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#33375 - 10/01/07 01:21 AM DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD!
olmw Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/01/07
Posts: 1
Took a trip up Thin Slabs Direct this afternoon, what a great climb. Great hands, amazing exposure, but boy are those old pins manky! The 2nd pin moved as I clipped it! At this point, those pins appear to be for moral support only.

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#33377 - 10/01/07 02:51 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: olmw]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
The route is G even without the pins, if you hang out and get the gear in.

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#33379 - 10/01/07 04:11 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Steven Cherry]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 63
 Originally Posted By: Steven Cherry
The route is G even without the pins, if you hang out and get the gear in.


G-rated??? Not in my opinion. Not enough gear to make that traverse even close to G. And the pins are in a band of bad shale (if I recall). Those pins are the reason I own two screamers. To each their own...

How about the traverse at the start of pitch 2 on No Glow. I'd take even the Thin Slabs Direct pins there.

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#33380 - 10/01/07 04:20 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Cornell Climber]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
the pins on thin slabs are each right next to good cams...when those pins fall out the climb only gets easier as there will be more holds to grab and more places you can put protection

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#33381 - 10/01/07 04:21 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Cornell Climber]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
there is definitely g rated gear on thin slabs...those pins are already totally irrelevant...and when those pins fall out the climb only gets easier as there will be more holds to grab and more places you can put protection

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#33386 - 10/01/07 01:57 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Cornell Climber]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
 Originally Posted By: Cornell Climber

G-rated??? Not in my opinion. Not enough gear to make that traverse even close to G. And the pins are in a band of bad shale (if I recall). Those pins are the reason I own two screamers. To each their own...


Steven is correct. That is one of the most G traverses in the Gunks... if you fall off it will be all air, and if you bring small aliens you can get gear every 2-4 feet or so.

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#33396 - 10/01/07 09:59 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I don't remember the second pitch of No Glow being anything but a pleasant 5.7ish climb up and around a corner and up to the roof. Maybe old age is softening the memories

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#33397 - 10/01/07 10:11 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
I don't remember the second pitch of No Glow being anything but a pleasant 5.7ish climb up and around a corner and up to the roof.

5.7R/X perhaps. I really don't remember much, if any, reliable pro until well up toward the roof. Of course, I could have forgotten...or am remembering a different route in the neighborhood....or suffered temporary protection blindness.
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#33401 - 10/01/07 10:56 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
I don't remember the second pitch of No Glow being anything but a pleasant 5.7ish climb up and around a corner and up to the roof.


Williams has the No Glow traverse as 5.5 R. It's spooky, above an overhang, harder for tall people, and makes me nervous; a fall would result in a fairly long pendulum. Easy climbing after that up to the crux, if I recall correctly.

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#33404 - 10/02/07 02:12 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Maybe old age is softening the memories

and the midsection!
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tOOthless

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#33413 - 10/02/07 04:10 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
johnm Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 36
I wouldn't call it "one of the most G-rated traverses in the gunks" - that's silly. For a 5.7 leader it's a gnarly traverse with difficult gear to place, for sure. The pins will probably rip on a fall. The climb is harder than 5.7+ if you have to hang out and place 2-3 cams to make it "G".

Replace the pins? Either way ok by me (most here seem to say no).

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#33414 - 10/02/07 04:26 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: johnm]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
The fact that the moves are difficult doesn't make the gear any less G. Ignore the pins. Place solid cams.

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#33415 - 10/02/07 04:31 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Out of curiosity....does anyone here do any aid? Has anyone repeated the old aid line on Thin Slabs Direct? About 1/2 way out the traverse, there is a (very) thin crack that goes up to and all the way out the huge roof above. It's rated old school A3.
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#33416 - 10/02/07 05:13 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
do you think it would have gone hammerless? hmm.

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#33417 - 10/02/07 05:48 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
The climb is harder than 5.7+ if you have to hang out and place 2-3 cams to make it "G".

Is this not one of the central problems in appropriately grading trad climbs?

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#33418 - 10/02/07 06:14 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: pedestrian
The fact that the moves are difficult doesn't make the gear any less G.


One of the guidebook authors - I forget if it's DW or TS - defines PG gear as gear which is "difficult to place". Hanging off a heel hook on a crux traverse meets that definition.

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#33420 - 10/02/07 06:17 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Who's heel hooking on Thin Slabs Direct?

Dangler... Yes, but Thin Slabs? Umm...
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#33423 - 10/02/07 07:22 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Mike Rawdon]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
 Originally Posted By: pedestrian
The fact that the moves are difficult doesn't make the gear any less G.


One of the guidebook authors - I forget if it's DW or TS - defines PG gear as gear which is "difficult to place". Hanging off a heel hook on a crux traverse meets that definition.


The new Williams says "G" simply means lots of gear and short falls. Difficulty or strenuous placements are separately noted and not taken into account for the gear rating.

"A protection grade has nothing to do with how difficult or strenuous it might be to place that protection; it is telling the climber about the level of security that a placement is likely to offer." from page xxi of the new Williams guide.


Edited by quanto_the_mad (10/02/07 07:25 PM)
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#33428 - 10/02/07 09:27 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
A quick glance through my bookshelf suggests that the "difficult to place" criterion is Mellor's.

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#33429 - 10/02/07 09:32 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: quanto_the_mad
The new Williams says "G" simply means lots of gear and short falls. Difficulty or strenuous placements are separately noted and not taken into account for the gear rating.

I've told many people of numerous Gunks 5.9s that are very safe if you hang out to get the gear but can become very dicey if you skip the placements. I consider it part of climbing at that grade, not as affecting the gear rating.

But one could always define it differently, as long as it's clear what it means.

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#33431 - 10/02/07 09:43 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Dillbag]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
 Originally Posted By: Dillbag
Who's heel hooking on Thin Slabs Direct?

Dangler... Yes, but Thin Slabs? Umm...


i do
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#33437 - 10/03/07 01:58 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Daniel]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
In my opinion, a gear rating should tell you how good the gear is once you get it in, not how tired you'll be after placing it (that effect should---also in my opinion---be factored into the climbing grade, but this is not common practice).

An example of this is the hard part of Directissima. It got a 5.9 rating when it had two fixed pins and you could clip and go. Now that you have to place gear while hanging on, I think it should be 5.10a. But of course someone follows it on the run and says, nah, only 5.9. But the leader had to take a hang to finish the route...

"Difficult to place" should mean something else, namely that gear at the rated level can be found but is not obvious or immediately obtained; the climber will have to fiddle, look about creatively, and perhaps have specialized gear (tricams, ballnuts, certain brands of brassies, etc.)

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#33439 - 10/03/07 02:57 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
i basically agree with you...that the gear rating is about the gear once its in....

but as for directissima...you have to place one piece on the traverse...just one...you can place the first piece from a stance by reaching out as far as you can...and you can see the crack, select the appropriate cam, clip a draw to it, and pre clip to the rope...so all you have to do while moving through it is clip and go or in this case plug and go...

it was 5.9 with a hammer and pins wasnt it? hanging out to place or clean one of those pins would surely give a bigger pump that plugging one cam in....

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#33440 - 10/03/07 03:00 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
There's a traverse on Directisima?? Isn't that sort of an oxymoron? Why not just go straight up the outside edge of the buttress? Seems to make it more straight forward. More..."direct" if you will.

RR

P.S. I'm just being a curmudgeon. Of course I know the regular Directissima has a traverse, always thought it was silly though.

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#33442 - 10/03/07 04:16 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
P.S. I'm just being a curmudgeon. Of course I know the regular Directissima has a traverse, always thought it was silly though.


RR, a curmudgeon? Heavens no! It just can't be. Next you'll tell me that Strat is antisocial or Smike can't spell...

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#33448 - 10/03/07 06:21 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
 Originally Posted By: redtag
but as for directissima...you have to place one piece on the traverse...just one...


