Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Naked Edge, Part III: Progress with Buzz

Well, okay, maybe saying that Buzz blasted the Edge is a bit of an overstatment, but he partnered with me this morning and we did the first two pitches. We met outside of Eldo at 7 a.m. and then I took awhile to get things organized before we started the short hike to the base of the Redgarden Wall.

We approached the Edge via Touch and Go to Jules Verne with Buzz leading the first pitch and I the second. Buzz did a great job on his lead and had no problems on Jules Verne's second pitch which is hard 5.8. This pitch had a disappointing amount of birdshit over it, but the climbing is stellar and still worth doing. This pitch didn't used to have so much of this. In the upper crack I think there was a dead bird as well.

We arrived on the ledge below the Edge and I re-racked for the lead. I still don't have a redpoint of this pitch and this would be my fourth attempt at leading it. Things went quite well and I had both hands at the penultimate hold, but was so pumped. I justed needed to bump up my foot a bit and then reach for the bomber lock on top. I fell off with my hands less than a foot from the hold that marks the end of the difficulties. It was my best effort yet. I rested just bit and then sent the rest of the pitch.

Buzz followed, doing a great job for a guy who normally doesn't climb above 5.9. I kept a tight rope on him. He rested very briefly on rope maybe a couple of times, but did all the moves himself. I was impressed. This guy can climb 5.10 pretty much without any training, but he rarely does it because he likes moving quicker and more continuously. He wanted to do more mileage this morning, but he also wanted to support his friend in his quest to redpoint the Edge.

The morning was so beautiful, that I couldn't go down yet. I led the next pitch (10b) and really enjoyed the moves. This was only my second time leading this pitch, but I think I have it pretty wired now. Buzz did great until he got to the crux, which is definitely a bit baffling. I gave as much beta as I could, but he hung on the rope a couple of times. There is a bit of a trick to this pitch, but once you get the trick it isn't too bad.

We did five raps back to the ground and headed to work, much too late, but well satisfied. I don't know how long the nice weather will last, but I have three months before the Edge closes down until August of next year.


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