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Removing Hammered Beaks

Original Post
Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

Hand placed beaks are way fun and can be bomber. They are an excellent way to climb the Shield clean, btw. If they are hammered they really can be a bitch to clean.

They are an excellent tool and they are an example of what pitons should have evolved into had cams not stopped the piton evolution.

The biggest problem with them is that people over drive them. See that line on a #3 where the taper in the blade stops? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER drive the beak beyond that! The beak is too thin for the crack if it's going in that far. Use a thicker piece. Never, ever drive any beak beyond its elbow.

The fine art of stacking pins had been lost in the last 20 years. People have no concept of it anymore. If I were hammering a beak and it looked like it was just going to keep going, I'd grab a long thin knife blade and slide it straight into the crack, not quite parallel with the beak's blade. I'd give that baby a few taps and I'm sure the whole rig would tighten up nicely. Whenever you are placing pins, you are trying to create outward pressure on the sides of the crack, length in the crack is NOT your goal (expanding flakes are an exception). I'd clip into the beak as normal.

To remove beaks, hammer the foot as far up as it will go and then put something, the butt end of a chisel or the tip of a LA, in the elbow of the beak and against the rock. Now tap down on the foot. The blade will lever itself out. If you are going up a route that has beaks on the suggested rack, root around for something that you can use as your fulcrum point. Something with sharp, not rounded corners.

Barrett Pauer · · Brevard, NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 775

Another tip:
Having a small loop of webbing in the top hole of the beak can be very helpful as well. It's a great way to rack beaks and keep them from snagging on everything


Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Please refrain from using a funkness in sanstone.. be patient:) will help clean ascents in the future :)

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

The loop on top is an excellent way to rack beaks also.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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