Wrench in the Works


Trad tool?

Trad tool?

Behold! Yeah, that’s right. Take a good, long, hard look. Let it soak in for a few minutes. This piece of trad climbing performance art/mockery was discovered by Chis Mills outside Val David, in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. As Chris himself put it, “looked surprisingly well-placed as climbing spanners go!” He made this remark after asking if this counts as Jive-Ass, which reveals that Chris has a healthy sense of humor.

Have you looked it long and hard yet? Yeesh! This is one of those things that leaves you scratching your head, thinking to yourself, Why is this here? Or more importantly, how is it that this is here? How did this come to pass?

“Can’t say whether or not it’s ever been used in anger,” Chris told me, “but it’s definitely stuck up there!” WTF? Who carries a wrench up a trad route?

Wait, let’s back up. Let’s start over. Okay? Okay, here we go:

Imagine you’re out trad climbing with one of your friends. You’re on the sharp end. You’re up the wall a ways and suddenly you notice. “Shit! I’m completely out of gear!” Why are you out of gear? Heck, I don’t know. Maybe you sewed it up. Maybe you have a very small rack. Maybe you left your rack home. I don’t know. Work with me here. Anyway, there you are on the sharp end and maybe you’re a good way above your last piece, right? And you say, “Shit! I’m completely out of gear!” But no worries! It’s cool, because you’re an automobile mechanic! And you left work with a few tools still in your pocket, and….

No, no, no! You’re not a mechanic. You’re the cable guy! Yeah! You’re the cable guy, and you’ve just spent all day installing cable television and broadband in residential houses in Val David. They have cable television in Val David, right? Surely they do. And because you’re so into cable TV installation you go everywhere with your tool belt! You’re hanging there in the middle of a trad route, your empty rack, your harness, and your cable TV installer’s work belt! It’s strapped there around your waist. And you say to yourself, “Shit! I’m completely out of gear! But wait! I have this spanner. This Crescent wrench device. It’s about as wide as the crack I think. And if it’s not, no matter! This tool is adjustable to fit! And you’re almost out of draws too. You only have one, and it only has the one carabiner on one end, so you tie the other end of the sling onto the crescent spanner wrench thing with…holy crap, what is that? With a square not? A reef knot? An overhand knot? It doesn’t matter. Pick a Jive-Assy knot! My hand’s getting sweaty here! And off you go!

I’m sure that must be what happened. Yeah.

Location: Near Val-David, Quebec, Canada

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4 thoughts on “Wrench in the Works

  1. eric

    i don’t understand why the knot is there. wouldn’t a basket hitch be sufficient? that would also provide more sling length to prevent upward pull on the wrench. a girth hitch, if you could sacrifice that bit of strength relative to the basket hitch, would be even better at preventing upward pull.

    Reply
    1. Dan A

      My thoughts exactly.

      While it may be silly to think about the ideal way to sling a crescent wrench as pro, if there’s any piece where you’d want the benefits of loose, extended, sling, this is it! Girth hitching would be the way to go, the weakening of the knot is irrelevant compared to the risk of it popping out. If you’re lucking enough for the ‘piece’ to hold, the sling would be plenty strong enough even with the hitch.

      I wonder if this person just placed this piece as a joke for their second.. But even as a joke, you’d want it to stay in, so that knot makes no sense..

      Reply
    1. Someone East of St. Louis

      I’ve carried a crescent wrench up a trad climb to tighten the nut on the single bolt the crux. I suppose I might jokingly then leave it as pro for my second to clean & carry, if it was multipitch.

      Reply

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