Little John Left 1 - spyork 0

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spyork

Trad climber
Fremont, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 13, 2006 - 10:11am PT

"I think I can do that", I say as I gaze up at the wide section of Little John Left. Yeah right, my partners say, probably thinking Im a lunatic. At a 100 bones a pop, you dont want to leave any big cams up there.

Despite the heckling, I kept staring at it and told myself I could do it. I better rack up how and get to it before my bravery wears off.

So I racked up all the big cams we brought. I think we had 1-#3, 2-#3.5, 3-#4s, 3 #5 and 1 #6. Way too much gear in retrospect.

"Dont worry, I will French Free it if I have to". And off I go.

The lower slippery 5.7 section was more challenging than I thought it would be. I made it to the base of the wide section and placed a #5. I moved up and placed another cam. I was unable to get my right foot in with the gear and all. After the second piece I had to weight the rope, and I was breathing hard.

My technique was severely lacking. My right foot would sometimes find a smear or a small ledge. My left foot wasnt locking off well. I kept grunting up placing gear, and had to yard on the webbing several times. More resting on the rope.

I finally topped out. I was determined not to jug the heart ledge line, or leave any gear.

We all gave it a go on top rope. I almost made it clean on TR, but my left foot got stuck and I fell out. My foot jams were better on this attempt, and I switched to sideways fists.

Someone jumped on the rope and marched up the damn thing in hiking boots! Talk about humbling! LOL

I think I could send it next time. I would guess 2 #5's and 3 #4's would do the job. First I have to rest my shoulder, twisting in to do right hand jams gave me an ouch!

Steve
nature

climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 13, 2006 - 11:26am PT
when you were done did you feel like you wanted to hurl? sounds like one of *those* adventures...
spyork

Trad climber
Fremont, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2006 - 11:32am PT
Yeah, but after I begged some food, I felt better.

Then I top roped on La Cosita Right.

Much Fun!
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Feb 13, 2006 - 11:34am PT
"Someone jumped on the rope and marched up the damn thing in hiking boots! Talk about humbling."

sometimes that's the best way. i lead a sustained #6 camalot crack this weekend in my approach shoes. if there's no edges to use, it's alot more comfortable to have some padding between you and the rock.
poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Feb 13, 2006 - 12:13pm PT
a few years back I did the right side w/ a friend and chilling at the top, I looked down the left to see a dude crimping some pimple on the face, fully out of the crack - freeing his way w/ some serious runout.

It was dubious... but he made it, so perhaps just try the non-crack variation

;-)

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 13, 2006 - 12:14pm PT
Nice!

"No shoot no loot!"
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 13, 2006 - 06:15pm PT
"Someone jumped on the rope and marched up the damn thing in hiking boots! Talk about humbling."

 It's easy to look good on a toprope. :-)
 I preinspected it in December when rapping down after doing the right side. That's when I decided the only way I'd have a snowball's chance was if I wore big hiking boots.
 In Basic Rockcraft (1971) Robbins discusses the choice of Flexible vs. Stiff shoes: "Stiff ... (4) Provides better wedge action in most jam cracks."
 It's kinda like the style of footwear likely used on the FA, back in the day. Although I neglected to go on lead with bongs and a hammer....

Thanks for the toprope! It was impressive hearing the moans and groans as you fought the battle up there!

Here's a photo of Chris Chan doing it in her approach shoes, too:
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Feb 14, 2006 - 10:23am PT
You mention gear more than you talk about climbing. perhaps your focus is misplaced.
Eddie

Trad climber
Boston
Feb 14, 2006 - 10:44am PT
I sent it fine, but I did what I always do on cracks, which is basically avoid them. I think stemming might be my specialty (so it might not actually be easier), but a combination of stemming and laybacking worked pretty easily without ever having to commit to the offwidth. Also keeps the gear from getting in your way.
I find once people commit to a crack they get tunnel vision and don't see the other opportunities which are often easier and provide rests. Or maybe I just can't climb cracks.

Of course if your goal was to do the offwidth...
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Feb 14, 2006 - 10:44am PT
not much to discuss about that style of climbing. insert as much of body part as possible.

squeeze.

try not to blow an O ring
Zam

Trad climber
San Francisco
Feb 14, 2006 - 10:50am PT
I love "Little John Left". The whole key is the knee and elbow jam!
poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Feb 14, 2006 - 01:02pm PT
damn, perhaps it was you I saw Eddie!!! :-)
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 14, 2006 - 01:22pm PT
Looks like a lieback to me...
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 14, 2006 - 02:00pm PT
No, it's a climb. ;-)


after his first trip to Indian Creek, young Tom Herbert (now Dr) proudly told me how he onsighted Coyne Crack.
"Didja climb it or lieback it,Tom?"
He turned purple and walked away he was so pissed.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 14, 2006 - 02:02pm PT
The fist time I did Peter left I did a lieback move, don't tell anyone.
spyork

Trad climber
Fremont, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2006 - 02:20pm PT
A couple things I thought about later.

There are two chockstones inside the crack, one with a modern sling on it. I guess people were using them for pro.

On lead, I had a big problem setting left foot jams. As you can see in Chris's picture, there's a big chunk of rock on your left. On TR, I started to get the foot jams down.

Clint was using both feet. I was afraid to set a right foot jam while on lead. I thought I would tangle with the rope, so I was smearing and edging. I didnt want to end upside down when I fell above my pro. I didn't want to pinch the rope in a jam and not be able to move.

After I realized to turn my fist while on TR, I started to think that it isnt really an offwidth. I really could set a foot jam, and a handjam, no need for knees or elbows.

Someone asked what I was after. I wasnt thinking specifically about offwidths. As we walked by the base, I saw the line and it looked so intriguing, I had to try it. At that point it was about talking my partners into letting me try it.

Even though I can't really climb it (yet), it was for me the essence of why I like climbing. It looked hard, yet possible. It was a puzzle. I felt I was able to make it safe enough to not make me get spooked. It hadn't yet been reduced to hand positions, foot placements and cam sizes, it was an adventure for me.

( I need to learn the TM thingy)

Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Feb 14, 2006 - 09:12pm PT
jaybro-

a few years back when i was new at the climbing thing, dr. herbert was climbing at the same cragg i was, near donner summit (he was working on something harder than i was on...)


anyway, i was laying back some crack (didn't know how else to get up it) and when i got to where it started to flare a bit, i began to struggle. that's when TM jr gave me this gem of advice:

"get in that crack and develop some character"


so anyway, i guess he'd gotten that advice from you!
too funny.
Eddie

Trad climber
Boston
Feb 14, 2006 - 09:31pm PT


Nope Poop--I wasn't using no pimples, it was far from dubious (unless you mean whether or not I 'climbed' it), and I most certainly would not have been runout. I would expect there are lots of people out there with strong everything-but-crack-climbing skills. For us, it is easier, and in this case, less effort to stay outside the crack.

One day, i'll learn how to climb cracks, but that day will probably be postponed for a while now that I'm back on the east coast.

Throwing a TR on it and doing laps (assuming you aren't in the way) seems like a pretty good way to experiment with various techniques.



Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 14, 2006 - 09:45pm PT
Matt that really IS too funny. I will save it for future use.
BTW, he's Always working on, or doing, something harder than any of us regular climbers are doing.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 14, 2006 - 10:13pm PT
"get in that crack and develop some character"

That's great! coming from and area that had no cracks and nothing but overhanging laybacks I now can see I grew up avoiding character my entire life. Funny business...
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