04 December 2008

Hauling Your Rucksack

Category: Systems

When you’re climbing long multi pitch routes you’ll often remove your ’sack and clip it into the belay, either to get access to it or just to take the weight off your shoulders. Clipping it in via your haul loop is fine but this can prove fiddly when the belay is cramped or if you’re wearing gloves plus it also requires two hands, one to hold the ’sack and one to operate the karabiner, which is fine unless you are belaying. A better system is to tie a sling to your haul loop. This can either be a normal 60cm sewn sling or a length of tape or cord. Personally I’d avoid tied tape as knots have a habit of migrating apart. Tie, or lark’s foot, this through the haul loop (and one shoulder strap if you’re paranoid about the loop’s strength) and clip a karabiner on the end. This karabiner should be clipped into the bottom of the shoulder strap (where the strap is sewn into the rucksack near the belt) in order to keep it out of the way. Using this you should be able to remove the rucksack with one hand, clipping the ’sack via the sling into the belay first.

It is also very useful if you need to remove the rucksack in mid pitch (clipping it into some pro for the second to clip into a hauling rope later), or if you fall down a crevasse and want to remove it quickly and without dropping it into the abyss below.

RUCKSACK HAULING

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Andy Kirkpatrick

Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.

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