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hunter


May 3, 2002, 2:23 PM
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Newbie looking for input on equipment/techniques
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Hi, I'm brand new to rock climbing and looking for input and advice. At first I thought I would stick with some simple top roping/rappelling in the local mountains around home here in Western VA.

I do hazard tree removal work on the side and here's what I currently have equipment wise:

200' Bluewater II 11mm static line (in good condition)

Petzl Aquila harness (light for tree work but it suits me)

Assorted regular & locking biners

2 10' adjustable flip lines (probably not applicable to rock work)

2 Black diamond ATC's

Petzl Mini Traxion

Misc 1" & 2" webbing loops

Some spare 8mm Beal rope

I use a home made stripped down one leg Texas rig to assend when it's needed for tree work. I use the Mini Traxion with the main rope fed through it as a 2nd attachment point to the harness in case the top pruisk (actually an ascender knot) fails as I climb.

How would this type of system be on an easy top rope assend? Is there a better yet simple system? Is the ATC ok for longer rappels than what I encounter in tree work?

I'm no stranger to various knots (various forms of bowlines and figure eights, clove hitch, butterly, pruisk, kleimest, bends, double fishermans knot, etc) Rigging a solid anchor point at the top of a drop seems like a no brainer. What am I missing here?

What sort of practice can I do in a tree that would directly relate to rock? I know how to rig from a rappel to an ascend while suspended on rope in case of trouble but what else should I practice before hitting the rocks? What other equipmetn should I have on hand or remove?

Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts.

BTW Very cool site.

Hunter


jt512


May 3, 2002, 3:27 PM
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Quote:
How would this type of system be on an easy top rope assend? Is there a better yet simple system?


I only half-underatand your question. I'm guessing that you are asking about a *solo* toprope ascent, in which you will be self-belaying? If so, few climbers do roped solo climbing. It's considered a pretty esoteric pursuit. Mostly we climb with a partner, who belays us. You need to do some reading on what climbing is all about, I suspect. Good books to begin with are "How to Rock Climb" by John Long and "Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills" (I don't know who the author is).

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Is the ATC ok for longer rappels than what I encounter in tree work?


Yes. Absolutely.

Quote:
I'm no stranger to various knots (various forms of bowlines and figure eights, clove hitch, butterly, pruisk, kleimest, bends, double fishermans knot, etc) Rigging a solid anchor point at the top of a drop seems like a no brainer. What am I missing here?


Knowledge of how to build climbing anchors. Read the aforementioned books, practice the anchors, and go climbing with an experienced climber, not alone.

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What sort of practice can I do in a tree that would directly relate to rock?


None.

Quote:
I know how to rig from a rappel to an ascend while suspended on rope in case of trouble but what else should I practice before hitting the rocks? What other equipmetn should I have on hand or remove?


Read the books. You are essentially asking us to tell you everything you need to know about rock climbing. If you think you can learn that from a website, then you've gravely underestimated things.

-Jay


bradhill


May 3, 2002, 3:39 PM
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I know of people who self-belay with an ascender on a static rope, but it is of questionable safety and not a generally accepted practice among rock climbers. I agree that it is worth the investment to buy and read "How to Rock Climb", "Rock Climbing Anchors" and possibly "Self Rescue". You're talking about your life here.


And get a helmet!


hunter


May 3, 2002, 4:26 PM
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Yes, I was talking about a solo top rope ascent I reckon. I realize that climbing a rockface with a climbing rig is not exactly "rock climbing" (maybe rock climbing for chickens???) but I thought it might be a good way for a beginner to get a little taste for it. Us tree rats almost always self-belay but then again with a fixed rope and two harness attachment points the chance of falling is pretty much nill unless the main rope itself fails of course.

My last rock experiance is from my young teenage years. I had been playing around free climbing on the local cliffs for a couple of years. One day I free climbed a new (to me) 80' cliff face that I thought would be easy. 2/3's of the way up I wanted to bail some sort of bad but couldn't decend. I thought I was gonna be a grease spot for sure that day. I finally made it up but it was my last time playing on rock and that was over 20 years ago. (I'm 40 years old now and looking for new challenges and to chase away a few old ghosts).

I don't pretend to think that I can learn to take on "big wall aid climbing" (saw that term on here somewhere) from a book or the net.

I just want to play on the rock a little, get a feel for it, and stay in one piece in the process before deciding whether to go any further with it.

Being 80' up in a tree with a chainsaw cutting loose wood to run down a zipline has it's own interesting moments but heck, it ain't rock climbing by no means.

I'll check out the books listed and add a helmit to the must have list.

Thanks for the thoughts so far.



dsafanda


May 3, 2002, 4:45 PM
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It sounds like you know what you're doing but there is one very important thing to be wary of.

It primarily involves your static rope. Climbers use dynamic ropes to hold a fall. To make matters worse, if you're soloing that means that an anchor system rather than another climber must hold a potentail fall. This means big stress on the sytem!! A moderate fall on to an anchor with a static rope will most likely blow out the anchor and perhaps break your back.


jdean


May 4, 2002, 8:20 AM
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My advice would be to head to your nearest climbing gym and talk to some climbers and instructors there. Books are a great source of info, but rock climbing is one of those things that you learn by experience and the best way to do that is to learn from experienced people. Just my opinion though.

M@


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