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Modified start to Black Magic - Red Rocks
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By Andy Whiteside
Apr 17, 2013

That start flake is flaky! Take a look at the photos, I was pulling to get on top of the flake and a big chunk came off in my hands! I went backwards into the gully and landed on my back, on my pack fortunately, fully expecting the chunk to land on me. It didn't but my belayer followed me into the gully! Both OK but he banged up his ankle and shoulder. I need a manicure! Called it a day and went for a beer! The flake is riddled with horizontal cracks - I wouldn't trust it again.

Before
Before


After
After


Ah! That's better......
Ah! That's better......


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 17, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

on easy terrain (like where you were), we tread lightly in the desert, it is just part of climbing sandstone....there would be no reason to weight that flake, on steeper ground, we test everything, all the time...sound and visual....glad you are ok


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By Andy Whiteside
Apr 17, 2013

Thanks, not sure how I could have done the start without weighting the flake.


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By Gina Hoag
Apr 22, 2013

Whats the matter w/ you Andy? You should have put on your superman 10 foot wide arm span and just by passed the flake! Haha. Just kidding. Glad youre ok! Gina


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 22, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

you never "pull" on a sandstone flake, you mantle it at most, jam it as a 2nd alternative...this flake was a fairly easy mantle. I have guided this route and have never seen an issue on the mantle move per se...if someone yanked on it hard, it would have gone a long time ago...popular route


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