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#60034 - 09/07/11 08:29 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: donald perry]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Don is absolutely right and what he says makes a ton of sense.
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#60036 - 09/07/11 09:06 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: SethG]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319

Ha.
Originally Posted By: SethG
I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Don is absolutely right and what he says makes a ton of sense.

Originally Posted By: DonaldPerry
I feel that most people have no business rock-climbing in the first place because they don't know what they are doing, you yourself would be a good example of my concerns


You just want to be one of the few people Don would permit to be out there :-)

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#60040 - 09/08/11 12:22 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
donald perry Online   content
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: stoopid
Rock climbing can be safe ...


You said you were climbing for 4 years. I assume that means on the summer weekends. I have climbed full time year round for 25 years. So if we match apples to apples that would mean I have climbing for 150.5 years by your math. You are in denial and have not had enough hard knocks or experience yet to wake you up out of your self induced psychosis. You are mistaken, climbing is not safe.
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60041 - 09/08/11 03:08 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Mim]
donald perry Online   content
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Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey

Originally Posted By: Mim
For other climbers' sake, please keep your soloing a private venture. Or ask neighboring climbers if they mind...



I can suppose the author here is talking about making your climb a remote one, but here I am going to talk about publicizing your solo and having some respect in what you do. In this case other people may follow you by example. Below is the kind of example that I set forth for soloing.


Just for the record, I really do not solo just to solo. I would rather climb with a rope most all of the time, it leaves me less to worry about, and I do not see the point to it. If a climb involves some soloing, like Between The Lines 5.11 or something similar I will help celebrate it. I think its great to have climbs here we can accomplish hard problems without bolts, its really very interesting.


Mike Burlingame and I did the second accent of Enduro Man's Longest Hangout. Mike knocked off a row of loose rocks on the small ledge and sat down, where John Brag had left them there to keep the climb more to its original state. After that we just slung that giant "loose block" and used it as a chalkstone and lowered off on it. The block was our key piece of protection, where John Brag had only put # 2 stoppers behind it. Now it is no longer there, I do not know why. It held up under several times both our body weights.


These are the kinds of things I am talking about. However, as far as soloing climbs like Low Exposure or Star Action, if I had it wired, if I climbed more, if I had just done it twice already I might be tempted to try it without a rope, why not. However, then again, I would hate to see someone else doing it solo under the wrong or otherwise different circumstances. Besides, there is enough climbs with little to no pro that justify it elsewhere, so why should I belabor the need to solo when there is none? It is actually harder to lead a climb than it is to solo it, so why cut corners?, in the long run it makes things harder. That is, your going to be getting less climbs in if you fall.


I can imagine that someday in the near future I will often solo the first 15' of Double Clutch and the Gill Problem that goes through the roof to the right of it. It's fun. I have done these before solo. I don't have a problem with them. I have fallen off from up there before as well. I think I may solo Low Exposure, but I am not acquainted enough with it now to do that today as a workout routine. These are things I would do as a work out, but Retribution or Star Action are too far off the ground and I would hate to see other people doing it as well. The human body would not survive the fall very well from up there. However, by the same token, if the climb demands it, like Scary Area under the old retired bolt, then in that case I believe it is justified. [I think that bolt is now gone.] And once you get up there I do not think it is the kind of thing you should keep repeating on an old bolt, unless you rap off first and put the rope back up there to that high point. So I have my limits. And basically those limits are set on taking a lot of time and care to make sure there are no difficult or unforeseen obstacles. And by that same thinking it makes it impractical and impossible to go out and solo a list of climbs. It is however easy and practical for me to polish off climbs with a rope, I can do it with a clear head.


So I hope you understand what I am saying, there is a difference here. It is not the same kind of climbing. Soloing for me involves an over excessive obsessing with each move. It gets very annoying if that's all you do. For me it is a very impractical means for dealing with climbs. If I had to solo everything, if there was no such thing as nylon rope, I would do Star Action or some other 5.10. But it would only be once a year. The rest of the time I would be soloing 5.8 once in a while and bouldering 5.12 most of the time, both without taking repeated falls.


