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epic_ed


Jun 27, 2003, 12:08 AM
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Bailed off the Prow? Post your TR here and join the club!
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8/26 -- I changed the title of this post to encourage others to add their own account of attempts and failures on the Prow. Seems that, for a variety of reasons, there are a lot of us out there. So feel free to sharpen your story telling skills and recount your own Prow epic in this thread. Welcome to the club. :wink:

So here I am, just back from my Yosemite adventure. Guess I gotta face the piper and report on how things went. You can gather from my tone that it was less that successful, but it certainly wasnt a total loss. I did have a lot of fun; lead a lot of solo pitches; gained some very valuable experience; most importantly, I came back in one piece. Ill apologize in advance for a long trip report. Read on if you dare

Everything began as planned and I was on the road for a long night of driving after a full eight hours at work. Nothing a little caffeine and a few good stogies cant make more bearable. Twelve hours and a brief nap in Fresno later and I was driving through the Wawona Tunnel with Aaron Copelands Appalachian Spring blasting on the stereo. I pulled over at the parking area and dealt with the usual overwhelming emotions of arriving back home. I swear to you, when I punch the proverbial clock heading from this world to the next, if given a choice about passing through the Pearly Gates or taking one last drive through that tunnel Pass me the F-en keys. Im taking the drive. No hesitation.

By 8am I was hanging out in Camp 4 listening to beta from some guy who had just gotten off Zodiac. Seems the Hubers had been working it hard for a free attempt and he let me know that a few extra beaks or peckers would be useful to get past some of the cleaned heads. He also indicated Ammon had helped them fix ropes and had been working on a new variation that was a few pitches long near the top. I think way expando was his descriptor of the new route. I dunnoAmmon has a reputation for being a real candy-ass. Doubt anything hes working on is very difficult (*sniff, sniff* Smell that? Its sarcasm). I made the obligatory trip to the Mountain Shop looking for the usual hard-to-find stuff; Hybrid Aliens, some keylock ovals, and anything new I hadnt seen elsewhere. That new 11mmYates Bigwall rope was looking mighty sweethmmmm. By noon I was sacked out in the back of my 4Runner in the shady parking area near Curry Village for a quick nap. 2pm rolled around and my buddies had arrived from Phoenix. Not sure what rocket they took, but I didnt expect to see them until later that night. So we checked in for our one night stay in Curry, had a few refreshments, solidified a few plans, and crashed for the night.

My agenda was to get on the Prow as my warm up climb if the crowds werent too bad. After a reconnaissance hike up the next morning, Ken and Jeff decided that was the route they wanted to try, as well. No problem. There was only one guy on it at the time and he was cleaning P3 when we left. ClimbingCowboy was coming up from SoCal to join me and I didnt expect him until later that evening. We decided to head back to camp, pack up gear for three days, and hump a load up to the base. Maybe even fix a pitch. I was going to impress Cowboy by having all of our crap at the base by the time he arrived, so I maxed out my haul bag with the ledge, fly, bivy gear, climbing rack, two ropes, and all my water and food for three days. Yep, it was heavy. As we were lifting loads onto our backs, Cowboy arrived. Cool. But instead of taking the extra hour to repack and have him share the load, we decided to just have him grab his personal gear, food and water, and head up with us. It didnt take long to realize this was a bad idea, but I kept plugging away at the hike. At least I was faring better than Cowboy I noticed we lost him a few times. Turns out he puked twice on the way up. Well, he warned me he didnt like strenuous approaches. :P By the time we arrived at the 4th class section we were all a little baked. I decided there was no F-ing way I was going to try to scramble up with the beast on my back, so we broke up loads into several smaller shuttles across and up to the base. What an ass-kicker. No energy for fixing. We all headed back to Curry for Pizza and beer.

Since we were climbing in two teams of two it was decided that Ken and Jeff would wake up an hour earlier the next day and get a head start. Wed follow later and hoped to arrive to find them most of the way done with P1. Instead, we passed Ken heading back down as we were going up. Dude forgot his helmet, knee pads, and some other stuff. So much for their jump-start. Jeff was almost done racking by the time we arrived so they were still in better position to take the first lead. We had some time for R&R and took our time sorting gear for our lead. Before we knew it, it was 2:30 and Id just placed my first piece. I climbed Jo-Jo since it looked way bomber for gear and about as C1 as you can get. Thats true, but if you aid through that variation be sure to take at least three each in the 2 & 3 inch size. I didnt, and its perfect BD #2 forever, followed by perfect #3s forever. My head wasnt into it from the start and the long runouts right off the deck were a real eye-opener. It seemed I was looking at ground fall potential with every placement because I was back-cleaning so much. The reality of it is I could have cam-jugged the thing and it was all bomber. I arrived at the Jo-Jo anchors (about up P1) a mental mess, and Ken was still belaying Jeff up P2. It was clear we werent moving fast enough to get to P2 to set up our ledge, and the top of P1 was a bad option for a bivy. After a brief discussion, I set anchor right there, rappelled, and had Cowboy clean up to where I had lead. When he arrived, Ken had just started cleaning P2 so he decided to finish off the rest of P1. He blazed through that with no issues and we were heading back to camp as the other party was setting up their ledge at the top of P2 for the night.

