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Rope hooking as a safety technique
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By Dan Beausoleil
Feb 6, 2014

Looking for comments on the safety/reliability of 'rope hooking' while leading. Recently started using it. The technique of pulling up a lead rope and hooking it over the pinky rest of a tool placed up high in order to get some rest and/or as a quick piece of 'pro'. Assuming one has an excellent stick w/the tool being used. I've aggressively tested it several dozen times in different ice conditions - not one failure.
I already know, "Yer gonna die!!" So, accepting that inevitability, is this a relatively reliable safe technique or, is it russian roulette that will surely, eventually have a bad ending?


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By tri-cameron
Feb 6, 2014

if the ice tool has a load bearing pommel you can clip a quickdraw to it then clip the rope while the tool is placed. Place the screw then move the quickdraw from the ice tool to the ice screw.


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By Gunkiemike
Feb 6, 2014

If you're doing it for peace of mind while you place the screw i.e. you don't actually weight the rope, then I don't see any harm in it. But if you're sitting back on the rope (and no doubt sinking down a few feet esp. later in a long pitch) then you want to be very certain about the strength of the pinkie rest and the quality of the placement. And realize that many folks would consider that second case to be a form of aid and accuse you of not really leading the pitch cleanly.


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By Kirk Miller
From Golden, CO
Feb 6, 2014
Bugaboos, 1978 <br />Photo by Ken Trout

Gunkiemike called it, if you use the rope to take a rest, you can't claim to have led the pitch cleanly without aid.
Great idea, if it'll keep you from falling off. Course if you sneeze, or shift your weight the wrong way... for sure I'd use this only as a last resort. Sketchy!!!
Often its smarter to downclimb to a decent stance and rest under your own power.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 6, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Gunkiemike wrote:
If you're doing it for peace of mind while you place the screw i.e. you don't actually weight the rope, then I don't see any harm in it. But if you're sitting back on the rope (and no doubt sinking down a few feet esp. later in a long pitch) then you want to be very certain about the strength of the pinkie rest and the quality of the placement. And realize that many folks would consider that second case to be a form of aid and accuse you of not really leading the pitch cleanly.

It's ice climbing....it's all aid! ;)


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By Jeffrey Dunn
Administrator
Feb 6, 2014

Dan Beausoleil wrote:
Looking for comments on the safety/reliability of 'rope hooking' while leading.


1. I have never seen any benefit to doing it myself; either I'm over my head and need to consider retreat or I'm in control and on the move.

2. I know plenty of good ice climbers and none of them use the technique.

3. I wouldn't consider it gear, and if I was going to fall I would want less rope out between me and my last screw.


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By GLD
Feb 6, 2014

tri-cameron wrote:
if the ice tool has a load bearing pommel you can clip a quickdraw to it then clip the rope while the tool is placed. Place the screw then move the quickdraw from the ice tool to the ice screw.


Clip to your harness instead. That way if the tool does blow you have less rope out, additionally the rope is free to clip to your screw once placed before you continue moving.


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By darin
Feb 6, 2014

Here is Kelly Cordes's take on a similar idea, with a good list of the pros and cons to this approach:

kellycordes.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/chicken-clip-ice-pro-po>>>

For what its worth, I dont think its a good idea though.


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By Dan Beausoleil
Feb 6, 2014

Cool! Great input all. I did find during my informal testing that you will sink away from the tools if you really weight the rope when a significant amount of rope is out. Especially thin ropes. I'm currently using 7.8s in half-rope mode. For sure, weighting the rope a significant amount simply isn't going to work. On the other hand I did find in my informal testing I could move around surprisingly well when the tool had a good stick. Short amount of a fat rope out in those instances. NOT that I would do so on a true lead, just an interesting point from limited testing.
So based on all this, the Kelly Cordes article, and other articles I've read on this and other forums I've landed at rope hooking, and variants of it are viable means of getting added peace of mind and even helpful in getting some rest when starting to feel the pump.
I'm cool w/using this and letting anyone and everyone know I did so on a lead. I tend to agree, 'Ice climbing is aid climbing'. And as has been said, 'Bad form in ice climbing is .. falling'.


