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Author Topic: Stage Fright @ Cathedral  (Read 3585 times)

darwined

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 07:09:25 PM »

Bring the Bosch and a couple bolts
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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2013, 08:20:01 PM »

Bring the Bosch and a couple bolts

LOL...
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Al Hospers
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om

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2013, 08:21:41 PM »

Stage fright has only had 2 leads;
1) Hugh Herr- It was extensively tr'ed first and all the gear was placed on rapell.
2) Peter Vintoniv- It was again extensively tr'ed first but he placed all the gear on the lead. TK jr. was the belayer.

I'm not sure if IME(or books) got it right. I happened to climb with Hugh on occasion around the time Peter was working on it, and Hugh was a bit disturbed by the fact that Peter got similar information. Hugh said he had one nut pre-placed during his FA, it was only pre-placed because it needed to be set rather well and every time they set it the surrounding rock would get damaged more and more. So it was left in place. The rest of the gear was placed on lead. But of course, it was not an on-sight :)
Hugh's concern was not that his accomplishment gets bettered  - he was very happy it will get done, but that Peter would pre-place gear for his assent only to later find out that it was not how FA was done; and no one wants to do this lead twice. 
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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2013, 08:23:15 PM »

...and no one wants to do this lead twice. 

ya think? [wry grin]
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DaveR

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2013, 08:55:17 PM »

Stage fright has only had 2 leads;
1) Hugh Herr- It was extensively tr'ed first and all the gear was placed on rapell.
2) Peter Vintoniv- It was again extensively tr'ed first but he placed all the gear on the lead. TK jr. was the belayer.

I'm not sure if IME(or books) got it right. I happened to climb with Hugh on occasion around the time Peter was working on it, and Hugh was a bit disturbed by the fact that Peter got similar information. Hugh said he had one nut pre-placed during his FA, it was only pre-placed because it needed to be set rather well and every time they set it the surrounding rock would get damaged more and more. So it was left in place. The rest of the gear was placed on lead. But of course, it was not an on-sight :)
Hugh's concern was not that his accomplishment gets bettered  - he was very happy it will get done, but that Peter would pre-place gear for his assent only to later find out that it was not how FA was done; and no one wants to do this lead twice.

It would be interesting to talk with both of them at the same time. I know them both well and they are very different people!

The bottom line is that it has only had 2 leads. Both after it was tr'd and it has never had an on-sight lead and likely never will.

We can talk about minor details but the boldness of the lead and the 2 climbers who have done it speaks for itself!!

Peter for a while was out of control and I worried about him, He was in IME one day talking with a bunch of people about soloing the Prow and Rick talked him out of it. He has soloed some routes out west equally as hard and longer since then. Some of the stuff he and Tim K Jr were doing at the time was just nuts and they got a lot of it on video.

A comical footnote, I coached Peter for 2 years when he first started climbing and could actually out climb him for a little while. A very little while!
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climbnplay

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2013, 12:19:42 AM »

rich history! thanks for sharing! it definitely makes me even more psyched to do this route.
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JHandren

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 02:30:24 PM »

Pretty sure that Hugh never top-roped it, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone saw (ie with their own eyes) something different.

The route has had at least a few other ascents. Jim Damon for one, in a pretty fast (2 day ascent if I remember correctly, tr'd and preplaced gear). Never heard about Scott Franklin...can anyone confirm that?

Ground up means no prior rapping or top-roping so the route hasn't had a ground up ascent yet.

The good wires at the start of the seam may well keep you off the deck on the crux moves with a v. good belay. I suspect one of the new tiny tricams will provide better pro than the green slider ever did in the old peg hole.

I Tr'd Heather and Stage Fright a few days apart when working on the book, pretty confident of the 12b/c grade. Stage Fright is slightly harder than normal Heather and a good bit easier than the direct version. Having said that the crux is a long reach and height could make a difference.

Good luck...its still one of New Hampshire's great leads.

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DaveR

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 02:43:26 PM »

Pretty sure that Hugh never top-roped it, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone saw (ie with their own eyes) something different.

The route has had at least a few other ascents. Jim Damon for one, in a pretty fast (2 day ascent if I remember correctly, tr'd and preplaced gear). Never heard about Scott Franklin...can anyone confirm that?

Ground up means no prior rapping or top-roping so the route hasn't had a ground up ascent yet.

