Pro for Slab Climbing?

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
no avatar
The Chief

Thanked: time in post

by 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.

User Avatar

Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:37 pm
Thanked: 3 times in 2 posts

by 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.

User Avatar

Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:08 pm
Thanked: 21 times in 17 posts

by 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 (Jim Lawyer posts there often as well) offering to take beginners to climb.

User Avatar

Posts: 7779
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Thanked: 787 times in 519 posts

by MoapaPk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:25 pm

welle wrote:Just got back from Adirondacks as well.

Don't you always come back from the Adirondacks as Welle?

User Avatar

Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:08 pm
Thanked: 21 times in 17 posts

by welle » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:15 pm

nice pun, Moapa!

User Avatar

Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:55 pm
Thanked: 59 times in 38 posts

by 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., 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 :)

User Avatar
Dow Williams

Posts: 2345
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:59 pm
Thanked: 219 times in 101 posts

by Dow Williams » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:12 pm

Link cams....true, if you have limited trad experience, best to stay away from exotic gear..but those of us who climb a ton of variety, particularly long remote (limited beta) alpine rock routes where weight (thus selection of gear) is a factor, use the hell out of these cams...they are as safe as any other gear out there....about as safe as the user might be

User Avatar

Posts: 7779
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Thanked: 787 times in 519 posts

by MoapaPk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:20 pm

Just to clear up my muddled words from before... ... lides.html ... ide-guide/

“Most Adirondack slides develop after a torrential downpour washes the trees, rocks, soil and everything in their path downslope, leaving the bedrock exposed. The Nye slide is unusual in that it was created by an earthquake in 1983. The ascent up this 1,400-foot route – which is not entirely clean of rubble and vegetation – was not at all difficult, just a steep walk. I never felt in danger. I felt exhilarated. At each moment, I knew that if I turned around, I’d be treated to a gorgeous view, and the higher I got, the better it got. “

“The downpour that followed Hurricane Floyd last year created several new slides in the Adirondacks, the most prominent on the northwest face of Colden. It appears as a wide, white gash easily visible from Marcy Dam or from Route 73 near Adirondak Loj Road.”

The rate of uplift in the Adirondacks, while it exceeds the rate of erosion, is still only 1 to 3 mm per year. All slides that I know of were created by mass-wasting following catastropic events (that took place in less than a day).

Strangely, we have a very analogous slide 7 miles from my house in Las Vegas -- the slide scar on the back (N side) of La Madre Mountain. It's a very clean slide, sub-parallel to the bedding planes in the limestone. The original rubble from the slide event is still piled up at the bottom. It goes as class 4 near the top, and the rock mercifully has a bit more texture than most Adk slides.

no avatar

Posts: 7494
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:28 pm
Thanked: 337 times in 200 posts

by 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:

User Avatar

Posts: 2566
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 10:06 am
Thanked: 16 times in 10 posts

by 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


Return to Gear


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests