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Posts posted by Stephen_Ramsey

  1. FWIW, here is what I use, for the PNW--


    alpine: BD shrikes, straight shaft, BD lockdown leashes

    waterfall: BD rages, BD android leashes


    But you could probably just as easily use a high-end tool (e.g., Cobra, Aztar, etc) for both alpine and waterfall ice climbing.

  2. My nomination for worst newbie ice climb:


    I was taken to Ames Falls (Colorado, WI4-5) on my first day of ice climbing. You lower into a deep canyon, from which the only way out is to climb up the falls. The falls are 100' high and rather steep. There was rushing water off to the left, which is exactly where you would pendulum (and be stuck in a gap between the canyon wall and the ice) if you fell. Communication with the belayer top-side was impossible. After flailing for an hour, I ended up with a broken front tooth and hypothermia, and was eventually hauled up on a Z-pulley. pitty.gif It was a while before I went ice climbing again.

  3. the gate vibration issue is why some ppl used to use lockers on them but since wiregates dont have gate flutter issues, it become irrelevant.

    But wire gates DO have flutter issues...just greatly reduced compared to normal biners. Geek_em8.gif I'm waiting for the invention of the massless gate biners. pitty.gif

    But from particle physics, we know that neutrinos *are* massless! (OK, this is a lame joke).

  4. Rigging for Rescue did some destructive testing on Yates screamers. During the drop the force was delayed, but once the screamer was fully-extended, the force went right back up to what it was w/o the screamer in place. Use 'em if it makes you feel good I guess.

    This is totally expected and not surprising, and doesn't (to my eyes) mean that Screamers are not useful. The screamer will dissipate a calculable, well-defined amount of energy out of the system (basically the activation force times the length of the screamer). It is the kinetic energy of the falling climber that is (indirectly) being dissipated as the screamer rips. From mechanics, we know that kinetic energy is related to the square of the velocity of the falling climber (KE = (1/2) m v^2). So after the screamer fully rips, you are not falling as fast as you would otherwise. This means that the subsequent impact on the protection is going to be less severe than it would in the absence of the screamer. Simply put, it is as if you free-fell for less distance than you really did. How much less? Well, it is a distance roughly equal to the energy dissipated by the screamer, divided by your weight in newtons.


    The relevant quantity to study is the MAXIMUM tension in the rope achieved during the fall subsequent to the screamer ripping, not the tension in the rope at the moment the last stitch rips on the screamer. These are two totally different things, because in the worst case, the climber has nonzero kinetic energy and continues to fall after the screamer has fully ripped. So the rope plus harness continue to stretch, and the forces in the system continue to increase until the climber has almost decelerated to zero velocity, at which point the forces will rapidly decrease. It is this maximum force that matters. And from Yates' literature, it appears to be the case that this maximum force is indeed smaller if you used a screamer to dissipate energy from the falling climber.


    Not trying to convince you that screamers are great or anything, just trying to clarify what might be a potential flaw in the interpretation of this study's results.



    Steve Ramsey

  5. I accidentally punched a 1cm hole in the shell of my Scarpa Alpha boot. Does anyone know of a good way to repair it? I asked Black Diamond, and they said that because the shell is made of "Pebax", nothing sticks to it for very long or very well.


    Anyone out there know of a good sealant or epoxy for patching a hole in Pebax?


    Many thanks,


  6. Regarding Maude's NF: In good conditions in early summer, NF Maude (if it is approached via the 7FJ/Maude Col) is a 1200' 50+ degree climb on neve. When we climbed it in mid June 2003, we protected it with pickets and some rock pro. If you approach it from further down and climb the entire NF from the Entiat glacier, you might have to deal with a schrund crossing. Beware of icefall from parties higher up on the route. Entiat Icefall is more interesting, and also longer.

  7. I would agree that in June the route would be in better shape, but that if you are flying in from out of town, the weather could crap out on you. If you choose June, make it early June, not late June. You can count on the weather being bad from mid June through the first week of July. From the second week of July, you can count on the weather being good, or if it is not, its only a matter of waiting a day or two before it is.



    Not disputing your advice, but it should be emphasized that early June is no sure-thing either. I've been stormed off Rainier three times in early June, in 1999, 2000, and 2002.

    Maybe I just have bad luck however.




  8. An interesting sidebar (speaking of using the lead rope to the max):


    Somewhere I picked up the technique of clipping the biner I use for my ATC through both the belay loop and the loop formed by the rope/fig8 knot while belaying. It adds a bit of redundancy to the system with absolutely no extra gear.

    This is in case your belay loop should break? I have to do that since I use a bod harness.



    I'm confused. Can you please explain? I have an Alpine Bod harness and never knew it was necessary to clip the tie-in loop of the climbing rope. Would appreciate hearing your reasoning. Is this to provide redundancy in the event both straps (waist strap + lower strap) of the harness break? If that happens, I'm no longer attached to the belay anchor anyhow, so I'm screwed, right? Sorry, I'm confused. cantfocus.gif




  9. BD says the same thing as Petzl on this, i.e. not using the belay loop is more likely to cross load the belay biner and is therefor bad. This may be true in general but

    This probably depends on the harness you are using. The BD Alpine Bod harness, for example, has no belay loop whatsoever. And I believe it is a perfectly safe harness for belaying, when used correctly. It's pretty much the only harness I use.


    Just my $0.02.

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