The good wires at the start of the seam may well keep you off the deck on the crux moves with a v. good belay. I suspect one of the new tiny tricams will provide better pro than the green slider ever did in the old peg hole.

I Tr'd Heather and Stage Fright a few days apart when working on the book, pretty confident of the 12b/c grade. Stage Fright is slightly harder than normal Heather and a good bit easier than the direct version. Having said that the crux is a long reach and height could make a difference.

Good luck...its still one of New Hampshire's great leads.

I see Hugh on a fairly regular basis and talk occasionally to Peter. Next time I see Hugh I will ask him because I am curious about the details myself. I'm quite sure that he also tr'd it first. My understanding is that Scott Franklin tr'd it but never led it because time ran short when he was here.
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strandman

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 03:10:20 PM »

I remember Hugh never actually getting the route in any manner until his lead...The gear down low will hold falls...butthe crux ????
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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 03:39:04 PM »

Jerry - thnx for posting that info
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Al Hospers
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DaveR

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 08:34:25 PM »

Pretty sure that Hugh never top-roped it, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone saw (ie with their own eyes) something different.

I just sent Hugh an e-mail and will let you know what he says. I am very curious about the history now. I will also talk with Peter V.
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climbnplay

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2013, 01:22:51 AM »

Very relieved to report that this afternoon (Sun 8/11) my friend Manuel Brunn and I belayed each other on Stage Fright successfully. All gear were placed on lead for both ascends. I will post up a report and the gear we used tomorrow.
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JoeC

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2013, 07:08:39 AM »

Nice man!  Congrats!
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DGoguen

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2013, 09:49:47 AM »

Yesterday was a beautiful day for photos, must have got some good ones.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 09:51:28 AM by DGoguen »
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climbnplay

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Re: Stage Fright @ Cathedral
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2013, 12:26:15 PM »

This past Sunday afternoon (Aug. 11) my friend Manuel and I did the supposedly 3rd and 4th reported ascents of Stage Fright on Airation Buttress at Cathedral Ledge. All the gear were placed on lead. With great relief I can say that the gear was not tested with any significant falls, neither on the ascend nor on previous attempts.

First of all, for those who are interested, the gear we used were (in order of placement):
#1 C4- red
#9 BD stopper- blue
#5 Metolius ultralight stopper- black
#1 Metolius mastercam- blue (or: green Alien) **
#5 DMM peenut **
#1 Metolius offset mastercam – blue/purple (body weight?!)
0.4 C4 – grey (optional)
0.3 C4 – blue

**These two pieces were absolutely essential for us; the only reasonable protection for the entirety of the crux section. However, we did not test them with any falls from above. On the previous attempt, I fell from just below after clipping the peenut and it held well- placing these two pieces were strenous at first.

Overall, I toproped the route 6 times (over 3 weekend afternoons) and Manuel twice (2 afternoons). I first learned about the line a few weekends ago after linking Rapid Transit to Airation, and toproped it with my friend Perry after doing Airation. It sparked my interest immediately because the moves were unusual (especially for a shorter person; I’m 5’8 ) and really very very good. I have background in modern dance, so these things are somewhat valuable from a personal perspective. My friend told me afterwards of the story of Hugh Herr’s FA, and jokingly asked me whether I’d lead it. I said: Maybe! 

After finding no gear beta anywhere, I started asking online (MP and here) about gear, but finally just borrowed a few ballnutz and took my entire rack on a rappel to figure it out myself. I couldn’t convince anyone else to try and lead it with me at the time, so I took the time to brush the route and just put it in the back of my mind. It was also consistently seeping, with 2 critical holds being always very wet. I finally managed to convince two friends (two very strong German crushers) to TR the route with me the next weekend. Manuel and Till both flashed it on TR - Manuel, who is my height, used my beta while the taller Till did some boring stuff. Despite their effortless TR flash, they weren’t convinced about leading it and I wasn’t very psyched about doing it alone.

The biggest logistical problem, however, were with the two very wet holds, especially the one that marks the end of the crux, as a slip from that hold at that height would not be so good. I found better gear beta on the subsequent rappel and was seriously considering leading it. But the weekly rain kept the two holds stubbornly seeping. For two weekends, I drove up from Boston, left a fixed line above the route and rappelled down in the morning to stuff paper towel and cotton balls into the wet holds, hoping that the morning sun would dry them and thus making it leadable in the afternoon. It was not working so well.

