|And I've finally got all of my photos ready. Click here for the full album, or see the highlights below. Click to enlarge.
Rod was stoked to see that I'd had a go at making my own cam hooks (blue slings, top right). However he then produced his previous failed attempts at home-made cam hooks (purple sling, right), which had been made from mild steel, like mine, and of similar thickness. This was a concern. The ones on the red slings are commercial (Leeper or Moses) hooks.
One of my cam hooks, after testing it with bodyweight. Back to the drawing board, I guess...
PhilipIvan and Scott on Ozymandias, 11:30am.
Owen aiding Thanksgiving Crack (M3) on lead
Owen cleaning Thanksgiving Crack with ascenders
PhilipIvan and Scott on Ozymandias, 6pm.
Talon hook. This was holding my bodyweight while I took this photo. It turned out that Cacophonic Crack's M2 rating worked on the assumption that the climber had an inexhaustible supply of big gear. So after the crack got too wide for even my #2 Big Bro, that left two options - get in the crack any thrutch my way up, or break out the hooks and move out onto the mossy, almost featureless arete to the right. The first placement - this one - was solid, but the next hook I placed popped when I shifted my weight onto it. Luckily I had my hands on the edge of the crack rather than the aider that was attached to the hook, and when it gave way and my feet no longer had anything to stand on, I was able to catch myself through a combination of a two-handed layback off the edge of the crack, and an uncomfortable smear against the arete with my right nipple, before awkwardly downclimbing enough to be able to get my feet back into the aider on the lower hook, which was still holding.
Tim cleaning Cacophonic Crack
Neal bounce testing a piece on Cream Machine (M4)
This is why helmets are important in aid climbing - the result of two incidents of a pecker (pictured) popping out during bounce-tests on Cream Machine (M4), and shooting downwards, straight at Neal's head. This is also why you don't look at the gear while you're bounce-testing it.
PhilipIvan and Scott on Ozymandias, 9:30pm. They were still a few hours from the top, and it was starting to drizzle. The drizzle turned to heavy rain an hour later.
Extending "clean aid" philosophies to tent anchors
Tim's home-made belay seat
Tim jugging up Country Road. The climb (graded 24) follows the crack to the right, through the roof and up.
Me jugging up Country Road