/ What Gear has turned out better then expected?

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Killianmurphy - on 15 Jun 2012
This is to talk about the gear you bought as a 'it will do for now' but has turned out to be the best bit of kit you have bought.

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?
Monk - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

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.
GrahamD - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

Spent 5 on a 'puffer' jacket in Peacocks which has turned out to be a great belay jacket.
mkean - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:
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!
Daithi O Murchu - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

Berghaus Arete 45,

craghoppers Kiwi pro stretch trousers
Cameron94 on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

Berghaus Arete 45
Chris Ridgers - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy: I agree with the skyhook! It's been used to bail of loads of routes that would otherwise have ment leaving other gear behind. And it only cost 10!!!
cuppatea on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:
Karrimor hot rock (or similar) Indestructable! :-)
In reply to Chris Ridgers:
> I agree with the skyhook! It's been used to bail of loads of routes that would otherwise have ment leaving other gear behind. And it only cost 10!!!

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!
In reply to Chris Ridgers: OK, just read your profile which says you are 19. If this is case take it from an almost old bloke even if I don't feel it! Don't trust your life to skyhook to save on loosing gear. It's just not worth it. Seriously mate, take care.
Darkskys - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy: Rab alpine jacket...literally used it for absolutely everything frOm climbing, running to slobbibg around the house to wearing for work!

Skyfall - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

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 :)
Dave Ferguson - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:
Aldi "snowboard" sallopettes 16.99- best bit of winter kit I've owned and still going strong albeit with gaffer tape patches
Skyfall - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

Some wicking lowe alpine shreddies - invaluable on all sorts of trips and still going strong after about 20 years!
Chris Ridgers - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to JonC: as I said, I use it for bailing of routes. if you place a skyhook you can get your belayer to lower on one rope and take in on the other so you are never at risk of hitting the deck, eventually stripping all the gear on the route, all that is left is to flick your rope to retrieve your skyhook (meaning you've safly got two feet on the ground and no gear left in the rock!).

I hope that all makes scenes?
Al Randall on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers: I'm afraid that you are likely to have a very limited life expectancy if you consider this to be standard practice especially at the grades you climb. Seriously you really should not do this.

Al
Chris Ridgers - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Al Randall: ok, cheers for the advice! I thought this was a relatively safe way of bailing of climbs as it was a climbing instructor (who I met in a pub) who told me about it (and recommend getting a skyhock for this reason).

Chris



Chris Ridgers - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers: its probably also worth mentioning that I don't do this on every climb that I back of.
Al Randall on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers: There may be situations where this is the only option but not at the grades you climb. I've been climbing for nearly 50 years and never felt a need to buy one let alone use one and I'm not exactly a "bumbly punter". This should most definitely be a last resort measure and not something that you do to avoid abandoning gear to save money.

Al
In reply to Chris Ridgers: I can see with double ropes it makes more sense, but it obviously depends on how many runners you have in and how many on each rope. I think on many UK crags hiking up to the top and abbing down will be safer and not that much more hassle. Just don't take unnecessary risks for the cost of nut!
speekingleesh - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

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?
Chris Ridgers - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to TobyA: ok, thanks. I will take your advice and leave the skyhook at home. abbing down and retrieving gear has always been my first method.

Cheers,
Chris
Al Randall on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to speekingleesh: Then I'm misunderstanding what he is doing. If he is being held by another rope how is he recovering ALL the gear.

Al
Landy_Dom on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

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)?
TOS on 15 Jun 2012 - 10.214.95.103 [82.132.243.57]
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to Killianmurphy)
> Karrimor hot rock (or similar) Indestructable! :-)

Except if you fall 15m and use it to break your fall.....

:o(

Al Randall on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Landy_Dom: That makes some sense but "lower on one rope" does not mean down climbing to me and the very act of being able to down climb something suggests easy grades and in my book easy grades do not equate to carrying sky hooks but hey ho you live and learn and although it sounds like a bit of a faff it does make sense in theory when explained like that.

Al
cuppatea on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Oops! Good job there's a reinforced bottom! Sounds like one may have been needed ..
mkean - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers:
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! :-)
:-)
Kafoozalem - on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

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.
stonemaster - on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy: That cutting edge of hill fashion, a Buffalo mountain shirt...:)
Fredt on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

An Edelrid 11mm rope I bought in 1991, still going strong.

Al Randall on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy: I have a 6th gear in my car which I never thought I would use but I do :-)

Al
MFB - on 17 Jun 2012
In reply to Kafoozalem:
> (In reply to Chris Ridgers)
>
> 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
robthered - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

'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...
Duncan Bourne - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:
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.
Timmd on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Killianmurphy:

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.
999thAndy on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Landy_Dom:

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)
lmarenzi - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to MFB:

That really IS brilliant. Never considered that either.
Hooo - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Daithi O Murchu:
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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