Monday, June 22, 2009

Multi pitch efficiency

I haven't been out on any climbing trips for the past few weeks while my fingers slowly heal.  This agonizing process has given me some time for reflection.  Inspired by a post on I've been trying to sort out my strengths and weaknesses as a climber.  My conclusion is that many of my weaknesses, (finger strength, endurance, overall fitness), can be contributed to the amount of beer I drink.  Which isn't going to stop anytime soon.  I enjoy beers with friends, and often I enjoy beers at the crags. 

So for now I will focus on my strengths.  I consider myself above average on quickness and also feel that I have a fairly strong lead head.  The later which probably contributes to the quickness

My first years of climbing where infused with mini epics and a lot of learning by experience.  I feel like these mini epics and years of learning before committing to something larger have prevented me from having big epics.

Some tips I've found for being fast on multipitch.

1. Quick transitions-  Work out a system with your partner for making the transitions as quick as possible.  I like to have my partner put all the extra gear on the rope in front of me so I can rack it at the same time.  Also I try to take drinks, eat food, go to the bathroom, when the other climber is getting ready to climb, as to not waste time.  

2. Rope management- This is key, time spend dealing with the rope will only slow you down.  I like to stack it as neatly as I can right under me so I can push it down with me feet.  For hanging belays a rope hook or over the leg works really well. 

3. Placing efficiently and not too much.  The more comfortable you feel on lead the less gear you will place.  This equals less time placing and less time cleaning.  The only place I put in tons of gear is to protect my second on traverses.

4. Use some sort of auto locking belay device.  This will allow you to belay from above with ease and be able to lock off the climber should something happen.

5. Study the topo, route, and decent before you get on the rock.  

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