Well, I think that's a matter of taste. I think I placed three pieces on the traverse. Because they're small active pieces, I simply didn't trust one to hold me if I fell, so I place two early on, and then as I was getting near the end, I place another to protect the finish of the traverse. And frankly, I got pumped silly, hung, and just made a general embarrassment of myself. My second time on it, I think I placed the same gear, but worked out the feet much more carefully, and got to the end with arms to spare.

As for what the rating should be, that's beyond me to say.

GO

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#33456 - 10/04/07 12:48 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
There's a traverse on Directisima?? Isn't that sort of an oxymoron? Why not just go straight up the outside edge of the buttress? Seems to make it more straight forward. More..."direct" if you will.

RR


Rob, what do you reckon that variation goes at? 9/9+/noneof theabove??

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#33478 - 10/04/07 08:01 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Mike Rawdon]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
If you do it the true directissima way...there is a move after you turn the buttress. You can either head up right into a scoop, then step back left and up, or you can go straight up the wall on your left. That move I think approaches the 5.10a grade. Everything else is just consistent 5.9+ climbing. Possibly even easier than the regular route.

RR

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#33490 - 10/05/07 01:40 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
exactly what he said...5.9 all the way, _maybe_ one 5.10a move...

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#33494 - 10/05/07 02:27 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
If it's 5.9...

Why did RR tell me it was a 10a when we climbed it...?
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#33521 - 10/05/07 03:37 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Dillbag]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Because I'm a lyin' horse thief and I can't be trusted.

RR

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#33528 - 10/05/07 03:51 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Well... That much is true!

I think we're going to try and make the show tonight...
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...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#33563 - 10/07/07 02:33 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Dillbag]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
horse thief!
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tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#33566 - 10/07/07 10:04 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: empicard]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 209
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
either carry screamers or scream. i carry two,too
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jugs or mugs

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#33620 - 10/09/07 03:19 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: schwortz]
tradjunkie Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
I seem to recall there having been 5 pins on that traverse; recently did it and now count only 3.

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#33931 - 10/22/07 04:46 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Dillbag]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
 Originally Posted By: Dillbag
Who's heel hooking on Thin Slabs Direct?


HA!! ME, for one! Just did it this weekend for the first time on lead. And hell yeah, I heel-hooked out on the end -- 'cause the feet below you suck -- while I fiddled in a #2 cam! Super-fun climb, but I'd imagine it's pretty heady if you're just a 5.7 leader. If Something Interesting is 5.7+, then TSD should be 5.7++ (IMHO, YMMV, etc.)
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we're all living proof that nothing lasts

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#33938 - 10/22/07 06:04 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: nerdom]
TrippleB Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
The difficulty of placing gear does not in any way increase the grade of the climb, but merely the challenge in leading it.

Thin Slabs Direct is G protectable with small cams...I'd rate it a 5.8 though..or 5.7+.

You want to talk about manky pins...lets talk Fat City Direct!!! Hmm, manky pin or half cammed black alien?

In my opinion, if the FFA had good a pin there,then climbers today deserve one...If a rotted pin cannot be supplemented with today's modern cams, put a new pin in...the FFA deemed it worthy of protection with fresh iron, why must we climb on 35 year old iron?



Edited by TrippleB (10/22/07 06:08 PM)
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TrippleB, because TripleB just doesnt look as cool.


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#33940 - 10/22/07 07:23 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: TrippleB]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: TrippleB
The difficulty of placing gear does not in any way increase the grade of the climb, but merely the challenge in leading it.

Thin Slabs Direct is G protectable with small cams...I'd rate it a 5.8 though..or 5.7+.

You want to talk about manky pins...lets talk Fat City Direct!!! Hmm, manky pin or half cammed black alien?

In my opinion, if the FFA had good a pin there,then climbers today deserve one...If a rotted pin cannot be supplemented with today's modern cams, put a new pin in...the FFA deemed it worthy of protection with fresh iron, why must we climb on 35 year old iron?



We don't have to climb on a 35 year old pin, do us all a favor and go replace that pin if it bothers you so much. It is allowed to replace old manky fixed gear if no cam/nut placement is available.

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#33943 - 10/22/07 07:49 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: nerdom]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Nerdom -

I've lead Thin Slabs Direct a couple of times, and each time had an emerging 5.7 leader following. Both came around the end of the traverse with expressions that were wide-eyed, to say the least. And I've previously admitted that I'd backed off when I first considered leading it, at a time when I didn't have that much experience beyond the 5.7 grade. But for all that, there are small places to rest your toes (or at least one) while hanging out to place pro on the traverse so the grade is close to correct (or add that + sign.) Certainly it's more reliable than the last couple of pins.

I'm cautious about recommending this route, much as I like it.

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#33950 - 10/23/07 02:25 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Frank Florence]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: Frank Florence
Nerdom -

I've lead Thin Slabs Direct a couple of times, and each time had an emerging 5.7 leader following. Both came around the end of the traverse with expressions that were wide-eyed, to say the least. And I've previously admitted that I'd backed off when I first considered leading it, at a time when I didn't have that much experience beyond the 5.7 grade. But for all that, there are small places to rest your toes (or at least one) while hanging out to place pro on the traverse so the grade is close to correct (or add that + sign.) Certainly it's more reliable than the last couple of pins

I'm cautious about recommending this route, much as I like it.


I remember leading this as a 5.7/5.8 leader. I had to pause when I pulled around the corner before finishing the final few feet of the climb. My whole body was trembling from exhiliration/excitement. To that point that was certainly the most exciting thing that I had ever climbed.

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#33978 - 10/24/07 05:06 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Coppertone]
TrippleB Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: Coppertone

We don't have to climb on a 35 year old pin, do us all a favor and go replace that pin if it bothers you so much. It is allowed to replace old manky fixed gear if no cam/nut placement is available.


*rollseyes* I dunno, some may argue the half black alien placement is solid pro...it held my partner a few years ago. You get jumped on in this community for an off-beat post, I can't imagine the fallout from making the effort to replace something the community didnt approve of. I'd probably have to move away to climb without rocks being pelted at me.
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TrippleB, because TripleB just doesnt look as cool.


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#33980 - 10/24/07 05:25 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: TrippleB]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
or your tires mysteriously slashed by some local a-hole...

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#33981 - 10/24/07 05:31 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
TrippleB Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
or your car window smashed...^^^
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TrippleB, because TripleB just doesnt look as cool.


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#33982 - 10/24/07 05:31 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: TrippleB]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
or my tires mysteriously slashed by some local coward.

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#33983 - 10/24/07 05:33 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
TrippleB Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
Eliza's evil twin?
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TrippleB, because TripleB just doesnt look as cool.


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#33985 - 10/24/07 05:52 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: TrippleB]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I'm not looking for the kind of adventure where a fall means really bad things. The best protected routes tend to be the most climbed and popular in most any area. I've found a few PG and even R ratings are improved with tiny cams, especially C3s, but it doesn't sound like this is the case.
I'll have to do this one now, after all this talk, so for the sake of my poor family, replace the pins! How's that for making you feel safe, you are providing a community service. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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#40846 - 10/21/08 04:02 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: olmw]
anthonyb Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 38
Loc: Paris, France
Hey, I know this thread has been dead for a while, but at the behest of a friend of mine, I'm going to weigh in here. Both of the remaining pins on the 3rd Pitch traverse of Thin Slabs are completely shot. I suppose that I could have pulled one or both of them by hand as I traversed by, but I was busy making sure that I didn't come off and pendulum into the right facing corner. As far as the gear rating goes, it's PG minimum--certainly not G. The layer of rock that the pins are hammered into is a broken seam of crappy fractured rock that runs through the quartzite. I don't doubt that you could get some decent very small cam placements in the high horizontal which in the roof over the seam, but it's well above eye level which makes it very difficult to assess. If anyone has the inclination to screw around with old pitons, it would be great if they removed them and made room for some desperately needed trad placements, otherwise we can just wait for someone with poor judgment to blunder by, clip both and remove them with what will be a very spectacular whipper.

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#40848 - 10/21/08 04:45 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: anthonyb]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
There's already room for trad placements in the same crack right next to where the pins are, if you don't like the pins then don't clip them? that climb sews up. Sews! Up!

