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Your Finest Whipper

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So what's you're most memorable fall while leading? For me that's a tough one as there have been many that are longer than what most climbers consider comfortable.
One memorable one was on The Arete on Cathedral. My belayer was zenning out watching the hoards of guided climbers (in particular a group of hot chickies) while sporting a giant speed loop. I had climbed above the crux bolt (5ft below my feet) and was crimping my ass off when I popped. I fell below the rest overlap- about 30ft. As I was falling, I had enough time to think to myself "how come this is happening?"

Joe Lentini was guiding that day and actually took a picture of me mid-flight.

Let's here it boys. Whatta ya got? I know I've got several more memorable whippers.

Another one was on The Missing Link. After struggling on the 2nd overlap, I had essentially finished the climb. Problem was, I had a warpig (pump) in my forearms. I grabbed the enormous bucket to top off and simply couldn't hold on.

I almost hit my belayer (Ajax Greene), who was at the bolt anchor belay of Thin Air (after the traverse).

That puppy was at least 40ft.

Right after Iíd moved back to GA, still a pup, I went to Tallulah Gorge for the first time. Tallulah is diamond hard quartzite, I love tri-cams but I donít even bother there, wonít grip, same with cams if itís a parallel placement and you donít get it deep. Anyway, Curtis Glass puts me on Flying Frog, which he calls a nice 5.8, Ďcause for a while there sandbagging Corbett was the national f$%king pastime. Actually itís a Gottlieb classic and one of the best pitches in the South and a consensus 10c. A full, sustained rope length with a 30í layback corner at the top that everyone has fallen out of at some point, though I didnít know any of this then.

By the time I get to the corner Iím fried. I try every stemming, cheating thing I can think of, but itís a layback, so finally I plug a Friend blind because Iím too flamed to pull in and look to see if itís any good and then I take off for the top. And a couple of moves from the top the muscles just give up and Iím off.

And Iím falling, and falling, and falling. I hate the ones where youíre in the air long enough to analyze everything and I just know that Friend has blown. This is bad, since the next piece is an RP in a parallel seam 10' below that that wonít hold a loud fart, and it occurs to me that this has the potential to approach triple digits. And then I stop. Friend held, but the guy who Curtis has belaying me is only climbing for the third time ever and had left a giant loop of slack in the rope. It was better than 50í and I was ecstatic, cause I was still alive.

And since you mentioned him, a funny Ajax story. We climbed together a good bit when we were both in Breckenridge in the mid-80s and he was always telling me the Ďright wayí to do things, like you should be able to stand at the bottom of any climb and choose a dozen pieces, 16 tops, and thatís all you should take. Whatever, Ajax. We go into Cynical Pinnacle to do the Center Route and Iím taping up because that South Platte granite has teeth, and heís giving me a ration because you shouldnít have to tape if you have good technique. Whatever, Ajax. Even with the tape my hands got chewed up pretty good, because maybe my technique wasnít the best, but he didnít tape at all, and his hands were f%^king handburger for the next three weeks. People screamed when they saw us, zombie hands raised from the dead.

Shit- for this thread, i feel like hennie youngman ( an old comic)  I got a million of them;

Unwanted Guests  f/a  whitehorse.. we shared drilling,, free, onsite etc.. i did 2 and Karl did 1.. pull the rope and off i go.. got all the way to Future Shock and the hand popped.. big swing 40' plus pissed it would hae been a 12B f/a onsite, lead no falls SHIT

Ajax is opinionated for sure.  I climbed quite a bit with him at The Gunks '95 and '96.  I did the right thing by always insisting that I bring my rack.  I told him he can bring whatever he wanted but when I led, I led with my rack.

My longest whip is pretty mild by comparison, maybe right at 30 feet.  Going for some .11 onsight at The New.  Got past the crux.  Pretty pumped but the run to the anchors is .10.  Problem was it was sporty bolted.  Gave it a good fight but came off about 4 feet from the anchors.  Saw two draws of mine go by on the way down.  Enough time for me to wonder if I was ever going to stop.  Then a very gentle deceleration on a brand new rope a friend had brought specially for the trip.  She was pissed I whipped before she did on that rope! :)


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