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rocketparrotlet

Index is hard

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So I'm trying to push my way into leading 5.9 at Index. I'm almost there; just waiting for Toxic Shock to dry out to give it a go. The problem is, I haven't been able to climb any 5.10's at Index yet! I tried Libra Crack again today, and I failed again (closer though, 1 move from the good jam.) That's the only one I've ever tried at Index because the others look even harder (Sagittarius, Breakfast of Champions, etc.) What 5.10 routes at Index would you recommend that I follow to get better?

 

-Mark

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Do you boulder?

 

If you boulder you should see if you can follow some of the mid-hard tens (p2 city park, dr sniff and the tuna boaters, klaus van bewler, tatoosh) as they have distinct cruxes but nothing as enduro as libra.

 

If you don't boulder you should take up bouldering...

 

Also all of the short variations (short shirley, short japanese gardens, short sag, short thin fingers ... probably one or two other) are pretty doable.

 

I think my first ten lead was plumb pudding but sky valley rock calls it 5.9+

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Godzilla? Pretend you're leading as you follow it, then lead it, it's really not a bad lead. Look for rests from which to place gear.

 

Toxic Shock is a great 5.9.

 

Follow Breakfast of Champions.

 

Lead the first 2 pitches of GM and follow the third pitch of Heart of the Country.

 

Libra crack isn't exactly fair, the start of that one is really thin and hard.

 

Really, every route is different, there is no one ten that you can follow to be prepared for all nines. Just lead a route you have followed already so you are more comfortable with it.

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Godzilla? Pretend you're leading as you follow it, then lead it, it's really not a bad lead. Look for rests from which to place gear.

 

Toxic Shock is a great 5.9.

 

Follow Breakfast of Champions.

 

Lead the first 2 pitches of GM and follow the third pitch of Heart of the Country.

 

Libra crack isn't exactly fair, the start of that one is really thin and hard.

 

Really, every route is different, there is no one ten that you can follow to be prepared for all nines. Just lead a route you have followed already so you are more comfortable with it.

 

That's good advice there. :tup:

 

I think Roger's Corner was my first 5.9 lead in Index.

 

Don't forget that sometimes it is actually easier to lead a climb than to follow it. It's important to start with something that suits your style, too. The suggestions above offer you a wide range of styles, from burly to thin. Work your way through them according to what felt the best when you followed, and build your confidence as you tick each one.

 

Rattletale is another good one to train on.

 

 

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Thanks for all the advice guys! Those climbs are on my list for sure. I'm planning on giving Godzilla a try at lead right after I lead Toxic Shock- I followed it clean last time I tried it.

 

-Mark

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Climb as much different stuff as you can, anywhere you can.

If you cannot lead it, then aid/french-free so you can top-rope it.

 

Go climbing with a more experienced person, even at the gym, watch them climb, and ask for critiques on your climbing.

 

How is your footwork? Balance? Power? Endurance?

Does your hand/finger sizes make certain things easier/harder?

 

How is your lead head? Can you easily lead the 5.8s on GNS (aside from Buttlips Chimney)?

Can you go to Castle Rock and lead Canary or Fault? Or lead 5.9 jugs at Vantage?

 

 

So I'm trying to push my way into leading 5.9 at Index. I'm almost there; just waiting for Toxic Shock to dry out to give it a go. The problem is, I haven't been able to climb any 5.10's at Index yet! I tried Libra Crack again today, and I failed again (closer though, 1 move from the good jam.) That's the only one I've ever tried at Index because the others look even harder (Sagittarius, Breakfast of Champions, etc.) What 5.10 routes at Index would you recommend that I follow to get better?

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I can lead the 5.8s on GNS besides the wide crack on Aries p1 and buttlips chimney. I had to French Free the wide crack today. I am bad at any cracks wider than handcrack. I am good at handcracks and tips to fingers, like Aries Dihedral. I haven't been to Castle Rock or Vantage, but I'd like to.

 

Mostly what I need is practice. The majority of people that I go with do not lead trad past 5.8. Practicing on harder routes would be just what I need.

