How to retrieve stuck cams

Posted 6/9/2008 by riši
Categories: Uncategorized

Here is one special trick for retrieving those nice, shiny cams of yours that are hopelessly stuck behind a flake: expand the flake.

How? Flakes are very often not really solid rock. Even though they may not seem to yield to your banging and pulling, they usually do move a bit. If you can’t retrieve the cam because it’s retracted to its limit (i.e. over-cammed), the idea is to widen the crack behind the flake for a moment.By being smart, you can drastically increase your leverage on the flake:

  • Plug in another (smaller) cam behind the same flake just next to where the stuck cam is.
  • Clip the second cam to the belay loop on your harness using a quickdraw or a sling.
  • Apply your body weight on the second cam. The flake will expand, even if you don’t see it.
  • While still hanging on the cam, remove the stuck cam.
  • Obviously, retrieve the second cam too. Because you used a smaller size, it should come out easily.

Warning! Whatever you do, do not cause the flake to break and fall. You could injure or kill people below.


The Hubers’ movie – Am Limit

Posted 10/11/2007 by riši
Categories: news, videos

Tags: , , ,

The film was directed by Pepe Danquart and will become available on DVDs this month. I better start dusting off my German.

The Hubers are on fire

Posted 10/11/2007 by riši
Categories: news, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Alex and Thomas HuberAlex and Thomas Huber broke the 5-year-old speed record on the fabled line on El Capitan – The Nose. They were faster than Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine by mere 20 seconds (!) and the new record ascent time was set to 2:48:35. They were plagued by Thomas dropping one aider on the Great Roof pitch who had to finish the route with the remaining aider in an atypical awkward style.

However, the Hubers still had more shots left. Four days later, on October 8th, the brothers were on The Nose again, to firm up the record and quiet all whiners. This time everything went fine until the Harding bolt ladder. Alex missed putting his foot into an aider and was left hanging on the sling by one arm only with an 80-foot slack running from his harness all the way to the belay. Yikes! When they finally touched the El Cap tree on the top, the clock showed – 2:45:45! Breaking their own record, they brought their 3-year-long efforts on the Nose to a wonderful finale. Well done.

Read more about their first and second record-breaking ascent.


Back from Europe

Posted 8/31/2007 by riši
Categories: news

Alex Huber redpointing Pan AromaAfter spending two wonderful weeks in Europe (not only by scaling rocks) I am back on Long Island, a place specially designed to be boring. Sorting through the unread news in my feed reader has been a challenge. A lot of things happened in the climbing world while I stayed overseas, here are few highlights that caught my attention: Read the rest of this post »

Sretan put za Paklenicu!

Posted 8/12/2007 by riši
Categories: Uncategorized

In few hours, I am leaving for the long-expected and planned climbing trip to Paklenica, Croatia. Me, my sister and Lidač are going to challenge the 350 meters high north-western face of Anića Kuk. Our list includes:

  • Mosoraški, 5c – the classic of classics on the big wall.
  • Zgrešeni, 5b – a popular piece on the Debeli Kuk.
  • Domžalski, 6a – the majority of climbing pictures of Paklenica are taken from this one.
  • and plenty of other shorter routes in the Klanci sector.

After 2 seasons on the Gunks’ quartzite and its straightforward climbing on horizontal holds, this limestone canyon will put a question on the longevity of the acquired technique on the terrain where creativity means the difference between falling and cruising a route up.

Pictures from this adventure will follow.

A New Guidebook for The Red Coming Up

Posted 8/1/2007 by riši
Categories: news

Ray Ellington’s guidebook to the Red River Gorge will soon see its second edition. The updated book should appear on September 28, 2007. It is available for pre-order.

Those who had the pleasure to use the old book know that it’s a comprehensive and well composed piece with beautiful pictures and highly amusing route descriptions. There is an online guidebook too, but I think the hard copy is well worthy the money.

The Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky is one of the best rock-climbing areas in the world. Its solid well-featured sandstone makes for steep, spectacular climbing, with an almost equal mix of sport and traditionally protected pitches. This revised and updated second edition describes over 1600 climbs, including over 300 previously undocumented pitches in Muir Valley and the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve.

Pack Your Rope Like an Expert

Posted 7/31/2007 by riši
Categories: climbing tutorials

Came upon this amusing instructional video of how to tie climbing rope to your back:

I love packing my rope this way, however, there is a couple of things to point out:

  • Packing the rope with both rope ends in one hand (a.k.a. double Butterfly Coil), is faster but tangles the rope easily. Flaking the rope out has to be done cleverly. Put the rope on the ground so that both ends are on the top. Best to flake it twice – first time to undo the coils, second time to separate the two strands of rope.
  • The rope should be put as high on the back as possible. I usually have the coils touching the back of my neck when I wrap it by the loose ends around my body. This sets the rope firmly on my back and prevents it from flapping low around my knees behind me.
  • This “rucksack” set-up is possible with a single Butterfly Coil too. Start coiling from one end of the rope and proceed to the other. It is a slower, but tangleless method.