In reply to Phill Mitch: He has a conversation with his belayer about it. As mentioned it's to take in slack incase he falls. The friend higher up would be fine, but you can take in more slack if there's something lower down because of the angles (3 meters of running = 3 meters of slack taken in rather than the negligible amount that would be taken in if the runner is higher up).
That's a fair explanation of how it usually works to prevent groundfalls but in this case it seems like the exact opposite.
With the gear well back and a rigid belay any fall would see him arcing and slamming uncomfortably into the rock, so he's increasing the dynamic belay effect by asking his belayer to walk inwards during the fall arrest. That way not only will the direction of impact be more vertical (i.e. tangential to the face) but in this case it's likely he'll also clear the bulge too and land in he overhanging section below it.
Call me cynical, but I just assumed it was because the video is clearly sponsored by Wild Country. Note the extended butt shots near the start, clearly displaying the Wild Country logo on his harness. Those look a lot better with a rack of large, brightly coloured friends jingling around! Then, having included those shots it would be weird if he didn't even use them...
In reply to Nick Russell: "Climbing gear company in advertising shock horror" I hardly think you can begrudge a company that has paid for a video to be made that we get for free, demonstrating some of thier new product line.
> (In reply to gcandlin)
> Somebody asked why the cams were placed at the beginning, despite JP clearly not needing protection for those moves, and I suggested maybe there was a commercial motive. I wasn't making a judgement
Placing gear near the ground for commercial motives? I'm afraid your just plain wrong.
In reply to Phill Mitch: - john arran has hit the nail on the head there. The only risk on this route is a nasty slam against the rock and the potential to damage the ropes over the arete. A soft catch by running towards those two low pieces of gear would let James drop down more than swing towards the rock.
Slight side note, is the giant cam common practice on Elder Crack now? Must admit doing it as a early E2 with a wire poked quite low down (But as high as I could reach) at the back of the crack certainly spiced it up. I remember thinking I would struggle to reverse the moves I'd made to the good hold, and once I had it, looking at the fall potential thinking I hope I can do the next bit!!
Top respect to JP but I felt a bit robbed seeing an E10 climber putting the giant cam on the E2 bit.
In reply to Phill Mitch: "I'm not going to protect this part of the climb even though I have the cam, and the ability to place it, and it being a bomber placement solely to please some wads on UKC..." I'm sure that's what he thought.
Having been there at the time to take pics for Climber you are absolutely correct. Caro was indeed instructed to move in if James fell, hence hopefully missing the bulge and potential ankle snapping fall.
> (In reply to Jackwd)
> Not expecting him to think that at all, just comparing my own experience being pumped and pulling through the buldge in a very committed situation.
> Looks like you want to break into E2, give it a go, with or without the cam its a good route!
It's hardly hidden esoterica, not sure why you keep assuming nobody's done it apart from you.