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Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Going for it on Rebar (5.11a), Red River Gorge, KY

Runouts during onsight attempts are always exciting.

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After setting up his phone to film his onsight attempt on Rebar, a 5.11a gear climb at the Gold Coast area in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, Luca Keushguerian started up the route, belayed by his friend Mike.

“I heard Rebar was a good hard finger crack,” Keushguerian tells Rock and Ice, “and I wanted to try and onsight it. I saw that there was this pod at half heigh and somewhere above there was a horizontal. The goal was to place a good piece in the pod and then run it out through the hard part.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Unfortunately the hard part turned out to be a a bit too hard for him to hang on, and he “took the ride!”

It’s useful to remember that “runout” does not automatically equate to “danger.” Keushguerian says he took a “calculated risk”: even though he was far above his last piece, he “left room for error,” because he knew he might “punt” off. As such, he sags to the bottom of the rope, lets out a howl, and is completely fine.

The biggest area for improvement? Keushguerian says, “I should really remember my helmet next time…”

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!


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