Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 12 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#19434 - 04/12/06 04:47 PM Wasps
Tom Breloff Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 27
Loc: NYC
This past Sunday, I bailed from the first belay of Morning After after seeing a bunch of wasps on the second pitch overhang. How do others deal with wasp nests? Do you avoid the route? Climb through it? Attack with raid or a #7 tricam? (every Gunks climber owns one, right?)

Also, does anyone know the effects of bug spray on climbing gear?

Top
#19435 - 04/12/06 05:00 PM Re: Wasps [Re: Tom Breloff]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Wasps were all over the Arrow wall Monday but totally absent from the Minty area yesterday. Go figure.

I will deal with them by carrying bee spray, if they continue to be a threat to my upward progress. Yes, I know they were there first, but I have been attacked before, and I will not willingly risk an unexpected fall just so some *insects* can enjoy an upward swing in their population. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

I don't know about the effect of insecticide on rope, but the solvents in bee spray tend to be aliphatic distillates, and these are harmless to nylon. You could ask the rope manufacturers (and they will likely respond "Replace the rope", not surprisingly). I for one would do everything I could to avoid contact with the gear.

Top
#19436 - 04/12/06 05:56 PM Re: Wasps [Re: Tom Breloff]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
A wasp nest is different from wasps flying around. The wasps flying around don't seem that interested in climbers. I wouldn't mess with a nest but if you're not allergic and not phobic, I'd just ignore them. Now ladybugs are a different story. They're mean and they bite.

Top
#19437 - 04/12/06 05:59 PM Re: Wasps [Re: dalguard]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
Quote:

A wasp nest is different from wasps flying around. The wasps flying around don't seem that interested in climbers. I wouldn't mess with a nest but if you're not allergic and not phobic, I'd just ignore them. Now ladybugs are a different story. They're mean and they bite.




Wasps at the Gunks? Huh....

Yeah but the ladybugs are nothing compared to the poisonous variety of those large millipedes. Those things are FAST once they start attacking.

-Fear

Top
#19438 - 04/12/06 06:29 PM Re: Wasps [Re: Tom Breloff]
stimpy Offline
Site Supporter

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 243
If you are in fear of an imminent attack, just blow some chalk and the wasp will stop what it's doing to clean itself off. I discovered this by accident, but seems to work.
_________________________
Just another Mike on Gunks.com

Top
#19439 - 04/12/06 06:43 PM Re: Wasps [Re: Mike Rawdon]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Its been many years since wasps were a serious problem at the cliffs, but they could return in large numbers at any time. For what it is worth, here is some conventional wisdom from the days of high wasp infestation.

In the spring when they swarm they are not much of a problem. You can practically brush them off holds without getting stung (but blowing them off with a good puff is probably a little safer). They don't get aggressive until they have a nest to defend, so loose ones flying around, even in large numbers, are pretty docile.

Once the nests are built and the eggs laid, they'll defend the nest and you'll get stung if you get too close. It was never clear to me what sets them off; many times you can sneak by pretty close to a nest without being attacked.

Back when men were men, standard practice for nest elimination was to swing a sling with a biner on it at the nest, aiming for the slender stem that joins the nest to the rock. When a nest is knocked off, the wasps seem to follow it down and do not attack the intruder. Of course, if you miss or hit the nest but don't knock it off, then you're probably in for a stinging rebuke.

Wasp and hornet sprays are very effective. Some cans spray a lot further than others; you have to try out different brands. In the bad old days when you really couldn't venture out in the summer without your spray can, I used to duct tape a sling and a bank clip to the can. The bank clip allowed me to just clip the can anywhere on my swami (now harness), the sling, like a hammer sling, allowed me to drop the can at any time.

Nests you can see are, of course, less of a problem then nests you can't see. Sometimes the nests are in cracks. Get in the habit of looking around inside a crack before you stick you fingers in it. Also, then stepping around outside corners, peer around the corner first to see if you're about to blunder into a nest. A very popular nest location is under overhangs, large or small. Sometimes you have to traverse past a small (I'm thinking of inches) roof that is at or below waist level, a feature not approached from below. Get in the habit of bending over and checking the underside first. Finally, sometimes the nests are in trees or bushes, not on the rock, so keep an eye on the foliage too.

As far as effects on gear, I'd worry about it as a general principle, although I never heard of anyone's rope falling apart in the days when we did a lot of wasp spraying. Frankly, I'd be kinda worried about breathing the stuff too. The main trick is to avoid if at all possible being in the position of being directly under a nest and spraying straight up at it., because then tthe mist and all the (instantly) dead wasps rain down on you and your gear.

If all this sounds like a lot of extra worry added to the usual demands of trad climbing---it is. And I can guarantee that conditions at one point used to warrant such paranoia. Let's hope those days are not returning.

Top
#19440 - 04/12/06 06:46 PM Re: Wasps [Re: rg@ofmc]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
Quote:

Back when men were men, standard practice for nest elimination was to swing a sling with a biner on it at the nest, aiming for the slender stem that joins the nest to the rock. When a nest is knocked off, the wasps seem to follow it down and do not attack the intruder.


This doesn't sound so good for the belayer.

Top
#19441 - 04/13/06 03:08 AM Re: Wasps [Re: dalguard]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Back when men were men, standard practice for nest elimination was to swing a sling with a biner on it at the nest, aiming for the slender stem that joins the nest to the rock. When a nest is knocked off, the wasps seem to follow it down and do not attack the intruder.

This doesn't sound so good for the belayer.

Right. I should have said, "back when men were men and belayers were toast..."

Speaking of which, a wasps nest isn't the worst thing to be dropped on a belayer. I once "dropped" a rattlesnake on my belayer.

Top
#19442 - 04/13/06 04:35 AM Re: Wasps [Re: rg@ofmc]
Frank Florence Online   content
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 529
Loc: moved to Bend
Quote:

I once "dropped" a rattlesnake on my belayer.




So, did you yell "Rock"?

Top
#19443 - 04/13/06 01:51 PM Re: Wasps [Re: rg@ofmc]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I think I'd take the rattlesnake. It's a one shot deal.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  webmaster 
Sponsored