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Why leashless?
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musicman


Aug 1, 2004, 4:07 PM
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Why leashless?
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when i read articles or headings on pictures about ice climbers climbing something crazy it always says something like "all climbed leashless" what does having leashes do to make it easier/harder?


flash5twelve


Aug 1, 2004, 4:17 PM
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I guess if you dropped one of the leashless axes, that would make the route considerably more difficult. I guess that's why they carry back-ups.


petsfed


Aug 1, 2004, 4:19 PM
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To a certain extent, you can rest on the leases. That is, the leash puts the weight of your body almost solely on the skeletal structure. Morever, with leashes, if you drop a tool, its left dangling from your wrist. If you drop a leashless tool, you're without a tool. However, without leashes, you're allowed a much greater freedom of motion that, when coupled with heel spurs, makes a great many mixed routes much easier and more static. On the other side of the coin, it makes a great many mixed routes much easier.


musicman


Aug 1, 2004, 4:19 PM
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thanks


musicman


Aug 1, 2004, 5:31 PM
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so, is the biggest deal in doing routes leashless is you can't rest on your 'skeletal' structure then? makes sense


tradklime


Aug 2, 2004, 1:50 PM
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Theoretically less safe as well. If your leash is sufficient to not slip off your wrist if you let go off your tool when fully weighting it, you are sort of "tied in" with every good tool placement.

Climbing leashless is definitely more pumpy, but it is easier to shake out and place screws with leashless tools.

The benefits revolve around funkness, creative, gymnastic moves.


dredsovrn


Aug 2, 2004, 2:06 PM
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I would think that going without the leash would amp up the difficulty level. You certainly wouldn't want to drop a tool, and you couldn't rest on the leash. I have only gone ice climbing twice, but once I learned to use the leash, my hands didn't get sore or bruned out. It seems like it would be a lot harder both mentaly and physically.


paulraphael


Aug 2, 2004, 2:16 PM
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i've never climbed leashless, but after watching people do it, it seems going leashless gives a big advantage on routes where the emphasis is on difficult, gymnastic moves.
it seems like going leashless would be a major disadvantage on routes where the emphasis is on endurance. you have to hang onto those things.
there's also a higher level of comitment with leashless climbing, especially on routes that aren't overhanging, bolt protect m- routes. if your feet blow, you just can't count on your little fingers giving you a belay. people routinely fall when their feet go out, leaving a pair of rock solid tool placements in the ice above. in a lot of these cases, the leashes would have held them.
on sport mixed routes, leashless climbing is the performance standard. in the alpine world, leashless climbing is still more a statement about big balls.


rossgoddard


Aug 5, 2004, 11:28 PM
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on mixed ground, i will almost always climb leashless. the freedom you get is incredible. matching hands on tools, hooking a tool with another, being able to swap tools in your hands-it makes mixed climbing so much easier, and more fun. on easy ice, i find i climb faster leashless. i dont have to deal with a leash when placing pro, and can match hands on my tools for efficiency. on harder ice (nei4, 5 on a great day), i find im a bit faster leashed, and usually feel more comfortable.
basically, if the climbing gets funky, or is easy i choose leashless. other times, i like leashes


drake


Aug 6, 2004, 5:43 PM
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Just a point:
Leashless tools are not designed for the alpine routes in the mountains.

The comparison I see:
Leashless is like sport climbing.

Leashes is like trad.


sharpie


Aug 6, 2004, 5:47 PM
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In reply to:
Just a point:
Leashless tools are not designed for the alpine routes in the mountains.

Not true


rendog


Aug 14, 2004, 11:03 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Just a point:
Leashless tools are not designed for the alpine routes in the mountains.

Not true

maybe with, for example, the BD vipers, a person can attach the "fang" onto the shaft of the tool it should impair your ability to plunge into the snow.

that's just an educated guess I've never been in the alpine with leashless, just on grade 6 ice.


sharpie


Aug 16, 2004, 1:52 PM
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"Limitations are always mental. Rules are self-imposed. The tools are available—all we have to do is break the rules." - Jared Ogden


Partner tradman


Aug 17, 2004, 3:43 AM
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Easy way to find out for yourself: find a stout wooden beam and do ten axe pullups with tight leashes and ten without. You'll notice the difference right away.


crag


Aug 17, 2004, 4:59 AM
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Henry Barber climbed Polar Circus, (FA???), with out leashes and straight shafted tools


paulraphael


Aug 17, 2004, 9:53 AM
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Remember that most alpinism was done leashless not too long ago. The classic routes in the alps were often climbed with a single piolet and no leash. Many without frontpoints. As recently as the 70s, climbers on both sides of the ocean thought leashes were for girlie men.

However, modern leashless climbing is not quite the same thing. Back in those days, there was no distinction between an alpine axe and a technical tool; leashes were seen as weenie things because they were intended to keep you from dropping your axe, but they mostly just got in the way. Truly steep climbing and long stretches of piolet traction (two axe technique for steep terrain) were rare.

When the modern steep ice era began in the 70s (i'm not including scotland, which has its own history and which was decades ahead of everyone else), leashes were part of what made it possible for most people. The tools were still pretty old fashioned--basically shorter versions of alpine piolets. Until the late 70s most were still made of wood. Not too many guys are hard to enough to hang onto smooth hickory shafts on vertical ice, with wool mittens and no leashes.

Modern leashless climbing is primarily about gymnastic moves on hard mixed ground, where changing grips on tools and switching hands allow whole different kinds of movement. The modern tools are completely different, with their suitcase-sized handles and wrist-friendly angles. It still takes more endurance to hang on than it does with leashes, but it isn't herculean.

I suspect that people climbing leashless in the mountains are doing it because they honed their skills climbing leashless on the M routes, and so it feels good to them. And I assume they cary a piolet of some kind if there's any snow climbing on the route.


sarcat


Aug 17, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Why leashless?

My nifty new Rage tools have leashes. I can't afford another set.


jeffvoigt


Sep 5, 2004, 8:06 PM
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Don't know if my opinion is worth anything here or not, just because I have never ice climbed outside, but at my gym we have an indoor ice wall (high density foam) and every year we have a Dry Ice Festival. Sean Isaac has come to every fesival so far and given clinics and set routes for our comp. one of the mixed routes that he set last year went up an overhanging arch out a 3ft roof on to a dagger at the lip of the roof and up a slightly overhanging face. He climbed it and gave it a difficulty of M8. All of us staff members got first shot at it with BD's new Fusion leashless tools and crampons with heel spurs. I onsighted the route. (Remember I have never ice climbed before this) I tried the route again later with regular crampons and tools with leashes. I fell about four times, because I pumped out. My experiance was that leashless tools allow you to de-pump by simply letting go and shaking out, no fiddling with a leash trying to get your hand out of it. Leashless tools are very fun, definatly need to try them if you have never done so.
http://www.climbingjunky.com


crater


Sep 5, 2004, 9:15 PM
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I have climbed leashless for the past couple years.

There are several advantages.

Quicker to get screws in. Easy to switch hands when you are burning and the screwing is getting tiring. Well, maybe I should only talk about ice climbing here...

I can make several moves and switch axes and grip easily.

My blood is not impedied by a restraining axe.

It is much easier to get out of a figure 4 & 9.

My style of climbing has changed so much that when I borrow a set of tools with leashes I have trouble climbing with them because I can not do many of the moves I am used to doing. Much has become automatic.

It is not to make it more difficult! It makes it easier.

I climb leashless on any terraine. Although I have not done hard ice on an alpine route.

There it is.


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