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johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 7:59 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
Who's sister did you screw to get one starred on every one of your posts?

I have my theories. Whoever does it must have even more time on their hands than me, and that is really sad. I have to give him my respect though. Not only is he, incredibly thorough, but he also has been doing it consistently for about six months. Talk about real dedication. If I ever win the Pulitzer for this TR, I won't thank god, I will thank my one star helper. I never could have done it without him.


boymeetsrock


Jul 19, 2010, 9:01 AM
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1 star... I couldn't help myself. Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Three Roofs: A Farce, A Fantastic, A Fall

Part I

Just when I needed a reliable partner, I found one. Will was chock full of alpine experience and going to school for outdoor recreation in Ithica. Before him, I never met someone who was as excited about climbing as I was. We were destined to make a great pair. Will was climbing that week with Adam, a newcomer to the Gunks, but he would be returning by himself to climb for an entire month. It was perfect.

We set off towards the Trapps with Adam and Will's friend Katie and decided on high E, as Adam had never done it before. Luckily for us, the route was vacant. Katie and Adam headed up the normal start, but I had my eyes on Directissima. Though only 5.9, Directissima intimidated me for some reason. I tend to build up certain climbs in my mind until they seem insurmountable, and this climb was one of them. Like I expected, the start was insecure and strenuous, but after only one or two moves, it eased up considerably. I was about to continue up the ramp that leads to the first belay when something caught my eye, the direct variation. Rather than traversing to the right only to traverse back left, therefore mandating that the route be done in four pitches, the direct variation shoots straight up a very steep and crimpy face. It was beautiful. I had to climb it.

I told Will that I was going up a harder variation, committed to the sequence, and threw warming up out the window. Committed onto the face, I clipped a manky pin, and placed two blind pieces. My position was delicate, right hand on a crimp, left hand on a hidden sidepull. I began to wonder what I had gotten into. However, I didn't have time to wonder for very long. The pump clock was ticking and I had to get moving. I threw my momentum into the dihedral to the right where big moves between slopey jugs led to nasty pins and a steep crimp ladder. Pumped, I made the moves and finished the pitch. That was rock climbing, to commit to an unknown and unplanned route. What freedom. Rapturous.

The next pitch, steep 5.6 up a knife edge arete, was without peer. Totally exposed, beautiful moves, thoughtful climbing. The last pitch of High E was nice, as always. This time I did it on all passive pro. By the end of the trip, my High E count would be seven. Please don't judge me too harshly. We all rapped off the route and then were stuck with the ever present existential crisis of decision making.

I had something in mind, but I didn't know if I could actually pull it off. It wasn't because of difficulty, however, or even because I was concerned about the protection. The route was only 5.6 and G rated, but I didn't really believe I could pull it off. I wanted to do Shockley's naked, and not only that, I wanted the classic Dick Williams photo. I talked it over with my new friends and not only were they down, but Katie was a commercial photographer. A better coincidence could not have arose.

Now firm in my resolve, we headed back towards Shockley's. On the way I told Will that it didn't always make sense to tie knots in the rappel ropes, as the chance of a rope getting stuck increase exponentially as you increase the amount of knots in the rope. He disagreed. At the base of Shockely's, Will and Adam decided to do do strictly from nowhere. Katie and I warned the party that had just arrived of our plans and headed up Shockley's where we encountered one of the worst noob crews of my entire trip.

The boyfriend, out of shape and loaded with huge hexes, decided to belay way out of earshot of his helpless lady. She couldn't pull the roof, and she couldn't here the moron leader. Things were going to be rough. I told her clip a long sling to the piece on the roof and aid past it. She couldn't do it. I could then here her boyfriend yelling at her in quite the angry tone. He wanted her to lower and go into the anchor while he devised a rescue. I had to tell her this, as she could not here him at all. When she got to the fixed pin she was to trust her life to, she didn't even know how to tie a clove hitch. In one of the scariest lessons of my life, I had to teach this girl how to tie a clove hitch from 30 feet away and somehow ensure that it was done correctly. Thankfully, I used to teach the boy scout climbing merit badge course. Boy scouts are by far the worst knot learners on the face of the earth. If I could teach them, I could teach anyone. My hopeful observation proved to be true, as the girl correctly cloved herself in to the piton.

The Boyfriend rappelled down the route. Sweating profusely and more than slightly resembling a pig, the leader perfectly matched the sniveling, whiny yell that I had been treated to for the past half hour. He set up an anchor directly above the roof, and at my suggestion, girth hitched a bunch of slings together, so the girl would have a half way decent ladder. After much struggle, she finally made it up to the stance. Our hero the leader then proceeded to self belay up the rest of the route with an ATC. Yeah, self belay with an ATC. He was a pretty smart cookie.

Glad to finally be rid of captain noob and the poor girl, who I truly pitied, I got ready for my big debut. I stripped off my shorts, handed them to Katie, and began the pitch. At first, I felt more naked than I had in my entire life, but that feeling soon vanished. Something about rock climbing demands your full attention. Once I started climbing, I could hardly worry about my impropriety. It was a wonderful feeling, especially since I am so bashful. It was wonderful to be naked up there, 200 feet above the ground. I posed at the roof for about 5 minutes while Katie snapped the pics. Much to my delight, the next party came up right under me while I was splayed out on the crux. They could only say one thing, “You really are doing this naked, aren't you?”. I guess they didn't believe me. I finished the climb and belayed Katie up. I was glad to put my shorts back on, and we rappelled the route.

On the way down, lo and behold, Will and Adam had gotten their rope stuck due to the knot they had tied on the end of the rope. I love to tell people that I told them so, but first I had to get their rope down. It was lucky for them that we were hung up so long by that party, as we would have finished before them otherwise. All being well, and the temperature being hot, we decided to spend the rest of the day swimming at Split Rock, a very good decision. Despite doing only two climbs, it was a great day.


rangerrob


Jul 19, 2010, 9:57 AM
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C'mon I keep waiting for the good stuff!! When are we gonna hear about the good stuff!!

Oh and by the way if you need to ask why Moonlight is better than High E, you've probably never climbed it. The first pitch corner is way better than High E's first pitch. And the traverse out left to that exposed nose, with the splitter crack on the face above. C'm on John...you can't be serious!! High E barely makes it onto my list of top 10 5.6 routes in the Gunks. Hell, even the first pitches of Arrow and Modern Times beat it.

RR


welle


Jul 19, 2010, 10:27 AM
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this post is worthless without pics


sungam


Jul 19, 2010, 11:10 AM
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welle wrote:
this post is worthless without pics
GOOD GOD ARE YOU MAD? WE DO NOT NEED TO SEE LATS-LIKE-A-BAT'S "BATMOBILE" THANKYOUVERYMUCH.


sungam


Jul 19, 2010, 11:10 AM
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MUCH LESS THE BATCAVE.


boymeetsrock


Jul 19, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Nice!


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:10 PM
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sungam wrote:
MUCH LESS THE BATCAVE.

For a description of the BATCAVE, ask those people who came up below me. They got the bomb bay view.


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:13 PM
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welle wrote:
this post is worthless without pics

Those pictures will never be made digital in any way, shape, or form. On film they were conceived, and on film they shall remain.


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:15 PM
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rangerrob wrote:
C'mon I keep waiting for the good stuff!! When are we gonna hear about the good stuff!!

Oh and by the way if you need to ask why Moonlight is better than High E, you've probably never climbed it. The first pitch corner is way better than High E's first pitch. And the traverse out left to that exposed nose, with the splitter crack on the face above. C'm on John...you can't be serious!! High E barely makes it onto my list of top 10 5.6 routes in the Gunks. Hell, even the first pitches of Arrow and Modern Times beat it.

RR

What is the good stuff? I will make sure and get to it.

I climbed Moonlight. I though the first pitch was dirty and easily forgotten, the traverse out the nose was awkward, and the "splitter" didn't really do it for me either. To each their own I guess.


Partner j_ung


Jul 20, 2010, 6:40 AM
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I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.


rangerrob


Jul 20, 2010, 7:11 AM
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We'll have to agree to disagree I suppose. High E's first pitch is loose, often wet, ho hum climbing....totally forgettable. The second is one thought provoking move, followed by 30 feet of 5.4 ladder climbing.

Anyway...on the with the TR!


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 7:22 AM
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j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 7:22 AM
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rangerrob wrote:
We'll have to agree to disagree I suppose. High E's first pitch is loose, often wet, ho hum climbing....totally forgettable. The second is one thought provoking move, followed by 30 feet of 5.4 ladder climbing.

Anyway...on the with the TR!

That 5.4 ladder is awesome!


Gmburns2000


Jul 20, 2010, 7:49 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.

for clarity's sake: you did do Madam G's, but you fucked up the finish.


johnwesely


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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.

for clarity's sake: you did do Madam G's, but you fucked up the finish.