Logistical issues plagued my entire two week visit to Yosemite, and the next morning was just the beginning. Our reservations in the current campsite were only for two nights and since we were now going to be a day later than anticipated, we had to break down camp (for both groups), and stow all our stuff in my vehicle before heading back up. Instead of a nice early start, we didnt arrive back at the Prow until 10am and right away we had problems. One new party had showed up and was waiting for us before they got started. Mighty cool of them, but it put them behind by several hours. Secondly, Ken and Jeff not only hadnt started climbing yet, but they were in the process of a full-out bail! What?! You gotta be kidding me? Why? was my first question. Well, I looked at Jeff and said what do you want to do? Jeff says, I dunnowhat do you want to do? And so the bail began. Both of them were pretty cooked from the hike in and the two pitches of hauling. It was more effort than they expected and more than they were willing to endure for the next three days. I dont know why it affected me, and fact is it shouldnt have, but when they bailed it put me in the mindset that it would be OK for me to bail, too. You knowif things got too hard, or if I didnt feel right, or ifname the excuse. The seed was planted.

I jugged up to the top of our fixed ropes at P1 and got ready to haul. Man, those pigs looked heavy. As usual, I had over packed both food and water. I brought more up with me both days we hiked back to the start of the route figuring I was using what I had already packed and would end up short. Turns out I had about 1.5 gallons of water per day and enough food for the week if I really had to stretch it. Right away a 1:1 haul was useless. Ascender strapped to my harness and feet braced against the wall in front of me it wouldnt budge. No problem! I had my hauling ratchet set up in no time and was ready to hoist away. And hoist I did. About 20 minutes of hoisting got the bags 20 feet in the air. Needless to say, I didnt have the ratchet completely dialed but it wasnt set up wrong. This is about the most worthless hauling system Ive ever used unless you have it absolutely wired. There was too much play in my set up to make it anywhere near efficient. So Cowboy jugged up to join me at our awkward stance and we both yarded on the line to get the bags up there while we still had some daylight. What a freaking fiasco. Its worth mentioning the compound pulley I was using was a Protraxion and I was hauling with a 10.6mm dynamic rope. We both noticed on more than one occasion that the Protraxtion failed to engage the rope after we had pulled through on the hauling end. At first I though it was just set up incorrectly, but it was oriented directly down in plumb with the haul bags. Nothing was blocking the cam from engaging the rope. It simply didnt happen.

I had planned to take the P2 lead, but at that point I just wasnt into it. I wasnt freaked by the exposure and the pitch looked about like I expected, but I just didnt even want to be there at that moment. Pizza and cigars around the camp fire with the rest of the boys sounded like a much better option. Cowboy valiantly took the lead and worked out some of the harder placements on the pitch before getting way to the belay. A section of micro-nuts was next and he didnt like the gear he had below him enough to trust it to keep him off the slab below. So he down-aided the pitch and we, too, bailed. Every conversation Ive had with him since has been full of regret about that decision. We were tired and worked from the laps up and down the F-ing approach we had made over the previous two days, but the worst of it was behind us. All we had to do at that point was freakin climb. We should have climbed. Committing to a grade V climb takes a lot more focus than I had anticipated. Brutuss rubberband analogy rings very true. I didnt have the mental toughness to fight the pull this time.

Cowboy and I headed back down the trail with our gear in tow. We were too tired and didnt have the carrying capacity to bring it all back down in one trip. So the next morning while Cowboy helped Pete get his gear to the base of El Cap, I made yet another trip up the approach to retrieve our gear. I really hate that fukking approach. We spent the rest of the afternoon lamenting our ball-less decision and made bold plans to come back and do it right. Theres no legitimate reason for us not to send that bastard. Well be back hopefully well get the chance to try it as a team again.

Geoff had to take off the next day, but fortunately for me I had another ten days to work with. If youve made it this far into the TR, you might as well come back later for the rest. There are lessons to be learned.

Epic Ed


epic_ed


Jun 27, 2003, 12:26 AM
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Re: How to join the "Bailed off the Prow" club - a [In reply to]
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Wow -- just like"that" it gets moved to the "Feedback and Trip Reports" forum. Am I the only one who thinks that "Feedback" and "Trip Reports" are two completely dissimilar topics and have no reason to be lumped together? Just a thought.

In addition, there's no one out the who will be looking for this TR anywhere else except the Aid Climbing forum. Please consider moving it back. And how about a really brief notice from the moderator who actually moved it? That would be cool.

Ed


onelung


Jun 27, 2003, 1:13 AM
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Every morning I kick myself in the ass for going down...when I should be going up!
May 14th I rapped down from the bottom of the grey circle.

I have cursed myself every day......I mean every day!

I was not happy with the "mojo" we had some bad luck and where I usually feel the earth being in tune....on this one it was not.
Soooo I when the group decided leant in favor of rappin........Damn me........damn my soul and all that I am.....damn My hopes for all that is right.

OOOOHHH gods of Elcap forgive my week soul!!!!!!!

This fall I will know you....
Elcap and The Cap'n will be one!

I believe and I am bill


mother_sheep


Jun 27, 2003, 12:39 PM
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Re: How to join the "Bailed off the Prow" club - a [In reply to]
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Looking forward to the rest of that Ed. Sounds like you had your share of mental and physical exercise if nothing else. That is something I'm learning about aid. Sometimes you put in a hell of a lot of effort and get no where. For some reason though, I'm still completely sucked in. You'll do it someday. Me too for that matter. :-)


climbingcowboy


Jun 27, 2003, 7:40 PM
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Re: How to join the "Bailed off the Prow" club - a [In reply to]
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Good job Ed I knew you would write one better then I would.


In reply to:
At least I was faring better than Cowboy – I noticed we lost him a few times. Turns out he puked twice on the way up. Well, he warned me he didn’t like strenuous approaches.

That Burger King I got by Basslake wasnt nearly as good the second time around. :lol:

In reply to:
Secondly, Ken and Jeff not only hadn’t started climbing yet, but they were in the process of a full-out bail! What?! You gotta be kidding me? “Why?” was my first question. “Well, I looked at Jeff and said ‘what do you want to do?’ Jeff says, ‘I dunno…what do you want to do?’” And so the bail began

Why oh why did I have to mock them DOH!!

