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Pro for Slab Climbing?

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Postby The Chief » Sat May 29, 2010 6:08 am

FortMental wrote:Hey TheChief.... your bottle of Zyprexa has rolled under your desk. Seems like you OD'd on the Viagra (again). You should really remember to take the correct pills before you post.

Another well thought out intelligent choss pile of post there Fortmental. ImageYakity Yakkkkkkkkkk.
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Postby WalksWithBlackflies » Sun May 30, 2010 3:50 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. Keep 'em coming... I obviously need all the help I can get. As far as this weekend's climb:

I got to the Adks early, and decided to do some free climbing on the Chapel Pond Slabs. I had a absolute blast! Being on rated routes, I determined that many of the slide route pitches we've done are actually rated more difficult than I gave them credit for (5.0-5.3 range instead of 4th class, and up to 5.7 or so for a couple of more difficult pitches). I also realized that I'm much more comfortable with a 5.3 friction than a 5.3 face. I think part of that has to do with my short limbs not being able to reach the good hand/footholds.

Later that evening I met MudRat at the trailhead. We hiked into our camp spot on Friday evening, and had a good night's rest. Just as we were about to begin our bushwhack approach the following morning, it started sprinkling. We decided to hold out to see if it was just a passing shower. It wasn't. Friggin forecast called for a 20% chance of passing shower, and we got solid rain. So we changed plans and summited via trail, and on the way back to the car it got sunny and things dried out. We had a good view of the Chapel Pond Slabs, and I was amazed at how vertical they looked from our vantage point. We got back to the car, and I still had a hour or two to kill, so I dropped MudRat off at his house, then went back to Chapel Pond Slabs, and again had a blast.

It seems that it would be a good place to practice some technique, pro placement, and rappeling ('cos downclimbing 5.3 routes just sucks).

And FWIW, I differentiate between slide and slab/face based merely upon the width.
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Postby welle » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:58 pm

Just got back from Adirondacks as well. Climbed for the first time in Chapel Pond Pass - some crack single pitches at Jewels & Gem on Saturday and climbed the megaclassic Empress on Chapel Pond Slab on Sunday. What a great climb! While it's an easy climb, the 90 ft. 5.5 X section 600 feet off the deck is pretty cool, then the next pitch is a pretty neat OW. Off-widthing is not my strength, so leading an OW on a windy arete 700 feet high up from the deck was pretty exciting!

Nartreb, IIRC, Adirondack rock is not granite. I found friction on slightly damp Adirondack rock way sketchier than on puddled wet granite of Whitehorse.

WWBF, nearly 900 feet tall Chapel Pond Slab is not a good place to learn leading, IMO - it's bottlenecked at the bottom (can be easily bypassed by harder variation starts) and belay stations are all gear (some are semi-hanging), so you have to make sure the anchors are bomber, as there is not much pro in between. You should also be good at routefinding and/or downclimbing. And FortMental was right, some flakes are a crumbly pile of choss - my partner broke off a hold. You should not be rappelling off Chapel Pond Slab anyway - lots of loose rock to get on the climbers below you - there is a cabled descent gully to the skier's left. Get the Adirondack Rock book by Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas. There is a crag in Chapel Pond Pass called First Lead Slab - it's couple of pitches max and grades are 5.4 max. But agree with Rhyang get a professional instruction on leading on gear or learn from a mentor. Local climbing community seems pretty close-knit and super-friendly - I've seen guys at Adkforum.com (Jim Lawyer posts there often as well) offering to take beginners to climb.
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Postby welle » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:15 pm

nice pun, Moapa!
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Postby rhyang » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:54 pm

nartreb wrote:rhyang - yes, I was thinking of Link Cams. If I understand the info at the link correctly, the problem is that the lobes are weak under torque (i.e., when the pull is not along the direction of the stem). That makes proper placement critical, and I agree beginners should stay away.

I still want a couple for myself. There's nothing worse than not having the right size cam when you need it. (Well, maybe finding a core shot in the rope at the same moment...)

If you look around the web a bit (e.g. rc.com, the taco, etc) you'll see pics of broken link cams and reports of how it happened. I'm kind of leery of using them for anything except anchors and/or easy alpine stuff at this point. If I know in advance that I'll just need extra cam(s) in that size for an anchor then I'll bring them.

The idea of placing one when I'm desperate and then falling on it and having it break is not exactly something that brings me peace of mind. Which is kind of important when selecting a piece of climbing protection :)
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Postby mconnell » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:23 pm

rhyang wrote:
nartreb wrote:There's a recently-introduced version that elongates down to an extremely narrow shape when open, giving you a much larger useful size range - why can't I remember what they're called?

Perhaps you are thinking OP Link Cam (not exactly recently-introduced though) -


I have a couple. They are known for breaking under load in some situations :shock: Not something a beginner should be using.

Link Cams can also be a pain in the butt to place. It takes a fairly deep crack for them to seat right. I have rarely placed them for that reason. Of course, I'm a newbie so I shouldn't be using them at all. :oops:

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Postby rpc » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:28 am

There aren't many cracks in the face to begin with, and in my experience, those that exist tend to open up towards the surface (width decreases with depth of crack).

=>hybrid cams, eg
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