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FRI NIGHT VID: Solo Winter Attempt of Cerro Torre

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 UKC News 16 Feb 2024

This week's Friday Night Video takes us all the way to Patagonia, where Colin Haley is attempting to make a solo winter ascent of Cerro Torre.

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 blackcat 16 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Awesome film,will watch again later.

 morpcat 16 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

This is when not having any plans for Friday night pays off 

 John Kelly 17 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Wow, what a grafter, digging machine, great video 

Post edited at 14:08
 leon 1 17 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:  Brutal and superb. What a place !

 Robert Durran 17 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

What a brilliant, scary, authentic and gritty film. A great antidote to all the stuff that makes soloing out to be all about running up stuff and being down in time for tea.

 Rick Graham 17 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent.

Seen the film, now read the book. Colinhaley.com latest blog.

Really interesting ,and useful, personal insights.

 John Cuthbert 18 Feb 2024
In reply to Robert Durran:

I know him through close friends in Chamonix. He was always pretty unassuming and good company to be with.  He liked to have a pint and laugh. He didnt stand out as physically impressive amongst all the beasts that patrol Chmonix as if it is their birthright. Forming that impression probably doesn't reflect very well on me. Clearly his physical abilities are not in question. Alongside all the many things he's done in Patagonia, he has an array of fast or solo ascents in Alaska. He's quite a guy.

2
 ablackett 18 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Can anyone explain to me how he protected the pitch which he set off up free solo and then decided half way up it was too tricky so put in an ice screw for protection. 
 

It looked like he tied a clove hitch to the screw, in which case how did he then climb past it?

cheers.

 morpcat 18 Feb 2024
In reply to ablackett:

I believe he unclipped from the screw and left it, collecting it again after rapping back to his pack

 Robert Durran 18 Feb 2024
In reply to John Cuthbert:

> Clearly his physical abilities are not in question. Alongside all the many things he's done in Patagonia, he has an array of fast or solo ascents in Alaska. He's quite a guy.

He comes across in the film as humble but hard as nails; probably both requisites for longevity in the game he plays.  

 Tom Last 18 Feb 2024
In reply to ablackett:

He was daisy soloing by the look of it, leapfrogging a few screws which he'd clipped direct, then collected on the abseil. 

 ablackett 19 Feb 2024
In reply to Tom Last:

So, put in a screw as high as he can, clove hitch the rope to it, climb until the screw is at his knees then repeat?


Or is it more complicated such as tie off a loop of rope to the screw, climb a few metres, put in another screw, tie off to that, and down climb to the lower screw to untie it? 

As I wrote this perhaps I’ve realised both could be possible. What is the normal way to ‘daisy solo’?

 maxsmith 19 Feb 2024
In reply to ablackett:

I only skim-watched the video but it looked to me like he was daisy-soloing from screw to screw lower on the route (which he calls the 'filo rosso').  After this he says that it would have been quicker to lead rope solo this section.

Then higher up he is lead rope soloing on pre-tied clove-hitches, which he releases whenever he needs more length in his live rope.  What's unusual is that instead of clipping screws as runners he was clove hitching every one (basically forming a re-belay).  Not usual practise as it increases the chance of a higher fall factor but it does give him some redundancy if he wasn't 100% sold on the strength of his lead anchor down below.

Inspiring stuff!!

 Fellover 19 Feb 2024
In reply to ablackett:

> As I wrote this perhaps I’ve realised both could be possible. What is the normal way to ‘daisy solo’?

Won't comment on the video because I've not watched it yet.

Normal daisy soloing is done without a rope. Not that it's a very normal thing to do!

You would be set up with two daisy chains attached to your harness. They can be old style daisy's, adjustable webbing daisy's, adjustable rope daisy's (e.g. petzl evolve adjust), just a sling. Basically anything that can act like a tether from you to a piece of gear.

Then as you climb you clip a daisy to a bit of gear as you pass it. Having two daisies means if there's enough gear options you can always be attached to something. E.g. on an ice pitch you could place a high screw, clip a daisy to it, climb up until that screw is about knee level (or however far down you can reach to unclip), place another high screw, clip the other daisy to it, unclip the first daisy, climb up, repeat. Tbh it sounds like it would be a massive faff on ice, placing (and possibly removing) all the screws. It can be very quick and safe on a bolt ladder.

When you climb above the piece you're daisies to it's the same as going above an anchor when attached to it with a sling, which is beaten into people as being a bad thing to do, so it's obviously not ideal safety wise. It is definitely safer using a daisy made from dynamic rope than something static like dyneema webbing.

As I said I've not watched the video , but there are various ways to use a full length rope in a similar way as you would a pair of daisies.

This video shows a rope access person doing what they call vertical aid climbing (they also use cowstail instead of daisy, essentially the same thing). https://youtu.be/hzt-qsjBoRY?si=q39430LKVWoPjMF2 (search Access Techniques Vertical Aid Climbing and drop tests if you don't want to click a random link) It's basically the same thing as daisy soloing except they use three daisies instead of two so they can always be attached to two points.

 Michael Gordon 19 Feb 2024
In reply to maxsmith:

>Then higher up he is lead rope soloing on pre-tied clove-hitches, which he releases whenever he needs more length in his live rope.  What's unusual is that instead of clipping screws as runners he was clove hitching every one (basically forming a re-belay).  Not usual practise as it increases the chance of a higher fall factor but it does give him some redundancy if he wasn't 100% sold on the strength of his lead anchor down below.

I didn't understand that bit at all. How can he release a clove hitch tied to a screw 4m below him?

And yes, it would surely be a much higher fall factor onto an ice screw, which doesn't sound ideal.

I can understand clove hitching screws as you ab down, to give more redundancy on the top screws.

