Weekend Whipper: Blood-curdling Scream Down Razor Arête
One very real concern, the filmer said, was the climber’s rope cutting over the sharp ironstone edge.
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This week’s whipper comes to you from “one of the best and most exposed arêtes in the Blue Mountains,” according to the filmer Daygin Prescott. Ange Malysheva, who Prescott described as a rock climbing guide based in the Blue Mountains, Australia, with “plenty of adventure-climbing experience from all around the globe,” was giving Disco Non-Stop Party (25/5.12b) a redpoint attempt.
Prescott had shot photos of Malysheva’s previous attempts up the wildly exposed prow, and knew he had needed to capture the crux moves on video: “Her intense passion for climbing and trying hard really shows.”
“But adding to the physical exhaustion was [the] huge mental struggle,” he continued. “Fear. Mostly fear of falling, which is reasonable when you’re a few hundred meters off the ground, climbing a slightly overhanging arête.” One very real concern, Prescott said, was Malysheva’s rope cutting over the sharp ironstone edge.
“[It] certainly makes your mind wander when you see your rope caught on a corner after you fall,” he said. “The bolts on this route alternate on sides of the arête, [and] extending your quickdraws is essential in a setting like this. Not only for reducing rope drag, but to manage and reduce the rope-cutting potential.” (Twin or double ropes, Climbing should note, are also often used for such climbs to provide a degree of redundancy for the climber, such as Ben Harnden’s recent 5.14 trad first ascent, in Squamish, among many other examples.)
Prescott said he’s received several comments criticizing the belayer’s seemingly hard catch. Not much could have been done, he says, because it was a hanging belay. “[However,] the belayer could have had a longer tether to allow for a more dynamic belay, [and] this can certainly be a consideration for future.” In a recent Weekend Whipper, Nina Caprez had success with this tactic, though it certainly comes with its own set of considerations.
Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.