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Blake

Random Tips and Tricks Thread - not spray

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Put duct tape on your heel or any other hot spot (keep your mind out of the gutter) to keep it from turning into a blister.

 

Aluminum foil makes a great heat exchanger and pot lid that is much lighter and better than anything commercially available. For longer trips you may need to bring extra as it will tear with multiple uses.

 

Space-blanket-like bivy sacks are super-light emergency gear for alpine outings, but they tear easily on rocks and you probably can't expect to get more than one night of use out of one. Also, they are completely water-proof and non-breathable, which is both a pro and a con.

 

Use a chemical hand-warmer plus rubber band to keep batteries (cell phone, camera) functional in very cold conditions (from a friend last week).

 

Put snow on black garbage bags to melt snow for water at basecamp while you're away during the day on your summit bid (saw that in a previous CC post).

 

Climb naked at night to save weight (Mark Twight).

 

Bring blackberry to surf CC for anchor clipping advice when you're at the chains on your favorite exit 38 project!

 

 

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On Multi-rap descents, after each rappel thread the end of the rope that you'll be pulling through the next anchor before you start to pull it. Stop when you get to the 1/2way point, and away you go.

 

Extension of the above thought:

After you've threaded the rope through the anchor and started the pull, have your partner coil the rope for the toss as you're pulling it down from the upper anchor. On multi-rap descents, this multi-tasking can end up saving a lot of time over the course of the descent.

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Plan ahead with water to save weight. If need energy from drinks, bring electrolyte pills instead.

 

Do not carry water if you think you are going to pass several streams. Instead, buy one of those collapsible plastic cups and keep it in your pocket. When you come across a stream, pull out the cup and drink from the stream. It beats bending over with a pack and drinking from the stream.

 

here's what one looks like:

http://www.shopzilla.com/8N_-_cat_id--12040100__nwylf--__oid--702179962

 

Yep. I look at water sources on the map and carry as litle possible, sometimes I'll drink my fill and not carry any water at all knowing it will be available at a river a few miles down the trail. Obviously, one needs to decide how much emergency/contingency water one feels comfortable having.

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Any other tricks for improving the efficiency of multiple raps? Last year my partner and I spent almost as much time rapping Infinite bolts as we did climbing the darn thing!

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Simul-rap? :eek:

 

Seriously, tho...

As the first rapper nears the next anchor below, begin anchor disassembly of the upper anchor. Obviously, this is only advisable under certain circumstances, such as:

1) heaviest partner rapped first, and

2) redundant anchor points (if used) were not weighted during the rappel.

 

Clearly, this technique would not apply to bolted rap stations. However, in the case of bolted rap stations, one could safely simul-rap if the bolts are in good condition/solid. I've done this many times to beat a thunderstorm moving up the valley.

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buy mapping software.

 

Then print your maps on regular paper and give copies to every one in your party--but carry yours in a plastic bag of some type. This way, you can trash the paper instead of having to "take care" of the single map you have of the area. I also have another copy of the map in the backpack in case I accidently lose my first one somewhere on the trip.

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a strong, even prescription strength, roll-on antiperspirant rubbed on the hands and feet will help keep you from sweating in your gloves and boots during high-out-put days in the winter, helping to keep the extremities warm. Think of it as a roll on vapour-barrier.

 

 

 

 

more importantly, watch out where the husky goes; don't eat yellow snow. -FZ

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I always buy shorts from Goodwill becuase I glissade come spring or early summer...but the butt eventually wears out, so I buy $1.00 shorts. They seem to always have some nylon shorts in stock. Sometimes I wear the shorts over the expensive goretex pants as a "protective layer" so the goretex doesn't shread.

 

They also have other good outdoor stuff clothes which they don't know is expensive, but you gotta look hard and often.

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Simul-rapping is awesome, if you know you're going to reach an anchor.

and it works best if you're on bolted rap stations and/or newly slung stout trees. I don't attempt it with slung chockstones or horns. IMHO, too much strain on the webbing/rock contact area, especially if there's an edge involved. Too much risk to both climbers for the reward...

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Plan ahead with water to save weight. If need energy from drinks, bring electrolyte pills instead.

 

Do not carry water if you think you are going to pass several streams. Instead, buy one of those collapsible plastic cups and keep it in your pocket. When you come across a stream, pull out the cup and drink from the stream. It beats bending over with a pack and drinking from the stream.

 

here's what one looks like:

http://www.shopzilla.com/8N_-_cat_id--12040100__nwylf--__oid--702179962

better yet, just bring a straw! mine doubles as my tooth-brush :P

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here's one i picked up from tvash that i like:

 

on multi-day trips, screw bringing a cup or bowl. just eat a dehydrated meal the first night, then use the foil pouch from there on out as your dish - it's nice to be able to seal up your grits in it in the morning when doing other things. a nalgene can be used just fine for soup/cider/hot chocholate/etc.

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my favorite climbing trick on anything over 5.8, given my weak-ass technique and strength:

 

always have a fifi-hook on your belay loop so you can rest whenever need be (wtf cares if its alpine anyhow?)

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fresh socks (Icebreaker) 2/3's of the way through a long day

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On hard trad, when you need to climb fast through a section (tips layback, etc) figure out what cam you will need through the crux. Below this point, clip the piece to the rope, and to your harness. When you are flailing to hang on, you can just un-clip it from your harness, plug it in, and keep climbing.

 

Careful on this one Blake. If you don't have a long enough draw on the piece that is attached to the rope and your gear loop (assuming that is where you clip it), you can blow up your gear loop in a fall and lose the stuff you may need to finish the climb safely. Also, a longer draw in this situation often gets hung up on things, and it is easy to screw up and clip above the biner on your rope in a desperate moment.

 

More of a "goal" than a tip or trick, when rappelling multi-pitch ice routes using v-threads, the first person to rap should get to the next rappel point, set the anchor including a screw to back up the v-thread, and have the rap anchor ready to go with rope threaded by the time the second gets there. No one likes hanging belays on ice, and hustling (not hurrying!) can really help minimize time there.

 

Also, practice v-threads often so you don't miss. I nailed 16 in a row and 15 in a row coming off two separate peaks in Alaska, and that saved soooo much time. Time that is much better spent drinking and eating back in camp, not strapped to the ice.

 

Have a look here for other tips, tricks, and advice from some good climbers: http://aai.cc/expert_tips.asp

 

Coley

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On hard trad, when you need to climb fast through a section (tips layback, etc) figure out what cam you will need through the crux. Below this point, clip the piece to the rope, and to your harness. When you are flailing to hang on, you can just un-clip it from your harness, plug it in, and keep climbing.

 

Careful on this one Blake. If you don't have a long enough draw on the piece that is attached to the rope and your gear loop (assuming that is where you clip it), you can blow up your gear loop in a fall and lose the stuff you may need to finish the climb safely.

 

I think I must be explaining it poorly Coley. If you fell before putting in this piece, having it clipped to the rope and your harness wouldn't do anything or make the fall unusual at all. When you place the piece, it is automatically connected to the rope, not your harness. The idea is that placing a piece becomes a fast one-move occurrence.

 

On Multi-Rap Descents where your middle is not marked, grabbing some climbing tape, or even a band-aid from your first aid kit will both work for marking the middle and will remain in place a lot longer than you'd guess.

Edited by Blake

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percocet for long down hill slogs through godforsaken wilderness!

 

Good on ya for not "chewing" through the first aid kit supplies before even getting to the hills..easier said than done

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On Multi-rap descents, after each rappel thread the end of the rope that you'll be pulling through the next anchor before you start to pull it. Stop when you get to the 1/2way point, and away you go.

 

Extension of the above thought:

After you've threaded the rope through the anchor and started the pull, have your partner coil the rope for the toss as you're pulling it down from the upper anchor. On multi-rap descents, this multi-tasking can end up saving a lot of time over the course of the descent.

 

coiling and tossing = knotting

 

the gravity feed is faster and better

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If you sleep cold, make sure you're warm when you get into your sleeping bag (walk or do jumping jacks before bed). Also, when sleeping, layering the down jacket on top of your torso rather than wearing it adds more warmth. (if you wear the jacket, the part you lay on is compressed and provides no warmth.)

