You finish pitch 1 on a multi-pitch bolted route, look up, and see some hard moves right off the belay on pitch 2. Here’s a way to safeguard your belay and prevent a possible factor 2 fall.
This week - map scale. Understanding scale lets you calculate real world distances on a topo map. You have a map with a ratio scale of 1:50:000. One cm on your map equals how many km in the real world? Would a 1:100,000 scale map be a good choice for a technical climbing trip? How can you use a twig to measure distance on your map?
You're setting up a top rope anchor at a cliff top. There are no bolts or hangers at the top of the route, but there are some stout trees growing a ways back from the edge of the cliff. You have two ropes. What's a good way to quickly rig a super strong and secure anchor?
You're on a hard, multi pitch climb. The next pitch above the belay goes straight up, and you know it's going to be tough for your partner. Here’s a simple way to prevent a potential catastrophe.
“Which Way Wednesday”, features a post about wilderness navigation or trip planning. We’ll share a few excerpts from the Wilderness Navigation Challenge; this week - contours and terrain. What’s a saddle look like on a topo map? The contour lines are bending; does that show a ridgeline or a gully? I see a closed circle on a topo map; is that a mountain top, or just a small knoll? How is the summit of a major mountain indicated on a topo map?
British big wall expert Andy Kirkpatrick has some battle-tested advice for staying relatively comfortable on a big wall, even when the weather goes sideways. These tips are from his excellent book, “Higher Education”.
Your rope gets damaged by rockfall, and you need to rappel. After you've isolated the damage with a butterfly knot, what happens then? With some clever rigging, you should be able to get down quickly and safely, without ever having to pass the knot on rappel. Here's how.
If you clip a carabiner inside the master point knot on your anchor, you probably won't have to resort to your teeth or needle nose pliers to get it untied,
There are more ways to rack slings than you might think. The traditional “put everything over one shoulder” looks pretty cool for photo ops, but it's probably going to make a royal mess when you want to try to take one off over your neck. Instead, try this - a designated racking sling.
“Which Way Wednesday”, features a post about wilderness navigation or trip planning. We’ll share a few excerpts from the Wilderness Navigation Challenge, this week - contours and terrain. Understanding these lets you “read” a topo map. When contour lines cross a gulley or ridgeline, which way did they bend? Does a stream flow into or out of a lake? How can you tell higher vs. lower elevation areas just by looking at stream patterns?
Especially on alpine routes, you can count on occasionally finding a rappel station with just a single marginal connection for the rope. There's a few ways to back it up. Here's one that doesn’t involve leaving a precious carabiner behind.