In reply to:
. This is about the most worthless hauling system I’ve ever used unless you have it absolutely wired

I couldnt agree more. We were hauling on lower angle rock with alot of drag, so the ease of hauling with system as proclaimed should have made life much easier but it only waisted time, the ease of hauling Ed said was true but the distanst moved was minimal. I will say I havent setup this method before but read about it and after examing Ed's setup it was all correct.

In reply to:
It’s worth mentioning the compound pulley I was using was a Protraxion and I was hauling with a 10.6mm dynamic rope. We both noticed on more than one occasion that the Protraxtion failed to engage the rope after we had pulled through on the hauling end. At first I though it was just set up incorrectly, but it was oriented directly down in plumb with the haul bags. Nothing was blocking the cam from engaging the rope. It simply didn’t happen.

WTF was that about? I'm glad I was up there with ya, we ended up taking a piece of webbing from the anchor to my jumar to the rope below the protraxion so the bags would be locked off and we could get traxion to lock again.

In reply to:
Cowboy valiantly took the lead and worked out some of the harder placements on the pitch before getting ½ way to the belay. A section of micro-nuts was next and he didn’t like the gear he had below him enough to trust it to keep him off the slab below. So he down-aided the pitch and we, too, bailed. Every conversation I’ve had with him since has been full of regret about that decision.

I cant belive I didnt just go for it F*CK, I do have to say that sucked. The rubberband theory is sooo true

In reply to:
So the next morning while Cowboy helped Pete get his gear to the base of El Cap,

I asked Pete about his hauling sytem we tried and all I got in return was "you shouldnt have needed that there", and "all the info is on the website just look it up" Thanks-thanks alot.

In reply to:
We’ll be back – hopefully we’ll get the chance to try it as a team again

You know it bro I'd totaly climb with ya again.

I'll try to put a TR from the Sequias togther. Look foward to hearing what you were up to the rest of the week.

Cowboy


climbingcowboy


Jun 27, 2003, 9:16 PM
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Epic Ed how we could forget this:
After we bailed when we got to the base of the route we decided to just lower the pig down to the trail, of course the curse of bailing occured. The pig so nicley got stuck on a little tree we didnt see. So instead of hauling it back up I just rapped down with my gri-gri and kicked the pig off the tree then started running up the rock, it worked quite well, once it got stuck a little lower I just repeated. On the hike out I just have one thing to add Pigs roll down boulder fields really well.

Cowboy


epic_ed


Jun 27, 2003, 9:40 PM
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In reply to:
Epic Ed how we could forget this:
After we bailed when we got to the base of the route we decided to just lower the pig down to the trail, of course the curse of bailing occured. The pig so nicley got stuck on a little tree we didnt see. So instead of hauling it back up I just rapped down with my gri-gri and kicked the pig off the tree then started running up the rock, it worked quite well, once it got stuck a little lower I just repeated. On the hike out I just have one thing to add Pigs roll down boulder fields really well.

Cowboy

I was really hoping you wouldn't mention that part. I have no idea why we thought our pigs were just going to slide all the way to the base of the fourth class without catching on anything. Bad idea. One of many that day. On a positive note, it was a little therapeutic to play "kick the piggy" on the way down.

Ed


climbingcowboy


Jun 27, 2003, 11:01 PM
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Ah no worries I have no shame, if we're gonna let out the story we mind as well add the stupid choices we made when we were all frustrated. Everyone play kick ther piggy :lol:


valygrl


Jun 29, 2003, 9:27 AM
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Re: How to join the "Bailed off the Prow" club - a [In reply to]
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Great TR, you guys. I'm in the club too.

Me and my parnter (I'll call him J) were planning a 3 day ascent, with food & water for 3 1/2 or 4. Our plan was to do p1-3, then fix 4 & 5 on day one, so on day 2 we could jug up to the top of 5, climb up to 8 or 9, then to the top the next day, and probably descend the NGD on day 4. This was a vendetta climb for J, who got to p5 of the prow last year, and recruited me so he wouldn't have to deal with the pig-eating flake solo. It was my first time on The Prow.

Me & my boyfriend Dave got to the valley on Memorial Day, and I sorted gear at El Cap bridge, where I saw but didn't quite meet Karl Baba. Dave and I carried loads up to the base (thanks Dave!!!!), then back to the valley to meet J, who drove in from Santa Cruz that afternoon.

Next day started off well. J slept near the base, and I met him at the start of the climb at 7:15ish. We packed pigs and he started up the aid start at about 9:00. He moved along OK, but aid just seems to take forever.... I didn't get started on P2 until about 1:00 pm. Where does the time go? Anyway, it was my first time on cam hooks, and the linkup of p2 and p3 took (blush) 5 1/2 hours. I had to back clean a couple of times, and haul more gear and slings up once. Lesson leared: don't leave so much gear in, and take more up with you. I took a very short daisy fall at the roof at the beginning of p3 (cocked up the red alien), and that messed with my head, so I got really really slow. I have to admit that I even used someone else's fixed line to ascend the last 25-30 feet, as I as running out of gear, had long ago run out of water, and was having my ass kicked hard. Sigh.

The haul to Achorage sucked, my fault, I rigged the fixed line where I should have rigged the haul, got the whole thing all crossed up, and had to wait for J to finish cleaning before we could haul. Pigs weighed alot more than me, so I sat on the haul line while J pulled up. Gasp. Pant.
Anyway, that was the end of day one - we didn't want to climb p4 in the dark, J took a big fall doing that last year. We bivied in my portaledge (first time!) at Anchorage ledge, that was killer - what a view!

