Crunch Time 23 YW new route

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SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Crunch Time 23 YW new route

Post by SNORT » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:34 pm

Crunch Time 160m 22 *****

In all my memory of climbing I have had the fortune to take a least one dinkum but injury free whipper off a route at least once a year. However, leader fall since my screamer a year ago off some easy climbing on a route at Wolf Berg cracks when I sprained my ankle badly. As year-end is nigh it I thought I should set myself up for one.

About a week or so ago, Brent and I did the first ascent of Lunch Time and while scouting around and, also, on top-roping we fashioned some variables to the route. One of the options was to climb the line just to the right of Timerity and I top roped it – kind-of. I found it very tricky and a fairly tight rope from Brent belaying me from above made me realize that this would be a bold lead for me at my tender weakening age. In truth I did not really free it at all.

Over the last weekend at Truittjieskraal I did some trad climbing on sport routes and found grade 22 well within my comfort grade. Consequently, I thought what better way to kill two birds with one stone than to lead the pitch to test my confidence on the one hand, or failing that, commit to taking a whipper.

So yesterday with Teador, I went to have another look at the options of climbing an independent line in that area. The first pitch, but for the first 3 meters turned out to be independent and really good clean climbing including a crank through an overhang. The second pitch is shared with Play Time but it is a really good pitch on excellent rock.

The third pitch is again independent and ends with a powerful crank through an overhang. I could not see how to free it yesterday as it was a bit wet and difficult to read, but Teodor did so with some beta shouted to him. It is cleaner now and if you know how to hand jamb is probably 23.
The 4th pitch climbs the grey rib same as Lunch Time.

The final 5th pitch is a gem on the headwall akin to its neighbours Timerity and Zeitgeist. It starts off easy and pleasant up a left slanting grey rib to where it then steepens into a shallow right facing corner. I managed to strenuously place a high half inch cam. (Taller climbers can find an even higher cam placement). I then checked that I had all the cards stacked against me so I could take my annual whipper; I was wearing my completely worn out evolve defy shoes that are almost 2 sizes too big for me and required me wearing socks to stop them rolling on my foot. Secondly a brutal icy South West wind was howling around us so violently so that I could feel the drag of the rope on me every now and then. (I had to lower Teodor off the first abseil point after we finished to ensure the rope did not blow sideways and snag). Finally, I am 59 years old in two months’ time and my hands are weakening and my fingers are all stiff and gnarly. So, the set-up was perfect for failure or success depending on how you look at it. It was Crunch Time to execute my 2017 whipper!

I inspected the start of the line that amounts to a steep but shallow right facing corner and to try and see into it I moved right along a narrow foot rail and found a sneaky micro cam placement in the yellow face. Now I had two good pieces. I then found some crimps on the face between the two cams and climbed up a couple of metres from where I could see some sloping micro footholds and finger crimps leading me back to the corner. I was now well above my gear being buffeted by the wind on tiny slippery sloping footholds and tiny hand holds all ready to peel off and take a giant plummet. Gravity was pulling me off. Another move on small bits of rock and I was in what one could call extremis with my forearms and calf muscles blowing up but, surprisingly, no sewing machine leg occurred. Keeping my composure, I managed to fiddle in another small cam. But the tricky climbing was not over and it required another few metres of technical run-out climbing before I could stand comfortably and place good gear. Then followed another two mini cruxes but no whipper! Damn. So, I had to settle with having done one of my best and boldest, if not my hardest trad leads of 2017.
As Margaret my wife would say. “Take that Sports Lovers”.

Description:
Pitch 1: 45m 18. Start just to the right of the drip and climb up to the vegetated recess on lichen covered rock. Step right on to clean grey rock and head straight up to the orange overhang. Approach it from the right and exit it on the left. Stance on the jumbo ledge near the edge so you can see the climber leading the next pitch.

Pitch 2: 50m 19. Climb straight up the grey face using one of various options; either a little left closer to the arete, or straight up the crack or a bit further right heading for the yellow rock. Attain the “dassie ledge”. Crank through the overhang protected by a 1.5 inch cam to attain jugs and continue to the long ledge above. Walk about 4 metres left along the ledge and look for a thread point on the face. Crank up just to the right of this and climb the left leaning line on brilliant yellow-orange quartzite. Continue to a comfy ledge (just below the Play Time stance.)

Pitch 3: 35m 23. Move up 2m to the recess above and then traverse left a few metres on white rock. (Play Time exits out right from this recess.) Climb up and right to a ledge. Crank up and then continue up to the left slanting crack system to easy ground to a short, flared chimney. Climb this to a rail and move left. Continue past a perch and head right on orange rock to the overhang. Place and 3 inch cam or two and crank through the gnarly grey fins on hand jambs and lay backs and stance on the left. Be careful not to use up your hand jamb slot with a cam! If you do not know how to jamb you gonna have to be very tall or very strong. Keep a medium or large sized cam handy as a directional for your second after the crux.

Pitch 4: 25m 15. Climb back out right to avoid the chossy stuff and continue on the grey rib to a stance in the gulley.

Pitch 5: 40m 22. Climb the easy grey rib to where it steepens at a shallow right facing corner. Climb straight up if you are quite tall or use small holds on the face on the right to step up and then move back into the corner. Continue to the obvious lay-back flake and on to a rail. Move a metre or so right and then climb the grey face to stance at the top anchors of the Timerity Abseil.

FA. C Edelstein October 2017 with Teodor Iliev and Brent Russel (on pitch3).
Crunch Time photo topo V1 low res.jpg
Crunch Time photo topo V1 low res.jpg (137.51 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Last edited by SNORT on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

keith james
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:48 am

Re: Crunch Time 22 YW new route

Post by keith james » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:23 am

Ahh, Snort...

Love your phrase "tender, weakening age...". So articulate of that process of humbling, of the body recognising that it's no longer an adequate conduit for an indomitable spirit. The travails of lifelong athleticism...

And hence a brilliant name for a route, not just advertently in the way you conceived it, but also the to include the flex
and grate of withering muscles, gristled connective tissue, wincing mojo before it retreats, cowed...

And yet, you put/pulled it off!

kj

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Crunch Time 22 YW new route

Post by SNORT » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:41 am

Keith you are not only eloquent but also too kind in your words.


:hapban

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