Problem solving


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Gym climber
Redwood City
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 25, 2013 - 02:37am PT
OK, hopefully I'll get some schooling here but also I think it'd be nice t have a thread where we post hypothetical situations and the possible solutions. Maybe some of you have experienced them for real. Please share your answers.

Hypothetical situation:

OK, so you're at the top of the route and you've just had your rest and shoot, you kick all your gear down the face. You've still got your rope, harness and belay 'biner. There's a rap ring at the top. How do you descend ? Assume the rope is long enough to do your pitch. Double rope.

What knots and setup do you use ?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 25, 2013 - 02:38am PT
with the utmost care.

Edit and answer your own questions.

Mountain climber
In the middle of the ocean
Aug 25, 2013 - 02:49am PT
Three words.

Take a class.

Aug 25, 2013 - 04:19am PT
I throw one end of the rope to my belayer & get him to tie all the sh#t I just knocked on to him to the end & pull it back up & get the hell out of there.

If he isn't:

a-hurt or
b- hasn't tied me to a tree & left for doing something so dumb as kicking all my gear off.

If neither a or b occurred I'd probably try to go buy us some beers in hopes that he would consider climbing with me again, a lot of which would probably depend on who's gear we were using.


Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:33am PT
Hypothetical situation - how would you handle it?

Big wall climbing
Very windy - difficulty hearing each other

Your partner leads out above a big roof, and you hear "Off belay!"
The lead line gets pulled up and then the haul line starts to get pulled up - and then it stops.

Nothing happens for a long time. There is still a ton of slack in the haul line. You can't hear your partner and you wait a long time but nothing happens.

What do you do?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 25, 2013 - 09:31am PT
First I will laugh robustly!


Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Aug 25, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
you kick all your gear down the face.

There's a difference between something being hypothetical and impossible.

The second scenario is actually possible.

Trad climber
SF Bay Area, California
Aug 25, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
walk off...




Ice climber
the ghost
Aug 25, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
Why wouldn't a vessel with a vacuum in it be lighter than a vessel with helium in it.
What lightweight material do you have that will withstand 14 pounds per square inch?


Trad climber
Bay Area
Aug 25, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
can you spell "Dulfersitz"?

If so, you can toss your harness and biners too, to save weight.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Years ago when Stannard and I were climbing the West Face of Sentinel, I was leading the squeeze chimneys above the expanding flake traverse when, as a result of turning around and shifting the gear one too many times, I managed to drop a sling that had every one of our bongs on it.

The sling went down 300 feet and then snagged on a thumb-sized twig growing out of the rock. We tied our two ropes together, rappelled to the sling and retrieved it, jugged back up, and continued the climb.

Stannard demonstrating a high level of competence nailing the expanding flake traverse, just before I demonstrated an abysmally low level of competence by dropping all our wide gear on the next pitch.

Apparently, having one competent party member is enough to solve even major problems...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
Hopefully Dr. Ed will come by and tell us why.

appropriate of the Aristotelian process... let's start with another greek: Archimedes, who ran through the streets of Syracuse yelling Eureka! when he figured this one out....

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 25, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Why wouldn't a vessel with a vacuum in it be lighter than a vessel with helium in it.

Can't we fly blimps with a vacuum instead of helium??

What the devil does this have to do with dropped gear? Oh well...a vessel with a vacuum in it is indeed lighter than the same vessel with helium in it, but that's not the point. The vacuum-filled vessel has to withstand the load of air pressure from the outside, 15 psi, so the vessel walls have to be much stronger, hence probably also heavier, maybe too heavy for Archimedes...

Helium is lighter than air but can be used to pressurize the inside of the vessel so that the walls do not have to stand up to air pressure.

My favorite home science experiment as a kid was to fill an empty tin solvent can with water, heat it until just the moment when all the water boiled off, cap it and run some cold water on the outside. The can was filled with steam, the cold water caused the steam to condense, creating a partial vacuum, which was enough for air pressure to totally crush the can.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 25, 2013 - 11:09pm PT
a candidate material would be an aerogel, but they are porous... so hard to pull a vacuum on

Aug 25, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
munter...carabiner wrap works to...both better than Dulfer

Aug 25, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
second scenario ...i would have established that when the haul goes out the lead line is fixed ...i would start cleaning to see what the f*#k ...rap back down after assessing situation to free bag

Aug 25, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
could be a good thread with some serious scenarios ...working problems out in your head is good for you

Trad climber
formerly known as hillrat
Aug 26, 2013 - 01:35am PT
Pop a beer, wait for your partner to come back down and see wtf he did to jam the haul line?

oh yeah, and a munter hitch. Or, if ya can't remember that, then just wrap the rope around the biner spine three or four times, right? ha.

Social climber
North Vancouver BC
Aug 26, 2013 - 03:04am PT
Hypothetical situation and solution.

You're gonna die!
Stefan Jacobsen

Social climber
Aug 26, 2013 - 04:17am PT
can you spell "Dulfersitz"?

Yes I can: Dülfersitz.
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