Next day, I awoke really f'ing early as always, and resorted the rack while J ... slept. Ate breakfast. Waited. Finally, he got up, ate, got ready... *then* had to dump. Blah blah... he was climbing at about 9. He really wanted to do 4 because he had a vendetta with it from the fall last year and wanted to finish it, and he wanted to do 5 because it was a reachy bolt ladder, and I'm like 8 inches shorter than him, so he thought that would be better. Ok, fine, the whole climb was his idea, so I'll go with the flow. I figured I would try the PTPP ledge-flagging trick, so I got to belay out of the ledge, which was absolutely great. We hauled the ledge flagged, and that worked fine, although it was a bit awkward getting it onto the haul line. Guess I just need to practice that too....

Anyway, p4 took a rather long time, and p5 was fast, but by the time he got to the top it was 4pm. huh? How did that happen? So there we were, having done 1 day's plan in 2 days. We had water for 3 1/2, but at that rate we were going to finish in like 6. And so, we bailed. The raps were reasonably smooth, J took the big pig and I took the sub bag and the ledge. We used the load release knot to anchor the big pig, and he would get on rap, then I would lower the pig onto him. Worked like a charm. I didn't feel like trying to explain the PTPP 'ride the pig' method, and have never used it anyway, but he seemed to do ok with the standard pig-clipped-to-rap-loop deal.

The worst part of the whole thing was carrying the heavy bags down from the climb - we dumped the water of course, but hadn't eaten that much of the food, and we just had a lot of stuff. J was a major beast of burden, took most of the load, but my bag had 2 ropes and half the rack, and some other junk, and it was just about the most heinous thing I had ever carried. And of course, the skeeters were out (it was just dusk) and my headlamp was idiotically buried in the bag. I took a wrong turn at the very end of the trail, and had to walk through the Awahnee lobby with the pig and carrying the ledge, all grubby from a couple of days on the wall. That was funny.

Oh yeah, in addition to flagging the ledge, I also used Pete's docking tether with load release knot and cleaning with a grigri and a jug tips, both of which worked like a charm. Didn't bother with the adjustable fifi. My Yates adjustable daisy started to slip - after probably 25 pitches of aid total, which is just too short a lifespan. Used my new hammer to clean - that was cool. My "worth as a wall climber" is plus one nut (thanks hammer), but minus one walkie-talkie, which departed from it's holster while J was bouce testing. Need to attach those better next time.

So... now I have to go get back on The Prow, and lead p3 cleanly and summit. I think the worst part will be NDG.

It was great.

Ed, let's hear the rest of the story!

Anna


climbingcowboy


Jun 29, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Great TR Valygrl You got higher then I did :lol: :lol:


In reply to:
The worst part of the whole thing was carrying the heavy bags down from the climb - we dumped the water of course, but hadn't eaten that much of the food, and we just had a lot of stuff. J was a major beast of burden, took most of the load, but my bag had 2 ropes and half the rack, and some other junk, and it was just about the most heinous thing I had ever carried. And of course, the skeeters were out (it was just dusk) and my headlamp was idiotically buried in the bag

that sounds so familar only instead of J add Ed. Ed is my shleeping idol, The guy can carry some serious weight.


passthepitonspete


Jun 29, 2003, 11:52 PM
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Post-mortem debriefing [In reply to]
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I am Dr. Piton,

and I bring hope to those who bail!




Fear not - your experiences are not uncommon. In fact, they are to be expected. While I went "two fer two" on my first two Grade V's, I wasn't quite so fortunate on the Grade VI's. It took a lot of pain and suffering to bail from the West Face of El Cap, and even more pain and suffering to bail from the NW Face of Half Dome, before I finally succeeded on The Nose.

If I can offer any condolences, and any words of advice,

"Keep on keepin' on - just don't give up!"

Try to learn from your mistakes. This is the sort of debriefing we should have done in person, but it might be easier now when everything's written down, and we can do the proper debriefing.

And nice report, guys and lady. Spelling does count.



I think one of the best lessons you all appear to have learned, and will hopefully put into practice next time, is to steel your resolve.

You don't succeed at this game by giving up - you succeed by being too stubborn [and too stupid!] to quit.

There are really three ways to win against a big wall - sheer talent, experience, or attrition. Since none of us is a superstar on the North Face team, we have to do it the hard way. And before you have the experience, attrition is a great way to win. Remember, my first solo of El Cap took me sixteen days! My most recent solo was a much quicker seven days, and that was by choice - never climbing before noon, or after dark. So if a wanker like me can make it, well, you know the rest......

In reply to:
"I dont know why it affected me, and fact is it shouldnt have, but when they bailed it put me in the mindset that it would be OK for me to bail, too. You knowif things got too hard, or if I didnt feel right, or ifname the excuse. The seed was planted."

Please don't misunderstand me - my critique is not meant to be critical, but rather helpful, in order to help you succeed next time.

Wanting to bail is not something that only crosses your mind - it crosses everyone's minds. The difference between those who bail and those who stick it out may be nothing more than a mindset - a determination to keep on keepin' on in spite of it appearing bad.

Sometimes you really do need to "shut up and climb."

In reply to:
"So there we were, having done 1 day's plan in 2 days. We had water for 3 1/2, but at that rate we were going to finish in like 6. And so, we bailed."

I can't help but think you guys should have stuck it out! You had the supplies to "win by attrition," and you were at the top of 5. Hell, it probably wasn't much more work to finish via the summit than to bail! Two or three pitches higher, things might have appeared better - the top would have been closer than the bottom.

In reply to:
"Every morning I kick myself in the ass for going down...when I should be going up! May 14th I rapped down from the bottom of the grey circle. I have cursed myself every day......I mean every day!"


Good! That's the attitude! It's healthy to beat yourself up, at least a bit. No point in killin' yerself or nothin', but if you spend a bit of time kickin' yer own ass, it might make you a bit more stubborn next time.

