Hot answers tagged

24

My answer is "don't ask". It's not so much that it's "impolite", but it's an imposition to them and potentially dangerous for you: Belaying can take quite some time, so you're asking the person to give up a chunk of their recreation time to a total stranger. It's not like you're asking someone to help for 30 seconds You're putting your life in their hands, ...


19

I was thinking about this question while rappelling over an overhang this evening with my little girl and payed attention to exactly what I do: Plant your feet on the edge of the overhang, keep your legs straight, and let the rope through your descender until your body has cleared the roof. Think of the wall as flat ground, you want your body as ...


17

Was it better than no protection? Probably. Would I recommend it? No. The reason is this: DMM performed some tests where they anchored a sling to a carabiner and a load (80kg), and dropped the load from various heights. The results are a bit more nuanced, but the gist is that you should never fall onto a sling from at or above the anchor without any dynamic ...


17

The overall risk comparison between being alone or in a group can be split into parts: falling: no increased risk This is obviously independent of being in a group or soloing as climbing on a via ferrata is a solo activity. severity of fall: hardly any increased risk The safety device used on via ferratas is a single user device. So the only factor ...


16

Twin ropes can be as small as 6.9mm (35g/m), and are only used in pairs; you tie into two ropes, and clip both as though they were a single rope. This provides you with the redundancy of having more than one rope, but without the weight of carrying two single ropes. Twin ropes also allow a full-rope-length rappel which often strongly factors in the choice ...


15

I couldn't have come up with a better example of "how carabiners should never be used" if I tried! In fact, the most likely explanation for that picture is either such a deliberate bad example, or a joke. A quite likely incomplete list: Use of non-locking carabiners in an anchor - rightmost arrow shows a nut wire just waiting to slip through a wire gate ...


15

Be observant If you go to the gym often take note of who the regulars are and their general abilities. You aren't going to know everyone's name but you might get a rough idea of their capabilities. This will give you introduction lines like: I haven't seen you around here very much. Are you new? I noticed you mostly stick to bouldering. Last week ...


15

Searching the climbing dictionary for "spit" shows that this is the french term for a "bolt". So the answer is simple: The translation of the guidebook isn't perfect. "Spit anchors" are bolted anchors (or rappels) on these routes. (Which actually matches my observation there.)


14

Whether you run out of rope or just can't complete the route, you have to bail as safely as possible. As soon as your belayer reaches the rope's middle mark, he should double check that there's a stopper knot at the end. Then, you would down climb to the nearest bolt and then proceed to bail on the route using a prusik backup, as described by this old Petzl ...


13

The only thing this 30+ years old piece of climbing history should be connected to is a fixture to mount it in a frame or display case.


12

If it is load bearing, then hell no. This is a mess of cross- and ring-loading, which will break the biners. If it is just a material storage placement, then it is simply confusing. And of what I know about the Eiger, when you find a good placement, you will never ever only use it for hanging up your gear, always for protection. So all in all more ...


12

You wouldn't want to use one to climb. My favourite quote I found on the Internet: Here's my advice on climbing with grappling hooks: don't climb with grappling hooks. Real climbers never use them, and for good reason. You have no idea what they hook onto, so you are trusting your life with something completely unknown. Those things are just for the ...


12

From my experience, the simple act of asking won't be perceived as impolite. There is a good chance that people will let you join them, but be prepared to accept "no" as an answer just in case. It would be impolite to press on and try to get them to change their minds, but if you politely accept the "no", you should be fine. (I assume that you actually want ...


11

If your intending to top-rope with it, or unimaginably lead climb on it, then absolutely not... ever. Polypropylene not only has a super low melting point, but the fibres are a really large diameter, which means they are super susceptible to abrasion, i.e. your rope cutting. It lastly won't stretch when loaded, which is all around bad news in climbing! The ...


11

I'm a very static climber, but back in the day I was one of those climbing cave rats who campused and dyno'd his way through as much of a problem as he could. The key to becoming a more static climber, is to learn more technique and balance. I learned how to be a static climber from bouldering. You can learn a lot from reading a book, or watching some ...


11

In climbing, there isn't a good use. However, in canyoneering a variant of the grappling hook is occasionally used to escape from potholes. It is called an octopus. You make one by attaching several aid climbing hooks like the BD talon to a potshot (a little cloth bag usually filled with sand). See this book for a picture. I have personally used them and I ...


