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fishstick

Leashless tools

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Have you ever thought about getting rid of your leashes?

 

On a few occasions this year I was able to try modern leashless tools (Scuds and Top

Machines). Quite admittedly I've found them intimidating and have only top-roped with them,

but they left a refreshing impression of freedom and new challenge. In a sense, jumping on

the leashless bandwagon might be similar to an experienced alpine skier switching to tele

boards. I don't think leashless tools suit all terrain and situations, but then again, neither do

many skis. A second set of tools is actually cheaper than an extra set of boards. I've heard of

people bolting rope thimbles to their existing tools to provide a less expensive alternative than

purchasing new ones.

 

A number of very good climbers in North America are going or pondering the switch to leashless

tools. Apparently much of France already has.

 

Should we step up to the plate?

 

GB

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I'd check the archives. This topic was hotly debated a few months ago, ending in the usual spray, profanity, obscure jpegs of snowmobiles, and links to hypnotic cats that seems to be a co-requisite to any good information on this bbs. [Roll Eyes][big Grin]

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Leashless has its place but maybe not for multipitch or 'trad' ice. If you are more than 1/2 pitch off the ground it sure would suck to drop your leashless tool.

 

Kinda like aiding, you dont need a rope, all you need is 3 daisies, but lots scarier.

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Leashless tools are good for when you want to Tomahawk someone below trying to give you unwanted beta and or bragging about how then climbed WI9 M16 on a toprope [Roll Eyes]

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Noted, but Guy Lacelle soloed polar Circus leashless and I believe Riptide has been climbed leashless as well. When I first cut off my umbilicals in the mid 80's it felt risky, but now I'd laugh at the thought of ever re-attaching them.

 

GB

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Gourd, if you are gonna go leashless up at Niut let me know now so's I can plan to always climb above you and not get hit when you drop a tool [Razz]

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I was going to, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to holster one of the "deer antler sticks" when cruising short rock sections.

 

GB

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Seriously folks, there was a huge amount of negativity when sport climbing hit North American shores, but look what it did to standards. All of the arguements offered thus far center around

safety, but none address ethics, asthetics or power.

 

GB

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Fishbrain,

 

Go climb how you want. Just dont drop anything on me [Wazzup]

 

I do think it is morepure style. I dont recommend it for intermediate or beginner ice climber like me. Would certainly find myself in disastrous situation I am sure. [big Drink]

 

I'll keep my leashes.

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They sure look kewl! but they would suck if you had to use them for plunging. Or try a boot-axe belay with those suckers.

 

I think I will get one to carry strapped to my pack up the DC on Rainier next time. Here comes a hardman! watch out, coming through! [Roll Eyes]

 

Serioulsy, they are probably the future of steep ice and mixed climbing. I hear things....

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fishstick,

North American mixed standards are pretty high --leash, or no. Isn't the "hardest" mixed route Mushashi which is in northern Detroit? It has been climbed with and without leashes. Some credit for the high standards should go to the makers of Nicorette and Red Bull, not leashless tools.

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quote:

Originally posted by freeclimb9:

fishstick,

North American mixed standards are pretty high --leash, or no. Isn't the "hardest" mixed route Mushashi which is in northern Detroit? It has been climbed with and without leashes. Some credit for the high standards should go to the makers of Nicorette and Red Bull, not leashless tools.

Since when is the Icefields Parkway in Northern Detroit?????

[Confused][Confused][Confused]

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quote:

Originally posted by freeclimb9:

Gotcha!

Ahh whatever go back to climbing that chossy granite in Indian Creek you Utahrd.

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I'm not trying to say that you can climb harder with leashless sticks, but rather, the concept might be much more applicable than originally thought when it was forced upon climbers in comps. I've fiddled with probably 50 variations of leashes in a quest for perfect security and ease of exit, yet the pure fun of leashless tools has left a very positive impression (maybe it's just because I'm not facing a 60 meter slug-fest at the moment). It's like going from a very cluttered rack, to carrying only draws, or soloing. It's beautifully simple! One of the things that also struck me was it forced me to be a better climber, because I needed to utilize better technique in an effort to spare my arms, in the same manner that forcing yourself to use only textured pannels (rather than holds) on an EP wall for your feet makes you more aware of body position.

 

Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to ram the concept down anyone's throat. I do however think that we should be aware of a potential big change.

 

It's also worth noting that a friend with almost no ice experience, but 5.12 or 13 rock ability adjusted to leashless tools instantly. He feels that leashes just seem contrived and limiting.

 

GB

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What's all of this talk about leashless tools? Did Larry get loose again?

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Maybe they can come up with a compromise like the grip of a leashless tool, and a 2mm keeper cord so's you dont drop them.

 

PS I dont see how anybody used umbilicals they always get in the way when you high step.

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The one thing that I didn’t understand is what is the benefit of climbing leash less is there any rout u can do leash less that u cant do with leashes?

For instance in sport Vs Trad this argument is true since u got bolts and u can hang on the rope but with ice there is no bolts and Y don’t really hangdog U just risk the chance of dropping tools and inevitability lowering down

So here is my solution climb with the leashes 2”to3” longer then your normal length and have fun if worse come to worse U at least didn’t drop the tool or climb with the archaic tools made in the 60’s for a real horror show incase u like the challenge

[geek][Wazzup]

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Although there may not be a route that can be done leashless that would be impossible with leashed tools, the former would seem to offer better style. Leashless tools do offer the opportunity to match (ie. left hand grabs right tool) which can offer unique solutions to cruxes.

 

Dropping the tool is an issue especially when removing one with a stuck pick. Ask yourself however how many tools would you have dropped had you not had leashes and how do carpenters avoid dropping hammers working on tall buildings?

 

GB

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quote:

Originally posted by fishstick:

Ask yourself however how many tools would you have dropped had you not had leashes and how do carpenters avoid dropping hammers working on tall buildings?

I have had tools slip from my hands many times. I guess it has something to do with that slippery ice and snow. I've also worked as a carpenter and lost my hammer over the roof edge, or off the top of a wall, a couple times. There's a reason that multi-story building construction sites require hard hats to be worn.

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geez, gord, how much time have you spent on a construction site? workers drop stuff all the time (ever notice that the sidewalks around construction sites have a solid cover of scaffolding over them?)

 

that said, i can see how the climbing leashless would give you a sense of freedom (no more fighting to get out of your leash to place screws)but i reckon' i'm going to be a very late adopter of this new climbing gear trend.

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the leash is a form of aid. the only ice climbs done free are the ones that have been done leashless. In europe everyone agress this is now the case.

 

May be in the mountains there is still a place for the leash, just as we grade routes with hardest grade and obligatory (avoid crux by pull on gear) grade?

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