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Damn, leading is NUTS!!!
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ladyscarlett


Sep 27, 2011, 6:58 PM
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Damn, leading is NUTS!!!
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Long post below. Do not read unless massively bored....

It was a beautiful day to gamble...




Looking at the expanses of rock, I felt my crack addiction rise to the potential pleasures of the upcoming hours. The cracks are spread out before me like a fan of cards.

When clueless, I take the advice of friends, and so I take a closer look at the crack my partner describes as ‘5.7 with beautiful solid jams all the way up.’

“I’ve not steered you wrong yet...” I feel this comment is ominous in some way, but he’s right, even if the feeling in the middle of my head doesn’t agree.

Begrudgingly acknowledging the truth of his statement, I look at the wide, flaring crack bottomless crack. Bolstered by the fact I could see to the top of the climb, I’d decided that this was the way up. The pro lent itself towards opportunities to be creative and I was in the mood to test my newbie placing skills.

Armed with a #4 cam, the largest my small hands have ever clenched around, and the promise of almost unbelievably positive features littering the face, I hauled my over- geared self into a crack wide enough to swallow my knees and shoulders .





Having made it through the mind-daunting wide section, I continue upward following tight hands and beautiful flakes with ephemeral confidence...and reality hits. I find myself in a crack that will only take fingers and nuts with a face full of features too smooth to spark any kind of confidence. I flail the nut set at the crack in hopes the right size will somehow magically place itself perfectly.


“um.. narrow side in first for offsets...” I hear from the ground. OFFSETS! How the FUDGE do I place OFFSETS!?!?!? DAMN! I can barely see the shape of each nut as my mind revs into the next gear towards panic.

A nut somehow slides in and tide of panic momentarily eases...until I look up and see nothing to get me out. I have a Leader Moment, when I know there is NO WAY I can be lowered off that nut. I’m on the sharp end with no more slings, all the wrong size cams, a set of fussy nuts, and nowhere to go but up. The prussic and rap rings I keep on my harness as ‘emergency safety gear’ are laughably useless. My sweaty hand clasps the wire of that desperate nut. I am afraid to let go, afraid to clip it with my last loner biner, afraid of the certainty that the nut will lift out of the crack as soon as I move above it, afraid of the tenuous moves that are above me.

I look at the nut, clip my last loner ‘back-up’ biner, give a futile tug, clip my rope and move up.



I top out on that pitch amazed that my mind is in one piece and I’m able to think about setting an anchor with only the rope and 2 racking biners that are all I have left. Breaking my mind and finding some of the residual strength remains unbelievable.

The top has never felt so good.



Damn, leading can be awesome...


Thanks for reading.

Cheers

LS


uni_jim


Sep 27, 2011, 7:08 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] Damn, leading is NUTS!!! [In reply to]
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thanks for writing!


dan2see


Sep 27, 2011, 8:34 PM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] Damn, leading is NUTS!!! [In reply to]
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I'm a beginner leader, so stories like this are great.
Definitely not boring.
Thanks for the pix and stories, LS! Cool

(Edit to add...)
Yes leading is nuts.
My wife and kids don't understand me.


(This post was edited by dan2see on Sep 27, 2011, 8:37 PM)


notapplicable


Sep 27, 2011, 11:26 PM
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WOO!


sungam


Sep 28, 2011, 1:44 AM
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Good post, Scarlett! Glad you didn't death. roflcakes @ offset nutz.


qwert


Sep 28, 2011, 3:43 AM
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Re: [ladyscarlett] Damn, leading is NUTS!!! [In reply to]
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Pff, its only 5.7 …
run it out!
Tongue

on a less braggy note:Did you really not know what to do with offsets, or was that just a temporary blackout?
Also, how do you manage to start the pitch overgeared, yet even before the end you run out of stuff?
What did you belay off?

Nevertheless, nice story, i guess all of us have been in a somewhat similar situation once (or twice, or thrice, or too often to count…)

qwert


Gmburns2000


Sep 28, 2011, 4:21 AM
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ladyscarlett wrote:
Long post below. Do not read unless massively bored....

It was a beautiful day to gamble...

[IMG]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb371/Oldclymr4/092411%20Sasha%20SPH/DSCN0151.jpg[/IMG]


Looking at the expanses of rock, I felt my crack addiction rise to the potential pleasures of the upcoming hours. The cracks are spread out before me like a fan of cards.

When clueless, I take the advice of friends, and so I take a closer look at the crack my partner describes as ‘5.7 with beautiful solid jams all the way up.’

“I’ve not steered you wrong yet...” I feel this comment is ominous in some way, but he’s right, even if the feeling in the middle of my head doesn’t agree.

