Thursday, July 15, 2010

minor updates

So yesterday I went on a solo mission, and jugged the first 11 pitches, on Napoleon's epic (and I mean EPIC) fixed line. I drilled a variation (which will remain secret for now), removed the white fixed line from p11 and p10.

I added one bolt to P10 (the "munge traverse"). There is a cam placement near the bolt, but when I whacked it with the crowbar, i got that hollow whoomping sound that makes me head for the shitter. So now that 5.5 pitch is no hassle at all. This pitch is kinda dirty, but I left it. It is 5.5, all the trees etc have been chopped, no hassle route-finding, etc. We have this pitch, and the traverse that starts 2 pitches higher, which are "natural" so to speak, and we left these more or less as-is. assured, if you climb the route, all of the technical stuff is clean. You will not be placing cams in muck.

I moved Napoleon's epic fixed line away from the start of P3 with one discreet bolt. Once his fixed lines come down, nobody will ever see that bolt again. So if you are up there climbing the route, you will see the fixed lines, but you will not actually be near them (except on the p7 bolt-ladder).

On P11, I cleaned up one edge of the wide-crack section and cleaned out a few placements opposite the wide crack (some wide stemming is possible for the tall and the flexible among us). Now, about the wide-crack section:

After the first ascent, Driller and I debated adding another bolt to this pitch. As it is, I used 1x #2, 3, 4, and 5 Camalot in that corner, in that order, before I got to the bolts I had drilled. We had installed two bolts, because, if we hadn't, you would have needed 2x #5 Camalot and at least 1x #6 Camalot to safely climb it, making for an epic rack. I am satisfied with our decision, in much the same way that Perry Beckham was satisfied with having put bolts on Perry's Lieback on the Grand Wall: if he hadn't, you would have needed to haul 5 #6s up there, which would have been not only a pain in the ass for hardmen, but a buzz-killer for everybody else. Now, the hard-assed tradmasters might complain-- "hey, they don't do that in the Valley"-- but those people can go to the Valley, and climb the off-width pitch on Freerider (5.11d) at 40m with two cams.

As it stands now, you put in a bomber #4, then, six feet higher, a bomber #5 (which you can easily move up as you go) for ten feet, and then you clip the first bolt. After we climbed the pitch, we debated the grade. Compare those 15 feet to Split Beaver (5.10b) in the Bluffs. This is wider, but MUCH lower-angled than the Beaver. Plus, you are gunning for a bolt, and the thing can be liebacked, and you can get a stem rest off the crack to the right. Plus the crux is shorter than the Beaver. So we think 10bish is the grade, and it doesn't need any more bolts.

On the ground, I cleaned up the arete that is to the immediate right of the v-groove. I added one bolt to this and knocked off some loose rocks. If the V-groove (a tricky, cool start) is ever wet, you can scramble up the arete (at 5.7), clip a bolt, go 10 feet higher, and step across onto the route and good gear placements.

Finally I hauled out most of the garbage, and the 100m of old static line that Ben Roy donated to us. It felt oddly anticlimactic, working on the route after having done the first ascent with the Driller.

I am now hoping folks climb it! As of today there is a week of dry weather, the route is shaded so it's great hot-day excursion, even the "wet like your wife" pitch is dry...go do it!

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