Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Speed climbing 5.10?

Okay, this wasn't exactly speed climbing since we didn't use any speed climbing techniques and just tried to move quickly through some classic Eldo 5.10's.

I met Bill Briggs in Eldo just past 4:30 p.m. We put on our harnesses and climbing shoes right there in the parking lot. Our first objective was Diffraction (10a/b) to Metamorphosis (10b, S). I led the first pitch in 11 minutes and Bill followed in 10 minutes. We re-racked and Bill was headed up Meta 3 minutes later. He led this tricky, scary pitch in under 17 minutes and I follow in 11.5 minutes.

It took us awhile to climb up to and over to the rappel anchors, rappel, and downclimb back to the ground and over to the start of Tagger. 14 minutes after I finished Metamorphosis, Bill started leading the first pitch of Tagger. He dispatched this with just four pieces of gear and in under 14 minutes. I had just climbed this route five days ago, so I zip up the first pitch in under 3 minutes, grab the rack, and head up to the big roof.

It probably only takes me 2 minutes to get up to this roof, but then I arrange a good deal of protection and then mess up the start once, having to downclimb back to a rest. The next time up I struggle mightily, but don't come off. I'm pretty pumped climbing the final 5.8 section. I set up an anchor and call "Off Belay" after less than 13 minutes. Bill follows in just over 10 minutes and we coil the rope and head down the trail, over the bridge, to the base of March of Dimes. At first we think we won't climb anymore and our pace over there is casual. We change our minds though and 13 minutes after finishing Tagger I head up March of Dimes. I led this 40-foot 10a pitch, clipped the top anchors, and lowered to the ground in 4m43s. We had only been climbing for 1h57m.

I want to link four, 2-pitch 5.10 routes in four hours and this first practice session confirms that this is possible.

As Bill cleaned March of Dimes, Rololando Garibotti stolls up the road. I say hi and we talk for awhile. Rolo is out for some casual, evening soloing. Bill lowered off and we packed up and headed for the car. There we meet Jim Collins and Jim Logan. Collins has been working the Rainbow Wall (13a/b) for the past five years. Today he decides that is it now too warm and too humid for this route. He'll call off the project until the fall. I've met Logan before, but this is the first time I've met Collins, the legendary climber who put up Genesis (12d) and unrope soloed the Naked Edge (7 pitches, 11b). He takes one look at my thighs and says, "Those legs were not built for overhanging sport climbing." I think he means it as an excuse for while I'm only climbing 5.10. Earlier that day, Steve Z beat me in a sprint on the bike and says, "Look at the difference in our legs. How can I be beating you in a sprint?" My quads are big, but apparently not very powerful - the worst of both worlds! :-)


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