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By Peter D.
Feb 7, 2014

I read Kelly's blog and other comments - clipping into the tool with a draw and using the rope or using a fifi hook tethered to your harness or the rope flip are all ways to attach to one's tool. While this may provide a measure of psychological reassurance be really careful about weighting the tool thru the rope or tether. Once I set my tool I give it a slight tug testing the placement when pulling up or using the higher grip I can feel subtle shifts in the placement particularly in brittle ice or when hooking. When a tool is weighted thru a tether or rope these shifts won't be felt and the tool placement could be compromised or pulled out.

Case in point, now this was years ago just prior to leash less tools coming on the market, taking tension on a tool was fairly common practice. I watched a new leader weight both tools she thought were bomber only to have both pull resulting in a ground fall. What appeared to happen is she loaded the tools downward but then pressed her feet against the ice pushing her hips away from the wall causing the lower part of the handle to pivot away from the ice and shear out. Fortunately she was ok just shaken up, very lucky.


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By RobC2
Feb 7, 2014
This..

Fekkin' stoopid idea. If you slip the tool is likely to pop out and hit you in the face THEN. yer gonna fall.

If you can't hold on to them tools to place gear you got no business leading.

This goes for Fifi hooks, leashes, tethers, butt plugs and all other manner of cheating.

As good as the gear is these days I can't believe people still engage in all this nonsense and then are surprised when they get hurt followed by the inevitable Crowd-fund appeal to raise money for Joe Blim-Blam who fell off Dracula and needs a 2$ million surgery to re-attach his sphincter.

Crikey just stay home...


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By Dan Beausoleil
Feb 7, 2014

RobC2- Your comments will carry more weight sans the snide remarks. You don't like the idea and will never use it - we get it. I'm not the bold and excellent ice climber you are for sure. And never will be. At 60, with the metal knee (yrs of rugby, running climbing, skiing) I'm looking for any safety edge. Yeah, I won't be claiming the 'clean' lead so I'll never have the bragging rights you do. I'm cool with that.
I have read numerous posts from well known to (no doubt) very good ice climbers and the bottom line I get from those reads is such techniques are reasonable when applied judiciously. Bomber tool placement, test it, little to no weighting, etc. Bad judgement in many aspects of ice climbing can get you hurt. I'd rather know and use this judiciously.
All - If you've never tested any of these 'chicken clip' techniques I suggest getting on TR and trying some out. Or just stand at an iced face. Be honest and use bomber sticks so you don't 'get the result you want'. With bomber sticks the tool is actually not likely to pop out if you're simply gently weighting it in a very downward fashion. Not that I expect anyone to change their mind. But you can then at least say you've done it and speak from personal experience. My limited testing surprised me BUT has not instilled that false confidence. Judicious is the watchword.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 7, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Dan Beausoleil wrote:
RobC2- Your comments will carry more weight sans the snide remarks. You don't like the idea and will never use it - we get it. I'm not the bold and excellent ice climber you are for sure. And never will be. At 60, with the metal knee (yrs of rugby, running climbing, skiing) I'm looking for any safety edge. Yeah, I won't be claiming the 'clean' lead so I'll never have the bragging rights you do. I'm cool with that. I have read numerous posts from well known to (no doubt) very good ice climbers and the bottom line I get from those reads is such techniques are reasonable when applied judiciously. Bomber tool placement, test it, little to no weighting, etc. Bad judgement in many aspects of ice climbing can get you hurt. I'd rather know and use this judiciously. All - If you've never tested any of these 'chicken clip' techniques I suggest getting on TR and trying some out. Or just stand at an iced face. Be honest and use bomber sticks so you don't 'get the result you want'. With bomber sticks the tool is actually not likely to pop out if you're simply gently weighting it in a very downward fashion. Not that I expect anyone to change their mind. But you can then at least say you've done it and speak from personal experience. My limited testing surprised me BUT has not instilled that false confidence. Judicious is the watchword.