Use the time off to harden your determination for next time. Think about such things, so that when you're there next time, you're really determined.

In reply to:
"Ah no worries I have no shame, if we're gonna let out the story we mind as well add the stupid choices we made when we were all frustrated."

Nope - no shame. It takes bravery to admit your defeats publicly!

[Hey, at least none of you dropped your freakin' pig off the wall, eh? Sheesh.]

Besides, being brave has nothing to do with not being afraid - instead, it has everything to do with facing down your fears.



And Ed - like, buy some more gear so you don't have to backclean, eh? Hell yeah, it's scary with not enough pro between you and the ground, C1 or not.

In reply to:
"I asked Pete about his [2] hauling system we tried and all I got in return was "you shouldn't have needed that there," and "all the info is on the website just look it up" Thanks-thanks alot."

Geeeeeeeez, make me sound like an ogre or what, eh?

SORRY!

OK, lemme try to address the problem. I can see at least four things you guys did wrong:

    [*:4f5a22d19c]You really needed to practise using the 2:1. I wasn't kidding when I said you should go to your home crag and practise hauling rocks! The 2:1 is not simple, nor is it intuitive. If you really practise hard, you can get it to work. But trying to learn how to use it on your first attempt at a big wall is NOT the place to learn! [Note: If the thing didn't work, then neither would I use it, nor would I publish it]

    [*:4f5a22d19c]Did you guys try 1:1 space hauling, whereby you both got onto the end of the haul line, and used your combined weights to haul 1:1? That should have worked? Have a look at my Dr. Piton 1:1 Hauling Tips. Does any obvious mistake come to mind? My bet is you were making one or two fundamental errors that buggered you. 1:1 hauling is easier said than done, but my guess is you didn't have your body positioned correctly, or the hauling station set up right. Is it possible your haul line was running across an edge? Did you try getting yourself over the edge and hauling from beneath the edge? Were you lifting up on the haul line as you hauled? Lifting and pulling it away from the wall? Please don't misunderstand me - I am not trying to be patronizing - but one pig with only a few days' worth of food and water should have been haulable via 1:1. Again, practise, practise, practise!

    [*:4f5a22d19c]The 2:1 hauling ratchet does not work with a dynamic rope! What the heck were you thinking?! Sheesh. [OK, it barely works, if you're really really experienced, but it sure as hell loses most of its efficiency]

    [*:4f5a22d19c]The Pro-Traxion is a known piece of crrrrrrap. Petzl originally published its instructions wrong! Perhaps this is not the best compound pulley to use in the Hauling Ratchet. I repeat - shell out the extra twenty bucks and buy a Kong Block-Roll [or is it Roll-Block?!] The crux is finding one, but believe me, they're there to be found!


In reply to:
"I figured I would try the PTPP ledge-flagging trick, so I got to belay out of the ledge, which was absolutely great. We hauled the ledge flagged, and that worked fine, although it was a bit awkward getting it onto the haul line. Guess I just need to practice that too.... "

No doubt, eh? Beats the heck out of hanging in your harness. Getting your ledge clipped onto the haul line just takes a bit of muscle, lassie, especially when the tradewinds are blowing. Eat yer Wheaties......

In reply to:
"I didn't feel like trying to explain the PTPP 'ride the pig' method, and have never used it anyway, but he seemed to do ok with the standard pig-clipped-to-rap-loop deal."

Is he singin' soprano in the boys' choir? He would be, if the pig were heavier. But you can get away with the Traditional Method with lighter loads, or if your gonads happen to be positioned internally.

But riddle me this? Why would you want to?

Again, after you practise hauling your rock-filled pig, practise rapping with that porker, too. Your bollocks will thank you. Cuz once you learn the Better Way to rap with your pig, you will never - and I mean NEVER - go back!

In reply to:
"I took a wrong turn at the very end of the trail, and had to walk through the Awahnee lobby with the pig and carrying the ledge, all grubby from a couple of days on the wall. That was funny."

You cutie, you! Damn, wish we had a picture of that.....

In reply to:
"Oh yeah, in addition to flagging the ledge, I also used Pete's docking tether with load release knot and cleaning with a grigri and a jug tips, both of which worked like a charm. Didn't bother with the adjustable fifi. My Yates adjustable daisy started to slip - after probably 25 pitches of aid total, which is just too short a lifespan.

Mwah-ah-ah. That's what I like to hear!

In the past, a lot of people have asked me about the adjustable fifi - why I use the thing, and why I just can't use my adjustable daisies. The answer to this only became obvious to me when I climbed The Prow - you don't need the thing when it's not steep. But get on some steeply overhanging stuff, especially hard aid where you really need to fine tune your topstepping, and you'll find your adjustable fifi extremely useful. But I barely used the thing, either, when I climbed The Prow.

And I've written of this before - don't buy adjustable daisies with the Yates-style buckle - they slip!

Buy the Metolius adjustable daisies instead - they use a D-ring assembly that will not slip over time. Sure, they're a little harder to operate than the Yates-style, especially to release under tension and when aiding traverses, but they'll last virtually forever.

[HINT] Here is your Dr. Piton Big Wall Tip of the Day:

On the free end of the Metolius adjustable daisy, there is either a ring or a flat sliding clip that keeps the free end clipped to the stationary end. Cut that little bugger off - it just makes the thing harder to operate.



Again I repeat, "good effort, all!" Thanks especially for sharing your trials. This way we all learn what not to do! {grin} Just keep on keepin' on - don't give up. The rock ain't goin' nowhere. Just think how much better better prepared you'll be next time.

Now drink two beers, and call your Wall Doctor in the morning.






