10-14-2011 Leader fall
Washboards, Peshastin Pinnacles Leader Fall
Last weekend I tried to lead Washboards in the Peshastin Pinnacles and fell off. The first bolt is 50 feet up, so you have to free solo up some rotten sandstone. You can place some imaginary pro in the rotten flakes for comfort, but they are of iffy value. When I got to the traverse left, I realized I didn’t bring the three eighths inch pro needed in the only good placement.
I was too high to have Phil toss me the cam, and, running out of options, I went for it. The move is only 5.4…but 40 feet up is not the time to be hesitating. I climbed up and clipped the bolt, then changed it to locking biniers for a little more safety.
I tried to make the move but just couldn’t stick it. You have to pull a hard 10-ish friction mantel 5 feet above the single bolt, 50 feet up. I was not happy to be making the move that high with only one old bolt…but I’d done it many times before, though usually with stickier shoes.
My shoes peeled off and I tried to run down the cliff, as I was falling, which sometimes works. I should have done some shorter practice falls, sort of like ice ax arrest practice to get used to sliding/falling in control. I can climb, but I’m not good at falling. I ended up doing a half cartwheel onto stiff legs and slamming into my left hip and elbow. It was about a 12 foot fall, and wouldn’t have been bad except for my bad technique.
I lowered off and Phil tried it, same result, though when he fell I ran backwards and shortened his drop. We top roped the climb to get our gear off the route. On the drive home my hip hurt so bad I got the chills every time I stood up.
Five days later I’m still sore, but I think it is just bruising. The day before, Saturday we climbed Bale/Kramer, pictures here.
This quarter started out hard. I’d forgotten how challenging it is to teach programming to a room full of new students. But gradually everyone figured it out and we are now moving along nicely. It’s always fun when the whole class gets that first website online and they realize the power of what I am teaching them.