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Andy's Hat
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Andy's Hat 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: 
Season: any
Page Views: 261
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Mar 7, 2010

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Description 

Climb a thin crack up the SW corner, then traverse right on ledge and climb hand crack up to and over roof. There is a big loose jug in the roof. The roof crack seems recently fractured--maybe as a result of the original road-building activities? Anyway--decent route, we used it as a warm-up for Lizard Marmalade Direct. Lots of rope-drag potential.

Location 

starts up far left side of Andy's Hat in a thin crack/seam.

Protection 

light standard rack to 3.5 friend


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By jbak
Mar 7, 2010

I came very close to "buying the little ranch" on this one... many years ago.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 7, 2010

What happened?
By jbak
Mar 19, 2010

My partner led up the left side, placed a stopper, did the traverse and then climbed the crack. I followed up to the nut, grabbed a giant chicken-head and removed the nut. I noticed that my partner had not protected the traverse, and I thought "Wow, I'd really go flying if this chicken-head broke off". But it was big and looked well-attached so there was no way it would break.

It broke.

So I pendulumed across the face and smashed into the formation to the right. I was facing the right direction and had my feet out to prepare for impact, so I was okay. Then I pendulumed back and forth until momentum ran out and I was hanging free beneath a little roofed alcove. So I'm okay right ?

Wrong. I'm hanging free and can't touch the rock. I look up and see that while seesawing across the face, the rope has somehow hooked a suitcase-sized loose block and dragged it to the edge of a ledge above me. It is leaning against the rope aimed right at my head. The only thing keeping it from falling on me is the tension on the rope created by my weight. I'm afraid to move and DO NOT want any slack or rope movement from my belayer (who is now really curious about what's going on...he can't see me from his belay atop the rock).
I tell my belayer hold steady and not make any moves.

I do have a couple of stoppers with me. And the alcove has a seam in the back that maybe I can stretch out and barely slip a stopper into...if it fits and if I can reach that far. I slip it in at the absolute limit of my reach, and slowly, carefully tension myself into the alcove and clip a sling to the nut. Jesus it better hold ! I yell "Slack !"

The block comes roaring down the face past me and crashes impressively onto the talus below. My partner yells "What the hell was THAT ?!". "Almost my life buddy !...lower me !".

Later we had a little discussion about protecting traverses.
By RyanJohnson
From: Tucson, Arizona
Mar 19, 2010

Jbaker,

Did you sell your story to Hollywood?

Accurate dramatization of events.
By jbak
Mar 20, 2010

Haha... yeah it was just like that. I thought that movie looked familiar. Should I sue ?