10 February 2011

Sawn off hooks

Category: Winter Climbing tips

Saw a post on UKC today about the usefulness of sawn off hooks, basically from one climber asking if he should sawn off his first hook, with another saying that sawn off hooks aren’t much use and just get stuck (because of their lack of taper).

First off sawn offs don’t replace hooks, and full sized hooks are the best weapon you have for turf, so if it came down to one or the other, go for a full sized hook.

BUT many climbers use hooks in rock - which isn’t a great idea (because of their lack of taper), as they tend to get over driven and are almost impossible to get out (best option is to funk them out with a string of karabiners).

A sawn off is a hooking peg that can be placed into slots used by your pick, hammered into vertical constrictions, or camed into horizontals (slide in the full length of the hook).  these small hooks can be much easier removed, and are best hand placed and just given some light taps to set.

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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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