So yea, don't solo and do not make a completive sport out of it. Go bouldering instead, it makes more sense, don't fall, and don't use a ground mat. However by the same token, the climbs that have solo's built into them, you can do them if you are not in a hurry and can down climb, they involve a lot more time, energy, concentration, and commitment. And as you do such climbs you have to be ready at certain points on certain climbs to say "Enough is enough" realizing that you have to quit when you are potentially in over your head. Not all climbs are possible to do safely on poor protection. If you are not ready to quit on such things then you will get hurt. You have be a sometimes quitter and let other people finish the climb. You cannot have too much pride or become too attached, to than be willing to take risks just to quickly finishing a climb before someone else does. You should only finish through a climb if you are convinced you could do such things reasonably more than once.


I have been talking about the Gunks here, but some day I might try to do the Eiger, but I would not attempt to climb El Cap in a day. But now if we are talking about the Eiger or doing El Cap in a day or 2 hours, then that is a different story. For that you have better have a mind for soloing under pressure in the rain with a pack on your back or whatever. For that reason I could understand that kind of person rightly justifying soloing hard climbs here to do easy wet weighted or long little protected climbed elsewhere. I really do not know for certain what that king of continuous climbing is all about, but I assume that you have to have some kind of limits on how you climb differently than you would if you have a rope, I am not sure how anyone does that. Its out of my reach, I do not understand it, so I can't comment on something I know nothing about. I can only say what I know, that I don't know and don't want to know. I will solo Frogs Head but I am not going to solo close to my limit with any kind of enthusiasm or habitual desire.
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60051 - 09/08/11 05:16 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
donald perry Online   content
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: stoopid
Probably, it's a little slick and the first couple moves might end up with people decking on that large bolder. I've heard people have gotten hurt/killed hitting that boulder, and it seems reasonable that could/would happen. I wouldn't lead it. Anyone leading 5.7 at the Gunks is likely a relatively strong climber so their margin for error is probably wide enough this is rarely an issue. And after just a few moves and placement of a few quality pieces early the risk is probably gone.



What you are implying here is that you would lead [i.e. pull up 3' of stack on the first piece i.e. solo] if the holds were not slick. If not you would at least advocate it. To help unravel your thinking ultimately what you are advocating is that everything should be top roped from henceforth and then turning around and contradicting yourself unaware of what you are implying.


The mechanics of soloing dictate [traveling down on only those solid roads] that you have to climb in such a way stable enough that your understanding and experience can agree that you are doing something that you have never taken a leader fall on nor would do the same in the future at the present understanding you are climbing at.


This means that if you are putting up a new route that is 5.11 solo from the ground up, for example, you can only go so far so that you can turn around, where it is still reasonable by experience that you can still reverse every more back to the beginning. That you understand that there are certain kinds of holds and moves that are solid and other kinds of holds and moves that are questionable. Questionable means that you may have to spend hours days or years hanging around trying to understand them. Questionable means that you may never do the climb because there is no way you can interpret the moves without doing them. You are not going to do anything new or outside your control.


Most of my climbing has to do with rigging. The time I have spent rock-climbing has lent itself to unexpected falls only off small footholds and un-chalked finger holds or unfamiliar moves. In other words, the falls I have taken [I can only speak from my experience] in my genre all have to do with stepping off. When I say stepping off I am talking about getting off that solid road and forcing myself into situations that demand a potential fall. In other words unexpected falls eventually fade into a thing of the past giving us a false sense of security. The problem is there is a lot to keep track of, and if you are having a bad day you may cross over that boundary unexpectedly without knowing it.


If however you are repeating a route (not doing a new climb) or climbing something straightforward at a comfortable grade pre-known grade, then in that case there is a reason to assume that you can send with absolute certainty. That grade could be 5.13.


Homeowners climb ladders to clean gutters and housemaids stand on chairs and tables to dust ceiling fans. And this is true even though OSHA says you need to be tied in. These people are not going to listen to you either. But if you purposely make decisions to stay always within your mental and physical ability your doing the same thing as a home owner who is climbing a ladder without a rope or a house maid who stands on a rickety old table she has stood on many times before.


