There are many different “sports” within the sport of climbing. May 13th, 2011, I decided to revisited one of my old favorites: Aid climbing. I really used to enjoy its propensity to allow me to be in some ridiculous places. In the late 70s, and early eighties, I dreamed of doing El Cap and many other amazing routes that require such skills.
Then came sticky rubber and I was almost exclusivly a free climber after that.
Aid climbing, however, gave me a great base for rope management, rescue techniques, and getting out of trouble basics, that I think every climber should have.
After recent decades of ignoring, I decided it was time to dust off some old skills. Turned out to be worth doing for a couple of reasons..
Saturday practice for Beau on City Park (c-1), and we tried to sleep to the sound of rescue helicopters pulling a multi-fractured climber off the wall we were off try on Sunday: Upper Town Wall, above the town of Index.
Sunday we got up early, as the temps were expected in the mid 80s for the day. We were going for a south-facing route called Town Crier. Beau had the rock shoes, so he took the first free sections. I then kicked into the first of three, c2 pitches. The 6th placement blew out on me taking with it numbers: 5, 2, and 1. At least numbers 3 and 4 held! The 20 foot fall stopped by Beau (The Awesome Belayer/Climber) Carrillo, left me 5 feet above him and a ledge, PHEW! It was nice to know the system works.
Below is a picture I took a from a few feet above the scene. I had almost made it to the fixed red sling you see just down my rope in the shade. Beau is belaying below.
The last c2 pitch saw me taking a shorter fall, which I caught myself by grabbing the rope in just the right place. The rest of the route went great, with Beau leading the mixed aid/free pitch to the top! What a ride. Now to repeat Davis-Holland!