FISH How-To Pages, Big Wall Climbing


The idea now is to set up the haul. Continuing from the previous section.....

Take the hauling pulley and haul line from your harness and attach it to the middle section of the anchor. This idea allows you to be on the top of the anchor, the hauling will be done on the middle of the anchor and your follower has the lower part of the anchor. If you have an absolutely bomber upper piece you can haul from this to give you some added oomph to the haul. But, if this high piece ever blows out while you are hauling from it, all bets are might just die. That's why I use the middle section of the anchor. Ok, now set the hauling pulley up on at least two protection points and ideally equalized between the two. Thread the haul line into the pulley and don't drop it during this operation. Clip the now ready to haul set up into your equalized point and pull up the slack. At this time yell out to your partner that you are ready to haul. This means the follower knows the pulley and holding cam are in place and the rope is going to go up until taught at the bag. During this time the follower can get the haul bag backup knot out of the system and leave the bag hanging on its daisy chain and remove any other pieces of the anchor that are not necessary. The line comes taught, the leader yells out "hauling" and starts honking on the haul line. As soon as the bag is unweighted from above, unclip the daisy chain and clip it to the top of the bag and cast it off. The follower should now have a skeleton anchor to clean and is already on his/her JUmars and is ready to clean the pitch. Make it a goal to be out of the station within about 2 minutes after the bag has left.

Now, the guy on top who is doing the hauling should have a Jumar hooked to his waist, riding on the haul line just below the pulley . A demented motion of up and down straining should get the bag moving. The motion is just like doing deep knee bends while sliding the Jumar up toward the pulley after each stroke. Another method is the leg haul. With this method the force is put into an aider attached to a Jumar situated on the haul line under the pulley. Step into the aider and press down with all you can. The aider goes down, and the bag goes up. This method is pretty good for light loads, but seems to not work real well on the big loads. For that you might need to "body haul".

The body haul is very effective and can be the most dangerous method of hauling. In a nutshell you are untieing from the lead line and then tieing into the haul line on the free end, or the end opposite the haul bag. You use your full body weight to counter the weight of the haul bag. As you apply weight you can also point one of your Jumars downward on the line with the haul bag and pull up on this to increase your effectiveness. This method can be frighteningly fast and you can haul the bags in one shot at high speed. Using this method with a very light bag would be insane and the speed of your descent would be extreme. Problem with this method: If the haul line cuts, you will probably go to the deck.

A safer method involves the same technique, but instead of just hanging on the other end of the haul line, you tie the haul line slack off at the anchor and then lower down just as far as it will let you. On a really long pitch, this may not be too far. You can also haul the bag a ways, then retie your length of slack to allow you to lower down more and more with each hauling effort. Jumar back up to the anchor after each event and start over.

Now the bag is at the station. Jumar up and clip in the haul bag daisy chain to the anchor. Slowly lower the bag until the hauling apparatus is under no load and the haul bag is hanging only on the daisy chain. Now, do not take the rope out of the hauling system until you have pulled out some slack on the haul line and tied the haul bag off for real into the anchor. We do this so if the haul bag daisy breaks or rips out of the bag, it will only go a few feet instead of to the end of the rope, usually about 165 feet of terror. Once the bag is tied off for real, undo the hauling apparatus and prepare it for the next leader to take out on lead. This includes lap coiling the haul line and making sure the bag will clear the station with no tangles.