Just last year I stumbled on the best local climb. A friend actually showed me! Since then I have been there 3 times alone, because it is that much fun. All winter I have been dreaming of getting back on it!! Why is it so amazing? Let me tell you!!
It Feels Good
Have you ever hopped on a climb that just felt good? Like the moves were tricky but not uncomfortable. It was a puzzle but solvable. The holds were not easy jugs but are just enough to make the you feel stable. At the same time it doesn’t feel like you are on ladder. As you finish you are tired enough to feel accomplished but not so much that it’s hard to belay your partner as they climb. I just described the wonder of what it is like to climb Green Monster (and maybe some other climbs out there as well!).
I was walking out the door the same time as a friend. My friend mentioned he was going to climbing and that I should join in. Maybe I could have worked on some homework. Instead I got to my car and went up to the crag! My friend already set up the climb by the time I got there. To my surprise he was already climbing, and tossed a micro-traction my way so I could climb at the same time!
That’s right, the first time I did this climb was also my first time doing a rope solo! This wall starts higher in the canyon to begin with. On top of that it’s long! 100 feet according to Mountain Project! That’s a whole new freaky experience to be climbing that long of a climb without a belayer. As I was climbing I would look to my left and I see the main trail–WAY far down. Just take a breath, put some weight on the rope, test that the micro-tracktion is indeed working, keep climbing, and then the inevitable repeat!
There are a lot of things that make top rope appealing. Such as the ability to learn how to trad climb, rope solo climb, stress free climb, less gear required, etc. It’s just overall my best friend!
The approach is the trickiest part of the whole climb. Walking straight up to the base of it requires some climbing. That can be pretty daunting with 20+pounds of gear on your back. Nothing too hard, but I still prefer using rope! If you’re like me, climbing is easy… getting down is hard! When I climb Green Monster I make it a point to walk up and around to set up a top rope. From there I rappel down the base. When leaving there are some nice rappel rings at the base of the climb to use. One time I just down climbed it without a rope and all I could think was, “I just rappelled 100 feet no problem, and now I’m gonna die not doing anything cool.”
There is a lot of debate in the climbing world if rappelling should be avoided at all costs. Many reported accidents deal directly with rappelling, making it one of the most likely reasons to get injured. Rappelling can be safe, just be sure to be extra careful if you follow my approach! As I was reminded of continuously while rope soloing, it is a long way down from the top!