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 firstname.lastname@example.org
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
there can be many road blocks to climbing. your heads not on right, your job gets in the way, your physical conditioning is off, your focus is elsewhere, you dont have the money to travel for good sending temps or all of the above. i know because i have felt the effects of all these factors over the last couple years. but the one that can be the hardest to overcome sometimes is climbing partners.
climbing partners are we know a special relationship. you have to grow together. you need similar goals. each person needs to feel like part of the team. and that funny to me because we act like climbing isnt a team sport. but it kinda is. the ball i think is like the lead. you both want ball time. but not everyone like it when the ball is thrown hard. sooo... what am i trying to say? ...i have no idea. seriously, any help out there?
i think my point is you gotta take care of your partner. you need to take care of that relationship or it will fall apart. recently i lost the best climbing partner ive ever had. and its been the roughest thing i have ever faced in climbing. mostly because she was also my girlfriend and best friend. unfortunately, every time i climb i am finding myself wishing she was there to share the send. i want to tell her about the climbs on the drive home. i certainly dont love hearing second hand about her current adventures. she in short supply when im telling jokes at the campfire. and worst of all.... i have to trash all those plans for the future sends we had on our mutual tick list. sure i can still do them and im sure once i get past this hump someone new will step up to tie in! the point is.... its a big stall and huge bummer right now.... can you hear my tears between splashing on the digital pages?! uh? can you, can you? i know im a big pussy?! thanks josh... ill get over it.
but i guess, what i want to say is, keep your partner safe. emotionally and physically! dont push each other to do things that wont end fun. but more than that you can listen to each other. and hardest of all try to listen to what theyre not saying. vic and i fell apart because mostly i couldnt hear all the things that she wasnt saying. and thats not her fault. keep the adventure alive and you both keep smiling. try not to stagnate or play it too safe. take risks while your still using your head.
finally, i want to thank victoria for all the climbs and the adventures! both before and while we were dating, you are the best climbing partner i have ever had. you knew how to push me and how to keep me safe.... ill try not to free solo. especially right now when it seems like a really awesome idea.... damn you treadwall for making it so appealing! seriously though V, sorry i was a turd. your the best, i hope we tie in again one day and do at least one of those ticks!
do i have any actual advice? fuck no! what am i doctor phil?!
look guys just use your heads out there.... if your the stronger climber dont prideful, if your the smarter climber dont be arrogant, if your the bolder climber dont be dangerous, if your the weaker climber dont be afraid to trust in your partner, if your the newer climber dont be afraid to learn, if your the experienced climber dont get to thinking you know it all, and every climber... dont be afraid of a little adventure.
this message brought to you by my vagina.
Monday, July 18, 2011
the next day we stayed close to the road and brodie was a very good boy. the weather was improved and he was well behaved for us and the other climbers. no excessive running, chewing, barking, biting, or whining. i think he will be a good crag dog as he grows up!
Friday, July 15, 2011
the link! : http://www.mountainproject.com/v/general_climbing/our_climbing_rope_rug_picheavy_instructions_included/106267153
cruising around the intraweb, as i so often due to past the time between the rock scaling, i found this jewel . Its not exactly a new idea and this post originally went up in 2008 but i thought TWproject was just the place to keep the dream alive. so if youve ever wanted to make one of these beauties Mark and Stacy Egan have laid it all out in their post on mountain project. thanks guys. well done!
Remember! retire your ropes before they retire you!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
i was inspired to write this post this morning because of a recent new reader saying she was happy with the blog and learning from it! you know who you are little reader compliment giver... this post comes with a story. so should we do the educational content or the super fun highly true marginally fictionalized, the imagination can effect the memory, real life account of mountain rescue???!!! your right the stories not that good.
so here is how you make... F! fine ill tell the story. it's actually not that good though i talked a big game, so here goes. following nursing school i spent a month in squamish being a bum... as you can see in the picture to follow. Dr. George Wiggins... (it's fun to make fun of him) decided to come up and and play climbing bum with me for a week. we decide to do a summit climb, and george really want to run up the ultimate everything. i think this was my eight lap up this 20 pitch fun fest, i was happy to do it again. we topped out in the early afternoon having made excellent time.
