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Free Fall 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter and Bonnie Von Grebe, 1996
Page Views: 7,875
Submitted By: David A. Turner on Sep 30, 2002

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Free Fall.

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  • Description 

    Start just right of Strange Science. What you see is what you get on this route: a steep, right-angling, finger crack to the arete, and easier climbing. It is a good pitch.


    7 bolts to a 2-bolt chain anchor.

    Photos of Free Fall Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Free Fall tackles the thin crack and arete between...
    BETA PHOTO: Free Fall tackles the thin crack and arete between...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Middle of the crux on Free Fall.
    Middle of the crux on Free Fall.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike R goes for the jug before making the clip on ...
    Mike R goes for the jug before making the clip on ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Max figuring out sequence of [Freefall].
    Max figuring out sequence of [Freefall].
    Rock Climbing Photo: Playing around on Free Fall.
    Playing around on Free Fall.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brooke Munson.
    Brooke Munson.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jon Zucco.
    Jon Zucco.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Almost done cruxing.
    Almost done cruxing.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jim Garber cruising up Free Fall.
    Jim Garber cruising up Free Fall.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Free Fall
    Free Fall
    Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Archer cranking the crux moves on Free Fall.
    Chris Archer cranking the crux moves on Free Fall.

    Comments on Free Fall Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 30, 2017
    By Chris Archer
    Oct 20, 2003
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    A fun and photogenic pitch on generally excellent holds. The crux involves a short section getting to the arete where the feet run out. The two bolts at the crux are very close and seem to be oddly placed. Clipping the second one is one of the hardest moves on the route. Perhaps it would have been better to have placed one bolt lower and out right in place of the 2.
    By Joe Collins
    Mar 24, 2004
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    I agree with Chris. Hard to onsight because of the location of the bolt at the crux. The bolts are literally 3-4 feet apart through most of the middle section, so it's hard to believe that one could be in a bad place... but yet there it is. As it is, the 5th bolt can only be clipped from smack in the middle of the crux... once the draw is hanging, it can be clipped by tall people before engaging the crux. For the onsight, the best option would be to skip the clip and finish the crux, then clip the 6th bolt, risking a nasty swinging fall.
    By chad wolak
    May 4, 2004
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Fun and short bouldery climb up a clean and aesthetic arete.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 20, 2004

    Excellent!!!!! The jug is good go for it!!!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 21, 2004

    I was thrilled to have onsighted this route a few years back. Before I went up, I decided there was no way I was gonna clip that one bolt till late and I was glad I waited. Good advice, so take it.

    By Lon Black
    Jul 16, 2005

    Since I'm a wimp, I clipped the crux bolt a little early. Actually, if you try clipping it one move before you naturally would, the right hand is bomber, and the clip isn't that bad. Seemed better than clipping after moving up and right of the crux, because doing so is pretty committing. Again depends on whether or not you want to take the fall down and left.

    Nice route. Don't miss the little toe-in spot for your left foot at the crux.
    By Richard Rossiter
    Jul 21, 2005
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Regarding the bolts along the overhang. Folks comment that the arrangement is weird and somewhat hard to clip. This is because I set up this otherwise very cool route alone during the winter of 1996. I couldn't find anyone (even Bonnie) to go up and belay me in the snow (and it was snowing), so I went up alone as usual, rapped from a tree on the upper ledge and set the ring anchors that are in use today. I pulled the rope, threaded the rings and rappelled to the talus.

    Using a Petzl Shunt I climbed the route and marked the bolts without the luxury of a belay. At the crux, I blew out and fell away from the rock on the Shunt. I could not reach the wall again, so I thought maybe I could rappel with the Shunt by pressing in against the gate. I discovered that a Shunt is either on or off, you cannot rappel with a Shunt. So I fell free to the talus and landed on my back. I was just lying there with the snow falling in my eyes. I thought sure I was injured. I moved my arms, my legs, my head and seemed to be OK. I cautioned myself to be very careful getting up. "You cannot fall this far and be OK," I thought. But I was OK.

