Brittany Griffith gets a mouthful on The Foxx (5.10d) in tradheaven Red Rock, Nevada.
essentials More fundamentals for multi-pitch awesomeness
The clove hitch is frequently the knot of choice for tying into an anchor because you can adjust it for length without unclipping, and it’s relatively easy to untie even after it’s been weighted.
Make a second loop stacked on the first loop.
Move the second loop from the front to the back.
Clip the two loops and pull each strand to tighten.
Figure 8 on a Bight
You can also tie into the anchor with this super-secure knot, although it doesn’t have the same benefits (adjustability, easy untying) that the clove has. Some people prefer to tie a clove hitch in an initial piece and a figure 8 on a bight into a secondary piece.
Form a bight (or loop) in the rope and bend it behind the strands.
Pull the bight over the strands.
Run the bight up through the top loop from underneath.
Protecting the Second
Pull the bight all the way through and tighten.
As you begin leading, it’s important to choose gear placements that not only protect you as you lead, but also protect your following climber, also known as your second. This is especially true on wandering routes and traverses. As you place gear, think about how your second would fall if he or she were to remove that piece of gear. If it involves a huge pendulum swing or a sketchy fall of any other sort, try to add more pro so that swing is minimized. Frequently this means placing a piece just after a crux move.
My first time It was on White of Spring, a 5.9 at Metcalfe Rock in Ontario, during my first outdoor season after a winter of gym climbing. I was around 16. Placing gear was very time-consuming. When I got to the top, I belayed my partner up to meet me, and he congratulated me on “a very fine free solo.” Apparently none of it was even body-weight worthy. I guess I had a lot of learning to do. My advice is to practice on the ground and make sure you’ve got it dialed before heading up into even remotely dangerous territory. After years of sport climbing, I decided to try harder trad routes, and my only real limiting factor was fear. —Sonnie Trotter
brennah rosenthal; andrew burr (opposite page)
Make a loop. This can also be done on your hand.
/ may 2012 /