Apr 30, 2009
So we found a chunk of rock, which we developed quietly. One line stood out in particular, and we called it ‘what the bleep do we know’. WTBDWK is a movie examining non-conventional perceptions of reality. We figured is was an apt name b/c the climb will challenge your perception of gravity!
The first pitch has a bouldery start, then some thin crimps that lead to better edges and an easy slab to the first pitch anchor. I like to lead this pitch tied into both ends of the rope to reduce rope drag on the crux 2nd pitch. I clip one side only, and at the anchor, clip in and drop the rope clipped through the 1st pitch.
The second pitch starts with some off balance moves on the arete, then a tough throw to a good jug at the start of the three dimensional climbing - yep, 3D! You are climbing up, and climbing out the overhang, while travesing west along the edge of the overhang - its crazy!
The 3D climbing last for four bolts, the first ½ has you heel hooking and calf scumming the arete. Then big moves between good horizontal plates, until the last few moves.... The last bolt is clipped off a good two handed, albeit slopey plate. Then get your psyc going, 110 feet off the deck, and dive up and backwards, for the 1/2 decent incut three feet up, and a couple of feet behind you! So jump like a shark diving out of the surf to snag a tasty seal!
So I got up on WTBDWK the third weekend of October 2008 for the 1st go of the season. Yep, took that long to get my courage (and strength) up after taking 4 days to bolt it last fall.
I dogged a bit up the 1st pitch, dropped that lead rope, and started up the 2nd, going bolt to bolt, grabbing draws, looking for holds, and getting used to the exposure. Then a TR lap got me 1/2 way out the roof before coming off. All in all it felt do-able to link up. The cruxes on the 2nd pitch are the both big throw at the start of the traverse, and the dyno at the end.
The 1st weekend of November looked rainy, but we headed to the crag anyways. A few warm-ups, and time for WTBDWK. P1 went fine, and on P2 I made it to the jug at the start of the westward traverse. Hung there a bit and then climbed out to the last bolt, got it clipped, and hung. Then the big backwards dyno, left hand up, and clipped the anchors. My wife then followed both pitches, carrying EIGHT chain draws for the last pitch and anchors.
I got on this again the next weekend. A bit of a chilly day, except at the cruxes when I would sweat profusely! Anyways, grunted up P1, clipped in, and rested till I got chilled again. Then up the off balance arete, hit the dyno, clipped, felt good, headed for the next draw, back clipped, reclipped, and then traversed more instead of going up - doh - blew the sequence. so I came off, hung, and made it to the anchor from there! I had been psycing myself up all week for the final throw at the anchor (the 'nab the seal from the surf move') and was stoked to snag the seal! So I felt pretty strong on it, and am really enjoying the climbing and of course the position, way up on the underside on the rock!
Finally made it back to our secret spot for the 1st visit of the 2009! Cranked out some warm-ups and then headed over the WTBDWK! I had been thinking about this route a bunch over the winter, was pretty stoked to give it a go. I spent a bunch of time in the gym this winer and was feeling pretty fit! So I figured the odds were good for a redpoint.
So I climbed the 1st pitch, rested and headed up. Climbed past the loose flake, hit the dyno, and started heading west while trying to remember the beta! Started getting pumped mid-traverse, but made it to the 'rest jugs', a few more long pulls and I was clipping the last bolt. OK Paul, I said “be the shark, nab the seal!” I look over to the seal hold, and what I remembered as being a very dramatic move looked like no problem today, I even quietly chuckled slightly under my breath. Big pull, snagged the seal, get the left foot heel hooked between a few plates and yard for the clipping jug!!
And I'm off... the seal hold disentegrated when I pulled down on it, and with the heel hook, I flipped upside down as I fell about 20' (lots of rope stretch with a 9.1 and over 30 meters out). So close.... So know I needed new beta, so I had to doink back up, which felt like more effort than doing the whole traverse! I Found some different holds, worked it a few times and lowered and rested.
My second go, I made it to the new hold, but was too pumped to hang on to it for moving to the anchor jug, and I fell.... So the bad news is, I did not make it. The good news is, I get to climb it again!
Snuck out of work today at 12:30, 4/21 and headed for the cliff. We have been having nice warm temps, and today was the last of it. So I figured it would be good to give the project another go.
Driving out last weekend for tries 4 & 5, I was excited about getting on WTBDWK, I thought I would do OK, and just wanted to give it a go. Today however, I was somewhat anxious, b/c I had NO excuses if I blew it. I had done well on Sunday, I should be able to get it. I mentioned this to my wife and she totally understood, and replied 'I don't envy your position'. Thanks for encouragement honey!!
Anyhow, long story short, the 1st pitch was casual, then on the 2nd, I easily made the dyno at the start of the traverse, then made it out the travese without too much of a pump. I got to the last bolt and had to decide if I used my new beta, or my wife’s untested, but supposidely easier beta. I still felt pretty good at that point, and I *really* like the final moves with my beta, so that's what I did. The final slap to the arete off the heel hook did release a few pebbles under my palm and an ‘oh shit’ moment, but I maintained and clipped the anchor!!!!
First Ascent, April 21st, 2009.
ps: My wife sent the 1st pitch on TR, and then made the 2nd with one hang mid-way out the travese - a way sweet performance!!