by Abram Herman
Everybody's heard the saying, "Hindsight is 20/20." It means that, even though it's not always clear what you should do, it's always clear what you should have done. It can be easy to beat yourself up over the way you handled a situation, but the fact is that you made what seemed to be the best choice at the time, given the information you had to make the decision. There's no use in regretting something you wish you'd done differently—that energy is better spent thinking about how you can act better in the future.
Abram, Brad and I are training for aid climbing at Country Club Crack up Boulder Canyon. It was chilly when we arrived, but now the sun is coming up over the eastern side of the canyon and suddenly it’s warm enough to remove my outer layer.
I’m standing on the ground, belaying, while Abram clips the aider into a cam and shifts his weight to bounce-test the piece. Bouncing up and down on a piece of gear to test it seems counter-intuitive, but the other option is to climb up the aider, get well above your last piece of gear, and then figure out that the piece won’t hold as you’re falling through the air.
Abram is making good progress. We came out for a training day two weeks ago and he was much slower on aid. He has already worked out how to organize the new aid gear on his harness and how to move in a series of efficient steps to make upward progress. Clip an aider to a piece—bounce, bounce, bounce—transition to the new piece, unclip the aider, clip the rope in, step up the ladder, set a new piece, clip an aider to the new piece—bounce, bounce—repeat. The goal is to be able to aid climb a pitch on The Nose in 45 minutes (as opposed to the three hours it takes inexperienced aid climbers).
by Abram Herman
Anne, Brad and I headed up to Country Club Crack on Saturday morning for some aid climbing and jumaring practice. We arrived at about 10:30, and the base of Castle Rock was freezing cold in the shade. My planning proved to be almost perfect, though, as the sun hit the rock no more than 20 minutes after we arrived. We hauled the gear a grueling 15 feet to the base of the climb and, after taking a few minutes to compose myself from the arduous hike, I geared up with every single piece of gear I have so far that we'll be taking up El Cap.