Monday, December 25, 2017

They can't go to the gym

Christmas is the only day they close the gym, so the pad posse shows up at Carderock. I'm sure none of the staff show up on 4/20.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Should you do a crap rig on a 5.13b?

That's the climbing rope running over their rope bag (nylon on nylon), the cordalette is maybe 7mm, single carabiners, gate down towards the rock. He said, "You've got it." She was at the second move on Silver Spot.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Canal Project

The canal work should be downstream of the climbing area, but some activity must occur nearby to refill the canal.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Did you know about this? Looks like nobody did.

C&O Canal National Historical Park N ews Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2017
Contact: C atherine Bragaw,, 301-491-6265
Maintaining the flow
$6 .7 Million in improvements coming to watered sections of the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Potomac, Md. - A $6.7 million construction project will soon be underway to improve several locks, waste weirs, bridges and other water control structures within one of the most popular segments of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal). These improvements will help the park’s historic structures withstand impacts from Potomac River floods and make the features easier to maintain.
Construction is anticipated to begin on or about December 4, 2017 and extend until spring 2019 (weather dependent). Project work will focus on eight different areas between Little Falls and Swains Lock (Milepost 5-17). The exact timeframe for work will be determined soon. Please check out the C&O Canal website and social media for details.
To provide safe access to the work areas during the construction process, the canal will be drained in these areas at various times throughout the project. Draining operations began November 26, 2017. Precautions will be taken by the park to protect wildlife within the canal during these operations.
This project consists of work in the vicinity of the following areas of the C&O Canal: Swains Lock, Great Falls Tavern, Olmsted Island, Carderock, Rock Run Culvert, and Lock #7. During construction, visitors will be directed to follow easily navigable detours around the work areas.
ABOUT THE C&O Canal: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves and interprets the historical, natural and recreational resources of the C&O Canal. Over 5,000,000 visitors a year enjoy the opportunities for recreation and understanding that the Park has to offer. For more information, visit the Park’s website at

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Yard Sale

Use everything you own, webbing runners, 8MM, single strand and as a loop, double carabiners until you run out and use single carabiners.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Why not use the ENORMOUS tree?

We've gone from two anchors to three now.

They did not use the tree on the right, the rope goes to the two tiny trees at the left.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Every choice is awful.

You could probably pull this rock out by hand.

Tiny trees, single wire gate carabiner, gate down, this anchor isn't functional, it is just clipped around the rope.

Single anchor over a sharp edge, and yes, that is a loose block.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

It was all they had.

Yes, that's 8MM green rope for one climb, old, single strand webbing, with a carabiner instead of a knot.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Not actually an anchor.

1. This is a dead tree. 2.This is not a tensionless anchor, not enough wraps. 3. The anchor isn't at the base of the tree 4. The pack is just waiting to be stolen. 5. The climber was on the rope, this anchor isn't working.

Monday, October 30, 2017

More is less.

The block on the left would have been fine, instead they went for a less positive system including the small loose rock at right.

I one no problem with a single anchor around the enormous tree. The climbing rope running over rock edges, not so much.

Friday, October 27, 2017

What's wrong with this picture?

Local "instructors" are teaching this. It introduces two unnecessary links in the belay chain. This guy understands that the clove isn't stable, his solution is to tie an overhand cross loading the carabiner and wrapped around the locking collar so it can be loosened. Each choice may seem innocuous, but they add up, more importantly, it shows sloppy thinking, inattention to the details that keep us safe.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Brand new boat rope.

Why is 8MM a bad idea? Look at the sharp edges. See the REALLY sharp white nubbins in the center? I think the dark spot near the top is a fly, not rope damage.

Don't tie off something that is small enough to move.

I'm sure these slings are designed to hold a ton, or did they already hold a ton?

Two slings on the same rock is not redundant.

A detailed photo of the 8MM on a tiny corner of the rock.

Brand new, but what is it? Haven't seen an eye splice in climbing gear.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hammocks: curse of the crag.

Return of the boat rope.

The chock is behind the loose block.

Right across the only trail.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A new case of your worst nightmare

A totally preventable death at a top rope area.

A Rock Climber's Death Highlights Dangers of an Increasingly Popular Sport 

Bad news, good news.

Single strand webbing, carabiner instead of a knot, 3 feet up the tree.

The ever popular boat rope.

Lots of extra rope to use instead of the cordalette, carabiners and runner.

Wire gates because that's what you bought for sport climbing.

The good news, they didn't use this fuzzy crap.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Trail booby traps.

Fortunately, the trail wasn't crowded.

This looks like a retraced figure eight using 5MM spectra or kevlar. Using this material with nylon is high risk.

The climbing rope is running right over a sharp nubbin. Each anchor is clipped into only one carabiner.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The ultimate mystery knot?

Two of everything, but at least three knots

Weaving runners together doesn't make then equalized or redundant.

Carabiners instead of real knots.

One old piece of climbing rope. There are knots at both ends, so it isn't even a loop.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Some trees aren't so good.

I have pictures of people anchored to this tree.

The fresh breaks show how little was attached.

Gotta use that tiny tree.

Girth hitch your wired nuts together.