Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shere Khan, Tick Man Updates

Jesse (in orange, middle right) below the loose block

Shere Khan Crux Changed, Now 11c
Saturday we removed a large, very loose hold on Shere Khan in the crux section beneath the small roof. The hold was the loaf-sized block that was used to initiate the traverse to the left from under the roof. You could clip off this block as well as reach a good edge with your left hand.

The block had to go --one strike of the hammer and it was off! The crux is now a slash grade harder, but it definitely still goes. Instead of leaning left off the block, there's a small but positive side pull for the right hand. Then some thin feet and a long reach. Unfortunately, you can no longer clip the bolt before moving left. Now you have to do a move or two first to establish yourself in front of the bolt.

We'll be looking at moving the bolt closer to the roof so it can be clipped before the traverse. But this is not a given since there are some hairline cracks that caused us to put it to the left in the first place. We'll see what we can do. Until then, the spice factor has gone up. Given this and the harder crux sequence, we feel it's reasonable to raise Shere Khan's grade from 5.11b to 5.11c.

Tick Man Bolt Added
Down on the Tick Farm, Dane added a bolt to Tick Man, finishing drilling out a hole Michael started last fall only to run out of battery with 1/2 inch to go. This was the last bolted route on the Tick Farm that had an optional piece of gear: a large piece for the wide crack above the funky shelf move. There's now a bolt protecting the wide crack, which brings the experience of climbing Tick Man in line with the other routes on the wall. As in, 'draws only.

We want to give a shout out to Bill and Leslie of the Bitterroot. They've been putting in full days at the North Rim each of the last three times we've been there. The pair is steadily working their way through all of the North Rim routes, including, last Saturday, putting in several burns to dial in the area's second-hardest, Proof of Concept. Thanks to Bill for alerting us a couple of weeks ago to Shere Khan's dangerously loose block and chalking on some warning X's until we could get up there and remove it.

Tick Report
So far this year, the tick count --the creepy crawly variety, as opposed to route sends-- has been quite low. We've pulled off maybe 10 during each full day. Don't know if this means it will be a low tick year, or if the hoards are waiting until warmer conditions. But for now, it's looking really good.

Have fun everyone!!

Ken and Dane