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I think I might have shown you my tricks already. Toxic shock first, maybe also try the first pitch of thin fingers as well. Soft for 10a IMO. Hit the 9's on lead. The gear is universally good (except for the beginning of short Japanese Gardens IMO). I think at Index leading should be your aspiration, rather than TRing the 10's but that's me.

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I can lead the 5.8s on GNS besides the wide crack on Aries p1 and buttlips chimney. I had to French Free the wide crack today. I am bad at any cracks wider than handcrack.

I've seen the size of your hands. I'm not surprised in the least that you have trouble with the wide crack on Aries pitch 1. I would imagine that the perfect fists are offwidth to you.

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Libra: Stem high, then stem higher, use the boulder to the right. That damn thing pitched me off the first time I tried it, and I was leading 11's elsewhere so don't feel to bad :P The key ended up being getting gear high and not getting into the handcrack until I absolutely had to (which is the opposite of what I normally do). Then there were only 1 or 2 marginal jams before the good hands section

 

BoC: Was quite a bit less technical than Libra. It's just not one you can hang out on. The gear is good so the key is climb fast, and place only the gear that you need for safety (I like it about a body length or so apart) so you're not hanging out.

 

10a at Index is a great undertaking!

 

ooh, and don't forget Princely! Truly classic and one of my favorite Index pitches!

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I straight up jammed the crack after lieback peeled me off. That was strenuous.

 

I have to try BoC. I really do. I've climbed Princely Ambitions- it was probably one of the best climbs I've ever done. They seem to get better as they get harder- I really want to be leading on the LTW!

Edited by rocketparrotlet

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You can also get a weird wide crack style knee bar at the base of libra crack before it pinches down which lets you swing your upper body up to decent thumb cams. Honestly though the start of libra feels only slightly easier (and similar in style) to the first 5.11 crux on japanese gardens. I think it falls in a certain class of "5.10" TR puzzles which are better viewed as character (and technique) building experiences then typical examples of the grade...

 

In terms of routes you should get on, at some point when I was working through the 5.9's at index I acquired some wide gear and went on a tour of the index moderate wide cracks which is something I'd recommend to anyone who aspires to be an all around leader as lots of routes have at least a bit of the wide. There aren't many of them and most of them are pretty classic.

 

GNS area: Aries p1, Butt Lipps, Timberjack

Private Idaho: Magic Fern, Battered Sandwich, Istanbul

Other Areas: P2 and P3 GM, That thing across from toxic (easies one on the list).

 

Read up a bit on wide crack technique first and try to lie back as little as possible.

 

You also really need to get on some harder routes that aren't steep...there are lots of routes that are much more about footwork technique on insecure moves then sustained jamming like libra or BOC. Short Japanese Gardens is probably the best easily accessible easy 10 example of this. There are also some 10d ish routes at Private Idaho that are worth trying on tr if you have a rope there already.

 

 

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I thought it was pretty true to the grade. The 4th pitch (10b I think) I found to be a little insecure on the grooves though.

 

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Godzilla is fun, but the opening moves are pretty unprotectable and a fall from them could be ugly. The 10 bolt approach from the left is better protected but harder.

 

Davis Holland p1 5.9 has a short crux that feels 5.9, but it is often wet so that adds to the spiciness. p2 is about right at 10a, but it can feel harder if you don't trust your feet or jam/lieback efficiently. p3 seems pretty soft for 10c, and it's a one move wonder, but the opening moves of that pitch are really fun.

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Then you should be fine. Bomber small nuts protect the crux on p3 and the fall is clean if you should fall. Go for it! And continue up Lovin Arms. The 10b pitch is a bit insecure and can be damp, as noted above, but the 10c is pretty reasonable and very fun. The final 5.9 pitch is fun and not as runout as some would have you believe.

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I feel bad about spraying this but I think the 5.10c on p3 of DH feels like Index 5.10a.

 

The 5.10b off the ledge on LA was the hardest part of all 6 pitches.

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Because all grades are relative and I generally don't like second-guessing other people who have climbed before me.

 

But that's the easiest 5.10c I've climbed.

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Davis Holland/Lovin Arms is the best 5.10 in the State, in my opinion. Rad's right: the "crux" is well protected. It is small gear, but you can place 5 pieces if you want.

 

 

6 pitches of great climbing, all different.

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