etc.

In sport climbing, cheap and dirty tricks are part of the tactics. And, as long as you continue upwards, you're keeping the belay system closed. More often than not, you'll eventually reach the top.


olderic


May 22, 2013, 6:23 AM
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zchandran wrote:
I've done the Texas rope trick. Same difference since you're out a sling rather than a biner.

You're not out a sling or anything else if you do it right - that's the whole point.


milesenoell


May 22, 2013, 7:47 AM
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Re: [walkonyourhands] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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walkonyourhands wrote:
zchandran wrote:
UpToTheOzone wrote:
Is climbing an easier route or walking around to the anchors and rapping the route not an option?

I'll take those options if I have them. But on a lot of routes the anchors have a roof above them, or they're on a boulder. I realize the long term solution is to improve my climbing skills, but of course that's not going to happen overnight.

Don't forget that in sport climbing, the easiest and safest way is up. You can use every dirty trick imaginable, eg. takes at each bolt, french free (or do you still say freedom free?), hanging your chalkbag belt to a bolt and using it as a step, asking other parties to get your draws or for permit to use their rope, etc.

In sport climbing, cheap and dirty tricks are part of the tactics. And, as long as you continue upwards, you're keeping the belay system closed. More often than not, you'll eventually reach the top.

That makes me think he may have the easiest time just buying a stick clip and batman-ing his way to the chains for a standard lower off.


camhead


May 22, 2013, 8:12 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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milesenoell wrote:

That makes me think he may have the easiest time just buying a stick clip and batman-ing his way to the chains for a standard lower off.

In sifting through all of the complex n00b advice in this thread, I finally gave up and just searched for the term "stick clip," since this by far is the most easy, practical, and educational option that the original poster would have. Right on for mentioning it!

Original Poster: Buy a stickclip! Then you can either stick your way to the top. Furthermore, with a bit of practice and much less danger than other options listed here, you can even learn to unclip draws above you with a stick clip.

Here's your homework:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rt_Climbers_875.html


csproul


May 22, 2013, 8:19 AM
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Re: [gene] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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gene wrote:
You don't need to aid-downclimb to avoid leaving bail biners, you just need to be willing to take falls.

If you were able to hold onto the climb to hang the draw, then you should also be able to hold onto the climb to remove the draw.

briefly pull onto the climb, call for a bit of slack from the belayer, unclip the draw from the bolt, and then let go and take the fall.

Repeat at the next draw until all but the last draw remains. Lower to the ground off the last (lowest)draw. Then climb back up, pull the lowest draw off, and downclimb to terra-firma.

Alternately, go to the hardware store and buy some inexpensive quicklinks (i.e. screwlinks) - like a link of metal chain, but with a screw-gate. They can be purchased for far less than a biner, and one is easily kept on a harness gearloop. Check out the "rated working load" of the screwlink when buying - if it's at all more than your bodyweight, then it's more than strong enough for lowering off, because the desgned-in factor of safety on items like that are very high.

Probably better to ask this in the Sport-Climbing forum, as it sounds like you're talking about a sport-climbing scenario. Guess you could do the same thing for trad-climbing - but you'd have to trust all your pieces (you should anyway), and might lose some gear by falling on it and making it difficult to remove.

-gene
Please ignore this useless advice. Leave the damn biner. Stick clip your way up or use it to retrieve a draw. Rap down from the top to get your gear. Climb another route and get to your draw(s).

Quicklinks suck, don't use them. You're just being as ass to the next person who has to go up the climb. Use a cheap biner. If you climb long enough you'll find as many as you lose. Like Marc said, if you're constantly having to bail, maybe you're doing it wrong.


(This post was edited by csproul on May 22, 2013, 8:20 AM)


walkonyourhands


May 22, 2013, 8:20 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Aid downclimbing to avoid bail biners? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
That makes me think he may have the easiest time just buying a stick clip and batman-ing his way to the chains for a standard lower off.

That's probably what it boils down to. Except maybe that it's quite a task to haul up the chickenstick while obeying at least basic safety rules. But there are short, collapsible ones or the good old rigid cheat draw which you can bring along. Or some sort of a tag line, of course.


(This post was edited by walkonyourhands on May 22, 2013, 8:22 AM)

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