Unrequited Love on Scorched Earth
This is photo #28 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.
See that long look on Tom's face? Don't blame him, blame me.
Check out that big wide crack leering sinisterly behind him. That is the famous Leavittator Pitch on Scorched Earth, a notorious offwidth starting out as knifeblade size and finishing up at 24", with every horrific dimension in between.
In lieu of a Offwidth Free Climbing Rope Gun, I brought along Tom and his BFC's - Big F*ckin' Cams.
Tom manufactures the 9" and 12" Valley Giants, and he was heartbroken he didn't get to do battle with the Leavittator.
[That was the only real pitch on the climb. Everything else just provided
access to and from it. - Tom]
See, when I dropped his pig, I dropped all of his big cams, not to mention more than half of our food and water! Suddenly our leisurely one pitch per day holiday became a somewhat desperate race against our dwindling supples.
So we tripled our pace and gunned to the summit following Aurora, but had to skip the Leavittator, unfortunately for Tom.
[As we got closer and closer to the Leavittator, I became more and more consumed with the idea of somehow leading it. It was my pitch, and I was going to get it, one way or another. It was the main reason I was on the wall in the first place. I'd wasted almost a week making that ridiculous #16 cam. I told everbody I was going to do it. I had to do it.
[I kept saying to myself, over and over, "I think I oughta free it. I think I oughta try to free it. I think I oughta try to free it, and hangdog if I have to. I think I oughta hang on whatever I can get in, and free the rest. I think I oughta aid up as high as I can with the two #4 Camalots, and then just go for it."
[But, this sort of thinking soon degenerated into full-blown madness: "I
can shim a #4 Camalot with a loose flake. I can use tape and webbing to sling
it on the rack. I can tape two flakes to the other #4 Camalot, and that'll
give me a #8. I can take an empty water bottle, screw the cap on really tight,
shove it into the crack, and then mantel up onto it. I can duct-tape everything
together, and get a #13. I can have Pete zip me up a basketball-sized rock,
and use that for pro. I can leap-frog giant rocks, and then shim them up
with loose flakes that I break off with my bare hands as the crack gets wider
and wider and wider. . . ." - Tom]
You can click here to see the next photo in the series, which is Tom's telephoto shot of our own Mr. Hard Grit flying his flagged Union Jack ledge.
Note: You can see the Wall Flower dangling right next to Tom. It's also a good photo of my Catch Lines.
|Photo Location:||North_America: United_States: California: Yosemite_National_Park: Yosemite_Valley: El_Capitan|