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20 – 12’s in 2012

Plus one 5.13!After the June trip to Yosemite I needed an obtainable/fun goal to occupy my mind.  Summer in Estes is filled with too much work, a lot of play, and minimal amounts of sleep.  I rallied friends and co-workers, “let’s all try to climb twenty 5.12’s in the year 2012!”  Some agreed to the challenge and currently we are all working towards completing the 20.  Adam Sanders, Trango Rep. and climbing madman set this goal in 2011, trying to climb 20 5.12’s before 2012 arrived.  I stole his idea! :)So far, I have climbed 8 sport climbs and one traditional climb.  (It seems I have time for a sport wanking outing about once a week).  My one full day off each week is spent wandering the Rocky Mountains alpine splitters!

Wes Climbing a 5.12 in Boulder Canyon

So far

1.  Mistrel in the Gallery, 5.12, The Gallery, Red Rocks
2.  Days of Future Past- 5.12a, Animal World–Boulder Canyon
3.  Free Fall -5.12a, Avalon–Boulder Canyon
4.  Furious Howard Brown 5.12 a/b, Surprising Crag–Boulder Canyon
5. Threshold of a Dream 5.12-, Animal World–Boulder Canyon
6.  Wet Denim Day Dream 5.12-, Wall of the 90’s–Clear Creek (Onsight)
7.  Red Neck Hero 5.12, River Wall—Button Rock Reservoir.  
8. The Wasp 5.13-, Rock of Ages — Rocky Mountain National Park (Trad climb)
9. Rise and Shine 5.12-, Bitty Butress — Boulder Canyon
10.  The Gate Keepr 5.12a, Wizards Gate — The Crags, RMNP

My most exciting lead to date, The Wasp, occurred Wednesday.  Tuesday, I hiked out with Bronson to top rope and suss out some gear.  Previously, I had one top-rope lap on The Wasp this summer in late June.  I also have had some miserable burns on it a few summers back.  This June was the first time I top-roped it with no falls and no extreme pump.  I had to work at noon, so although I felt strong and was tempted for a lead go, I didn’t have time.

Wednesday, my girlfriend Kelly Cramer, returned with me.  Through a small debate on the hike up, WE decided that there would be no more top-roping.  I would walk up to the climb and lead the darn thing.  I fell entering the crux traverse.  BOO.  I was fully pumped.

I rested for a while, then tried again.  Feeling solid I reached the “jug” at the end of the traverse left, but had placed a piece in the way.  I shuffled around trying to jam my hand under the cam, but in my flurry ended up just grabbing it.  Double BOO.  I definitely hollered a few F-Bombs.  Irritated at my lack of mental control!!!!

 I was also worried I wouldn’t have the energy for another full effort.  I rested 20 minutes or so, then headed up for the 3rd time.  Through the traverse, I placed the cam in a better location, moved through, and stood up for a rest.  One more reachy move puts you on a “smile-evoking-foot-holds-surprise-hand-rail-of-joy”traverse right.  I placed another piece but was short a runner.  I clipped it directly and began climbing upwards towards the piton.

The Wasp, Photo taken from Mountain Project

WHEN DID THE SMALL CHILD JUMP ON MY BACK, I thought?  I just sand-bagged myself with an extreme lightening zag of rope drag.  I thought about down-climbing and taking the piece out but thought I would waste to much energy.  In hindsight, I wasted just as much energy climbing upwards with the rope drag, Elvis clipping and such.  Even with the little extra epic I created for myself, I clipped the piton, moved through the last few crimps to the jug at the lip with just enough energy!  YAHOO!!!!!!!!!

Heel hooking in the Ra’s in Boulder Canyon!  

Thanks Kelly and Bronson for hiking out there with me!

Recently, Trango has picked up Tenaya shoes, and have been testing a few.  I have always been partial to climbing with Muira’s, but am finding Tenaya’s Ra to be quite comparable.  Great rubber, stiff and comfortable.  The Masai’s are a less aggressive shoe that I am climbing in a size bigger than usual, but am loving them for long days.  They still have a great toe box and edge, but more flexibility.

Give these shoes a try!!!

 
 

New Project(s)

The past two weekends, I climbed local – here at the New River Gorge.  Its been cooler, though still humid.  Lots of sweat and manky feeling holds, but at least it wasn’t horrible hot.  I think that we are just around the corner from the perfect climbing season.

Matt Fanning at the Knee-Bar Crux of “Cage Match” 5.12c

Yesterday, climbing with Jim Woodruff, I was fed awesome beta for “Cage Match” 5.12c, an aptly named intimidatingly steep and powerful crack/jug haul.  The climbing starts right off with a difficult crux after the initial slab section.  The difficult sidepull and undercling windmill section leads to a couple bolts of pure jug pulling, culminating with the crux move, a knee-bar scum/cletus-funk rattly pull-in move to a decent jug (hard to get.)

Matt Fanning on the 11c run-out crux portion of Cage Match “5.12c”

From there, you need to establish and then gain a good ledge jug (chances are, you’re going to cut feet and hope to not blow it.)  From here, you go into a butt and knee-jam cave rest section.  Super clausterfobic…then there’s another intimidating, blind move off decent jams and holds (though awkward feet) to another jug.  From there, its run-out 11c crack climbing to the anchor!!!  Good stuff.

I did not send it on my first go, though did manage to do all the moves (except the first hard one) pretty much first go that I tried hard enough (at lot of it was feeling balances, scums etc which I was trying to work out.)

I can’t wait to get back on the route, hopefully this Saturday.  Sunday and Monday, we are climbing at Coopers Rock!

I bolted another route and think that I am going to bolt another…but I’m not going to say anything about those until I send them!

-Dan

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