General > Epics and Accidents

In keeping with tradition,

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I had my yearly "I'm too freaked out, and I'm getting down now" day yesterday at Cathedral.

Act one,
We went up with intentions of climbing the Mordor Wall. 

Now really, my aid climbing experience is very limited.  That being said if I can keep my head straight, I really enjoy me some hook moves.  What I hate is cleaning traverses.  I let them throw me off, and everything I touch becomes a shit show.  Aiders and daisies twisted around the rope, and everything else.  Jugs jamming in biners as I try to pass them by gear.  No idea how all this happens, so fixxing it takes twice as long, but I get everything worked out and get feeling better.  Too little too late, the damage is done to my head.

I really believe my first mistake was leaving my flask at home.  The second would be not getting beer on the way up North.  Nick lead the first pitch very nicely.  No cursing or struggling, just calm, quiet and steady.  So after struggling and flailing for I dont know how long, I manage to get to the belay.  I take, I don't know, five or six minutes to get clipped in.  I know Nick is relieved I am up there, but pretty sure he's not liking how long it took me.  I start looking at the second pitch, which an hour or so ago I was all gung ho on leading.  Not so much anymore...  I said "I'm done, it's time to get down".  I hate that felling of defeat when I resolve to go back to the ground.  Little did I know it was most likely a blessing in disguise.

Act two,
We got some beverages of a refreshing nature and checked the guide for something else to do.  We decided on Standard Route, the Toe Crack variation, which is a great pitch.  I lead the first, up the dike next to the chiminey, to the slabs underneath the belay ledge.  Was in my hiking boots till I slipped and caught by a red zero.  First time I fell on gear.  Was very comforting to see it held.  Quickly changed into my climbing shoes and made some progress.  Head still a little screwy I built an anchor UNDER the belay ledge until I was asked, "wouldn't it be easier to belay from ON the ledge", which turned out to in fact be the case.  Nick lead the crack with great cool and confidence.  If he ever gets freaked out he doesn't show it.  Got to the cave with a lot of dark clouds moving in.  Nick thought we should consider retreat in case of lightning.  I said "eh I think we can get this in the bag before the weather gets bad".  And then we heard the thunder and Nick said "we're getting out of here", to which I replied "Yeah, I'm good with that".

Back on the ground I was coiling the rope when the rain started, and by the time we got to the car it was coming down pretty good.  Cracked a beer, looked to see if anyone was still on the wall, and hung out under the kiosk for a few.   I think if we continued up Mordor at my pace we would have been too far, and probably mid-pitch, to retreat before the lightning.

So there it is.  We bailed off Cathedral twice in one day.

Anyone want to go climbing?

Sometimes your inner voice is right.



--- Quote from: Joe_Re on August 22, 2011, 11:19:23 am ---I lead the first, up the dike next to the chiminey, to the slabs underneath the belay ledge.  Was in my hiking boots till I slipped and caught by a red zero.  First time I fell on gear.  Was very comforting to see it held. 

--- End quote ---

Thanks for sharing. Now for the Monday morning quarterbacking.

What are you doing climbing thin 5.8 face moves in hiking boots if you have never fallen on gear before? The fact a red zero caught you means you are very lucky. Pretty sure that is where Chauvin held someone while they died of a head injury from falling there many years ago. Approach shoes are one thing, but hiking boots on what sounds like an on-sight? Just saying, this sounds like either you were trying to show off for rope-gun Nick or something...

Clearly you should have had the beer BEFORE mordor

No shit John, some are gonna argue that it screws with your common sense, but if you're spooked or a little freaked out you'll make mistakes in haste.  Rapping off the ends of the rope, back clipping, running it out, etc.

Dale, I've bailed off a number of climbs due someone not feeling it, the weather yesterday was a first.

David, your welcome, and thanks for your viewpoint, but...

I have climbed a lot in those boots and felt comfortable climbing what I was climbing in them.  I have lead 5.7 and top-roped 5.10a (Lonesome Dove) in them.  Though had I worn my shoes I wouldn't have blown the onsight.  But if I really cared about that I would have worn my shoes in the first place.

Now, being a professional you know as well as I a red zero is plenty able to catch a lead fall (properly placed), and I would not have placed it if I did not believe it could do so.  I have rested on bolts and gear a couple of times.  I have been climbing for 4 or 5 years and leading for 3 or 4 years and I have fallen on lead exactly three times.  I HATE falling and do not lightly put myself into situations where I may exert force on my equipment.  I really thought I would make it without falling, but placed gear as if I would.



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