Problems arise when someone assumes climbing is safe, you yourself are a perfect case in point, and then takes that thinking with them up into these enlightened genres. I have heard the gods say it. But I have also heard them as they change their minds just as understood by the Greeks. Problems arise when one underestimates all the complexity. Problems arise when you are off your guard, none of us completely understand the world we live in or our own selves for that matter. Soloing near your limit has an element of false security to it. If you do it very rarely it is reasonably predictable that it will have no effect whatsoever. But if you do it repeatedly then it is unreasonable to assume that eventually human nature will not take its natural course where you will find yourself missing the mark just like the rest of us given enough time. The mistake my not happen in your own life time, but given that same equation repeatedly eventually there will be bugs will start to turn up in the code.

Some video of can be seen under the following names on youtube. com

PanAroma: Alexander Huber
adidas Outdoor Alexander Huber - Free Solo
Tre Cime di Lavaredo Dolomites Climbing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqUC7oVH1Nc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96JIohKsQVY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6nkZjGYkU&feature=related
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60054 - 09/08/11 07:25 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
donald perry Online   content
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: stoopid
What's the deal with free soloing?


I think you should change your name, I do not think you are stoopid.


Edited by donald perry (09/08/11 07:29 PM)
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60058 - 09/08/11 11:40 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
donald perry Online   content
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: stoopid
What's the deal with free soloing? Sunday someone climbed Frog's Head in boots. We were worried he was climbing up to jump off (he arrived at the climb by cane and was ignoring the other climbers trying to speak with him).

Is this acceptible? Should we have said something? I realize a few people do it on TV, but I don't expect them to live long. I feel like I had the potential to help in that situation but didn't want to be a wet blanket if this was something he did 10 times a week. But he was ignoring people so... WTF?


Forget about it .... read this instead. I should have posted this in the beginning. You have only been climbing 4 years?, you need to concentrate on yourself, forget about that guy soloing:

CLIMBING SAFELY
.
********************
.
Royal Robins once said that he didn't have many exciting stories to tell because he did not get himself into the same situations that other climbers did. This paper is written to explain some of the old mountaineering ethics like those of Royal Robins.


Sound climbing ethics concerning safety usually develop very slowly for most people. This is because the last reason most climbers are out climbing is to develop responsible limiting safety standards for themselves to follow. Most people do not understand what their risks are until they make repeated mistakes that are noticeable directly to them. Some climbers conclude that accidents and death are part of the game, and cannot to be avoided. We believe this to be true to a degree. However to conclude that we have no control over our safety is illogical. To say that all accidents are unrelated to any standard one might develop is to be ignorant of the fact that every outcome is based on something that causes it. The universe is not founded on random laws. Every accident has a cause. The cause of most accidents is clearly because those involved in them are willingly ignorant of the risks they are taking.


Over the years successful safety concepts have been found by those in the military, big industry, insurance companies and O.S.H.A. The reason for this is that safety engineers have developed opinions and rules based on observing years of information from many kinds of accidents, the reason for this is that companies and our taxes pay employ people to analyze safety. One must carefully develop a model of the risks and then set standards to compensate for them if they wish to realistically deal with their environment.
Below are the fundamental rules one can use to govern their safety in the acronym S.A.F.E.


S. "Safety first". Putting safety first means that surviving rather than climbing is your primary objective. It means safety comes FIRST and everything else comes SECOND! However this can become increasingly hard to do in certain kinds of climbs.


A. "Analyze". Prepare yourself before climbing to develop effective safety habits in light of the risks you are taking. Ascending is something one needs to set his mind on after all of the possible dangers are eliminated. Equipment use skills and theories about falling are best developed at a level where you can find insights into the laws that govern your surroundings. While one is learning in the first five years they should not use the rope to support their weight. Years ago experienced climbers did not weight the rope while free climbing. Even catching leader falls has also proven to be something one must know beforehand and not learn by experience. The most important of all rules is not to rely on anyone to do anything for you. Double check everything your partner or your group does! Trust no one and nothing, always analyze. This is one of the most important of all rules. Just as important is finishing whatever you start, as in tying any knots you start.


