The Jamcrack may seem mellower to some because it's not very steep or burly, unlike your average Valley crack, but I remember it requiring some footwork and technique on par for an honest 5.9. What I don't get is how some folks feel the first pitch is harder than 5.7.
I have a somewhat funny story about sic'ing a buddy of mine on Lena's for his first lead. The idea was that I'd put in the first pro, and he'd get as far as he could, plugging away until too tired (or scared) to go any higher.
The good news was that he got past my first piece.
The bad news was the exact same.
There he fumbled, a few feet above my piece. Psyched enough to get in a good nut, but too new to know how to clip it.
He fumbled once with the rope, just missing the snag by the biner. Then he pulled the rope up again, but the layback was pumping his gripped hand, and he lost focus, couldn't clip... Oh Sh!t !!!
He comes flying, snags something, flips over and catches the rack between his head and the rock.
I lower him the 16" to the ground and look at the trickle of blood starting to ooze from his forehead. It was the #3 stopper that he struck, and the outline of it was perfectly impressed into his forehead, much like Captain Granitic from the old rags lore.
Laughing I could not stop. This, for reasons not unknown, made Jeff's face all the more red.
Guido and I had a chuckle at the idea that we did the FA of Marginal in moccasins! I know he wore RR shoes. I either wore those or Kronhofers. There's a pic of the two of us at base after the FA that Guido posted a while ago which would show our footwear.
Marginal in RR Verappes didn't seem too easy, BITD! C4 rubber would make a big difference. Second pitch of Jamcrack is a good candidate.
Great pic, Ken! I first climbed it in RR's in March of 1972, and traversing between those first two bolts, directly over the roof, certainly didn't feel the same then as the route does now in modern shoes.
This is funny. Most people don't know that there is a 3rd pitch [of Jamcrack].
My recollection is that it's low angle, in a groove, and much easier than
I only bothered with the third pitch the first time I did the route. It's essentially fourth class.