Off-width: The Last Bastion of True Climbing

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MisterE

Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 22, 2012 - 08:42pm PT
Chuck Pratt saw this years ago.

There ain't no short-cuts here, and the natural talent is rarer than a unicorn.

Discuss.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 22, 2012 - 09:54pm PT
I thought it was runout slab....

With those big cams, you can lead offwidth with a toprope, can't ya?
0ri0n

Trad climber
El Portal
Jul 22, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
Yeah, its just like a top rope. Super chill ;)
JoeSimo

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Jul 22, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
In a very sick way I want to climb more off-width. I might need professional help
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 22, 2012 - 11:24pm PT
nothing to discuss,

Just Do It

http://widefetish.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=750.msg7688#msg7688
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 22, 2012 - 11:42pm PT
It's definitely all in the doing.
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Jul 22, 2012 - 11:52pm PT
Face climbing is where it's at, not cracks (of any size).
skywalker

climber
Jul 23, 2012 - 12:08am PT
The Bastion??? No, but if you know someone who likes, or well likes, a good friend indeed!

Cheers!!!

S...

Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 23, 2012 - 12:39am PT
I did it . I sucked. Flailed on a 5.9+. I thought I was going to die. At least I finished it. Not my cup of tea.
Prod

Trad climber
Jul 23, 2012 - 06:17am PT
I disagree, I think it is a necessary, and usually avoided, skill set that is required to be a well rounded climber. As is face, slab, cracks or all sizes, etc.

I have also heard it argued that it is where the climbers who can't excel in other arenas flock to. OW and aid.

Prod.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:20am PT
Werner posted a couple of years ago (paraphrasing) "Offwidth is the least intuitive form of rock climbing".

And now we have the Wide Boyz from England Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker who have taken the art much further, adding another dimension entirely to this arcane area of climbing.

to wit:

Their Genius Anasazi Blanco anti-ropejammer
Their Genius Anasazi Blanco anti-ropejammer
Credit: Wide Boyz

Pratt's great dictum, "Technique is your protection" no longer holds completely true as a challenge in the wide with the advent of large cams. It was for so long a bastion of go-it-alone; something Pratt so very much related to. But Kevin is right, unprotected runout face and slab....both remain pretty much the way they stood back in 1970, still a "last bastion" while the Wide has been largely tamed. No equipment has been able to mollify that monster, the way really big cams have taken down offwidth.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:22am PT
This shoe device is for aiding offwidth cracks?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:25am PT
That is the best use of the anasazi blanco I've yet seen. I hated those shoes.

OW happens but a gentleman does not discuss those matters.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:30am PT
My vote would be that, for the average climber, steep friction climbing is more of a challenge than the off-width....most will be better at gorilla groveling in a crack than are willing to face the heady challenges of thin nothingness.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:32am PT
Their Century Crack is a gigantically long horizontal offwidth that then turns the lip and summits out in a shorter vertical/overhanging cruxy bit. Don, while turning the lip and to avoid the rope getting pinched between the rock and a #5 or #6 placed just there, they put this "unit" in as a jamming preventer. I point this out both in fun (with which the WideBoyz are always working as well) and to point out their improvisational and creative powers at work in that truly groundbreaking ascent of theirs.

for more:
http://wideboyz.blogspot.com/
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:34am PT
My vote would be that, for the average climber, steep friction climbing is more of a challenge than the off-width....most will be better at gorilla groveling in a crack than are willing to face the heady challenges of thin nothingness.


I think of them as inhabiting the same bailiwick. Both are best avoided, but often necessary.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:37am PT
I'll take that runout friction/edging/knobby face climbing any day...LOVE THAT STUFF!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:44am PT
The Warbler's point extends to all crack climbs, with modern technology you can sew everyone of them up to the point of making them a "top rope"

so that would take cracks off the list of "true climbing" if that were a measure of sticking your neck out...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 23, 2012 - 08:04am PT
I would agree with that, Ed. I didn't mean to belittle OW in any way. Always had the utmost respect for the guys who could work out hard wide cracks BITD - Peter, Klemens, Dale, Pratt, and now for that matter. Cams changed all crack leads, and even some face, they probably made the most dramatic difference in offwidth leading though. Also the doors opened up on sandstone splitters with cams. But slab and face climbing, baring rap bolting of course, seems to be the bastion (in the rock realm) if anything is.

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jul 23, 2012 - 09:56am PT
More like the Last Chance for people who can't climb hard in any other realm. The climber avoids all of the pressure, competition and comparison present elsewhere in rock climbng - and in most other competitive sports. The whole thing is a lot easier for the ego, especially if you call it a 13 and get it in just a few gos.
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