    Now you know why the route is called FREE FALL. I went right back up and finished marking the bolts with spots of chalk. I soloed back to the anchors from Disinclination with the drill and set the bolts. This, I think, should explain why one or two of the placements are sort of hard to clip. A few weeks later, after it stopped snowing, I went back with Bonnie and led the route for the first time. I thought those clips were difficult too. It is still a good route, no?
    By ac
    Jul 22, 2005

    Great story Richard. I love reading this kind of stuff. I'm sure you have more interesting FA stories (hopefully not too many like this one!) you could share on this website.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 23, 2005

    Richard's story is a prime example that one should always know how to use the equipment one is carrying, and that hanging on a rope is no place to experiment if you don't know how to use it properly.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Nov 23, 2005

    I just climbed this today. Awesome route and my first 12a. I found the 5th bolt to be difficult to clip as well. I did notice there is a high foot out to the left (flat horizontal spot that's triangular) when you're moving into the crux. It's a pretty big foot but difficult to hold. Using it was the only way I was able to make that 5th clip.
    By Eric Peers
    Nov 8, 2006

    I had trouble onsighting this route with the crux clip as well. (I thought it was clip #6 - the one on the face, above the sloping crack, right before you go around the arete.) My right hand was in the sloping crack, left hand on the little side pull and no feet... I discovered the crux clip is actually ok for a 5'7" climber with 0 ape index if:

    Clip easier bolt #4 (I thought it was #5).
    Left hand on farthest left chalked hold, sideways crimp pocket. Approximately 1 foot left of the sloping crack. Approximately 1 foot left of the vertical flake/edge.

    Left foot flags out left.
    Right foot finds a little pocket underneath.
    Reach up and right about 4-5 feet to the clip, clip it. Reset body position, breath, clip rope.

    Then reset left hand to vertical flake/edge, move right hand over on sloping crack and throw for jug.

    Excellent route, Richard!
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 14, 2007
    rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

    If they are difficult you can skip some of the clips or get them from above and be OK. They are pretty close together.
    By John mac
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 24, 2009
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Skip the clip! I am a huge wuss and had no problem skipping it. The fall is clean and the hold after is bomber.
    By Jon Zucco
    From: Denver, CO
    Dec 5, 2011
    rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

    Glorified boulder problem... V4.
    By slim
    Dec 5, 2011
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    Nice work! That's pretty bold. Did you use a pad?
    By Eric Carlos
    From: Chattanooga, TN
    May 13, 2012
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Jon, funny, but V4 doesn't translate into 11c/d. One of your two grade suggestions must be wrong, they are mutually exclusive.
    By Geoff U
    From: Centennial, CO
    Sep 24, 2012
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Alternative BETA Alert: so I did this entirely differently... actually statically though I normally don't always climb statically. I had my right hand gastoning the flake just left of crux bolt, then did a big cross over to the good part of the slot before the jug which made the left hand really positive. This also allowed me to not be so scrunched at the crux when getting high feet. Went right hand to sloping pinch below jug, got left foot to ticked hold, flagged right, and slowly went right hand to jug. No throw needed at all.
    By Jon Zucco
    From: Denver, CO
    Oct 22, 2012
    rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

    Haha, my bad Eric, V3 ish..? Better? Slim, I used a dumb rope, but I was pretending that I had a couple organics beneath me and that made me feel better.
    By Dr. VARMENT
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 5, 2013
    rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

    Someone ought to remove the extra bolt. It's a little overkill even for BoCan.
    By Train4life
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 10, 2015
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a


    I'm not sure if you'll read this, but thank you for putting up the route. Are the bolts in weird placements? Yes. Did you protect the hell out of it so it's super safe? Yes! That's all that needs to be said. It's safe, fun, and pushes you to either mentally be tough and skip or be stronger and clip. Fun, little route, and I thank you for your time and effort!

    P.S.: I hope your back suffers no more injuries!
    By Chad Elliott
    From: Golden
    Aug 30, 2017
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    Skip the clip!

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