This series of posts outlines our philosophical and practical approaches to climbing, and will cover factors we consider vital to successfully completing climbing objectives.
Note: This article is intended to provide information about the simul-climbing system used by the Choss Boys. It presents techniques that are not recommended as standard practice in technical rock climbing. The article also displays various pieces of equipment being used outside the scope of manufacturers' recommendations. Simul-climbing is inherently more dangerous than standard pitched climbing, and should be approached with due caution, by experienced multi-pitch climbers.
The system presented in this article is not our invention. It is a compilation of techniques and methods we've learned from a long history of practice by advanced climbers. Our intention in this article is simply to present what we have decided is the best simul-climbing system (we call it "the modern simul-climbing system") based on our own extensive research and experience.
Random climber: "How long did it take you?"
Choss Boys: "An hour."
Random climber: "That's crazy! You guys did all 12 pitches of Estrellita in one hour? That's 5 minutes a pitch!"
Choss Boys: "We aren't super fast ninja climbers, we just simul-climbed it."
Random climber: "But... what if you fell? Isn't that dangerous?"
Prior to our 2016 road trip, simul-climbing was a mysterious, impractical style we didn't understand. Like most climbers, we thought it was an inherently dangerous climbing system that only pros used for really easy terrain. However, as we began lusting after bigger, longer routes, the idea of breaking free from the slow, traditional pitched climbing system compelled us.
Now, we Choss Boys simul-climb on many multi-pitch routes. Aside from free-soloing, it is the fastest way to move quickly and efficiently on long routes. We've adopted a simul-climbing technique that is safe for both the leader and the follower in almost every case, and it even allows us to tackle multi-pitches close to our on-sight limit.
Have you ever been benighted or bailed from a climb because your dailed-in multi-pitch system was simply too slow? If so, this article is for you! Your climbing system can be the difference between finishing a route in 10 hours, or 3 hours.
[...] climbers grow to appreciate alpine starts: the brilliance of stars at higher altitudes, perhaps the glow of moonlight on snow, the distinctive sounds of crampons on ice, the tinkling of carabiners in the still night. [...] The magic of watching a sunrise from high on a mountain above a sea of clouds remains with a climber long after memories of the trip's exertion have faded.
We Choss Boys have refined our procedure for success in the early morning. Read on to learn how we start our big climbing days.