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#40851 - 10/21/08 07:13 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Rather than suffer further discussion about the old iron on this climb, why doesn't the next person leading it take a hammer and funkness device and clean out the horizontal crack? That will have the additional benefit of opening up a couple of additional C3 or Alien placements.

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#40852 - 10/21/08 08:03 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Frank Florence]
Elwood54 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 76
Loc: NYC
just to check the protocol here...old pins can be replaced by anyone? Sounds like it would be fun - never placed a piton before...

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#40858 - 10/21/08 08:42 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Elwood54]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
 Originally Posted By: Elwood54
just to check the protocol here...old pins can be replaced by anyone? Sounds like it would be fun - never placed a piton before...


Well anyone that knows how to properly remove and place them that is. There is certainly a learning curve to this and a right and wrong way to do it.

Now whether they should be replaced is a whole other story….

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#40864 - 10/21/08 10:10 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: anthonyb]
tradjunkie Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
Yikes. That would be a nasty swing into that corner. How 'bout we assume this blundering leader puts in some gear at the stance after the traverse (for maximum pendulum effect) and then their hapless second gets the whipper? Less dangerous and more fun to watch.

 Originally Posted By: anthonyb
otherwise we can just wait for someone with poor judgment to blunder by, clip both and remove them with what will be a very spectacular whipper.

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#40866 - 10/21/08 10:58 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Elwood54]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
 Originally Posted By: Elwood54
just to check the protocol here...old pins can be replaced by anyone? Sounds like it would be fun - never placed a piton before...


Let's say no to that question. If you've never placed a pin before I doubt that you should be out there deciding whether or not those pins are necessary and then putting in pins that hundreds of folks may then rely on.

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#40867 - 10/21/08 11:46 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: learningtolead]
Elwood54 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 76
Loc: NYC
whether or not the pins are necessary? The pitons are already there, and last time I checked it was ok to replace old fixed gear. My question: who decides its ok to replace them, and then who will actually do the work? I can't imagine that replacing an old pin with a newer one would cause much controversy.

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#40868 - 10/22/08 12:52 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Elwood54]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: Elwood54
I can't imagine that replacing an old pin with a newer one would cause much controversy.

It's the Gunks - it will.
I suppose either you weren't around on the site or didn't see the controversy surrounding the replacement of the crux pin on Roseland. Hell, there was even controversy over the replacement of the ancient old bolts on Sente.
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#40871 - 10/22/08 01:36 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Elwood54]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
seriously dude...if you have to ask then this aint a job for you...

the climb already accepts good gear next to each of those pins...no one should be relying on fixed pins of that vintage anyway...get over yourselves...climbing is dangerous...if you don't like it play golf...

in any case thin slabs doesnt need those pins...wont change anything...might actually make it better...might keep some of the riff raff out too...

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#40875 - 10/22/08 02:04 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Removing those pins will not be as clean as it sounds. There is inevitably a pile of rusted metal fused to the crack that will not come out with the rest and need some sweet talking. If I were contemplating replacing those, I would keep my head down, do it mid-week, bring a big enough pin selection that I could be certain of the right size, and say nothing about it. That said, communal opinion seems to tend toward not replacing them and so such an action would then appear self-centered and stupid. Not that we all haven't done something like that in the past, or we wouldn't have started climbing, but this one has some more permanent reprecussions on the rock itself.

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#40876 - 10/22/08 03:38 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Well, it certainly would be self-centered and stupid for a person who doesn't know anything about placing and removing pitons to put a passing interest in getting some practice above the security of everyone who will end up clipping those practice pieces in the expectation that they have been competently placed. And I for one wouldn't tacitly encourage them to sneak out mid-week with their head down so they could experience the fun of doing something they've never done before, not when the results of that fun bear on the safety of everyone else.

Personally, I haven't been up there in a while. But it seems that there is plenty of testimony to the availability of cam placements, so it sounds to me like the pins should be removed and not replaced.

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#40877 - 10/22/08 03:54 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Alex Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 192
Geeez, if a climb takes gear then forget adding pins and bolts. Its more fun that way. Fixed gear cheapens the experience and should only be used when nothing else works.

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#40896 - 10/23/08 09:26 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Alex]
LarE Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 45
What about the pines on Three Pines? I'm given to understand that, while new pines are not allowed to be planted, anyone is allowed to plant replacement pines. I was considering putting up some saplings on that route, and then it occurred to me that artificial pines (available from Wal-Mart)might prove more durable, particularly in the era of global climate change.

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#40919 - 10/23/08 10:24 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: LarE]
fotovult Offline
member

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 141
Loc: ny
leave the first pin in - it held me on a fall this year...

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#41129 - 11/01/08 03:53 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: fotovult]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I did TSD yesterday just to see and I still clipped all 3 pins. Why not? But since we were discussing it, I monkeyed around with backing them up and all three can be backed up either directly next to or near the pin. I think I used red, green, and blue Aliens. It certainly makes the route a lot harder and I don't normally carry the blue Alien on routes under 5.9, but it's doable.

FWIW, I still think the pins are likely to hold the small fall they'd be catching and if I hadn't been in research mode, I'd have just clipped them and gone. The only way I'd fall there is if I pumped myself out hanging around placing gear. It seems safer to move on. Ideally, to me, all three would be replaced with one good one in the middle.

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#41131 - 11/01/08 08:20 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
if the crack accepts multiple good gear placements why would you put in a new pin?

since when does the fact that you have to hang out and place gear make a good case for putting in fixed gear??? thats sort of the whole point of climbing on natural protection...you have to hang out and place it...and sometimes that means you might get pumped...if thats the case then you dial it back and climb easier stuff...or you do more push-ups and pull-ups and climb harder stuff...or you go clip bolts somewhere...i dont see how you can turn getting pumped into a case for fixed pins (or bolts)...

if its a question of returning the difficulty to that of the first ascents, well then hanging out and placing a cam is a lot easier than parking yourself there and pounding in your own pin..

and as for making the climb harder...i've climbed that route several times over the years...i never found placing a good cam to make the route significantly harder...why is that? well because i _expect_ to place my own gear on climbs in the gunks...so having to do so can't really make the climb harder...since its only as hard as i expect it to be...the point is people should stop expecting to have fixed gear on climbs where it isnt needed or doesnt belong...if you dont expect to have it then it cant make anything harder or easier...it just is what it is...if there are climbs that were established with said gear already in place...climbs that are unprotectable without....well thats another story...

but thin slabs direct? pull that shit and climb on...

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#41132 - 11/01/08 09:02 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: redtag
if its a question of returning the difficulty to that of the first ascents, well then hanging out and placing a cam is a lot easier than parking yourself there and pounding in your own pin..<snip>

...if there are climbs that were established with said gear already in place...climbs that are unprotectable without....well thats another story...

but thin slabs direct? pull that shit and climb on...

I agree that if there are good cam placements, then the pin(s) on TSD should not be replaced. (It's been a long time since I've done it and don't really remember alternatives to the pins.)

However, for historical perspective, TSD was originally an aid route. It was freed (by John Turner) the same year as the FA (1958, and rated 5.8 in the Gran guide). There's a chance the pins were in place when Turner freed it (although just as likely a chance that they weren't, as the prevailing ethic of the time was to remove all your iron).

I'm still wondering if the A2 crack that starts half way out and goes up and through the huge roof will ever go free....
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#41134 - 11/01/08 09:19 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
 Originally Posted By: MarcC


However, for historical perspective, TSD was originally an aid route. It was freed (by John Turner) the same year as the FA (1958, and rated 5.8 in the Gran guide). There's a chance the pins were in place when Turner freed it (although just as likely a chance that they weren't, as the prevailing ethic of the time was to remove all your iron).

I'm still wondering if the A2 crack that starts half way out and goes up and through the huge roof will ever go free....


good point

and

good question

but as you say the ethic was to pull your iron...and in this case its easily climbed w/o...and should be...