Begrudgingly acknowledging the truth of his statement, I look at the wide, flaring crack bottomless crack. Bolstered by the fact I could see to the top of the climb, I’d decided that this was the way up. The pro lent itself towards opportunities to be creative and I was in the mood to test my newbie placing skills.

Armed with a #4 cam, the largest my small hands have ever clenched around, and the promise of almost unbelievably positive features littering the face, I hauled my over- geared self into a crack wide enough to swallow my knees and shoulders .


[IMG]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb371/Oldclymr4/092411%20Sasha%20SPH/DSCN0170.jpg[/IMG]


Having made it through the mind-daunting wide section, I continue upward following tight hands and beautiful flakes with ephemeral confidence...and reality hits. I find myself in a crack that will only take fingers and nuts with a face full of features too smooth to spark any kind of confidence. I flail the nut set at the crack in hopes the right size will somehow magically place itself perfectly.


“um.. narrow side in first for offsets...” I hear from the ground. OFFSETS! How the FUDGE do I place OFFSETS!?!?!? DAMN! I can barely see the shape of each nut as my mind revs into the next gear towards panic.

A nut somehow slides in and tide of panic momentarily eases...until I look up and see nothing to get me out. I have a Leader Moment, when I know there is NO WAY I can be lowered off that nut. I’m on the sharp end with no more slings, all the wrong size cams, a set of fussy nuts, and nowhere to go but up. The prussic and rap rings I keep on my harness as ‘emergency safety gear’ are laughably useless. My sweaty hand clasps the wire of that desperate nut. I am afraid to let go, afraid to clip it with my last loner biner, afraid of the certainty that the nut will lift out of the crack as soon as I move above it, afraid of the tenuous moves that are above me.

I look at the nut, clip my last loner ‘back-up’ biner, give a futile tug, clip my rope and move up.

[IMG]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb371/Oldclymr4/092411%20Sasha%20SPH/DSCN0177.jpg[/IMG]

I top out on that pitch amazed that my mind is in one piece and I’m able to think about setting an anchor with only the rope and 2 racking biners that are all I have left. Breaking my mind and finding some of the residual strength remains unbelievable.

The top has never felt so good.

[IMG]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb371/Oldclymr4/092411%20Sasha%20SPH/DSCN0196.jpg[/IMG]

Damn, leading can be awesome...


Thanks for reading.

Cheers

LS

Nice TR, LS. Thanks for sharing! (and yeah, I think we've all been there before)


david_g48


Sep 28, 2011, 6:04 AM
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LS
Thanks for sharing your adventure. It is times like the one that you experienced that make it most memorable. After all if there was no adrenalin rush there would be no thrill factor. In the end you kept it all together and felt the big rush one gets when they top out after a soul searching moment.


blueeyedclimber


Sep 28, 2011, 9:01 AM
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This probably belongs in Trip Reports, but just a couple comments:

Nice TR. Fun to read, not too long and boring, and the pictures definitely add to it.

I am trying to imagine a scenario where you would use those rappel rings on a single pitch route. Nope. Can't think of one. Cool

Some words of advice: Don't rack gear on your harness that you don't know how to use. Bring more draws. I will often pare down my gear and bring more draws than I think I will need. Don't draw your own confidence (or lack of it) from what other people say. Make your own observations and draw your own conclusions from it.

Josh


jeepnphreak


Sep 28, 2011, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for the fun read!


caughtinside


Sep 28, 2011, 10:19 AM
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Where is that... SPH?


ladyscarlett


Sep 28, 2011, 11:22 AM
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Thanks again for reading and commenting. Strangely enough, I get off on knowing I am instigating a few chuckles Out There.

So

You're right, at '5.7' running it out (which I've done before, being a dangerous n00b climber) is a viable option. After talking to my partner, who'd 'never steered me wrong', I realized I'd followed an alternate route up, taking me out of familiar 5.7 territory. In fact, he'd mentioned it in the moments I veered off course, but I didn't hear him, probably because I had my head up a crack! Blush

Thus, I had sand-bagged myself, which tells me my route-finding skills are crap and I need more practice.

Regarding Offset nuts...I didn't know about putting in the narrow side first, merely text book pictures and the handful (of varying quality) I've cleaned. I know a bad placement and I've played with them in the past, only successfully placed one...once. 5.7 terrain, seemed the ideal situation to work on my offset nut skillz...HAHAHA. Joke's on me!

