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The Climbing Club • View topic - Index - Various

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: Index - Various
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:35 pm 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:39 pm
Posts: 1945
Location: Bashing Brush
In an attempt to climb harder trad, in expectation of a trip into the Pasayten at the end of July, Michelle and I have been spending more time at Index than in past years. I think that we're getting stronger, particularly if pain is taken to be equivalent to gain. I also fully concur that ratings go something like: 5.9, 5.10a, 5.10b, 5.7 off-width, 5.10c, etc.

There were a few false starts to this. In April, I tried climbing GNS with one of my students, only to discover at the bottom of the climb that I'd forgotten the rack. Michelle followed up a few weeks later by forgetting the rope.

Shenanigans mostly complete, we officially started out the season with the me trying to get my trad head back together after a long winter of teaching and sitting in front of a computer. James and Michelle obliged, by letting me lead GNS (5.6) with much thrutching (but not as much thrutching as my following James up the Ares fist crack). James then led the finger crack on Ares ( 5.8 ), with Michelle and I following on top-rope.

Kris and I headed out a week or two later, with Kris leading the Ares fist crack, me leading the Ares finger crack, and Kris taking the left-hand exit to lead the Pisces hand crack. We then headed over to Rogers Corner where Kris led the first pitch (5.7), we gaped the second for a short time (5.9), then both took a turn top-roping Sugar Bear (5.10b).

The following day, Josh and I headed back to Index where I led the the Ares fist crack (cleanly!), Josh got his first trad lead of the season in on the Sickle (5.7), and I finished up on the Pisces hand crack.

Keeping the send train going, James and I took off from work early on Monday, heading up to the inner wall where I grunted my way up the 5.7 off-width and James styled Toxic Shock ( 5.8 ). We then headed back down to the lower wall, where James on-sighted Godzilla (5.9). As I got ready to follow him, I discovered that my shoes had vanished. Assuming that early onset was the cause, I booked it back up to the Inner Wall, where my shoes were still not to be found. Apparently, they'd been snarfed by the group that was packing up as we were getting read to climb Godzilla. Fortunately, James was able to toss me down his shoes and I followed, sweating like a greased pig from the run back up the Inner Wall in the fruitless search for shoes. These two factors combined to make the final move up to the belay "sporting" as James' shoes were a size too large and I was greasing off the hands. Good times.

Yesterday, I convinced Michelle that we should go a little further off the beaten track, so we headed up to Private Idaho (still a short walk). Michelle led Senior Citizens in Space ( 5.8 ), which I felt good enough following to have a go at Battered Sandwich (5.9) just to its left. This route worked me something fierce. After fighting through the off-width, I ran out of reasonably sized gear and backed off from a tipped out #2 C4, then lowered from a bomber #4. Michelle then took a run at the route, moving up to my last piece and placing one higher before deciding that leading this was not her cup of tea either. Having acquired multiple scrapes and cuts and feeling a bit like a battered sandwich, we retreated to eat unbattered sandwiches, and then I got back on. Cruised back to the high point and then engaged in a miserable thrutch-fest up what looked like easy terrain (need to figure out a way to jam with my left arm across my body find a kinder, gentler way to finish the route), eventually resorting to aiding off a series of cams until I was under the roof and could step left and finish the route. Michelle followed with only minor cursing, though I took some solace in the intensity of the grunting through the section I'd aided.

After rapping off, I was ready to call it a day, but Michelle thought we should do one more route, so we headed up to Lookout Point and Michelle led Peanuts to Serve You (5.9). Impressive, impressive lead. I followed the bottom easily, but thrutched miserably through the exit moves to the chains (what was a perfect hand crack for Michelle turned out to be off-fingers for me). Once I took care of the profuse bleeding from the back of my hand, I rapped off and we scooted back to Seattle.

Lessons learned to date:
1. Everyone and their uncle has the same shoes as I do.
2. Rock is sharp.
3. Off-widths are hard.
4. I need to figure out a way to feel as zen on lead as I do following.
5. I need to improve my jamming skills. I've been laybacking the shit out of a bunch of cracks that I think would feel much more secure if I trusted my jams more.

Seems like 4. and 5. will be dealt with through more climbing. Just need the scrapes to heal a bit first. Any takers? Good times are being had by all. :drink2:


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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:42 pm 
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Rodrigo
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:07 pm
Posts: 109
Sounds lovely, I wish I could join you. Also, it is interesting that you say you don't feel as great leading as following. I was having a discussion about that with someone yesterday. When leading I tend to be much more focused and feel I climb much better. I even think that pitches I lead seem easier than the ones I follow even if they are technically harder. Just convincing myself to lead seems to be the crux. Of course, all of this breaks down on the hard stuff.

Anyway, keep up the good work. I'll need a rope gun in September.


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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:32 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:15 pm
Posts: 812
Great variety of early season climbs at Index! I love the Private Idaho area too. Next time you are out there try Rattletail, it's a sweet 3 pitch climb. Nice job on Battered Sandwich too, that's quite a grunt-fest if I recall correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:57 am 
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The Pub Czar
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:38 am
Posts: 698
Location: too far from a pint.
Good to see you're having time to get out (and suffer) again! :drink2:

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good judgment comes from experience;
experience comes from bad judgment.


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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:24 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:43 pm
Posts: 494
Location: Seattle
Nice to see you post again. You should go back and do Roger's corner! I think it feels very secure, with lots of pro, even if it is a bit airy at the top. Breakfast of Champions is also good. The bottom is the hardest bit, but you could easily aid it and do top rope runs.


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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:32 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:56 am
Posts: 40

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 Post subject: Re: Index - Various
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:05 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:08 pm
Posts: 1045
Location: Wallingford
Nice progression Brian. I tend to agree with Rodrigo, I find that I'm more focused often when leading than following. This is especially true if I know my partner either can't or won't lead the pitch if I back off. I've followed a number of pitches I've previously lead (like the 5.9 pitch on outer space), and felt it was much headier and more difficult following than I remembered from the lead.

That battered sandwhich route is super awkward, nice job grunting through it. Despite that, i actually really liked it. Just gotta have the right gear I guess, although it did seem to mostly just get in the way.


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