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Crag & Route Beta

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Topic Date User
So you want to climb Bunny Bucket Buttress… 2-Jun-2014 At 3:12:50 PM GoUp!
Be prepared mentally and physically. Long days out on big walls exposes you to vastly different set of conditions than short hard routes and thus need better preparation and skills.
- I can imagine for newbies to multi-pitch that the mental strain of a massively new dimension of exposure and isolation could be somewhat intimidating. In part, this is why we do such routes but don't just expect to adapt to such conditions at the drop of a hat. Work into it to harden up. Freaking out, frozen with fear, uncontrolled spewing and other bodily releases, unexpected exhaustion through terror, irrational behaviour etc etc are just some of the symptons I've seen in those not quite yet adjusted to the space and out-there-ness.
- On the day focus all energies to the job at hand. Keep focussing on efficiency and continual strive to shed minutes off here and there. 10 minutes extra setting up each belay can easy add up to 1-2hrs wasted...and that can mean the difference between getting to the pub for a beer or being benighted. Eat whilst belaying. Do everything you can think of to keep the momentum of your team going up.
- Have confidence in your skills and ability before you go. Remember the iceberg principal - underlying the performance on the day should be a vast array of experience.
- Be 100% confident in your partner and be prepared to give 100% to your partner. Do you really want to be up there with that gumby/loser/selfish prick who'll leave you in the lurch should the shit start hitting the fan. Heavy concept but think that Aussie mateship bit and whether you or they are willing to make 'a sacrifice' - remember that its all you out there so it best be a good team.
- Have a mantra. Hippy shit but it works. Mine was GoUp.....!!!! It is amazing how well it keeps you focussed on the job at hand, keeps you motivated to keep going, and gives you the upper hand on any borderline decisions as you are already goal/outcome focussed.
- Each have a photocopy of the route description stuffed down your shirt. Trying to hear your belaying scream directions from 40m away in a wind wastes time and can be way stressfull and exhausting.
- Have a photocopy of the topo map of the area, a small compass and a headtorch. The route sometimes isn't finished until you get back to the car!
- KNOW THE WEATHER. I just don't understand why people launch out on big things when thunderstorms, rain or high winds are predicted. High winds are as bad (or worse) than rain. 3pm is an approx time for thunderstorms in the Grose. If it hasn't happened by 3pm then you may be OK.
- Leave the tight shoes at home and wear something comfortable.
- Water is essential. Double ropes - period. Helmets...absolutely.
- Take lots of long slings....lots! Big routes often wander and you want gear that allows you to do this - otherwise the rope drag will become obscene. The outcome will slow progress down, exhaust you (arms cramping whilst belaying second) and increase risk of chopping your ropes.
- Take turns leading in blocks (eg morning block and afternoon block) to assist with maintaining focus, provide good 'rests' and minimise gear sorting issues and racking preferences.
- Have an all over fitness rather than just a sport climbing fitness. Some of these routes are very draining in ways you may not expect. Have you ever had cramping so bad you can no longer pull up the rope whilst belaying your'll be in a spot of bother should it happen!
- Performance on walls vs sport routes are different concepts. Think a 'big picture' concept rather than a 'micro scale' issue. The ability to pull a heinous move on a sport route may have some value somewhere on a wall, but a more complete range of skills (ropework, speed, confidence, route finding, decision making etc etc) are likely to lead to better overall performance and success on a wall.

Success on these routes is what you'll remember long after you've forgotten that billionth worthless clip up......

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