F. "Faith". Ultimately it is true you cannot protect yourself from anything. Pray.


E. "Experience". Using your experience is a key factor in avoiding fatal mistakes. Reinhold Messner is a good example of how experience has been employed to avoid fatal mistakes. But climbing is not an activity where you should plan on learning how to protect yourself from your own experience and mistakes. It is better if you can find an experienced climber and some books from which to build your ideas. I have been a professional rigger, demolition expert for the industrial smokestack industry, and a rock climber for over twenty years. For me it took at least five years to really just START to understand all the risks and then be able to make sensible decisions naturally and quickly.


Being self assured is the greatest of all errors. To succeed and survive especially in the more difficult terrain one must know how to take great risks and truly know instinctively when one is in danger and when one is free of danger. No one can tell you this. Here a set of rules will not help. There are many complex solutions to life threatening situations that you must know instinctively to be able to act responsively and effectively. I have been on jobs where men died or became permanently disabled from their mistakes. I have come to believe very strongly that one must develop accurate conclusions about how they will respond to things before they happen. It takes years of experience to become a practical engineer, so it should be of no surprise if it takes five years or so, up at the cliffs to learn how to rig climbs effectively.


In places where safety must be guaranteed (such as on private land in NY) it is essential that precautions be taken which will guarantee that there will not be any accidents or law suits. A workable model for this is to always have climbers top roped, even if they are on the lead. Self belay devices on static ropes are sufficient to accomplish this. And always have people tied in when they are setting up these top ropes. In sensitive areas organizations should be formed to oversee these activities, see that safety rules are enforced, supply insurance, and where necessary lease the land.


Edited by donald perry (09/08/11 11:46 PM)
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60059 - 09/08/11 11:51 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: donald perry]
donald perry Online   content
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1527
Loc: New Jersey
HERE IS SOMETHING MORE SPICIFIC. I WOULD ADVISE YOU READ IT.

SAFETY RULES

******************************************

Introduction:
The most important thing to remember is that climbing is always very dangerous. One can never predict what will happen or can happen. So then being self assured is the greatest of all errors. Do not rely on anyone to do anything, double check everything your partner or your group does when ever you can. This is one of the most important of all rules. Just as important is finishing whatever you start. These rules can only be applied effectively by experienced climbers.

