Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Climbing: An Unexpected Coreshot in the Rope

[Note: This was first posted to the forum.]

It was a lucky day for us because we found parking at the East side Visitor Center even though it was past 11am when we arrived there. We went straight to the Monolith. Mud led Cantalope Death (CD) and ran another lap on it before he got on Yo Mama Stepped Across (YMSA). In between his climbing, I ran laps on CD probably three or four times. Mud made progress on YMSA, but is still a little shy of being able to tick it off.

Here is him warming up his shoulders for YMSA. If you roll your eyes from left to right fast enough, you might be able to get an animation going.

We then both TR’ed Feed the Beast (clean) and moved over and TR’ed P.O.D. It was still early, but we ran into our old friend Charlie and ended up chatting the hours away. It’s good to see him out again.

Now, let me rewind a little. This morning, when I opened my rope bag, my jaws dropped.

Shocked @$%@$%! What happened to the rope?!!! Rewind more… Last weekend at the same place, in the afternoon, when we were TR’ing Feed the Beast, two guys came over to watch. I recognized one of them because I met him on Lucky Streaks in Tuolumne a few years ago when he was climbing with a friend of mine and I wrote a trip report with his name and photos in it. he recognized me right away too (as if I’m famous or something). He looked like a nice guy. So after we were done, Mud offered “Do you guys want to run up this thing? We’ll leave our rope up for you.” “Yes, sure. That’d nice.” I added before we walked away, “We’ll be at P.O.D.” I remember while we were hanging out with the big group at P.O.D. and doing laps on that climb and Hawaiian Dance, I wondered why the guys had not come over and returned the rope. I actually walked over twice, and both times I heard them still at the base of Feed the Beast. I didn’t want to give them any pressure, so I quietly backed away leaving them alone. Eventually at the end of the day, they just left without ever showing up and saying anything (even though we were only a couple hundred feet away). And while we were coming off of our last climb, F4 went over and pulled the rope and wrapped it up. So today it was my first time seeing the rope after they used it. I was shocked!

We had the rope through the anchor — some beefy mussy hooks. We probably should have had the rope run through biners on top, but neither of us worked the route hard, so we didn’t bother. Yes, that way, the rope rubs against the rock a little right beneath the hooks. But by the look of the rope and the location of the damage, it’s obvious that they full on dogged the climb. Not once, not twice, but many times. The rope was probably pulled up tight and then suddenly jerked down many times when the person fell off. That explains why when I checked twice in between our many laps, they were still at the climb.

Since we offered the rope to them, it’s not that we will ever go after them for it. Plus, since they never pulled the rope, they probably did not see the extent of the damage to the rope. But on the other hand, for anyone who has been climbing for many years, I would think he has to have some idea how bad it is to have a rope rubbing on the rock back and forth fully weighed.

Oh well, I’m glad that we didn’t learn the lesson on the new rope we just bought. And now we have another gym rope (we cut 40 feet off that bad end).