A last-minute extra talk was scheduled on the Wednesday morning at the Banff meeting – Assaf Naor on Superexpanders. I would have loved to attend that talk, but I had a prior commitment to Aftenroe, a beautiful eight-pitch limestone climb above the road to Lake Louise.
Fortunately, thanks to the video system at BIRS, this doesn’t mean that I missed the talk. One can find the excellent video of the talk here. It’s a great presentation, as gratifying and elegant as Aftenroe‘s third pitch. Below, I will try to describe some of the ideas. Continue reading
Well, the weather has been too good not to go climbing, so I headed down to Donation yesterday afternoon. Much to my surprise, I had the whole place to myself.
The picture (not very good) shows the rope solo system that I used. This is my first time using the Peztl MiniTraxion for this purpose. (One advantage of having climbed a couple of walls is that one has a lot of interesting gear to play with on an occasion like this.)
Rope solo system
Steph Davis has a good post on rope solo systems (and the follow-up comments are helpful too). What I did was tie the climbing rope in to the anchor at its midpoint, with a figure-8 knot on a steel biner, so I had two independent anchored strands. One strand went through the mini-traxion, which rode on a full strength chest harness (also clipped to the sit-harness by a short sling). The other strand went through a Gri-Gri.
When climbing, the mini-traxion side was weighted to my gear bag and then fed automatically. the Gri-Gri side I pulled rope through when convenient, and also tied off with a separate backup knot every now and again. To transition to rappel, just open the cam on the mini-trax and rappel on the Gri-Gri.
At first I was pretty nervous trusting the system and moved very slowly and inelegantly. But it soon became clear that it would work fine. The pulley moves up with you and gives a good catch. Still, I should probably have started with something a bit easier. Things feel different when you are the only one around!
If working something steep, one should carry prusiks so as to be able to unweight the mini-trax and transition to rappel when hanging in space. Of course, one could bring ascenders; but that seems to be taking the idea of raiding the aid box to an unnecessary extreme!
This tells the tale of my abortive attempt (May 2010) to climb the Prow on Washington Column (V 5.7 C2) with Aaron McMillan. I have wanted to climb this thing ever since I started aid climbing, but despite going up there twice, haven’t yet succeeded. Continue reading
Schooled on the Column
Trip Report, May 31 to June 3, 2007
With Karl “Baba” Bralich – my first excursion into the big-wall world
Click a picture to see a larger view.
All pictures © by Karl Bralich, www.peaklightimages.com
June 6th, 2005. 11 pitches, 5.10a. With Karl.
The evening of the day before…. Glacier Point Apron. Cold Fusion (5.10b/c). Point Beyond Direct (5.8, led p 2-4). Bed early. To quote my diary: “Feeling some internal discomfort. Hope rest will fix”
5.00 am Get up having slept uneasily. Continue reading