Author Topic: Soloing  (Read 651 times)

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Soloing
« on: March 06, 2004, 03:29:42 pm »
I have 2 basic concerns when soloing long grade 3-3+ #1 loseing a crampon. #2 dropping a tool or breaking a pick.  Usualy I wear a harness, cary 3 screws and a single half rope stacked in my bullet pack. I figure with 3 screws I can fire in 2 screws, take a hang and make a thread with the 3rd screw to bail if I did suffer crampon or pick failure. Also could make belay, clip in and then re attach crampon assuming it was still dangleing from the strap. In very cold weather this january i carried a 3rd tool in case of pick breakage. this is Not too much extra weight for places like Chiounards, Bristol clifs, the tablets etc. Roaring brook falls is easy to get off of so I don't bring a rope up there. The extra weight especialy the rope kind of defeats the main reason for soloing  the ravines up in hunningtons. The real bonus of soloing up there is the nice light pack ;D I have only lost one crampon (foot fang while high bouldering) in 20 years. Did have a rambo comp pop off but that was still in the parkinglot. Also Broke a pick off of my origional hummingbird while soloing  50 ft NEI 4  Topped out the last 12 ft on the stubb :o  Do Any of you guys take any precautions against equiptment faliure or do you just go for it with a positive attitude?

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2004, 07:10:42 pm »
well, you saw me the other day...

2 tools (leashless), harness, 2 - 20 cm screws, 2 cordaletts, an old sling & a v-thread tool. I always wear my M-10 crampons with the front bails, so they would be really hard pressed to come off. I double check them before I start up & periodically have a look at them while I am climbing. in 4 years of fairly hard soloing I've only had to bail once. that was on Smear when the hard moves up parallel to the belay tree on the left were mushy and the traverse left was all rock. that time was early on when I always carried my 8mm rap line on my back. (I don't like soloing with a pack.) I slammed in a screw, clipped it, did the v-thread and rapped. with the 2 cordaletts and 2 screws I also figure I could rope-solo myself up about 15-16 feet & probably get myself out of any moderate situation that I can get myself into.

at Frankenstein I've soloed Smear, Pegasus, Chia, Standard Left & Standard, Coffin, Cinema, Hitchcock, a lot of small stuff all over, and all of the Huntington Gulleys except Damnation. Up in Huntingnton I take my Cobras and leashes - just because! <grin> I have gone up on a lot of climbs over the years and downclimbed from a variety of heights. in fact on the rare occasions I toprope things I practice downclimbing everything, no matter how hard. I also go over to the North End and go up and down the pillars on the right and Thresher as well. I do the same on rock, tho for some reason I don't solo on rock. I do rope-solo a lot tho.

in some ways ice climbing is like soloing all the time.

al
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2004, 07:53:56 pm »
I agree that the ice leading especialy on easier terrain is usualy just as dangerous as soloing. thats how I justify  all my  soloing. I would have 100 ft runnouts anyways so why not solo? the only real diference is you can allways fire in a screw on lead. I often go for the codelett escape plan myself. worst case scenerio is you cut the cordelett and then they are twice as long. I used my rap rope once to self belay in high winds up on bristol cliffs.  I took a big gust mid swing and barn doored about 40 feet from the trees at the top. Freaked me out so i slammed in 2 screws, tied off short and climbed up a ways, fired in the 3rd screw , tied off again, made it to the trees, rapped, cleaned the gear and jugged back up. What a pain in the ass ;D Still better than working though ;D I don't think breaking a pick on pinnicle would be that big a deal but loseing a crampon would SUCK. I know the only time I soloed it I didn't bring a rope or harness. I am sure if I get up there again by myself I will probobly do the harness and cordelett routine but no rope. I suppose you could carry a couple hundred feet of 6 or 7 mil cord $$$$ and it wouldn't weigh too much? Kind of take away from the experience though, prepareing for failure instead of success.

Offline Rockanice

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2004, 10:34:42 am »
Hey Tradman,

Never a bad Idea to prepare for failure.

I broke a pick on a recent solo outing, though, unfortunately, didn't realize it right away.  It was my left tool and I thought I was just being a wimp getting the sticks!

Third tool always.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2004, 12:20:37 pm »
went out this morning & soloed Pegasus. I had the leashless tools, but hung a Viper on the harness, just in case. ice started out really good, but became crap in the middle. best to plan for any possibility. I also carried the 3 screws, a couple of slings & the v-thread tool. the most disconcerting thing about the morning was that there was nobody at Frankenstein at all. even Bill King was away. any problems, I was totally on my own.

I will tell you that in the steep sections the sounds were louder, air crisper and colors more vibrant! it really got my attention...

Al
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Offline Admin Al

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2004, 12:21:42 pm »
hey rockandice... was that on La Pomme?
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2004, 12:51:23 pm »
The last few years I did all my long solo's with a half rope stacked in a bullet pack but no 3rd tool. the rational was if I broke a pick or dropped a tool I would thread off. this year I did carry a third tool and sometimes left the rope behind.  All the highball bouldering I do i never wear a harness or carry a third tool.  some of the roadcuts i do are 20 to 30 feet tall and really steep.  I certainly wouldn't want to fall from them. i figure that If I break a pick i will downclimb useing my freshly made pick holes. Also could probobly climb out of any crampon problems unless it was the last climb of the day and I was allready totaly pumped when I started it. I would look pretty stupid though if i whacked a tool out and dropped  trying to get it un stuck. Theres Tradman hanging on a vertical thin pillar 25 ft over a frozen highway shoulder from one tool with cars and trucks wizzing by. Everbody thinking he is just some crazy fool haveing fun intsead of a total loser thats desperatly hopeing someone will be kind enough to stop and throw his tool back up to  him (preferably without telling anyone );D :P

Offline Rockanice

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2004, 10:38:17 am »
Hey Al,

Yeah, La Pomme. I figure it broke about halfway up the last pitch, as that's where I started needing multiple swings to get a left stick.

I rapped down and it was dark by the third rapell, so when i had to re-climb a pitch to free the frozen ropes, I didn't realize it was snapped off good.  I just thought I was being a baby and bashed harder til it stuck.  Had a third tool, too, that I never drew

Offline Rockanice

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Re: Soloing
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2004, 10:48:40 am »
Tradman,

I'd never tell - my partner knows he'd be better off not telling stories out of school. He knows I've got a few on him he'd prefer to keep under wraps. All in good fun