Edited by redtag (11/01/08 09:19 PM)

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#41142 - 11/02/08 04:52 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: redtag]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
I did the same research as Dawn a while ago & agree w/ her conclusions completely - the gear is great. Although I did use a black alien to back up the last pin, I was getting a piece right next to every pin. It's pumpier but you really don't need to place all those pieces.

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#41143 - 11/02/08 06:40 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Interestingly enough, I think that the idea that you don't need to carry small gear on climbs under 5.9 is an artifact of the fixed pin situation. As we move forward and return the cliff to a more natural (but still protectable) state, I think small cams and small nuts will become a normal part of everyone's rack for climbs of all levels of difficulty.

You can already see the need for small gear on moderate routes on a number of the new routes in the Near Trapps, where small brassies, small cams, and ballnuts may be the gear of choice for at some point on routes in the 5.6--5.8 range. These routes were, of course, done without pitons, using whatever protection nature allowed. I doubt that this is some special feature of the Near Trapps---rather, we've been lulled into not carrying small gear because such placements have, until now, been superceded by fixed pins.

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#41147 - 11/03/08 01:37 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Jeff D. Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/10/05
Posts: 75
Loc: NY, NJ
RG. What do you consider small gear? What do you carry with you? How often are those pieces used? Do you find yourself protecting with those pieces where climbers used to just keep moving?

The bigger question is...

Has Dick's perception changed of a what a normal rack is causing a material difference between the historic protection ratings and the new ratings assuming a leader carries a traditional rack without black aliens, ball nuts, or RP's / 1 & 2 bd nuts?


Edited by Jeff D. (11/03/08 01:40 AM)

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#41148 - 11/03/08 03:06 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Jeff D.]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Jeff, I guess by small gear I mean cams at blue alien size or under and nuts either under the usual wired #1 on your rack or of specialized nature, i.e. brass nuts and offsets.

I'm not one of those people who edit my rack to suit each climb; I usually carry the same rack for everything in the Gunks with occasional additions if I have some reason to believe I'll need extras.

OK, looking at what's on it now, I'd say the small gear I always have on hand is three small cams, a blue alien and a green C3, which are essentially the same size, and a purple C3, which is, I think, in the black alien range. On the small nut biner below my #1 Metolius curve nut are five additional trinkets. I carry a double-length super thin string-sized dyneema runner which I use, on occasion, to tie down small nuts which, because of the typically shallow placements, are especially likely to lift.

I always climb with double ropes, which allow me to place funky gear overhead and pay no penalty in distance fallen if the funk fails in upper-belay mode.

As to frequency of use, I find plenty of opportunities to place the blue alien sized cams, the smaller one doesn't see much use. The RP's and offsets don't get used a tremendous amount, but often seem to make a big difference when I do use them.

I can't comment on whether or not I use those pieces where others keep moving, but I can report that I use at least some of them where I used to keep moving.

In my pack is a biner with some even smaller nut trinkets, a grey C3, and three sizes of ball nuts. I may add these on, not because of the grade of the climb, but because of whatever knowledge or hunches I have about the availability of protection on the climb in question.

I have no idea what a "normal rack" is or what Dick's perception of a normal rack is. But I think he has been careful to indicate in his route descriptions when gear such as black aliens (perhaps blue too), RP's, ballnuts, and tricams might be useful. I would assume that if he mentions, say ballnuts, then the protection rating he gives assumes that the climber has them. I'm not personally aware of him changing any protection ratings because of the availability of new gear, but it seems conceivable to me that such changes could occur, although the ones I imagine would mostly be from R to PG and from X to R.

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#41149 - 11/03/08 03:08 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Jeff D.]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
From reading the new Nears guide, it seems that protection ratings are taking into account newer, smaller gear.

For instance, the first pitch of "I'm OK, You're OK" was rated PG-R in the black Dick, but in the new guide, it's rated PG, with a note "... blue Trango Ballnutz helpful."

Pitch 1 of "G-String" used to have an "R" rating, but now has a "G" rating, and has in the notes "... 2 Black, 3 Blue, 4 Green and 3 Yellow Aliens..."

"Far From The Maddening Crowds" doesn't change ratings, but notes "... it has PG protection if you use Trango Ballnutz."

"Silver Bullet" is a new route that notes 'Creative gear placements with small wires and Trango Ballnutz makes it "G" pro.'
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#41150 - 11/03/08 06:01 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Jeff D.]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Some examples of small gear on moderate routes: Dick recommends ballnuts for After You 5.7 PG-R, small wires and ballnuts for Silver Bullet 5.7 G, ballnuts for Whetstone, 5.8 PG, ballnuts for R2-OK? 5.8 PG, ballnuts and/or black alien on Far From the Madding Crowd 5.8 PG, and ballnuts for Gil-Galad 5.6 PG.

These examples illustrate that small gear in a piton-free environment is not just for 5.9 and harder routes. This has not been obvious in the Trapps, which had roughly 30 years of piton-protected climbing (or aid climbing) followed by the more recent 30 or so years of passive protection, with the result that there are still a lot of pitons left, many of which are now inadequate as well as unnecessary.

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#41155 - 11/03/08 05:29 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
The small sizes RG describes have been useful in the Trapps on piton-absent routes for some time. The first pitch of Wild Horses (5.8) is made more comfortable with the placement of small brass nuts (other small gear may be possible) and there's The Blackout (5.8, p.1). I don't have a guide available right now, but my recollection is that DW recommended a ballnuts placement on that one.

Edited to add: Nope. It wasn't the Williams guide. It was a recommendation given to me that I only remembered once I was climbing the route. Yes, the crux is higher up, but a little more pro down lower would have been nice, too.



Edited by Frank Florence (11/03/08 10:17 PM)

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#41180 - 11/04/08 05:54 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Frank Florence]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
Ballnuts also handy on Raunchy (1st move off the ledge).

TS
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#41181 - 11/04/08 06:37 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Timbo]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Right, and of course there are more examples. But many of these and both of the previous examples are climbs that have been done by many climbers, for a long time, without the additional protection afforded by small gear. So in those cases, it might be viewed as an optional enhancement. But my point is that in addition to instances where small gear can already be used, there will be more opportunities, some perhaps critical, to use small gear as old iron fades away without replacement. This changing situation will probably contribute to a change in attitude about when to have small gear on the rack.

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#41186 - 11/04/08 08:37 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I'm not sure ballnuts are that much more reliable than ancient rusted pins.

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#41189 - 11/04/08 09:18 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I absolutely think they are. But they ain't cams, you can't just plug them in, and so placing them from really strenuous stances can be very hard indeed, which could be an argument for still having fixed pins in such places even if, in principle, a ballnut could go there.

It is critical to understand how ball nuts work and what range of positions of ball relative to "paddle" are effective. Placing them properly requires minute eyeballing of the placement and precise positioning of the piece to take advantage of good features and avoid bad features. Again, this is an exacting process that may be extremely hard to carry out from a strenuous position, but there are also many situations that allow the climber to make such placements, effectively if not comfortably. Once positioned, ballnuts have to be set with a few good jerks and inspected for appropriateness. As with small cams, which are much quicker to place but quite possibly also less strong, failure of even good-looking placements is a possibility and doubling up or in some way backing up is an important part of the game.

As for fixed pins, I've been told of studies in Europe that have shown that experienced climbers (without hammers) have little or no ability distinguish good placements from bad ones.

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#41204 - 11/05/08 02:27 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
eh.
bolt it all.

;\)
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#41210 - 11/05/08 05:49 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: empicard]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: empicard
eh.
bolt it all.

I've long maintained that had placing bolts been easier during the seminal years of route development, there would be far more bolts in the Gunks than there are. And perhaps some of the existing ones would be in much better positions than they currently occupy, especially if placing them on rappel was more condoned at the time. (For example, the bolts on The Blackout and Thin Slabs are in far from optimal position, despite the former being placed on rap.)
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#41213 - 11/05/08 01:32 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
LarE Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 45
I'm just curious RG, what sizes of ballnuts are rattling around the bottom of your pack?

