Archive for July 2007

Pack Your Rope Like an Expert


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.

Riši is not here yet


This place is destined to be the future of my current blog at

Update: Riši has come at last. My old blog will no longer be updated.

Lynn Hill: Training for rock climbing


Lynn Hill talks about training for climbing on her blog. She covers the usual stuff like practising power, endurance and mental endurance (!).

Sure it is nice to be strong and powerful, but brawn can take you only so far. It is the climbing technique, delicate footwork and efficient body positioning, what separates talented from campus board slaves.

This is quite often the basic difference between female and male rock climbers: where guys strenuously crank up through the crux puffing and sweating, girls come up with an elegant, logical sequence, cruising the route with minimal effort and cat-like gracefulness. In the same time they complain they can’t do more than 2 chin-ups and they don’t know how to do powerful dynos.

Is Lynn going to reveal to us where to get the superior technique for which she is renowned? 🙂

Gunks: Uber-classics and a stuck rope


Lidač on Casa Emilio, 5.2.On our way to the Sleepy Hollow area we almost got hit by a massive branch falling off a rotten tree above the carriage road. Me and Ben made a super fast flee-for-your-life dash forward, while Lidač calmly watched the falling wood landing few feet behind her.

How to Lock Off Belay Device


Locking off your belay device is handy when you need to free your hands while belaying or rappelling. The common way of doing it is by tying a mule knot. It has an advantage of untying quickly by simply pulling the rope when you wish to continue rappelling/belaying. Depending on what kind of belay device you use, it is tied in different ways.


Hauling The Second: Counterbalanced Hoist


Imagine that the climber following you can’t get past the crux. Or maybe he has fallen off a thin traverse and is now dangling in the air. You calmly advise your second to pull up the lovely prusik cords garnishing his harness and jug his way up the rope using friction knots. What, he doesn’t have any prusiks? And even if he had, he wouldn’t know to use them? Good luck, hauling his lard ass up is up to you then.
Don’t panic. Assisted hoist, or Z-pulley system should get your partner out of the trouble. However, my climbing instructor taught me a really easy hoisting system which will get your buddy out of the trouble with minimal effort: (more…)

8 Basic Knots for Rock Climbers


Solid rock climbers should definitely be able to show more than these 8 basic knots. Nonetheless, these are the knots I use time and again and they are all one needs to know for free climbing.

  1. Figure-Eight Loop. Absolutely essential knot used for tying rope to your harness. Take time to make it neat, nicely set. Undoing the knot will be much easier.