Monday, July 23, 2012

70m of Rope

Before yesterday, I'd never used a 70m rope. It's a nice weapon and you can lay a serious beat-down on multi-pitch climbing with one. Magda had a new 70 so we spent the day rattling off long pitches that up until this week were part of the annual forbidden zone.

We first climbed Cheekbone Corner via the Pete's Retreat start. The adventure climbing below the dihedral is getting really ambiguous. It's a lot of glass and blueberries now. Also to note is that the 2nd pitch belay on Pigeon-shit Ledge is thoroughly disgusting. It's an overwhelming combination of feces and bird corpses in various stages of decay. Heads, feathers, bones... you name it. The peregrines have been busy. I gagged the whole time while I belayed up Magda and she climbed through, leading the needle and and the last pitch. Way to go! It's a rite of passage. I felt like I'd never get clean again... caked in spider webs and bird shit. Gross. We rapped down into the Ampitheatre with her 70m and re-deployed some bail tat we found on route to freshen up the mid-way rap anchor tree.
Dom's shot of our shit belay!
Only Dr. Magma could be psyched to get to Pigeon Shit Ledge
Cranking off the needle.
Next we did Weeping Whisker... one of my favorite lines in Welsford... if not the best pitch at the grade. 5.9 awkward beached-whale move to a run-out (but easy) hand traverse to an airy corner finish. Classic!

Aaron was nearby and convinced me to lead Sinus... which I'd never been on before. Another cool line. Was quite doable in 1 pitch with a 70m although that's enough rope to cause some serious drag as you near the top so watch out. I ended up doing some walking of the 2 #4 cams I brought with me... so you'd even do well to bring 3 if you sew it up (or a #5 if you own one). A few awkward spots make this line really intriguing. Magda styled it (no surprise). From there I got a good show by the 3 peregrines as they bombed pretty close to me once or twice, literally sounding like a jet as they flew by. I also managed to get a few shots of Aaron as he onsighted Weeping Whisker.

Mid-way on the traverse
Nearing the top of the nose
Topping out the slab! Great exposure!
We finished the day by doing Smithers, another long but quality 40m pitch. I might have to consider a 70m as my next rope?

p.s. this post will put me over 20,000 page hits! Yoikes. 


  1. yep 70. I've been buying them for the last 3 years. I don't see the point of a 60 if you can have a 70 for 20$ more. So useful and after a year my 70 becomes a 60... Was a good day to be out on the rock. I bet you gagged in that pigeon shit hole. I have a picture of it hehe! We used a different belay lower (the hardwood tree in the chimney just before the dihedral) and did it in 2 pitches. Definitely recommended!

  2. You should send me along your pictures Dom!

  3. Sounds like an amazing day on Welsford Granite!! NICEly done!

  4. I really liked this post. haha, good ol pigeon shit ledge...just adds to the wildness of the route. Great photos too.