Devo's Climbs

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rock Climb: Great Northern Slab

Went to Index with Rick Scriven after work Wednesday eve. He'd never been and so I took him up Great Northern (5.6) on Great Northern Slab. Even the easy grades at Index can be intimidating but I felt confident Rick was up to the challenge. The first pitch from the ledge to the Railroad Rings is a no-brainer, but the next one skirts under an tricky blocky overhang which requires some creativity and nerve to navigate your way around it. You can't replicate anything like that in the gym, but Rick stuck with it and got around it. Then he had to deal with the 30-foot 5.6 hand crack (another thing you don't find in a gym). He wasn't comfortable with hand/foot jamming and climbed by liebacking most of it - probably making it more difficult than 5.6 in the process, but he made it. After that the third pitch was a pleasant romp to the top. Afterwards we walked over to the river with a couple beers and loaf of bread and celebrated his first Index climb. He said it was the greatest climb he'd ever done. Rick's a fun guy to hang out with and seeing the thrill of accomplishment on his face was a treat. Climbing's good that way.

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