I think what you fail to emphasize is that this is considered an absolute last resort to most ice climbers. It might be a good technique to know and practice under controlled conditions, but if it comes to this, you are leading climbs that are too hard for you and you have already f'ed up. Sure it's good to know and better than falling, but I don't consider it a viable technique for regular use. I kind of put it in the category of using an avalanche beacon. A good technique to practice, but if it come to using it, you have already ignored all the obvious warning sign that are telling you that you shouldn't be in that situation in the first place.


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By RobC2
Feb 7, 2014
This..

Dan Beausoleil wrote:
RobC2- Your comments will carry more weight sans the snide remarks. You don't like the idea and will never use it - we get it. I'm not the bold and excellent ice climber you are for sure. And never will be. At 60, with the metal knee (yrs of rugby, running climbing, skiing) I'm looking for any safety edge. Yeah, I won't be claiming the 'clean' lead so I'll never have the bragging rights you do. I'm cool with that. I have read numerous posts from well known to (no doubt) very good ice climbers and the bottom line I get from those reads is such techniques are reasonable when applied judiciously. Bomber tool placement, test it, little to no weighting, etc. Bad judgement in many aspects of ice climbing can get you hurt. I'd rather know and use this judiciously. All - If you've never tested any of these 'chicken clip' techniques I suggest getting on TR and trying some out. Or just stand at an iced face. Be honest and use bomber sticks so you don't 'get the result you want'. With bomber sticks the tool is actually not likely to pop out if you're simply gently weighting it in a very downward fashion. Not that I expect anyone to change their mind. But you can then at least say you've done it and speak from personal experience. My limited testing surprised me BUT has not instilled that false confidence. Judicious is the watchword.


I see the butt plug comment struck a nerve...

Anyway 60 y/o guy what about these geezers haulin' arse at 70! Ya think they hangin' off their tools?!

www.rockandice.com/lates-news/70-year-old-legends-tick-bird->>>


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Feb 7, 2014

BITD many a climber had a fifi hook or cliffhanger on their harness and would hook into their tools to place a screw. Others had tethers. I have used them all at one time or another. With modern screws I had found no need to do so. But still a trick worth knowing about.


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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Feb 8, 2014

Directly from Petzl...

Read to the bottom. Food for thought...

www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/news/products-news-1/2010/12/21/inf>>>


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By Dan Beausoleil
Feb 9, 2014

Thanks Just Solo: Directly from Petzl... Read to the bottom. Food for thought...

I probably should've mentioned that the rope hooking technique is clearly not viable for tools w/adjustable pinky rests/grip rests. And most of the newer tools I'm seeing have that feature. I would hope anyone reading this forum would have the sense to more thoroughly research this (or any technique) and, do their own actual testing before even considering having it as a backup plan. Common sense dictates to me tools w/an adjustable grip rest are out of bounds for this.


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By Kirby1013
From Baltimore Maryland
Feb 9, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

What you're proposing could turn into a big mistake. Climb it in good form or you are playing with a loaded gun..


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By Brad in the bay
Feb 9, 2014

Just use a sling to your harness clipped to the handle. Hooking the rope on the tool requires the belayer to take on the rope, which is a communication clusterfuck and also introduces a pully effect additional load to the tool. even if you don't take on the tool you're introducing more slack into the system and any fall is seems likely to wiggle the tool out or slip off the pinky hook...

There is an accident report where a guy was doing this technique. The team got used to doing this "take" game, and one time the belayer misinterpreted some command as "take", and pulled the leader off the ice.

Your systems need to be a lot more robust to murphys law than this mess.

Clipping the tool directly to the harness introduces a new safety measure (of whatever quality) and creates some redundancy. While hooking the rope over the tool introduces a new (sketchy?) variable to the existing system possibly weakening the system.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Feb 9, 2014
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

The only time I ever hang on a tool is on low-angle ice where at LEAST half my weight is still on my feet, and I'm equalized on both tools. Ice tool picks aren't locked in place like screws- moving around on them will loosen the placement pretty quick- just like when you're hanging on one tool (by hand) while groping around for your next piece... only worse, 'cause you're hanging on it statically instead of pulling with your arm. Just doesn't offer nearly enough security for me. Plus, as people have mentioned- what happens when you sink and can't reach your tool?

