Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 05:20:02 -1000 From: Kukailucy@aol.com Subject: Fwd: Technical gear
yea, Mike, you hit the nail (or the piton!) on the head when you guessed that all these wonderful bolts mean nothing in rotting rock...That's in theory...actually, I've confidently clipped into plenty of bombproof bolts placed on really sketchy rock, most notably at Pinnacles National Monument (anyone else climbed there?), notorious for its disappearing hand and footholds.
There are countless ways to set something up, and you are on the right track when you study the rock you have and natural anchors, BEFORE considering the equipment. There are cool bolts that expand into the rock, too. The camming devices are cool, but you really better know your direction of forces before relying on them. You also need good cracks in the rock to begin with! Their effectiveness 100% depends on your judgement of placement. The best thing about them, besides their adaptability to different sized cracks, is that you take out all the equipment with you, including your rope.
I don't know how long this horrible section is, but if it's short enough, and the belay spot is secure (the belayer, besides using their own body weight to stop a potential fall, could additionally anchor themself to a guava tree??), one person could belay the leader across (remember, you two are tied to each other), then the leader could stop, anchor him/herself in, then in turn belay the follower across... Your body weight is pretty darned effective in stopping a long leader fall. I'm only 5'2", and I've successfully stopped a long leader fall of a 6'2" person, and others, just on a body belay(meaning, I wasn't anchored in, the rope went just around me, and thru a simple force-absorbing thing called a belay plate/figure 8). Many times we'd find ourselves on knife ridges with no anchors, just our own bodies for belay, and you have to think in advance, 'ok, if the person I'm belaying falls on the south side, then I have to be quick and fall on the north side, to prevent from being pulled off!' This wasn't exactly ideal, but you work with what you have...Again, lots of variables involved, lots of ways to do this. How big is this rock? You could put a sling or cable around the whole damned thing and just clip into that..
Shoot, we got back into yakking about technical equipment! I just couldn't resist putting my two cents in about something dear to my heart! But my info is useless because I have no idea what the condition is. Your pals at the rock gym, or those Mokuleia (sp?) climbers will set you straight. Just got excited. Good luck and stay safe,