Mountain Project Logo

Grabbing a draw, on or off?


Original Post
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

I was thinking of this because I sort of chuckled at myself the other day, grabbing a dog bone in the gym and knowing how horrified staff would be if they had "caught" me at it when the gym was open (I was setting, an entirely different circumstance).

Apart from the dangers of grabbing a biner, or getting impaled on a biner in a fall, what do most of you do? Yes, no, or the classic, "it depends"?

Best, OLH

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

grab em by the....   draw

all the time when projecting


caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

You are probably the first climber to do that, well done. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

No, unless it's to avoid a dangerous fall (although I would still not count that as a "send," obviously).  Grabbing pro is, by definition, aid.

Marcelo F · · Oakland, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

It's definitely bad style, but I wouldn't say it's dangerous. Just aim for the dogbone. People do it all the time. If the staff at the gym tells you not to do it though, then don't do it (at the gym).

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

It's called "French Freeing" and it's a very common and well known tactic for aiding and projecting.


https://www.climbing.com/skills/aid-and-abet/

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-french-free-climbing-755787

(And 1 million other results from a simple google search)

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I only grab a draw if I can reach it.

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

How many Kn of force  can you put on a cam or nut while tug testing them before it's aid. Asking for a friend...

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294
Ryan M Moore wrote:

How many Kn of force  can you put on a cam or nut while tug testing them before it's aid. Asking for a friend...

Only the weight of a single arm. Since it's different from person to person, it's best to cut off one of your arms and weigh it to make sure you're not aiding at any point.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Draws are "off" in the gym as far as I am concerned. I just fall if I feel like I would need to grab one.

Grab 'em if you want, but don't tell me you sent the route. As long as you're honest about it, I don't care. It's like using cheat codes in a hard game. That's fine if you have fun/enjoy yourself doing that, but you didn't really "beat" the game. My response would be, "keep working at it, you'll get that move!"

Think of i this way: In some gyms the draw are so close you could basically clip two from the same stance. I could climb 5.13 if i was "allowed" to grab the draws all the way up!

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Only buy  draws with big fat handles on them ;)  The serious answer is it depends. it is fine to grab the draw before you start to fall. once you start to fall grabbing the draw can be pretty dangerous. Good way to blow out your shoulder...   i also suspect that grabbing the draw may increase the force on the piece wich can be an issue with micro gear or a funky placement...

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

Grivel makes draws specifically for grabbing.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Grabbing draws can be key to working routes at or above your limit. If figuring out beta on a hard route, grabbing and taking can save the hassle of falling, jugging back up, etc. 

Its especially useful on steep or overhung routes where getting back on after a fall is very difficult, time consuming, and tiring.

As others have said, grab before falling. Grabbing the biner in a fall could have very nasty consequences. 

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Dogbone or biner itself is fine. Which ever you want to do it isn't a problem. Yes if you take a fall a biner can go into your arm but unlikely to have the force to do it if you are pulling on it. Heck alex honnold uses biner to pull on when soloing certain climbs.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790
Marcelo F wrote:

It's definitely bad style, but I wouldn't say it's dangerous. Just aim for the dogbone. People do it all the time. If the staff at the gym tells you not to do it though, then don't do it (at the gym).

It's bad style of you claim a send after dogging on draws, but it's almost crucial when working consistently overhung routes or on climbs with well spaced bolts.

Lots of folks here don't realize that serious projecting almost always requires "dirty" tricks like this when working beta. Sure, you could always take the fall, but I guarentee that you won't have the beta dialed as fast as you would if you avoid unessecary whippers.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
Kyle Tarry wrote:

It's called "French Freeing" and it's a very common and well known tactic for aiding and projecting.


https://www.climbing.com/skills/aid-and-abet/

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-french-free-climbing-755787

(And 1 million other results from a simple google search)

Kyle, I think you misread my post. I was not asking for advice for myself, just throwing out a general question. Our gym has prehung draws for lead routes. That is what I was availing myself of while setting a route. Route setting is not done in classic "style" by any definition, I would say, and the ultimate in "aid" to put whatever hold you desire in any position you wish. Well, except for the damn tnuts being awol just when you need them! :-)

My basic assumption at the time, is that I was not the only cubicle dweller in MPland who could use some diversion.

Best, H.

Edit to add: yes, I do aim for clean leads outside. Once I fall, I will work that part very, very hard. Eventually, I resort to whatever I need to do to get up the thing, because those skills are important also.

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

why were you french freeing while route setting?

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
Joe Crawford wrote:

why were you french freeing while route setting?

We are on a rope over an anchor which serves three routes per that section of wall. I tend to enjoy setting little traverses, or making the route meander. This means hanging on to something, tethering to the wall briefly, or hanging sideways to get the hold in when I am well off vertical.

I've learned to carry a couple draws (sometimes tethering by clipping draw to draw) and shortest little loop of cord to clip a draw, manufacture a fast anchor with a spare hold, lasso a hold, heck, I even self rescued once when my ascender got away!

Best, Helen

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

An etrier as and fifi are pretty useful for setting steep routes in the gym. Your op was odd, pulling on a draw to reposition for setting a gym route and french freeing are pretty different things. Why would the gym staff get mad at someone for grabbing a draw when they are on a TR, esp a self-belayed TR for one of their route setters? 

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
Joe Crawford wrote:

An etrier as and fifi are pretty useful for setting steep routes in the gym. Your op was odd, pulling on a draw to reposition for setting a gym route and french freeing are pretty different things. Why would the gym staff get mad at someone for grabbing a draw when they are on a TR, esp a self-belayed TR for one of their route setters? 

I said, when the gym was open. We set when it's closed, and, staff are rarely there. Also, not overhanging, just far from plumb. Overhanging is coming up, big time, when I start setting some leads for beginners.

I have grabbed draws in a gym while climbing, but I was on top rope for a belay and mock leading at the time. With the "lead" rope tied in, but totally unweighted, it was also easy to grab both strands of that rope.

For the curious, I was practicing leading, but also seeing what I could do with a route someone had set for a comp, when I was doing this during open hours, two different gyms. Nobody saw at one, no one cared at the other. 

Best, H.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175
Old lady H wrote:

I was thinking of this because I sort of chuckled at myself the other day, grabbing a dog bone in the gym and knowing how horrified staff would be if they had "caught" me at it when the gym was open (I was setting, an entirely different circumstance).

Apart from the dangers of grabbing a biner, or getting impaled on a biner in a fall, what do most of you do? Yes, no, or the classic, "it depends"?

Best, OLH

climbing friend,

do you even troll?

if you grab draw you are weak! and puny! but if you are doing it do not do it when you are falling and do not fall. if you are routesetting, do whatever it is that pleases you but do not crater into the ground

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply