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Blake

Random Tips and Tricks Thread - not spray

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For tossing rappel ropes, I generally use a combination of gravity feet and coiling. I'll coil what is to become the bottom half or third of the rope - butterfly style - but gravity feet the remainder. Then, rather than drop that coil, I'll actually throw it down. Each individual rap may demand different combinations of feed and throw, and sometimes it is better to double rap, carry the coils with you and feed it out as you go on low angle terrain.

 

Wind, bush, steepness, and other similar factors dictate what will be best. Skinnier and softer ropes cause me more trouble than stiffer or fatter ones.

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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...

 

I can't remember the last time I gravity fed that I had any sort of clusterfuck, even the non-serious kind :laf:

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On multipitch descents: If the middle of the rope has no mark or has worn off, just mark it with chalk on the first rap and re-chalk it every 3 raps or so.

 

Alpine rope systems: Get yourself a thin 60 or 70m lead line, 60 or 70m of 6 or 7 mil cord, some rap rings; learn the proper knot-blocks to use, and the intraciacies of the system. Very light, very versatile.

 

Windscreen: use a laminated extra map as your windscreen for your pocket rocket. Secure the side with duct tape and make sure you have a back up.

 

Snow climbing: use a picket daisy'ed to yourself as a second tool on easier snow climbs (NF of Shuksan, NF of Buckner, etc.).

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Replace your pack's foam backing/frame sheet/stays with your sleeping pad. I have a T-rest Prolite 4 3/4 length that fits perfectly into most of my packs - takes about the same space, stays out of the way, pads the back, and is there in case I need it.

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Maybe counter-intuitive but: if you have time to go climbing, don't worry about the weather forecast, just go. Wait til you get there for the next decision. To me, climbing isn't about getting stuff done so much as it is about the rare times when crazy ideas work out.

 

A related tip: try the routes you haven't heard anything about.

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time consuming rappels and descents become less stressful when you have time - i.e climb UP faster. Take the time and be smart and thoughtful on the descent where most mistakes occur. Bring extra headlight batteries and some twilight calories.

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A related tip: try the routes you haven't heard anything about.

or, and related to my advice to always have a fifi, try the routes that are way harder than what you can free-climb - it feels really good to figure out a way to bull yourself through hard stuff, by hook or by crook, free/french/fullaid/fawkedupfreakazoid-style! (just don't claim to actually be a .10 climber! :) )

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And apparently, if you don't have a guidebook at Vantage, you can just "borrow" one and then walk away with it. Why buy a mattressguidebook anywhere else?

Edited by G-spotter

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Duct tape is useful for things that break in the backcountry, but how to bring duct tape without bringing the whole roll?

 

Rap duct tape around your ski poles for how much you think you need.

 

Can also rap duct tape around MSR fuel bottles.

 

Ski poles, water bottles, fuel bottles, just about anything round works great for your duct tape stash.

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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.

 

Also, if you have a blister on your foot, you can run a thread through it with a needle from your mini sewing kit in your first aid bag. This allows the blister to drain but hopefully it won't fully rip off leaving you with a worse ouwie. It works great. Course, best if you can sterilize the needle and thread with your 100% alcohol that you smuggled into your partner's pack. You may have to get creative and pull "oh look at the eagle over there" and sneak the bottle out/back in partner's pack. That same distraction technique works great for poaching your partner's enviable dinner too.

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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

Coil up the rope in 2 sections and toss the middle section (section coming off rap anchor first). Right before that section is all out toss the second/end half coil and you will have much less chance of knotting.

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time consuming rappels and descents become less stressful when you have time - i.e climb UP faster. Take the time and be smart and thoughtful on the descent where most mistakes occur. Bring extra headlight batteries and some twilight calories.

 

Or, just bring an extra headlamp that weighs less the extra batteries

 

http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_detail_square.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442597120&emssrcid=GoogleBase

 

Another idea....my camera takes AA batteries as does my headlamp, so I don't need to carry extra batteries...the odds of needing the camera and the headlamp at the same time are low. Also, while the camera is a bit heavier than the canon elph or equivalent, the ability to use lower weigth lithium batteries that are far more dependable in extreme cold is nice.

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Use the thin produce bags as a vapor barrier in your boots. They are very light but work great. I usually bring one pair per day of the trip.

 

When belaying on multi-pitch routes where you are swapping leads, stack the rope over your girth hitch with about 3-6 foot lengths on each side, this will keep the clusterfuk from happening, or at least minimize it. This should leave you with a nice pre-stacked rope for the next leader.

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what's the tip for keepign the rope strait when doing block leads then?

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that always seems to get dicked up somehow...but then, i am very dim.

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I've had mixed results when flipping the rope. When I stack the rope on the sling I try to have each loop go progressively up the sling instead of stacking it all in a pile. I also do relatively long loops so there are fewer to get caught up with each other (as long as there's nothing for it to snag on). When I really want to get the rope stacked nicely I autoblock off the anchor and manage the rope when my partner is stopped. You don't really have to flip the rope then since it feeds from the bottom the same as it does from the top. YMMV.

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Stacking is for anal types. You get more tangles stacking than if you just make a big pile. If you're hanging just stuff it in a bag.

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For tossing rappel ropes, I generally use a combination of gravity feet and coiling. I'll coil what is to become the bottom half or third of the rope - butterfly style - but gravity feet the remainder. Then, rather than drop that coil, I'll actually throw it down. Each individual rap may demand different combinations of feed and throw, and sometimes it is better to double rap, carry the coils with you and feed it out as you go on low angle terrain.

 

Wind, bush, steepness, and other similar factors dictate what will be best. Skinnier and softer ropes cause me more trouble than stiffer or fatter ones.

This is exactly what I was trying to get across to Dru. But then again, he already knows all of this stuff. He's the quintessential climber.

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what's the tip for keepign the rope strait when doing block leads then?

 

clip a shoulder sling from your belay loop to the anchor (parallel to your daisy or whatever). Stack the rope - short loops are better than long. When buddy arrives unclip the sling from your loop and reclip to his. Or clip the one sling biner to the other around the rope stack and get it outta the way hanging off the anchor directly.

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You can keep sun screen out of the eyes from sweating by putting lip balm on your eye brows. It was Mr. Chris Simmons who learned me this. and for a pasty white boy, sweat hog like me it works great.

Edited by sirwoofalot

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Always count calories/weight of the food you bring. Pure oil is 9 calories/gram and is the highest calorie content of any edible material (the fattier the food, the better weight savings, at least in your pack, maybe not on your thighs). Peanut butter is the best actual food item, packing 6-7 calories/gram. Don't bring food that's less than 4 calories/gram. Alternating Snickers - Paydays is the fuel of champions.

Plan your actual food intake to be ~2000 calories per day. I've never wished I had more food than this. Sure, you can eat more, but you'll just poop more. :tdown:

 

Leave the camera at home. You won't miss it. You're the only one who actually enjoys looking at your pictures anyway, although your SO will never let on this is true.

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