Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, Swan Mountain Road Toprope

It's been a very long time since I have done any ropesolo, and I keep trying to get out in Utah to climb, but every time I plan it there's either thunderstorms or like Saturday morning, the crag looked like flies on poop, the climbers were that thick.

I got up early this morning and decided to try to get in a lap at the toprope cliff near the Swan Mountain Road Traverse Wall near Frisco, CO. This was actually one of my first toprope solo adventures a couple years back, when there used to be bolts, but they've either been chopped or in the case of the loose block at the top with bolts, the block is gone. There is a very strong local group of Highball Boulderers, and it's possible they're reclaiming it, though it's like a V-minus-4 and I didn't see any chalk today on any microflakes or microcrimpers to give me any clue they're doing a hidden V1 route on it. On the hike in I surprised a fox, about 50' away on the trail, but my camera was in my backpack, so I didn't capture it for you.

I was up here a few weeks ago with the kids, and discovered that it might be possible to run a very long rope down from two trees, as shown in the pic below.

I made two figure-8-on-bights with a loop between them (thanks Dawn Glanc for showing me that). I wiggled the knots around to equalize it, and guessed about how much stretch there would be once I weighted it for the rappel so it would sit over the edge. I managed to not have two extra lockers (used one on one of the trees), so I used a couple opposed biners with the one locker. Good enough. Anchor rope brown, climbing rope pink. Note knot in climbing rope.

This is post-climb. Note my Microcender. I've grown to like it. At the bottom I make a coil of rope and use a quickdraw to clip it into an overhand-on-a-bight just below the level that rappelling down would put me if I were doing laps. This weights the rope a bit and helps the Microcender feed better. A few feet up I did a sit test and it locked just fine.

And this is my smiling face after the climb. Did it a lot easier this time than last, from what I remember. Must be all those "impossible" 8's and 9's I've been working in Rock Canyon in Utah. Not enough time this morning to do laps, but it might be on the agenda this week. Talus below feet is bottom of route. There's another route about 10' to my left that I haven't done. That could be interesting too.