Chouinard RURP

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3 Responses

  1. Marshall Ellis says:

    Oh man……Chouinard RURPs. The first aid route I ever led was in the mid-1980’s on an old school A-3 pitch on the second pitch of Invisible Airwaves, on Looking Glass Rock, in North Carolina. It was a steep, thin, left-facing corner that quickly became discouragingly thin. So after I had wailed in every pin I had (tying off several of them short, in the bargain), and after I had run out of our meager supply of small Friends, I was reduced to four consecutive RURP placements in order to reach a crappy .25″ bolt where this seam finally disappeared. The RURPs we had were swedged with cables, and I remember having to lay them flat on the face of the wall and then sliding the hammer across the face to tap them in. The resulting abrasion immediately frayed the tiny cables, which only made me even more nervous. But they held, and I made it to the anchor, and then just a few easy placements got me to the belay. My partner got pretty wide-eyed when he got to the third RURP, and I realized then that he had made me lead it because he was too scared to try it. Good times!

    • Curator says:

      Nice! I’ve been on that climb and I can imagine what it was like before those placements were opened up a little bit. I seem to remember that there were a few copperheads and a bad micro-nut in that spot but it has been a long time.
      Great lead!

  2. Marshall Ellis says:

    Yeah – the 2nd pitch is easier (and safer!) these days with modern gear, but still pretty nervy. The copperheads showed up after my first time on that line, and when I went back a few years later and did the 3rd pitch, it turned out to be a combination copperhead/rivet ladder to a fun hanging belay below the roof. It’s still one of my favorite aid leads. Here is a pic of the 3rd pitch:

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