Belaying:
Always hold the rope in a manner so that you can pull some rope in if your leader should fall. Watch the person you are belaying closely to be sure you're giving your friend the shortest leader fall possible. One should not lock the rope off on a belaying device when a leader is falling on crappie nuts. Instead in this situation it is most always safer to let the rope slide a little as when one belays climbing ice. It takes a while to learn how to do this. You must not push your decisions on your protection past what it is able to bear. In some instances where there is a steep pendulum into something it is often necessary to catch leader falls after the leader has fallen past the object he may crash into. However this can be very dangerous if you don't know the angle of the rock and the amount of rope drag. Don't let a new climber belay without a gregree. Often they lose track of which rope end of the rope to hold onto. Do not belay directly under the leader if you can help it. Rocks, equipment and the leader himself can land on you. Before climbing tie into your harnesses and stay tied in until you are off the climb, if you have more then one person have more then one rope. If you are top roping, while hooking into your tie-in carabiner on your harness check and make sure it is clipped to the right place on your harness. It is can be assumed that one is clipped in correctly, though no one has checked to be sure what they are attached to. Or each climber assumes the other has sorted through a maze of gear and knows what everything is clipped into. Do not clip carabiners on your pants. Try and belay off better anchors besides yourself. It is safer and easier to rescue someone if you can be free to move around. There is a lot to lowering an unconscious or injured leader who is more then half a rope length out from the belay. The best solution to this problem is to always climb with a 400' rope. But unfortunately it weighs too much and no one ever plans on falling and getting hurt. In most instances it is better to be tied in with some slack so that you can move out of the way of falling objects. If you have ever worked on a construction site you may have read a sign on the crane that says, "Don't talk to the crane operator!" It's there for a good reason. Likewise don't talk to the belayer when the leader is climbing. Belaying under an overhang is great protection against falling objects. However, if you are not anchored you can crack your head or break your neck on the roof. As a rule always have an anchor behind you cinched up tight so you do not get pulled under the leader. If your leader falls on a questionable placement it may not be a good idea to lower him until he unclips from it first. It could pop when he gets near the ground. If you are going to be belaying for long lengths of time, like on an aid climb, use a gegree or put some knots in the rope if you are using a stitch plate and always tie into the end. Depending on where your leader puts his first placement you may want to anchor yourself in a location that will best insure that the first anchor stays in place. Do not belay in a way that the leader will fall into the rope. This can cause serious problems for the belayer and the leader. Your leader should always, as a rule, belay where he can see and hear you. If communication is impossible do not climb up, rather avoid further problems and wait for him to move the belay ... unless you are half way up the Eiger and it is raining rocks. If you cannot hear the leader and he has run out of rope you can also climb up a few feet (if the going is not too bad) to give him slack. Make sure that you first grab the nut tool of course. Don't leave your pack directly below where you will climb. You may drop a rock on it. If you are lowering a person and the rope is hanging below you it can get caught on something below. Before you belay on a ledge with loose rocks take as much time as necessary to remove all of them away from the edge of the cliff!!! Do not lower a swinging person. Wait till they stop swinging. Always tell the second it is their responsibility to be sure they don't climb ahead of the slack you are taking up. Do not belay someone on a traverse that has no protection. Let them go back down if necessary and change the protection for them. Whenever you belay overhead remove the elasticity from the rope first. Keep the rope tight near the ground and ledges. If you have children or new climbers don't let them hang or fall on the rope. They will end up swinging into things and get hurt. New climbers should learn not to fall. The best way to do this is to give them a swami belt for a harness, unless it is on longer climbs where they can get stuck hanging off their swami and die. My opinion is that it is child abuse to take anyone climbing that is under 16 or 18 years of age because they have no idea what they are really getting themselves into, to a greater extent. If you come to a crack where the rope could get caught place a nut in the crack to prevent the rope from getting caught later. Shorten slings by using a looping method only so that you can't loose carabiners. If you come to a questionable placement on a climb which is a turning point on the climb above a ledge or the ground into a difficult area it is wise to climb back down to the ledge and test the nut. This must be done with two ropes, for if the nut fails you must be tied into another rope so you don't break your ankle. When you place nuts observe the rock to see if there are cracks around them indicating the soundness of such a placement. You will find that it takes practice to get used to climbing with more then one beginner because things can easily become complicated. A lot of people make concentration very difficult. If you are leading and you have placed a nut that is causing rope drag come back down and remove it when you get to the next good placement. Do not use slings unless they are needed to keep the rope straight or to keep loose nuts from falling out of cracks, no sense in falling any farther then you have to. A few inches sometimes can make a big difference. Now and then you can use two carabiners instead of a short sling if you wish. However, on bolts and pitons the carabiners can unclip from the rope very easily. One needs to keep an eye on them while one climbs. Carry a long cord to equalize your belay anchors.


Rappelling:
Do not use a munder hitch to rappel with, that knot has a dangerous tendency to unclip locking carabiners. If you have a pack on or are carrying a person, normal rappel procedures will not work. You must secure the load to the descending device carabiner first. If you are rappelling on fixed lines and use a figure eight it will not work because of the way it kinks up the rope near the end even more so then other devices. If you are rappelling and you come up to a knot, do not rappel too close to it, otherwise you will never be able to get the knot out. Tony Kurz died on the Eiger by making this fatal mistake. It is a good idea to always put a knot in the rope, but it must be at the end. Note that it may roll out when your belay device comes up against it. Also keep in mind that the rope can easily get caught in cracks. If you are rappelling always note where the end of the rope is. You don't want to be under the end of your rope with it gets stuck in a crack over your head. This can leave you in a situation where you may need to be rescued. Get in the habit of always keeping an eye on the part of the rope that is a few feet off from your brake hand. Otherwise you will unexpectedly lose the rope one day. While rappelling down or climbing up look for wasps if you are in the Gunks. If you see any in the air watch where they land, they probably have a nest there. If there is less then four wasps in a nest they will usually let you pass without stinging you. They will let you know if you can pass by how fast they move their front legs. While rappelling down do not allow lichen to fall below you. If it goes past a large wasp nest the wasps will follow the falling lichen to where you are. This can be a big problem if you're lowering someone. If a wasp stings you in the eye it will blind you. When you are rappelling keep your hair clothing and breasts away from the descending device or you may get caught in it. Rings can also get caught in cracks and remove your fingers.


