10/30/2014

The Ideal Big Wall Climbing Kit


We are in the midst of the prime big-wall climbing season in Yosemite. It’s time to gather the gear and head to “The Valley.” Benjamin Eaton, a Liberty Mountain employee and avid rock climber, lays out his big wall kit for a quick close-up.



The Kit:

1- Omega Link Cams
“With an amazing camming range, these are great cams for leapfrogging on cracks that vary in width.” 

2- Singing Rock Penta Helmet (Available Spring/Summer 2015)
“I’m excited for this helmet to hit the market. It’s such a great helmet. It’s easy to take on and off with its simple and low profile strap system. It sits very stable on my head. It’s very light. Putting on a headlamp while the helmet is still on my head is easy. Love the sleek design.”

3- Singing Rock Dome Harness (Available Spring/Summer 2015)
“The comforts and conveniences of this harness makes a multi-day big wall more enjoyable. No more bruises around my waist and legs after hanging in my harness for long periods of time. The Dome is big and supportive around my waist and legs. The seven gear loops, three on top and four on the bottom, allow me to keep my gear compartmentalized. I can keep the gear I don’t need as often on the bottom loops with the quick-access gear clipped to the top loops. The double belay loops allowed that area of my harness to be a bit more organized and less tangled. Because of the Rock Lock buckles on the leg loops, I was able to take my leg loops off to allow for a better bathroom experience.”
Abe Shreve and Benjamin Eaton on The Nose in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Abe Shreve.

4- Singing Rock Jacob 6 Step Etrier
“The double offset steps are great. When I weight one step, the other steps remain loose and flexible and allow for easy stepping.”

5- Cypher Sentinel Shoes
“I led and jugged most of the pitches in my Cypher Sentinel climbing shoes. Edging, jamming, smearing, or standing in the etriers isn’t an issue. These shoes provide some great support and comfort, especially around the ankles.” 

6- Cypher Firefly II Quickdraws
“I have a bunch of the 20cm and 25cm version of these draws. They are great for extending a cam or nut, and they are pretty light for being a full-size biner.”

7- Grivel Sigma Twin Gate Carabiner (Available Spring/Summer 2015)
“When I’m constantly clipping in and out of things over and over again, it’s nice not having to fiddle with a locking mechanism. The Grivel Twin Gate biner offered the safety of a locking carabiner while eliminating the cumbersome locking mechanism. I mostly used the twin gate to connect my daisy chain and etrier together, which were then clipped to the biner attached to my ascender. The screw gate biners consistently became unscrewed while I jugged up the rope while the Twin Gate remained locked.” 
Benjamin Eaton on The Nose in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Abe Shreve.

8- Grivel Lynx Backpack/Gear Sling
“This is my favorite big wall and multi-pitch pack/gear sling. It allows me to carry a hydration bladder and hose—no more fumbling around with or dropping water bottles. I can keep the essential snacks and tools needed on my back. For big walls, I rack a lot of my most used cams on the gear loops of this pack for quick and easy access. If I want to go light on a pitch, I can stash the pack in the haul bag and just use the gear sling portion.”

9- Beal Cocoon Chalk Bag
“I’m never going back to a draw-string chalk bag. I don’t need much chalk on an aid climb, but when I do I am able to easily open and close the bag with one hand.”

10- Grivel Haul Bag
“This burly haul bag carries a heavy load really well. I love the off-axil haul loops; it makes getting into the bag is a lot easier.” 

11- Kong Lift Ascenders
“For a standard pair of ascenders, these get the job done.”

12- Peregrine Saker 35 Sleeping Bag
“I slept in this bag in camp four, under that stars, and on the portaledge. This bag packs up relatively small. It maintains some great warmth and the material is soft on the skin.” 
Benjamin Eaton and Abe Shreve bivying on The Nose in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

13- Cypher Ceres II Carabiners
“I love how the Ceres II biners are not too big and not too small, they are just right for racking gear and extending protection. I now rack all my cams with matching colored Ceres biners. Now I can grab the right piece quicker without having to fumble around with my rack mid route.” 

14- Beal Access 10.5mm Unicore Static Rope
“Knowing that my haul-line was going to take a nasty beating, I make sure it has Unicore. The last thing I want is for the rope that secures all my gear to get shredded high up on the wall. This rope continues to live through the beatings of big wall climbing.”

15- Beal Tiger 10mm Unicore Dynamic Rope
“On big walls, I really appreciate the added safety element that a Unicore rope provides. For the last year, I’ve used this rope as my burly workhorse rope. Even with all the jugging we do on it, it still looks good.”

Big wall gear for The Nose in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Benjamin Eaton.



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