Rain Gear for Big Wall


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Messages 41 - 58 of total 58 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:23pm PT
After six would be impossible if Werner's caring eye was not watching me while I move up that slippery thing.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
I havn't had a chance to look at all the ledge flys in a few years. Who is making the most bombproof, water tight fly's these days? I had pretty good faith in my old BD heavy storm fly BITD but never really had to test it other than using the garden hose on it.

Not sure what the other guys do or use... but here is a quick shop test of the SuperDuty fly material we use on the FISH SuperDuty ledges. The biners tore through at 40lbs. That is an exceptional amount of weight. Some fly type fabrics will tear with as little as 4lbs hanging on them. I have more of this stuff kicking around and will at some point post a more thorough look-see on the FISH Blog.

Credit: Russ Walling

Credit: Russ Walling

Credit: Russ Walling

Of note is that getting a truly waterproof product with a high non-tear aspect is tough. It is sorta involved, but basically if the fibers of the base material can't knot up to stop a rip, the material will tear very easily. The waterproof coating hinders this knotting. Not enough waterproofing and your hole may not get any bigger but the fabric is also not going to be waterproof. There are fabrics available that can do both, but the price is astronomical. The stuff in the pics above is crazy waterproof. Don't have the numbers on me at the moment, but basically a firehose is not going to force water through the coating. Rain stands zero chance.

And not to drone on here, but rain and getting wet is a problem no doubt, but almost any fly will offer protection from rain. Condensation will still get you soaked while hanging out inside the fly. But what I always worry about more than the just getting wet part is the fly getting damaged in a storm and leaving you unprotected. Remember that sh#t will be washed off the summit and crash into your taut fly. Small rocks, sticks, ice etc. On a tight fly these items can slice your fly pretty easy. Once you get a tear like that, it will be almost impossible to save the fly if the wind is howling. That is why you MUST bring a bivy sack. This is also why I like using two ledges for a team. If one ledge gets whacked, you still have another one to bail into. This is mostly advice for cold weather climbing where big cold storms are going to rain on your parade.

The big 5 to stay alive in your ledge:
1. Make sure your equipment is in top shape
2. Hang your ledge in a steep area away from runoff
3. Know how to get your fly on and get it on early
4. Have a bivy sack
5. Have dry spare clothes

Trad climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:03pm PT
A good idea mentioned here years ago is to wrap a blue foam or ensolite ground pad tightly around your torso for waterproof insulation. Cut some notches for your arms.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 20, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Thank-you! Mr FISH himself.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 20, 2012 - 06:59pm PT
Every fall there are a few (or quite a few) teams up on the wall when the first big badass storm hits. That is when Yosar makes its money and people get whacked. Weather forecasts are getting really good.

Check the weather.

How many people have died on the last pitch of the Nose? Have they all been Japanese?

Fish's Native Son TR on his Fish Products page is epic. No thank you. Now there are cellphones and radios and all that jazz.

I know a lot of good climbers who have needed a rescue or at least a rope tossed over the edge to get them off pronto. Those ropes tossed over for self rescue are "micro rescues." If you have ever been to the top of El Cap with 6 feet of snow on top, even that is a nightmare. You get offroute and find yourself walking on top of the manzanitas. Then you break through and it is like falling into a Viet Cong punji stick trap. People ought to use Manzanita for rocket engine parts and stuff. It is some wicked strong material.

I was up there jumping off one early March and the snow depth was crazy.

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Nov 20, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
only n00bs and rubes don't pack snowshoes.

n00bs and rubes. Don't be one.

Trad climber
BackInTheDitch BackInTheDirt BackInTheDay
Nov 20, 2012 - 07:27pm PT

photo not found
Missing photo ID#274746

This is the rig you want.

I saw this thread in a whirlwind passed the BigMac and should have posted up at the time.

Nonetheless, these coats ROCK!

I bought a couple of them so we could paddle in comfort. . . and I ended up using mine for everything. . . Blanchard took his for walls. . . and he DIGS IT.

A N D . . . while you're at it. . . pick up a few dry bags with which to organize your haul bag. . . kayaking gear is the S H I T!


PSP also PP

Trad climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
sailing rain gear is good but it is heavy. But if you get in a bad storm you won't care about the heavy anymore.

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Pick a good weather window for your trip.

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
Layers are the way to go. I like Rodger's comments about sweating then sitting. I think one key is something that breaths. If you are working hard then sitting you are going to freeze. A big wall is not somewhere to experiment.

Werner already gave you the gear suggestion. I would think that would be all the information you need.

I would experiment at home on something small and not necessarily go up with something you have not all ready tested yourself. My .02 my not be worth much but it's all I got.

I am going to be testing stuff all winter up here in the PNW. It rains like to beat the band and sometimes it gets cold. I already tried the kayak top. The one I had turned me in to a stewed climber. But then again I sweat like a pig. I am going to try something like this:

But I am not going on some big wall to try it out. It will be in a more controlled situation. I hate the thought of getting rescued.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
Truth is...if you are unprepared, there is a very good chance you will likely die long before rescue reaches you.

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
^^^True that!^^^ So never rely on getting rescued!
I just hope that I am not so rescue adverse that I am unwilling to get it when I need it.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
Plaidman, I have over 700 rescue ops.....not once did any of them say, "no thanks."

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:18pm PT
Thank you for all your work and commitment to be there when the sh#t hits the fan.

I just want to be prepared to self rescue when I am able, and when I am not, thanks to all those that risk their lives to help others in need.

And if you showed up to rescue me, I would just be humble and say thanks dude.

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
Me following the 2nd pitch of Zodiac in late November.....

Just to clarify . . . this is not the Zodiac on El Capitan.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:31am PT

Just my twisted sense of humor....I exagerate for effect.

But my point would be alongside those here that have stated how brutal things can be up there....there simply is no better solution than making good decisions based on forecast models (multiple, not just one), having REALLY good equipment, but ultimately, having your bailing technique perfected long before you need it.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:14am PT
No doubt, I'm getting second thoughts about this too. Let's wait for a break in the weather.

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:41am PT
here's another shot of a pitch up high on zodiac i had to deal with. sure would have been nice to have a couple ice tools, foot fangs and about 6 screws, would have been actually fun instead of the nightmare pitch that it turned out to be. that time sar could have gotten to us if we needed it (luckily the pitch was leadable with lots of hammer chopping for placements), but the other two close calls i had on other routes we would have been toast if we didnt figure it out ourselves, night time in monster storms. it can take alot of time to get help when the weather turns nasty, and the chopper can be grounded because of stormy weather.
sure wish i would have had some of those bomber fish products when i used to go up there in winter conditions bitd. i have gone to sleep when its hella windy, and ice chunks are hammering the fly, just thinking if the fly failed, there would be no possible way to make it through the night
advise tip: before a big weather event get all of your raingear on and get in your ledge with the fly carefully prerigged so as to not damage it. have a good quality bivy sack, so you have a chance if the fly doesnt hold up. i used to bring two flys,one for backup, but they were not so good as the fish fly. sue and i would share the double ledge, and it would get so condensated that all would get damp/wet within 24 hours, even the bags in the bivy sacs. having the raingear on while in the bags helped keep you dryer and warmer for the multi day bivi's, while waiting out the big storm. then when its time to get out and go your ready for action. have ropes/racks stashed in haulbag to keep dryer. cant tell you how many times our ropes and racks were frozen into solid unusable clumps of uselessness. hard to get psyched when you cant pull the trigger of a camming devise!
neoprene gloves and plastic boots are'nt a bad idea either, can wear the inner boot to sleep in
Credit: mctwisted
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