In regards to being over-geared, I'm a n00b leader, and habitually err on the side of too much. I actually brought an 'extra' cam (trusty green .75) and two additional trad draws (been working on adding more draws to my standard 'kit') as 'personal gear'. Thank goodness! On this occasion, I topped out with the rest of the nuts and one small cam. I set up the anchor off a tree with the rope, and secured myself with racking biners scavenged from the nut set and cam. I will be focusing on have the Right Gear. And remember that it's ok to haul up a bunch of stuff on unknown territory and just deal with the weight. Being well armed lends itself well to success.

Ha! oh well...the path of a n00b leader...

Cheers

LS


ladyscarlett


Sep 28, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Damn, leading is NUTS!!! [In reply to]
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Thanks for the tip about adding it to trip reports...wasn't sure as it was only one crux amidst a many-pitch day.

Will remember for next time!

Cheers

LS


dbogardus


Sep 28, 2011, 3:28 PM
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Love the butt shots!


Partner rgold


Sep 28, 2011, 5:45 PM
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Mini-epics like this either make you into a trad climber...or convince you to take up golf.

At least you got to the top of your route. Many of my favorite experiences involve minor or major epic failures and hair-raising retreats. In fact, I just wrote an account of one on Super Topo. I won't cross post, but here is a link for anyone who might need to replenish the palm sweat induced by LS here.

http://www.supertopo.com/...afternoon-with-Kamps


ladyscarlett


Sep 29, 2011, 12:26 AM
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Isn't it just so purtee?

I think I'm infatuated and have been for a bit...

cheers

ls


blueeyedclimber


Sep 29, 2011, 8:35 AM
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rgold wrote:
Mini-epics like this either make you into a trad climber...or convince you to take up golf.

At least you got to the top of your route. Many of my favorite experiences involve minor or major epic failures and hair-raising retreats. In fact, I just wrote an account of one on Super Topo. I won't cross post, but here is a link for anyone who might need to replenish the palm sweat induced by LS here.

http://www.supertopo.com/...afternoon-with-Kamps

Wow. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Not only have you had some hair-raising experiences, but your recounting of them never ceases to amaze me.

Josh


Partner cracklover


Sep 29, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Nice TR LS - been there - more than once.

BTW, running out of runners is why I keep my chalk bag on what is essentially a full strength "runner", made from cord, around my waist.

GO


losbill


Oct 2, 2011, 7:16 AM
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LS -- Excellent job with both the climbing and the write up! -- Bill


Partner cracklover


Oct 3, 2011, 10:08 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Nice TR LS - been there - more than once.

BTW, running out of runners is why I keep my chalk bag on what is essentially a full strength "runner", made from cord, around my waist.

GO

Bailed off a climb this weekend. My chalk bag cord made the ultimate sacrifice, and got me down safe to where I could lead over to a rap.

GO


damienclimber


Oct 6, 2011, 4:18 PM
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cracklover wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Nice TR LS - been there - more than once.

BTW, running out of runners is why I keep my chalk bag on what is essentially a full strength "runner", made from cord, around my waist.

GO

Bailed off a climb this weekend. My chalk bag cord made the ultimate sacrifice, and got me down safe to where I could lead over to a rap.

GO

OMG- You bailed off a climb? Which one? Shocked

-----------------------------------------------------------


BTW- Lady Scarlett- Nice write up! where are you climbing, name of climb? thanks


Partner cracklover


Oct 7, 2011, 8:15 AM
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damienclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Nice TR LS - been there - more than once.

BTW, running out of runners is why I keep my chalk bag on what is essentially a full strength "runner", made from cord, around my waist.

GO

Bailed off a climb this weekend. My chalk bag cord made the ultimate sacrifice, and got me down safe to where I could lead over to a rap.

GO

OMG- You bailed off a climb? Which one? Shocked

-----------------------------------------------------------


BTW- Lady Scarlett- Nice write up! where are you climbing, name of climb? thanks


Why this obsession with the names of the climbs LS and I were on? Well whatever - I bailed off the Petit Grepon.

GO


ladyscarlett


Oct 10, 2011, 1:56 AM
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I don't actually know the name of the climb, sorry. It was a 'pick a crack' kind of day.

I found out that the one I picked was a little thin for comfort.

But it sure taught me some good lessons and I learned a little more how to follow the path of magic...I mean friction.

Cheers

ls


stoneguy


Nov 27, 2011, 10:45 AM
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I would agree with "really well written". I sure felt like I was right there. Congrats on being gutsy.


spikeddem


Nov 27, 2011, 1:12 PM
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ladyscarlett wrote:
Armed with a [censored], the largest my small hands have ever clenched around, and the promise of [censored] littering the face . . . enough to swallow. [M]y knees[!]

Yep. Just did that.


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