Back in the days when I was married [and couldn't go climbing whenever I wanted to!] I had to look for other "more appropriate" outlets for my passions, things I could do without leaving home for weeks at a time. [Funny how some women don't like that, eh?] Anyway, one of these outlets was singing with a hundred-and-fifteen-voice classical ensemble called the Bach-Elgar Choir.

Every Christmas we would sing Handel's Messiah for three thousand people at Hamilton Place, the premier concert venue in my home town of Hamilton, Ontario.

One Christmastime past as I was walking to the gig [replete in my tuxedo] a couple of ladies stopped me on the street corner and asked,

"Can you please tell us how we get to Hamilton Place?"

My answer to them was the same as my answer would be to aspiring wall climbers who might ask me how to reach the summit of a big wall:

"Practise! Practise! Practise!"


valygrl


Jun 30, 2003, 6:47 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, Pete. I was wondering about the decision to bail - I'm not sure if I made this clear, we had water for 3 1/2 or 4 days total, and had already spent 2 days making 1 day's worth of progress, so I figured we were on day 2 of 5 or 6, with 2 days worth of water left and 3 or 4 days of climbing to go. And it was hot. So, the decision was continue on half rations of water or bail. We bailed. The planned water amount was 1 1/2 liters a day. Unfortunately, we poured it all out at the base without looking at how much was left, so I don't know if we were drinking that amount, or more or less! Funny how you can drink water every day of your life, and not actually know how much you use.

OH yeah, the other thing I learned was the more you hurry the slower it is. Like, at the belay where I set the haul up on the wrong point, I set it up, saw I set it up wrong when I was done setting it up, and then just was too impatient to fix it. I should have just fixed it right away. Or better yet, spent a few more minutes thinking at the belay before doing the set up to begin with.

Anyway, feedback appreciated - from anyone else, too, of course!

Anna


epic_ed


Jun 30, 2003, 10:53 AM
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Re: How to join the "Bailed off the Prow" club - a [In reply to]
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In reply to:

And Ed - like, buy some more gear so you don't have to backclean, eh? Hell yeah, it's scary with not enough pro between you and the ground, C1 or not.

HA! Now that's funny. Yeah, I need more gear like I need a hole in my wallet. Heck, you saw my jumbled mess of a rack in the back of my ride -- we could barely fit anything else in! Too much gear is probably my problem. I never seem to grab the right stuff and end up leaving behind those one or two items that really would have come in handy. And then I find I've managed to carry 40-50 lbs of crap I never needed. Fact is, Jo-Jo requries several #2's and #3's and I had left my triples back at camp in that size. Who knew? I can't remember the last time I needed three #3's on an aid lead. :roll:

In reply to:
OK, lemme try to address the problem. I can see at least four things you guys did wrong:

  • You really needed to practise using the 2:1. I wasn't kidding when I said you should go to your home crag and practise hauling rocks! The 2:1 is not simple, nor is it intuitive. If you really practise hard, you can get it to work. But trying to learn how to use it on your first attempt at a big wall is NOT the place to learn! [Note: If the thing didn't work, then neither would I use it, nor would I publish it]

Yeah, I thought I had it dialed. I used it on Zion and a couple of other practice situations, and it worked reasonably well because I didn't haul it very far. I should have tried it a few more times and with a heavier load and a full pitch to see how efficient it was (or wasn't). In fairness, it would work well with ALL of the items in the hauling-ratchet post set up as designed. But, damn, that's a lot of stuff and more complicated than it's worth, in my opinion. I guess what me & Jeff were looking for when we discussed this with you was a recommendation for a simpler 2:1 hauling system. Something in between the brute force pig-wrestling of a 1:1, and the eccentric, complicated nuances of the effortless hauling ratchet. Where as you don't want to work "that hard" at hauling, I'd rather not work "that hard" at jacking around with a hauling system.

I'll post more details about it later, but I did work out a very nice 3:1 (effectively a 4:1) with the same gear I was lugging around for the hauling ratchet. Basically, I just took the "ratchet" part out of it and just used the assembly directly on the hauling rope. MUCH more efficient and not too bad to set up. Effortless hauling.

In reply to:
  • Did you guys try 1:1 space hauling, whereby you both got onto the end of the haul line, and used your combined weights to haul 1:1? That should have worked? Have a look at my Dr. Piton 1:1 Hauling Tips. Does any obvious mistake come to mind? My bet is you were making one or two fundamental errors that buggered you. 1:1 hauling is easier said than done, but my guess is you didn't have your body positioned correctly, or the hauling station set up right. Is it possible your haul line was running across an edge? Did you try getting yourself over the edge and hauling from beneath the edge? Were you lifting up on the haul line as you hauled? Lifting and pulling it away from the wall? Please don't misunderstand me - I am not trying to be patronizing - but one pig with only a few days' worth of food and water should have been haulable via 1:1. Again, practise, practise, practise!

  • Well, we eventually got it moving by having Geoff pull up on one side (via attached ascender) and me working to pull down on the other. The station was set up fine; no drag on the rope from how it was positioned. Keep in mind, we were only on a grade V, but we were packed like we were on a grade VI! Two peoples water and food (mine was 1.5 GALLONS Anna, you were going with 1.5 liters? Holy crap, Im thirsty thinking about it) for four days. Im certain the pigs were over 200 lbs. Which is way too much. Plus we were frustrated by the time Geoff arrived and we didnt have a contingency worked out in advance if the hauling ratchet didnt do the trick. Poor planning.

    In reply to:
  • The 2:1 hauling ratchet does not work with a dynamic rope! What the heck were you thinking?! Sheesh. [OK, it barely works, if you're really really experienced, but it sure as hell loses most of its efficiency]

  • A dynamic was all we had to work with. I have since bought a 10mm static (paid out the a$$ for one at the Mountain shop before hopping on Zodiac). It certainly didnt help matters.