 Niall Grimes 19 Feb 2024

That was amazing!

 veteye 19 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Addictive watching, and intriguing.

I'd noticed the clove-hitch business too, and did not quite understand it either.

The route looked extremely physically tiring, but technically it looked do-able. It just must have been severely exhausting.

On one section, it looked as if he was traversing across a layer of snow in a couloir which looked avalanche prone, but it was not the part that he had mentioned avalanche on.

The views were stupendous and superb.

The mental pressure of being out there on your own must be overwhelming. All credit to him in numerous ways to get that far. I would not want to be doing that solo, and yet would like to visit with a partner, and hopefully do things in a swifter manner. It looked so damned hard for him.

 Damo 20 Feb 2024
In reply to John Cuthbert:

A long but detailed interview with Colin about his climbing, from a few years back, is at:

https://www.meetingexplorers.com/post/episode-2-colin-haley-climbing-hard-s...

 maxsmith 20 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

He ties the clove hitches to the screws as he lead climbs, releases them (and reties them?) as he abs back down and then cleans his bottom anchor and runners as he top rope solos back up to his high point.  And then repeats the process.  Another reason for rebelaying off every screw is that he may only be using wiregates on his anchors to save weight...

 John Kelly 20 Feb 2024
In reply to maxsmith:

But oddly imo using screwgates on his leashes, he must have a reason

 TonyM 20 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

Great movie. Gnarly. Col does the suffering so we don't have to. His skiing back to base after the gear stash made me feel very inadequate. Such control navigating the line at that speed. Very cool.

 Michael Gordon 20 Feb 2024
In reply to maxsmith:

> He ties the clove hitches to the screws as he lead climbs, releases them (and reties them?) as he abs back down

Maybe it's something I would have to see, as I still can't understand it. How is he able to move up and continue the pitch; surely the tied off clove hitches would prevent the rope from moving up?

 Michael Gordon 20 Feb 2024
In reply to John Kelly:

> But oddly imo using screwgates on his leashes, he must have a reason

Scared of losing an axe presumably. Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.

 Ian Parsons 20 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Maybe it's something I would have to see, as I still can't understand it. How is he able to move up and continue the pitch; surely the tied off clove hitches would prevent the rope from moving up?

When backroping [lead rope solo] the rope doesn't move up; the bottom end is attached to the belay - so it can't 'move'. Instead, the climber moves along the rope - attached to it by some adjustable system or other - laying it out up the pitch in the process. It's precisely because the rope doesn't move that one can often string several normal pitches together, with a long enough rope, without incurring rope drag; the rope doesn't 'run' through the gear, so there's no drag. In this instance, though, I wonder whether it wasn't so much a case of self-belaying on ground that was hard enough for him to be worried about falling off - but simply of fixing the rope behind him in order to then ab back down and jug up with the heavy sac; hitching the rope to a few screws on the way up would keep it under control with no loops of slack developing.

I think, too, that you're confusing two issues. In addition to the clove hitches on the screws he was also using a series of pre-tied clove hitches clipped to his harness as his means of adjustable attachment to the rope - such a DIY system being the sort of thing that devices like the Soloist and Silent Partner were designed to replace. When the rope goes tight below him he simply unclips the next clove hitch - which doesn't then require unknotting - and bingo: more rope.

 maxsmith 20 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

In typical climbing the rope is fixed to the climber and the length is adjusted at the bottom of the pitch (by the belayer).  In lead rope soloing the rope is fixed at the bottom of the pitch and the length is adjusted at the climber (in this case by the pre-tied clove hitch loops). 

Hope that helps!

 Michael Gordon 20 Feb 2024
In reply to Ian Parsons:

That's a really good explanation, thanks. Obviously I've never lead rope soloed. I always assumed that the silent partner would be at the bottom of the pitch, letting rope through gradually but not suddenly (as in the case of a fall).

 Fellover 20 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

This might be of interest https://www.brentbarghahn.com/climbing-blog/redpoint-rope-soloing-revised-2...

There are lots of ways to do lead rope solo, but that link discusses quite a few different options/variations.

In reply to UKC News:

Cool video to see behind the scenes of these great Patagonian feats, he really humanises it. 

The snow looked pretty sketchy in places, I was cringing thinking what could happen if it slid, especially going solo.

 Michael Gordon 21 Feb 2024
In reply to Fellover:

Thanks for that. It seems that no device will work in the way I envisaged it, or if one did, would not provide nearly enough security to be relied upon with one's life.

How did the likes of Bonatti do it back in the day, prior to having devices which could move up a rope and lock the opposite way?

 Fellover 21 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> How did the likes of Bonatti do it back in the day, prior to having devices which could move up a rope and lock the opposite way?

I don't know how Bonatti did it, but it can be done without a device, just less conveniently and less safely.

One option is using a clove hitch on a krab on the belay loop which you manually pull rope through as you climb. Easy enough if you can get both hands free e.g. on moderate ground or sitting on a piece of gear. 

Another option is to pre-tie knots every x metres along the rope and have those clipped to your harness, then undo them as you need more rope in the system.

 Ian Parsons 21 Feb 2024
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> How did the likes of Bonatti do it back in the day, prior to having devices which could move up a rope and lock the opposite way?

Actually, it's the 'shunting'/TRS devices that do this. The backrope/LRS devices move up a rope and lock in the same direction - which is why they tend to be more complicated.

 Michael Gordon 21 Feb 2024
In reply to Fellover and Ian Parsons:

Thanks both

 magma 21 Feb 2024
In reply to UKC News:

worrying that the camera footage/climber skill made it look relatively easy? i guess it's TD+ or somesuch?

Post edited at 16:53
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