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#41216 - 11/05/08 02:14 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: LarE]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
I just got the new Nears guide, and while I'm happy about and impressed with the amount of new routes in there, I was quite dismayed to the number of "Trango Ballnutz" references.

We have them on our rack, and only place them seldomly. As RG ended up pointing out, they are less than stable in most cases. I find that they don't 'bite' the rock well at all, and even after a yank or three, un-place themselves as if nothing ever happened. Probably as a result of side-to-side wobble of the ball, or stiffness of the whole unit; but in any case, I don't feel comfortable above one unless it's almost completely passive (in which case, I'd probably place a nut anyway).

I will go out on a limb and say I think it's a mistake to imply that Ballnutz (and nuts below ~ BD #4, which is the smallest of the standard set BD sells) are, or should be, part of a "standard rack".

Such small gear requires a more than fair amount of understanding of its limits and its peculiarities. Further, I'm pretty sure that what's considered a "standard rack" around the country starts somewhere around BD #4, or blue alien. Yes, some areas vary - a bit, but usually more in number/size of larger cams. But I think it's a mistake to wander down the slippery slope of re-defining the "standard rack" into what is, best case scenario, still finicky and dubious pro.

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#41219 - 11/05/08 03:05 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
 Originally Posted By: "Julie"
As RG ended up pointing out, they are less than stable in most cases.


Julie, this is your opinion, not mine, and you can't find anything even hinting at the evaluation "less than stable...in most cases" in anything I actually wrote.

I did say that ball nuts require a lot of attention to place properly, and that, like any small gear and a good amount of medium gear, such placements should never be considered "bombproof."

LarE, just about everyone I know who carries ball nuts uses the three smallest sizes.

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#41221 - 11/05/08 04:11 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Julie's comments about ball nuts, by the way, are reminiscent of the many remarks made years ago when ordinary nuts were first introduced. They were unstable, unpredictable, finnicky, they didn't bite well, unplaced themselves as if never set, etc. etc. Gunks climbers, under the leadership of John Stannard, were the first to understand that you could use small wired nuts (I am now speaking of the small standard sizes) for protection. Everyone else thought they were just aid pieces. I remember having to argue with Western partners about even carrying what most people would now think of as half of a standard rack of nuts, and I remember their genuine astonishment when I protected the better part of whole pitches with nuts when they thought blade pitons were essential. These arguments sounded exactly like the current one.

Stannard received letters, hate mail really, accusing him of being responsible for accidents in which climbers had been injured when nuts pulled or lifted. Nowadays, we have learned to manage the instability of nuts and also understand that there are times when they do come out, either expectedly and also, even for experts, unexpectedly.

I'm not saying that ball nuts are a wave of protection technology equivalent to ordinary nuts. But it is certainly possible that most of us who even have them use them very rarely, find ourselves unable to place them well, and as in the early days of nuts, ascribe our difficulties to inherent faults in the technology. It should be clear from my wording that I do not exclude myself from this group, and I hope this will not be read as a personal attack on Julie. In any case, I have climbed with and corresponded with people who are expert in the use of ball nuts, who have taken leader falls on them and have had little or no trouble in cleaning them afterwards, and am convinced that they offer valid protection opportunities.

It is a fact that ball nuts already have a place on the moderate climber's rack on a number of climbs in the Near Trapps. I think, as I have now said several times, that their use will increase in the Trapps as the cliff returns to a more natural state. What people may or may not call a "standard rack" in other parts of the country is of absolutely no relevance; what is "standard" is, ultimately what works in a great many situations on the crag you happen to be climbing.

I have a suggestion, as much to myself as to anyone else. Put ball nuts on your rack, and start placing them as much as you can, in places where they are not at all critical and you have protection you are comfortable with from other gear. No matter how expert you are, think of yourself as a beginner just learning to protect and put yourself through the paces you would recommend a beginner go through, because we are all beginners when it comes to new technology. If you have a chance, try doing some top-rope aiding on ball nuts. You don't have to go out and buy a pack full of big wall gear for this, in fact learning a bit about how to do improvised aid with whatever free-climbing gear you have will ultimately prove to be a valuable skill for getting out of nasty jams. If you find yourself at the cliff on a crappy day, take a little time for a ball nut "ground school." Place, them, set them, bounce test them. Get a sense of how and when they work, how much you can expect, and when they don't work.

If you mostly leave them in your pack, grab them only when you think they are absolutely necessary, place them for the first time in critical locations where your gear really needs to perform, and then conclude that they are unreliable, have you really evaluated their effectiveness?

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#41222 - 11/05/08 04:17 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
 Quote:
As for fixed pins, I've been told of studies in Europe that have shown that experienced climbers (without hammers) have little or no ability distinguish good placements from bad ones.

I guess this is my quibble--that experienced climbers have little or no ability to distinguish good ballnut placements from bad ones.

I once had ballnuts on my rack. One day I placed one up in the roof of that little pie-shaped wedge you stand on at the start of the second pitch of Blackout before you start the business of that pitch. So I'm standing on a roomy ledge able to reach a roof that's over my head if you can picture it.

It looked like a great placement and I could see it perfectly and stand there and fiddle with it endlessly. Todd says, "hang on it." It popped at less than body weight. So I stuck it in again. To my eye, it's the exact same placement. Only this time I can hang on it and even bounce around on it, to the extent that I was willing, and it didn't come out.

So if I can't, under the most auspicious circumstances, tell the difference between a placement that'll pull at less than body weight and one that'll take at least body weight, then I'm not going to place them and call them pro.

FWIW, I do have a similar attitude towards black Aliens (that they aren't really pro) but I feel better about my ability to judge where on the spectrum from useless to marginal they fall.

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#41224 - 11/05/08 04:58 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
I'm not saying that ball nuts are a wave of protection technology equivalent to ordinary nuts.

You wound two paragraphs and invoked the holy Stannard, developing exactly that parallel: that ballnutz are the new black, and we bumbling idiots of today just can't see the light.

 Quote:
It is a fact that ball nuts already have a place on the moderate climber's rack on a number of climbs in the Near Trapps.

That is far from a fact. It's clear that ballnutz have a place on one climber's rack - DW's - and he makes note of where he used them in his new guidebook. One would assume he made those notes because he recognized they were not likely to be on what most people consider a moderate climber's "standard rack".

This is often the case around the country: there is, indeed, a notion of what a "standard rack" entails, and exceptions are usually noted in guidebooks. It would seem DW went along with this convention.

We have ballnutz. I've spent time placing them from safe stances, and the ground (but thanks for suggesting it). I have not casually tossed them aside (but thanks for implying it); like anyone, I wish I had fairy dust in that size range, and hoped they would be better than they actually are. There's a reason they're on a 'biner that doesn't often get used or carried.

I had a similar reaction to HB offsets, years ago when a friend handed them to me - "they look weird, I'll never place them" - but took them along anyway for giggles. They quickly became my go-to nut. I'm not dissing ballnutz because I'm an ignorant bigot; I'm dissing them because I genuinely think they're not good enough pro, nor do they belong on a "standard rack".

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#41225 - 11/05/08 05:18 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Dawn, I get where you're coming from. And I have absolutely no urge to be the John Stannard of ball nuts---it is getting on time for me to shut up about the whole thing. Consider what follows a final outpouring.

So let me just mention that you can put the same ball nut in the same placement with the ball initially in different positions relative to the paddle and get very different results. Of course, I have no idea what you did, and I have no reason to suppose that you don't know everything I'm about to say, so this is just a general comment for anyone who is interested, not in any way a remark on and certainly not a criticism of anything you may or may not have done.

I think one of the problems one can have with ball nuts is, because they have a trigger, to treat them like cams. Pull the trigger, insert until it feels tight, release the trigger, have a look, clip and go. This will, in general, result in highly unpredictable behavior. The biggest problem is that the ball might end up too high on the paddle; when the ball nut is loaded the ball will travel up the paddle a bit an if the ball is already too near the top the placement will fail. So you can't just insert until tight and release the trigger, you use the trigger to keep the ball in the lower quarter of the paddle while looking at the placement and making sure that you have the ball properly engaged with the crack wall in this lower quarter position before releasing the trigger. Among other things, "properly engaged" means the ball doesn't ride further up the paddle when you release the trigger. Once this initial placement condition is satisfied, the ball nut has to be set with one or more vigorous jerks, inspecting the ball position to make sure it has not ridden up beyond midway on the paddle.

