/ Best literature for long multipitch climbing?

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akana - on 05 Jul 2012
Hi,

What's the best book/website/movie for learning the skills needed to do longer multipitches? Not talking big wall, but around 350 meter walls.

Heard about a book called Trad climbing +. Does it cover what you need to know on these climbs?

/akana
Luke Brooks - on 05 Jul 2012
highclimber - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to akana: Multipitch is multipitch whether you're doing two pitches or 20 pitches. The skills are the same where ever. what will be different is the rock type and each rock has a 'personality' that takes a bit more experience than any book will tell you.

Simon Caldwell - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:
The main thing you need for a long multi-pitch is speed and efficiency - 5 minutes wasted on each belay of a 20 pitch route is almost 2 hours added to the day. You can only really gain this by experience.
akana - on 06 Jul 2012
Thanks, I will not go for a long climb until I have some experience.

Do the books have sections for multipitch which covers maybe some rescue and things like bringing water and a warm jacket or is it just the technique of multipitch?
toad - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana: I always take a Jilly Cooper to while away those long hours belaying
GrahamD - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

Toreador is right - it is easy to over anasyse multipitch. In reality there is very little difference between multipitch and single pitch - you are just climbing for longer. There is no substitute for practice. Harder two pitch routes, easier multi pitch routes - get out there and practice !
Trangia - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

Try to pair up with someone of similar ability so that you can lead through. Much quicker on a long route.
davidbeynon - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

I agree with the people who say efficiency is the thing. Agree a system for handing over gear, concentrate on tidy ropework and don't waste time on belays.

And don't underestimate the importance of keeping half an eye on the time and being prepared to run away. Knowing where the nearby easier routes are in relation to you is a good idea.
akana - on 06 Jul 2012
Well I have done some 2 pitch routes without problem and there might not be that big of a difference from single pitch.

But if you go for a long route like 350 meters or something, I would want to know some rescue techniques, how to get my partner down if he/she can't on her own, some basic aid maybe, if for some reason you can't move and need to call for help you need a cell phone, to not get cold while waiting you might need a fleece, if you take 15 minutes more on each anchor building you might need to bring a headlight so that you can still get off in the dark.

It's basically a book that cover all these things that I'm looking for.
davidbeynon - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

The BMC used to publish a book called "The Handbook of Climbing" which is pretty comprehensive. It aint cheap, but it covers just about everything you are likely to need to know about ropework, rescue etc.

It's a bit out of date when it comes to things like hard winter climbing, but I have never found that to be an issue at my level of mediocrity :)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Handbook-Climbing-Allen-Fyffe/dp/0720720540/
chrisprescott - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana: Freedom of the Hills is definitely worth a read, its probably the best book i've found for climbing instruction in general and has a good chunk on multipitch technique -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountaineering-The-Freedom-Hills-Various/dp/1846890942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&am...
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana: The handiest skill for getting out of trouble is learning how to abseil off a route safely without leaving too much behind!

i've seen a number of posts in the 'lost and found' forum where people have abandoned on a route and asked on here for their expensive gear back.

While there is a need to be completely safe there is also the necessary skill of not being skinted through being 'TOO safe'!

to that end, Always carry sacrificial gear on long routes (and indeed some shorter ones).
davidbeynon - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:

You have a point, but when I choose between breaking things and losing treasure then the gear gets sacrificed every time.
GrahamD - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

> You have a point, but when I choose between breaking things and losing treasure then the gear gets sacrificed every time.

The trick is to make that a necessity the exception rather than the rule !

highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to davidbeynon: That's where being able to judge the rock and suitable anchors becomes an essential skill. I wouldn't think twice about abbing off a single no.1 nut even if there is a bomber size 2 camalot placement next to it.

some people, rightly or wrongly will chose the biggest peice they can find (or a collection of the two)because they feel it is safer when in some instances the converse can be true.
derryclimbs - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

As much as a book is good to read up on the techniques, you will learn so much more when actually on the route. Such things as route finding, exposure, climbing with a backpack on etc are things that you won't learn on single or 2 pitch routes. IMHO unlike other threads here, long multipitch routes are nothing like doing a single pitch route. If you think that because you can climb E1 for 1 or 2 pitches, dont think that after 10 pitches off the ground with an abyss below you that you will still be able to. Your mind often gets exhausted just as much as your body does.
My advice, read everything you want until you feel well equipped, prepare loads (a headtorch, and extra layer of clothing is a must when deciding what to take) and do an enjoyable and not too challenging route. Thus decreasing the likelihood of having an 'epic' and having to escape off a route. A nice walk off descent is also a huge benefit!