Other:
Watch your partner if he or she is a new climber that they don't bump their head on protruding objects when walking or climbing. When you climb on someone else's gear check their slings that the ends of the slings extend out from their knot at least two inches. To untie tight knots a hammer can be used to loosen them. Do not load jumars more than 300 pounds. It will damage the rope. If you lock a carabiner under a load you will need to load in it to unlock it. If you lead a climb in the morning you will find that as the rock gets warmer some nuts may become stuck more readily due to the rock contracting. If you are swinging on a rappel you may dislodge loose rocks over your head. The bowline knot does not work properly when loaded from the loop. Everything must be tied in all the time. Anything not tied in will eventually fall sooner or later. Before you take short leader falls on your own protection, you should have at least 1,500 hours of leading experience. Before you belay you should be tested by catching leader falls with a weight when you are off guard. This can be very dangerous for the belayer if he does not know anything. When you become experienced, you will find that it is not necessary to fall more then two feet or so to finish a hard climb and that falling is a part of doing hard climbs. However falling is not something one should ever do as a beginner. If you think a rock is loose do not touch it. If you decide to test and see if it is loose you have to think about what will you do if it starts falling. On of the keys to aid climbing quickly on A1 - A3 is to move on whatever you put in the rock the first time. This can be very scary especially if you fall once. It is a good idea to have a shock absorbing sling to clip into your daisy chain so that in case you fall your body will not absorb the shock of the fall. It is a good idea to have a small sling on your harness carabiner. The reason for this is so that a downward load can be placed in your carabiner where it is also attached into your harness (Willans) without damaging it. The short sling will distribute the weight on top of your harness better then a carabiner that would damaging your harness. It is a good idea to have a hammer for removing nuts that have been fallen on. It is a good idea to have a headlamp. When you're climbing explain to your partner what you are going to do if you are going out of his sight. Make sure your belayer is concentrating on you. Always remain tied in and don't be in a hurry.

Mental awareness. Accidents happen more readily under the following circumstances:

If you are unable to concentrate on what you are doing for any reason, such as just having broken up with a girl friend for example. In this situation you must stop climbing or continue at a greatly reduced rate to allow extra time to think. Do not push yourself. Don't hurry. Take as much time as you need to be able to think over oncoming situations clearly. When you are arguing with one of the people you are climbing with and are not communicating properly with them. When you are under emotional stress from a disagreement with another party member. When you are under emotional stress for any reason, especially if a member of you party has just gotten injured or has died. When you are afraid. When you have not had enough sleep, especially over a number of days. When your body temperature has drooped from cold weather. When this happens you will find you will not be able to think quickly. When you are suffering from lack of food and water, always take extra on big walls. When you need to hurry. When your partner has set up a belay needlessly out of your hearing range. If the person you are climbing with is inexperienced wait till he climbs back down and tell him to set up a belay closer to you so you can communicate. One solution to this is to let a more experienced member of your party lead to a ledge between you and the inexperienced leader. He can lead off the same protection that has already been placed by your leader. When your equipment is in a mess. This will only slow you down and cause you to drop things. When there are optical illusions such as in chimneys that distort where 90 degrees is, making there appear to be ledges to rest on where there is none. When children are involved. Where there are children they should be away from the cliff and the rocks that fall off by erosion. Where there are children and inexperienced climbers there should be two experienced climbers to help on either end. A child can untie himself from a belay without knowing it.

