/ Winter soloing - do you take any rack?

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nrhardy - on 26 Mar 2013
Always had a full rack and kit with me, as previous soloing has been unplanned, so wondered what rack people take, if any, over and above hob nail boots and an alpenstock, obviously.
Run_Ross_Run - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:
Nowt.
pork pie girl - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: couple of slings and a crab or two, maybe an ice screw.... take them if i expect a route to have quite a few people on it, possibly using them to make myself more secure for a while whilst waiting for the hoards to cross harder sections.. rarely used them though, but liked to have them there as an option
RobCC on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: As little as possible...
lemonparty - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

Zilch.
The Ex-Engineer - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: Exactly this question has already been discussed this year:
Winter soloing - how much back-up gear do you take? http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=529700
Michael Gordon - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: nope
Rstone - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:
A few slings pegs warthogs crabs and a screw, it ways nowt and can be good for a rest, confidence boost, airial bombardment from above and even aid.
Hardly ever needed it but when its been needed I was glad of it. At the end of the day ethics although important (espcially on first ascents)are less important than staying alive.
Daniel Caola - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: I like carrying a belt with axe holsters on in case I come across any rock (nb I don't solo grade 7 dry tooling type things). Can also hold a pouch for camera and sweeties etc.
ice.solo - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

depends what youre soloing.
Pay Attention - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

1. large capacity brown trousers
2. something to make splints from when it all goes wrong
3. a Go-Pro headcam
Daniel Caola - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: Oh and if you decide not to carry any pro you might want to replace your hammer head with a second adze- if you can be bothered of course.
nrhardy - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to ice.solo: Just low grade gullies, so nothing that couldn't be easily retreated from, but interested in thoughts as to what's handy to take that I might not have considered
Robert Durran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

Enough, depending on route, including a rope, so that I could bail out if necessary. So about the same rack I might carry anyway on a route well within my ability.
Harry Holmes - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy: Rope, a sling, some tat, belay plate, prussick and an old krab were what I carried on my last few solos. This was because you had to abseil off the top though.
Jamie B - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Daniel Caola:

> if you decide not to carry any pro you might want to replace your hammer head with a second adze- if you can be bothered of course.

Er, am I missing something? What would be useful about a second adze?

Jamie B - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

There's a pretty strong argument that says that if you are considering bail-out options then you are not 100% committed to the solo and therefore shouldn't be doing it. I don't entirely agree with this perspective but on virtually every (albeit easy) solo I've done it's the one I've followed.

I'm pretty sure that soloing kills more people in winter than anything else bar avalanches. Think hard..
Robert Durran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to nrhardy)
>
> There's a pretty strong argument that says that if you are considering bail-out options then you are not 100% committed to the solo and therefore shouldn't be doing it.

I am never, ever, 100% committed to a winter solo. I think it would crazy to be so! It would be reckless not to consider bail out options (as with any mountaineering). Committment to individual moves is a another matter - and if I don't want to commit, I bail.
Jamie B - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Reckless or just confident? I appreciate that the margin between those two can be a vague one, but you must admit that confidence and good movement are pretty powerful tools, possibly the most crucial in the soloist's armoury.

I guess I'm skewed by a couple of things. Firstly I've never soloed anything I couldn't have downclimbed. Secondly I'll never forget the tw*t that I met soloing on a multi-pitch rock route once. Two ropes and a full rack but he couldn't even lead the crux (after someone had thoughtfully invited him to tie-in).
Robert Durran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Reckless or just confident?

Obviously confidence born of experience is important in deciding whether or not to try to solo something, but it would still be crazy not to consider bail out options.
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Jamie B - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Agreed, but careful down-climbing is one of those options. And ones considerations also need to address how the need for security stacks up against the pleasure of moving confidently with a light sack. For the easy stuff I solo there's little competition, but I guess others are after a more intense experience.
Michael Gordon - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to nrhardy)
>
> I'm pretty sure that soloing kills more people in winter than anything else bar avalanches.

Really?! I'd have thought soloing fatalities would be less than that from roped climbing, and far less than 'died from exposure'.

Robert Durran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Agreed, but careful down-climbing is one of those options.

Of course, but abseiling, given a good anchor, is often much less worrying!
Lone Rider - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: These days try to travel as light as possible with no extra gear. I did in the past carry a rope and rack when I was younger and stronger. The main thing is to gauge the route before starting including state of the ice and snow conditions and your current level of fitness and ability. Tend to avoid poor snow such as unconsolidated or windslab these days along with cornices when making a judgement. Wouldn't thinking about soloing behind other parties preferring to choose quieter routes and venues.
Only a hill - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:
When I have soloed in winter, the route in question has always been well within my ability and I have never taken any gear apart from a harness and spring leashes. In summer I have sometimes taken a rope and a token amount of gear in case of a retreat, but again these routes have always been well within my grade.
Daniel Caola - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Only that if chopping away at loose stuff is useful then being able to do it with either arm is even more useful, and the hammer would be pointless.
top cat - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Daniel Caola)
>
> [...]
>
> Er, am I missing something? What would be useful about a second adze?

If you have nothing to hammer in (solo or leading) a hammer is useless and an adze in each hand doubles the usefulness of an adze !
Michael Gordon - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to top cat:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> If you have nothing to hammer in (solo or leading) a hammer is useless and an adze in each hand doubles the usefulness of an adze !

What would you use one for anyway? If you have to plough through a cornice (in which case perhaps not the best route choice!) you'd probably have the other axe in for stability rather than wanting to dig with both.
Gav M - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to top cat:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> If you have nothing to hammer in (solo or leading) a hammer is useless

Have you done any mixed climbing? A hammer can sometimes provide a secure placement where a pick won't.
ice.solo - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to nrhardy:

unless youre at the sharp end of soloing and really into the zen of it all (no offence intended, but as youre asking here im assuming youre just starting down this path) youd be foolish to leave the flat without a basic guerilla escape set (some cord, a sling or 2, 2 screws and a threader, maybe even a tag line).

with these training wheels you will be able to develop the skills of soloing with a degree of contingency, later moving into the deeper aspects of the discipline - by choice rather than desperation.

soling is not f*cking around, and its not simply unroped climbing as you may be aware. its a skill set to be learned just like leading (indeed it will help your leading no end).

the main thing you need to winter solo (as a distinct discipline, not just climb without a rope) is the head for it, to know what and when to solo and when to walk away. delve into the material by dean potter, guy lacelle, beat kammerlander, steve house etc.

along with that, get the volume in. days of top roping hard stuff is invaluable (you wont climb hard enough on lead to find the red zone by choice). lots of solid leading.

not all solos are the same (hence my previous comment). some you will do with escape gear, some you wont, some you wont need to. its foolish to make a set rule.
many will be the day when you head changes at the last moment. half of soloing i believe is navigating that. its completely normal to solo routes youve done dozens of times on rope before. having soloed something once doesnt mean you will again - dont start thinking like that.
Mark Kemball - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to nrhardy)

>
> I'm pretty sure that soloing kills more people in winter than anything else bar avalanches. Think hard..

Take care, my best friend was killed soloing in winter.
Michael Gordon - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to nrhardy)
>
> its completely normal to solo routes youve done dozens of times on rope before.

Dozens?! I don't usually like doing the same route twice let alone that many!

Michael Gordon - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Gav M:
> (In reply to top cat)
> [...]
>
> A hammer can sometimes provide a secure placement where a pick won't.

Have you done that on the solo? You're a braver man than me!

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