"Break-Up" climb


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 31, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
I've heard Left Ski Track at Tahquitz called the 'break-up climb' before, probably because witless youths bring their hapless newbie love interest up an incredibly steep and exposed "5.6". With comitting, exposed step-arounds and traverses (not to mention the idiot leader almost killing the second) it isn't a gimme at the grade, but looking up at a route that supposedly even has a bolt on it and is 5.6??? Like two moths to a flam.

Joshua tree might have Toe Jam Death Belay, or maybe Walk on the Wild Side / Right On, since a fair bit of drama happens pretty reg on that saddle.

Wonder what Yosemite might have... I know a story of a hardwoman taking her very fit, very beginner husband up Serenity Crack as one of his first rock climbs (I don't know how that ended up...) and from below witnessed a blowout good 'nuff for TLC. But I don't climb there much, and am not within earshot for 'the good stuff.'

Any others I'm missing?

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
The first (and last) time my wife climbed anything besides a top-rope was snake dike and she started crying. Luckily she's forgiving!

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:53pm PT
I saw THE most epic couple meltdown on Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne once - the girl was crying, screaming at her BF, she was wearing what looked to be a 50 pound pack...

"Just get your foot up a little bit higher baby"


After we got above them a bit, I could hear her ripping into him - "I can't believe you took me on this/I'm not having fun/this is horrible..."

Maybe was a break-up?

I guess any climb could be a break up climb depending on the couple/party.

Apr 1, 2013 - 12:01am PT
Almost anything with an offwidth.

Trad climber
reno, nv
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:23am PT
Why not go big wall style... you lead free climbing, she follows you up and cleans using ascenders on the fixed rope? Or vica versa. But then, of course, the ethics police might blast you.
Jerry Dodrill

Apr 1, 2013 - 12:25am PT
As mentioned above, Cathedral Peak has to be a contender. I personally know of two different guys who dragged their girl up, which subsequently turned into a last date. In both cases he was have a fantastic day leading heroically to an impressive summit, and she was doing fine... just f*#king fine.

A funny story was that Galen Rowell nearly had a first/last date when he dragged Barbara up the backside/descent in what must have been around 1981. She insisted on roping up for the entire approach and he was gripped with fear that someone might witness the bizarre scene they were making. Somehow they survived, got married, and she loved to tell the story any time someone asked if she was a climber.

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:32am PT
I've seen the first pitch of After Six brings out the worst in people.

I've heard bad things about overzealous BFs bringing their girl to Jailhouse with the promise of, "you can do a route or two there."

some eastside hovel
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:42am PT
Yes,Cathedral.I watched the HUGEST meltdown occur on the final pitch.I came up onto the last ledge unnoticed as the screaming ensued.The female was screaming "you completely ruined my f#%king day" and other things to that effect,all peppered with plenty of expletives.When they turned around and saw me they both seemed slightly embarrassed but just hurried outta there.I was having such a great day I couldn't believe that they were having such a bad one.I bet he bought at Whoa Nellie that night.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 12:43am PT
I've seen the first pitch of After Six brings out the worst in people.

Not true, for I have seen a man born in its crucible. Homeslice was GRIPPED the entire crux and mantled onto the belay looking like the guys standing up after the televangelist smacks them on the forehead. All smiles and elation.

Just kinda hard for a second, but for the leader its heads up somewhat committing ish slick liebacking that used to be called 5.6 but in actuality is harder than After Seven.

So, leader gets spooked... I guess sometimes that makes the leader kinda freak out on the belayer, which is a damn unfortunate scene to run across. 'Belay bitch' is just a joke people.... :)

Boulder climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:33am PT
Bitd my brother, me and a family friend bushwacked from Sentinel Dome to Glacier Point. The friend soon bailed to the road to hitch-hike back to the valley, cussing us out as he went.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:38am PT
N Ridge of Mt Adams:

"I need a rope!"

"No you don't, just be careful."

"I want a rope!"

"Come on, we don't have all day."

"Give me a Phukking rope!"

"Yes, dear. Now, see, you didn't really need it."

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:43am PT
what kind of a jackwagon would bring their ol lady to the crags anyway?

keep em barefoot and pregnant, so that spaghetti sauce is ready to go when you get back, plus you get to get buzzed and work out on the fine while she crashes pots and pans,

boy i can hear the PITA chicks now: "thats why i turned lesbo, because of freaks like you!"
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:58am PT
Spocken like the Doc means it.

[The broke-down, wanna-see-her-underwear kinda jack wagon, of course.]

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 1, 2013 - 03:30am PT
Years ago, I took a young lady up the Regular Route on Fairview Dome for her second climb, ever. We did it in about 2.5 hours. Her first climb was the Line at the Leap. I don't think she ever climbed much after that.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 07:23am PT
Some people just don't know how good the have it..

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 07:55am PT
Last October, while climbing the NEB of Higher Cathedral Rock, my partner and I passed a couple, half my age, around the 4th pitch.
The girl was climbing kind of slow.

We were near the top of the flared chimneys, after the traversing pitch, I heard the girl say in a whimpering voice, " don't you EVER bring me on another climb like this". Her boyfriend became very apologetic.

Going down the decent gulley, I could just make them out, pretty high up,
before you begin traversing left, on the white flakes.

Hope they had headlamps.

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 1, 2013 - 09:01am PT
(haha, Tunnel Vision, yup)

"Break-up" climb(ing) to me means what my ex did. Never give me a chance to learn to lead better or get more miles on the sharp end because he could not be seen climbing anything easier than 5.10 after a while.

That snotty attitude, among other things, is what ruined it for me.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Apr 1, 2013 - 09:14am PT
There was no one particular climb, but I had a girlfriend who once she was able to follow anything I could lead, moved on to stronger climber. It was kind of irritating that she didn't move up to being the kind of partner you could swing leads with, but really it was all for the best.

Trad climber
Shawangunks, New York
Apr 1, 2013 - 09:31am PT
Oh man, Tunnel Vision was a bad one for me and my lady back in 2004. She had a claustrophobic meltdown in the Tunnel. Hard to believe we stayed together, and even harder to believe we'd do just fine on Grand Wall at Squamish in 2012!


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:05am PT
The break up climb was the Direct NW Face of Half Dome!

My girlfriend was one of the best female climbers in Oregon in 1978. She went from guys being afraid to take her up stuff harder than 5.7, because that's what they could lead, to tagging along with me, to leading 5.10 herself. We were planning on doing the Direct together. Unfortunately, when the time came, she was stuck working a big fire in Central Oregon.

I had a partner who was chomping at the bit to do the Direct with me. I tried to justify it as "I'll have it wired when you and I go up there honey!" That went over like a lead balloon......

She married a guy with money who turned into a control freak, who wouldn't let her climb or kayak. That went over like a lead balloon too.....HA!
Hey dude, can you say divorce?
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