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calfcramp


Aug 5, 2004, 9:46 AM
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Ratings (not Complaining.....)  (North_America: United_States: New_Hampshire: Grafton_County: Rumney)
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Hi.

So I was out climbing a little while ago and was doing routes that I had never tried before. We started with a 5.7, then did a long 5.6, another 5.7, then a 5.8, 5.6, 5.9.... No falls except on the first move of the 5.9, but we had stick clipped so no big deal...

So at this point, we figure we've more or less got a feeling for the ratings at this area. We should be able to handle 5.8s as we usually do.

Having done 6 routes already, we were getting a little tired. The weather was starting to turn on us and we still had to set up camp. Being excited about our climbing thus far, we decide to 'just do one more' before packing it it for the day.

We check the guidebook and find a 5.7+ that seems good. It was my partner's turn to lead. We spot the bolts on the wall (4 then anchor), and he proceeds to climb to the first bolt about 3 moves up. He manages the first two moves and sort of gets stuck. Not sure what to do, he stepped off the route onto a boulder. 'Man! I don't know where to go!'.

Re-assessing, he steps back on and make the 3rd move to the first bolt to a good rest position. Then he goes for the 2nd bolt which is a good 15ft away. Makes one move and freezes up again. He lost his nerve and came off the route. I say: 'Come on, man! You can do this! It's a 7!' To no avail, he quit anyway. Fair enough, we had had a good day.

So now it's my turn. I make the moves to the first bolt. Hmmm, a little tough. Then I'm about halfway between the 1st and 2nd and start getting stuck too. Internal dialogue:

'Sh$%$%t!!!!!' I can DO this... just calm down. The rock is good.... breathe....good. Now get going.

Proceed, and make it to the 2nd bolt and clip in. Whew! This is a tough 5.7+! But having gotten as far as I had, it seemed a shame to quit now. I could see a pretty good jug between the 2nd and 3rd bolt and the climbing looked like it was easing up toward the top. A couple easy moves and made the 3rd clip.

This was a slabby climb with few handholds, so my hands weren't tired or anything. My calves on the otherhand....

So now I'm at the 3rd bolt and feeling good. Look up and spot the 4th bolt. Jeez. That's pretty far away. Had to be 20 feet minimum, 25 maximum. I figure to myself that whoever set the route knew what they were doing and put the bolts where they belong. Not too many, not too little...it must get easier up there...

So I set off for the 4th bolt. Having figured out the angle of the slab, and what I could get away with in terms of footholds, I proceed. 2 to 3 easy moves, then... STUCK AGAIN!!!! Inner dialogue:

"Dammit!!!! If...I...can....just..get to....that....little... crimper...uggghhhh.!!!!! GOT IT! ahhhhh...... Man this is a tough 5.7!!!!"

Now my feet are a good 10 feet above the 3rd bolt and I have a good 5 to 6 feet over my hands to the 4th and final bolt. They way I started to figure it, if I wasn't already in a groundfall position, I was damn close to it. Progressing further seemed like I would just dig the hole deeper (so to speak) but retreat was not an option becase I didn't feel like using the cheese grater rock like a slip and slide!

I make one more desperation move and look up. The 4th bolt is in reach. I grab my quickdraw and sttttrrrrrrrrrretch for it. Damnmit!!! I'm 3/4 of an inch shy of being able to clip.

My one good foothold is starting to grease off (with the drizzle starting to get worse), my other foot is just smeared on the rock, and the hold I"m using for my left hand I would never normally qualify as "a hold". I flip the quickdraw around so the tight side of the webbing is the end I will use to clip, reeeeeeeaaaaach down to grab the rope, bite it, reeeaaaaaach down again cause I needed the slack. Now I"m POSITIVE I was in a groundfall position and quite petrified. Reach up...Just a another second.....and CLIP! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!.......THANK GOD!!!!!!! OH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU thank you......ahhhhh......

WAY TO GO! Says my partner.

"Goddmammit!!!! There is NO WAY this is a 5.7+!!!!!" I reply

"Good job! Keep going!"

