/ What Gear has turned out better then expected?
For me it a pair of Trespass technical trousers i bought for £25, they have survived two years of grit stone climbing in the peaks and still have loads of life left in them. only down side is that they are a little bit on the heavy side compared to some of the available alternatives... plusside i have used them all year round.
so what gear have you got which has turned out better the expected?
For me it has to be my Marmot Driclime windshirt. I saw it cheap and bought it on a whim about 12 years ago. Since then, I have used it for everything as it is so good. Sure, it doesn't look great, but it is light, surprisingly warm, windproof and works amazingly well in the wet. An absolutely superb jacket.
Spent £5 on a 'puffer' jacket in Peacocks which has turned out to be a great belay jacket.
Picked up a skyhook as a "well it may be useful" after reading Andy K's article on an escape kit, I didn't expect it to be that useful. It proved its worth on the first outing *(Long story involving getting off route in the alps and having to retreat of a single hook) and it now goes on every route with me!
Berghaus Arete 45,
craghoppers Kiwi pro stretch trousers
Berghaus Arete 45
Karrimor hot rock (or similar) Indestructable! :-)
What? You lower off a skyhook then flick it off or something?! Rather than leave a nut or cam behind?
If so we REALLY have different views on the value of gear versus the value of our own safety! Each to their own and all that though.
For me, the classic bit of gear bought slightly on whim (it was tenner more than the alternative that I had planned to buy, back when a tenner really meant a lot to me!) that has turned out to be about the best value thing ever was a Patagonia Snap T fleece. It's now 21 years old and still gets used quite regularly for outside work during colder times. 10+ years of being my only fleece and getting used all the time, plus another decade of less intensive but still regular use has to count as value for money!
If you need a sky hook at the grades on your profile you're doing something seriously wrong and I suggest reassessing your attitude to risk :)
Aldi "snowboard" sallopettes £16.99- best bit of winter kit I've owned and still going strong albeit with gaffer tape patches
Some wicking lowe alpine shreddies - invaluable on all sorts of trips and still going strong after about 20 years!
I hope that all makes scenes?
Hang on, assuming the gear on the other rope (the one he is still being belayed on) is not too badly spaced and is of decent quality then I don't really see how what he is describing is any more dangerous than just plain lowering off?
If I read him right, he is lowering on one rope, attached to the skyhook, whilst simultaneously reverse leading on the other rope, stripping each piece of gear as he comes to it, then taking in the slack. Worst case scenario is similar to downclimbing whilst stripping lead gear?
Not commenting on the validity of the method either way, but I think what he is describing (using two ropes) is considerably safer than lowering off a skyhook alone (single rope), and indeed arguably safer than lowering off a single nut (on a single rope)?
> Karrimor hot rock (or similar) Indestructable! :-)
Except if you fall 15m and use it to break your fall.....
Oops! Good job there's a reinforced bottom! Sounds like one may have been needed ..
The sky hook is definitely a last resort, you really don't want to make a habit of lowering off on them regularly! The situation I used in it was really quite serious and was safer than jumping off and attempting to hit a patch of snow in a boulder field!
I now always carry it but have probably only placed it a couple of times and most of them have been somewhe :-)re to hang my rack for a rest! :-)
As a last resort skyhooks can save your neck but they are also amazingly effective at pulling flakes off unless the rock is exceptionally hard. The force concentrated into the tip is immense. It is worth noting that grabbing the rope to the skyhook and lowering your own weight is better than having your belayer hold your weight (this avoids adding their weight to the equation).
I had to do exactly this to get off a gearless route with an obvious groundfall. I lowered my own weight with my second taking in on the other rope which had a poor wire clipped below me. The skyhook held just long enough before ripping part of the flake off. Luckily I was now close enough to the crap wire for it to hold a small fall.
The moral to the story is that all sorts of iffy gear can save you when there are no other options. I am always amused by people thinking you are a wreckless climber if you carry a skyhook. IMO something is always better than nothing. Just make sure you think it through and aren't putting yourself into more danger rather than less.
An Edelrid 11mm rope I bought in 1991, still going strong.
> It is worth noting that grabbing the rope to the skyhook and lowering your own weight is better than having your belayer hold your weight (this avoids adding their weight to the equation).
brilliant - never considered that
'North Ridge' Ballistic 45L sac from Go Outdoors. Got it cheap (£40) two or more years ago - expected it to be crap.
In that time it's been scraped up the inside of chimneys, dragged up quarries practicing crevasse rescue, used on distance runs, and spent a week in the Alps stuffed full of gear and it's still like new. It's a tad heavy, but not too bad once stripped down a bit and I can't really fault it.
In fact, it's made me wonder what the rest of the 'North Ridge' gear is like...
I have to say I LOVE my Lowe Alpine Fortress sac!!! THE single most useful rucksac I have EVER bought....except......I didn't buy it! I swapped it with my ex-partner who wanted a smaller more manageable sack as she didn't get on with the aluminium struts in the back used to support it. I didn't get on with them either so I took them out. The result is a light flexible sack that a) I can climb with on long routes with out it getting in the way b) takes as much gear as I want to pack in it c) crunches down small enough to use as hand luggage on planes (when I want a climbing sack and a suitcase) c) has an extremely useful side zip meaning I don't have to take everything out of the sack just to find a single item. d) takes two axes with ease.
A Regatta thick fleece gillet bought fot 5 pounds from CCC in Sheffield when it was CCC, it's perfect for extra warmth without the warmth or bulk of a thick fleece, it's got two zipped pockets and a hem drawcord, and it couldn't be better. It was just right for an extra bit of warmth in the lake distrct a couple of years back when there was the best snow for a decade or two there.
I saw a ground fall in Pembroke a few years ago when the leader was stripping gear and downclimbing. Fortunately he was winded rather than concussed but it was all very avoidable - maybe 30 mins extra to nip up to the top, set up an abseil and strip the runners? As opposed to an ashen faced belayer calling for help (leader was not moving/responsive on the floor till he could breathe again)
That really IS brilliant. Never considered that either.
Funny that both of these got mentioned in the crap gear thread. I own both of them, and I think they belong in the other thread.
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