11

Grappling hooks are sometimes used in the arborist (tree climbing) world. Rather than being thrown upwards, they are attached to a line in order to retrieve the other end of the line. Here is a picture of the relevant maneuver: https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturejournal/3391768573/in/album-72157616026109442/lightbox/ The hooks on the end are often curved ...


11

Yes, it has been done! You can try contacting the people at Paradox Sports; this sort of adaptive climbing is exactly what they do. In terms of personal experiences, there are a couple of threads on Mountain Project covering this issue. (By coincidence, at least two or three of the climbers on those threads work/worked for Paradox.) The first thread has ...


11

Quantifying the total risk of an activity is hard and to an extent opinion based. The increased risk of being solo, is more quantifable and that is what my answer focuses on. The major increase in risk of doing a via ferrata alone (as opposed to in a group or with a partner) is that if you get injured (e.g., from a fall, rock fall, or a bee sting), you will ...


11

This is not a direct answer but more of an extended comment about safety when rappelling on overhanging terrain. When rappelling over an overhang or an overhanging wall, make sure that you are certain that you will be able to reach the ground. Ideally you know that both ends of your rope are touching the ground. If your rope doesn't reach the ground you ...


10

Off width cracks are cracks that are too big to finger jam or fist jam, but too small for you to fit inside and chimney climb, so you have to come up with really awkward and very physically excerting moves to get up them, like climbing upside down (literally). Basically they are cracks that are just the right width to not be fun, and take a lot of physical ...


10

As already stated, these are very similar knots regarding there use. So there is not much that differentiates them from each other, but to other friction hitches. The advantage of the prusik is the "clean" design: All strands are neatly position parallel to themselves, so it is easily inspected for correctness. For the Klemheist this is not the main ...


10

A number of prominent climbing organizations (e.g. International Federation of Sport Climbing) either recommend or require two locking carabiners for clip-in attachment to a harness, e.g. IFSC Rules 2015 [1MB DOC] 8.3.5 The climbing rope shall be connected to the competitor's harness by two Screwgate or Self-Locking Karabiners arranged in opposition (...


10

I wont cover what is aid climbing here. Original Aid Rating System: A0: Occasional aid moves often done without aiders (etriers) or climbed on fixed gear; sometimes called “French free”. A1: All placements are solid and easy. A2: Good placements, but sometimes tricky. A3: Many difficult, insecure placements, but with little risk. ...


9

Essentially para cord is stronger, but its less resilient. Climbing ropes do not need to be strong - you die above about 10G (1000kg) force from internal injuries caused by your harness, a braking strain above this is pointless, even if the rope does not break in a fall that generates very high G forces, you die. Anchors have a force, which if exceeded ...


9

The equalette is the evolution and combination of the cordalette and sliding-x. It makes up for the short comings of each system, while incorporating their strengths to produce a more SRENE anchor. One of the criticisms of the cordalette is after you've tied the master knot, you have potentially poor equalization if you deviate from your set direction of ...


9

I have a friend with cerebral palsy who likes to climb, and can only use one arm, he did fairly well belaying with a Petzl GRIGRI: It's a self locking belay device, and can be used easily and rather safely with only one hand. Though not as safe, you can belay one handed with and ATC easily enough, the trick is to never let go of the rope while belaying, ...


9

I wouldn't count ascenders as common climbing gear, so I'm answering for gear that almost every climber has available: An ATC Guide (or Reverso, or similar device with a guide mode) and some cord or webbing. You fix the ATC guide to your harness in guide mode, so that you can easily pull in the rope, but it blocks when you load it (i.e. sit in your harness ...


8

Climbing ropes are meant to hold falls, and to absorb the shock of the fall itself through stretching (they can stretch up to 30% of their length during a severe fall so to reduce the impact force on the climber). There's no need for a climbing rope to hold more than it does, because any more force during a fall and the body of the falling climber would be ...


8

They are user replaceable, in fact some manufacturers recommend replacing slings every 2-5 years if they're very frequently used, but they're only user replaceable if you know how to sew structural climbing gear and have the equipment to bartack a loop of SuperTape or 10mm Dynex. The simplest thing to do is simply replace the worn sling with 1" tube ...



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