Don't climb shit that's beyond your ability... bla bla bla. We all know not to do that, yet we've ALL bit off more than we could chew. The bulges never look so gnarly from the base, and our buddies are sandbagging assholes. If you don't have the strength to get over the bulge, downclimb and put in a screw... hang off something unquestionable.

Who the fap brought up aid? LOL... it's ice climbing, bru- you do whatever you need to get to the top. Silly croc-n-capri rules for sport climbing do not apply here.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 9, 2014

I used to climb with a guy who had a variation on this. One leashless tool with a fixed webbing tether at exactly his arm reach. Essentially, he was on it every time he got a good stick on that side. On the other he had a leashed tool.

He used this as an extra safety and also used it for rope management while soloing. It worked for him.

The only fall he ever took was when a pick broke. It was a doozy though.


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By Warbonnet
From Utah and Cambodia
Feb 11, 2014
FA "Unfinished Business" 5.11cR Wind River range, Wyoming. Beta photo in this album

Dan Beausoleil wrote:
Looking for comments on the safety/reliability of 'rope hooking' while leading. Recently started using it. The technique of pulling up a lead rope and hooking it over the pinky rest of a tool placed up high in order to get some rest and/or as a quick piece of 'pro'. Assuming one has an excellent stick w/the tool being used. I've aggressively tested it several dozen times in different ice conditions - not one failure. I already know, "Yer gonna die!!" So, accepting that inevitability, is this a relatively reliable safe technique or, is it russian roulette that will surely, eventually have a bad ending?



These comments were going around on another string ("stats of leads falls", "lost of me lead head"????)?? something like that. If used properly, as Dan Beausoleil indicated, they work perfectly fine, as long as the ice is good. The Petzl diagram (like most) makes it look like this guy is hanging his Winnegago off of the rope. It's meant as a passive backup, that's all.

Rope flicks are fantastic (in my experience. Place a bomber tool but don't pull the tool out too far before you flick the rope. You can even use a screw to quickly make a 9.mm cut under the pommel.

Some of you are apparently good at clipping a 'biner in the hold (not all tools will easily take one, interestingly), HOWEVER, you have to place the tool to be hooked in a position where you will not lever the tool out of the ice, either on 'biner replacement, but ESPECIALLY when removing it. It you are using tethers, you can't use this technique ...no room. If using leashes, why bother with a rope flick?

From "Winter Climbing" by Neil Gresham and Ian Parnell". Rockfax publishing (one of the best books you can buy on ice climbing).


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By Warbonnet
From Utah and Cambodia
Feb 12, 2014
FA "Unfinished Business" 5.11cR Wind River range, Wyoming. Beta photo in this album

Dan Beausoleil wrote:
Looking for comments on the safety/reliability of 'rope hooking' while leading. Recently started using it. The technique of pulling up a lead rope and hooking it over the pinky rest of a tool placed up high in order to get some rest and/or as a quick piece of 'pro'. Assuming one has an excellent stick w/the tool being used. I've aggressively tested it several dozen times in different ice conditions - not one failure. I already know, "Yer gonna die!!" So, accepting that inevitability, is this a relatively reliable safe technique or, is it russian roulette that will surely, eventually have a bad ending?



Warbonnet:

"Good stuff (the good, the bad and the screamer). I'm with Dan.....placed correctly, it takes a lot to fail. It is designed to add a bit of assurance (not placebo-type but if that helps, that's fine) should you slip (not take a screamer) and your crampons can actually skate out a bit & the rope will still hold. That's scary but provides a level of comfort that you're doing something right".

"The idea is to NOT weight the rope purposefully and this requires the active participation of the belayer (even if the belayer can't see the leader). The Petzl site makes the first example look like the climber has fallen (which he apparently has) and the weight is both weighted and he/she is falling backwards. Frankly, I'd rather take the second "NO" alternative".

_____________
Warbonnet:

"It still baffles me that there are those recommending clipping a 'biner (from the harness no less) to the spike. Remember, if you clip it with say your right hand, you will tend to unclip it with the right. This means you have to "cross over", a hugely imbalancing movement. Hang your tool from something (a glass chandelier so it looks like ice) and try clipping/unclipping with the same hand. You will be "cross un-clipping"; has the potential to put you off balance and not just your upper body but your crampons as well. (If you're good at it, you can unclip with the left hand (assuming you are placing a screw to the left). It's tempting to clip a tether (NOT a leash) to your tool, however, study the photos below and you'll see that you might end up being a piece of mamacre when it's done."

