The Promise - Kevin's accountby Kevin Jorgeson Oct/2008
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Today I managed to climb The Promise at Burbage North for its second ascent. On my initial inspection two days ago on rappel, I didn't even try the moves. The original beta just seemed completely out of the question.
Returning today, looking at the chalk on the holds, I visualized a new possibility for the beta and gave it a try. This involved turning a right hand pocket to an undercling, which as a result shortened the reach to a bad sloper. I quickly did the moves with the new beta on top rope, rested, and climbed it clean on top rope. After figuring out how to place the slider nut, which was surprisingly bomber, I was ready to go. I climbed up, placed the piece and returned to the ground. On the lead, there always seems to be some unplanned decision to be made. For me, it was the position of my right foot on a key hold relative to the rope. This unplanned decision resulted in me placing my right foot a little wrong, requiring a readjustment. Once in place, the crux move felt quite a bit harder than I was anticipating. Luckily, there was enough tolerance in the move that I was still able to stick it. The whole process took about an hour.
The obvious question that arose was regarding the grade. After climbing Parthian Shot, The New Statesman, and The Promise and having spent two days on Equilibrium and one on The Groove, my opinion is that the grade falls at E8, 5.13c/d R. The reason for this is that a fall from the crux would not result in a ground fall, assuming the gear holds. Regarding the gear, the only way that it would fail is if the cables broke. After bounce testing the piece while clipped directly into my harness, I was confident that it would hold. It should also be stated that I placed two crashpads at the base of the climb. All in all, the route climbs wonderfully and would highly recommend it to anyone!
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Kevin is sponsored by Marmot, Asana Packworks, Sterling Rope,Black Diamond, Superfeet, Raw Revolution and Five Ten.