North Face Outlet returned

January 11 [Fri], 2013, 11:13
Rock climbers seem to be split into two camps - those who love crack climbing - and those North Face Outlet who detest it. I started climbing in Ireland, in the 1960s, when there were probably less than 30 active rock climbers in the entire country and there were very few routes above VS/F4/5.7. Most climbs were either slabs or walls. Crack climbing protection consisted of either pitons or wooden wedges (remember them? Well, maybe not!) Aforesaid pitons and wedges were rarely in situ. My, how things have changed - and for the better.

"I'm on North Face Vest it," Paul says. The sight ahead of us, left you breathless. There's no description, no word or statement you could make. We all knew this could be it for all of us. Were my decisions sound? Have I done my best to get us through? Crrracckk kaka boom!!

In years to come, a solid rock climbing apprenticeship on the gritstone cracks of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, in Northern England, led to proficiency at hand-jamming. You could learn finger-jamming (locks) on the piton-scarred cracks of Millstone Edge - old routes aid climbed in the 1950s and free climbed in the 1970s. When I returned to Ireland, other climbers goggled at these hand and finger jamming skills. (Please note: it's very different in Ireland now. Fair Head, on the North East tip, is arguably the best crag in the British Isles - miles and miles of crack-climbing paradise, with big, scary walls and arêtes in-between.)

So nowadays, there's really no reason to fear - or avoid - cracks. In fact, there's usually an incentive: availability of protection. Hand jamming is a skill that's well worth your while acquiring. When pumped senseless, a hand jam will save you, when nothing else will. With exhaustion (e.g. North Face Sale on huge roofs), your fingers will, sooner or late, uncurl even from the biggest of holds. But, if you can get your weight off your arms (e.g. by heel hooking), you can often hang off a jam for a long, long time. On the classic British roof climb Quietus, (5.10+/E2+), I hung for probably 10 minutes off a good heel hook for my right leg and a good hand jam for my left hand.


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