Monday, January 09, 2006

Redpointing the Naked Edge

Bill Wright has posted an entertaining account of his numerous attempts and ultimate success (on Sunday) at leading The Naked Edge in Eldorado Canyon. Bill is a Colorado climber, runner, cyclist and all-around endurance nut who has done loads of classic climbs all over the West; he loosely organizes the Satan's Minions Scrambling Club and a wild series of races among Boulder's Flatirons that draws some of the best climbers and trail runners in the country—you have to be good at both to win. The Edge may be "only" 5.11, but it's a stout über-traditional testpiece that keeps coming at you. Like Bill, I had a lot of trouble with the last 40 feet of hard climbing, the classic "Larry Dalke 5.9" overhanging handcrack/layback at the top of the climb. Actually, I had trouble pretty much everywhere: I fell on four of the five pitches at least once before making an all-free ascent, including a heartbreaking day when I fell only on the 5.10b pitch and comfortably led the three 5.11 pitches. Bill's account is humble and inspiring—it shows the enduring pull of classic routes, even those now many grades below the world's hardest.

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