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Backed Off Today
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Apr 17, 2004, 11:34 AM
Post #1 of 2 (1882 views)

Registered: May 24, 2003
Posts: 1226

Backed Off Today
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I had planned to climb a particular route at my local crag this morning. I am new to leading, and I thought that I would try this 5.5, and then set up a top rope for my brother-in-law. About 30' into the climb I have two great pieces in and I am about 10' over my last piece. Haven't found anything to use since then. Blocky holds, but no pro. Climb on. The route goes into an open book and the blocky holds are gone. Now I am 20' over my last piece, and 50' off the deck. Slack, stretch, 45+ feet in a fall. Hmmmm. I look around. Soft eyes, I must be missing something. The guide said "great for beginning leaders." That's how I got here in the first place. Where's the pro?

I can see a horizontal crack about 20' up that will likely take a #4 Camalot. That would be good. I climb up another 10'. The friction of the rock is decent for stemming. Smooth in some areas. Watch the foot. A finger edge there. I look down. 60' up. 30' to my last piece. I yell to my belayer, "If I fall, run." "What?" he responds. "If I fall, run back to take up the slack or I'll deck." "OK." My leg is starting to shake a little. Breath deep.

The moves ahead don't look hard. I could slip, though. Might, but probably not. I need to decide. Up or down, and move. I can't stay here or I will fall, and it will be ugly. If I go higher, he may not be able to pull enough slack if I fall. I probably won't fall though, and when I get that cam in, it will be bomber. "You OK?" Ryan yells. "Yeah. I'm coming down." Start taking in slack as I down climb, but don't pull." "Gotcha," he responds.

I tell myself that every move closer to that last hex is a better fall. Balance. One move at a time. Breath. I'm over the hex now. I get even with it and clean it. Down the TCU. Out. On the ground.

Ten feet to the right is a 5.8 with an over hang I have been on before. Pro goes in every 5' for the first 20'. Two nuts at the roof. Over the top. 10' up, in goes a green FCU. Another 10', 3.5 Camalot. Another 10', purple FCU. Climb on. #5 nut. Pink Tricam. The top.

I'll be back to my little 5.5 open book. I must have missed something, but I didn't see it today.


Apr 18, 2004, 10:11 PM
Post #2 of 2 (1882 views)

Registered: Mar 29, 2003
Posts: 5590

Re: Backed Off Today [In reply to]
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I hate missing key pro and holds. but it happens. Maybe you could post a pic of the route? I think you were wise to back off.

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