IF you decide to clip 'biners to your harness for the sole purpose of rope flicking on either side, I recommend they be dedicated for such and that they are located NOT in the center of the harness (which will rotate you if you fall), rather at (on left side) 10:00 pm and 2:00 pm (right side). You get the idea.....reduce body & system rotation.

"I'll post two pics (some of you have seen one of them) properly using the "rope flick" method. It's Ian Parnell of, well, Ian Parnell fame. While he makes it look easy and BALANCED, it is. The operative words are balance and a cool head.

Some of you (not all -- you've figured it out) are proposing methods that will lever the tool either WHILE you are placing pro (like a quick draw) into the hole, OR, removing it once you have placed a screw. I think it extremely important to think about alignment and balance of the entire system. Study Ian's positioning....very important. On the steeper stuff, his arm is straight & I'd venture to say that IF he slipped off (which he doesn't), he's prepared for that. Also notice how far apart his ice tools are. Also note (in both photos) how much rope he has out).

NOTICE ALSO IN BOTH PHOTOS, HE IS PLACING THE SCREW TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. THIS IS CRUCIAL.

Kelly's (as super climber) photos show both tools placed right to each other. This is for the viewer of photograph, not for practical application of the rope flick method. Nothing could be worse than placing tools so closely; a slight slip would end in a flying lesson.

I also warn again "taking a rest" on this system (that being a 'rope flick' system). At a minimum, you are putting the pick under pressure of an unknown nature (side to side, up and down, torqued angle). This system is supposed to catch a mostly downward fall. (Sure, Ian is showing how it's done on a low angle slope, however, notice his absolutely perfect posture on the 5+/6 (the second photo).

Remember, the "rope flick" is for the climber whose intent is to keep moving, not hang out. If you want to hang out, place a screw or two and do just that. We've all done that and I don't know a climber who hasn't. After your "rope flick" has provided some margin of "glad that's over" stuff, make sure you have a second screw in and .....hang out then. You will have deserved it.

Regardless of how you use this, you need the attention of the belayer (if they can hear/see you or, in the best of worlds, know you well). If I'm using the "flick" to the right, I will yell down "hook on right" or "hook on left". ['FLICK on right" might be, in the noise of it all, misconstrued as something else]. I like to think I rarely use rope flicks however, I've used them on 5 & 6's and glad someone figured it out before I had to. I think it's important for the belayer to know which side you've placing the screw in a rope flick situation so they can anticipate that which cannot be anticipated.

Even and especially if you are hooking your harness in the middle, say with a Fifi (which I like, BTW, but only as a back-up), if it pops, the belayer (depending on how close he/she is) they'll have no idea what happened UNLESS you yelled down "hook in middle". I do it exactly as Ian shows it. Looks subtle and it is but think of the "pull" or "tug" the system might cause if the leader slips......and all things being equal, the leader will only slip to the SIDE, not down (assuming all is set up fine).

ALSO, you need the belayer to beware they don't put unnecessary tension on the system (the leader & the belayer should discuss that this system may be used, thus, attention is in order. The rope flick is NOT designed to be rested on (however, as Dan points out above, they can be so solid that it's tempting to rest.....(which I've been known to do while I've bawled my eyes out I was so scared.)

I, like many of you, have seen plenty of super expert climbers and all I know have done "the flick" at one time or another. I'm not ashamed to use it; I just don't want to fall. If you climb in Europe, Scotland, Quebec, (on and on) you will see this used all the time. Probably not used enough. Practice.

You also need to take care in setting up this rope flick (takes less than 30 seconds, if that - more like 15) such that if anything pops (your tool(s), Fifi, ice screw (if you've already placed one precisely in front of your teeth, or even slack rope) that it doesn't smack you in the face. Again, look at Ian's second photo......very, very relaxed & he knows exactly what he is doing. The key: relaxation; he barely knows it's there. He's looked up at the route, knows how he feels and has "pre-placed it" w/o thinking about it.

csproul says:

"I think what you fail to emphasize is that this is considered an absolute last resort to most ice climbers. It might be a good technique to know and practice under controlled conditions, but if it comes to this, you are leading climbs that are too hard for you and you have already f'ed up. Sure it's good to know and better than falling, but I don't consider it a viable technique for regular use".

