Aug 5, 2006 at 1:38 pm #1219203
Anybody care to stick their necks out here.
I’m struggling to whittle down my pack weight for wilderness mixed routes, the downside is I usually go solo and my name isn’t Twight or House.
Somewhere in the climbing pack thread Ryan mentions a 20# pack…this is about what my rack weighs maybe a little more. Ice axe,crampons, helmet, snow and rock pro, ascenders, grigri, slings and screamers, rope, 55 gallon drum of deet for Cascade approaches… .
It isn’t real difficult to land in the 35-40# pack range. Maybe I should just get a sat phone & better insurance or just go via ferrata.Aug 5, 2006 at 3:34 pm #1360539
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Here is where the hard part is. You have to
list the pieces of gear you take and maybe the
weights of each and then others can help piece
by piece to lighten the load with suggestions of
lighter gear that does the same thing.
Start by listing the heaviest things first
just as they do with backpacking gear
of tent, pack and sleeping bag, then move
to the lighter items.
ropeAug 6, 2006 at 4:05 pm #1360612
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
I’ve done a small amount of mixed climbing but I’m not an expert. Still, it’s possible you will find something in the following to lighten your load.
You stated that you usually go solo so either you’re doing roped solo or this question refers to partnered climbing.
Unroped soloing is definitely your first choice for going both light and fast.
Start with your heaviest item and that which you carry many of. This means rope and biners.
ROPE – I like my 7lb 13.5oz 60M 9.1mm Beal Joker. Since it’s rated for single, double and twin use I can run it out on most terrain and for short difficult sections double it and use double or twin technique for ~30M pitches.
If you want to go lighter and you’re highly skilled at knowing when to hang it out and when to be cautious, use the Tendon 7.8mm twin/double rated rope (~5lb7oz @ 60M). If you posess the appropriate skill/risk profile for this application, use it as a single rope on the easy sections and double it for short, difficult sections, high chance of rock fall, sharp rock, wandering leads or frequent ledges where you want low rope stretch. Obviously you need to have precise pick and crampon placements to ice climb with a single rope (or else you will soon find yourself soloing).
The lightest way I know to make full length retrievable rappels is to tie a rappel ring into the end of the rope and pass the other end of the rope through the anchor and the ring and tie a full length 3mm accessory cord to the ring. Rappel the single rope and then pull on the accessory cord to retrieve the rope. With the Tendon Master, 3mm cord and rappel ring your total is 6lbs for 60M rappels.
BINERS – Upgrading to Wild Country Helium biners with the clean wire feature saved me just over 1lb for the 40 on my rack. you can save another 5oz if you’re willing to go with a smaller biner and lose the hooded nose feature.
ROCK PRO – Ray Jardine’s “Friends” reinvented parallel and flaring crack climbing. Because these tools are so cool, climbers ditched their hexes and started dragging heavy SLCDs everywhere. I find that in the backcountry I can almost always find a placement for a slung feature, a stopper or a Tricam (lighter and more versatile than hexes). Unless you’re doing a route that truly requires SLCDs, leave them at home.
RUNNERS – I haven’t carried a closed sling in 15 years. Once I tied my first rabbit runner (single strand webbing with a loop at each end) I never went back. They have twice the versatility of loops at the same weight. Fortunately Mountain Tools now makes “snake runners” out of nylon/spectra @1.4oz. I also have double length ones made in a contrasting color. They offer a stiffer ice snake runner too for threading ice anchors.
I find a 5.5mm spectra cordlette at each anchor to make for light, fast, strong, equalized rigging.
ICE TOOLS – If you’re not spending much time on rock, C.A.M.P. makes an all aluminum 14oz crampon and 9oz, 60cm axe. If you’re ready to hang it out like Dr.J and/or modify your technique to limit load on your equipment, try the uncertified ULA-Equipment Helix CF/aluminum 5oz axe.
HELMET – 8.8oz Every. Black Diamond just came out with a model that is .5oz lighter but lacks a headlamp attachment system.
ASCENDERS – Are you using the lightest model available? There’s a tremendous variation in weight between manufacturers and models. Can you get away with the prussik knot? It’s a model of economy, versatility and light weight.
GRI-GRI – This is a real clunker. At 7.9oz there’s gotta be a lighter way to achieve whatever you’re doing with this boat anchor. A muenter hitch weighs 0.0grams.
PACK – Once you’ve got your weight and volume down you can move into a smaller, lighter pack. And while you’re at it, stay away from those armored, lifetime use packs. If I can’t tear it up with a few seasons of hard use, it’s too heavy. My 1lb 3oz Go-Lite Gust is sturdy, has adequate features and sufficient volume for way more than I want to carry.Aug 7, 2006 at 10:35 pm #1360671
I weighed my rack from the weekend in the N.Cascades….16.25# including helmet and harness.Ice axe 1.5#,ice tool 1#,biners 1#,cams .5#,screws.75#,hexes.5#,pins1#,tiblocs.18#,lock biner .18#,slings.44#,gri-gri .5#,rope cut-down 6.58#.
My pack weighs between 2.38 and 3.38# depending how I configure it [gear slings etc]. Occasionally I do a tough pitch [for me] and haul it so I’ve got to break that habit to go much lighter.
With 2 liters of water,750ml of wine, 6# of food,5.75# of clothing,3.5# -stove,fuel,headlamp,camera,first aid,4#- bag,pad,biv sack.
This put me at 44#. Man I feel worn out just typing it.
Time to get my cheap dirt bag self into some new habits, I’m carrying the same thing whether I’m doing a volcano or some scramble. I could spend a few hundred in the right places and drop 10# and have a full length rope.Aug 22, 2006 at 2:37 pm #1361515
You bring enough gear for full-out pitched climbing yet go solo…
Im my little mind, I only bring gear that I expect I would need in case of retreat or some screw-up, since I would only be soloing stuff I’m confident I can do without pro.
In this mindframe, I don’t get why you would bring a grigri, which isn’t reliable with small or iced ropes anayways, or an full blown ascender…
Am i missing something here?Aug 22, 2006 at 6:02 pm #1361530
Well to answer your question I’m as dumb as a box of hammers and as strong as an ox, which of course is untrue.
I usually determine my pro by whatever beta I can glean from out there, that particular load was for a 3 day trip into a cirque with several different peaks on the radar.
I do free climb much of what I do, the grigri is rigged as a solo belay device for rock pitches. Triblocs really aren’t full blown ascenders but they are still heavier then prussik knots.
I will back off if I’m too far out of my comfort zone. Though I’m a decent rock climber I backed of a 5.4 summit block this weekend because it was way exposed and way windy. I’m only adequate on ice [which is pretty common for a relocated southwesterner up here in the northwest]
I appreciate your comments and insight,
I’m just an old dawg looking for some new tricks.Aug 24, 2006 at 8:21 am #1361609
I see. So you’re fixing the rope at the belay and freeing the pitch using the grigri to self belay, rock climbing-style, not solo aid climbing.
It’s really hard to comment on your rack, bring what you need that gives you the headspace you need to be in. And i’m not even going to dare recommend anything for self belay. AMFYOYO
If you are prepared to climb with a shorter rope, there could be an opertunity to reduce the amount of similar sized gear. but shorter pitches would be a bad deal most of the time on the easier climbing a soloist (should) attempt.
My only comment would be on screws. 9 is a lot. For a full pitch of vertical ice it would be ok, but those are hardly things you come across by accident. For grade 3 ice or less five should be adequate. 2 at each belay and one in the middle. Alpine ice is more reliable than waterfall and slipping a full pitch on 45deg ice might be an accceptable risk depending on your comfort level on ice.
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