Sunday, April 06, 2014

Bolting For Glory and T2 Start w/Derek

Pulling over the A-shaped notch on the first pitch of Touch and Go
Derek and went to Eldo today. We originally planned to repeat what Mark and I did last weekend, but weather and crowds had us change plans slightly. We geared at the car and then walked to the first pitch of Touch and Go (5.8+) where we talked two young guys out of the climb and they moved on up the hill and we took off. As I was flaking the rope, it started to snow. Great. I thought I'd just be coiling it back up, but Derek really wanted to do this pitch. Two years ago it has stumped him, Arthur, and my brother. So I led up to the ramp and then Derek followed nicely, easily doing the lower crux and taking just a bit to figure out the A-shaped pinch above.

From the ledge I noticed Tanya and Bruno below. They had bailed off their route when it started to snow and now the weather was looking better and they decided to climb Touch and Go as well. So, as Bruno led the first pitch, I led Bolting for Glory (10a). This time I moved right off the belay, put in a blue Alien and made it up to the first bolt much quicker than last time. I knew the moves to the second bolt and soon I was there. At that point things started to go downhill for me. I could not get comfortable with either the handholds or footholds. I stepped up and down a couple of times before committing and falling off! I was right at the bolt so I "fell" about three feet. Derek caught me and I got it next try, but, dang, I'm regressing! I mantled out the last hard move after clipping the third bolt and then went hard left after clipping the fourth bolt, ala Mark from last week.

Derek followed the pitch quickly and cleanly! First time he's climbed something that I fell off of! He's just really good with his feet. He has the confidence of a toprope and he just trusts his feet and pulls on the terrible, rounded, tiny holds. He looked way better getting by the third bolt as well, not doing the desperate mantle that I do.

Climbing up Bolting for Glory
We gazed over at Anthill Direct, which had a party on the third pitch - the really long, runout pitch. A chick was leading with a pack on and she was going the wrong way. I had watched them at the belay and they took forever and a day to do the change-over. I knew then we wouldn't be following them up. They were way too slow. I asked if they wanted some route advice and the second nodded so I started telling the chick that she needed to go hard left. She yelled back, "I don't need any beta, thank you." Oops. My bad. Just trying to help. I thought they might be in trouble, but she had things under control. She was probably a solid leader, just unfamiliar with the terrain and not reading it right at first. I sure done that many times in the past. A bit later another chick wearing a pack comes up the first pitch and launches straight into the second pitch. Lo and behold, it is Michelle from the Minions.

Well, that route was too busy for us and I offered up toproping the first pitch of T2 (11b/c) and Derek was game. I led up a short, easy pitch to the bolted anchors that are above the anchors on T2. Derek followed and we did two raps to the ground. Off our last anchor we could toprope the first pitch of T2. This is an extremely burly, very overhung start where you get horizontal for a bit and even on toprope you can hit the slab if you fall. I have. I coached Derek to run down the hill a bit if I came off.

I pulled off the ground on the small but positive crimps and stuck my right foot straight up into a crack. I'm I then deadpointed to the rail above. Hitting it, I then swung my right foot up into a heel hook above my head. I was now horizontal to the ground. I deadpointed my left hand over to match, switched my heel hook to a toe hook and pulled for all I was worth and then deadpointed for the flake above me with my right hand. I got it! I pulled up on the still very overhanging ground and made a deadpoint to the crimp. I moved my feet way to the right and bumped the right hand higher. Then I could move up my left hand and reach right to the finishing jugs. Whew! The rest of the pitch is steep fun at mostly 5.7/8 with a touch of 5.9 thrown in.
Derek learning how to let go with both hands while on rappel, by wrapping the rope around his leg.
I rapped off and it was Derek's turn. He gave it four good tries, each time having to lower to the ground because it is so steep that you can't get back on it. Once he came within a foot of the slab below, but I caught him. He made the match to the rail each time, but couldn't make the reach to the flake. He wasn't as efficient with his feet, which are technical as they have to be twisted into a crack that up under the roof, but he could hang on a good long time. It's just a hard boulder problem. I think it is V4, but the ratings on this pitch range from 10d to 11b. All seem soft to me. It's way burly.

Since Derek couldn't finish the crux, where I had clipped a directional draw at the top,  I had to climb it again. I was a bit worried I couldn't pull it off a second time, but I was just able to make it happen. Nice. There have certainly been times where I couldn't do this problem. I am no where near ready to lead this thing, though, and probably never will be. I'd have to be MUCH stronger as it's a ground fall (possibly onto your back) from about twenty feet up before you can clip the pin, which would be very difficult to clip anyway.

That was it for us and we headed back to the car. Fun times.
Topping out on Bolting for Glory

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