the anecdote begins on the hike down from the north north summit. shortly after entering the treeline, some guy in a state of panic comes running up the trail saying a woman has collapsed. i grumble something about not wanting to be a nurse and doctor... "Jeorje" remains professional. soon we find the lady with several people crowding around, including her family and some lady claiming to be an ER nurse. WE DO NOT identify ourselves as medical professionals.. but we offer our assistance. george asks for some details in a very doctorly way.... so much so that some people are picking up on the fact that this guys got some knowledge to spit. ER nurse? ...no clue. But she's spewing what she thinks like she needs to get out words to make room for her next breath. things like "pulse is strong, breathings good" are said. George and i each do a little assessment. the ladies breathing is shallow and tachy (read fast), her pulse is weak and thready... these are things an ER nurse should know... weird. but she's in control of the seen. the people all around us begin debating what to do. George continues to watch the lady and ask questions about what happened. medical history stuff. i then turn to our climbing rope... why you ask? so i look at the situation and i know this woman needs to leave. i know george will watch her, but we have no supplies to do anything anyway. turns out she was stung in the chest several times by bees and is allergic. so we need to move her. while people yack back and forth, i make a rope litter... the sideways glances from on lookers was also humorous as you could almost see them thinking "what the hell is the mowhawk kid doing!" it was fun as i knew how to do it but had never been in a situation were i needed to. but thats when the fun ended.... No! she didnt die you guys watch to much TV!! about the time i was finishing my magnum opus, a Wilderness EMT came stomping down the trail. apparently he was doing a rescue for a hiker on the summit. he had his full kit.. benedryl included so the woman got exactly what she needed. then he hit the radio and called for a team to get her out. the funny part was at this time, george and the "ER" lady had begun to "cordially" debate the best treatment. EMT walk up and george backs off. then i say to the EMT "are you assuming command of this seen?" he looks at me a little funny... lady looks at me really funny!... then he calmly says yes as he looks at my litter. then i say, "do you need further assistance from us?" he says "no... you guys are good, thanks for the help" i look at the lady and say "see you guys down the trail". it was funny if you were there. george and i pack up and bail... after i untie my awesome rope litter! a little while later the lady catches up. she begins asking who we are and we tell her. turns out shes not an ER nurse. she's a clinic medical tech at a ski lodge. kids dont pretend your something your not... be proud of who you are! and when two other people say the best thing for a person is to lay her down so that her dropping blood pressure can continue to profuse the brain, and that her easy of breathing is not as important... go ahead and do what they say! ...or kill people. yeah whatever... no biggie.
so wanna learn how to make a rope litter now?! i knew you did! you need a rope and... you need... a rope. it nice to have a sleeping pad and two poles but thats extra.
next flake the rope into piles with the ropes midpoint on top and in the middle...like so.
then from the midpoint make ten bites... the zig-zags you simpletons... in each direction from the midpoint. the number isnt too important. it just needs to be long enough for your victims height. the bad is nice to help with the width. but figure on about 2.5 ft.
then put a couple of overhand knots in the last two bites at either end... that four total kids.
next with the left over tail your gonna make clove hitches around each bite . space them about four to six inches apart. as seen in the picture. do this down the entire length of each side.
you should know have something that look a lot like this.... if you dont.... start over!
next thread the tail through the loops youve created. work all the way down and then come back threading through again.
the rope should snake back and forth 3 to 4 times.
When youve done this down both sides as many times as you have rope, tie off the remaining minimal amount of tail at the overhand knots. if you have two pole you can thread them through the loops as well to make your litter more stable. If you have the pad it can be placed on the pad to make it more comfortable. now... go save some lives!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
so sometime back... i used to teach classes at the local climbing gym. i made fancy packets. i researched, i was ready to answer a thousand and one... but not two!, questions. unfortunately in my area no one wants to pay to learn. you bitches all want it for free, dont cha?! well i cant fault you there im kinda a cheap ass myself. but where i was going with this was, one of the classes was all about knots! and people make a big deal about knots. like there so hard to tie. people! its a piece of string.... this isnt some kinda mystical technology brought by the aliens that eventually wiped out the mayans! IT'S STRING!!! we literally can teach monkeys to do this! (okay i may have lied... now that i think about it. it was bonobos they taught, which are a subspecies to the chimpanzee, which is in the ape family.. not monkey. apes... my bad.) the point is if your gonna climb you should know some knots and theyre not that hard to learn. But which knots you ask? okay... i made a list, and some choice words to consider when you try to george carlin my ass saying its a padded list! "Bird"... Mr. Bridwell... im looking at you. dont give me any of that four knots bullshit...
FIGURE EIGHT~ let me just say, if you climb and you dont know this knot... well i guess your a boulder'er. which... makes sense, your smart enough to know you cant handle thinking and climbing so you stuck to your niche. good job. the rest of you, keep in mind you should know the variations of this knot. i wont list them. i did a post a little while back, go check it out.
DOUBLE BOWLINE~ why? because it cool! this is the knot that is easy to take out when you take multiple whippers and your so pumped you can taste the lactic acid! This is the knot climbing started with! this is what harding, robbins, long, hill, frost, herbert, & bachar used! plus it freaks the newbies out... "uh!?... i dont know that knot!" dont worry kid, if the knot fails i got a helmet. ill just pitch into a swan dive and land head first to absorb the impact. besides with your crappy belay ill likely deck anyway!
