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Category Archives: Link-ups

Video: Drew Ruana Establishes 14d at Smith Rock

On February 13, 2016, Drew Ruana made the first ascent of “Assassin” (14d). “Assassin” toppled the classic “Just Do It” (14c) and the unrepeated “Shock and Awe” (14c) as the toughest route at Smith Rock. The first ascent of the Aggro Gully linkup pushed Smith Rock’s highest grade upward for the first time in 13 years (the FA of “Shock and Awe” – still unrepeated).

Drew Ruana on the First Ascent of Assassin

Drew Ruana on the first ascent of Assassin (14d), Smith Rock’s hardest route.

Here’s a quick route synopsis and send footage from Drew:

Woes of Failure.

Levitating up Levitation and Eagle Dance

Failure.  

ARG!

I suck with failure!!!


I find sometimes I am avoiding moments where failure is the most likely outcome.  

Following the crux on Cloud Tower

I don’t project rock climbs.  I on-sight.  If I don’t think I can on-sight it I shy the lead away.  

Its not even that I fear falling.  I don’t fully commit to friends, relationships, plans….because what if it doesn’t work out.  It is better to be illusive.  

HA!  I fear failure.  It isn’t really working out any more, this fear of failure thing.  

I turned to Justin Dubois this spring when I was having a little head epic in the Valley.  In one week last April I climbed three big walls in a day in Zion, climbed to Dolt Tower and had my first run up the Regular Route on Half Dome.  All-in-all, 10,000 feet of climbing in 6 days.  Yet, I was frustrated with my progress in mid- May.  My intended objective was pushed out of sight by partner miscommunication and sickness. 
I emailed Justin, “am I a sissy if I bail?”

He sent back something short…probably not knowing that I really needed advice, an outside voice.  

“No, crazy…settle down!”  

This fall again Justin’s words ring around the vast space between my ears.  

Settle down. 

Baxter and Andrew on top of Mt. Wilson–Red Rocks


Ironic as Justin drops me a note today, 
“I think I have your disease…I can’t seem to take a rest day!”

Yup.  It is a disease and it is catching up with me hardcore.  
I feel that I have been battling it, so quickly moving on to the next project…the next adventure that I might not be enjoying the present moment.  





Cory Jammin up the last pitch of Cloud Tower

The pain of my stubby right toe jammed into the one inch crack 600 feet off the deck.  

The grunting exhale that escapes my lips as I shove my left index finger in the space between the parallel sandstone.

The tingling sensation as my hand cranks, forearm burning, pulsing.  Breath labored.
Mind twirling, eyes darting.  ‘

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable.
Taking control or just taking.

Maybe falling.  
Hopefully sending.  
Whatever it may be, pushing because that is what we do it for. 


I backed off a lead today, because my shoulders hurt.  Because my right elbow aches.  Because my shoes are all blown out.  Because I was afraid of not sending.  

Afraid of Failing.
  
My ego hurts as does my body.  I had a great time in Vegas last week.  Trying hard, succeeding.  Clay suggests that I may be too hard on myself.  
It allows me success, but it hinders the smile.  
It fogs the sunset, slogs the movement, mutters the conversations between friends. 

………and this is how it is now.  
Clinging to a pin scar on the first crux of Rainbow Wall.  

Red Rock Routes
Resolution Arete 5.10–11 hours C-T-C
Cloud Tower 5.12a
Rainbow Wall 5.12 
Levitation 29 and Eagle Dance Link-up 7 hours C-T-C
Rock Warrior, Dream of Wild Turkeys and Prince of Darkness link-up
Some cragging at Brass Wall, Gallery, and others
Zion Routes
Moonlight Free Attempt 5.12d (did not complete)
Sheer Lunacy 3 1/2 hours on route
Force Boyle 5.11
Bits and Pieces 5.11
Monkey Finger 5.12
some cragging at Touchstone Base and Kung Fu Theater, and others

A few high quality Grades.

My climbing partner for the last 2 weeks, Buster Jesik, put together this time break down of our recent adventure in Zion.  We linked Spaceshot, Touchstone and Moonlight.   A little video of our adventure also by Buster….http://vimeo.com/73749360

I added a little bit of narrative.

