/ ARTICLE: Winterising Your Rack by by Rob Jarvis

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Michael Ryan - on 17 Dec 2007
Rob Jarvis of Highland Guides gives us a brief overview of adapting your current rock rack for winter use and a look at specialist winter protection.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=709

In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

I wouldn't want to argue with a guide, but my experience in Scotland and else where of both Warthogs and "ice" hooks is quite different. I used to climb a lot in the Southern Highlands and Arrochar and there everyone took and used warthogs regularly (pre-ice hook era). We generally carried two. Now these days it seems hooks are deemed to be a replacement - although it seems there is no empirical research and precious little anecdotal evidence as to whether they are better, worse, or the same as warthogs in frozen turf. But I remember belaying off a warthog on the Cobbler when all else I could find was a small and not very deep knifeblade (my partner decided to take a factor two fall onto the belay leading the next pitch, so that belay will be imprinted into my memory for the rest of my life), and many times using them when you arrive on the top of a cliff where you are suddenly in a flat, frozen field with nothing to belay off - Udlaidh, Beinn an Lochain, Lochnagar being good examples.

You have to be really desperate to put ice hooks in ice - I've done it but generally it strikes me as too much hassle. But for turf - and something else the article doesn't mention - using them in rock - they are really good. For rock obviously you can use them as giant sky hooks if nothing else is going to work, but they can be placed in lost arrow size cracks as well very securely.
blueshound - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Have never used, or even SEEN an ice hook! What is it? I always have a warthog, and my usual partners carry at least one too. Surprisingly useful bit of kit.
blueshound - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Great main photo on the article by the way!
blueshound - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Yep, I did a google. Have seen them in the shops actually, and I think I saw someone hammering one maniacally into a crack on a grade II on Lochnagar once.
TRip - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to blueshound:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> Have never used, or even SEEN an ice hook! What is it? I always have a warthog, and my usual partners carry at least one too. Surprisingly useful bit of kit.

http://www.dmmclimbing.com/productsDetails.asp?id=10&id2=124

Iplaced a wart hog yesterday. I'm not convinced how bomber they are, but I was happy to get a runner in.

A top tip would be to tie bits of 3mm cord into the eyes of your pegs. This makes them easier to rack and redueces the chance of dropping them, when placing and removing them.
Burnsie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Hammered nuts / hexes ? I know we have all done it but I recon winter climbers should regard hammed pro in the same light as pegs i.e. gear of last resort not to be used on rock routes etc etc.

As for warthogs Iíve still got 2 on my rack but I much prefer a hook . just seems much stronger to me. even got a bomber one in turf last year that I would have happily fallen on (well as happily as you can fall in winter!) I recon a warthog could pull out if it pulls through the turf past 90 degrees where as a hook is stuck at the optimum angle.
In reply to Burnsie: When my mate fell off I was pulled along a ledge (he had traversed a metre or so along the ledge to an arete and then was climbing up that when he came of, so the pull on the belay was lateral rather than downward, but anyways - there was an inch rip in the turf where the warthog had been pulled, but the eye was still snug against the grass, i.e. fully in. Quite convincing.
KeithW - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to TobyA:

I've placed a bulldog in ice; and whimpered quietly to myself as I climbed above it until I reached some rock & could get a wire in.

However I've used one as part of belay in frozen turf, and held a big fall on it. So they're definitely useful.

I've just bought 2 warthogs second hand, specifically for Scottish mixed. I've placed them but never had to test them. But they seem reassuring.
andy kirkpatrick - on 17 Dec 2007
Ice hooks are actually pretty crap in ice, and only good in the sense that an RP2 is good (narrow ice chocked cracks/weird ice moves where you want a fast top runner), but they work much better in turf, and due to their hooking design 'should' have a higher pull strength ( a warthog will rotate under load , or bend, then pull out, were as a hook has to be pulled through the mass of turf). The hook is also equally good on rock, especially if placed lightly (no hammered to hard as you'll never get it out again!), and often comes in handy in weird places, like hooked onto chockstones where you can't dig away the snow behind it (I even once stacked a hook in a horizontal crack with a large rock of the non Wild Country variety).

Basically a hook is just another tool in the winter armoury, one that I tend to think works well on UK routes.