Quite relieved I had made that 4th clip, I make the easy moves to the achors and check the view and lower to the ground.

I felt great. I had flashed the route. Fantastic. BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING MYSELF INTO. Why the Hell was there such a huge gap between the 3rd and 4th bolts? I was so sure I was in a groundfall position. The other routes we had done had clips a maximum of 10 feet apart, cruised them, and did a 5.9 without a problem????

I was scared sh!tless on a 5.7+ and actually was fearing for my health.

You'd think the guidebook would have had a comment on it or something. It wasn't comparable to the other routes at all. And yes, I'm sure the route was listed as a 5.7+. What a pisser. The nature of a subjective rating system I guess. Plus it gave us lots to talk about around the fire.

Any comments?


edge


Aug 5, 2004, 10:00 AM
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Knowing that you recently visited Rumney, and from your description, I am guessing you mean Truth in Advertising.

First, I have seen many mini-epics on that route. I'm not sure why, but you are not alone. I even saw one girl fall off after the first bolt and dislocate her shoulder.

Second, it's a Shimberg route. He is a tall guy and likes to make shorter people stretch to clip. I have no problem, but my 5' 3" daughter never climbs one of his routes unless she is assured that the bolts can be clipped for her height.

Third, New Hampshire has a long, proud tradition when it comes to the + added to a numerical rating! On Cathedral Ledge in particular, the infamous number of 5.9+ are all most certainly solid tens, maybe even harder. Beware the New Hampshire +'s! It's code for sandbag...

Of course if you were talking about another route, then ignore half of what I just said.


calfcramp


Aug 5, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Why Edge... - I don't know what you're talking about.......

You got me. I still can't believe it though.... No more taken lightly for me.

But my question remains: I can climb certain 5.10 a's b's and c's on toprope. I can lead 5.9s. But the moves on that route have got to be 5.8s at least!

I can see how the routes are created in the frame of mind that the leader does not use any of the gear to aid him in his ascent, it's just there for safety. So, it shouldn't matter how far apart the bolts are, it won't affect the rating.

But at Rumney, er, uh, I mean "the area in question".... I notice that the guidebook has a little heart with wings to show that it's a "scary" route and a gun to show that the route is "dangerous" meaning a fall will put you in the hospital at best.

I vote that T I A should at least be given the little heart with wings. I likely wouldn't have attempted it, but I guess I'm glad I did. But if I'd fallen off, I would have been pretty P.O'd. It kind of lures you up to where you can't turn back. Then what? It's not like it was the first route I'd attacked. It caugt my way off guard.


calfcramp


Aug 5, 2004, 1:26 PM
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BUMP.


shakylegs


Aug 5, 2004, 3:33 PM
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Oh, don't bump on the same day, it's tacky.
But, yeah, I'll go to my grave swearing that Book of Solemnity is way harder than a 9. OTOH, Thin Air doesn't rate more than a 5.


calfcramp


Aug 6, 2004, 5:43 AM
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Apologies for the bump. It's been a slow week at work....

I'll have to check those routes out when I go back. What wall?


overlord


Aug 6, 2004, 6:03 AM
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man, you have to be carefull with "easy" slab climbs.

i once did one (it was actually quide well bolted) that had a section where you were about 3ft above the last bolt with your feet, the next one was about 4-5ft above me and there was absolutely no hold. i mean, it looked like somebody ironed it or something. so i sucked it up, moved my feet (thank god for .10s), stretched a bit and got over it. and that section was almost vertical. and the route was graded 5.10b.

on such climbs you have to know who put the route up. the one i wrote about was put up by an oldschool local thats known for hes sandbags (some 5.10 are actually solid .11). never ever underestimate a slab. those olldshool boys who put them up can climb them like goats.


calfcramp


Aug 6, 2004, 6:17 AM
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Agreed. But at what point is a climb qualified as "a slab". When the angle softens, or when the holds disappear down to virtually nothing?

