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John Frieh

Spray Free Ice Climbing Survey

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1. What is your height and weight?

2. How long can you hang from your ice tools leashless? One attempt dead hang (no feet). Chalk, shake out, switch grips, etc etc but when your feet touch the ground stop the clock. Use what ever pair of tools you want but note make/model.

3. How many leashless pull ups can you do on your ice tools in one attempt? Same as above: chalk, shake out, switch grips, etc etc but when your feet touch the ground stop the clock. Use what ever pair of tools you want but note make/model.

4. What WI grade do you comfortable lead? Hardest lead to date (location/route)? How long have you been ice climbing?

 

Thinking about cutting weight for ice season. Thanks for keeping this informal unscientific poll spray free :wave:

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Off the top of my head and based on previous experience.

 

1) 6'2", 190 lbs

2) 2 minutes

3) 6 pull-ups (no kipping)

4) WI3+, Icy BC Lilooet

 

I'll have to edit this post when I get off work and actually try this test using my tools.

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Off the top of my head and based on previous experience.

 

1) 6'2", 190 lbs

2) 2 minutes

3) 6 pull-ups (no kipping)

4) WI3+, Icy BC Lilooet

 

I'll have to edit this post when I get off work and actually try this test using my tools.

 

Thanks dude. Gadd lists a # of "benchmarks" one should be @ to climb @ a certain grade in his book... I think I agree with them but a few of them I'm not so sure on. I can think of a few ice climbers that cant do more than a few DH pull ups but can crank on ice. I'm hoping to give it a run myself next week.

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Man, I'm out of shape now but should start getting ready for the ice... ok, just got out the tools (Petzl Nomics) on the pull up bar and...

 

1)5'8", 170lbs

2)1m30s

3)5 (lame!! I usually try to be ~15 mid season)

4)WI3+, WI4 - South of the Border/Katahdin/Baxter,ME; 3 seasons

 

Pullups don't hurt (especially staggered pull ups) for ice, but I think they are more important for mixed.

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4) WI3+, Icy BC Lilooet

 

 

Just the first pitch?

 

To clairify- I read the 4th item as a two part question. What do you feel comfortable leading and secondly the hardest route I have done. I led the first pitch but not the third pitch which is rated higher.

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in the old days we would use crampons when climbing ice so didn't have to do any pullups. give it a try sometime.

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in the old days we would use crampons when climbing ice so didn't have to do any pullups. give it a try sometime.

john lost his legs back in 'nam, man...to a vicious tunnel-snafflehound - that's what killed him on the tropics and swear to stick to a life of cold n' ice.

 

but then this IS supposed to be spray free...

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Interesting thread- I'll give this a go when I get home and see how I do off the couch. It's time to start training for ice, anyway :cool:

 

cbcbd and Hendershot- with what kind of tools were you doing your pullups and timed hangs?

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in the old days we would use crampons when climbing ice so didn't have to do any pullups.

 

we still use them! who knew! :laf:

 

It's time to start training for ice, anyway

 

speaking of feet and training grab a friend and try this one:

 

Tabata Calf Raises

 

1 round = 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest. 8 round total. Rest in the elevated position.

 

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Hi John,

 

You started an interesting thread. I do not have current data, but a couple of years ago I did a little testing at home that relates to your thread. The genesis for my home testing was whether going leashless had advantages in terms of duration of gripping (holding on to the tool) and/or pulling up on the tool. At first blush one might be inclined to say going leashless should result in a shorter duration of holding onto the tool since one is not getting any help from a leash. But I thought about how without a leash one might experience somewhat better blood flow into one's hands and thus perhaps the ability to hold on a bit longer and/or pull up on the tool would be the offsetting feature in the decision.

So my home test involved a pull up bar and holding one tool in one hand leashless and the other hand holding the tool with a leash. The tools were BD and I removed the "pinky rest" from both tools (I had added the "pinky rests" as add-ons to the tools). The leash I used was the BD Android. I do not recall the times I recorded from several years ago. But I did find there was a noticeable advantage to using a leash if all one is doing is a dead hang from a given tool. The leash did not make a noticeable difference with respect to doing a pull up on the tool until I was near the end of my endurance--in other words the ability to squeeze out that last pull up.

