Friday, August 7, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Allowing someone to hold your rope is a pretty big deal, both literally and figuratively.
It's difficult for me to allow any old Joe or Jane belay me, even if they claim to climb. Maybe I have some trust issues buried deep inside, but the fact is that if you don't own a GriGri how can you really be sure your new found belayer has got you? Not to mention the fact that trying to find a reliable climbing partner is like selling items on Craig's List. Everyone is down to meet up, but chances are they just flake out.
I say skip all the worry and BELAY YOURSELF!
......Enter the Petzl Basic......
As you can see from the pic it's a very simple to set up. I fixed a rope from above (I used my wife's car as an anchor) and allowed the slack to rest on the ground cloth. Locking carabiner through the top connects to your belay loop, approach wall and climb. That easy. After a few practice falls you will have the confidence to solo any route, it's just like you are on top rope.
As with most climbing partners, the basic and I quarreled over a few minor issues. The one for me that sticks out the most is that you have to weight the rope in some way so that the ascender slides up with out any hiccups. I tied my pack to the bottom of my rope about 3 feet off the deck and had no issues.
All in all I'm very happy with my new best friend. Although it's a bit lonely at the bottom of the crag I'm happy just to be out and climbing. Maybe Petzl can design their next ascender/self belay device with a mannequin head that attaches to it so I'm not alone....
Ok that was a bit creepy....
Do yourself a favor. If you are like me and have a hard time finding climbing partner, go out and buy yourself a Basic. It's light weight, easy to use and chicks dig it. Really....they do....
Friday, July 10, 2009
So a few weeks ago I decided to attempt to summit Mt Hood with my good buddy and skiing partner Mike "ManHammer" Walsh. Although we didn't reach the summit we had a great time. Here is a shot of the my shadow above the Palmer snow feild.
You can check out www.twitter.com/nickyjusa or www.facebook.com/nickyjusa for the real time update, although I was so consumed with trying to reach the summit that I didn't update as much as I would have liked to.