I made it better.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 9:28 AM
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Three Roofs: A Farce, A Fantastic, A Fall

Part II

We woke up that morning rearing to climb. Modern Times and Bonnies roof were on the ticklist, and the weather was beautiful. It seemed like it was going to be a perfect day. I don't remember what climb or how many climbs we did to warm up, but after that we headed to Modern Times. Modern Times, is an impressive and intimating eight foot roof that somehow goes at the moderate grade of 5.8. I was excited, but I was also nervous. I had heard from nearly everyone that Modern Times was a notorious sandbag. The full color Gunks guide has it listed as a 5.10c. Still, I wanted to do the climb. It looked fantastic. Will led the first pitch, a near rope length of high quality 5.7, and brought up Adam next.

This is an aside, but I think it is necessary for me to properly tell the story. When I get nervous, my bladder shrinks to the size of a walnut. From the time Will left the ground to the time I did, I peed four times. I felt the rope go taught, and I started the climb. Twenty feet above the ground I felt thirsty. Forty feet above the ground, I was parched. One Hundred feet above the ground, I had to pee again. I finished the pitch and walked twenty feet to the right to relieve myself. I had peed 5 times during a single two pitch climb. It was worse than coffee.

I racked up and began the climb. The money pitch of Modern Times is more than a little run out without big cams, and I found myself without pro until the pedestal below the roof. This pedestal, a two foot by four detached block sitting conveniently before the roof, seemed to be beckoning me to stay on it forever. On it, I was so comfortable. Above me, I knew the story would be quite different. I plugged two cams into the roof, but I wasn't quite ready. Anybody who has climbed a route with a big roof knows that they always look entirely different when you are right under them. What looks so logical from the ground often seems absurd. I grabbed the undercling that would allow me to hike my feet up and reach way out into the roof. That first hold was a lot worse than I had anticipated. Luckily, the second one was a slam dunk jug along with the third, fourth, and every other hold. Before I knew it, the roof was over. I didn't even place anymore gear or use the goofy knee bar rest that an old timer told me it was folly to go without.

My hands were on the ledge that I was going to belay from, but I couldn't pull the mantle. The ledge was slopey. My feet were way under the roof. The last piece of pro was far under my feet. The fall would be clean, but it was going to be huge. No matter what I did, where I moved on the ledge, I couldn't do it. The confidence I had gained during the roof was quickly dissipating, until I found my savior hold. It was a loose chockstone laying on the ledge, but it did the trick. I was on the ledge. What a route. What a fantastic route. It is not everyday that you have fun like that. I brought up Adam, he was also being belayed from the bottom to reduce the swing if he were to fall. He did fall, and our crazy vertical limitesque sort of worked. He didn't swing as much as he could have, but he still couldn't get back on the wall. It was a good thing we taught him to prusik right before the climb. Will, got slightly farther than Adam before he fell and was able to get back on and finish the route.

Once we were all safe on top of the cliff, we decided to do Bonnie's Roof, an amazing line up a steep corner. Will wanted to lead it, but I secretly hoped he would chicken out so I could nab the first pitch. However, when we arrived at Bonnie's, Will was still rearing to go. He racked up and set off on the climb with no hesitation. He cruised up the start, and had only a little trouble with the corner under the roof. Hoping to reduce rope drag, he put a four foot sling on his last piece before the roof, a big blue Camalot. I don't have many regrets in my life, but I do regret not being a more active belayer in the events that followed. Will climbed another ten eight feet and came to a fixed pin. He didn't clip it. I should have made him clip. He began traversing out the roof. He didn't place gear anywhere under the roof. I should have told him too. He seemed to be doing fine. I wasn't worried, but then it all started going down hill. Instead of pulling the roof, he kept traversing left into what we later found out was the 5.12 rated route The Throne. I thought it was odd that he was traversing that far left and told him so. He said that is how he thought the line went. He was the one up there, I couldn't really argue with him. He then tried to pull the roof, but couldn't pull the 5.11 moves. He retreated back under the Bonnie's Roof. Now he was visibly shaken. I don't know why I didn't insist that he place more pro. He started pulling the the crux of the real route, missing the obvious jugs. He was going to fall. I knew it. I was ready. Will slipped and plummeted towards the ground. He fell at least thirty five feet. When I later went back to the route and analyzed the fall, it seemed more like forty. Not only did he fall forty feet, but he also slammed into the rock due to his position out on the roof.

