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Weekend Whipper: A 5.12 Rock Route That’s Protected By … An Ice Screw?

"This particular route has three pegs and an ice screw—which apparently fit really well in a pocket, so there it stayed."

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Readers, please send your Weekend Whipper videos, information, and any lessons learned to Anthony Walsh, awalsh@outsideinc.com.

Free-climbing protection is more versatile than ever. We have cams, ultra-light cams, tri cams, hexes, aluminum nuts, brassies, bird beaks, and more. But ice screws? Shoved into sandstone pockets?

That’s exactly what protects the crux of Une Juene Fille Quatre Vingt Dix Ans (E7 6c or 5.12d), a technical and footsie trad climb at Nesscliffe in the U.K. “The rock at Nesscliffe is a softish sandstone so much of the gear ends up being in-situ,” the climber, David Warburton, tells us. “This particular route has three pegs and an ice screw—which apparently fit really well in a pocket, so there it stayed.”

Warburton describes Une June Fille as a stunning wall climb with “little pockets and edges before a final balancey maneuver to gain the top.” While this final sequence isn’t terribly hard, it demands your attention—something that Warburton neglected. “I think half my brain is aware I’m barndooring and fighting [it], and the other half is unaware and is just climbing the sequence,” he says.

Warburton fell onto the fixed pitons but cautions that “most would-be ascentionists test the ice screw as that protects the hard crux!”

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend. To watch the full library of Weekend Whippers, click here.