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Some say the most dangerous section of a sport climb is between the second and third bolts.
Depending on the height of the first and second bolts, of course, failing to clip the third one can leave you uncomfortably close to the deck. And it is on such routes, with hard climbing between bolts two and three, where having a diligent belayer is especially important.
Robynne Murray was grateful to have such a catch while attempting Scar Tissue (5.12a) at the Red River Gorge. “The perma-draw gate was really stiff, so I couldn’t immediately get the rope in, and then my left hand started slipping,” she told Climbing. (Notice how, once the belayer realizes Murray is for sure coming off, they sit back in their harness and reel in an arm length of slack.) “I got super lucky my partner was paying attention,” she said.
On her next attempt Murray chose to climb one move higher, to a better hold, before pulling up slack to clip. “[It] felt scary on the first try, but after blowing that clip I knew it was safer to just make that one more move,” she said.
Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.