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Reading Raymond Chandler (aka Practice Aid Climb) T,TR 
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Unsorted Routes:

Reading Raymond Chandler (aka Practice Aid Climb) 

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

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Paul Piana, 7/19/82, aided in the 1970s
Page Views: 1,995
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Jun 19, 2005

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Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


On the far left side of the shady side of the Holdout, past Currey's Diagonal, and above the leaning boulder/chimney/cave, is a steep seam. This is RRC.

Begin either on top of the huge boulder, or traverse in from the left by climbing the first 10 feet of a flared finger crack and step across to the huge boulder. Climb the obvious seam to the top. The climbing is sustained and difficult with a distict stopper crux in the lower section. A great rest comes in the middle, followed by another crux section of sharp micro crimping at the top.

I would imagine that 99% of the traffic this route sees is as a toprope for folks who climb Oslund's and rap right over it. The gear looks decent, but is very small and would be extremely difficult to place from heinously strenuous stances. Not sandbagged as a Vedauwoo 12a, but seems undergraded as a seam/tips crack. I would think this would deserve a PG/R rating as a lead. A testament to the ability and boldness of Skinner and Piana to those who continue to slag their achievements and vision to this day.


RPs, medium stoppers, and maybe a few tiny cams. Two bolt anchor.

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By Anonymous Coward
Aug 29, 2005

Bob is correct, I'd take it a step farther and say that Static Cling is actually HARDER than RRC. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Blue Aliens and small nuts and RRC is not PG at all.

Near the beginning of the route, there are some very tiny pin scars in the crack. Were there pins in this in the early days? They seem wholly unnecessary.
By Tom Kelley
Feb 9, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I've never led Reading Raymond without hanging, but I can say this: the gear on Reading Raymond is ok, so it wasn't mandatory that it be lead without hanging. The problem is that the climbing is hard right from the start and you are looking at a nasty ledge fall. Placing enough gear to keep you from hitting the ledge requires an enormous effort (fishing tiny wires from 5.11 stances), much more so than required for the actual climbing.

I've only lead Static Cling once and did not hang ... for good reason. None of the gear on SC is very good, and there is none above the ancient fixed pin below the crux. Given the amount of very delicate unprotected climbing after the crux and well above the pin, I could never understand why the Cling doesn't get a PG or X rating in the Voo guides, but RRC is always listed as PG.

I noticed in an old article Todd Skinner and Paul Piana did in Rock and Ice, that they did not give a gear warning on Raymond Chandler, but Static Cling was given an "X" rating. I more or less agree.

That said, I think Raymond Chandler is techcnially harder. Leading Static Cling induced a lot more permanent brain damage. They are categorically different types of climbing and shouldn't be compared side-by-side.
By Chris N
From: Loveland, Co
May 26, 2015

I think this is what was called the Practice Aid Climb back in the early 1970s.
By Mark Rolofson
Jan 5, 2017
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a

I belayed Paul Piana on the first ascent of this climb on July 19, 1982. Todd Skinner was not involved. Piana had pre-placed a fixed piton to protect the crux. After Piana cruised up the pitch, I tried to toprope it, but the crux move shut me down. The rest of the climb felt like 5.11.

In 1987, I returned & finally succeeded at leading the climb free. Since 1983, I had led 11 Cent Moon & top-roped Static Cling several times. Both climbs seemed much easier than Reading Raymond Chandler. The crux move has a very thin edge for the left hand & poor feet, which you have to hang on long enough to dyno to a good input sidepull.

The piton was critical fixed protection. It remained in place for many years. I can't imagine doing the climb without it. Someone should either replace the piton or place a bolt here. I am glad to hear there is a 2 bolt anchor atop the climb now.

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