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Dr. Piton Pontificates ... on the 2002 Metolius Catalogue
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passthepitonspete


Apr 22, 2002, 6:52 PM
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Dr. Piton Pontificates ... on the 2002 Metolius Catalogue
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I love a deal.

Not only do I love a deal, but I even expect one! And after having spent the last seventeen years of my life in sales, I can almost always get a deal, too. Almost everything is negotiable in sales - you just have to know how to ask.

On the way home from Myrtle Beach on Saturday, I stopped in at the climbing shop in Fayetteville, West Virginia, next to the New River Gorge climbing area. I spied a dusty Metolius El Cap haulbag sitting in the back, unloved and neglected by the [mostly] free climbers who frequent the area. I cut a deal with buddy in the store, and got the thing for $120 U.S. It's an older model - beige, not orange - but the new one retails for like $240 U.S.

Not bad, eh?

Anyway, at the same time I also picked up the new 2002 Metolius catalogue. It's pretty good, though nowhere near as good as the Petzl catalogue, the latter being REQUIRED READING for all aid climbers.

I have to apologize a bit here, dear readers - there are nowhere near the number of photos available on the Metolius website as I had hoped. I had wanted to link them all here so you could see exactly what I mean, but unfortunately they don't exist in cyberspace at the moment. You will have to look at the photos the Old Fashioned Way, which is by ordering a catalogue and having it mailed to you.

The first thing that struck me was the quality of photography - be they photos of big walls or of hotties, they sure captured my attention! As I have mentioned previously, I'm very interested in checking out their new Bomb Shelter Portaledges with the very bitchin' spreader bar and cool point of attachment.

But I found a few silly things, too. Like the photo of Sean Jones on page 50, allegedly "new routing," but with the big honkin' bolt two body lengths above him. Sheesh. Or the photo on page 72 where buddy is said to be using a Fish Hook, though the hook clearly is not one of Russ Walling's. It looks to be one of Metolius' hooks.

Speaking of which, I'm not particularly impressed with the new line of Metolius hooks. They don't have that nice wide base like a Chouinard Grappling Hook does. In the catalogue, the Metolius hooks come pre-slung, and I believe the slings to be too long. You will notice the same problem on the sling tied to the Grappling Hook pictured in the link immediately above.

Keep your hook slings short - you need all the height you can get!

I enjoyed reading Sean Easton's Big Wall Knowledge blurb on page 79. I had the opportunity to climb The Reticent Wall with Sean and let me tell you, he is one bitchin' bad-ass climber! He led the New Wave A4 Death Pitch above Wino Tower, which would certainly be Real A5 were it not for a single rivet partway up.

Sean describes using the Docking Tether to tie a Load Release Knot, which is a trick I showed him on Reticent. But there appears to be a mistake where he writes,

Quote:
"Set up a three-to-one [haul] and have your partner counterweight the bags if you're as scrawny as I am."


Uh, like you can't counterweight haul on a 3:1 - but you can do it quite easily on a 2:1 Hauling Ratchet, like we did when we hauled up and across the horrid edge to Lay Lady Ledge where Reticent begins.

Sean also points out the importance of lining your pig with an ensolite pad - failure to do so can destroy your pig in a single haul! But his suggestion that this pad be the same one you sleep on is not a great idea - if you have ever tried to extract your haul bag liner to sleep on it, you will know exactly what I mean! Worse still would be trying to replace the pig's liner later - this is virtually impossible in my experience. Bringing a separate sleeping pad is definitely the better way!

Finally, when it comes to losing height in other ways besides by slinging your hooks too long, the little hottie [Brittany] showing you how to use the adjustable daisies, and whom you can see here in this aider and daisy demonstration video, is clipped into her piece of gear WAY too low! She has clipped into bottom of the carabiner attached to the cam, instead of directly into the cam itself! You should always clip in as high as possible to maximize your reach - even clipping into the sling on the cam is too low and will not give you as much height as you really want to get.

Amazingly, Brittany does not even have a fifi hook, adjustable or otherwise! She actually clips into the piece directly with a carabiner! Oh my gosh, is that ever hard! Maybe you can get away with it on less-than-vertical ground like she is on, but believe me, you sure as heck want to use a fifi when you are aid climbing, even if you have adjustable daisies!


passthepitonspete


Apr 22, 2002, 6:56 PM
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Dr. Piton Pontificates ... on the 2002 Metolius Catalogue [In reply to]
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Fortunately, there IS a better way, and you will be happy to learn that here in the Aid Climbing Forum I have enlisted the assistance of our very own HOTTIE, the shagadelic ClimbChick, who is Dr. Piton's "answer" to Vanna White.

[Note: Those of you familiar with Chongo's book will see that I continue to use what I feel to be a more interesting model than yours truly to better demonstrate the various wall climbing systems.]

Here you can see Yvette holding a Kong-Bonatti adjustable fifi hook rigged on slippery 6mm cord as she uses a Grigri to clean this staggeringly difficult aid pitch. Note the use of the designated foot loop on the ascender, and the 2:1 mechanical advantage she uses to create the body hoist, thus sparing herself unnecessary effort. She "gets it," eh?

Step aside Vanna.

When it comes to using an adjustable fifi hook on lead, you can click here to see Yvette demonstrating the Better Way. [See, I told you she was a hottie....]

First of all, Yvette is clipped in high, directly into the highest possible point of attachment of the yellow Alien, using the purple Petzl Spirit lead carabiner, chosen because of its keylock configuration which has no "tooth" to catch in stuff. This lead carabiner is rigged as I described here in Moving Systems - Stuff You Need and How To Rig It.

Directly beside the lead carabiner, and also hooked into the yellow Alien, is her adjustable fifi hook which she has cinched up tight to gain maximum height.

Since the fifi is actually designed for use with 7 mm cord, and Yvette uses the slipperiest 6 mm cord she can find, she has shrewdly chosen to back up the fifi by tying an overhand slipknot in the free end of the 6 mm cord. If you do not make a habit of tying this backup knot, you will find that the cord can invert in the hook when you least expect it, causing you to suddenly take the plunge! Plan ahead - don't be surprised.

Also visible in this photo, incidentally, is the colour coding on the cams' carabiners. You can see that the yellow Alien and the gold Camalot are both racked on their own designated yellow-gated crabs, and although you can't quite see it, the 2 1/2 Friend on the turquoise sling is on its own designated turquoise crab.

You can also see the racking labels visible on the nuts. The blue set of nuts is in the foreground, and you can see one green nut behind.

Stand aside Brittany Griffith.....

Here comes ClimbChick!

Climb on, baby.


bigwalling


Apr 22, 2002, 7:21 PM
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Dr. Piton Pontificates ... on the 2002 Metolius Catalogue [In reply to]
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Yeh the metolius hooks aren't as cool as others. The one I have I found. Spent your money on other hooks. Russ's fish hook rules. I also like the bd talon for small edges and the cliff hanger for standard hooking. Darn I wish I could get the metolius bag for 120 bucks.


milesdesbrie


Apr 22, 2002, 9:30 PM
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Dr. Piton Pontificates ... on the 2002 Metolius Catalogue [In reply to]
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Metolius seems to be having production problems with their portaledge rainflys. My local gear shop, which does a huge mail order business, has a buncha Bomb Shelters to sell but no flys! Evidently no word from Metolius as to when they'll be available. Bummer.


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