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Sierra Class 4 Rope Redux

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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:53 pm

I use a Beal 30m 8.0mm twin rope. Bought it that length. The purchase was for simple glacier travel with 2-3 people, but I've used it in the Sierra more.

I don't use it if there is a true vertical lead, but it is absolutely perfect for what you just described. On Humphreys, for example, it was only for the downclimb if needed, and rappel stations were set up for a 30 m rope. Same with Clarence King.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:53 pm

Be aware that many if not most Sierra Class 4+ (Clyde Routes etc) Raps are normally 25m raps which require at least a 50 meter cord. This includes all the raps one will find on either side of the Palisades (Including U, V-Notches, L and Apex Couloirs) Mendel, Darwin, Evolution Traverse, Russell, Thor, etc.

I am interested when you last "rapped" the SW Face or North Couloir routes of Humphreys, Chad. I did it three weeks ago and they were just as I replaced them five years ago, set up for a standard 50 meter rope (25 meter) as they were originally placed some 40 plus years or so ago.

Edit: Addition of routes to list
Last edited by The Chief on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:29 pm

The Chief wrote:Be aware that many if not most Sierra Class 4+ (Clyde Routes etc) Raps are normally 25m raps which require at least a 50 meter cord. This includes all the raps one will find on either side of the PALS, Mendel, Darwin, Evolution Traverse, Russell, Thor, etc.

I am interested when you last "rapped" the SW Face or North Couloir routes of Humphreys, Chad. I did it with a client three weeks ago and they were just as I replaced them five years ago, set up for a standard 50 meter rope (25 meter) as they were originally placed some 40 plus years or so ago.

I did the rappel down Humphreys the last weekend in July this year, the SW slope/NW face.

There was one station just above the higher of the two class 4 portions, immediately at the top of it. I think this may have been lower than a slightly higher station with some old slings, but there was no need to rappel before that point. As recall it was relativly new and purple, easy to see, but perhaps slightly lower than what you had set up.

From the end of that rappel I just needed to swing out to climber's left, and it was a class 2 downclimb about 5-10 feet to the next station (not even class 3 though you wouldn't want to take a standing leap out). Of course I had webbing to set up an additional one if needed, but I knew the class 4 portions were short and would be able to downclimb if absolutely necessary. From the end of the second rappel it was about 5-10 down totally unexposed rock to the station that is unnecessary and at the start of the lower class 4 portion. Since I had the rope out I went ahead and used it to walk down that upper class three bit below the face.

BTW I also used the same 30 m rope on Darwin via the Darwin Glacier last year. Did three rappels n existing slings with plenty of class three downclimbing in between.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Appears someone came along and cleaned up the newly added station/tatter to the Humphreys SW route cus it is back as it originally was as of the middle of August. A perfect example of folks adding tatter and stations to rap lines that have been in existence for a long time. Also, something to consider, the less time (amount of rappels which are added just about two fold when using a single 30m line (15 meters vise 25)) one spends on rap, the less their chances of experiencing an "accident". As most folks know that have been at this for a while, most incidents occur during rappels.

As recall it was relativly new and purple.... Of course I had webbing to set up an additional one if needed...

A perfect example of this issue is as JEDSMG posted this past July from cleaning up U-Notch, over nine pounds of added runners/tatter alone left by individuals just over one season. I and others have cleaned up this and many other well traveled rap routes and find it rather disturbing how some folks add more tatter to already established raps than is required or necessary. As I posted, most if not all these older routes were established with and for single 50m rope. Many folks out there add these "stations" not having proper experience in doing so and just add the lessened integrity of the rap for others. Thus creating a potential dangerous situ for other naive first time parties.

Lets keep it clean and standard, please. Adding more rap stations just makes things that more confusing for first timers. Kind of like all them cairns folks build creating satellite trails to the existing main established one.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:25 pm

Mammut Serenity 8.9 60m Dry Single. I lead & guide all the Sierra Couloir and Classic Class 4+/5 routes throughout the Sierra backcountry, with one.

Having a 60m assures me the insurance that I can bail off any route in the backcountry with minimal & faster raps on established rap routes, when shit (weather) hits the fan.

BTW, all my BC FA's are established with fixed single 60m rap stations.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:49 pm

Anyone interesting in climbing Humphreys via the SW chute, Darwin via the Darwin Glacier, or Clarence King via the south ridge would be well outfitted to take a 30 m rope.

Of course, anyone has a right to take a 50 or 60 m version, or leave ropes at home altogether. Depends on your abilities and what you are comfortable with.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:58 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

One will definitely come up 8-10m's short on Humphreys if they do. The Reg and original 50m cleaner pull single raps are now in place. Especially if one takes Bob Burds variation. That entails a 50ish or so foot or so rap back down and over the Chockstone if one is not comfortable with the Class 4+ downclimb. Something to consider as well. 30m will not cut it for this variation.
Image


Again, don't add tatter to established routes. Makes them that more cluttered, confusing and polluted for others.
Last edited by The Chief on Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:10 am

The Chief wrote:That entails a 55 foot or so rap back down and over the Chockstone if one is not comfortable with the Class 4+ downclimb. Something to consider as well.


