Advice

Sunday 20 July 2014, 4:05am
daniel.joll

Rapping Off.jpg

Ben Dare abseiling off the south face of Barrier Peak in the Darran Mountains after an aborted first ascent attempt

Creator: 
Daniel Joll

Ben Dare abseiling off the south face of Barrier Peak in the Darran Mountains after an aborted first ascent attempt

Creator: 
Daniel Joll

It surprises me how few mountain climbers understand or know a safe and simple method to abseil down a climb leaving minimal gear. Usually if you plan to abseil down a climb either placing your own abseil points or by using old ones already in place you will need a few basic things.

In addition to your standard rack of climbing gear pack some extra 6mm cord. (usually around 10m), a knife, two screamers (expanding quick draws), short prussic, belay device, daisy/safety chain, and your ropes.

Sunday 19 January 2014, 7:59am
daniel.joll

Macpac inside bivvy.jpg

Daniel Joll preparing some insulation from the snow in a rock bivvy under the East Face of Torre Egger, Patagonia.

Creator: 
Steve Fortune

Daniel Joll preparing some insulation from the snow in a rock bivvy under the East Face of Torre Egger, Patagonia.

Creator: 
Steve Fortune

In fine weather a unplanned or a planned bivvy generally involves little suffering. Fine weather can also be very forgiving when it comes to small mistakes in gear management. Bivvying can be broken into two categories. Planned and Unplanned. I will start with the planned type, as an unplanned bivvy is more about enduring with what you have rather than planning for something you know is coming.

Thursday 8 August 2013, 8:44pm
Jamie Vinton-Boot

_MG_8394.jpg

Jamie Vinton-Boot on the 1st pitch of Los Indignados, Telecom Towers.

Creator: 
Troy Mattingley

Jamie Vinton-Boot on the 1st pitch of Los Indignados, Telecom Towers.

Creator: 
Troy Mattingley

So you’ve got the basics of ice and mixing climbing sorted and would like to get proficient on steeper (i.e. vertical to overhanging) or more difficult routes. The only sure way to do this is to climb more, but in addition there a whole range of practical things to work on that can help you along the way.  Below are ten of the things that have worked for me (but I’m by no means good at).   

Friday 12 July 2013, 8:25pm
Reg Measures

P4280207.JPG

Reg Measures climbing Viva Gell on the Grands Rocheuse

Creator: 
Timmy Elson

Reg Measures climbing Viva Gell on the Grands Rocheuse

Creator: 
Timmy Elson

Most alpine climbers use V-threads (Abalakov threads) occasionally (if you don’t know how to do a v-thread you may want to google that before reading further), but not many choose to set out on a climb planning to use them to descend many hundreds of metres down a large ice face. I used to think of V-threads as something for ice cragging and occasional use in the mountains but I’d never considered that a steep ice face could actually be a sensible, safe and fast way to get off a big peak.

Wednesday 10 July 2013, 7:53am
daniel.joll

B15.jpg

Daniel Joll leading on an ascent of the Brenna ridge Mt Guilmette Fitz Roy Massif

Creator: 
James Meighan

Daniel Joll leading on an ascent of the Brenna ridge Mt Guilmette Fitz Roy Massif

Creator: 
James Meighan

There is nothing more frustrating than moving slowly on a long multi pitch route. Saving a few minutes on each pitch can often mean the difference between spending an unplanned night out, getting caught by a change in the weather or making it back to camp early with enough time to be rested for the next day of climbing. Learning how to safely increase your efficiency and speed on a multi-pitch route will also open the door to longer challenging climbs.

Sunday 9 June 2013, 10:27am
steven.fortune

Sometimes you want to climb on a single rope, (for example, shortfixing and second is jugging) but still want to do full length abseils. Rather than bring a 2nd full rope to abseil off, you can bring a lightweight tag line (6mm). This is too thin and weak to abseil directly on, but can be used to pull your main rope down.

Sunday 9 June 2013, 9:14am
steven.fortune

Rapping in overhang.jpg

Steve Fortune rapping into the Kaipo Wall, Darran Mountains NZ

Creator: 
Daniel Joll

Steve Fortune rapping into the Kaipo Wall, Darran Mountains NZ

Creator: 
Daniel Joll

Getting a cut or damaged rope is a rare but realistic scenario when climbing. I have damaged 4 ropes over my years of alpine climbing, 3 by rockfall, one by a lead fall over a sharp edge. 

What do you do if you get a cut rope and need to abseil? You can knot the damaged section, and pass the knot, but this is a slow process.

An easier solution is to tie off the rope at the anchor, abseil on a single (undamaged) strand and pull the damaged and knotted side.

Wednesday 22 May 2013, 8:51pm
daniel.joll

Drytooling at the local wall, by Troy Mattingley.jpg

Jamie Vinton-Boot doing a spot of training at a local wall.

Creator: 
Troy Mattingley

Jamie Vinton-Boot doing a spot of training at a local wall.

Creator: 
Troy Mattingley

The following principles generally represent my approach to training for climbing, based on about 10 years of flailing around on boulders, crags and mountains.

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