One point about hooks on rock, it's probaby better if climbers who like it in this mode try out the number 3 Black Diamond Pecker - which is a great winter peg.

Cheers

Andy
Norrie Muir - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:

The article was not really meant for the likes of you. If it had not said that the author was a ďfully qualified UK Mountaineering Instructor (MIC)Ē, I would have thought he had just attended a basic mountaineering course.

PS If you have a few spare No 3 Black Diamond Peckerís you could send them to me, so I can try them out this winter.
Michael Ryan - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:
> (In reply to andy kirkpatrick)
>
> The article was not really meant for the likes of you.

Norrie the thread is part of the article. Andy is offering an opinion, just like you.
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
> but they work much better in turf, and due to their hooking design 'should' have a higher pull strength ( a warthog will rotate under load , or bend, then pull out, were as a hook has to be pulled through the mass of turf).

Do you actually know this Andy, or is it an educated guess? I see the logic, but for example you could argue that a warthog is thicker so less likely to rip through turf than a narrow blade of a bulldog. I'm really interested as it seems there has basically been no research done on this, in comparison to a reasonably amount of research that has now been done on ice screws (and other gear) used on water ice.
Norrie Muir - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Are you now UKC's resident School Master as well as it's Editor?
Burnsie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to KeithW:

Just noticed needlesports are selling warthogs again :

http://www.needlesports.com/acatalog/Mail_Order_Ice_Screws_35.html#aMTE_20WARTHOG
andy kirkpatrick - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to TobyA:

I tested a Bulldog and a M tech Warthog about 10 years ago with a funkness device (bit of wire to you and me) for a article I wrote for Climber (the 1st article I ever wrote for a UK mag I think?), and shock loading the warthog would cause it to rotate upwards until it slipped out of the slot, where as the hook would just create a longer slot (bit like a deadman digging in, while a snow state pulls out).

I once saw a film of some hook like thing that tanks could fire out when they got stuck that worked in the same sort of way, pulling themselves rather than out, but I'm sure if you took a big lob you'd just pull a big lump of turf out unless it was super solid.

Also Norrie I wasn't criticizing the article, just trying to point out that Hooks are a vital piece of winter gear, as people reading the comments might think otherwise.

Andy
Erik B - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Burnsie: agree about hooks being much better than warthogs, you also need substantially deeper turf for a warthog than a hook and hooks can also be used for rock features. Warthogs are also a bitch to take out for the second and can use up valuable energy. i never bother carrying warthogs anymore
Burnsie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Erik B:

hooks can be a bitch to get out too - ask Davie about my bomber one last winter - can still remember the profanities.
urban warrior - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Andy Kirkpatrick:

What you want is a plaipus earth anchor:
http://www.platipus-anchors.com/mainsitefinal.htm
and http://www.platipus-anchors.com/earth_anchoring_systems/stealth_earth_anchor.php

works similar to a deadman, but designed for placement in soil. I use them for rock netting on railway cuttings etc.

They do some small ones, that amongst other things are used as security devices to stop people stealing expensive plants etc. I'm not sure how you'd go about installing one on a climb though.... typically installed using a hydraulic breaker..... (compressor route anyone...)

Erik B - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Burnsie: have you got the newer style hooks with the wee hammering bit which sticks out? the older style BD spectres didnt have that and where a TOTAL bitch.
prob with warties is that you have to screw them out using yer axe if its a good placement, doing this in extremis is pergatory
Erik B - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to urban warrior: interesting.. how would one get them out though?
Burnsie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Erik B:

It's the mountain tech ones Iíve got. Never had to take a welded one out as it's usually me doing the welding.



Public service announcement Ice screws : if anyone is after a cheap general purpose ice screw tisos in buchanan street glasgow have one of the mnt tech ones for a tenner.




TRip - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Burnsie:
> (In reply to Erik B)
>
> It's the mountain tech ones Iíve got. Never had to take a welded one out as it's usually me doing the welding.
>
How many do you guys normally carry?

I thought one was more than enough, unless you are on a inter only turfy monstrosity, when 2 would be nessessary.

Erik B - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Burnsie: ive got the dmm ones, no welding in site

andy kirkpatrick - on 17 Dec 2007
A good way to get hooks out is to clip a bunch of krabs together and jerk it out the way it went in usin your hammer (just watch your face when it pings out!).

