Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kurt's Tick Farm FAA*

*First Aid Ascent

Editor's Note

A couple of weeks ago, Dane opened the new, high-quality route Liger on the left side of the Tiger Stripe wall. That same day, Kurt and Olin did the first ascent of Because This One Is Also There. What wasn't reported is another "first" ascent Kurt worked into his morning. With a stop at the Tick Farm on his way up to assist Dane with Liger, Kurt showed what is possible by thinking outside the box of accepted norms. In so doing, he revealed the untapped potential not only on the Tick Farm, but everywhere that a sport climb exists, and where climbers have celebrated the heretofore coveted free ascent.

Here is the route description Kurt submitted for his ascent, which he superimposed on the existing free climb, Tick Man.

KURT'S  (IDEA GUY) VISION. 5.7 A0 OR A1 (Kurt and other) Climb Tick Man making ample use of existing bolts to avoid the tricky shelf move opening. Ascend the mid section of Tick Man at approxiimately 5.7. Avoid the final moves by tension traversing off an A1 Camalot to finish at the anchor. 

Kurt then offers this insight as to why he renamed the route following the ascent.

As is well known, it is common to rename a route if you do it in better style than the FA (first ascent). Without question doing (the former) Tick Man as an FAA (first aid ascent) is better than the FFA (first free ascent). To further advance standards, I hope next to do a sit start using a long clip stick. By clipping both aiders together, I estimate I will have enough length to make it to the first bolt, placing my feet only in the aider loops while avoiding standing on the ground. Please note that the name of my belayer, who I would like to add seconded the FAA ascent in his or her approach shoes, has not been listed to protect the innocent.

Editor's Note 2

Although Olin was reported in Kurt's company earlier in the day on the FA of Because This One Is Also There, his whereabouts are unknown during the middle part of the day when the FAA occurred. He does reappear later in Dane's company at the Liger, as confirmed by Dane. However, we did receive the following first person account from "Anonymous" that fills in some of the blanks and questions raised by the FAA. The account is reprinted as received.

Disclaimer: Most of this is true

Friday August 19, 2011 "My day at Mill Creek with Kurt" by Anonymous

Interaction #1

Kurt: "Will you carry this #5, the #4, and these #3.5's along with the rope... and maybe the draws?"
Anonymous: "Sure Kurt"

Interaction #2 (while putting up "Because This One is Also There")

Kurt: "Does it look like I should go right or left here?"
Anonymous: Left looks like some good face climbing, right looks like maybe some crack climbing but a few bushes in the way"
Kurt: "I will go right"

Interaction #3

Kurt: "Ok (anonymous) why don't you bring the rope down and we are going to aid climb this 5.8."
Anonymous: "?ok?"

Interaction #4 (once reaching the aid climb)

Kurt: "I forgot my other ladder, I will pay you a dollar if you go get the other one"
Anonymous: "ok"

Interaction #5

Kurt: "I'm going to aid climb this and then rename it. Then you can free climb it and name it again"
Anonymous: "???? I don't really understand Kurt because someone has already bolted and named this climb???"
Kurt: "Right, but I will be the first to aid the climb it and therefore have the right to rename it"
Anonymous: "Ok Kurt, but that doesn't really sound right to me"
Kurt: "Just trust me"

Interaction #6  (After Dane sends the first crux of "Liger" and declares that it is definitely 10b if not 10c)

Kurt: "Yeah, I agree Dane. What idiot thought that was 5.9?"
Anonymous: "I thought you said that Kurt?"
Kurt: "Who me? No way!"

Hope you enjoyed this summary of my day with Kurt Krueger.


Editor's Note 3

The potential controversy of this ascent warrants further commentary. We sought out those who regularly climb with Kurt. Here's what we came up with:

Dane was at work solo-bolting Liger, all the while wondering what was taking so long for Kurt and Olin to show up and lend a hand. He does recall hearing "quite a lot of commotion and discussion from somewhere in vicinity of Tick Man."

Michael, who has authored several routes on the Tick Farm wall, has been preoccupied with saunas and Bikram hot yoga classes in an attempt to purge his system of unkown toxins acquired in the chimney of Because It's There while following Kurt on the second ascent. He is awaiting lab results and was unavailable for comment.

Tim, who with Kurt and Dane opened Tick Man, was busy cleaning and checking the condition of his brand new #2 Camalot that, after being reported missing for several weeks, was found among the original Friends, prototype TCUs and duct tape on Kurt's gear sling. He declined comment.

Brian was last seen contemplating how to un-stretch his La Sportivas by about a size after Kurt, wearing socks, mistook them for his own and did a full pitch in them unaware of the suddenly tight fit. Brian was too polite to comment.

And Kurt's long time friend, Bob Siegrest, in Colorado, said he knew nothing of this incident.  He is, however, prepared to provide a notarized statement that Kurt, while climbing with him recently at Jon Siegrist's Wizards Gate area, did indeed discuss in person with Tommy Caldwell acts of reverse grade descrimination levied by the community against nine-fingered climbers. But, as they say, that's another story.