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TO SUCCEED IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST BREAST CANCER WE NEED YOUR HELP AND STAMINA. JOIN A CLIMB TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER TEAM AND HELP RAISE FUNDS TO SUPPORT OUR MISSION TO FIND A CURE. FOR DETAILS AND REGISTRATION VISIT FHCRC.ORG/CLIMB

Climb Fred Hutch Alpine

Proceeds benefit breast cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gimte on Baker, Derail Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Rainier and the Volcanoes of Mexico are guided by Alpine Ascents International. Climbs on Baker are conducted under special use permit Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Alpine Ascents is an authorized concessionaire of Mt Rainier National Park and Denali National Park and Preserve, Shasta Mountain Guides operates under permit from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and US Forest Service, Climbs on Adamsand Hood are guided by Portland Parks & Recreation.

CLASSIC CLIMBS

BY MARK WEBER

BISHOP'S TERRACE (I 5-8)

Church Bowl, Yosemite National Park, California

Splitter hands with a tourist approach

Yosemite Classic Climb
Brian Adam jams hands the classic crack route Bishop's Terrace 0 5.8), at the Church Bowl area In Yosemite Valley, California.

THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF STELLAR CLIMBS in the granite crucible. Ex-haustingiy long, deadly committing, or outrageously difficult—you'll find them all. But not all the lines are epic; some appeal more for their friendly flavor and grand aesthetics. One such route lies on the Valley's northeast end, in the accessible Church Bowl: Bishop's Terrace, a long (175-foot) pitch of 5.8 splitters that goes comfortably as two ropelengths. The climb has been a perennial favorite since the Valley patriarch Steve Roper first laid eyes on it a half-century ago. Chris McNamara refers to it as "one of the best 5.8 hand cracks in the Valley" in his book Yosemite Valley Free Climbs.

The route begins with small ledges and broken terrain, but quickly sorts itself into striking twin finger cracks and a steep-hands splitter through a headwall. While 5.8 might sound casual, this climb is no gimmie, even though the gear is good throughout. In his book Yosemite Free Climbs, Don Reid calls it a "classic test piece of 5.8 jamming." Be prepared with a working knowledge of cracks of all sizes - from fingers to wide fists. The zone takes its name from the regular church services held here beginning in 1920. In 1942, the Yosemite Community Church donated the facilities to the National Park Service. Since then, many climbers have experienced spiritual renewal on the pitch, while those who headed up lacking proper crack skills found religion of a different sort.

Roper recalls "shamelessly" resorting to a couple points of aid during his December 1959 FA, but also notes that few climbers then had the skills for a "serious jamcrack." A scant few months later, the indomitable Chuck Pratt elegantly jammed the first free ascent. Since then, thousands of climbers have sunk their mitts. The accomplished big-wall architect and climbing-equipment innovator John Middendorf recalls how during his four-year stint in Yosemite decades ago, his mornings often included a free solo of Bishop's Terrace before morning coffee at the café.

Bishop's Terrace is mostly done as a single 60-meter pitch. At the route's top, a spacious belay ledge provides the perfect perch to reflect on Yosemite's grandeur. Stretching across the Valley are towering Ponderosa and Sugar pines, the expansive Awhanee Meadow, lllilouette Canyon, Glacier Point, and Sentinel Rock, Once you're sated, a quick double-rope rappel puts you a short stroll from more classics, O"-

Guidebook; Rock Climbing Yosemite Free Climbs, by Don Reid (Falcon Guides, 1998, falcon.com); Yosemite Valley Free Climbs, by Chris McNamara (Super Topo Guides, 2003, supertopo.com)

Guide Service: Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guide Service -(209) 372-8435, yosemitepark.com/activities_mountaineeringsch oo l.aspx Equipment Shop (Yosemite Valley): The Mountain Shop, Curry Village -(209) 372-8396 Season: Spring and autumn are best

Camping: The storied Camp 4 is the only non-reservation camping -first come, first served; S5 per night. For more info on Camp 4 and other options, call (877) 444-6777 or visit nps.gov/yose/planyourvisitIciimpground.htm or yosemitepark.com.

Racl Double cams from small fingers through 4", set of nuts, 60m rope

SHOW US YOUR CLASSIC PHOTO OF BISHOP'S TERRACE AND WIN A SET OF ROCKS FROM WILD COUNTRY!

Wouldn't you like a set (sizes 1-8) of Wild Country's (ii'itdcon ntry. co.uk) original Rocks? From the company that invented curved nuts, Rocks are light and a cinch to place. To enter, post your pics at climbing.corn's Photo Post.

Indian Creek Climbing

Atfilete: Angela Hawse, E*um Mountain Guide Location: Incian Greek. UT Photo Ac« Kvale

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See Angela in Action!

Watch Angela and the Marmot Athlete Team in their element as they climb Indian Creek right on your smartphone. Download Microsoft Tag Reader and snap the Tag to bring the adventure - and an incredible day of climbing - straight to you. Or visit our website at:

www.marmot.com/angela-climbs-iniliancreek

Atfilete: Angela Hawse, E*um Mountain Guide Location: Incian Greek. UT Photo Ac« Kvale l mmji

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TECH TIPS: Trad

BY CAROLINE GEORGE ■ ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEITH SVIHOVEC

MUNTER MAGIC

The little belay knot that does it all

IN 2005,1 WAS LUCKY ENOUGH to have Mr. Werner Munter, the father of the Avalanche Reduction Method, as my avalanche-course examiner in Switzerland. With his Lennon glasses and straight grey hair and beard, he'd impersonate an avalanche's characteristic Whumph! by spreading his arms wide and collapsing them onto the lecturers' table.

Mr. Munter is also the namesake of a famous knot: the Munter Hitch. Rumor has It Herr Munter brought this sailor's knot to climbing during fall-arrest testing while training to be a guide in the 1960s. He felt that a hip belay didn't offer enough friction and instead used the Italian (now Munter) Hitch,

Of ail the tools in my climbing and guiding toolbox, the Munter Hitch is one of three I rely on the most: it's fast, requires little gear, and is multifunctional. It should be second nature to ail climbers.

The Basics

When: Have you ever forgotten your belay/rappel device or felt that using it was too slow for shorter sections? Or was your rope so frozen you couldn't get It through a device? A Munter solves all these problems. Tools: A rope and locking HMS-or pear-shaped-biner. Note: use an automatic or semi-automatic biner for rappels, to reduce the chance of the rope opening the screw gate.

Tweaks: The Munter Hitch works mostly like any other belay system. Keep three details in mind, however:

I Testing. Once you've built the knot, pull each strand to make sure the rope is running. The Munter is a bi-directional knot, meaning it should "flip" as the opposite strands of the rope are pulled.

2. Braking:To brake, bring the two strands parallel to each other-i.e., pull the brake end alongside the cllmberside (hereafter called

"weighted") strand.

3. Twisting: You can prevent-or at least reduce-the kinks produced by a Munter by braking as per above, or by using a Super Munter (see

"Super Munter to the Rescue" sidebar). Build It: Here are my two favorite ways to build a Munter.

1. The two-handed Munter With the rope in one hand, form a bight. Twist the bight 360 degrees, and then clip the locker through the bight's eye and, below, through the gap below the twisted strands. Pull the strands to form a Munter Hitch. Lock the iockeri

2. The one-handed Munter, directly on the anchor: This technique lets the weighted strand sit in the right place and lets you easily turn the Munter into a clove once your partner reaches the anchor.

First, put your rope through your locker, which should be clipped to the anchor's power point. With the unweighted strand, flip the rope upward to make a loop. Now give this loop a quarter-twist (90 degrees), and clip It through the locker to form your Munter. (If you don't do the quarter-twist, the rope will come right out of the biner.) Lock the locker!

The "Locked-Off" Munter

With a few simple flourishes, you can create a Munter Mule or Clove Hitch- in addition to the auto-blocking Munter—to lock off the rope. Munter Mule: Create a loop with the unweighted strand as close to the Munter hitch as possible. Have the free strand go behind the weighted strand to form a bight. Now feed this bight through the original loop-coming in front of the weighted strand-and pull It

How Tie Italian Friction Hitch

tight, forming a loop long enough to tie an overhand-on-a-bight on the weighted strand. This final knot is essential because She weight of the hanging rope might otherwise undo the first loop's overhand knot. (Note: the loaded end only auto-blocks once the mule snugs up to the power-point biner, so prep for a few inches of play in the system before the mule auto-blocks.)

Clove Hitch: Having built your one-handed Munter, simply add another loop-do the same quarter-twist, and clip It in. Now you have a secure tie-off: the clove hitch.

Tricks of the Trade The "Auto-Blocking" Munter: Clip a biner through the weighted strand and left side of the bight coming from the loaded strand (i.e., the left side of the Munter's smile shape). This will prevent the knot from flipping, thus creating an auto-blocking system. To test it, pull on the brake-hand slde-the rope should run smoothly; now pull the climber (weighted) side-it should block immediately. This is also good if you need to bring up two people on separate ropes-put the two separate lines in two separate lockers to create your two auto-blocking Munters.

Caroline George ('caroSiiiegeorge.blogspot.com) is an AMGA Alpine and Rock certified guide; she guides in the US and Europe. She's also an athlete for First Ascent, Petti, 5CAKP.4 and Julho.

Super Munter Hitch

Super Munter to the Rescue

Ever felt like your Munter Hitch wasn't braking well enough? This can happen with thin ropes, or while lowering or belaying a heavier person. Introduce substantial friction to the system via a Super Munter, which also kinks the ropes less — great for multiple lowers or rappels.

To build a Si] per Munter, build your one-handed Munter, and then take die Unweighted strand and bring it over to die front and across the weighted strand, clipping it into the locker by coming from the back side of the gate. —CG

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TECH TIPS: Rope Work

8Y BENNETT BARTHELEMY » ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEITH SVIHOVEC

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  • marzio
    How to tie italian friction hitch?
    7 years ago

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