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Tech Tip: Answered On using big hooks

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Subject: Hooks

    Message: Greetings,

    Always looking to sharpen my skills, broaden my horizons and increase efficiency/safety. I have experience with the Talon and the BD grapple in the bigger Zion canyons. Most often I am using a potshot or a partner assist to escape potholes. I haven’t found a need yet for spoonbills, tomahawks or other large hooks.

    Can you help me understand the different types and the advantages of one over the other?

    If there is an article that I just haven’t found yet, I would be happy to just be pointed in the right direction.

    Reasonable questions-

    Mr. Kelsey uses the bigger hooks for canyons. Insight into Mr. K's unusual personality can be found on the Canyons Are Calling podcast.

    He likes it because it was his idea. He uses a geology pick to whack a hole for the tip of the hook, which I view as vandalism. Thankfully, he is currently inactive. I carried a hook for a couple months, and ended up using it once.

    I do not think the hooks provide utility in the canyons. I carry them in the store because they are useful to climbers, and my friend Josh had disappeared from the market, so I was one of the only sources of them, for climbers. And because it would prompt people to ask me about the hooks, so I could say what I said above.

    I advise against.

    We (meaning my crew and I) developed other tools and techniques that are better: more useful, non-destructive, easy to carry. Technique is underrated, but quite powerful. Meat anchors and captures eliminate the need to find an anchor for many short rappels. SandTrap, PotShots, FiddleStick, pack drags tend to work well and often, and have allowed us to often reach a goal - to descend canyons without leaving human artifacts behind. Or at least minimize the amount of trash left behind.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Canyon.406, Yellow Dart and Jenny like this.
  2. Jenny


    But, but, but I love my set of skyhooks and find that they fill a very specific niche, at least once a year.
    They are perfect for hanging Xmas ornaments on my stone fireplace.

    Happy T-day you 'Mericans!
    And thanks Tom, for sharing your technical wisdom as usual. Right on!
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  3. NevadaSlots


    I wrote up a whole spiel but after proof reading it, deleted it...ditto what Tom andJenny said.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022
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