Where are you thinking of btw?
davidbeynon - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:

That's true. I was just pointing out that cost is never a good reason to choose a bad anchor over a good one.

fxceltic on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:
> Thanks, I will not go for a long climb until I have some experience.
>
> Do the books have sections for multipitch which covers maybe some rescue and things like bringing water and a warm jacket or is it just the technique of multipitch?

most people have given you some good advice, but your 2nd sentence above concerns me a little. If you need a book to tell you whether or not you need a warm jacket and maybe some water then I would probably say you might want to hook up with someone with more experience first, as these issues really are just common sense things?

Im not saying that to be derogatory
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> That's true. I was just pointing out that cost is never a good reason to choose a bad anchor over a good one.

of course not and I didn't mean to imply that it was. just that good anchor choice is a skill that is transferable from all aspects of trad climbing, not to mention trusting one's placements which can be a difficult thing to do when you've got to abseil off quickly.
EZ on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:

> i've seen a number of posts in the 'lost and found' forum where people have abandoned on a route and asked on here for their expensive gear back.

It depends on the situation as to whether it is bad luck or bad decision that cost someone gear in this situation, but for me (I know it's an old debate) in the rock abandoned = take it home and add it to my rack :-)
akana - on 07 Jul 2012
Hey, thanks for the answers.

The thought of multipitching came to mind when I was in Paklenica, Croatia for some sport. There are 350m walls that look very nice. There are also really nice trad multipitches in Sweden.

Of course I don't need a book to tell me to bring a fleece, but there are lots of things that I still think I should know before tackling a wall like that. Bringing a fleece and water are of course pretty logical things. But it would also be nice to know if there are logical things that you've forgotten or just haven't thought of. Other opinions are always nice. A headlamp might not be the first thing that comes to mind if you've only done bright daylight climbing before.

If I go with a more experienced climber or a guide I also think that I will learn much more if I have already read about it at home.

Will look into the book advices that I've been given in the thread so far and if you have any more tips, just write them down here aswell :)
Dave Ferguson - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:
Paklenica is great, I presume the long routes you mean are on Anika Kuk, there is a very good big easy route and shorter routes to the right to practice on.

As mentioned by others before its all about being slick on the belays, take one small sack for approach shoes, drink, a little food and windproofs, so that the leader can climb without a sack. Don't carry anything else - you won't need it. We made the mistake of trying to ab one of the routes, but the descent off the back is actually very straightforward.

Don't worry about leading through either, on really long routes its sometimes better for one person to lead a 'block' of 5 pitches or so and then swap. If the routes hard or at your limit the person who has just sat on the belay for 15 minutes will be a lot fresher than you. Practice on two or three pitch routes first and aim for changeovers to be really slick, thats where you save the time, as well as not fiddling in gear you don't need.

Climbing as a three need not be any slower either if you are slick, bringing both seconds up at the same time means there are 3 people to share the belay faff and not two.

Have fun
Mark / Alps - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:
Some extra ideas: Go to a venue with several shorter multi pitch routes ( for example 5-7 pitches ) and see how many you can comfortably do in a day. Time how long it takes to lead and second a pitch. Practice the time saving skills so you are not rushed but slick.
john arran - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to akana:

One thing to note is that there is often a big difference between multi-pitch trad and sport. Climbing within a few grades of your limit it's pretty normal to cover each sport pitch in half an hour or so (leader and second combined) whereas trad that close to your limit is much more likely to take an hour per pitch. Of course slick teams will be faster and inexperienced teams (or those right at their limit) may be a lot slower, but as a general guide I find these timing guides helpful.

Having equipped belays will also make retreat a whole lot easier too if it doesn't go to plan. So my advice would be to practice shorter multi-pitch trad but to do your first longer multi-pitch on sport.

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