The route I wrote about looked a lot easier from the ground, although a slab. I was sure the holds looked decent. Funny how quickly that changes when you aren't 40' away from the chalkmark... :D


overlord


Aug 6, 2004, 6:22 AM
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slab means less tan vertical and poor holds. and once youre off it your legs hurt like hell. and its scary.


calfcramp


Aug 6, 2004, 6:31 AM
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That's what I thought. Just thought I'd confirm.

Slabs do deliver a different kind of thrill. I get more of a "I'd better not fall" sensation on slabs than on face climbs (or the few steep ones I've managed).

Was out hiking a couple weeks ago in VT and hiked up a slab with a buddy of mine. He just charged right up....to a point. Then he got sorta stuck and worried. He reverted to the old inchworm technique on his belly. Worked for him. I'd have to say that it probably would have been rated a 5.3 maybe a 5.4 if it were a climbing route. We both made it, but definitely not without the "I'd better not fall" sensation.

He went first by the way....just happened that way. Again, it looked easy from the ground.

Good times...good times...


uasunflower


Aug 6, 2004, 6:38 AM
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Oh, don't bump on the same day, it's tacky.
But, yeah, I'll go to my grave swearing that Book of Solemnity is way harder than a 9. OTOH, Thin Air doesn't rate more than a 5.

agreed. First pitch of the book felt harder than 10a for me, both before the roof (it was wet), and at the roof (i'm 5'1). Same for the 2nd pitch, I fell at the "5.9" roof traverse, also might have been a height factor, but i never came back that way to recheck...Pine Tree Eliminate is also a 5.8, and will gobble up the last of your sweat on lead. Calfcramp, those are classics on cathedral, North Conway, NH.

On the other hand at Rumney i feel like many 5.10a are often rather 9ish, it gets to the normal 10 level at 10c/10d. But again, it's all subjective, height-dependent etc. Although IMHO if a concensus has it to be a groundfall poetential sport climb, it should have some kind of an indication to that respect in the guidebook.


cerikpete


Aug 6, 2004, 6:55 AM
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In reply to:
On the other hand at Rumney i feel like many 5.10a are often rather 9ish

Yeah I heard that overall it's kinda soft there.

Guess I'll find out the truth in October. :)


jakedatc


Aug 6, 2004, 7:11 AM
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haha Edge... i was thinking he might have got on Easily aroused instead of Easily amused... but those have 5 bolts :P (you're so smart)

anyway.. from another board, when grades have a (+) you may want to pay more attention and realize that it's probably there for a reason and quite possibly harder than the (-) or full grade of the next one up hehe I don't remember T I A being that horrible but maybe i'll do it again this weekend and pay attention to the places you talk about

OH calf did you clip the piton? that might have saved you a bunch of run out? Also at the meadows and alot of rumney also alot of the easier routes can be made really hard if you are not route finding well.. and can sometimes miss a really good hold if you're not telling urself "this is 5.7 there should be a good enough hold here"

Cerik some of them are soft.. some are not.. it depends on where else you climb i suppose.. cya in Oct!

Julia every route has ground fall potential on lead until you get to at least the 2nd or sometimes 3rd bolt so putting it in the guidebook isnt reeeeeally necessary.. just should be thought about everytime you get above the first bolt

calf the Book and Thin air are at Cathedral not Rumney and are both multipitch trad
Jake


calfcramp


Aug 6, 2004, 7:25 AM
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Hey,

I`m pretty sure I didn`t see a piton anywhere. I definitely would have clipped it if I had. Maybe I had tunnel vision...

And yeah, I probably wasn`t route finding very well. Just following the bolts and trying not to go off route...

I gotta let my toe heal and get out on those 'easy' .10s....


uasunflower


Aug 6, 2004, 7:31 AM
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In reply to:
Julia every route has ground fall potential on lead until you get to at least the 2nd or sometimes 3rd bolt so putting it in the guidebook isnt reeeeeally necessary.. just should be thought about everytime you get above the first bolt

I thought we were talking about 3d and 4th bolts.