CLOVE HITCH~ this thing is awesome for fast anchoring. easy to tie and untie, it can be a fast moving parties best friend. although it can slip if heavily loaded, it remains dependable for most conceivable situations. by the way!, if you have one of those stupid metolius anchor sling set-ups and only use that for anchoring in, then your dumb! you have no redundancy! but if you then take your rope and throw in a clove hitch.... well, then your using that lump three feet above your arse!
MUNTER HITCH~ i was following the second pitch of corrugation corner(lover's leap, south lake tahoe) a few years back climbing with "Angry" shawn campbell. as i approached the "damn near mandatory beach whale" mantle at the belay i looked back and saw a foolishly discarded ATC! "shawn i found some booty gear down here! did you notice it?", i called out. to which he replied something along the lines of, "umm.. yes." in his trademarked lack of interest gruff. i reached into the crack grabbed the belay device and clipped it onto my harness. as i began to pull onto the ledge something look peculiar about my belay! ...no device? apparently that was shawns belay device. he had dropped it out of reach from the anchors and being the resourceful guy that he is belayed me up on the munter hitch. its been in my tool kit ever since...
PRUSSIK KNOT~ okay there are multiple different knots climbers use for the purpose of ascending a rope. you need to know at least one of them. its the corner stone of any self-rescue system. it's a simple thing to be prepared. okay... so you dont want to carry a piece of cordellete for the sole purpose of the rarely needed rescue? do you have a chalk bag? take a length of 6mm cord and use it as your chalk bag belt. the extra line can also be used for bolstering a rap station!
WATER KNOT~ now just a second ago i said use cord for a chalk belt. now if your trade climbing regularly, dont do that! that would be stupid!! why is it stupid? well, because you should be carrying a a cordellette that you use for equalizing anchors anyway. so if you need a prussic youre set. Trade climbing on the other hand especially prior to the overuse of guidebooks and wall development regularly required ingenuity along with its adventure. hence a bail runner was sometimes needed & thus use a piece of webbing as your chalk belt is the way to go. OH! and you need to know the water knot. the water knot doesnt slip with webbing. all other knots are suspect!! Another good idea for trade climbers is to take a very light weight razor blade. put it in a piece of cardboard and the stow it somewhere on your harness or chalk bag.... you know... look for a future post and ill show you what i mean.
GIRTH HITCH~ so im climbing a trade route... ie no bolts ya sissy. the crack has pinched out, but there is a nice looking chicken head above. how do i use this rock feature to my advantage? survey says? show me.. GIRTH HITCH!! also excellent for attaching slings to your belay loop and, link two slings together without using 'biner.
EDK~ the e.d.k. stands for euro death knot. i hear in europe they call it the american death knot... funny how we blaim each other... FOR THE DEATH!! the main reason to know this knot is its awesome, and it claims lives! okay all kidding aside, its and excellent joining knot for double rope rappelling. the knot, the way it pulls will actually roll away from cracks, constrictions, edges and protrusions decreasing the likelihood of the knot snagging and requiring some to re-lead a pitch in the dark so you dont have to loose $400 in rope. so why is it actually called the EDK? well because as the knot tightens down it often capsizes and flips, therefore its necessary to have long tails. about two feet long. stupid people then like to load the tails into their ACT and then rappel off of them. usually this results in the aforementioned death. use it wisely
DOUBLE OVERHAND KNOT~ similar variations include: the barrel knot, the stopper knot, the fisherman's knot, the double fishermans knot. this knot is key for... NOT RAPPELLING OF THE END OF YOUR ROPE!!!!!! i hear people die doing that. so this one is kinda important.
BOW KNOT~ it's for tying your shoes. you learned it when you were five. when you were five you learned to tie a knot... i think you can handle learning some new knots.
in closing id like to sa.... WHAT?!! CAPTIN INTERUPTOR!! WHAT?!! yeah i know i didnt teach you how to tie anything. thats because these site can do a way better job. enjoy... oh and Josh....
http://www.animatedknots.com/ and http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips.htm
Saturday, June 25, 2011
mostly i dont want to take a pet into the wild where he could piss off others who had no intention of seeing him. he could get hit by falling rocks. he could destroy the scenery around the climbs by digging or chewing. he could be a noise nuisance when im climbing if he whines. theres a lot to go wrong.
on the plus, hes fun to have around! and its a pain in the ass to leave him home when i go out for more than a few hours. guess thats why people take their dogs climbing.
i may need to make a part 2 for this when i've had more time to think it over. in the mean while... meet Brodie, he's a liver nosed Rhodesian Ridgeback!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
time and time again i have proven my self to be many things on this site...dork, nerd, geek, obsessive. yeah okay you can say those things. but you realize, your a jerk! name calling jackals! kidding.... come back.. hey.
