El Cap fixing partner wanted immediately!

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'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 15, 2009 - 12:59pm PT
Hey y'all,

Kate and I are planning on blasting off on an El Cap route at the end of the week, however she has work commitments that prevent her from climbing for the next few days. Accordingly, I would like to fix a few pitches, and wondered if there was anyone around who would like to help?

The good news is there really isn't any schlepping as the rack and water and gear are already up there. So we can just go up, hang out on the ledge, drink a beer and put up a few pitches. It's an older route, and most likely we will have to replace a bolt or two at the belays, so you can learn about that. It will also give you an opportunity to learn about some wall climbing basics, and see some cool ideas about how our systems go together. Kate has worked out an amazing system with some Ushbas that I'm dying to try.

So please email me asap if you're interested and available. I'm bivi'd in Yosemite Village at present.

Cheers,
Pete
al_piner

climber
Jun 15, 2009 - 01:23pm PT
Quote :
Kate has worked out an amazing system with some Ushbas that I'm dying to try.

Ascending technique ? I played around in the past using a Basic with a chest harness to keep you in an upright position . It seemed to help but I never followed up to get it dialed in .

Don't be SHY about POSTING a report ;-)
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2009 - 01:33pm PT
She uses the Ushbas with strong cord [rope?] in lieu of standard adjustable daisies with buckles. The advantages seem to be:

 hugely easier to operate, as you don't have to overcome the friction through the buckle, which really knackers your hands by the time you get to the summmit, resulting in a severe case of "crab claws"

 you can pull yourself in much closer with the Ushba than with an adjustable daisy, and she tells me she doesn't even need an adjustable fifi, either

 much much stronger than an adjustable daisy

The obvious disadvantage is the little Russian titanium buggers cost about $120 US!

Incidentally, our route isn't all horror show. The second pitch starts out with some stout-looking hooking, hence my need for a belayer. However the third pitch is rated A2, and the fourth only A1, so anyone helping out would be more than welcome to lead either of those two pitches.

It's a very cool part of the wall, actually. You really enjoy the rock so much more when you're not on a trade route. While Virginia's seven independent pitches offer superb climbing, the rest of Tangerine Trip is really just a heap.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jun 15, 2009 - 02:22pm PT
I use a wild country ropeman and a piece of 9mm rope as an adjustable daisy. it beats tha crap out of my real adjustable daisy. I have the one store bought and the ropeman jury rigg runnung side by side and OMG the ropeman works sooo much better! I keep threatining to buy annother ropeman but haven't thought of it when i had the extra $$$ I guess i don't aid climb enough. only a few times a year. If i ever get at all serious about it that is one of the 1st things I will take care of!!
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Jun 15, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
Hmmm... Haven't used a Ushba (I'm assuming we're talking Ushba basic) in years. Mainly stopped after a few of them cut the ropes they were on.

$120? Nah, They're $75. I believe Liberty Mountain bought them, so you should be able to get Kate a deal there, Pete. As I recall anyway...
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jun 15, 2009 - 04:34pm PT
You Dawg, back up with Kate! One wall per trip is not enough?

Wish I had the time, would be fun and I love my USHBA. Great
for thinner diameter lines 11mm and smaller.
Normally silver, eh!


Have a blast,
Thor

Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Jun 15, 2009 - 04:45pm PT
Hey Pete,

You're a pretty detailed guy, can you explain a little better what you are talking about with the Ushba?

Are you talking about rigging this directly to your harness ala cleaning with a grigri?

Prod.
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jun 15, 2009 - 04:51pm PT
Prod~

Sounds like they are rigging it to their harness with small diameter perlon and using it inplace of an adjustable daisy, in which case, it would also serve as a rope-rachet! Then it (USHBA) must be attached to your highest piece, then just pull the perlon cord!? Damn clever, wish I would have thought of that one all by myself, but alas I do everything the hard way! At 215 lbs and about 245 lbs with an aid rack on, I believe I will give that a try!

Thor
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jun 15, 2009 - 04:57pm PT
245? That means that A4 is really A5........HaHa!
Gotcha.
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:04pm PT
Wish I was there, to lead the A1, that is.

Have fun Pete.

Ciao,

Doug
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:06pm PT
Hey Guys:

The Ushba basic is rigged to the biner that holds the aider and is clipped into the piece.

There is an 8.1 mil Ice Floss Twin lead line (Sterling) about 5 feet long attached to the belay loop and leg loop, threaded up through the waist loop, like a fifi would be. You tie a stopper knot in the end of this which serves as a nice grab handle and prevents you from flying off the end if you screw up somehow.

