the whole point of this blog is to help others with all the questions they have about setting up a similar home climbing gym, and ramble about a variety of climbing related subjects.
There is a variety of subjects... most involving rock climbing, written about on this blog. MAKING VOLUMES OR CLIMBING HOLDS, is probably one of the more popular subjects. just check the labels links or search bar to find your fancy.
of course if you want to go back and start from the beggining, please do! to that end, if there are any question let me know ... i encourage you to add comments for others to read or if you want to get me directly you can email me at treadwallproject@hotmail.com
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Fab Five

every one seems to keep asking me for new posts.... i cant eat, i cant sleep, i cant go to work, i cant even go out and climb with out people wanting more!!! ...okay never mind thats a total lie. i am a huge liar. but i did have a couple inquiries as to why i havent been posting. well, mainly im waiting to get a new camera. i seem to have geniusly left mine at the base of the snow creek wall. um, ...it was in a black case if anyone found it and their conscious wont let them keep swag. no? figures... anywho, i lost my camera so no sweet new training pics and videos. lets all hope santa craps a new camera down my chimney, ...'kay?!

but since you all keep checking things out i guess ill spew a little more opinion at ya. i've reviewed or more accurately pimped other gear before but i thought i might go over other stuff. namely the five key parts of any climbing system... harness, rope, belay, protection, partners!

first off, harness! find one that fits, find one that centers on your body, dual belt adjustments are awesome for this. theres nothing that frustrated me more than have gear loops uneven around my waist. speaking of gear loops! love em! but avoid the cheap harness that has plastic sewn directly to the harness. they often can tear off significantly easier than web and webbing reinforced loops. how sad will you be when you snag and tear off a gear loop mid-fall and watch your gear plummet into the ether! also look for comfort especially if you have any chance of sitting at a belay! heres my pick. the Misty Mountain Cadillac. featuring sweet padding (ive done many all day climbs and even a big wall in it), seven gear loops (great for organizing gear and keeping things out of the way), & dual buckles (duh...explained it). this is my go to trad harness!

so for sport and gym climbing i get any reasonable light weight harness available by either petzl or black diamond. my harness get retired regularly... if you have to ask when or why i do this, well look up todd skinner. start learning more about just how dangerous our sport is as opposed to listening to your local gym employee who started climbing 10 weeks ago!

moving on! ropes! ropes are a complex buy. every year i get a gear guide and check into what up with the companies. the new trend is to get smaller and smaller with our rope. but maybe not a good idea if your not sponsored. everyone want that ultra light rope for that sick hard send.... but is it really gonna make a difference? or are you buying a tiny rope you are gonna have a hard time retiring because it cost the same as a burlier rope? well i resisted but eventually got a sort to try out in the gym. the blue water "lightning PRO", 9.7mm, turned out to be a damn good rope... but you gotta be care with your belay on these shoe strings. i did blow the sheath out pretty quick on lead falls but i could buy another for red points.

but mostly ill endorse getting yourself a solid 10.2 rope. see i almost always have a 70m rope and when you get out that far you tend to start weaving around edges and things, and a little more burl helps me sleep at night. plus... the rope can last a good solid season of multipitch and projecting thrashing and still be in good shape for me to cut into three pieces for the winter gym season. where i promptly whip on it 'till the core come out to wave the white flag of surrender! the Beal Flyer II has now been bought three times by me for price and competitive features so i feel good endorsing it!

so belay is a skill that continues to develop way beyond that first class you took at the gym. back when i was working at one of these burger kings of the vertical world i offered a class on advanced belay techniques. some gumby actually approached me to say "what was the point... i took the belay class." i offer back, "your an idiot! stop breathin up all the smart mans air!!" ...well i want to but, in actuality i educated senor dumbass on how limited his view of climbing systems was... he still didnt take the class... weird?

in another blog i endorsed the gri-gri and the new sport gri-gri, but if you dont know this device your... to be honest, how did you spend that much time under that rock?! as far as belay devices go i suggest you get the ATC its the best tube device and has a great record. if you want more flash, even i... that guy who loves for purity of function, can endorse the ACT Guide. i had to get one for rappelling with a back full of gear. plus it feeds as well as a basic ATC and you can autoblock with it. if you dont know how to autoblock ...get some one to teach you on the ground! dont learn online. dont learn on route. dont learn from a book with crappy pictures!

also in regards to belaying... the best belay biner ever... the Petzl Attache... symmetrical, confident, locking, strong, key lock design... it is my gold standard for belay biners... if they even quit making it like this i will cry as i look for something as good...

moving on to pro. i mentioned key lock design. below is a black diamond locking biner. i use these for all my anchor set-ups. theres nothing more frustrating than trying to leave a belay than getting a biner hung up on a bolt. but thats up to you. but i will encourage you to create a system. have a set way of doing things. that way you arent improvising set-ups every time. thats how you eventually make an anchor that fails!

as far as actual pro goes i am a big fan of everything black diamond. yvon chouinard create an excellent company for the climbing world. when ever my friends discuss gear sizes or crack sizes it's done in reference to the BD scale. the C4's and C3's are the back bone of any good rack. their nuts are okay... in general i think all nuts are created nearly equal. DMM made a set that is out of production that i highly prize, but any set of ten should do ya. i will point out that DMM also makes (as pictured above) the best small offset nuts ive ever used! the peanuts should find themselves on your harness if your a fan of the hard crack climbing! ...other things i like the smaller TCU cams yellow and down, Aliens red to black, smallest tricams for that old school charm, and if your itching to add to my collection the mid range of the big bros!

last but not least choose your partners carefully... pick people who have fun climbing and care about be fast, safe, and fun. not just fun. i reminded a lot of my students that being fast means being efficient. and climbing efficiently can mean the difference between climbing a route or twenty at the crag. it can mean walking out in the dark or enjoying the sunset making dinner with a beer in your hand. it can also mean death if you have to beat the elements. so choose safety! then look for the guy in that crowd that you have fun with!

i dont know what it is... but i like these guys!

but if you dont want a partner this is your friend. welcome to the world of TR soloing, ive seen multiple setups but make sure you back up your system. either rock to devices.... or my preferred method have a second line to lock into every ten feet. but this petzl microcender girth hitched with a dynema sling tripled over directly to your belay loop will keep you climbing with or without a partner!

i almost forgot... i didnt put up any links to where you can buy this gear because... look around the companies all compete for giving you the best price.

1 comment:

  1. Check out the deals on these tnuts dude! Awesome.