Warbonnet:

I totally disagree with the statement that this is the last resort to most ice climbers. The "last resort" for most ice climbers is to avoid climbs above their ability, however, I can't agree more with the subject that Dan Beausoleil brings up initially. He and others suggest you go out & practice BEFORE you find yourself on a 3-4 & sketched. Then is not the time to be asking yourself "Now what WAS it that Ian Parnell was doing"? Practice it on WI 2 or steeper (out of the line of fire). Place your tool into the ice at different depths & diff ice types if possible. (But I agree with you csproul: not something you want to rely on, however, climbers BETTER have practiced this, otherwise, they ARE screwed if they can't climb down. And we can't just let go and jump into the water cuz it's....frozen.

But don't fake yourself out. If it's too flat and you place your tool and weight the spike, you will lever the tool out at the pick and, among other things (weaken your pick) but the handle will lever too far out.....you'll think, "cool", now I can walk over and weight it with another rope and pull." Not cool. As Dan correctly says, do it on angled ice.

I also have spoken with Bill Belcourt (BD) at length re: tethers. NO WEIGHT, ZERO, NONE. They are very concerned about this (as is Cassin). If you are relying on tethers in any way shape or form that takes weight for the "rope flick" system, let me know we'll start using them. They are simply bungy cords in case you drop your tool, end of story.

Re: not being able to put anything (a biner, no less...yikes) on a spike-less tool, NOW we are talking about a legitimate problem. My 7+ levatator friends have, in each case & various tools, taken the bottom grip apart and put X thickness of tied cord (looped) on the bottom (say, 1" or so), wrenched it backed together (doesn't alter or mar anything) and that's done the trick; they can clip anything into the corded loop.

Brad in the Bay says:

"Clipping the tool directly to the harness introduces a new safety measure (of whatever quality) and creates some redundancy."

Warbonnet response:

If you markedly move the alignment of your body forward, you have likely changed the physics of the system and made it more difficult to place a screw and/or retrieve your tools. I know what you are saying....I agree....but don't move too far into the ice. (See Parnell photos). Also, if you pop a tool and it's close to your face, you'll get whacked & it's a guaranteed fall.

Your second sentence reads: "While hooking the rope over the tool introduces a new (sketchy?) variable to the existing system possibly weakening the system."

Warbonnet response:

First, you are NOT hooking the rope over the tool. Ixnay. And it does not weaken the system, quite the opposite. (I think you mean over the pinky spikey end, not over the tool, correct? If anyone does that, they are courting disaster.....most pick tools are rather sharp on top).

____________________

Two notes on Parnell's position:

1. Notice he is placing the screws OUTSIDE "the system". Very important not to be placing screws directly in front of you (or within the ropes) if, for example, you are using a Fifi.

2. Parnell is a world class climber. Notice in the first pic, he has perfect feet positioning (altho he may be standing on the rope!!!!!), i.e., his heels are dropped down, not up, i.e., he is not getting his calves pumped out. This is one (major) reason he looks so cool.....cuz he is....when he's ready to move up, he has rested calves & thighs, ready to cruise. Can't tell in the second pic but I'm sure he has he correct heel drop, resting his legs.

____________________

All of this DOES crack me up........IT'S ALL AID CLIMBING ANYWAY!!!! Where's my ski lift?

Ian Parnell's photos again (with a 2nd not included in other strings):



Ian Parnell on low angle ice showing how to set up a "rope flick"
Ian Parnell on low angle ice showing how to set up a "rope flick"


Second photo

On the very steep. Perfectly placed & locked off right arm, ready to take the full weight should his feet blow. This is beautiful positioning.





Ian Parnell on the steep.  Perfect position for his rope flick. Extended right arm, drilling the screw to the OUTSIDE of his left rope system.
Ian Parnell on the steep. Perfect position for his rope flick. Extended right arm, drilling the screw to the OUTSIDE of his left rope system.