The benefits are:
* You no longer need a fifi, as you can get as close to the aider biner as you want.
* You no longer have to deal with a twisted daisy, as the rope is round.
* If you rig them (or any daisy system, for that matter) to a swivel, you no longer have to worry about them twisting around one another. I did this with my regular daisies and it was sweet. This can put you further from your piece if you don't do it in a particular way.
* The Ice Floss is more dynamic than nylon webbing.
* There is no friction from a spring-loaded buckle, so pulling the cord through is easier than an adjustable daisy
* The release mechanism is not spring loaded and there is next to no friction, so it is easy to release and extend them with one hand
The rope is field-replaceable, unlike the strap on adjustable daisies. I hang my ledge and a few and some other stuff from extra Ice Floss. This way, if the sheath wears out or the daisy-rope gets damaged in any way, I just switch it out.
* The Ushba serves as a backup ascender in case you drop one when soloing, can be used as a backup when cleaning, and can be used as part of the hauling system if you so choose. So its more versatile than an adjustable daisy, all around.
* You can perfectly customize the length to suit you. I make mine a little long.

The risks are:
* The ushba can bind on the spine of the biner if you were to take a brief daisy fall, and this must be actively managed, but isn't too much of a pain. This is significant if you use the titanium one, as titanium is more brittle. Had I realized that I would eventually use these for this purpose, I would not have purchased the titanium ones.
* The ushba has a curved radius on the camming device, but it is possible that it could sever the rope-daisy in a hard fall. This is why we clip the rope in before passing a piece, though, and I still trust this device as much as the buckles on an adjustable daisy, which can also sever the rope.

I never climbed with adjustable daisies because I would get the strap twisted, hated that I couldnt get close enough to the piece and still needed to fifi in all of the time. I also didn't like that the buckle spring tension and friction took a toll on my hands after awhile.

The USHBA titanium are $100 online, add tax and you get to $110 or somesuch. Non-titanium are less by like $20. I bought mine for minitraxioning on ice, so I bought them at the gear shop in Ouray, which runs a bit of a markup.

I've considered the wild country ropeman, too. The ones I have are toothed but they make one with ridges that might be better.

The problem with the ropemen is that it takes two hands and some suffering to extend them back out after cinching them up. With the Ushba, you just touch the camming device with your finger and extend. Much easier.

Keep in mind that I screw around with systems for my own entertainment and never meant to say this was a good idea for anyone else. Next year I'll probably be using a system of Q-tips and tire irons instead. Who knows.

-Kate.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:11pm PT
El Cap is broken?

That sux.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:11pm PT
Learn to Swill!
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:37pm PT
Thanks Kate: Climbers are always tinkering!


Have fun!
Thor
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:43pm PT
Nice break-down, Kate. I was thinking that was the way you were using them. Attaching them to the harness, as others suggested, really made no sense to me. Then I got down to your post and saw I was right.

Didn't pay attention to the titanium vs. non titanium price. Doh!
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jun 15, 2009 - 05:53pm PT
Hey Randy - Sup?

I have, actually, tried both. The one benefit to attaching the ascenders to the harness rather than the aider biner is that you can adjust the length even when you can't reach the piece, such as jacking around with your pig, going low to traverse on hooks or whatnot, or when running around at the anchor. If you run them this way, you have the figure 8 on the aider biner and your ushba on your belay loop.

Its actually easy to switch between the two systems at your leisure.

What isn't good about having the ascender on the harness is that you lose the mechanical advantage of having the daisy-rope running up through the piece. I decided in the long run it wasn't worth it to use them in this configuration.

I was surprised how much nicer it was to use the adjustable system after so many walls using traditional daisies. The traditional daises still have some advantages, in that you actually learn to "Climb" using footwork in your aiders, rather than just doing pullups with your pieces. Climbing overhanging terrain with traditional daisies teaches technique. Plus they are a full-strength connection to the anchor and your pro if used properly.

Now, with a little bit harder aid and the desire to be into two equalized pieces and the very real chance of a daisy fall, I find that the ability to stay close to all pieces and reduced risk of long daisy fall, its worth it to go to the adjustable system. It took too much time and clippity clippity to keep two standard daisies properly adjusted.

-Kate.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2009 - 06:38pm PT
Wow - thanks for the detailed response, Kate! It's nice to hear you appreciate the distraction from your paying gig.

It looks as though I have a climber who will be able to join me on Wednesday, so I think I'm now looking for someone to climb with me only Thursday and Friday.

Cheers!
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Jun 15, 2009 - 06:42pm PT
Hey Kate. Same as you, too much getting paid, not enough sending. Work sucks.

Nice! Kate is always on top of it, as far as gear is concerned. Really checking out systems and gear and always has her sh#t dialed in. Thanks for the posts, Kate.

Pete - what are you guys on? I did the first 5 of Virginia for a photo shoot. I liked it.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
a greasy pinscar near you
Jun 15, 2009 - 06:49pm PT
Suggestion: new thread entitled Kate's Adjustable Daisy System
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2009 - 06:51pm PT
Yeah, for sure. I'll get a chance to try it on Wednesday. Eventually I'll take some pictures, and perhaps she can copy and paste to a new post.

But please don't ask her to do it now - she's busy with work this week so we can climb together next week.
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