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Ask Dr. Piton...about Zodiac clean?
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quart


Jan 30, 2002, 2:12 PM
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Ask Dr. Piton...about Zodiac clean?
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So, I'm new here and hope I'm not breaking any protocols by posting this here but...
...here it goes:
Has anyone here climbed the Zodiac recently? How many hammered placements? How much fixed gear? What should I bring in case fixed gear is gone? Anything special to bring? I want to do it without hammer and without a cheat stick, if possible. Also, any suggestions about strategy; where to bivy, how long, etc would be appreciated. Thanks.

[ This Message was edited by: quart on 2002-02-04 11:01 ]


orangeoverhang


Jan 30, 2002, 2:29 PM
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Ask Dr. Piton...about Zodiac clean? [In reply to]
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I did it clean in 1999 over three days. It felt about C2+. There were many fixed copperheads and a few pins along the way that would need to be replaced if they snapped off.


passthepitonspete


Jan 31, 2002, 1:16 PM
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Ask Dr. Piton...about Zodiac clean? [In reply to]
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Dear Quart,

First of all, welcome aboard, eh? You have come to the right place to find out about stuff. I extend the same welcome to Orangeoverhang.

If you plan on hanging around, Quart, please update your profile so we like know who you are, eh?

When it comes to Big Walls, Zodiac is without doubt the most documented aid wall in the world! You can find information all over the www! You can also find climbers swarming all over the route - I don't know how many times I've looked down and seen parties up each other's backsides for six or eight pitches in a row.

Sheesh.

Plan accordingly, avoid the peak times.

For information on clean aid ratings of Yosemite Walls, look no further than Chris Mac's Yosemite Big Walls: SuperTopos. In it you will see that all of the pitches go clean at up to C3, which is consistent with orangeoverhang's experience.

That being said, unless you are a clean aid expert, meaning you are prepared to run it out on cam hooks and the like next to perfect piton cracks, and you do not have a great selection CCH Hybrid Aliens, [which are the bitchin'est damn cams in the whole frickin' world, and do you think I can find [/font]ONE fricking link?!] then you should bring some pins. Short LA's and sawed-off 3/4" and 1" are The Shit for Zodiac. You always need to bring a few heads, too in case some fixed ones have pulled.

I believe that for the most part, so-called Clean Aid Ratings are BOGUS, and if you do not know why I believe this, then please click the link.


STRATEGY


Make sure you are familiar with the better way, which you can learn about here in the Aid Climbing Forum

Research the route, following some of the suggestions I make below

As mentioned, choose a less busy time

Fix to the top of 3

Plan on spending three nights on the wall if you are competent and fast, ideally at 7, 10 and 13

Plan on taking longer if you are new

Plan on staying home if you are a B.W.T.

Do not believe the B.W.T.'s who will tell you in the parking lot that Zodiac is "easy" - if this were so, the failure rate would not exceed 40%

Do NOT bring a cheat stick, because that is cheating - a thousand parties before you did it without cheating - learn how to Top-Step

Know that if you do cheat, that you can do so with a couple wired stoppers girth hitched together, or something duct-taped to the end of your hammer. This way you can say that you did not bring a cheat stick

Have the balls to announce to the whole world your intention to climb Zodiac - this will make you more committed, and in some way accountable

Ask Dr. Piton - he knows stuff



INTERNET SOURCES OF BETA


Chris Mac's SuperTopo
The Camp 4 Aid/Big Wall Page
Fish Products
MOJO - Northern California Climbing
Tuan's Yosemite Rock Page
Dr. Piton's Epic Clusterf*ck Ascent of Zodiac


I hope that helps! If you come upon any other good links, then please share them with us.

Cheers,

Dr. "1.14 litre" Piton

who does not cheat except in the legitimately prescribed manner...


quart


Feb 4, 2002, 11:00 AM
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Ask Dr. Piton...about Zodiac clean? [In reply to]
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Thanks to you both! Your info is very much appreciated. The links you listed were excellent, especially the route beta page on the Supertopo site. Dr. Piton have you done the route since your unfortunate epic? I'd be interested in hearing your recollections of the major difficulties. Thanks again.


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