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pope

Good Habbits for a Long Career

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I used to climb at the crags in the same manner I would on a long mountain route: the faster the better. Going fast meant running it out; it also meant doing routine things (like putting on a harness or rigging a belay) perfunctorily, almost thoughtlessly.

Things have changed. I've developed a few habbits that, while they might require a little extra time, might just guarantee another 18 years of climbing. Here are a few....please add to the list if you wish (or just tell me I'm old and paranoid).

Put your chalk bag on a 1-inch webbing belt, tied with a reasonably secure knot (like a bowline, which is also easily adjusted). Then, when you tie into your harness, also tie through the chalk bag strap. Could save your butt if you forget to double back through your harness buckle (as some excellent climbers have).

When you run it out on easy ground twenty feet and are then faced with difficult moves, get a really, really, really bomber piece. Better yet, place a couple of pieces. Think about the consequences of placing just one piece that fails when you fall....

Always tie to the end of the rope when you rap from more than one pitch up. Again, excellent climbers have "abseiled" right off the end of their rope.

Always extend cam placements with a long quick draw or better. You can't rely on the most carefully placed cams if they're going to wiggle and walk around as a result of rope drag.

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Wear a helmet.

Weight the rap setup before you disanchor.

Do that stupid check your partner's knot and harness buckle routine. That's actually caught a mistake for me a couple times in the last few years.

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Know your partner.

If you are striking up a new relationship, do it on a relatively easy climb and dope the person out.

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Like Dru says, wear wool knickers to help hold ya to the snow and ice. Plus the betties think they're cute.

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Carry a headlight (even a little tikka) check it's batteries.

I know this has been said before, but...

Hydrate. I hate carrying extra (enough) fluid as much as the next person, but I hate being thirsty and bonking due to dehydration even more.

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Wear your helmet. I think most of you out there rely on your brain to fund your climbing habit.

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Pope - Great thread.

Always protect your belayer. That first piece saves a factor 2 fall and the belayer. And one last thing - Bubble Gum.

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Listen to that little voice that is telling you it's time to turn back/put in another piece/double check your knot, etc.

Also, focus on one thing at a time, especially when tired/hungry/thirsty/cold, etc.

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Right. Isn't that like the female voice in a fighter jock's cockpit (Yappin' Betty, or something) that hollers, "No Bingo, or pull up-pull up?"

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quote:

Originally posted by trask:
Right. Isn't that like the female voice in a fighter jock's cockpit (Yappin' Betty, or something) that hollers, "No Bingo, or pull up-pull up?"

Uh...yeah...

(Actually, it's more like my 3 year old son asking "Daddy, do you want to pway wif me?")

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never had to use it, but i keep a little space blanket and book of waterproof matches duct taped tightly to the inside of my helmet (in the hollow space at the top).

if you get stuck out there, at least you've got something waterproof/windproof and a way to start a little fire if practical.

oh, and don't forget the [big Drink][big Drink]

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Keep yer Texas prussik foot loops on the rope so ya can attach 'em to yer picket or what have ya as a quick anchor while yer lyin' in arrest for yer buddy who submarined into the crevasse yonder.

Do a quick rope pull check before the last rappeller comes down.

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Drink beer and solo. If you survive that you will survive anything.

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quote:

Originally posted by trask:
Like Dru says, wear wool knickers to help hold ya to the snow and ice. Plus the betties think they're cute.

I wish I said that but it was Pope. I dont wear knickers, I just have girls throw them at me when I'm up on stage doing my Julio Iglesias imitations. You will see them at the Ice Fest this weekend! wink.gif" border="0

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Dru in a pink thong.

Now there's an image...I wanna be there to blow suds out my nose and hold two lovlies...one on each knee.

Sorry Pope, about giving Dru credit for your goodun'.

trask

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: trask ]

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Keep it fun. The more you get hung up on numbers, spraying, your identity as a climber, etc. etc., the more your attitude will get worn out, and you will become another bitter ex-climber bowler.

Physically - protect your joints through hydration, stretching, good diet, and proper rest and rehab (if injured).

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Write a book. Shit write 10 books, you dont have to be anyone nowadays to write one. Once your published you're immortal. Imagine your book on the shelf in Joe Climbers library next to Messner, Becky and Bonnington. Sounds good don't it?

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In Mr Simpson's defence none of his partners have ever had serious accidents. He seems pretty safe in that regard.

Thinking about how to get down before going up would seem like a top tip though.

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Take the time to really *understand* how your partner's harness works, and make sure they do the same with you. Visually trace the web all the way through each piece of the buckle. Then do it again.

When you're done in and ready to turn back, take a break, if you can spare the time. Get some water and calories in you. Re-examine your options and you might find an edge that you missed, one that will get you to the top. If not, use the rest of the time to get your headspace right for the descent.

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: jeffers ]

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