Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exploratory Bolting

Peter G. and I wanted to see if we could bolt any new routes on the tall cliffs along the St, Croix just north of Hudson. The cliffs are high - 70-90' - but much of the rock is barely consolidated sugar sand. There are layers of harder rock that take bolts. We thought we'd have to bring gear to aid climb and bolt from the bottom. But most of the stuff we brought to do that, wouldn't work.

A 2 minute slideshow of our trip.

Bolting Hudson from rgsletten on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Climbing At Arcola

Peter, Tan & I climbed some new routes at Arcola on Wednesday. We also discovered a new type of chickenhead to sling - a bottlehead? A bottleneck? Don't know exactly what to call it, but here's a photo of me hanging off of it.

A 2 minute video of our day.
Arcola Bolting #2 10-22-14-SD (480p) from rgsletten on Vimeo.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Routes We Bolted At Arcola

Getting down to the river. 
Wednesday, we climbed and bolted a new route at Arcola. (Some photos here.) There are now only 3 routes but room for more. We're letting Peter decide on naming the routes - since he's developing the area - but Marianna suggested names with "Cola" in them. Since it is at Arcola.

Having lunch on the summit
Peter after leading "Regular Cola"

Installing bolts

Tightening the bolts

Richie leading "Regular Cola"

First lead on "Diet Cola"

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"When It's Raining Big Fatties, Get Out Of The Way"

Haven't seen this yet, but with the amount of "baby sitting" going on in the gym, it's bound to happen soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rattlesnake Bluff

Ron, Peter and I climbed and did some route exploration at Rattlesnake last Wednesday. We started out with some liquid breakfast. (You know the old saying, "You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.")

We found some old "'tat" about halfway up that someone had used to rap down. We left it there but added some rap bolts.

Right now, there are about 5 routes bolted. The routes are at least 100' long, so you need a 70 meter to lower off the top chains. There's space for about 10-12 more long routes.

This is Ron after being hit on the head with a small rock.

Here's Peter, hanging out on the cliff.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Red Neck Rapping on Conn Diagonal

Just got back from a few days climbing in the Black Hills. We climbed Conn Diagonal. The belay ledge was so crowded we had to hide Greg. He enjoyed it so much, he actually smiled.

Ron did a good imitation of a "Red Neck Rapper."

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Cupcakes and Cigarettes"

Today at Red Wing, Ron told Pete and me that his winter climbing program was "cupcakes and cigarettes." It worked well for him; I will try it next winter.

Here're some shots of Pete pulling hard on "Space Warp."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Aid Climbing On Saturday

Peter O., Marianna and I practiced some more aid climbing on Saturday morning. Lots of work cleaning on aid a traversing and overhanging route.

Friday, May 2, 2014

We're Pathetic. Really?

This article accuses modern people of being pathetic. Could it be that our ancient ancestors were more fit than we are today? I don't believe it.

From the the article: "...the hunter-gatherers of 30,000 to 150,00 years ago traveled extremely long distances while hauling all kinds of weight." Really? I can travel 500 miles in 10 hours with my car hauling multiple people and a month's worth of food. Could they do that? Doubt it. 

I'd challenge my ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors to hunt and gather with me. I'd out-hunt them when it comes to bargains; I'd out gather them when it comes to getting food. Could they hunt down a bargain airfare to Vegas in about 15 minutes on the internet? Nope. Thirty minutes at Costco, and I'm good for a couple of weeks of food. Could they do that in 30 minutes? No way. 

One part of the article I do agree with: "Cordain, for one, thinks we should eat and live like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose meat-heavy diets gave them more muscle mass and enhanced their athletic abilities and performance." I have a meat-heavy diet whenever I eat at McDonalds. And I eat there frequently out of respect for my ancestors. 

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 VEMhttps://lh4.googleusercontent.com/iPLIbaPcOWROIcwl_ONsO5IZZpRVnij3mDftGaK2rUWW=w311-h233-p-no

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.