The Eighth Day (aka MC 900 FT Jesus)
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I have waffled a long time about posting this route. In the final analysis, we invest a great deal of ourselves in climbing and a great deal in the creation of routes. For this reason, it seems important to place this route in the public domain once again. MC 900 ft Jesus (this is not Mark's name) climbs the imposing grey streak on the right side of the Project Wall. It's far from the hardest route in the canyon. It is mostly vertical and has a lot of thin edges or semi-pockets with some big reaches tossed in between. Mark Tarrant put in the anchors for this route in 1985 and had it largely figured out at the time. In 1989 he showed it to me as project that inspired him, and he asked for my assistance on the other end of the rope to get it in. Before Mark could run his red point, a variation was established on the right (The Eighth Day) that chased Marks bolts through the streak and not through the 5.10+ sector on the right as was originally proposed. I will always view this as Mark's route, and we all should. Mark's original line approached the grey streak from the left via 5.12b face and edge climbing. The right hand variation converges at the same spot just below the streak. The climbing through the streak wanders around a bit to find the shallow pockets that link it all up. This route is well worth three stars for the imposing line with it's near dead fall onto the road, continuously difficult climbing, and (now) solid stone.
Bring 20 draws and double ropes. This line can actually be done in two pitches with left and right variations converging below the streak.
|Comments on The Eighth Day (aka MC 900 FT Jesus)
|By Bill Wright|
Sep 13, 2002
This brings up a good point about first ascents that I recently discussed with my friend Eric Winkelman. The crux of the matter in this case seems to be: who did the first free ascent (i.e. redpoint, read: pinkpoint, but that is another issue altogether). Why does Mark care if he is the first to redpoint it? Because it is a great accomplishment? I think not. If he is the only one allowed to try the route, then it is almost no accomplishment at all to be first. It is a given.
In Europe, some I'm told, they give credit in the guidebooks to the person who first envisioned and equipped (bolted) the route along with the first free ascensionist. Now it is reasonable to want to be the first one to unlock the secrets of a new route which you worked to bolt, but as long as you don't watch or hear about someone else doing it, that pleasure hasn't been taken from you. What is left is just the glory of being first and we've already established that there is no glory here if you are the only one allowed to try.
The reason Henry Barber and Ron Kauk are so regalled for their first ascents of Butterballs and Midnight Lightning, respectively, are because everyone who was anyone tried these problems and failed before them.
So, yes, give credit to the route visionary, but also to the person who frees it first. I guess with a route like this, which is at a relatively moderate grade by modern standards (though a number grade beyond what I'll ever do), there isn't a lot of glory to be had in being first, but there definitely should be some limit on how long the route equipper can fail on the route and yet exclude everyone else from this section of rock as if he actually owned the stone.
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Sep 13, 2002
The trouble with a reasoned argument is that one cannot simply dismiss its author as addled, stupid, or vain. So, in response to Matt's argument I will try to add a piece of historical truth without reference to the hackles it may raise or the burried anger it may uncover. Truth is singular. Truth has one path. As climbers we have no other path, and this is exactly what happened. PZ approached me one day after Mark and I had been working the route. Mark had redpointed the left hand variation to the double bolt anchor below the streak and was working the upper section through the streak. I had run the streak on TR and had also checked out the rougher line ten feet right of the streak. This seemed to go at 5.10+ and offered a less interesting route, albeit a good line. PZ, not knowing that it was 5.10, asked if linking in from the right and continuing via the 5.10 variation would comprise a good line, and he asked if I objected to his putting in this route and using our double bolt anchor at the point of convergence just below the streak. I indicated that it appeared to be 5.10 if one stayed right of the streak, but THAT I SAW NO REASON WHY HE SHOULD NOT DO IT EVEN IF IT MEANT USING OUR ANCHOR. (Is it not interesting that compliance should prove to be so a fatal flaw?) What ensued was that the right-hand variation was bolted to just below the streak and the 5.10 was not, leaving the original line intact except for the start. With respect to timing, Mark was well within any grace period accorded to anyone establishing a new route. While the top anchor had gone in long before, only a few weeks elapsed between the day we bolted the streak and the day PZ approached me about the alternate route. As weekend warriors, Mark and I have our time constrained by responsibilities other than climbing, so we were unable to return to the streak for a two full weeks. By the time we returned, the right hand variation had been cleaned, bolted, and sent - but it followed our original line exactly. While my own trivial athletic skills would have faltered on this line, Mark's would not. The route was stolen. Nothing else is true.
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Sep 17, 2002
Not to make too much of this now. It's all water under the bridge and no one is loosing any sleep over it. Once the noise subsides we are left with a nice route up an interesting wall in a canyon with loads of far more challenging routes.
|By Mark Tarrant|
Nov 27, 2002
For what it's worth, I thought I'd clear up the history of my involvement on The Eighth Day. Bottom line is that the wall was closed by the Park shortly after it was bolted. Any bad feelings I might have had have long since passed, so I'll try to state the facts as I remember them. Long story short... The top anchors were installed in spring of 1987. We thought the obvious, direct line looked loose. Cleaning it might have put lots of rock on the road, so we decided to come into the streak from the left. I managed a successful TR of the line in '89. We bolted the route in 1989 and got just one weekend of redpoint attempts that summer before park rangers closed a large section of the Project Wall. The Park installed two metal fence posts along the road between which no climbing was allowed until the city could address the problem of climbing so close to the road. The entire canyon was in danger of being closed to bolting and to climbing altogether by 1990/1991. That spring we took a chance but got kicked off the route by a ranger who said that the wall was, in fact, closed. So, we red-tagged the route and put it on hold until things could be ironed out. On a subsequent trip (spring '91?) we saw the new, direct (and admittedly more aesthetic) line installed. Heartbroken, I never got on the route again. It's unlikely that the wall was reopened because the off-limits fence posts were still there.