    In reply to:
  • The Pro-Traxion is a known piece of crrrrrrap. Petzl originally published its instructions wrong! Perhaps this is not the best compound pulley to use in the Hauling Ratchet. I repeat - shell out the extra twenty bucks and buy a Kong Block-Roll [or is it Roll-Block?!] The crux is finding one, but believe me, they're there to be found!

  • I will be purchasing one before the next wall. Anyone want to buy a slightly used Protraxion?

    In reply to:
    "Oh yeah, in addition to flagging the ledge, I also used Pete's docking tether with load release knot and cleaning with a grigri and a jug tips, both of which worked like a charm. Didn't bother with the adjustable fifi. My Yates adjustable daisy started to slip - after probably 25 pitches of aid total, which is just too short a lifespan.

    I also used the docking tether and really liked it. But I definitely back mine up with a knot to the power point. Maybe that will change as my faith in the system increases.

    In reply to:
    In the past, a lot of people have asked me about the adjustable fifi - why I use the thing, and why I just can't use my adjustable daisies. The answer to this only became obvious to me when I climbed The Prow - you don't need the thing when it's not steep. But get on some steeply overhanging stuff, especially hard aid where you really need to fine tune your topstepping, and you'll find your adjustable fifi extremely useful. But I barely used the thing, either, when I climbed The Prow.

    Ive used the adjustable fifi on steep stuff, too, and still hate it. To each his own

    In reply to:
    And I've written of this before - don't buy adjustable daisies with the Yates-style buckle - they slip!

    Buy the Metolius adjustable daisies instead - they use a D-ring assembly that will not slip over time. Sure, they're a little harder to operate than the Yates-style, especially to release under tension and when aiding traverses, but they'll last virtually forever.

    [HINT] Here is your Dr. Piton Big Wall Tip of the Day:

    On the free end of the Metolius adjustable daisy, there is either a ring or a flat sliding clip that keeps the free end clipped to the stationary end. Cut that little bugger off - it just makes the thing harder to operate.

    I have the Metolius adjustables and like them reasonably well. They have performed admirably and I have put them through quite a lot. But my dilemma is the strength rating on them -- 300 lbs. On the plus side, they now offer to replace the webbing for only $5 a pop:

    http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/easydaisies.htm

    I may opt for stronger daisies that wear out quicker, ie. Fish or Yates.

    Thanks for the input, Pete. Feedback and debriefing are critical in the learning process. Appreciate your time.

    Nice job, Anna and thanks for the TR! Well get em next time. ;-)

    Epic Ed


    passthepitonspete


    Jun 30, 2003, 11:42 AM
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    In reply to:
    "Thanks for the feedback, Pete."

    Like, you're welcome, eh? I am a Wall Doctor, so it's like, my job, eh?

    In reply to:
    " The planned water amount was 1 1/2 liters a day."

    Insufficient! What were you thinking?!

    In reply to:
    "mine was 1.5 GALLONS"

    WAY too much! What were you thinking?!



    Here is your Dr. Piton Rule of Thumb for water, since you might not know how much you were using:

    4 litres per person per day for the first two days of a Grade VI

    3 litres per person per day for the following days of a Grade VI [you're higher, so it's cooler and it's windier, plus your loads are lighter]

    4 and 3 for the first two days of a Grade V

    Add one litre per day for really hot weather [Anna?], and subtract one litre per day for really cool weather [not]




    In reply to:
    "Unfortunately, we poured it all out at the base without looking at how much was left..."

    Look, let me make myself clear here:

    DON'T EVER DO THIS!!!

    There is NO need to EVER pour out water either ON a wall, or at its base.

    LEAVE your water for someone else!!! Believe me, it will get used! If you're on the wall, leave it on a ledge, or leave it tied into a belay. Sooner or later, your kindness will be appreciated more than you can ever guess!

    [Imagine travelling through a desert, and running out of water after three days, only to suddenly discover an oasis.....]

    When I soloed Lost In America, I took about 35 litres, of which I used about 25 in eight days. I took enough to stick it out if the weather turned bad and I had to sit out a storm [drinking], and I took enough in case it got really hot, like it did for me on Sea of Dreams in 2001. This included drinking one litre of coffee each morning. Without the coffee, I could have got by on less. I don't seem to need that much water, but I sure as hell bring it!

    Incidentally, every drop of water I took with me up El Cap was conveniently and kindly left behind for me by bailing climbers. A few litres at the Trip, a few litres at ZM, a few more at Zodiac.

    End of lecture.

    Sheesh.



    In reply to:
    "Fact is, Jo-Jo requries several #2's and #3's and I had left my triples back at camp in that size. Who knew? I can't remember the last time I needed three #3's on an aid lead."

    Doo-HUDE! When you're climbing Yosemite trade routes, the McTopo tells you everything you need! Read the damn book. Sheesh.



    In reply to:
    "But, damn, that's a lot of stuff [to build and use a 2:1 Hauling Ratchet] and more complicated than it's worth, in my opinion."

    Your opinion will change once you learn how to make it work through practice, and you are on a climb where you are bringing enough stuff that you actually have to use it.

    In reply to:
    "Where as you don't want to work "that hard" at hauling, I'd rather not work "that hard" at jacking around with a hauling system."

    Sorry, dude - there's no way around that. I never said that operating the 2:1 was easy. Quite the contrary - it is a long learning curve.

    Jack around with the thing at your home crag, learn how to operate it, and I guaran-frickin'-tee that you will have that little bugger singing for you once you get on the big wall.

    However, if you choose to go up without learning how to make it work for you, you can create your own living nightmare.

    In reply to:
    "[re. the 3:1 hauling system] MUCH more efficient and not too bad to set up. Effortless hauling."

