Thanks Greg, that's interesting. This was actually the second time I've done this
route, and we had the same problem the first time. While sweltering in the sun
all afternoon trying to get the gear out, we considered several theories -- I favored
the thermal expansion theory; I think my partners had a tacit preference for the inept
Hey Bob, it may be because the flake expanded in the sun. Last year, we got a cam way stuck at the base of the flake because the entire flake expanded when the sun hit it. This was the very base of the flake at the ledge, we were rebolting You Asked For It and rapping from the last bolt belay, so we left the gear anchor sitting there (cold, pre-sun). About 4 hours later (outside of the flake is black, in full sun), we rapped back to the ledge and the #1 camalot was completely fixed. We returned in the morning when it was cold, and it popped no problem, with about a centimeter of extra space! Also, the cam was slightly deformed/squished from the pressure.
Great route, but one problem -- all the wired nuts I placed got stuck. Even
after a trip back to the truck to get a hammer and a long-dong, we still left
three pieces fixed low on the pitch. Apparently, the combination of scared
leader, expanding flake, blind placements, and knobby crack interior make
it tough get the gear out. Too bad -- the fixed stuff will make it a bit easier
for the next party. A dedicated booty-hound could probably get them loose
by beating in a baby angle, of course then the angle would probably be
Other beta: the gear I used was about 0.25-1.25" (small wires to #2 Friend),
with the emphasis on 0.5-1.0". It felt pretty spicy in a few places because I
couldn't stop to place gear. We did the 5.7 start, for which it might be nice
to have some biggish gear.
Note that Lechlinski Flake 5.11a (FA: Mike Lechlinski & John Bachar 1981) is also the start of Swinger 5.11+ R/X (FA: John Bachar & Ron Kauk 1983). The bolts above the top anchor on Lechlinski Flake (i.e. all the bolts on Swinger) are still original 1/4" bolts. This is also why Lechlinski Flake is no longer listed in the Reid/Falkenstein guide.
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