By some miracle, he appeared to be unscathed, and he was even going to finish the route until he actually tried to get back on the rock. Will couldn't put any weight on his foot. We hoped that it was just a sprain as I lowered him gently to the ground. Will is a wilderness first responder, but I am not really sure how much that helped him out that day. He did have a first aid kit with him, but I think the beers that he and Adam had brought with them helped out much more than the kit. Anyway, there was a couple hundred dollars of gear on the route, and somebody had to get it back. I took Will's remaining gear, and Adam put me on belay. I was terrified. What if I fell at the same spot and took the same fall. Then we would be in trouble. I am not as tough as Will. Surprisingly though, the climb proved to be much less daunting than I imagined. I clipped the fixed pin, placed gear under the roof, and found huge jugs that Will's tunnel vision prevented him from seeing. It was a great route, but I wish I did not have to lead it under such conditions.

Now we were in a pickle. We had a crippled climber. and were a half hour away from the parking lot under normal circumstances. Luckily, we were at the Gunks and our only real obstacle would be getting Will down the talus field to where he could be picked up by a ranger. Did I mention Will was tough? He hopped down the entire talus field on one leg. He refused our help, but I did tell him that if he were to fall and hit his head, I would just leave him there. Once, we got to the carriage road, Will got in a truck and Adam and I walked back to his car. At the car, Will was waiting with a new beer in hand, his ankle was really starting to hurt at this point. We drove him to the Doc in the Box recommended to me by Gail and were chastised by a doctor in the Parking Lot for not supporting him and letting him hop around.

Less than an hour later, will popped out of the doctors office with a big bottle of pain pills, instruction to go to a orthopedic surgeon first thing in the morning, a leg wrap that went all the way up to his crotch, and an x-ray showing his ankle was shattered on both sides. Our plans of climbing together for the rest of my trip were obviously not going to happen. Miraculously, will was still in good spirits. He never became despondent and kept a smile. He was upset, but he didn't let it ruin his day. He was a real trooper to say the least. To thank us for rescuing him, I am not really sure that we did that much, he took us to the Brauhaus, the local German restaurant, for dinner. His giant cast got us really nice service and we had a wonderful time. It was sad that we would soon be parting. We stayed at dinner until around eleven. Will's friends had arrived from Ithica to give him a ride home, and we had to say our goodbyes. Adam would stay with me to climb for one more day, but he didn't have a place to stay because Will took the tent. That night, I found out that two person tent does not really mean a two person tent. The next day we had a great day climbing in the nears, and Adam took his first traditional lead, the 5.1 second pitch of Layback. Adam left, and I was once again alone. The king of Camp Slime.


Gmburns2000


Jul 20, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.


marc801


Jul 20, 2010, 10:23 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
He cruised up the start, and had only a little trouble with the corner under the roof. Hoping to reduce rope drag, he put a four foot sling on his last piece before the roof, a big blue Camalot. I don't have many regrets in my life, but I do regret not being a more active belayer in the events that followed. Will climbed another ten eight feet and came to a fixed pin. He didn't clip it. I should have made him clip. He began traversing out the roof. He didn't place gear anywhere under the roof. I should have told him too. He seemed to be doing fine. I wasn't worried, but then it all started going down hill. Instead of pulling the roof, he kept traversing left into what we later found out was the 5.12 rated route The Throne. I thought it was odd that he was traversing that far left and told him so. He said that is how he thought the line went. He was the one up there, I couldn't really argue with him. He then tried to pull the roof, but couldn't pull the 5.11 moves. He retreated back under the Bonnie's Roof.

Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

And for historical correctness nitpicking accuracy: the "roof" in the name Bonnie's Roof refers to the huge one on the second pitch at the very top of the dihedral. The original line aided out left under that roof and was led by Bonnie Pruden. The roof is not the little 5.8 crux overhang on the first pitch.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Re: [marc801] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.


Partner cracklover


Jul 20, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.

No, you should have *suggested* it. The belayer's job is to give a good belay and offer advice where warranted. It is *not* to protect leader from themselves. I can understand why your conscience is nagging you. I'd probably feel much the same in your place. But that's just hindsight talking. In reality, you did very little wrong.

Cheers,

GO


Partner cracklover


Jul 20, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.

Actually, John, that final traverse and mantle are *much* harder if you're short. Took me five trips up the thing to finally figure out why some people struggle so mightily and others don't, but I've got it 100% clear now. Beta upon request by PM or email only.

Cheers,

GO


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Re: [cracklover] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.

Actually, John, that final traverse and mantle are *much* harder if you're short. Took me five trips up the thing to finally figure out why some people struggle so mightily and others don't, but I've got it 100% clear now. Beta upon request by PM or email only.

Cheers,

GO

What makes it hard for short people? Are the feet out of reach?

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