 

Duct tape on the feet to prevent blisters.

 

On some snow traverses, I like to use one pole and an ice axe.

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better yet, just bring a straw! mine doubles as my tooth-brush :P

 

A straw is also good for sucking up water from tiny pools on rocks, or deep inside cracks.

 

Another tip that I posted on another thread recently is to bring plastic grocery bags rather than snow stakes if you use a tent in the snow. Fill the bags with snow and bury them. They are lighter and work better in many cases.

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This one could be dangerous, but I've never had any problems with it...yet.

 

Instead of carrying a collapsible nalgene pee bottle, just use the bag from that night's freeze dried meal. The zip-locks on those bags are bomber, and aside from rolling over on it, it will not crack open. Put it by your head and it's out of the way and safe.

 

Bad story: We were on the first night of an 13-day trip last winter in the Chugach, where it was -30 every night. My 96 ounce nalgene cantene cracked a little bit and I woke up in the middle of the night to a brand new urine soaked WM Big Horn down bag. The next week and a half was spent sleeping in a piss-ridden bag, but the problem never happened again, thanks to the afformentioned tip.

 

Lighter than carrying a standard nalgene piss-bottle, plus it holds more.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut a foot-hole in the vestibule. Way better than having to cook and lay down. Easier to put boots on in the morning.

 

 

 

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Carry tincture of benzoine to keep tape on hot spots in boots, splits or injuries to fingers.

 

 

stuff a lightweight polypro hat into the space in helmet

 

Keep a lightweight jacket clipped to your harness during multi-pitch ascents

 

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Pee Bottle? Better to develop what Willi Unsoeld used to refer to as a "Himalayan bladder."

 

Friend of mine had a pee bottle in his VW van back when you could live in the Yosemite Lodge parking lot. A couple of valley rats noticed his accommodation, you can guess what his nickname that summer was. :laf:

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General tip related to various rapping tips above, is always be thinking about what you can be getting done. Never be sitting waiting, not doing anything. Coil some rope, organize some gear, eat, drink, take a piss, whatever.

 

With respect to multiple raps on Infinite Bliss, the low angle pitches of that is terrain that maximizes utility of simulrapping. The low angle makes it easy to stay in control and each person deals with their own rope mess (which happens all too frequently when rapping low-angled featured terrain), and noone will be kicking rocks down on their partner.

 

One simul-rapping tip: it is required that both people weight the rope at the same time. We would use a verbal signal to indicate readiness to get on the rope. We found that "weight" sounds a bit too much like "wait!", so we switched to "load" (though this may cause some confusion for Ivan).

 

Similar to above comments on reusing the dehydro bag for cup. I have had good success with bringing a cup of noodles for the first night and using the styrofoam cup for the remainder of the trip. Bring a cheap plastic cup that will nest well with the CoN styrofoam cup. Then you can either have a super insulated mug for your warm beverages, or an extra cup. It seems like the CoN styro cup would not hold up to the rigors of backpack stuffing, but I've been amazed how resilient those fuckers are. Oh, and nut tool works pretty well as a utensil for eating noodles (though the galvanic zing you get when touching your teeth to the metal can be unpleasant).

 

With respect to clipping a jacket on your harness for multipitch, I have a very light windshirt that I can stuff in a pocket.

 

 

 

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On Multi-rap descents, after each rappel thread the end of the rope that you'll be pulling through the next anchor before you start to pull it. Stop when you get to the 1/2way point, and away you go.

 

Extension of the above thought:

After you've threaded the rope through the anchor and started the pull, have your partner coil the rope for the toss as you're pulling it down from the upper anchor. On multi-rap descents, this multi-tasking can end up saving a lot of time over the course of the descent.

 

coiling and tossing = knotting

 

the gravity feed is faster and better

Right. Every time. Absolutely. :rolleyes:

I'll agree that the "gravity assist" works best when the topography allows it. A lot depends upon the incline and/or nature of the vegetation of any particular climb. But then again, you already knew that...

 

I can't remember the last time I pitched a rope down a climb and ended up with a clusterfuck serious enough that I couldn't rap it. But then again, I must be doing it wrong...

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