racking hooks?


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Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 25, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
After buying the howto book as advised here, today i was at my local "crag" (railway bridge) to test my basic aid skills.

given the peculiar nature of the pocketed stone ended up hooking the whole pitch (protected by bolts), and this made me ask to myself how do people usually rack their hooks.

one hook-one biner?
several hooks on the same biner?

if you expect several hooking moves in a row, do you bother re-racking your hooks or keep em on the ladders?

A few different places
Mar 25, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
I'm curious too. I use a petzl caritool to rack em. Works great. I also used cord instead of webbing as it racks much nicer. I even went a step further and color coded my hooks. One for talon, one for hooks, and one for cams. With the caritool, I'm able to select them by color and not have to ever un rack them. Maybe overkill, but its efficient and fool proof.
Captain...or Skully

Mar 25, 2013 - 10:55pm PT

Trad climber
under the sea
Mar 25, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
It kinda depends how desperate the hooking is...definately fast if you leave them there, but they hook on sh#t too and can cause extra movements. I've also kept a cam hook on each aider too during easy clean aid for those quick in between moves, I sometimes keep cams there too for "cam jugging" easy cracks.

Social climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 11:01pm PT

Ugh. Nightmare material. As the name suggests, they "hook" on everything. Constantly.

Best strategy is to have your partner lead the hooking pitches. Let him/her deal with them.

Which is too bad, as hooking is a lot of fun.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 25, 2013 - 11:01pm PT
Fish small Beef Bag.

Santa Cruz
Mar 25, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
I back up what Hudon says.
They need their own bag to do their hooking in.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 25, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
You want to rack your hooks for redundancy. They are one of the easiest things to drop when on the big wall, if only because you may be scared when using them!

First thing is to divide your hooks into two or three separate sets, assuming you have two or three of each. You should definitely have at least two Cliffhanger aka Skyhooks and two Grappling hooks, as these are your "workhouse" hooks. I sharpen all of mine to a point, I see little benefit to the flat head they come with.

After you separate them into sets, sling each set with the same coloured sling. This way, when you rack a set of hooks, you can put all of one colour slings on one crab, and all of one colour slings on another crab. That way if you drop one crab full of hooks - heaven forbid! - you can't lose all of the same size.

I remember this Japanese dude who was soloing Sea of Dreams, and he bailed from above Big Sur Ledge after he dropped both his Cliffhangers. Hell, I have about four of those, plus a roll of duct tape and some Screamers, for when I get really scared.

Finally, get yourself a Fish Beef Bag for each set of hooks. This will prevent hooks from hooking on things on your rack when you're not actually using them. When your hooks are in use, rack them up high on your front sub-racks.

Cheers, eh?
Captain...or Skully

Mar 25, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
You don't need a bag. I rack my hooks on 2 biners, yes But I just have a little loop on the top(shoulder) of my wallrack(A5 type) and they stay up there out of everything else. They're easy to get and don't EVER hang up on stuff.
Credit: Captain...or Skully

No "purse" needed.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 26, 2013 - 12:26am PT
I usually use a small bag, like mentioned above.

My partner has one each talon, cliffhanger, and grappling Tied on a rap ring. Each hook has it's own sling. Very compact, attaches to the ladders and you just pick the hook, let the others hang.

Great for when you have to get all sporty up there.


Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Mar 26, 2013 - 09:25am PT
Yup, they work well on a ring for me. Stow them in a chalk bag until I get to a hooking section then try come out and onto my aiders. When I solo, I keep extra for leaving as pro; heavier that way but I climb heavy (no tag rack) so I'm used to the weight.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 26, 2013 - 09:46am PT
The turquoise sling on Kirk's Grappling Hook in the photo above [top right] looks to be a bit long. I tend to keep my hook slings fairly short, just long enough so the carabiner you clip into it doesn't interfere with the hooking action or pry it away from the wall.

I hate to lose even an inch or two of height.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
I've also kept a cam hook on each aider too during easy clean aid for those quick in between moves.

Me, too, because that's where they're least likely to hang up if not bagged, and, at the same time, they're convenient, quick to deploy, and always at the front of my thoughts.

I also keep an old-fashioned (circa 1970) Chouinard cliff hanger readily available to fit onto the end of my hammer for an instant "Denny Arm" (See "Realm of the Overhang" in the Sierra Club Bulletin.)


Trad climber
Las Vegas
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:00pm PT

What Hudon said ^
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
I just googled the fish beef bag. You guys really put that on your harness when leading?

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
I tried a hook bag on a few walls and didn't like it. Too much fumbling to get the right hook out.

I used to wear my hooks like Capt. Kirk, I think he's the one that actually showed me this technique. I ran with this system for many years but finally switched because I started noticing bruises and sore back muscles from flipping the hooks out of my way, all the time.

Now, I have two identical racks of hooks and keep them right in front on my chest harness so I can easily maintain them.

If it's an extensive hooking pitch I'll leave them on my daisy/aider but the second I don't need them anymore I get them the 'ell out of there.

AND I think that Turquoise sling is the perfect length... exactly how I would have rigged it.
Captain...or Skully

Mar 26, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Chicks dig bruises, don't they?

Rigging on individual hooks is subject to change based on premises conditions.As always. I COULD critique your junk show,Pete, but I don't.

edit: Whatever, man. It's all good. Quibble yer heart out.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 27, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
A critique is not a criticism, Kirk. There is a difference.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 27, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
There's one of those beef bags up on ebay for $15.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Mar 27, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
There ya go: the guy who gets up walls in a matter of hours doesn't like fumbling with the bag, and the guy who's spent hundreds of nights up there runs the bag. I kinda like Kirk's idea, though I haven't tried it. Compared to these guys, though, my opinion is worthless.
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