Also, I do not think it's that common to have a ground fall potential after the 1st or 2nd bolt or piece. i.e. at the gunks we were once set up on Absurdland, on the slabby part near NeverNeverLand, and the climb to the left of us was a slabby 5.10X, the first bolt is like 15 feet up, and the 2nd piece is around 20 feet further after the bolt. Not on topic, a guy climbing it fell while clipping the 2nd piece head down first, and had decked, and survived, to make me dizzy for a couple of weeks afterwards. But the climb was clearly marked X, so there was no surprise - although it was also pretty obvious from looking at it. So i do not see why if a climb is that dangerous it should not be mentioned in the guidebook. Disclaimer - i have not done TIA, so all this might be irrelevant.


edge


Aug 6, 2004, 7:42 AM
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In reply to:
haha Edge... (you're so smart)

Jake, you make a very good point here.

In reply to:
OH calf did you clip the piton? that might have saved you a bunch of run out? Also at the meadows and alot of rumney also alot of the easier routes can be made really hard if you are not route finding well.. and can sometimes miss a really good hold if you're not telling urself "this is 5.7 there should be a good enough hold here"

Wow, two for Jake in one day!

The best thing to do when you start to feel anxious about a route is to take a few deep breaths, calm down, and look around at all of your options. I find that this particularly applies to Rumney, where many of the good holds may be hard to spot from below, particularly with this year's rains washing off the chalk (which is a good thing aesthetically, but not so good if you're searching for options).

And yes, there is a pin. I forget exactly where, though.


jakedatc


Aug 6, 2004, 7:46 AM
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well if we are then i dont think it's an issue on T I A it only has 4 bolts total and the pin in the horizontal. hehe get better and we'll go see whats up :)

Julia you're talkin apples and oranges now... 5._R/X on trad is marked for the lack of gear causing the run outs and splat potential. and if they have bolts. at the gunks.. then there is *definitely* not gear there.. even tiny stuff

in general sport climbs should not ever be bolted that dangerously.. the whole point is to bolt to protect from ground falls and protect the crux of the route


shakylegs


Aug 6, 2004, 7:55 AM
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by the same token, what's that 5."easy" on the right side of bonzai? it's got rusty pitons and all. scary climb, that one.


jakedatc


Aug 6, 2004, 8:20 AM
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Bombs away 5.8? gear and pins ? it says old pins... so you should probly take that to heart and back them up with something made in this century ;)

after reading alot of descriptions in Ward's book and then climbing the routes it's funny how small pieces come into play the most.. Also realize some routes are put in at the last minute.. like Dave quinn's 10b route on bonsai was put in at the last minute at 5.9 in the first book.. said ya call it Jugline (as he chuckles while telling me the story)


uasunflower


Aug 6, 2004, 8:31 AM
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Yeah, and War and Piece next to it used to be a 10, is there a story behind that as well?


shakylegs


Aug 6, 2004, 8:35 AM
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Hee, jugline. I remember someone offering me beta on it and, being arrogant and stupid, i replied that i would try it first. after nearly decking, i humbly accepted the beta.
yeah, this is getting away from bf, isn't it?


jakedatc


Aug 6, 2004, 8:37 AM
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i dont know any story with that one but it's not a 10.. 9 is a fair rating

shaky you're right.... BEGINNERS.. moral of this story... read the guidebook description.. don't think light hearted jokes about it being scary, stiffer than the grade, "fun in the rain", "good for cold days" aka i wouldnt do it when it's 90 out etc are just comments to make you laugh. think of the route as a cross word and the descriptions are the clues.. not the direct answer to the problem but if you think about it it makes sense


edge


Aug 6, 2004, 10:37 AM
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edge moved this thread from Beginners to Regional Discussions.


edge


Aug 6, 2004, 10:39 AM
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This thread had too much good info about Rumney to remain in Beginners. Thanks, calfcramp!


calfcramp


Aug 6, 2004, 10:51 AM
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RIGHT ON :)

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