The ball doesn't actually "ride up" the paddle, rather, the paddle moves down and wedges the ball more tightly. So, it is critical to make sure the placement does not include some mini-obstruction that will momentarily or permanently keep the paddle from moving down under load, because without the slight downward paddle motion there will be no effective wedging action. On the other hand, getting the ball behind a little feature that keeps it in place while the paddle is able to move down guarantees wedging action and so leads more reliably to a secure placement. BUT, such a placement may be extremely hard to clean, because there is now an obstruction to releasing the wedge action with the trigger.

Cams have, for the most part, ended the era of fiddling that was necessary when nuts were the only option, and I think most of us have lost the patience we used to have for that process or never acquired the patience to begin with because there was no necessity. Ball nuts require that old-fashioned kind of patience, trigger or not there is nothing remotely automatic about placing them.

By the way, I have, on a number of occasions, placed and clipped small gear, climbed down, sometimes quite a ways, and then, with an upper belay through a good lower piece using the other double rope strand, tested the placement by at least really vigorous yanking and usually with bodyweight bounces. This helps to alleviate some of the uncertainty you referred to, but of course it can't be done on every climb and you do have to be climbing with double ropes, which I think are even more useful when small gear comes into play.

I guess time will tell whether ball nuts become, in the hands of people who have practiced, the fairy dust Julie and the rest of us hope for, or rather turn out to be the unreliable non-protection Julie and Dawn (and plenty of others who have not weighed in here) have experienced. They may be right, we certainly don't have any kind of objective testing to appeal to. In the meantime, read those route descriptions well. If you're not a fan of ball nuts, beware of the routes that now seem to require them, and if you've never used them, don't treat them like mini-cams.

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#41227 - 11/05/08 05:34 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
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Jeeessss, everyone this grouchy after an election?

One aspect that everyone has forgot to mention (Even RG) is that when you get to these small sizes of gear the other factor that starts to really play into all this, is the gears overall kn rating. So you can have the perfect text book placement with an RP, Ballnut or whatever, you but if you take a big enough fall (and in some cases that’s not much) the failure will be in form of a wire snapping, or other device failure and not the fault of the actually placement.


John Stannard was going around telling people to use gear that is rated higher KN wise then the micro gear in discussion here. (Both Blue and Red ballnuts are rated at only 4.5 kn,) I wouldn’t want to tell anyone to go take a big whip on anything rated 4.5kn! \:o (not that anyone is saying those exact words)I agree with RG, practice with them, but when the time comes, I would not rely too heavily on them if you’re far out from it no matter how good its placed. I have seen the Red ball nut repeatedly fallen on but from a stance where the gear was at waist level. Big difference then being 4-5’ above it.

http://www.mtntools.com/cat/rclimb/nuts/trangoballnutz.htm


Edited by Smike (11/05/08 05:44 PM)

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#41229 - 11/05/08 05:43 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Smike]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Smike, only some of us are grouchy. I'm nearly ecstatic myself.

You are right about the low breaking strength of small gear, ball nuts and cams and wires. You gotta put this stuff close together, or recognize that after a couple moves it's just as if you don't have anything in.

On the other hand, I think we could probably identify routes rated PG in the Gunks and elsewhere that are protected by moderately long strings of such gear, placed close together, with the occasional bigger piece guarding against the effects of zippering the whole mess.

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#41230 - 11/05/08 06:04 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
RG, I understood all these things when I first played around with them. What happens in my hands is that even when I've figured out what wedges what, gotten the ball wedged exactly where I want it, and the paddle in place to wedge it, I give it a yank and it pulls, probably 50/50. For no apparent reason - maybe just as the pull began to weight the piece, the stiffness of the trigger moved it, maybe there was lateral play, maybe the ball rocked on its side, smoothness of the back of the ball, whatever. But that's why I don't carry them: if the probability of taking the time to get it set -just- right and then having it pull is anywhere close to 50%, why bother spending that time? Would I really trust it even when it does set?

Another thing that's gone neglected here: these are pieces in the 1/4" and under range. More often than not, you just can't see the details of the rock that are coming into play here. And when you can, we're talking about bits of pebbles after all. Further, I'm an ardent fan of doubles, but they also introduce another variable - belayer skill, and this is assuming you can communicate with your belayer.

The origin of what I'm arguing is Jeff's question far above: "What is a standard rack, and has DW changed its definition?" It seemed you were pulling out the stops to endorse ballnutz, and I am arguing strongly, for all the reasons already made, that ballnutz are and should continue to be considered a very asterisked exception to the rule.


Edited by Julie (11/05/08 06:10 PM)

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#41231 - 11/05/08 06:26 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
This conversation is as boring as watching old people climb. Ha!!!!

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#41232 - 11/05/08 06:30 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
dalguard Offline
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Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I, on the other hand, appreciate the ballnut tutorial. I only used them briefly before I realized that I couldn't tell the difference between a good placement and a bad one. I have a well-established habit of falling on my gear, so my placements are less theoretical than some people's. If I get the opportunity to play with them again, I'll keep in mind what you said and see if that makes them more useful to me.

I'm trying not to be patronizing but I find myself thinking of the gear on TSD in terms of the rating. In my mind, 5.7 leaders don't have or place anything smaller than the green Alien because they don't have the gear skills to evaluate those placements. When I'm sending a beginning leader up something, I take the biner with the blue and black Alien off the rack. Otherwise, they tend to place them (why beginning leaders automatically reach for the smallest piece on the rack, I'll never know) and they're always complete crap.

The above paragraph obviously comes from my new-wave attitude towards trad leading where 5.7 is a beginner's grade and people fall on their gear. Given that attitude, pins make sense on TSD. It's a pumpy route, the fall would be back into a corner, and the gear is small. We don't tell them to carry ballnuts; we give them a pin to clip.

I do recognize the alternate view. No one is entitled to lead a route just because it's rated 5.7 and it's no one's job to keep leaders, beginner or otherwise, safe through the random insertion of pins.

I'd still replace the three bad ones with one good one in the middle. If it were up to me. Which it's not. So it's just the hot air of my opinion.


Edited by dalguard (11/05/08 06:38 PM)

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#41235 - 11/05/08 06:36 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
dalguard Offline
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Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
RR, out of curiosity, is this what you're like in real life? Do you run up to people engrossed in conversation to tell them their conversations are boring or stupid? You must be fun at a party.

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#41237 - 11/05/08 07:07 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
"In my mind, 5.7 leaders don't have or place anything smaller than the green Alien because they don't have the gear skills to evaluate those placements."

I'm one of those who do know how to evaluate my pro but lead 7-8 at the gunks cause I'm old and fat and a chicken. I don't usually lead fall on gear, partly because all my early climbing was on nuts, and my primary climbing commandment is that I return home in more or less the same shape I left in. I'm the bread winner and not doing so can't be an option.

I'm lovin' this tutorial. Thanks everyone.

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#41240 - 11/05/08 09:06 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
pedestrian Offline
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Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
I always carry a black alien, I'm simply extremely careful about putting it only in ideal, textbook placements...

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#41241 - 11/05/08 09:28 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
dawn has a good point, you have people who are like fairly solid 5.11ish gym climbers who are getting on gunks 5.7, falling off not because they lack either strength or skill, just because they read the moves wrong and were maybe a little overconfident, one of my buddies fell off baskerville 2 years ago, zippered out his lowest piece (a blue or black alien placed in a crack that required a green or a yellow) and ended up hanging off of one piece, his top nut 30 feet of the deck that happened to be good. so, perfect example of a guy who was lucky enough to survive his beginner mistakes. I still try to talk this guy out of leading R/X routes, the event lingers in my memory...

