I was wondering if I could get your advice about getting hold of cam hooks. I have been doing a bit of research and it doesn’t seem anyone in the uk has them anymore (Joe Brown’s have sold out and are not re-newing their stock). I emailed Moses to see if they knew of anyone who stocked them in the UK and they said you had been the only person to enquire about them before. They suggested someone like mountain tools would do international shipping, so I was planning on getting in contact with them to see how much it would cost. Do you have any other ideas about the best way to get this kind of stuff from the states? I remember reading on one of your blogs that it was only possible to get things like the silent partner directly from the states.
Also I have another question to do with aid climbing and using daisy chains. People seem to love them or hate them! I am quite tempted to get rid of them to ensure less tangles, however I am sometimes a bit clumsy so am worried about dropping them and whatever is attached to them. I assume when using hooks you would need to re-attach a daisy anyway unless you help onto as you took your weight off. Anyway any opinions on the best way forward would be appreciated, although as with most things I imagine their use is dictated by situation, hard/easy routes and type of climbing.
At the moment it’s best to buy specialist kit (hooks, heads, pegs) from she US (Mountain Tools are good) and some companies will sell direct. One problems is you will get a vat bill, which can add up, so if you’ve got a mate going to Yosemite then get them to buy you some kit. Don’t assume that you can rock up in the valley and buy your exotic gear, as the mountain store is often out of basic stuff, and so it’s worth making sure they have what you need before leaving.
I’ve been fiddling with psychovertical.com for over a year with the aim to make it a dedicated alpine/wall site (like UKC meets Alpinist)’ that would sell some exotic gear, but I’m still fiddling with it!
On the subject of Moses, his hooks, beaks and cam hooks are by far the best (much better than BD), so it’s well worth the effort (the size #2 straight tomahawk just about replaces all other pegs).
On the subject of lanyards (which Daisies are - adjustable or fixed), I think that you need them when jugging and at belays, and personally I think they are irreplaceable on lead - especially on hard aid (testing through a daisy is much safer than jumping on your aides).
Adjustable Daisies are easier and tidier than pocket daisies, but not as strong, and with all of them it’s often a case of just getting into a routine of shortening it and clipping it off.
There are a few climbers who don’t use daisies (like Steve Schneider) but the vast majority do.
Hope that’s of some help.
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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.Follow @ Instagram