Start time – 6:10 am, Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Spaceshot Total Time – 3:27:09 (note: this was Buster’s first time up the route!)

2:08:16 – Buster’s lead block on Spaceshot (5 pitches – including our free solo of first 3 pitches) #1 and #2 Ballnutz made the C2 pitch a breeze!

1:18:53 – Q’s lead block to the top of Spaceshot  (3 pitches + solo to top)
1:53:15 – descent of Spaceshot, re-rack, and approach to Touchstone Wall – (EPIC*)  
*We fixed our full tag line to the Pitch 7 anchor and fixed our lead rope on Earth Orbit.  Rappelling the route wasn’t that bad, things were going swimmingly!  One tug- movement, two tugs- movement, three tugs–eh, three tugs–eh, shit!  I could barely see the tail ends sticking up from the knot and the sandstone groove the knot was jammed in.  Buster yarded on the other end while I flicked the rope.  Being almost 50 meters down and diagonally left, our efforts were futile.  I cursed as I put the jumars back on the rope.  I re-jugged the whole rope line, adjusted the knot below the lip and rappelled again.  We finally pulled free and clear.    The rappel back to the top of Pitch 5 was a strenuous leftward swing.  A wonderful learning experiment, not awful, but just as time consuming as the standard decent.  
Touchstone Wall –  2:20:35 –
1:10:47 – Buster’s lead block on Touchstone Wall (3.5 pitches) 
03:48 – transition on Touchstone Wall
1:06:50 – Q’s lead block to the top of Touchstone (4 pitches + solo to top) 
Touchstone Wall felt cruiser.  We passed one party of nice gentleman without a hitch.  Thank you gentleman!  
1:21:17 – descent of Touchstone, refuel and river crossing/approach to Moonlight 
Quinn on the upper pitches of Moonlight 
Buster soakin it up!

Moonlight Buttress – 3:19.56
2:09:27 – Buster’s lead block on Moonlight Buttress (5 pitches) 

1:10:29 – Q’s lead block on Moonlight Buttress (4 pitches) 
Moonlight also felt pretty good, I did not climb as quickly (our previous go I climbed the top 5 pitches in an hour.  I was one pitch less this go around and 10 minutes more– and so it goes).   
Start of Spaceshot to top of Moonlight – 12:23:02 
32:47 – summit dance and decent of angles landing trail
12:55:49 – Total car to car time from start of Spaceshot to valley floor 
36:46 – Wait for bus and approach to Monkeyfinger –
37:46 – Time spent climbing on Monkeyfinger – (climbed first 2 1/2 pitches**)
** In November I hit the ledge and ricochet past my belayer.  I was injured for a few weeks, so it was with hesitation I started our 4th wall of the day.
It was still light out and would be for at least another hour or so.   We soloed up to the base of the pillar and I led the 5.11 without a hitch.  “Line fixed!!” I yelled to Buster and glanced down to the base.  I saw a pool of red in the sand while Buster mumbled up, “I have another bloody nose and this one is worse.”  He had gotten one on Moonlight earlier in the day but just dealt.  I was unaware of his predicament until we both stood atop Moonlight and I noticed blood smeared on his face.    

Buster in predicament #2

This time, I waited and watched from my perch.  He fumbled his helmet off and I watched his glasses tumbled down a ledge a little further.  “We aren’t stopping on account of my bloody nose.”
I must admit I was still a little put off by this climb and this was solidifying my angst,   “alright dude.”  I turned around and started going up.  I placed my first piece and leaned over onto the aider, no problem.  I placed my second piece high, unclipped my aider from the anchor and leaned over onto it, bingo.  Just as I was reaching for a third piece, I was off.  Just as quickly I was standing upright back on the ledge.  My right leg took the brunt of the impact and there was a small twinge in my back.  I luckily had the exact right distance in my daisy land on the ledge but not to full impact.  
“That’s it dude!!  Three walls are plenty.  This is the second time I have hit this ledge, I am out!”  I called it.  I am a little disappointed but with the recent tragedies in my life I am glad we are both safe! 
With that we were off, back to the car and drinking a beer with the last inches of light.  

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