Anywho, back to Thin Slabs Direct, and taking the smaller gear off a new leader's rack because they might place it incorrectly, where does this end? Take everything smaller than a green alien off the new leaders rack, and he will place the green alien in a crack that requires a .4 or .5 camalot. There is no substitute for "ground school." And the black alien crack on Thin Slabs Direct is fairly textbook, the way I remember it: parallel, smooth sides like the crack was cut by a laser. Just wide enough to accept the piece but not bigger. As for deepness of the crack or softness of the rock, I'm not going to make any judgements...

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#41242 - 11/05/08 09:29 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
tradjunkie Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
 Originally Posted By: pedestrian
I always carry a black alien, I'm simply extremely careful about putting it only in ideal, textbook placements...


Well, I don't have much luck with finding ideal placements for the black alien, so usually I just try to back it up with either a red or gold camalot, or a good hex.

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#41243 - 11/05/08 09:36 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Dawn, RR is not like that in person, but it does seem to be his internet persona to interrupt conversations he has made no contribution to and seems to have no interest in for the sole purpose of informing those who are contributing and interested that their contributions are worthless and their interest misplaced.

This has happened many times and at different sites, and those of us who have been the object of his remarks have learned long ago to ignore him, though we cannot help wondering why he never seems to tire of reading the drivel we apparently produce.

Nonetheless, as an old person climbing, I can confirm that watching such performances, if they can be called that, is every bit as boring as RR suggests.

Julie, I think you are right to scold me about advocating, or at least seeming to advocate, Ball Nuts For All, and I hereby retract any claims, implicit though they must be, that ball nuts should be on every rack. I personally consider myself a novice in their use, so there is a certain theoretical component to my enthusiasm, a component that might not survive more experience.

It does appear that folks have been and will continue to use them on new climbs, and they do seem to take some of the boldness out of some older climbs. Of course, they only have value if the person using them thinks they are doing something better than flipping a coin, and if, when push comes to shove, if this impression turns out to be accurate.

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#41244 - 11/05/08 09:41 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: chip]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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I was just looking at a picture of TSD... if you're past the pins, or even clipping the pins, would you actually hit the corner if those pins failed? Assuming you've extended the runner in the corner, with some rope stretch, wouldn't you swing down under the corner?

Thanks for the tutorial as well, I've been thinking of getting ballnutz for about a year.
_________________________


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#41246 - 11/05/08 10:31 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
dalguard Offline
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Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
That would depend on where you were when you fell, but there's not a lot of wiggle room between the end of the corner and the beginning of the ledge. I wouldn't want to count on missing them both.

Speaking of wiggle room, there's a lot more in a bigger cam than in a smaller cam, which is why a bad red Camelot is safer than a bad black Alien, which I think we all know. Why cut off at the green Alien? Just my experience of Crap Gear I Have Seen. But even those #1's aren't failsafe.

I had one beginning leader, an otherwise very smart young woman, whose every cam was utter crap. When I discussed it with her I discovered that she believed cams needed to go into round placements. Her nuts were excellent. I think nuts are more obvious than cams, but people like the extra protection of magic.

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#41247 - 11/05/08 11:52 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
pedestrian Offline
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Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
 Quote:
she believed cams needed to go into round placements.


*speechless*

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#41248 - 11/06/08 01:30 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: dalguard]
MarcC Offline
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Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: dalguard
That would depend on where you were when you fell, but there's not a lot of wiggle room between the end of the corner and the beginning of the ledge. I wouldn't want to count on missing them both.

What she said.
We were climbing Thin Slabs(not direct) once while there was a party on TSD. The leader fell while trying to clip the first pin on the traverse. When he swung *hard* back into the corner, he caught the edge of the overhang in the corner with the front of his head, at about his hairline. Very fortunately he was wearing a helmet, which was demolished. He was pretty rattled and we assisted him and his partner in rapping back to the dirt.

BTW, with all this talk of small pro, some of it with pretty low kN ratings, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the need to carry a few screamers.
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#41250 - 11/06/08 02:00 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
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Ouch...
So the option is hit the corner/edge with your head, or have a little slack so you swing under.

I thought there was at least 10' above the ledge and below the corner, which would be enough wiggle room, but it's been a while since I've been up there. Still probably better a soft bounce off the ledge than hitting your noggin hard.

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#41265 - 11/06/08 05:15 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Rich, you know me all to well. Now, to quote the illustrious LearningtoLead..."Die thread, DIE!!"

RR

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#41272 - 11/06/08 06:19 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
bump. Need more RR declarations.

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#41274 - 11/06/08 06:48 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: chip]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Loc: brooklyn
So I was in the corner of TSD, trying to decide if I should clip the pins or just run it out. My cell phone rings, so I ask my belayer to take up slack and take the call. It's the bank, they say that there's a check that is about to be denied for ISF, so I ask they transfer some money from savings into checking. My partner reaches my stance, without being belayed, and asks what that was all about, and I tell him, and he says scary, then continues past me...
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#41282 - 11/06/08 07:47 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
empicard Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
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Loc: LI, NY
i saw the same stupid ad.
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#41309 - 11/07/08 03:50 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
GOclimb Offline
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Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
I'm closer to RG's camp, although I don't place ballnuts often. I find they are absolutely fantastic in thin granite seams, and I've used them at the Gunks, too.

If there is any outward flare to the placement, it becomes a crapshoot. But in parallel sided placements, I really don't get Julie's percentages. I find them 100% secure.

GO

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#41332 - 11/08/08 01:21 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: GOclimb]
Alex Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 192
My 2 cents- I always carry ball-nuts and have used them many times. They work where nothing else will; very thin parallel sided cracks. Often I place two side by side. My main complaint is they're hard to get out, especially since I always tug set my gear (its the second's problem).
In general, you don't often need ball-nuts, but if you do need them, you need them BAD!.

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#41337 - 11/08/08 07:04 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Some things I forgot to say about ball nut placements.

I did say, but perhaps not as clearly as possible, that the basic goal is to make sure the ball grabs and paddle motion is unobstructed. If these two conditions are met, wedging will occur and the placement will be secure. I have a sense that orienting a horizontal placement paddle up -- ball down may, in the absence of other useful features, be more conducive to the ball grabbing, because a downward-directed jerk will tend to tilt the paddle down a little and thereby trap the ball. I can't say I've experimented enough to decide whether this is just a hunch or something more.

I also said that one way to make sure the ball grabs is to get it behind an obstruction of some sort, but then it might be very hard to clean the placement, because the same obstruction will interfere with triggering. If the obstructing featurette is, however, either small enough and/or directional, then the ball nut might be successfully triggered if the unit can be rotated off the axis of placement so that the triggering is no longer in the direction of the obstruction.

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#41342 - 11/08/08 11:11 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
You guys just like saying "Ball Nut."
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Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#45357 - 06/07/09 03:49 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: empicard]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
What follows is the budding 5.7 leader's guide to Thin Slabs Direct. This foolproof method was personally tested by a certified fool, aka yours truly, just yesterday.

Step 1: Lead Sente (5.9-), cleanly. Feel like you're king of the world and can do anything. This step is important, because you need an injection of hubris before you start the traverse above.

Step 2: Get up to the end of the second pitch of Thin Slabs and look at the traverse. Here is where the pins become important. It looks like there's three of them. The route looks terrifying, but there's three pins. So it'll be okay. Three pins! Piece of cake. Without those pins, you never would have tried it.

Step 3: Start the traverse. Man those pins look old. Place some cams. Place two perfectly good cams, one almost out at the first pin, from stances that are a little pumpy but have perfectly good feet. Clip the first pin, because why the hell not?

(Intermediate, optional step: move out towards the second pin, struggle to clip it, get pumped out and retreat to the stance at the beginning of the traverse, gather courage, and think about heading out again. Repeat this step, over and over again, as necessary.)

