Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Frenchman Coulee Basalt Rock Climbing

An excellent destination for the fall, Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, Washington has a great variety of Volcanic Basalt climbing.  From big splitter cracks to fun steep sport climbs, the Coulee has a little something for everyone, side by side. It is easy to climb a dozen routes on one little section of cliff. During summer it tends to be a bit hot (100) here mid-summer so the spring and fall are ideal! If you are living in B.C and you are looking to escape the fall rain and head south but you dont have the time, this is the spot! Located in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountains, the Coulee is a very diverse desert and receives much less rain than some of the other Washington state climbing areas. Most of the walls are south facing and on the right day you can climb here right into November. Bring your mountain bike as well, there are lots of fun little trails all around the Echo Basin. ENJOY

Included here is a Select Guide of the area that coincides well with 'Frenchman Coulee' by Marlene Ford & Jim Yoder.

Vantage Topo: Frenchman Coulee Guide

Monday, October 3, 2011

REVELSTOKE Rock Climbing Webpage

For all your Revelstoke climbing needs.
Basically everything the guidebook offers and more. Lots of updates and lots of great info.
It's amazing the development that has happened here in last few years! Most recently Cranberry Cliffs/Boulders, and the big Victor Lake Wall the past two summers. Get out there!!!

The Page: http://www.revelstokerockclimbing.com/index.html

Link to Victor Lake Wall: New Routes
Cranberry Walls: New Crag/Routes

Climb Smarter & Safer

This will be a new addition to the page. I have been seeing and reading about lots of accidents lately. As well as learning a lot of new things/tricks that I never knew. So...... this will be a chance for some readers/climbers to learn something new about Climbing Smarter & Safer.  In climbing everyone has their opinion and their own ways of doing things, super safe or not, this is just mine and that of some others that I would like to share. Enjoy

The first one will be about cleaning anchors and belaying from anchors. I have seen many a sport climber use a single quickdraw for safety at a rappel anchor. Anything can happen out there and why not take a little extra time at least have a locked system between you and the ground. This next article is from climbing magazine!!!

Tech Tips: Anchors Away

By Lee Lang / Illustrations by Jamie Givens

Using personal anchor tethers safely
Traditionally, climbers have anchored to the belay by tying in directly with the rope. Now, many prefer the convenience of personal anchor tethers specifically designed for this purpose for belays, as well as for cleaning the top anchor on a sport climb or anchoring during multi-pitch rappels. When used properly, these systems can be safe and strong, but when used improperly, they can lead to fatal accidents.
A 2007 incident on the Grand Capucin near Chamonix, France, exemplifies the danger: A climber fell less than two feet onto the Dyneema sling attaching him to his anchor; the resulting impact broke the anchor sling, and the climber fell to his death. Ledges break, climbers slip—and the result can be dynamic loading of an anchor.
All climbing cord and webbing was once made from nylon, which stretches slightly, absorbing energy. Stronger materials such as Spectra and Dyneema now allow climbers to save weight, but lack the ability to absorb energy through stretch. When used in systems with an energyabsorbing component—such as in quickdraws, where the dynamic rope clipped to the draws absorbs energy—these materials excel. When they’re used in a system with no energy-absorbing component, any dynamic event results in extremely high impact forces.
Drop tests demonstrate the danger. DMM tested an assorted batch of Dyneema and nylon slings, using a 176-pound weight in fall-factor 1 (120cm drop on 120cm sling) and fall-factor 2 (240cm drop on 120cm sling) scenarios (www.dmmclimbing.com/video.asp?id=5). Even when the Dyneema slings did not fail, the impact force (18–22+ kN) delivered to the climber likely would have resulted in massive or fatal injury.
Rigging for Rescue also tested a variety of personal lanyards and anchors, using 176-pound and 220-pound loads (riggingforrescue.com/relanyards1.html). Spectra daisy chains began to fail at a fall factor of 0.25: a 220-pound weight dropped nine inches on a 36-inch daisy chain. At a fall factor of 0.5 (18-inch drop on a 36-inch daisy), virtually every daisy chain failed.
Consider the personal anchor systems that climbers are using today:

These are aid climbers’ tools, used to link one’s harness to aiders or ascenders, but they’re commonly and improperly used as personal anchor tethers. Daisy chains should not be used as anchoring systems, for two important reasons. First, the best-case scenario for a climber dynamically loading a daisy chain is a perilously harsh impact that could break the daisy, rip the anchor, or injure the climber. Second, it is extremely easy to clip a daisy chain in such a way that you are clipped through loops that only are designed to hold body weight. Watch the Black Diamond video illustrating these points atclimbing.com/print/techtips.
Specially designed tethers—such as the Metolius PAS, Blue Water Titan, and Sterling Chain Reactor—overcome a key weakness with daisy chains: the potential for improper clipping through loops. Still, most are made partly with Spectra or Dyneema (the Chain Reactor is 100 percent nylon), and none is intended to absorb much energy or withstand dynamic loading. During Rigging For Rescue’s drop tests, the PAS withstood a factor-1 fall with a 220-pound weight, but the resulting impact force was 19 kN. The potential for a factor-1 fall occurs when your waist is at the same height as the anchor and the system is completely slack.

If you use an anchor system, be aware of the risks and how to minimize them. Except for daisy chains, which were never designed to be used as personal anchors, tethers are safe, but only if they are never placed in a situation where dynamic loads could occur—the kind of load that could happen in the illustration at left. Keep the attachment weighted at all times! Even a short fall onto an anchor tether, especially if it is made of Spectra or Dyneema, can generate huge forces.