Occasional postings about Maz and Si's big adventures

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Gentle Art of Thrutching

The climbing in Yosemite has so far been crack-heaven. "Thin fingers" to "flared Chimney" and every width in between. Learning the necessary techniques has so far been an on-the-job affair, and mandatory training at that. Our first Yosemite "offwidth" was about 30cm wide, 30 metres into the pitch and several metres out from the last good protection! Sustained fist jamming was consolidated on the very same pitch.  (Sacherer Crack 10a, El Cap Base).  Our chimneying has been learnt on the flared featureless chimney of pitch 6 of East Butress on Middle Cathedral Peak, (below).  The Americans have several descriptions for the techniques required - arm barring, leg bar, back and footing and a few more.  However, I find our British word "thrutch" describes the whole range rather nicely and more realistically.

One thing they've definitely got right over here is "taping-up".  (The practice of covering the back of the hands with climbing tape to protect the skin whilst crack climbing).  My initial scoffs have turned to a very real interest into how to make these "tape-gloves", after increasingly trashed skin on my hands. S


  1. Hi there, found your blog! Your climbing antics are putting us to shame, we did get to Smith Rock though, thanks for the tip off - Fantastic place!
    Hope alls good.

    Ollie and Jo

  2. You look like having fun, we've been busy at the farm today with a royal visit from prince charles, all very exciting
    Sumera and Alison.

  3. Jo and Ollie - I can't find your blog- let us know what it is! I hope your trip continues with no more disasters!!