FISH How-To Pages, Big Wall Climbing


Hooking will flat out age you. Ok, it's done with. Now there is no need to be overly scared, because even old guys can hook.....on rock I mean. There are only a few rules to hooking, and they are as follows:

1. Use the right hook for the job. Using a big Fish Hook on a thin edge on a slab is not the way to go. Pick a hook that fits the hold you are trying to assault. If it is a wide flat edge, use a Leeper Flat. If it is a basic small flake, use the BD Skyhook. If it is a flake as wide as your wrist, use the Fish Hook etc.

2. Cover the hook with your hand while weighting it. There is nothing sicker than a guy hooking his own eye out while looking at a sketchy hook that pops off under full load. Don't watch the hook, but listen to it..feel it. Just don't look at it until you are above it. Then hurry up and get off it.

3. Tie your hook up the right way. Follow what the manufacturer advises for rigging your hooks. I have seen more hooks tied the wrong way than you can imagine. Give yourself a fighting chance by using the tools the right way.

4. Carry them all. They weigh practically nothing and get you past 5.10 face, big flakes, expando cracks that have the edge broken, missing bolts, and are useful on following pendulums, lower-outs, and clip cleaning roofs.

When you are actually hooking, here is a good method. Use your long daisy chain and put one set of hooks on the end loop. Search around for the best hook placement trying a few of your various hooks. Get a good one and then put your aiders right into the webbing on the hook. This keeps the load on the hook as designed, reduces weird torque, and gets you a bit higher on the piece as opposed to clipping into a biner or one of the daisy loops. If there is more than one hook move needed, do the same thing with your other long daisy. When getting on the next hook, leave the previous hook in place (if it will stay) for if this hook you are getting onto blows, this is your only shot. As you move up the lower hook will usually dislodge and just hang from your waist waiting for the next move.