FISH How-To Pages, Big Wall Climbing


Here is some stuff that maybe you can use next time you get in a real bind. Some of it is sketchy, but hey, it works.

Cleaning roofs and traverses:
Use hooks on your aiders instead of biners. It is faster and makes the long reaches under roofs a bit easier to manage.

Following pendulums:
For short pendulums, simply pass a bight of rope through the piece you are lowering off of and either clip it into your harness or simply hold onto it. Suck up the slack until the bight/loop of rope is now supporting you. Unclip the rope from the piece and slide your Jumar up as far as you can. Now transfer your weight from the bight toward the Jumar and slowly lower yourself out until you are hanging directly on the Jumar. This will usually put you directly below the next piece you are going to clean. Release the bight and pull it through the piece you just lowered from.

Hauling tricks:
This is a great method for getting really heavy bags off the station in a situation where you are under a roof or at the start of a big traverse. When you haul the bag to the station under the roof, put a tie off loop around one of the anchor points. Get the bag up to the station and clip the haul bag daisy into this loop. Be sure to always tie the bag off for real with the actual haul line after doing this step. Now, lower the bags to release the hauling device and wait for the next pitch to get done. When it is time to haul, the leader will not be able to help you at all get the bags off the station due to the roof over your head. So, when he is ready to haul and pulls all the slack out of the line, untie the safety loop in the haul line. After the rest of the slack is pulled out of the haul line, simply cut the tieoff. The bags will rocket out of the station with great violence. If needed, set up a small belay type thing to lower the bags out. Also, if you cut the bags loose, be sure it is a clean escape or it can rip you out of the station or get destroyed by hitting something after the exit. If playing with knives makes you nervous, you can hit the tieoff with your hammer for the same effect. This is probably more fun anyway.

The Fish Hook can be nailed in like a piton behind big flakes to keep it in place and left as pro while you climb by. Use a 3/4" angle for the best pinning action if you need to pin a Fish Hook to a small ledge with a crack on the back edge. This trick works pretty good on expando stuff as in the event of a fall the load will be applied downward, instead of outward, as if you used the piton alone. On wacko-psycho hooking it is not uncommon to take duct tape (for taping on hooks) or hanging heavy objects on hooks mid-pitch to keep the hooks in place.

Look for drilled holes if an area is yielding no secrets on how to pass. Holes are small and well hidden in most cases. But, don't even think about drilling your own holes. This is a sin against nature and all humanity. Bring a BD Skyhook that has the business end filed to a point. There are a lot of "enhanced" hook placements lurking around. What went on was the FA party or some ball-less coward after the fact would whip out the 1/4" drill and punch a real shallow hole on flat ledges so the hooks would not skate. Without this pointed job, you will be diced out for sure.