Monday, October 19, 2009

Wheelin N' Dealin

On Saturday I sent the new line at the Spider's Web that I've been trying just about every weekend, save a few, since July. I'm really psyched! I put a lot of time into this thing and a lot of people, especially my girlfriend, we're super patient putting up with my obsession during that time. It's amazing to have found such an incredible line at a the web which is one of the most popular crags in the Adirondack State Park.

The route follows an incipient seam that had been checked out by climbers over the years but never attempted. Back in July I put an anchor on the line and began working out the moves. The route follows a 12cish seam to a rest at a horizontal and then through some entry moves to a V8 boulder problem a ways above your last gear. The gear includes three hybrid aliens including a tipped out green/yellow at the crux and several questionable micro rps which fortunately were never tested. This route forced me to use the worst feet I've ever had to use on a route and completely changed my perception of what is possible to stand on.

I named the route Wheelin N' Dealin (5.13c R 100') after a foot blew and sent me for a nasty "cartwheel whipper" from the crux back in September. The next day on it, after taking that fall, three key holds broke off and the route got a bit harder. I had to work out new beta for some parts of the route and then some other weekend commitments kept me away for a couple of weeks. I always had that nasty fall in the back of my head. Last weekend I went up on lead but got spooked and jumped off. I sent yesterday on my first go after getting the re-warms in my fingers warming up! It was a perfect day with perfect temps and just Naomi and I at the best crag in the Daks.

Check out a short video I made about the process here:


  1. Dude...that is nothing short of hardcore right there. Great send. It's nice to see some new, clean lines on the East Coast.

    How do you prepare yourself mentally for a line like that?

    Great send.

    - Brian

  2. Thanks Brian! Glad you liked it. I continue to be blown away by the potential for lines like this in the Adirondacks. There is so much to do here!

    As for preparing mentally... This route was a mental rollercoaster for me. The first time trying to lead it, I jumped off a couple of times incrementally higher before I really went for it. This definitely helped with my trust in the gear. Taking that nasty fall made it pretty hard to get psyched to go for it again but the line was too inspiring to leave behind. I kind of reasoned that that fall was kind of the worst case scenario and that it wouldn't get much worse than that.

    Besides the fall, the real mental trip was climbing to and falling from about the same spot over and over again. The more I tried it the easier it got to become frustrated. Anyone who has projected something has experienced this and in some ways dealing with that was more challenging than dealing with the scary fall potential. As always it came down to just focusing on the climbing and not the fall!


  3. I linked your post here to a post I made about clean ascents. I think that there are plenty of people who would have looked at that line and figured it was unprotectable, and, if the crag allowed it, just bolt the thing.

    Oh, yeah...and the fall was pretty cool, too.

  4. Wow, best fall I've ever seen! Long live trad climbing!

  5. Hey Matt - I'm the dude that walked up to the web after you'd just sent it. Nice man, congratulations again! Too bad I didn't show up an hour earlier, coulda gotten a better angle :) Have fun out there,

    - Matt