Tuesday, October 16, 2007

current highball project ...

... minus the rope.
October 11, 2007: Ashley Overton on the Northwest Face of Pumpkin Rock, Flagstaff Mountain, CO. It has been awhile since I've done it, but self-belaying yourself up a line that is just too tall to work from the ground up without a ton of pads is a useful way to find out if you are up for the challenge. In my experience, self-belaying usually adds 2 V grades. Thus, a line should feel much easier once you lose the rope ... provided you are mentally ready as well. I'm not sure why I'm gravitating towards this old aid and toprope route at this time, but my approach on this ~32 to 33 foot problem is pretty straightforward:
1. Inspect and clean it
2. Become familiar with all its useful holds and features
3. Climb it on self-belay, eliminating tangential sequences/moves
4. Start bouldering the first half ... REALLY suss it out
5. Fine tune beta on self-belay until entire sequence is wired
6. Boulder it out when ready BECAUSE it will be fun OR walk away
After spending one day last week exclusively on a fixed line, I jumped on it ropeless a few times yesterday. I cruised to the 20 foot mark without any issues ... but then downclimbed. A couple of insecure moves reside in those last 12-13 feet, so I think I need to spend at least one more day on a rope locking down my beta on the upper half in order to commit and actually enjoy the experience. I will report back soon.


chuffer said...

Everything pretty much went as planned and - at the end of my 3rd day of practice and several clean self-belays, I pulled the rope and climbed it without the rope.

sock hands said...


you are hereby awarded the bennett scott and cameron cross merit badge for highjinx.

chuffer said...

that is one merit badge I would wear with honor.

Dropknee said...

Now that is a Rocky Mountain Highball son! good job Chipper!