Then I added the "pinky rest" into the equation. The "pinky rest" on the leashed tool contributed very little, which made sense--the leash is the real "assistant" with respect to duration of dead hang and repetitions of pull ups. But on the leashless tool the "pinky rest" did make a difference. It's addition did not fully close the performance gap between the two tool configuations, but the "pinky rest" definitely helped.

So my conclusion from my unscientific test was this. If one takes all other criteria out of the picture and only evaluates the decision of whether to go leashless on two things: a) duration of dead hang; and b) number of pull up repetitions performed; then using leashes is preferrable. But as we all know there are many other factors that go into the decision of whether to go leashless or not. I think one factor was the leash choice I used in my test. Some leashes (older generations mostly) really do cut into the wrist pretty quick--quickly offsetting any advantage they might otherwise give. But the BD Android does a pretty good job of distributing the load and is a bit more "ergononic" in its design. If BD asked for my opinion for an improvement I would tell BD to make the leashes side specific--that is one that is truly design for the left hand and one truly designed for the right hand. I have noticed that my right hand is "craddled" more effectively by the BD Android than the left. Another is the "cinch" feature on the BD Android--the left over strap after "cinching" dangles differently from left hand to right hand and thus tends to get in the way (snag on stuff) less often from one hand than to the other. Making the leashes left and right specific would add production expense and cost to the consumer, but would be an improvement.

I know I did not directly give you the data you requested (because I did this test several winters ago and have forgotten), but I wanted to make a positive contribution to the discussion. I am 5' 10" and weight 165 lbs.

Hope this posting helps the discussion along.

 

Cheers to all,

 

Bob Loomis, Spokane, Washington

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Thanks Bob! Great info! Ill pass your feedback and suggestions on the Android along.

 

My plan is to try the test next week on my quarks and nomics... perhaps Ill also try it with leashes. I didnt get "serious" about ice climbing until about the same time the whole leashless gig got started up/recycled/whatever you want to call it so I've been leashless more or less from the start. I climbed with leashes a little before that but it was on ice grades so easy that any pump I remember was likely due to poor technique on my part.

 

I guess I started the thread as it was recently suggested to me to cut 10/15 lbs this winter from some I have a lot of respect for... I'm deliberating doing it as it wont be easy for me to drop a lot of weight. Hmmm...

 

Again: thanks for the post!

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thanks for the link to the tabata calf raises, they look brutal.

 

for what it's worth, my opinion is that "knees to elbows" is probably more relevant for climbing than pull ups.

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Yeah... rob has his kids often do rope climbs (footless, L sit, etc) instead of pull ups... in addition to their regular serving of K2E and/or ankles 2 bar

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all of those sound good to me. i'm basically just a rock climber, but in my experience, failure occurs when i can't pull my feet up to the next holds rather than because i'm unable to do a pull up.

 

although to be truthful, mostly it's just that i can't hold on any longer...

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Interesting thread- I'll give this a go when I get home and see how I do off the couch. It's time to start training for ice, anyway :cool:

 

cbcbd and Hendershot- with what kind of tools were you doing your pullups and timed hangs?

 

Oops- reread this- one of them used Nomics.

 

Here's mine from right after work on new style Cobras with griprest pommels and Black Diamond Drytool Gloves.

 

1. 6' even. 162 lbs.

2. 2 min 2 seconds

3. 9 pullups

4. WI5 crux pitch of The Sorcerer (The Ghost, Canada)

 

 

Edited by Chad_A

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John,

 

I don't know my #s for your initial questions, but a couple things come to mind reading the other posts. I don't think pull ups or body weight or whatever really apply across the board for ice climbing ability. I know big guys, like close to Marcus' height but bigger all around, who climb WI6, M8 trad. I also know guys who climb as hard or harder who probably couldn't put more than three pullups together, whether its because they are overweight or scrawny as hell. I just don't see ice climbing as fitting any one particular stereotype or body type. In that sense it differs somewhat from rock climbing.

 

I agree that for most of us, being lighter, proportionately stronger and fitter makes us better climbers (myself included), but i've seen enough people who defy this "logic" that I don't buy it beyond a certain point. I think experience, improved technique, the right mental attitude and natural ability will take certain people further than being strong or losing 5 extra pounds ever will. I have none of those natural attributes, so my only hope for getting better is losing weight and getting stronger and fitter - none of which are likely to happen any time soon given my current work situation.

 

I will agree though, if you're just as strong 10 lbs lighter, it can't possibly hurt your climbing. But for as strong as you are, unless you've put on a ton of weight since I last saw you, I don't see your weight affecting in any significant way your ice climbing level this winter. If it does, its probably all in your head.