Andy
Burnsie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley:

depends where you are climbing and how bold you are. the only place i carry then is on "turfy" venues like the southern highlands where i carry 2.
Sonya Mc on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to andy kirkpatrick: Or don't be a clumzy clutz like me and watch it 'ping' out and then go flying down the cliff never to be seen again (by me anyway, be on someone elses rack now :o(
Norrie Muir - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
>
> Also Norrie I wasn't criticizing the article, just trying to point out that Hooks are a vital piece of winter gear, as people reading the comments might think otherwise.

I never said you did. I was pointing out that the article was very basic. I too think hooks/Bulldogs are essential in Scottish winter climbing and a well placed one is more than 'psychological value only". I was convinced about their quality when I did a route with Erik B, it was the best placed piece of protection I've seen on a winter route.

As for Deadmen, with a bit of thought, it can be use not only in snow.

Erik B - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley: Ive been known to carry 8 when new routing, depends on the cliff
ads.ukclimbing.com
Wee Davie - on 17 Dec 2007
In reply:

Bulldogs are the way forward. Much easier to place and remove. I sold all my warthogs a while ago.

Davie
SultanofMull - on 18 Dec 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:

'As for Deadmen, with a bit of thought, it can be use not only in snow'

You what their not much use in snow ! I suppose you could use it as a small lightweight alpine tea tray ! You could maybe have two and strap them to your feet and glissade quicker.

Keen to know what else you would use them for ?
Lemony - on 18 Dec 2007
In reply to Dan Goodwin: I was thinking about it... I guess you could use the wire as a long extender or for threads. Not sure how strong they are but you could probably stick the plate behind flakes and stuff or use it as a sort of superwide chock. Use them as ballast for keeping slings on dodgy spikes...
Duncan I on 19 Dec 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley:
> (In reply to Burnsie)
> [...]
> How many do you guys normally carry?
>
> I thought one was more than enough, unless you are on a inter only turfy monstrosity, when 2 would be nessessary.

I placed a clump of three tied together in an exfoliating flake-flower on the back of Beinn Fhada in Kintail where nothing else would have worked and still had two left for the turf above. Five is a bit excessive in other areas though.

I recall they came in quite handy on a trip to the Valais where some cracks were just too weird for wires and to wide for pegs.

Bulldogs, and even fifis feel safer on ice and certain turf but I do like the solid feel of a well-seated warthog. Just be aware of the amount of leverage that they can exert when using them in cracks.
kentoncool on 20 Dec 2007 - AAnnecy-152-1-17-225.w83-197.abo.wanadoo.fr
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
Wart hogs are a MUST on chalk cliffs. I spent a lot of time climbing chalk when I was London based. Took a 50footer onto one once and it held no problems I really can't think that a hook would have held in that situation!!!
Used them a lot in Scotland and a number of times been very happy to have them on a rack
KC
Erik B - on 22 Dec 2007
In reply to kentoncool: mushie season is over big man... its noo winter annat


tam wipley, 8 hooks makes sense if one does the maths... 2 for each belay, 4 for protection... in general the big shots/calendar pin-ups/high flighers dont go to such cliffs ;-)
mattsccm - on 22 Dec 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
With these new fangled hooky things now being the in thing does it mean that the box of Crack n Ups that I have will see a come back? did once take a small leader fall onto one which much to my surprise held!
tom.e - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: New? It's over 5 years old.
creag - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to tom.e:
and great timing.... mid March!!!
Mungo Shuntobox - on 16 Mar 2013
In reply to creag:

but getting us psyched up for winter 2013-2014....
creag - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Mungo Shuntobox:
To be fair, the winter climbing is amazing right now and more snow on the way...!
Jamie B - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I've "winterised" my rack by knocking shit out of all my wires and hexes with an axe. Now I need to "summerise" it by buying some new stuff...
Mr. K - on 18 Mar 2013
I Winterised my wife's rack with a primaloft insulated bra.
3leggeddog on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Mr. K:

I made my wife a bra out of Border Collie fur:




It rounds them up and points them in the right direction
creag - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to 3leggeddog:
Best one yet on UKC!!

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