seriously though, like popeye says "i am, what i am". so i was sitting around thinking about climbing which is common for me. and recently i got an email about technical climbing skills. generally i have shied away from teaching people about rope or safety skills. mostly thats do to the fact that i really really really do not want to be sued. but, today i was thinking about climbing as i said before and i started to obsess about the figure eight knot... oh you know that one? pretty cool right?! how many do you know. for me it started with the idea of do i know eight variations of the figure eight knot... guess what?... oh yeah you guessed it i do. **side bar: "listen negative voices inside my head! if youre just gonna peanut gallery this entire post, id really appreciate it if you just went ahead and did something useful... try cleaning out the cobwebs and old memories of "whats-her-name"**
sorry kids...had to be done. so... obsession, figure eight, eight variations. who wants to know what they are? well too bad.... god! is everybody gonna kick me when im down!!
in no particular yet highly coincidental order:
"the figure eight knot"
this is a no brainer... for people who have brains anyway. i will point out this knot has a use beside being the starting point for tying in. it is an excellent knot for putting in the end of your rope so you dont lower someone off the end. it's more stable than an overhand knot and easier to untie than a fisherman's knot that has been set.
"figure eight follow through"
this all too common knot is also known as the "rethread" or "the tie in knot". every climber im sure knows the first two. otherwise you gotta be asking yourself, "am i actually a climber?"
"figure eight on a bight"
dont cry foul sure it looks the same. but the way it is tied has more in common with the basic eight knot. this guy is very helpful for building anchors that are in a straight line. other than that...
"the in line figure eight"
love this knot. it took me probably the longest to be able to tie without having to think about it first. this guy is super handy for creating directions. think, belaying over a ledge from above and wanting to be able to see the second climb. trust me the first time you find it handy, you love it forever!
"the joining figure eight"
very similar to the follow through, but you start from different ends. its strong, reasonable to untie... all the good stuff. the main thing is it works great for joining two rope of different diameters. like my 10.2 and my 9.0 in the picture.
"the stein knot"
or...the rappelling figure eight, what ever... this is the coolest. you see with the carabiner in place each tail is independently stable. but once you remove the carabiner the eight falls apart and the rope can be pulled through the rap rings, chain, or what have ya. think parties of three,the first two can rap at the same time without effecting the centering of the rope, then the third pulls the biner and comes down. cool right!
"the double looped figure eight on a bight"
this knot like so many others has many names like "dog eared eight", "rabbit ears", "anchor eight"...blah blah the list goes on. it's got two loop that prior to setting can be equalized. its great for two bolt anchors when multi-pitch climbing. i use it almost religiously. bad thing is it will use quite a bit of rope to tie. but we all climb with 70's nowadays right?
"the equalizing 3-point figure eight anchor knot"
i have no idea if anyone calls it that. personally im not even sure if ive ever said that aloud. but this guy is similar to the last knot, but you get three point of coverage, and they are minimally dynamically equalizing. ie the rope will shift some to weight all three points... in theory. look just set it right the first time... so you dont slowly saw through the sheath of your rope!
there you have it kids. you now know more. and knowing is... well... yes...? OH GOD DAMN IT!! didnt any of you watch GI JOE?! it's half the battle! knowing is half the battle!!! sometimes you guys make me so angry i want to start punching babies!
kidding, i would never hit a defenseless child, i wouldnt even shake it... i heard... well, i heard thats bad. in closing i would like to say, yes i know i didnt teach you to tie anything. you can look up every one of these knots via google... i promise. and there a loads of guys with knot tying websites, with waaaaayyyyy cooler animation then i am trying to get into. here's my favorite. check him out: oh, and know your systems, know why and what your doing. i didnt tell you exactly how to apply anything, so NO SUING! no suing! no suing!
(did that look like a shout echoing?)
i like so many of you love climbing movies and literature. for that reason i wanted to give a little shout out to Mike Chessler. he's the genius behind http://www.chesslerbooks.com/ . recently i made a large bulk buy of movies from Mike. i took a look on his site, made my dream list of movies i wanted to add to my already huge collection and sent him an email. I said "hey mike, i want all these movies, if i buy them at one time will you give me a discount?" he said sure, quoted me a price and i called him up a little later to place the order. he's a cool old climber. i had bought books from him in the past and he sell cool memorabilia on ebay from time to time. like pitons sign by Royal Robbins. anyway, when guy do good by me i like to give them credit and a little advertising. along with this i think i may have an upcoming top ten climbing movies post.... stay tuned... go check out mikes site for guides, literature, dvds, and lots of other climbing media!