Inferring that we were climbing way over our heads and abandoned the route is not at all accurate. We certainly weren't hogging the route. I never knew anyone was even eager to get on it. We didn't get the FA because we were playing a different game, abiding by the Park's rules so we wouldn't jeopardize future climbing in the canyon. This route was exceptional to me, not for its difficulty, but because it is so stunning and rare--really a fantastic line. Climbers feel attached to the routes they envision and work at--even sport climbs! This was the first line I spotted in Rifle and the first thing we got on. I haven't seen anything quite like it since.
|By Mark Tarrant|
Dec 3, 2002
Matt, thanks for the reply. I guess the point I was trying to make is that we would have gotten the first redpoint if the wall was not closed down by the Park. I wonder if anyone remembers when that happened, and how the canyon was really in danger of being closed to climbing. Anyway, I've still have a hand-drawn picture of the route with detailed beta of the crux. There was a great calendar photo of someone right in the middle of the crux from about 1995. I recognized the sequence immediately and it fit perfectly with the beta I had written down. Yes, I did have a name for the route: Tripping the Light Fantastic. I'd like to use the name somewhere else, but I haven't found a route that qualifies yet.
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Apr 11, 2003
........it felt so God-Damned good to be climbing in Rifle..............
Oct 14, 2004
word, yo, jiggaman sez props to the little man! word up, kriz. i seen in da comments that my nigga scotty F sent the onsite, i seen that matt s. know lots about it--they both be little guyz. is this a route best suited to Shorty types? the jiggaman been thinkin 'bout tryin it, biatch, but maybe not if its all about da Shorty beta. anyway, h to the izzo and and a bottle of crystal to ya, Kris-niah. yo.
Oct 15, 2004
Word, Matty, you can go brush your shoulders off nigga, I got you. Thanks for da beta, and I'm so sincere when I say dat. I'm much taller than you, shorty, and that's all good. I'll have to pimp up and try the route then. Can't deny me. But what's the V-this and V-that, it ain't the unwritten laws of rap. I'm new to this game, just movin' on after I dropped da Black Album, you know_glad you liked it, by da way_movin' to CO to try somethin' different. And what's a piano-match? I'm used to the turntables scratchin', G. You climbers are fly though, a cool group, and Jigga stay hard and is catchin' on. Thanks for the help. Peace out.Oh yeah_I wanna go where there no mosquitos at. Is Rifle cool like dat?
Oct 15, 2004
True dat, Shorty. Retirement be fly, even wit all the skeezas ridin' my jock. Can't shake da bitches an ho's, but it's all good.
Gots a different question for you since you seem up on all this climbin' stuff an I'm new to this game--but I'm still a hussla, know what I'm sayin'? I'm thinkin 'bout starting a Jiggaman clothing line for climbers.
I done a tiny bit of market research and saw there's an Urban Climbing mag out now--is that the one you run? (A little fly told me you in da biz.) My question is this: do you think climbers are ready for some straight hip-hop clothing? No offense intended yo, but most of you fellas dress like dorks and I don't see too many ladies around none of ya'll. Jiggaman change all dat for ya. Straight hip-hop where I'm comin' from.
Thanks for the help, any thoughts from all ya'll are welcome. And Shorty, since you been so helpful already, next time I'm rollin' through we grab a bottle of bub and get some hizzos, you down?Jiggaman
From: Denver, CO
Oct 16, 2004
S dot Carter stealth rubba...cuz my kicks is clean.
I'd rather have Beyonce on my crash pad...you know, the hottest chick in the game, spotting my lame (ass).
But remember Jigga...you was who you was when you got here.
You may have 99 problems...but that clip aint one.
It gets betta....order another round, 8th day is about to go down.
All I need in this life of sin....is me and some granite rocawear
|By Joe Collins|
Jun 29, 2007
Ahh, The Eighth Day. A little belay beta: unless you don't mind backcleaning draws up to the arete crux at bolt 4, and climbing that crux with only 1 draw clipped (scary!), you will want to use double ropes. Clip in with the 1st rope with a locker and climb through the first crux belayed on that one. After that crux leave the first rope clipped to the 6th bolt, and continue belayed on the 2nd rope (preferably a 70m rope so that you can get down by lowering twice).
I disagree with Matt Samet's breakdown of the route. No way is the first crux "12c"... those are the hardest single moves on the route. I would describe the Eighth Day as V5/6 arete crux (scary!) -> good rest -> 70 feet of increasingly difficult 12a w/ poor rests as you near the upper crux -> V4/5 traverse (a bit scary too) -> 50 feet of 5.11/11+ w/ ropedrag and good rests. Mentally, a very challenging route for its grade.
|By complimentary hits|
From: Aspen, Colorado
Jul 11, 2012
Sooooooo good this season. Redpointing has gotten easier in Rifle this season due to the temps.