Reede, oktoober 20, 2006

Elust enesest

Verdon Rope testing

France. Verdon. Belay ledge with a lot of air around it. Two youths from Cumbria / Yorkshire have just abseilled onto this ledge. They start sorting the ropes out; both are tied into the ends of a 9mm. One lad thoughtfully clips himself in to the bolts and continues sorting gear out. Looks up: his mate has gone! "Oh shit!" as he sees the coils whipping off the edge. Massive lo-o-o-ong strain on the rope as too many yorkshire puds and beer come to rest. Half an hour later, his mate arrives back at the ledge after falling and prussiking 150 ft on his shoe-laces. He dusts himself down, and asks whose lead it is.

Clip or Die!

An apocryphal tale. Llanberis Slate. Rainbow Slab. Probably Raped by Affection (E7). Rumour has it that a young upstart called Johnny (I think you know who I mean), attempted the second ascent of this route on sight. The first 70ft are effectively unprotected and then you get a single bolt and the technical crux, and so to the top. Johnny nears the bolt, but lacks Redhead's reach, and is unable to clip it. In desperation, he calls for a load of slack from his belayer and, with a quickdraw clipped into the rope, jumps for the bolt. He slams the krab home and immediately weights the rope. Thus, the first dyno-clip was born.[1]
[1] Why didn't he ask for a rescue rope like most of us would? Gads!


Andy Kirkpatrick'u varaaidast

Pulling a flake the size of a door of the crux of Lost in America on El Cap while laybacking up it in the dark. All gear ripped out for 100 feet until a 8mm machine nut finally held. If the ancient nut had sheared Andy would have slammed into a corner and died. “I pulled back on and reclimbed to the scar, climbed it using multiple bird-beaks, then lowered off a tied-off knifeblade. It was time for bed.”

Ripping out the aforementioned knife blade the following day while jumaring back up to complete the pitch, falling three feet onto a taped down sky hook, which somehow held. After the knife blade had fallen out, jumaring an 8mm rope for 30 metres while hanging from the hook was a real turning point. “If that slipped off I knew nothing else would hold. But the funny thing is that I was just beyond worry. I was just thinking of anagrams of Dick Turnbull the whole way up.”