Weekend Whipper: Ripping Holds Off of 5.14 Trad

“I knew the crimp was a bit suspect, but it made the first crux flow better, so I just went for it.”

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Bad news for anyone rearing to climb “the sickest-looking single-pitch crack climb” first ascensionist Ethan Pringle has ever seen: some of the best holds are prone to snapping.

It was Carlo Traversi’s first lead attempt of Blackbeard’s Tears (5.14c), at The Promontory in Northern California. “I knew the left-hand crimp that I was holding was a bit suspect but it made the first 5.13 crux section flow better for me, so I just went for it,” he told Climbing.  

Traversi says that section of Blackbeard’s is about 60 feet up a consistently overhanging wall, so the fall is quite clean. “I actually started laughing right as the rope went tight because I knew I was playing with fire a bit, grabbing the suspect crimp in the first place,” he said. 

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

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