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#59450 - 08/03/11 05:33 PM High mielage days
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
So mu buddy and I were out yesterday to try to get a bunch of climbing done. The goal was a half Cap day (1500'). It was crazy hot out, which slowed us down and sapped energy, but we got it done. We employed a couple of different strategies. Simul climbing, linking pitches, and trailing a rap rope.

The question to you guys is, what do you think is the best way of climbin glots of ground? Simul-climbing longer 3 pitch routes, or picking two pitch routes that can be climbed in one pitch?

Simul climbing enabled us to climb longer 3 pitch routes without stopping, but inevitably the climbing is slower because each person is slightly more worried about falling. Additionally, if you aren't perfectly in sync, one winds up waiting for the other at various times because of excess slack, or the rope is too tight between you.

Linking pitches enables a leader to climb a lot of ground at once, and climb more confidently....but all the ground is climbed by only person at a time.

This is more of a Gunks specific question than a speed climbing in general question. How do you think you would go about it?

RR

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#59451 - 08/03/11 05:56 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: RangerRob]
anthonyb Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 38
Loc: Paris, France
Lots of the early nears routes can be done as one long pitch with doubles or a 70m. I've done Layback, Baskerville Terrace, Yellow Belly, Alphonse, Te Dum and a few others as one pitch with my 70m. I have also followed a friend who did Fat City Direct and Fat Stick Direct in one pitch with double 60m ropes. This combined with not having to rappel is really helpful for racking up a large number of pitches (as designated by the book) without running the risk of simul-climbing. Ever since I read about this accident ( http://web.me.com/billwright510/Mobile_M...Up_Attempt.html ) I've been pretty afraid of attempting it.

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#59454 - 08/03/11 07:20 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: anthonyb]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 853
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
RR, considering your goals you posted for next year, I'd figure the simul climbing as extremely valuable. Not only for your physical training but maybe more importantly, your mental training as well. Along with climbing through the night, w/packs etc. Enjoy yourself and.... be careful out there.

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#59455 - 08/03/11 07:42 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: Rickster]
fotovult Online   content
member

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 142
Loc: ny
Simul-ing is the way to go - I did a half-dome day early this season (2000 ft, 10 topouts) with a single partner and we were able to get it done before headlamps came out. Wasn't exactly planned, but after getting through a few routes quickly we decided to motivate to get to 2000ft.

We kept the climbing reasonable, all under 5.10 with a few 8s (drunkards, morning after, the blackout) one 9(+) (Grim-Ace Face), some 6s (miss bailey, frogs, morning after, baby) and a few easier routes to finish it all off.

No TR-ing, we led everything, simlu'd a lot of the 5.6 and under terrain with some easy soloing in there. Speed was also key, we moved fast - I think we simul-climbed frogs head in a long pitch in under 10 minutes to get both of us to the chains.

We linked most of the longer stuff with a 70, climbed with a pretty light rack which made belay changeovers go quick.

Definitely a fun time covering a lot of rock on easy ground -


Edited by fotovult (08/03/11 09:31 PM)
_________________________
www.chrisvultaggio.com

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#59457 - 08/03/11 11:13 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: RangerRob]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: RangerRob


The question to you guys is, what do you think is the best way of climbing lots of ground?



Without a doubt free-soloing! 1500ft < 1hr

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#59459 - 08/03/11 11:46 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: cfrac]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 853
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
From the recent issue of Outside Mag.

"I've been working for two years to get away from solo climbing. If you do it too long, if you do it too much, you're going to die for sure." Ueli Steck

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#59473 - 08/04/11 02:46 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: anthonyb]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: anthonyb
Ever since I read about this accident ( http://web.me.com/billwright510/Mobile_M...Up_Attempt.html ) I've been pretty afraid of attempting it.


Did you guys read this? Thanks for posting the link Anthony, what a crazy story. I also found the earlier 50 pitches in a day report http://adventurerun.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/50-pitches-in-a-day/ and learned that Bill Wright wrote the book on speed climbing:


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#59475 - 08/04/11 04:09 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: cfrac]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Spectacular accidents notwithstanding, simuling is the best way to go fast with at least some security, but you do need to guard against the mentality that you are merely leading.

I've always set it up so that the second can transition to belaying the leader as rapidly as possible, since a lot of the simuling I've done has had short sections where belaying was desirable.

(1) Whatever you may think of installed tethers in general, simuling calls for them so that the climbers can anchor as quickly as possible.

(2) One usually uses less than a full rope-length between climbers, with the second carrying the extra rope in coils over the shoulder as for glacier travel. This is important because ease of communication is critical. I set this up so that the rope from the leader is anchored via a figure-8 to the harness, then from there goes through a threaded ATC on the harness, and from there to the shoulder coils. If the leader needs a proper belay, the second tethers off to the nearest anchor, dumps the figure-8, and they are on belay. Actually, if the second is on a comfortable stance and there are a bunch of pieces between the and the leader, anchoring is optional and can be skipped if there are no pieces nearby.

Some people advocate a ropeman or tibloc placed after a tricky section to keep the second from pulling off the leader. I've never done this and question the whole idea. The second shouldn't be falling, if they think they might fall the leader should be stopping to set up a belay, and installing a gadget can, in my opinion, only make the second more likely to take a chance they shouldn't be taking.

Improvised belays on the run should usually be belays off the harness with the body appropriately braced, since it is quite likely that the anchor will be a single piece. Nowadays, there are a lot of people who have virtually no experience in setting these up.

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#59478 - 08/04/11 06:34 PM Re: High mielage days [Re: rg@ofmc]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
a few thoughts

1) can i choose "all of the above"? speed tactics may be different in one situation vs the other. sometimes simul isnt faster. often it is. dont get dogmatic about speed tactics. use what works. i like rg's suggestions for a tether at the ready and for the use of a body/hip belay. lately i've been using short sections of dynamic 8mm cord as my tethers, cordelettes, and ready-to-go anchor setups.

2) i definitely second the advice to tie in closer together when simul-climbing (in most long route multipitch scenarios). one way to do this is to use a single super skinny double rope and double it up, tying the leader into both ends and the second into the bight at the middle. usually with a standard figure eight - just clip the loop tail off with a biner if you're feeling paranoid. that way you arent spread out 200ft from each other, can climb as if on doubles if you need, and still have enough rope to rap a full length. and no one has to climb with a coil on their necks.

3) another way i've done this is to climb with the second "tied in" with a gri gri. that way the second can adjust how much rope is between them and the leader and can stop anywhere and provide a fixed belay if needed. the second then just back ties in the same way they would when jugging a fixed line.

4)in the gunks i'd probably try to pick lines that dont wander that much, get an 80m rope and do as much as possible in one pitch with the second simulclimbing only for a little bit. thats probably the most aesthetically pleasing for me at least - nice _long_ pitches.

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#59504 - 08/05/11 11:55 AM Re: High mielage days [Re: schwortz]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
So schwortz has come closest to answering the question so far, which was what sort of routes would you pick, and what tactic to use on those routes at the Gunks. Although Reading RG's posts is always enlightening and leaves me asking myself.."Well duh, why didn't I think of that?" I like the method he prescribes for quick set up belays for difficult sections, and will definitely think to use that technique in the future. I've been averse to simul climbing anything above 5.7 or so, because of the fear of falling on the system, which I think should be avoided. But having the security of a belay for a 10 or 15 foot crux sequence will help the psyche for sure.

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