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crutch

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About crutch

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  1. Bad Style

    JayB - wholeheartedly agree. Rollo wrote with humility and humor because nothing we did felt "epic," just discouraging, inconvenient, and cold. I've been more scared at trad crags than I was on top of SA in the cold wind, but who wants to see a TR of a 3-pitch 11a with sketchy gear when the descent to the car would be 90 minutes even with a broken ankle? I dig climbing and I dig sharing the experience. I write TRs all the time -- my first long trad climb on Angels Crest, an affirming climb in Red Rocks Black Velvet Canyon with my wife, ascents up Levitation 29 and the Grand Wall to which I'd aspired, Prussik, Chamonix, ... Those TRs have included descriptions my joy and my failings (it took me 15 hours car-to-car on Angels Crest and I haven't left my headlight in the car on any climb since), but the climbers that received them are "family" to me. Their criticism is pointed but not vitriolic. The intolerance exhibited in this forum is discouraging, especially when I take into account the likelihood that it's extraordinarily unlikely that the sprayers have climbed mistake-free throughout their career. I climb because I'm compelled to do it and because it gives me such deep joy, especially when I take a perspective look back at how scared I often was. I write about it because I want people to become excited enough to share my compulsion. I don't know many folks who think being called a FUCKING RETARD is helpful or supportive, which are a few of the reasons that Rollo visits the forum. Being called a FUCKING RETARD will not keep me from climbing, scaring myself, and writing about it; but it will keep me from sharing it this broadly. Just think about it - we all LOVE climbing ... we should let that show more often, myself included.
  2. Bad Style

    I failed to mention the following rappel descent beta in my posting yesterday. We built a cairn on top of the large rappel rock that we used on the first of two rappels; the slings are not visible from the slopes above. It's located ~250-300m down and NE of the summit (toward Aasgard Pass). The second rappel station is not visible from the first, can be reached with a single 60m rope, and is somewhat jizzy because its many slings are wrapped around a shallow horn (we backed it up with a friend for the initial three rappels). A third station is visible from the second, but you can reach the rubble from the second station with two 60m ropes; however, we found that the rope pull from the second station was fairly difficult so going to the 3rd station may be better. I'm not advocating the rappel as the preferred descent (still wish I'd been smart enough to read the glacier descent beta and brought crampons /axe), but am providing the information to this forum "just in case."
  3. Bad Style

    I'm one of the "retards" that was up there with Rollo - I was on the sharp end of his rope. I'm also the one who failed to read the book's glacier descent description before I left town, left the photocopy of that description in the car before we started hiking in, and the one who listened when, days before, a friend with loads of alpine experience (one who had been twice-benighted on SA C-to-C in the early 90s) said the descent was a "walk off." I think that makes me - as the trip leader - responsible. I can assure all of you (kind and unkind) that I recognize the luck involved that allowed my friends to descend unharmed. That said, I believe we approached the climb and our deteriorated situation respectfully. We definitely climbed slower than I would have liked or had planned, but I've seen impatience lead to serious error so decided it was best not to rush or panic as it got late. The rope team that topped out first spent an hour in the swirling mist trying to find a safe descent, and when that couldn't be found we wisely hunkered down instead of pressing. In the morning, we judiciously evaluated our options in cloud-obscured conditions and didn't start our descent until we could do it safely - given our non-existent descent beta and the gear we had. I don't condone rescuing dumb-asses either, but we never considered asking for it and we'd have elected to trudge out Ingalls Creek all day instead of requesting one. Having climbed Prussik last year - in October - and having paid attention the night before our SA ascent, we, too, knew when it became dark. And we still thought our 9:00am start was conservative. But we underestimated how slowly we would (safely be willing to) move over the 5th class stuff up high and some in our party were stymied by the cold, wet last pitch (Rollo incorrectly reported that we arrived there at 7:30 when we started that pitch, it was 6:30 - although we indeed summitted at 8:00). I almost always wear sandals when I hike, find that they fit easily on my harness, and have worn them on virtually every descent I've done in the last six years. Although I would clearly have elected to wear boots - and bring crampons - had I not bone-headed the descent beta. SANDALS! were not the issue. I'm embarassed that I allowed my party to leave without good descent beta and thankful they were all unhurt. And while Rollo hasn't bred, you might be interested to know that I have three wonderful, intelligent kids and that my wife let me fuck her even after this botched descent. Finally, I'm cool with the criticism, especially since that about our lack of descent beta is wholly justified. But I'm not so cool with being called a FUCKING RETARD or the assertion that a mistake on an climb is relevant criteria for breeding. Neither am I tough, but if the sprayers want to call me a FUCKING RETARD in person instead of through cc.com, I'll be glad to meet them. We could get stoned and/or go climbing after we tussle - both of which I find thoroughly enjoyable in nearly all circumstances.
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