Friday, April 30, 2010

Gear decisions on longer climbs

Guillaume, Bob and I hiked out to Farm Rock to take in some moderate trad climbing on some of Gatineau's longer pitches. I started up One Pine 5.4 as a warmup. The climb follow up a corner for a about 10m and then traverses left about 6m to another crack. I found placing gear in the broken rock a tad troublesome. I placed a #3 BD cam in the corner on a double sling before traversing to cut down on rope drag. The traverse itself is not protected so I wanted to get a piece in once I hit the new crack system. However the gear here is questionable. I put in two piece and continue to look for a solid placement. I found a good spot for a #0.3 BD cam about 2.5m higher. I then down climbed and removed the questionable placements because the rope drag was brutal. I continued to climb, putting in gear as I went and at some point I believe I started in on the 5.6 variation. I find the guide book some what confusing. Anyway, I definitely linked the two pitches and near the end I was short on gear. The last bit of climbing is a hand crack which was way to big for the cams and nuts I had left. After what seemed like a long time I found some "hidden" placements for smaller gear and I finished the climb. Note that a 60m rope will get you to the ground on rope stretch only. A 70m rope is much nicer for Farm Rock.

Next up was Wall Climb a two pitch 5.5 PG route. The PGness has been removed by bolts which protect the traverse. Bob lead the first pitch. For the second pitch I did the second pitch of Sev's Route which is listed at 5.5. Although, this is a 1960's 5.5 and is sandbagged by today's standards. This is a solid 5.7. It starts as a thin slightly overhung crack on tiny gear; I put in a #5 and #4 BD stopper off the belay and I did not get bomber placement for a few meters. While climbing it I would have suggested 5.8 but there a number of jugs after the half way mark so maybe it is a 5.7. Anyway, go climb it and decide for yourself. Also, it you are going to bring up two more it is best to top out and skip the hanging belay.

No comments:

Post a Comment