The climbing ethics I learned from Bill Ravitch as a teenager.
When you are leading a hard climb like retribution you must have a plan in place before you pass your last good piece of protection. What we mean by this is that you must determine how far you can go up the cliff based on how far you can fall safely without hitting something. Most of the time when we fall one can know that he was going to fall before hand. And so one should be able to jump away from whatever is underneath him when the rock budges out in the way. But this has not always been the case. Ones goal is not to get to a rest or a ledge or a comfort zone or to anything other then your next possible placement and work on putting your next placement in even at the risk of falling. One should never want to get too far out from a good situation. Your aim should be to down climb rather then fall. Sometimes this rule must be broken though as with many of these rules. And through experience you will know when you can break this rule ... to keep climbing without protection in certain instances. In fact unfortunately sometimes this will be the essential thing to do.

It is important not to fall as a rule, since the rope should be used as protection and not a means of ascending, unless you are jumaring climbing. Falling or hanging on the rope often is not advisable for new climbers since they still have a lot to learn about protection. Sitting on the rope at a crux looks kind of dumb anyway since it removes the unexpected outcome and suspense of climbing something hard and achieving the goal of a legitimate ascent. Unless one is being lowered, doing a route beyond your means and sitting on the rope is pointless. Why not climb something easier?
Once you determine if you have a good placement (not just a satisfactory one) then you have a new starting point from which to work on your climb. If you have a satisfactory placement in and you fall and the protection holds do not lower down too quickly. Going up might be wiser since you do not want to risk having a less then satisfactory placement pull out and you hit the ground or a ledge.

The way you tell if your protection is good is by looking at it, not yanking on it. If you have placed a nut there must be a narrowing slot below your placement. This will further set your placement if you fall and this is what qualifies it as being a good placement. Second, it must be set somewhat by yanking down on it. This will assure that it will not fall out when you move past it. This is especially important if you are not going to use a sling. Climbing down to place more gear or remove gear is something that is a part of climbing. Unless you incorporate down climbing into your technique you are taking greater risks.
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#60060 - 09/08/11 11:58 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: donald perry]
stoopid Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 67
Loc: West Sand Lake, NY
I see a lot of arguing and posturing to 'prove' climbing is unsafe, and yet millions of people engage in it every year and don't die or get injured, and over the course of their climbing career never do. Again, hypocritical to say something is dangerous and then make it more dangerous by engaging in the most dangerous variety of the activity. Obviously the point you're making has absolutely nothing to do with safety or danger.

If you can't answer a simple question while soloing and people being there/potentially saying something to you might freak you out, then don't do it in front of others. Yeah, maybe everyone at the base needs to sign a release before you start up the wall. If that's what it would take for you to feel at one with a bunch of people freaking out and wondering if you're some psychopath about to kill themselves. Let's face it, you have a pretty gruff personae. [FWIW, I was the calmest of the two climbers with me, they wanted you off it seemed at any cost and I was the one who suggested we just pack up and leave (we were done anyway)... so I guess your brush paints wide strokes as you colored some pretty solid and respected climbers PINK with your comments]

By all rights, with zero information, the wearing of boots, and lack of communication it was not a stretch to believe you were going up to take a quick, final trip down. If random people at a crag think this, perhaps you should look at that and why you're chosen to put yourself so far apart/away from the average, balanced individuals in the climbing community. Frankly, you looked creepy. It wasn't a stretch at all. You could have said ANYTHING ("I'm fine folks," WHATEVER). But I digress, I think you get off on it. And in your replies I definitely see the inflation of ego. Maybe everyone should have rapeled immediately upon his majesty's arrival, for he wants to climb! Oh wait, that's right, you wanted us there for whatever sick mental trip doing this stuff sends you on.

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#60062 - 09/09/11 01:28 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
worthrussell Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 90
Loc: NY, Brooklyn
Donald, no offense but your posts are way too damn long and boring. Whole lotta shit and no substance. If you wanna solo in old ass leather boots and and onsight solo 5.10's youre the man. If we ever hang out maybe i'll get you a lap dance at the blue moon strip club in New Paltz. Maybe those ladies of the night will be super impressed with your shabby chic boots and double denim attire. I personally have no problem with free soloing, but you looked anything but confident. I've seen guys free soloing cck and wasn't nervous for them in the least. Your style, in both climbing and wardrobe, are severely lacking.

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