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Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: “How the F*&% are you still on?”

This has got to be one of our favorite whippers in recent memory!

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Goose (yes, that’s his real name) and his partner, Trevor (oh man, do we wish his name was Maverick), had just finished the slabby 5.10b first pitch of Star Trekkin’, a two-pitch climb on Hawksbill Mountain, Linville Gorge, North Carolina, and were feeling good. Trevor had led that pitch, so it was our guy Goose’s lead for the next pitch of the day—the second 5.10b pitch of Lost in Space, a more popular finish than the original second pitch of Star Trekkin’.

Before taking the sharp end, Goose set up his phone behind Trevor in a perfect location for capturing his lead on video. With his iPhone camera rolling, he set off on the short dog-legging pitch.

Before the crux, Goose tells Rock and Ice, “I placed two solid cams under the roof that were extended,” and “went up quickly once to take a look and placed a #1 cam that was just a bit too big.”

Even though the #1 was placement was dodgy, Goose decided to keep chugging since he had those bomber placements below the roof.

And this is where the shenanigans began. Goose found a good “high heel,” but—cruxing out and with only a mediocre piece below him—he paused mid-crux at a “perfect horizontal for a #.75.” As he tried to fumble it into the crack, he dropped it, but luckily got another shot: “I caught in in my mouth and placed it perfectly.”

Unluckily, he didn’t have enough juice left to clip it. “My arms were cooked and I needed to down climb and rest back under the roof, however I was too tired.”

And so he decided to let go and take a whip.

Except, well, he didn’t go anywhere. His foot, somehow, got caught. The accidental, one-legged bat hang! “I was stuck and suspended for a good five or six seconds. I gave Trevor a funny look of disbelief and you can hear him utter, ‘How the fuck are you still on?,’ before popping off and taking a safe  scratch-less ten- or fifteen-foot fall. Trevor instantly knew I was ok and we had a quick chuckle in disbelief.”

Undeterred, Goose came back to the belay, switched his jacket, and set off for round two after Trevor redirected the rope through a quickdraw on the anchor to make the pull on him less dramatic if Goose were to fall again. This time Goose placed a perfect #.75 instead of the #1, and had no problems.

Well done, lads, well done.

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!

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