 

my 2 cents.

 

Donnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by pdk

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Good points mentioned... I've heard from multiple sources of a certain high-profile ice climber that can only do one or two pullups, but can climb WI6 just because he has tremendous grip strength.

 

I'd guess that most of it comes down to experience, technique and efficiency.

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I usually try to put ON 10 lbs or so before ice climbing season starts because I usually lose that much in the first few weeks of ice season from the shivering and I found that if I didn't gain some weight before the season started, by the end of the season I was too cold all day and it just wasn't fun.

 

Btw I'm 184 cm, 74 kg

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Hi to John and all others,

 

Most, if not all, of the comments preceding this posting, offered by Chad A, are ones I agree with. I had two motives for making my original posting. One was to make a positive contribution to the discussion. The other was to suggest to John as the initiator or this discussion thread that the data he solicited from others (hang time, etc.) might be influenced by whether the person used a leash or not, and whether the tool had a "pinky rest" or not. But those considerations are actually secondary since in the main the ability to perform a dead hang pull up on an ice tool and/or hang off the tool until failure are not central to performing well on technical ice--for all the reasons and more discussed by others.

So just some thoughts on body weight in ice climbing. In a previous post John mentioned that a friend suggested to him losing some weight (some 10 to 15 lbs). But stepping back from that suggestion for just a minute it strikes me that the number may well be arbitrary for you John. It may well be that you are packing that much extra weight and could safely lose it. But it might also be the case that losing the weight will result in your struggling to maintain an unhealthy weight for yourself.

From what little I know, the best place to start from is to go to a professional and have your body fat percentage (%) analyzed by such means as calipers, dunk tank, etc. Once the individual knows his/her % with fair confidence, then the individual can set realistic sustainable goals that do not compromise good health. Again from what I have read, for example, elite marathoners (Olympic caliber) carry body fat % of around 5 to 7%. Generally well conditioned elite athletes in other sports will tend to carry something more--9 to 14%.

The exta fat can come in handy depending on what one is doing--or trying to do. For example, assume an elite boulderer (V12 and higher). What he/she needs (among other things) is a light frame, strong hands, and massive power in short bursts (mostly). So a body fat % of say 7% would make sense. But suppose one is doing big long alpine routes in Alaska where one has to have the ability to go for days on end in very cold conditions where one cannot hope to carry all the food one will need--one has to supplement off of one's body fat stores. In that situation carrying some extra weight is well worth it--especially if one has to shiver through several days of an unplanned bivouac with almost no food.

I understand that one pound of body fat yields about 3500 to 3600 calories. Assume an average day of ice climbing in January--hiking in, hiking out with gear through sometimes deep snow, and say five pitches of technical ice. Add in staying warm by either climbing or belaying/standing around and constantly maintaining a low shivering. One could easily be burning 600 or more calories per hour (likely conservative). In other words on a short winter day one could readily burn a straight pound of fat.

I find that I tend to eat and drink less when actually ice climbing. One is cold tends to suppress appetite. The other is the hassle of removing gloves, getting out the food and beverage, etc. Another is the desire to keep moving so I do not get colder than I have to--plus racing the short days. Lastly having to relieve oneself is a hassle (extra clothes, harness). So I tend to eat a good breakfast, go all day, then refuel at night. During the day of ice climbing I eat and drink but not as much as when rock climbing. So for me having a few extra pounds is fine. On one or two occassions I suffered through an unplanned bivouac and then the body fat was some insurance.

So in closing I would suggest to John, go get a body fat analysis done by someone who is reputable--many colleges and universities have anatomy & physiology classes and they do these tests for the public for cheap since it is educational for the students. With this knowledge of your unique body, plan for a body fat range which allows for optimal performance without sacraficing health, and that is sustainable.

Then consider the postings made by others--ice climbing performance is too complex to reduce to how many dead hang pullups can one do? Technical skills, mental skills, how well one uses the features on the ice, one's feet (crampons), and a host of other components go into the equation.

One thing I like about this thread so far are the people and the content. I have not met any of the others, but all seem like good folks. Also the content is constructive and postive. It is my sincere hope that others who read this will receive my post as constructive and positive--I mean nothing other than to do so.

 

Cheers and safe climbing to all others,

 

Bob Loomis, Spokane, Washington

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