Step 4: Climb out to the second pin again, make the clip, then totally misread the next moves, missing the holds on the shelf above the featured crack with the pins. Get pumped. Call out "take!," inch back as close to the second pin as you can, and let go. The pin holds 164 pounds, this fool knows that for a fact. Look back a few feet to the cam you placed and think about the fall you might have had if the pin blew. Not that bad. Get back on the wall and climb back to the left over to the beginning of the traverse again.

Step 5: it's do or die time. Go out again, now that you see the holds on the shelf above. Confidently pass the second pin. Grab said holds on the shelf above. Smear your feet. Start to feel the pump again. Realize there's no way you're clipping the third piece of fixed gear, which isn't a pin but rather resembles a five & dime keychain that someone jammed into the rock. With courage (as Dick Williams says), pull your entire torso onto the shelf, wedging your body awkwardly but securely in the corner. Lie there, enjoying the exposure and ignominy of your totally horizontal position on the ledge as you listen to your patient, encouraging partner laugh and laugh at your ineptitude. In leisurely fashion, place a cam right at the corner to protect the second and find a way to worm your body off the shelf and back to an upright position. Finish the pitch.

Wish I'd thought to do a heel hook. Might've helped.
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#45360 - 06/07/09 11:30 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
Lucander Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 227
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
Stories like this deserve to be published - much more entertaining than some Philosophy professor working limestone 5.14 sport routes!

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#45365 - 06/08/09 04:21 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
tokyo bill Offline
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Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Nice story! Sounds like me on any number of routes...

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#45369 - 06/08/09 01:41 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: tokyo bill]
SethG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Props to Gran or Turner or whoever first took a look at that traverse thought it would end any way but badly!


Edited by SethG (06/08/09 01:41 PM)
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#45371 - 06/08/09 01:47 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Bravo!

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#45373 - 06/08/09 02:17 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Uh... did you pull yourself UP onto the traverse ledge and jam yourself into that corner, rather than go out onto the face?
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#45377 - 06/08/09 03:07 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
Julie Offline
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Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Seth, that was great. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

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#45383 - 06/08/09 03:58 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: quanto_the_mad
Uh... did you pull yourself UP onto the traverse ledge and jam yourself into that corner, rather than go out onto the face?


Why, is this not correct? I'm shocked! There was plenty of chalk in the places where I put my hands, but upon reflection, I suspected staying lower might have worked better...
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It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#45398 - 06/08/09 06:10 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
WARNING! SERIOUS BETA HINTS IN THE PHOTO!!!
Don't click through if you don't want to know!!!!


Found this via google:
http://www.jeffdeutsch.com/albums/20061103/26_s.jpg

There are some other photos on his site.
[Didn't embed the photo here out of respect for his bandwidth.] [color:#CC0000][/color]


Edited by MarcC (06/09/09 01:37 AM)
Edit Reason: based on a suggestion to warn of the beta/spoiler info in the photo
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#45403 - 06/08/09 07:14 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Quote:
[Didn't embed the photo here out of respect for his bandwidth.]


Good call... all these gunks.com users are sure to bring down a bandwidth crunch!
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#45413 - 06/08/09 08:13 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Dillbag]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
What's bandwidth??

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#45428 - 06/08/09 09:28 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: MarcC
Found this via google:
http://www.jeffdeutsch.com/albums/20061103/26_s.jpg

There are some other photos on his site.
[Didn't embed the photo here out of respect for his bandwidth.]


That is useful. Nah, didn't do that. Went higher, not lower. There are some photos on mountainproject from deniso that show a dude following the pitch using the holds I used, although with considerably better style!

Next time I'll go low.
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#45449 - 06/09/09 01:38 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Originally Posted By: RangerRob
What's bandwidth??

Do you also not know about google? Really?
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#45453 - 06/09/09 01:57 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
of course I do know about google. I used to play that word game when I was a kid with my parents. Really fun to shake around the letters in that cube thing

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#45457 - 06/09/09 03:57 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: RangerRob]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Thanks for posting this. Great story and this is tempting me to go back up there and see what you're talking about. Been a long time since I was up there.

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#46486 - 07/07/09 05:24 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: pedestrian]
Julka7 Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Tested the last really crappy looking pin/ring this weekend. Got to the end of the traverse (after hanging on the last two pins), and realized that I have pretty much one move left to get onto the face and that I can't do it because I have nothing left in my arms. "Falling", I said, but nothing happened. Then I hung there for a while, because there was not much else to do. Then my prediction came true and I went into the wall feet first. Bruised heel, but very exciting for my first leader fall. Good news is that pin/ring is fully functional (at least for my 120 swinging pounds).

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#46492 - 07/07/09 06:29 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julka7]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Yikes! Those ring pins are at least 45-50 years old. Glad you are OK. I shudder to think of my 180 lbs. thwapping down onto that.

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#46494 - 07/07/09 06:32 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: chip]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Originally Posted By: chip
Yikes! Those ring pins are at least 45-50 years old. Glad you are OK. I shudder to think of my 180 lbs. thwapping down onto that.

Past history is no indication of future performance. That pin is just as questionable now as it was before the recent test. Perhaps more so.
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#47305 - 08/03/09 10:08 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: MarcC]
ShakesALot Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 257
Loc: NJ

SethG should appreciate this, assuming it's not him in the video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyU-U8_DnUM&feature=channel

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#47307 - 08/04/09 01:26 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: ShakesALot]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Not me but it brings back memories!
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#47308 - 08/04/09 04:34 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Never done that route, but damn it looks like fun!

Kind of disconcerting at the beginning of the clip to hear a male voice from the belay ledge and then have the belayer glance down and show a conspicuously female torso....

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#47309 - 08/04/09 12:43 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: tokyo bill]
TerrieM Online   content
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
hahahah - I thought the same!

I would be ca-rapping my pants at the sight of that traverse....

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#47310 - 08/04/09 12:55 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: TerrieM]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
I think it's just the perspective, but does somebody need a man-bra?

Notice how as soon as the belayer says 'now I have to do it next' the camera starts shaking ;-)

Is it common to belay where he did, such that the ropes are almost above you on the traverse? Not a bad idea, but it puts the second in a worse place when s/he leaves the belay ...

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#47316 - 08/05/09 07:19 AM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Originally Posted By: Julie
I think it's just the perspective, but does somebody need a man-bra?


That's exactly what I meant by disconcerting! Pretty sure it was actually a team of three: one man leading; one man and one woman on the belay ledge, with the woman belaying with a camera on her helmet and the man talking.

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#47319 - 08/05/09 05:29 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: Julie]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
That is not the usual belay. I think they must have set up that hanging belay for filming. You can stand comfortably at the normal belay about five feet lower, on a ledge the size of a large living room.
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#48111 - 09/23/09 07:30 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Okay, here's an obsessive/trivial/stupid question for those with spare time to ponder.

There's a photo of Art Gran on page 222 of the latest Williams guide to the Trapps. The caption says it's Thin Slabs Direct. But I'm pretty sure it isn't. The formation Gran is standing on bears a superficial resemblance to Thin Slabs Direct, but apart from the basic outline of the rock, everything is wrong. The featured crack (which holds all the pins) is missing, there's a section of rock jutting out to the right (at the top/right corner of the photo) that's totally wrong, and there's a rope supporting Gran from directly above that would make absolutely no sense if Gran were actually doing Thin Slabs Direct.

There's a great photo of Thin Slabs Direct in the Dumais book, on page 102. Compare the two and you'll see what I mean.

So which climb is Gran actually doing?
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#48116 - 09/23/09 08:43 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
It's TSD (as far as I can tell).

It looks like he's not climbing into the corner and traversing out like most people, but rather taking a more direct line.

Here's a picture from below:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/54/148761507_755c63815b_b.jpg

It looks like he's standing about two right of where I am.


Edited by quanto_the_mad (09/23/09 08:46 PM)
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#48135 - 09/24/09 03:00 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
Good call, QTM, I think you solved the mystery.
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It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#48150 - 09/24/09 09:01 PM Re: DAMN those pins on Thin Slabs Direct are OLD! [Re: SethG]
Elwood54 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 76
Loc: NYC
Does taking the more direct line increase the difficulty past 7+?

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