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Tech Tip: Question Strategies and gear choices for going fast and light

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Tricam, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Are there any particular strategies or gear choices you make when going fast and light with small groups in canyons grade III and below?

    --

    A lot of the resources I've been reading and watching indicate large packs and lots of "just in case" gear, even for moderate outings. I'm used to climbing, where a pair of two will take gear on harness plus a small pack for food, water, extras for an entire day, although moving upward acts as a strong limiting function. Assuming that your group is small and everyone is capable of moderate self rescue techniques on rappel, what would you consider "essential" gear, and are there particular strategies you use differently in these circumstances?

    Are there certain things that you have found particularly valuable or essential beyond the minimum requirements to navigate the particular canyon you are doing? The one good analog I have from the climbing world is headlamps - I only needed to descend by moonlight once to make that an essential, even for cragging days.

    My wife and I will be in Utah next month for climbing and canyons. A lot of it will just be the two of us, but will we also be joined by two others (possibly at different times) who are quite experienced in climbing and mountaineering and would be able to self rescue on rappel, barring some medical emergency. With small groups, there's going to be limited room to spread the required gear, so I only want to take what would be the reasonable minimums beyond that but don't want to leave something that could be particularly useful.
  2. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    Because of the committing nature of most canyons, canyoneers often carry more gear than needed by climbers. If you have no way to bail out, then its probably best to prepare your team so they can finish the canyon regardless of weather conditions and number of daylight hours.
  3. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Dear Tricam
    The prerequisite for doing most technical sports "light and fast" is something that won't fit in your pack:
    EXPERIENCE
    :)
    Dan H, Yellow Dart, Kuenn and 2 others like this.
  4. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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  5. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Heh, figured that is the real trick :)

    Unfortunately being on the east coast, although I can get comfortable with specific techniques, that doesn't add up to actually doing it in the wild. Looks like we'll have about 10 days in canyons next month, so hopefully I'll get a taste... plus the wisdom I've been able to leech from others :D
  6. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Kuenn likes this.
  7. pyle762

    pyle762

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    You could get by with some webbing, a couple of biners, and a rope. But why would you want to? Part of the fun of canyoneering is carrying water-logged, over-laden packs around.
  8. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    "For 21 straight hours we enjoyed the sweet, ephemeral marriage of brains and brawn, until brains decided to leave the relationship."

    Very well said, and possibly too often experienced in these activities of B&B betrothal.
    ratagonia likes this.
  9. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Missing the Trifecta in a Day, they did, because of a lack of experience with the canyons. Some crazy incidents while they were learning to canyoneer, and canyoneer these canyons. Incidents which might have killed normal humans.

    Including the order of doing the canyons... an odd choice, and one that required a car. Do Kolob first, no need for support. There you go Brian - I give you the key point...

    tom
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  11. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I think their order was harder while fresher. Kolob is by far the easiest of the three and one I'd reckon they could do while fairly brain dead.

    Yeah, they had a curfuffle on the MIA. I think Buzz pulled seniority which ended up the way it did. Kinda reminds me of you and I's trip up the "non" MIA a few years back. What a grind...!

    They've all seemed to have moved on to other challanges...

    Was always kinda hoping they'd get back into it. Can't recall their Pine Creek time but it was impressive. Ahh...30 minutes 50 seconds.

    Kind of intersting to ponder "canyon experience" versus an immense amount of talent from climbing and trail running. And, most of any of it wouldn't be doable or survivable by mere mortals...ha ha.

    The "Trans Zion" times are insane...

    https://fastestknowntime.com/route/trans-zion-ut
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    And they kinda got screwed by not being able to rehearse Kolob (more than once) because of water releases. Remember when it used to snow?

    For the JIHAD, I waypointed the drop in point for Heaps, as we would be finding it in the dark. Why did Buzz not have the MIA waypointed, and the MIA ROADS waypointed???? Over-confidence. Even after their various f-ups in Kolob and Heaps. Jeesh. Euripides would write a play... and it would not end well.

    Tom
  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Worth repeating...ha ha:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” From “Citizenship in a Republic” by Theodore Roosevelt
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  14. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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  15. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    A lot to chew on there!

    Pretty good short review:

    https://www.irishmountaineeringclub.org/nanda-devi-the-tragic-expedition/

    Heckuva lot of interesting history on Nanda Devi...(British/American expedition in '36, spies on the roof of the world, etc).

    One might not ever accuse Roskelley of having a shortage of confidence with regard to his climbing...but, not sure he was ever careless per se.

    A number of folks who knew Unsoeld and were on Nanda Devi trip are still around...

    Anyhow...a bit of a digression from the OP.

    As Whymper said, "look well to each step".

    "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
  16. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    What's the "non" MIA?? o_O

    My personal favorite happens to be my profile tag at left: "It's only hubris if I fail."
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