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climbing rime safer

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I backed off a climb last spring due to lots o rime on the summit pillar. I don't want to back off every time I see rime. Do you have any tips/tricks on climbing it or protecting it? Gimmie whatcha got!

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Colin Haley is a rime climbing master. I think he just goes for it. Swim and aid off pickets.

 

climbing rime is dangerous. If you have to ask, you don't belong there. Neither do I. :)

 

good luck

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I am by no means an expert but tricks that have worked well for me are pushing outwards and making small non dynamic movements rather than pulling directly downwards and tunneling/groveling as much as possible to try and find more "solid" rime underneath the ephemeral outer coating.

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In Scotland it has to have rime or snow on to climb with tools, and then they scrape it off to find pro:

 

21Feb2011_Creag-Meagaidh0022.jpg

 

Until it gets thick enough to support your weight that is.

 

It seems like in Patagonia if you tried to dig down through the rime to rock in some places it might take you a month :)

 

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I have seen dead man flukes fashioned to work fixed onto ice axes for the deep stuff.

Colin used them on Cerro.

Rime that I have encountered in the depths of winter on Hood has been almost unclimbable. After Pineapple Express storms or cold spring days, it alot better, you can even get screws in the stuff at times. I wrote a thing on it in the next Hood guide coming out soon ->(Hopefully )

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the words "rime" and "safe" don't seem right to put in the same sentence :)

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Climb Yocum ridge on Hood, than should at least desensitize you.

Or scar the poor kid for life.

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Hey Ian,

I don't have a lot of experience with rime, but I have climbed on it when it would support body weight, like stemming between feathers, and obviously this is the most positive.

Most of the time it won't support shit. The best method I have found in this case is to punch through the outer layer into the sugar under the rime, push my tools in horizontally grabbing the tool by the head, and rotate the shaft downward using my wrist. Then it is a manteling motion to make vertical gain. This obviously becomes difficult when steeper then 80 degrees, and can be off balance, so serious trenching may be required.

For gear, not much works more than psychologically, but you can chop threads, scratch down to the rock if the rime isn't thick, or use screws in the few spots this may form. Creativity, and hard thickheaded work seem to be your best friend on this kind of climbing.

These same techniques also work for flutings. Good luck with round 2 on your climb!

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Dig, dig, dig. Find gear underneath if at all possible. Sometimes theres a decent layer of ice buried or you can excavate some rock pro. Chop with an adze to find less aerated rime (better sticks deeper down). Pickets are bullshit but sometimes nice to make it seem like you have some gear...

 

Run it out. Pray. Don't fall.

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That is terrible advice. All of you. And pretty much exactly what I expected. I think genepires got it right. I'll keep trying though...

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