    Yes, the Wank Factor is lower for a 3:1. You can make it work OK with little practice.

    HOWEVER the 3:1 is emphatically OVERKILL. You are wasting time and energy by using it. You just don't need it. I am as lazy as they come, but even I draw the line at doing 50% more unnecessary hauling. 3:1 hauls take a LONG frickin' time, mate.

    However, when faced with the inability to move your load for any other reason, it is an acceptable solution to the problem. And being a problem solver is FUNDAMENTAL when you are on a big wall.

    So good work to make it work, even if it wasn't the Better Way.



    Note: One day you will get the 2:1 hauling system dialled, and then you'll think differently........




    In reply to:
    "Ive used the adjustable fifi on steep stuff, too, and still hate it. To each his own "

    Indeed. Dr. Piton does not purport to teach the only way or the best way.

    The Better Way is what works best for you.

    [I still say you'll love your adjustable fifi on A3 or A4, though..... I sure do.]

    In reply to:
    "But my dilemma is the strength rating on [Metolius adjustable daisies] -- 300 lbs."

    You know, I use these things all the time as my sole point of attachment. I take daisy chain falls onto the things. I have no beef with the rating.

    In reply to:
    "Thanks for the input, Pete. Feedback and debriefing are critical in the learning process. Appreciate your time."

    Yup! It's all part of the game. Define your problems, look at alternate solutions, and implement. It's part of the game. Keep thinking, keep learning.

    And whatever you do,

    "keep on keepin' on."



    I am Dr. Piton,

    and I reach the summit most of the time [because I am just too stupid to give up...]


    valygrl


    Jun 30, 2003, 8:02 PM
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    In reply to:
    In reply to:
    " The planned water amount was 1 1/2 liters a day."
    Insufficient! What were you thinking?!

    Duh, I misremembered it. It was 3 liters a day. Thanks for the rule of thumb, I've been looking for one of those.

    RE: pouring out the water, I thought about that, and decided that it was litter, and i didn't want to leave it. Also wanted to keep my bottles. Tough call, I could see it going either way.

    :)
    Anna


    climbingcowboy


    Jul 3, 2003, 10:20 PM
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    thanks for the input Pete. goodluck valygrl on the next one. i've got some things to work on now, i'm actually kinda glad this happened now i know what its like, how much work it actually is, and what things i need to dial in for next time. i'm sure theres alot more questions to come.


    mewalrus


    Jul 6, 2003, 6:09 PM
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    How about a "Bailed off the South Face of Washington Column Club"
    And after only 2 pitches no less... :oops: :oops: :oops:


    alpinestylist


    Jul 6, 2003, 8:29 PM
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    bailed off the prow...yep 96

    Pitch above first ledge, couldn't deploy the ledge, girlfriend epic retreat with ledge half erected.


    epic_ed


    Jul 7, 2003, 8:19 AM
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    I'd hate doing anything half erect with my girlfriend. :shock:


    alpinestylist


    Jul 10, 2003, 9:37 PM
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    LOL

    word...


    atg200


    Jul 11, 2003, 8:48 AM
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    i'm going to call bs on the adjustable daisy slipping after 25 pitches - you have to be using it wrong. they do slip eventually, but my current set of pika adjustables have been going strong for a few years and maybe 100 pitches. most likely you are grabbing the trigger when pulling up, or twisting the daisy so the trigger is facing the rock - both of which will make it slip even if it is brand new. i think the trigger driven daisys make adjustable fifi's less necessary since they are easier to fine tune then the metolius. i've climbed steep hard A3, and have still yet to even think an adjustable fifi would be useful.

    i agree with pete that a 1:1 haul on a grade V should be no problem, and you probably just need to be out there space hauling. i've hauled grade V loads on a protraxion over slabs no problem, and i'm no super dialed wall climber. you are dooming yourself using a dynamic rope though, so good thing you got a static. i've yet to need the 2:1, though i'll probably bring it along when doing walls with my 90 pound girlfriend so she can budge the bag.

    good luck next time.


    justsendingits


    Aug 16, 2003, 2:11 AM
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    You should have no problem bailing off the prow now.I put lap links on the first seven pitches,and cut off all the tat.


    Enjoy


    R


    timpanogos


    Aug 24, 2003, 10:00 AM
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    Sorry for the late reply, and bringing this to the top, Took Pete's advice and was reading this before heading out next weekend.

    For what it is worth. I bought the exact gear, and carefully setup a 2:1 ratchet as I geared up for aid and PTPP system of aiding. I did a solo attempt at Prodigal and setup my 2:1 ratchet on the first pitch of Prodigal. The pig come right on up just dandy - I had no problems and would not hesitate setting using it again - other than - after doing the prow with Pete, I learned how to really do a 1:1 haul (with grigri, hanging upside down with two full sized, heavy pigs and jumar to pull yourself back up and de-slack the grigri all in one motion).

    Anyway, just wanted to note that the 2:1 worked great for me first time out?

    Chad


    epic_ed


    Aug 26, 2003, 11:03 AM
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    This route seems to have some kind of karma. I keep hearing more and more reports from people who go up to do this climb and for a variety of reasons end up bailing. It could be that it's a good measuring stick to see if a climber is ready for something more challenging on the Captain, and the party finds out they aren't yet up to the task. Perhaps people underestimate the commitment necessary to get up this route and end up short on food or water or cajones. Maybe it's just too close to Curry Village and pizza and beer are more enticing than beenies and weenies. Or a combination of other factors. But it seems this route in particular has a very high bail rate. Feel free to check in with your stories here. And hopefully we can start another TR thread soon about those who have gone back for revenge and evened the score.

    Epic Ed


    dsafanda


    Aug 26, 2003, 11:06 AM
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    You b#%*h!

    :)

    You think this going to make me come clean?

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