Before I start any other conversation I want to say how incredibly cool it was that we got to see the crux move on Greatest Show done 4 times on Saturday. It was an impressive showing by a motivated group of individuals and I'm happy for all three of the guys that stuck it. In particular, Aaron and Chris who have spent many days on the line. It was so nice seeing their hard work rewarded. This is not to say that Jeremy's stick wasn't impressive, it was, but it was great seeing those guys stick the move for many reasons.
I'm incredibly happy for Chris as he was the only one to do the line. He worked hard for it and I'm happy he stuck to his guns and did the direct exit.
Watch the video below please, before commenting any further:
1 - Aaron. What a punt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!! One of the most heartbreaking things I've seen, given what happened 10 minutes later. I truly hope you don't turn into an alcoholic.
2 - The Pebble. Wow.
I think we all knew in the back of our minds that it was gonna break someday but I honestly didn't think it would happen on Saturday. Earlier in the day I insisted, to Jeremy of all people, that it wouldn't break for a long time. I was dead wrong.
Immediately after the pebble broke the conversation came up of whether or not to glue it back in. As of right now Chris has the pebble in his possession and no decision has been made. I want to preface this with the request that we stay as drama free as possible here, if anyone comments at all. I've brought up a number of topics throughout the years and have always appreciated the respectful discussions we've had. The Alpine Club post was a perfect example of having a nice talk with many voices and opinions whether that be Remo, Ian, Runnells, CE, RV and whoever else.
Gluing holds is always a tricky debate and is something that we've largely stayed away from here in the midwest for a number of reasons. Namely that our rock is either too hard(quartzite) or too soft(dodge) to warrant any need. Greatest show is an odd example since it was a quartzite pebble that stuck out of a relatively soft layer of sandstone.
It's a hold that many thought would probably break and this increases the difficulty at the very least 1-2 number grades, which is a substantial jump. Not only was it a key handhold, it was a very key foothold.
On my front, I'm 100% neutral in this. I'm not invested enough in the problem to want to throw anything out there. We have many other local climbers that are much more invested in Greatest Show that should have a greater voice in this than I. That's not to say that I don't have an opinion about glue, but I'm leaving this up to others.
It's easy to come up with a knee jerk, blanket reaction, much like I did on Saturday. I spoke at length with Katie about it on the trip back and I can honestly say that I don't know how I'd feel if a hold broke on a problem that I cared about deeply. Say, Moj. If the right hand juglet broke off I would be pretty crushed and incredibly sad. I can't say what my opinion would be but it's safe to say that I'd be conflicted. That problem means so much to me on a deeper level than anyone will ever know, which would only make the decision harder.
The scary part to me is that it's actually a potential on that problem. Rock directly below that hold has broken twice now and there's a crack in the back of it. Water seeps through there and I can see that happening at some point in the future.
On a lighter note, here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the afternoon:
- "Where's the good hold?!?!?" - Aaron, after sticking the crux a second time, looking for the jug undercling around the corner.
- "You better do it now!!!!!!!!" - Pat, laughing hysterically, after Jeremy stuck the crux and broke the pebble.
- "Too many donuts...." - Jeremy, after breaking the pebble.
- "He's like a Barrel!!!!!" - Katie, after watching Aaron rocket to the ground shortly after exclaiming, "I'm losing it".
- "Keep spotting guys...." - Chris, on the mossy, wet slab after the crux, listening to everyone screaming happily that he'd done the problem. About ten minutes earlier I'd faceplanted on the topout while on rope when my foot slipped on an otherwise dry hunk of rock.
I'm gonna leave this with one thing. Please be courteous to everyone's opinions. There is no right answer and there is no wrong answer.
5 months ago