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'Multi-pitch' in the School of Rock

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The looming El Capitan. <br />by Rich Wheater
Your First Big Wall
Solid on 5.9 gear routes? Ready for the greatest adventure of your life? Our step-by-step big wall guide will show you the way. It all started for me back in high school, when I saw a photo of the most awe-inspiring piece of rock I’d ever laid eyes on—the Nameless Tower....
Mark Synnott at Climbing Magazine
The simple life: a portaledge camp on El Cap.  <br />by Kevin Steele/Wonderful Machine
Leading Your First Big Wall
Leading on a big wall is similar to leading on a long day climb, except your rack will be bigger, and you’ll usually be doing a lot more aid climbing. Expect to feel heavy and encumbered—and to use aid on many moves you would usually climb free. Practice basic aid by clea...
Mark Synnott at Climbing Magazine
Figure 1: The second removes all the pro as he moves up an aid pitch. Note the daisy and aider setup and the back-ties. <br />by Mike Clelland
Following Your First Big Wall
In wall climbing, the second climber seldom gets put on belay. Instead, when the leader finishes a pitch, he ties the rope to a power point at the anchor, and the second “jugs” the fixed rope with ascenders and aiders. After the leader has tied off the rope, take him off...
Mark Synnott at Climbing Magazine
A "docked" (anchored) haul bag showing the Munter/mule hitch that allows you to easily lower out the bag on overhanging or traversing pitches. The docking line is approximately a 30-foot length of 7mm cord. <br />by Mike Clelland
Baggage Handling on Your First Big Wall
The worst part of any long trip is dealing with luggage. Now imagine that instead of carrying your gear in a comfortable pack or on a rolling suitcase, you’re dragging it behind you at the end of a rope. Hauling will likely be the crux of your first wall. If you fail, it ...
Mark Synnott at Climbing Magazine
Peanut Ledge of El Cap's Zodiac <br />by Martin Fickweiler
Life on Your First Big Wall
I know some wall climbers—specializing in speed ascents—who brag how they’ve never bivied on a wall. To me, this means missing out on the best part of big-wall climbing. There is nothing like watching the sunset while perched above the world like a kid in a treehouse. But...
Mark Synnott at Climbing Magazine
How to lower on multi-pitches <br />by Chris Philpot
Save Time and Avoid Stuck Ropes on Descent
Outside of single-pitch sport climbing, lowering isn’t a common practice, and most climbers will choose to rappel anything longer than one pitch. However, descending at maximum efficiency on long routes should include lowering techniques as well as rappelling. Lowering th...
Steve Banks at Climbing Magazine
Rope Commands for Multi-pitch Climbing
Whaaaat?!” is the word most commonly spoken on multi-pitch climbs, where river noise, wind, acoustics, and helmets and stocking caps make it difficult, if not impossible, to use traditional verbal belay signals. If I had $100 for every time I’ve watched a team wasting tim...
Topher Donahue at Climbing Magazine
Stacking Ropes on Multi-Pitch Climbs
Stacking Ropes on Multi-Pitch Climbs
Good rope management at belays saves time and headaches. When you belay on a ledge, feed the rope into a small pile, about two feet around, as you take it in. Compact the growing rope pile with your hands or feet to keep it stacking bottom to top, and to keep it from slid...
Ian Nicholson at Climbing Magazine
Bunny Ears Step 1
Bunny Ears: The Best Climbing Knot You've Never Heard Of
Whether you’re doing a three-pitch free climb or a 3000-foot big wall, multi-pitch climbing is all about efficiency. Every little time-saving action, every slightly more streamlined step, adds up to saving you precious hours—it’s the difference between climbing the last h...
Andrew Bisharat at Backcountry