Thursday, January 19, 2006

Whipper of the Week (Rock Division)

It's worse than it looks: This poor fellow was attempting Ruby's CafĂ© (5.13a) in Indian Creek, Utah, when he pitched, ripped out two cams, and decked. Fortunately, he was fine, though at least one of his cams wasn't in good shape. The photo is from a sequence posted last week on SuperTopo. There was much blather about failed cams and the like, but the bottom line in this case appears to be that both cams that ripped were too small for the crack and thus a bit tipped out—a weak placement. In other words: operator error. Cams are such useful tools and so easy to place quickly and blindly that it's easy to be overconfident in their holding power. Dave Goldstein once ripped two 0.5 Friends out of the bombproof granite of Yosemite's Butterballs when he fell; he remembers thinking they were perfectly placed. And that was on granite, not sandstone. No single piece is foolproof. The lesson: Place lots of pro!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He looks like he's chalking up as he sails, mind control!