More gear-and-advice for top-heavy climber...

Treebandito

New Member
Location
Victoria
Hi,

I posted at the beginning of the year a thread about being top-heavy, 50, and climbing:

tl dr; using a lot of arm (!!) and core strength to stay upright. Totally fatigued after a few minutes of climbing.

I've been trying to find a chest roller, but it's been difficult. OnRope1 originally said they would have their own one out in September, but they've changed it to December. Apparently, PMI is making a new one (old one is unavailable), but its coming out out "later."

I'm haven't bought any equipment... yet.

I am quite worried that I'll get equipment, and then still find that I'm using all my strength to just stay upright - and then never climb! And that would just be sad...

I find the same thing even in a climbing harness - I find it very difficult to stay upright. When rappelling or being lowered, its quite a bit of work to stay somewhat upright...

I got a few pictures of me while at a kid's playground.

1603654386164.png

In this one, I am trying to bring my feet back, but found this was a lot of work and couldn't hold it.

1603654419890.png

Any suggestions and recommendations on equipment?

When I took the course, I had a chest harness and a carabineer to the rope. I was using hand ascenders and ran them to the chest harness then to the harness - that kept me somewhat close to the rope. However, I was still exhausted just taking a single step.

Any advice or gear recommendations?

Thanks!
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Maybe a picture of how you are doing it now would help, much easier to make recommendations that wouldn’t cost much.
 

Treebandito

New Member
Location
Victoria
I currently don't have any equipment - I took the course and haven't climbed since. :(

That system was simple. Foot and knee ascenders and 2 hand ascenders (with the chest harness and carabiner clipped to rope). It "worked", but it was exhausting and took hours to get up the line.

I tried to purchase a chest roller at the start of the year, and was going to build a system arround it - but haven't been able to... I am, also, worried that it's not really going to actually help me. People using the roller seem to have no trouble remaining upright and that's near impossible for me without using huge amount of arm strength.

So, I am trying to find out if I am hosed or not (ie. This isn't solvable) and what might help...

I suspect others have the same issue as me and have solved it.

Sorry I can not give a more direct answer...
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
There is a lot at play with we plus sized srt climbers that you will need to work out for yourself. I bought a Monkey Beaver saddle about a year ago and was a bit disappointed the first time I tried it because I rocked way back when just hanging but once I adjusted some of the movable points it became very comfortable. I also have a chest roller but still need to support myself in the vertical position more than smaller climbers would. I would love to be able to just pump my legs and "swim" up the rope but that is not to be. There is however a definite difference between the roller and a regular chest harness. I will use a chestie for shorter climbs and the roller for long ascents. Truth be told, is has gotten quite gear intensive and i probably ought to thin the herd before my wife figures out how much i have spent on this stuff.
 
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oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
Looking at your photos again and watching the video on your first post with the caving system, I really don’t see you as that top heavy. I think some time trying some different devices and developing muscle memory is the answer to your quest. I know I, like you, liked to have my toes against the tree as it does make it easier, but as you develop the rythem of the climb, you will get more and more comfortable with any rope position. Good luck on your journey aloft.
 

JaredDTS

Member
Location
Kill Devil Hills
Teufelberger has a good video in adjusting the treemotion saddle to get the correct balance of upright positioning. It is a 1 size fits all saddle so they built in adjustability. Some saddles are not so adjustable and come in different sizes. Maybe research what saddle you'd like to use and how adjustable it is.
 

SumoClimber

Active Member
Location
Fox Cities, WI
Speaking as another top heavy climber, go for a full body harness like the Petzl Astro BOD Croll. The integrated croll adds in nicely for SRT and provides a slightly higher tie point. With the Additional ring above the Croll, you can position a small pulley and your "hang point" will be positioned close to your sternum. When I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time in harness dangling, I'll attach a friction hitch to the aforementioned upper D so that I can lean back.

Additionally, if you're going to be spending a lot of time sitting in harness, either from the job you're doing or recreationally, the petzl podium seat or a bosuns chair can be amazingly helpful.
 

SumoClimber

Active Member
Location
Fox Cities, WI
Setting up a petzl harness with integrated rope grab is essentially the same as the Frog SRS system. I like how wespur has the layout on this page. https://www.wesspur.com/info/srt-introduction.html Scroll to the bottom for the different styles. You'll still use one of the front D's as your main attachment point, attached pic is the Astro Bod harness, there's an upper and lower front D. The main attachment point is the gold anodized D, but as I stated above, you can attach at the upper D as well. C083BA-ASTRO-BOD-FAST-inter_LowRes.jpeg
 

Treebandito

New Member
Location
Victoria
Sumo - been looking into what you've been talking about. Thanks!

What do you mean about the pulley on the upper D?

Also, I hear people saying that frogging isn't that efficient - esp for people with short upper bodies...
 
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