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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Feb 13, 2014

If you've got two hammers, pound that sucker in and it's not going anywhere.


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By Warbonnet
From Utah and Cambodia
Feb 13, 2014
FA "Unfinished Business" 5.11cR Wind River range, Wyoming. Beta photo in this album

DannyUncanny wrote:
If you've got two hammers, pound that sucker in and it's not going anywhere.


Danny, excellent point. As many know, many leashless tools do not come with stock hammers but if you have the option, take them along with you. They not only are useful for pins (testing them to listen for that magic "ring", meaning they are probably (?), placing pins or hammering in hexes but also good but also for 'swing weight' (that's an individual thing). I use fiberglass Cobras with the LARGE hammer on them (each) both because the 'swing weight' feels better but during mixed climbing or setting bolts or pins; there are few options.

If you don't have the hammers Danny is talking about, you will have to use the top head of the other a tool to do it. Does anyone else have a suggestion?

Another reminder (as much to myself) is that you have gloves on. That can make weaseling around with Fifi's, draws fixed here and there, actually flipping the rope, etc. a cumbersome process. Don't let it be....hence the practice.

I am NOT a monk but if there ever was a time to be one is when you need a 30 second (max) rope flick in. Don't freak out in the face of freakdom, DO NOT expect that you are going for flying lessons. I don't wait until I'm pumped out to do it......I gauge it to where I might be....probably going to be near pumped out to need one but w/the strength to pull it off. Plan accordingly, be a smooth operator, make that rope flick (and what looks like complicated geometry really isn't. From what many are saying in this string, it sounds like they would use it to haul a case of cool Bud up. Others

ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING THAT WAS NOT DISCUSSED RE: WHAT TO DO IF CLIMBING WITH TWO ROPES? SOME DISAGREE WITH THIS BUT I WOULD ONLY USE ONE (THE HIGHEST AND/OR THE BEST PR0 BELOW). I USUALLY CLIMB WITH A SINGLE THICK ROPE (LESS ROPE DRAG CRAP BUT MORE RAPPELS....I KNOW) BUT WHEN I NEED 2 ROPES (RAPPEL MOSTLY & LESS DRAG), I FLICK THE ONE WITH THE BEST PRO BELOW.

DANNY STARTED THE DAY WITH GREAT ADVICE - SLAM THE HEAD IN WITH ANOTHER HAMMER (BUT DON'T LET THE TOOL SHAFT MOVE TOO FAR FROM ICE. IDEALY, YOU WANT THE SHAFT TO BE MARRIED TO THE ICE. IT'S EASIER TO GET YOUR ROPE "UNDER" THE OTHER TOOL.

WATCH THAT YOU DON'T KICK YOUR CRAMPONS INTO THE ROPES BELOW (AS IAN MIGHT BE DOING); ONE OF MY FAVORITE $300 USD HABITS. IF THAT HAPPENS, THERE ARE A NUMER OF KNOTS THAT CAN BE TIED QUICKLY TO GET OUT OF A JAM. THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED 'FLAT" KNOTS AND IF SO, THEY HAVE A CHANGE TO GET STUCK INTO CRACKS .


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By paintrain
Feb 13, 2014
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero

I would say that just because someone wrote an instructional book with pictures of it in use, doesn't make it a valid or safe technique. Its a desperation maneuver. If you are using it on low angle ice, you best be working on your basic skills rather than practicing questionable "safety" backups.

1. Not recommended by one of the most safety conscious companies in the industry.
2. Most pinky rests are not designed for much load. If your feet blow - good luck + penalty slack!
3. There is a hole for clipping on most tools that is full strength. If you are using this technique often, think about making it safer by using it or get an old BD specter
4. It adds complexity to communicating with your belayer which never seem to improve safety.

My 2 cents.
Don't rely on it for frequent use. If you are getting over pumped, get in a screw and rest on it. If you aren't in a position to improve your technique or get fit enough to use leashless tools proficiently on the grades you want to climb, get some leashes - they work on "leashless" tools as well.

Pt


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