Resting While Leading


Original Post
iceaxe5 Jim · · Cedaredge, CO · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

We've all been there.

We KNOW you shouldn't climb above your ability on ice.

We KNOW you shouldn't fall while on lead.

We KNOW that pumped out calves means you need to drop your heels....

But sometimes you need a rest because your calves are shot, and you're on lead. This is a serious question, and I've seen many answers. What technique do you use to rest while leading ice? Imagine you are on brittle, vertical ice. And your last screw is below your feet. Here are some techniques I've seen people use (or suggest):

- Take your rope and throw it over the top of your axe.
- Clip your PAS to the bottom of your axe.
- Put a screw in and clip your PAS to it.
- Put a screw in, clip a draw, and clip your rope in.

So tell us, what technique do YOU use, and what is the SAFEST way to rest on lead?

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

Luckily (so far) I've been able to grit through enough to either climb to a ledgy spot or put in a screw, clip the rope and take. However, I think the fastest option would be to bury your pick deep and clip the PAS to your tool. I've had a partner do this before and it's pretty quick and relatively safe. Plus, once you're clipped to your tool you can usually get a screw in, which you can then clip a rope to it and double up on the safety while you de-pump.

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 745
Skibo wrote:If you need a bailout after getting too pumped, I'd suggest a fifi hook on a tether girth hitched to your harness. Work out the length before you need it (you don't want to sag too far below your tools). I used this system in the days of Chouinard screws, which required two hands to place/remove. I clipped to the spike, but you might also hook the pick against the ice. The idea of putting in a screw when you're too pumped to continue is stretching reality a bit. Putting in a screw is a lot more difficult than just continuing to climb. Managing the pump is key to leading long steep sections. Focus on recovery on every swing if the pump is building. Downclimbing to safety is a safe option--I've done that when I knew I wasn't going to top out without considerable risk.
It is actually called a -Resting- fifi!
More options
There is also a three hole hookless placard type unit
that allows for easy adjustment of a loop of cord, or a Tether - (PAS)
The Slyde,
Device for 'quick' length
adjustment


Then again there is Ice 'desperation gear'
Scepter
Eric G. · · Saratoga Springs, NY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 70

In this order: clip to axe with sling + biner pre-girth hitched to belay loop, slowly weight the axe, shit pants, place screw carefully, breath sigh of relief.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

A partner uses one of those petzl quick adjust PAs. It was great when he needed to rest in a hurry (cold ass -20 degree day, battle swings to get good sticks, bitch to get a screws started). Clip to the axe, pull up slack, then get a screw in while still standing. Kept the pull straight down on the axe and weight on the feet while he started a screw.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650
iceaxe5 wrote: - Take your rope and throw it over the top of your axe.
Don't do this - most technical tools have the tops of picks sharpened to aid cleaning.

iceaxe5 wrote: - Clip your PAS to the bottom of your axe. - Put a screw in and clip your PAS to it. - Put a screw in, clip a draw, and clip your rope in.
All of these are fine. I've clipped directly to a well-placed tool and hung from it several times.
Grant Kleeves · · Ridgway, CO · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 45

As per the OP you know you shouldn't so don't!
If you do find yourself desperate though I would avoid any of the options that involve your belayer, communications are likely iffy, you are most likely on doubles or twins, even if they hear you and really haul in slack you are probably going to fall a couple feet with rope stretch, be out of reach of your tool if you have clipped to it, and pretty much taken the fall you were trying to avoid...
Get a deep breath, match and shake out and if that doesn't do it clip to a well driven tool.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
Grant Kleeves wrote:If you do find yourself desperate though I would avoid any of the options that involve your belayer, communications are likely iffy, you are most likely on doubles or twins, even if they hear you and really haul in slack you are probably going to fall a couple feet with rope stretch, be out of reach of your tool if you have clipped to it, and pretty much taken the fall you were trying to avoid...
I've hung from my rope clipped into a screw with doubles on lead, communication with the belayer wasn't a problem nor was rope stretch. Like anything else in climbing you just have to assess the scenario and make a reasonable judgement of what will be safe.
iceaxe5 Jim · · Cedaredge, CO · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

Thanks for the thoughts folks. Sounds like there is some consensus here...
1. That you are ok either clipping into your axe or screw.
2. That, when you have good comms with belayer, to sit on the draw / screw.

Anyone have a strong feeling about clipping to the axe versus a screw?

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

If you need a bailout after getting too pumped, I'd suggest a fifi hook on a tether girth hitched to your harness. Work out the length before you need it (you don't want to sag too far below your tools). I used this system in the days of Chouinard screws, which required two hands to place/remove. I clipped to the spike, but you might also hook the pick against the ice. The idea of putting in a screw when you're too pumped to continue is stretching reality a bit. Putting in a screw is a lot more difficult than just continuing to climb.

Managing the pump is key to leading long steep sections. Focus on recovery on every swing if the pump is building. Downclimbing to safety is a safe option--I've done that when I knew I wasn't going to top out without considerable risk.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740

I've rested mid-lead a few times. But never due to exhausted calves; it's always the grip and/or arms. Do people really get calf-gassed??

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
Gunkiemike wrote:I've rested mid-lead a few times. But never due to exhausted calves; it's always the grip and/or arms. Do people really get calf-gassed??
If you forget to drop your heels. :o)
Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953
  • Use quid-draw to attach harness belay loop to tool loop (if desperate)
  • Place a good screw (normally start here)
  • Place draw and clip rope through it
  • Place second draw in screw and attach to harness belay loop
  • Remove draw from axe and lower onto screw
Nate K · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 220

I shakeout pumped forearms while im climbing and rest my calves by kicking out a place to put my foot sideways then stomping down hard to set my crampons. Any other type of resting is a strong indicator you need to go practice more on easier routes.

When i do mess up and need to rest/ fiddle with stuff or whatever i just put in a screw and clip in directly to it with a draw. If you cant hang long enough to place a screw or are on shit ice then carry a specter, its just about all theyre good for anyways. Clipping tools is not the greatest idea, if you can hang long enough to get a bomber tool placement that you want to load in an uncontrolled way by clipping into it then you should probably just shake out. When things are desperate and its your only other choice besides falling then yea i can see clipping a tool, but if that happens you should be bailing anyways. Shaking out appropriatly really is key, sport climbing can give you an idea of how to rest effectively while still making a clean ascent (not waiting until youre mindless pumped to rest is key, rest before you start feeling the lactic acid burn)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply