Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Jules Verne

This morning at 6 a.m. I met Stefan in Eldo and we went and did the lower half of Jules Verne, just to the Upper Ramp. The first pitch of Jules Verne is really good, but it requires you to do the crux of T2 (5.11b/c) and this is a super burly sequence of moves that always stymies me.

Stefan onsighted the crux of T2 with aplomb. All the deadpoint points, he does casually by locking off with one arm. He then led a runout section, but it was only 5.7/8, though he was looking at a ground fall. Next is a cool, rising traversing section where you uncling along this mini-roof that is about 10 inches deep. He thought this section was 5.9, but it seemed more like 5.10- to me.

The final difficulties are surmounting this bulge, protected by a fat bolt. This section is rated 10c, Stefan thinks. I found this to be feel pretty reasonable and didn't think it was any harder than the traverse to get to it.

But the bottom section is different. This is just brutal. It is so overhanging. It starts with a couple of positive holds, but you have to pull up and pretty much hang from them, with your feet tucked way underneath you. Then a big move to this edge, which isn't that good. Now you have to do some foot shenanigans and it might be best to heel hook the right foot on a big hold to the right. Now the left foot is completely dangling and you have to match on the edge. This is the hardest move on the pitch. But the next hardest move is immediately following where you have to much a huge reach up to this flake that you grab in a lieback/undercling fashion. If you get high enough on this flake, you can pull up nicely and reach even bigger holds. If you don't get it good, you're off.

I fell off once trying to get the match and had to be lowered to the ground to try again. The next time I made the match and the reach to the flake. Now I was at the single piece of protection, a drilled pin. Stefan was able to clip this before making the next move, which is the 3rd hardest move. He grabs a small hold, then moves his feet way right and then reaches through with his left hand. I can't hold that tiny hold and I have to bump my right hand up to a better hold after moving my feet to the right. Once this is done, you're on easy ground and can shake out. I fell off once doing this move as well.

I followed the rest of the pitch clean, but found the traverse challenging with some big reaches. I led the beautiful second pitch all strung it all the way to the Upper Ramp and I belayed at the base of the Naked Edge. Stefan followed and we did three single rope rappels back to the base.

We TRed the start a few times. I got it clean from the ground once, but then couldn't do it again. It is so burly! I'm too weak and too heavy, but Stefan makes this thing look like 5.8...

That was enough humility for one morning. Great, fun climbing.


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