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[TR] Liberty Bell - Liberty Crack..Grand adventure or giant lesson???? 9/8/2007

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Not bad for going up there without much aid experience - I bet you'll get it next time.


> I seconded it with the extra gear, shoes, water, clothes and rope coiled and packed away. Climbing 5.10 with an extra 20-30 lbs SUCKS ...


One way to handle this is to lead the pitch free (since it's usually faster than aiding), but have the follower jumar with the pack. If you lead in blocks of 3-4 pitches each, the follower can jumar in comfy boots, and not have to change shoes very often. You still want to minimize weight in the pack, though.

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""Not sure who came up with the bright idea of doing Liberty Bell, liberty crack route .....""


Yehhh Hahhhh, one of the fifty crowded climbs of N America.


""Oh I jugged in my hiking shoes and what a difference, so comfortable.""


On this kind of climb you need some comfortable (looser fit) rock shoes that you can wear all day. It's quicker not having to change shoes on the route and there are a couple places on the aid pitches with mandatory free spots.


""I seconded it with the extra gear, shoes, water, clothes and rope coiled and packed away. Climbing 5.10 with an extra 20-30 lbs SUCKS donkey d$%k.""


If you're ever going to do this in a day you need to lighten the load. First and foremost ditch the 2nd rope. This route can be easily retreated from with one 60M rope. The first 4 pitches have fixed anchors all with intervals of less than 30M, and these are the crux pitches. Above that it just gets easier and there's only one place you would have to leave gear and that's in the middle of the 5th pitch, and you can probably just sling this. One rope is also easier from a rope management standpoint, for instance the normal descent has a rope snagging tree that will catch a double rap but not a single.


Carrying a 2nd rope is like bivy gear, if you take that extra weight it's going to necessitate it's use.


Think about ditching the pack also, it's probably about 3 pounds just by itself. Each climber should have raincoat, rainpants and hiking shoes, you can clip these to your harness. This puts the weight lower on your body, better for the steep stuff, and doesn't separate the leader from his raingear. You can also put on your raincoat at the belay for warmth, but only if it's not stowed in the follower's pack.


""I was so tired after that pitch I really started to wonder if we were going to be able to finish in a day. The couple was a pitch below and was clearly moving faster than we were so we decided to wait for them and let them pass.""


Big mistake. Climb your own plan like nobody is below you. If you are there first you have priority. Usually if they are climbing fast enough to catch you then they should have the skills to be able to cleanly pass you without slowing either party down. If you wait for them you have just resigned yourself to giving up precious time without even trying to climb together.


""When they finish the wide 5.8 I started up and had a hell of a time getting into free climbing after all the aid.""


This is something that gets easier with practice. Try partially aiding a free route at the crags and practice stepping out of the aiders and onto the free.


""My head from the get go was saying get the heck off the hill. I started up and about half way up I succumbed to my brain and had to be lowered off. DAMN.""


Fear is the mind killer. Liberty Crack has a bad reputation from when it was climbed early on. It's really not as bad as the hype, especially with the fixed gear and the advances in aid gear.


""1) Extensive aiding in rock shoes sucks.""


You need an all day fit, not a single pitch crag fit.


""3) We both needed to eat a lot more and drink water. First day we drank one liter for the both of us and I only ate 2 bagels besides breakfast (most likely major contributor to my head f$%k). Second time this lesson was learned for me, North Ridge of Stuart I did not eat or drink enough.""


Or maybe you did not eat and drink the right stuff. To get up this climb in a day at your level you need to give a maximum effort. When your body is at maximum effort it is taxing for it to give up energy for digestion, not to mention it's gets harder to eat as the adrenaline level goes up. The answer is GU (energy gels). They are essentially pre-digested. When I'm doing a max effort climb I don't eat ANY solid food ALL day except for dinner. Your body actually goes into a fasting condition but it's still getting energy. You'd really be surprised what this can do for your energy level. 2 qts of water each is enough for this climb unless it's a real cooker day, consider your containers carefully based on weight, the new popular lexan re-usable containers are the heaviest. Try using a disposable bottle like what bottled water comes in.


"" lets fire some more sh$t off. I am game""


couple more tips on this climb. On the 7th pitch, the one just above the rotten block, there's a 3 button head bolt belay about 20M up on the left side of the slab dihedral on this pitch. This "belay" is just a decoy, it's an old anchor for rapping down to a bivy ledge that was used when the route was first sieged. Stay to the right in the dihedral and climb through the roof that's way easier than it looks, and up to a nice ledge with a horn.


If you are really having problems committing on this climb you can do the descent first. The descent rap anchors are kind of hidden so if you climb say the Becky route first you can learn the descent so you know it even in the dark.









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THanks for the advice. These are things we had thought of other than just "eating" gu. Great suggestion and would get rid of some bulk. ALso aiding at crag and free after for practice. Next time I will take my Super Comfy rock shoes that I have not warn in 10 year since they are too big for the aiding. Also second jugging the rope, but then the second does not get to climb the free pitches kinda sucks for the second, but if speed is upmost important then we should think about that. We had two ropes cause we fixed the first three pitches the day prior, otherwise I would agree one rope.

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I don't think the 2nd needs to jug any of the free pitches, if you just pare down the weight. You don't save that much time anyway.


Going with one 60M is key, a 2nd 60M, or even 50M is at least 5 pounds, the single heaviest item you can leave behind.


If you do fix the first three use an old rope to get to the top of the 1st pitch (one that you can just throw down and retrieve later) and then your climbing 60M to get to the top of the 3rd. The other drawback to fixing is both climbers have to carry a set of jumars, if you climb it in a day then just the follower has jumars which you split when you get on the free climbing.


GU works best by the directions, 1 pack every 45min. That's 16 packs in a 12 hr day. Seems like a lot but it goes down quick and it's worth it in energy.




4 times up Liberty Crack



fixed 3 pitches 1st day, bivied at base, 2nd day jumared and prussicked then the follower jumared most of the pitches, lost some time getting passed by a guided pair, topped out on the roped climbing in the dark after sending my buddy up the last 5.9 thinking it was the next to last 5.6. My buddy didn't have a screen on his bivy sack and the mosquitoes bit him all around the mouth where he was breathing out of the bivy sack. The skeeters followed him up as he was prussiking the first 3 pitches, sufferfest. We didn't take enough water and I can't remember ever being so thirsty by the time we got down to the water on the descent. Didn't go to the actual summit, we were too tired and it was dark. 2 50M ropes and too much gear, took 3 bars ea and only ate one ea on the climb. Gear in pack on followers back.



In one day, With Super Dave, the rope gun, he freed the 1st and the 3rd pitch. 11D runnout on mank pro. 2 50M ropes, I jumared most of the climb with the 2nd rope on my back, we did the upper Medusa variation, more technical climbing at a higher level and it goes direct to the summit. Back at the car I got bad cramps from jumaring with the same hand above all day. I had rain gear clipped. Dave went with just a light shell jacket.



In one day, with one 60M and climbed to the summit before dark. Both climbers climbing all free except the first 3 pitches. Gear as described clipped on each climber.



In one day, with one 60M, to the summit before dark, Both climbers all free except 2nd and 3rd pitches. Gear as described clipped on each climber.



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