Friday, April 18, 2014

Red Rocks - Dark Shadows

The last day, we climbed "Dark Shadows." It was forecast to be high 80s and this route's in the shade. This was my favorite route. It starts above a small pond and as you can see, stays directly above it the whole way.

Red Rocks - Olive Oil

They brought me to the base of Olive Oil in the short bus. There was one group ahead of us at about 1PM so we waited 20 minutes to start. Here's Marianna leading the last and longest pitch at about 190'. In the background of the shot below, the tall tower you see is the route "Crimson Chrysalis."

Marianna and I topped out at about 4:30 and waited at the base a long time for the others. In fact, it got dark before we saw their headlamps coming down the steep descent gully. Then we had to run to the parking lot to get to our cars before they got ticketed at 8PM.

Moving lights at Olive Oil from rgsletten on Vimeo.

Red Rocks - Day 4

Marianna and Erik left our rented house about 5:30 in order to beat the rush at Epinephrine. When they got to the base about 7AM, there were 6 groups ahead of them. So they did a little 10c called "Prince of Darkness." As you can see, they were cold the whole time. This was on an 80 degree Vegas day. I used my jacket on all the climbs we did unless I was in the direct sun. Waiting at the belays with the wind, was chilly. The temps were high 70s to 80s every day.
BTW, they used a 7mm haul line as their 2nd rope for several 2 rope rappels. Here's the system they used. They thought it worked well - the skinny rope was a lot lighter and smaller to carry. The only drawback was the skinny rope is easier to tangle.

Tunnel Vision

"Tunnel Vision" is one of the many classic climbs at Red Rocks. We figured there'd be a long line when we arrived at the base at 9:30, but no one else was there. The famous "Tunnel" pitch looked intimidating but was quite easy. Here are Kyle, Erik and Marianna starting up into the tunnel.

Red Rocks

Here's a sunset climb Peter A. did last week at Red Rocks. He started climbing while it was still light and finished in the dark using Eirk's headlamp to see the holds. In the last photo, Erik used his laser pointer to show where the anchor chains were. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Aid Climbing At VEM

Yesterday, the weather was too nice to be outdoors, so Peter O. & I headed for VEM. Luckily, most climbers had ignored my plea to only climb indoors, so it was very quiet. 
We got to practice overhanging, traversing aid climbing. And cleaning the same - which is quite a job. We also did aid climbing on gear. BTW, if you want to feel confident in placing trad gear, aid climbing is a great way to go.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photo Shoot At VEM

I climbed today for a photo shoot at VEM. (I think it's for some billboards for a bank in Ohio.) Quite a process; there was a makeup artist, a wardrobe mistress, several gaffers, photographers and a catered meal (well, donuts and coffee.) Some shots from behind the scenes.

Use The Rope To Tie Into Anchors

Testing the strength of falling directly onto slings, is a good reminder that your PAS/daisy chain is great if you're going to keep it tight at all times. Attaching your rope to a Master Point made with slings, is a good way to absorb falling forces. It also appears that clove hitches and overhand knots absorb the forces too. And nylon absorbs forces more than Dyneema. (Watch the video at the link for a detailed explanation.)

"Carrying out a final test replacing the slings with 8.2 mm rope for a worst-case scenario with a fall-factor two clearly showed – as expected – that utilising the shock absorbing properties of your rope dramatically lessens the impact forces on the anchors and is the best option. This could be by either clipping the anchors directly with the rope or into a central point in the system. For a full explanation and examination of the results watch the video...The results show how very high forces can easily be generated using slings to attach to anchor points if there is slack in the system. Clearly, it’s important to be aware of this if for example, you are moving around at a stance while clipped into an anchor using a sling or rigging a multi-pitch abseil. For perspective, most leader falls are between 4 – 7 kNs. Forces above 10kN may cause internal injuries – 10kN equates to 1 metric tonne."

Sling Set-upMaterialFF1 (Force kN)FF2 (Force kN)
Overhand KnotsNylon8.811.1
sling broke
sling broke
Clove HitchesNylon913.1
sling cut a bit
a bit of melting
slippage of hitches
‘Self-Equalising’ (Sliding X)Nylon11.519.7
Equalised with Overhand KnotNylon10.815.5
sling broke
Clove Hitches + Anchor Point FailNylon5.5-
‘Self-Equalising’ (Sliding X) + Anchor Point FailNylon10.2-
Equalised with Overhand Knot + Anchor Point FailNylon7.1-
Dynamic Rope (Pair of 8.5mm tied off with clove hitches)Dynamic Rope-7.6

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rappin' With A Skinny & A Fatty

I'm practicing rapping using a skinny tag line and a regular fatty lead rope. This is a 7mm and a 10mm. I had no problem rapping the regular way with an ATC. Just had to go a little slower. But, if you want to use an autoblock knot, you need at least one more wrap around the ropes.

Then I tried a single line rappel using a GriGri. I tied the fatty and the skinny together with 2 E.D.K.s (don't think 2 knots are even necessary) and clove hitched a big 'biner to the fatty as well as clipped that 'biner to the rap line. (Don't think it's even necessary to clip to the fatty.) When I got to the bottom, just pulled the skinny and voila. Both ropes pull easily. The big 'biner might get caught, so you have to be a little careful. But using a skinny instead of two fatties would save a lot of weight and space.

Be Careful What You Wish For...

I wanted to get a little closer to Peter O. But I didn't realize he'd tailgate me like he did when we were at VEM practicing some mult-pitch. Marianna had to hide her eyes it was so embarrassing.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Longest Roof Climb

A Red Bull sponsored climb in the desert of Oman in a cave about 500' high. Look at the two climbers at the 4:07 mark to get an idea of scale.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Porta Ledging At VEM

Here's a photo of Marianna and Joey on the porta-ledge last Tuesday. It's super comfy.

And here's a bat that Kyle captured. It was near the ceiling by the Wave Wall. From the ground, it looked like a climbing hold.

Climb Indoors

Here's what happens when too many people want to climb outdoors:

" Nepalese climbing specialists will fix a second rope at the Hillary Step, a dangerous "death zone" bottleneck near the Mount Everest summit, to ease congestion on the world's highest mountain, a hiking group said on Thursday....

Exhausted climbers have been forced to wait there for several hours, awaiting their turn to climb up or come down a single rope, exposed to risks of thin air in what is known as the 'death zone'."
It appears that most climbers are avoiding the "death zone" by climbing indoors.

The outdoor-climbing market is not growing leaps and bounds,”Greg Thomsen, managing director for Adidas Outdoors toldOutside. “But gym climbing has a very strong growth rate. Something like 1,000 people a day are starting to sport climb, according to our research.”

At least when you're indoors waiting for a climb, you can get a quick snack. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Multi-Pitching Aid Climbing At VEM

It took 3 of us over an hour to climb 2 "pitches" of aid at VEM. Some photos of Marianna jugging up the wall, Peter on his belay seat, me happy to be at the top and Marianna cleaning the first pitch. We've got to get a lot faster to do a real wall.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Getting Aid At VEM

This morning, Marianna, Peter O. and I had a few hours of aid climbing. Peter did a traversing bolted aid route and a traversing aid route on gear. I got to clean them - which is typically women's work - but, I did it anyway because  was the only one who had an apron.

Marianna had her first aid climb and loved it.

Marianna high stepping - which is pretty awkward.

Here's Marianna inside my haul bag. Our next project it to haul her up the wall while she's inside the haul bag.

Here's Peter putting gear in the crack, testing it, and then aiding on it.

The summit.