Made it out to Deception Crags for some more practice today, and boy did I need it.
We started the day by setting up by practicing rope work and rappelling again. Here you can see Tyler transitioning from his personal anchor system over to a rappel. It is hard to see in the picture, but he does have a prussic backup set up. Its actually a good spot to practice. Its a safe approach to the anchors, but immediately exposes you to a vertical drop to practice with.
Must have action shot. We each did like 3 times down the rope. Main thing was practicing and drilling on coming onto our personal anchor system, then coming off it to a rappel. After that we pulled ropes and went to climb on write-off wall. That’s where things went a bit sideways.
I was supposed to lead the unnamed climb, set up an anchor, and then come down so Tyler could climb it. I had never climbed this route before, so I got about 4-5 bolts up before realizing that while the line was straight up until then, at the very end of the climb it broke hard right and finished directly over another occupied climb. I was worried about showering the climbers with rocks and crap, so I ended up bailing off onto knife in the toaster, one climb over to our left. It was a dogs breakfast. The rope literally went up, over, and down.
Complicating things – and part of the problem, I think, was that I was more sketched out than I realized by leading the climb. The climb is totally a 5.6 on top-rope, but it has got two nasty looking falls. All in all I found leading and down climbing the 5.7/5.8 climb I had to do to get the gear I left behind easy by comparison. Something about that climb was just messing with my head. The climb runs about 3 feet to the left of the rope line Tyler is on in this picture.
In the end Tyler climbed it gracefully, then rappelled back off the climb.
In a word, ugh. There are no bad days in the mountain when nobody gets hurt, but this was just a weird, weird, day. I’m glad we put in the time to practice. It was a fun if frustrating day, but I think I really needed the drill time.