Climbing Logistics

Great day of climbing yesterday with SheClimbs on Zoe's Wall at Reimer's Ranch--never too hot, patches of sunshine and blue sky, great company. I cleaned a sport route for the first time, and this was really neat. It's just like a MYST puzzle. I'll set up the challenge for you...

Goal: Before your climb, a teammate lead-climbed the route and set up an anchor for you at the top, using some of your equipment. Now you need to climb up there, retrieve your equipment, and get safely back down.

Setup: At the top of the sport route, there is an anchor system. This system comprises two hangers, bolted into the rock, and a few links of chain hanging from each hanger. Your lead climber clipped a quickdraw into each hanger, and ran the rope through the bottom carabiners of the quickdraws. (Here's an anchor using a rope instead of two quickdraws.) This allows many climbers to use this rope and anchor while minimizing the wear and erosion on the chains. But you want your quickdraws back.

Constraint: You're 25 or 30 feet in the air. You climbed that high using your own muscle power, and you've been climbing for hours already. You're tired. You don't want to fiddle with ropes and clips and slings while hanging by the tender fingertips of one hand above the rocks and trees below.

Solution: What to do? (Open the spigot to drain the water from the chest, close the spigot, fill the tower with water to make the chest float up...) I'll let you think about it for a bit. Perhaps if you look around, there might be some more gear here at the bottom that you could click on.

The problem-solving challenges is one of my favorite things about this sport. Hanging with great people and the sense of accomplishment are two more. You really make a connection with the woods when you're that close to the rock.

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