How To Big Wall Climb Book - Cleaning/following w/ Video


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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 28, 2008 - 04:37pm PT


Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 28, 2008 - 05:36pm PT

One thing I'd mention in setting up for cleaning is that if the pitch traverses left, put the left jug on top and vise-versa.

In Sloan's lowering out video I usually elimninate the extra step of clipping one aider and fifi-ing directly into the piece before putting the bight through. Seems like an extra step, unless you cant cram the bight through the tie-off.

I find the "Texas" style method to be the easiest when jugging overhanging fixed lines....

Perhaps mention carrying the rope bucket on your harness to stack the rope into as you ascend. I do this if it's windy enough.
Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
Nov 4, 2008 - 11:22pm PT
This is great stuff, very lucid and clear.
There is one suggestion I would make regarding cleaning an
overhanging or traversing pitch (which is not dead horizontal).
It is very annoying to get a jumar stuck in the piece to be
cleaned. Imagine that I pass the upper jumar over the piece
and then the lower jumar gets sucked into the piece as soon as
I weight the upper jumar. My strategy for dealing with this is
to keep the lower jumar low (at least a couple of feet below
the piece), but step up very high in my aider (clipped to the
lower jumar) and then clip the upper jumar over the piece (as
high as possible).
This usually gives me enough slack to unclip the rope from
the piece and clean it (unless my partner has really hosed me
with aggressive backcleaning and super long reaches on the
traverse or overhang). Sometimes it is necessary to do a short
lower out, if there is a fixed piece to lower from.

I didn't learn this simple point about not getting the jumar
stuck in the piece, until a partner explained it to me while
I was cleaning pitch 5 of Tangerine Trip. On that wall, I had
to use the overhanging cleaning technique for every pitch,
except the last one.

Andrew Barnes.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 27, 2009 - 09:13pm PT
Erik Sloan just posted a higher res version of his "How to lower out" movie here
john hansen

Jan 27, 2009 - 10:55pm PT
Great stuff Chris, watched five or six of your vidio's.

Very informative.

Just a couple years ago I saw those 'ladder' aiders in the climbing store in Yosomite. How long are those things anyway?
I think the one I saw had 6 steps,,

Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jan 27, 2009 - 10:56pm PT
5 or 6 is perfect

Social climber
down south
Jan 27, 2009 - 11:54pm PT

Trad climber
Jan 28, 2009 - 06:11pm PT
Chris this is great stuff, thanks!
I have the stuff to practice with, including some nice south facing large boulders around my place. And big trees. :)
The video how-to's are cool.


Social climber
down south
Jan 28, 2009 - 07:14pm PT
Watched the video Chris. Good stuff for sure. Much more informative than pictures. I like the idea of having video. Is this going to be an online type book? I remember back in the day, I used to download the topos and print them out. Those were good times!
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Jan 29, 2009 - 11:00pm PT

I finally found the time to read this and watch all the videos. Fantastic effort, keep it coming. Looking forward to buying your book when it comes out. This is a great thread.



PS: I'm seriously considering buying a set of Yates ladders and giving them another go. (Going from two pair of traditional aiders to 2 ladders)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - May 6, 2009 - 12:30pm PT
Nanook just made a great new video on how to lower out. check it out
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
May 6, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
My two aider experience ....


Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jun 13, 2009 - 01:29pm PT
Ammon made this short video clip of "cleaning with a Grigri" that I can not find, anyone have the link, it was extremely concise and to the point!

At least I think it was Ammon?

Lost in cyberspace.

Trad climber
Jun 13, 2009 - 02:27pm PT
It would be cool to include a video with the DVD and in sections in the book have "Refer to the Cleaning chapter." Kind of like a create your own adventure/read along thing. A-hyuck. Still, good idea...
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