Again, don't add tatter to established routes. Makes them that more cluttered, confusing and polluted.

Anyone will be fine on Humphreys. I described exactly what would happen.

Just take a short amount of webbing in case someone removed the purple rap station I used and is relying on the other station that is needlessly higher up the mountain and offering no benefit other than cluttering the place up.

The chockstone mentioned above is very easily bypassed by climbing up a few feet on the right as you descend when you reach the chockstone, following the flat ridge a few feet, and downclimbing another boulder slightly lower on the ridge. Then you come down a short chute and end up right below the chockstone. No rappel is needed. It is mostly class 2, with one class three move down the second boulder I mentioned. If anyone needs a 55 foot rappel there you might as well rappel the entire class 2 chute.

You don't want to be suck there setting up a rappel when the shit hits the fan, or needlessly cluttering up the chute with useless rappel stations!
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:47 am

The Chief wrote: B-Burds chockstone Direct variation is not CLASS 2. Even Bob Burd describes an alternate Class 2 chute to this variation. And if you insist it is, you have not done it!

A third of the way up there is a huge chockstone blocking the chute, but with several ways to surmount it. The easiest way is on the left side where some thin ledges can be used climb the chockstone directly (I found this on the way down). I climbed up to the chockstone and with a very long stretch of the legs (it helps to be 6' at times like this) managed to pull myself up starting on the right side and standing on a friction slope in the middle of the chockstone. Later I found that it is also possible to climb out of the main chute from below the chockstone taking a side chute up to the left where class 2 climbing can take you all the way to the ramp.


http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_reports ... eys_1.html


Nuff said.

As his description says, the chockstone can be bypassed via the class 2 side chute. Once through the chute you can head directly back into the main chute right above the chockstone. I see no reason to clutter up the mountain with rappel stations just for the joy of using a rope when the obstacle can be bypassed on the descent with a (faster) class 2 detour that never even leaves sight of the chockstone. But if you want to set up more rappel stations all over the mountain you certainly have the freedom to do so. Everyone does.

I did the entire route with a 30 m rope. You didn't.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:56 am

The Chief wrote:BTW, the Rap I found for the Chockstone entails no gear/runners etc. Had you done the Chockstone, you would know that there is a nice large sized upward angled flat boulder outcropping on the top left section of the slab (visible in my posted pic above) that one just needs to sling the rope over nicely and then rap. The pull is clean and free of any obstructions.

Ahhh... but it requires a 50 m rope, which is not otherwise necessary on that particular route of Mount Humphreys.

It was actually hailing when I got back to that chockstone on my descent, thus I did not really feel like playing around and rapping over chockstones regardless of the length rope I was carrying... considering the easy walk-around.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:59 am

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So now for the rest of the story.... by your admission above, YOU DID NOT EVEN CLIMB the Direct Chockstone variation on your ascent which I described in my initial post and that which Bob describes in his initial TR.

Chad, one with experience does not always require to add any tatter or gear to rap. Using the natural features avialable is something one with experience knows all about and something you may learn if you stick around a while.

Again, the original Raps on the upper section of this route were all 50m. It was only made more cluttered when folks as yourself added to the existing line. Our Services protocols for this particular route call for a 60m rope. For safety and assurance of necessity if a longer line is required due to the changing nature of the route due to the very fragile loose nature of the rock on this side of Mount Humphreys. Again, one that has done this route more than a dozen times over the years, knows how this line can change over night due to rock fall.

Nuff said.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby RickF » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:33 am

I take a Petzl Nomad, 9.8mm dia., 60 meter, around 8lbs, it's rated as a single rope. It's fat enough to work well in ATC friction devices. It's probably overkill for an alpine belay or rap if you're not getting in a condition to take a lead fall. If you're really not doing any lead climbing or long raps you could save some weight and get a 8mm diameter, 30M rope.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby granjero » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:33 am

Just wait till winter to descend and you can trade rope weight for coffee and beer!

Image
^ Window Couloir, Humphreys

Image
OMG I want my 22m 6mm double dry and two rap stations

Image
^Another Humphreys classique. Same hat, same grin, different shred method.

Image
^ Oops that route is class 3 anyways. Shane Jones showin wassup NEFMP

Image
oftentimes, people use a rope going UP this line. but then there is a walkoff. it's like bouldering then, right?

Image
another one people use ropes for. i used my skis!

Image
this one has rap stations for sure! KILO showin how we drop Great BAsin Gangsta style

No rap stations were added during the shredding of the above descent routes.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:06 pm

I heart granjero... :oops: :D

Sick pics!! That first snow this week up high had me already fired up, but these helped!!

Oh, and a 35m Petzl Dragonfly 8.2mm.
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Re: Sierra Class 4+ rope

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:54 pm

MooseTracks wrote:Oh, and a 35m Petzl Dragonfly 8.2mm.


I am very interested in knowing which Sierra Class 4+ route/s you have done & rapped off of with that 35m Dragonfly. Thanks.
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