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Tideline (5.11a) — my first Trad 5.11 flash

So it’s been a slow couple of weeks climbing wise. Basically, I got sick (ugh) and haven’t been out climbing since our Matthes Crest trip. Ugh. I’ve been to the gym bouldering a few times, but I’m just starting to recover enough to climb. Keeping my fingers crossed that the antibiotic I’m on (Cipro) doesn’t wreak havoc with my tendons, as I’m about to depart on a trip to Southern California (Tahquitz), and then on to Indian Creek for a few weeks, followed by Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas.

Tad flashing Tideline (5.11a) in Tuolumne -- Watch in fullscreen and HD for best effect

Anyway, jonsin’ for some climbing, I was running through some old video footage from earlier this summer, and I came across this. My friend Derek shot this video of me flashing my first 5.11 trad climb back at the end of May. At the time, I had redpointed one other 5.11- in Indian Creek (Scarface), and onsighted a 5.10d in Joshua Tree (Perpetual Motion).  I took his footage and edited it down to something reasonable in length (skipping most of my gear placements), and set it to some cool music I found on the ‘net (watch the video for the credit at the end if you like it).

The story:

Back in May, after we bailed off of El Cap, we did a bunch of cragging.

Tuolumne had just opened for the season, so one day we headed up to the Olmstead Point area, where we all gave burns on Tideline (5.11a).

Matt went first and came close to redpointing it. I went second, and was (barely) able to flash it. This was my first 5.11a trad flash. Derek stuck to his guns and worked his way up for a good attempt following my climb. At the time, it was one of the few 5.11a cracks I had attempted (other than in Indian Creek), and I was psyched to make it.

It starts out with hands in a corner, with good feet. Then a few moves up, it gets steep and overhung as you move through the roof and into the bulge above. The crack pinches down just over the roof, and has a few pods just when you need them to score hand jams to rest in. The whole top part of the climb sports a rail for the right foot.  Maximizing its use, along with the other feet on the face, was key for me maintaining enough energy to finish.

At the top, I barely made it. First I tried to pro and I didn’t have the right size tiny gear, and I ended up using a good finger lock for the placement. Finally I moved up but was so flash pumped I could barely hold on to move myself up over the lip. Phew!

This climb capped a great day of cragging with beautiful weather until around 4pm when a thunderstorm rolled in. Luckily we made it back to the car just before the rain hit.



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