Ryan Moon stepped on the granite edge, curling his fingers on polished granite. The Ironworks employee crimped his way to a bulge. The sequence above stumped him. He went right hand. Then left. He fought the crux and the lactic acid in his forearms. A few minutes later, Bay area hardman Jordan Shackelford stepped up to the crux. Their different climbing styles and knowledge of the route led to a big difference in outcomes.
The Squamish Select Rockclimbing guide lists Blackwater, a 5.12a at Murrin Park’s Petrifying Wall, as one of the top 100 routes in the Sea to Sky corridor. With amazing granite edges on a vertical wall, the climb features technical climbing and well-spaced bolts. The initial section involves pumpy edges to a difficult polished crux, a hard redpoint move and then cruiser jugs to the anchors.
Ryan ended up hanging on a bolt below the crux. He deciphered the difficult moves then climbed through to the anchor. On his way down, he felt the crux holds again. Ryan usually climbs routes a lot before heading on a route climbing trip but he wanted to focus on bouldering for this trip.
Jordan Shackelford recently returned from Ten Sleep, where he had been climbing on a number of technical routes. Jordan’s endurance helped him greatly when he started climbing. He also received helped from the Beta Fairy, who hung on a rope next to the route and gave guidance on which holds to grab.
Jordan climbed faster to the crux than Ryan and arrived less pumped. With knowledge of the crux holds and encouragement from the Beta Fairy, he grabbed the correct holds and fought through the difficult sequence. At the redpoint crux, Ryan piano keyed his fingers onto a granite sidepull and managed to pull out a solid ascent. Good thing the Beta Fairy brought the camera because Jordan brought the Flash.
A few minutes later, Ryan attempted the route again. One the ground, he practiced the crux sequence, remembering the moves so he could execute them well. With a dialed sequence and experience from his previous attempt, he climbed faster and arrived at the crux less pumped. Before the redpoint crux, he shook out and moved through the difficult upper section with authority.
Having the sequence figured out, climbing faster and having the draws hanging all made the ascent much easier for Ryan. Jordan’s route fitness and the Beta Fairy helped him succeed.
Take some tips from these two Bay area hardman and send your next project. If you’re looking to up your rope climbing game – check out the climbing clinics at a Touchstone Climbing gym near you!