The first 3 TR’s were to find/tweak my beta. On the 4th TR I did the route clean and on the 5th go, I TRed while placing gear (not clean). This was Sunday of Aug. 4th and I decided to try and lead it, seeing that the holds were the driest that I had seen. However I did not feel very psyched, and fell soon after placing the peenut . I found that it was very strenuous placing the peenut first and then the Green Alien, for two reasons: 1) the wire of the peenut was sitting in the shallow crack where I needed to place the Alien, and 2), the Alien stem was too wobbly to place in what was already a very strenous over-the-head balancing placement). I decided to use the much stiffer blue Metolius mastercam instead and place it before the peenut.

On Saturday morning of the 10th, I rappelled down to find the route disheartenedly more wet than I’d ever seen. This was my last weekend in Boston before flying back to Europe for school. Perry told me that it rained a lot on Thursday and Friday. I stuffed cotton balls and left the fixed line overnight. On Sunday morning, I rappelled down again to replace the soaked cotton balls with fresh paper towel, not expecting too much. Instead I went and got my butt kicked in the Cave area. Some time over the course of the weekend, Manuel had a change of heart and wanted to lead it with me. Realizing that I had a partner to share the experience with, then I got really psyched!! At 2pm we went back to check the route, and it had dried significantly (although not as dry as the previous weekend).  I replaced the paper towels and in generally just tried to dry the route as much as I could. I deemed it acceptable to lead in this condition.

Manuel and I both TRed (his second, and my sixth) it once more with gear – he was solid and I was flailing; feet that never slipped were slipping and crimps that felt good before did not. We hydrated, ate and waited for the rock to cool down a bit more. We put our packs over the protruding tree roots at the base. (My other friend Jorn very concerningly took out his banana and avocado, so they wouldn’t get squashed in the fall. Perry generously offered to go up Airation and take pictures.) At 4pm, Manuel led it first – solidly, with some small grunting at the top. (I had never heard him grunt before; amusing but not very encouraging for me!) I sat around, rehearsed the moves in my head and sat around some more until I felt ready. Although I had done horribly on the last TR, I knew the moves well and I knew I could execute them well, as long as I could shrug off the pressure and climb with my body and not my head. I roped up and climbed it in complete control. Normally a grunter, I didn’t make a sound. I only came back to full awareness on the top 5.10 crack section, as I realized that I had forgotten the foot placements and was trying to find them, while having only the highly questionable offset Mastercam between me and the Peenut way down there. I let out a hearty shout when I reached the ledge.

Overall, this has been a great learning experience, both for the body and for the mind. The cleaning and drying were tedious, but I have to say it enriched the overall experience of the climb. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process and have all the respect for Hugh Herr and all the crazy ones out there that do hard sketchy trad! This climb is less than a number grade from my hardest sport redpoint, so for me adapting the mental acuteness was the biggest lesson as well as the best reward. It really is a very nice route with beautiful moves, so I hope it gets many more repeats. As far as the grade goes, it felt like a solid 12c R for me (or is it 12d? not sure); someone tall may find it slightly easier. The R rating is assuming that the peenut and mastercam hold – which I am fairly confident about, but again, not directly tested with a fall from above the gear.

Some people have questioned my motives behind doing climbs like this (not the first time for me). Not to be wordy about my feelings, I love trad as well as sport climbing, but the logistics and the head game behind routes like Stage Fright really bring these experiences closer to what climbing used to be – bold, adventurous, precise, minimalistic, and lastly of course physical. This package is really good for the soul; hard to come by nowadays, so not to be missed when the opportunity presents itself. It blows my mind what climbers were achieving 20, 30 years ago with the equipment they had, so to experience a fraction of what they experienced (albeit with much better gear and safer outcomes), is truly invaluable.

I should mention that my friend, Manuel Brunn, who’s a Scarpa and Metolius sponsored climber from Germany, learned to trad climb 3 weeks ago. He’s a crazy one. And my name is Fan Yang, and I greedily claimed the First Asian Ascent (FAA) of this route. Needless to say, Manuel was heartbroken and imploded with envy when he learned that the other two ascensionists were Caucasians like himself.

P.S. I will post some pictures when Perry gets them to me; he's a notoriously lazy bum among our friends.
P.P.S. Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes - it could only have helped!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 01:29:43 PM by climbnplay »
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