Joshua Tree – Runaway 5.10d?

Ted makes it look easy

Ann rejoins us and we take off for the climb Ted’s been talking about all weekend, Run For Your Life, 10b. In the book it’s the only bolted route on the prominent face of the Tumbling Rainbow formation, so Ted doesn’t bother even bringing the guidebook. On the approach I experience nervousness for the first time from Ann wanting to climb something that looks dangerous to me. It turns out to be fine – I haul her pack up, she puts her shoes on and does it easily. But it’s a new perspective since I am usually the one scrambling around and making her nervous.

We get to the belay ledge and there are two bolted routes. After some debate Ted chooses the left one. He has to step on a loose rock to reach the first hold. Some hard looking moves follow, and he hangs on the first quickdraw before he sees a crucial hold. Then he sends the rest of the climb without a hiccup. Ann gets on next, and makes some progress but is stopped by those tough early moves. On my turn they take me a few tries, but I work something out. The rest of the climb is a relentless crimpfest. It never gets too much harder, but it also never gets any easier. At one point I weight the rope a bit in exhaustion, but muster some juice to continue. There is some semblence of a rest, then a secondary crux at the top. I finish feeling very impressed with Ted’s lead.

Later I ask Daryl at Nomad Ventures about the route, and he’s heard it is a 5.11. lists it as 11b. Ted swears it can’t be more than 10c. I’m uncertain. I wasn’t feeling at my best, but it was hard for me. I might give it 10d. Regardless, it’s an excellent, sustained route, and is not Run For Your Life.

4 responses to “Joshua Tree – Runaway 5.10d?”

  1. 1 – it is NOT Run For Your Life
    2 – it is sustained

    oh, you already said that.

    the irony? i have been wantint to do Walk on the Wild Side for many many years.
    dylan and got on “it”, but wound up on a different, weirder, harder (?) climb.
    i have also been wanting to RFYL, but got on a different, harder (?) route.

    where does this leave me (us)…??? we still got to do the REAL routes. heh.

  2. Howdy Ann and Dylan!
    Ted and I met up for a day of climbing in JT. It was good. Ted had been there for 2-3 days already and was a little shredded but still game. We started with heart and Soul, then Forbidden Paradise (fun), both my leads. Then up to RFYL and Runaway. Ted led RFYL with a hang at the top bolt. He looked really stiff and jerky. He came down and led it again right away for the redpoint, looked much better. I then followed in perfect style:^)

    I led Runaway, had to hang at the second bolt, midway, and at the top crux. I thought it was hard. I have no problem with a 11ab rating for the bottom. It’s certainly harder than most 10cd’s I’ve done. On the follow, Ted, bless his heart, had to hang up near the top. I hate to say it but it did give me some pleasure when THAT happened – he wasn’t too sympathetic about my “takes”.

    My theory on the rating is this. A year ago Ted was 135 pounds and honed. Of course it might feel easy to him (but he still had to hang). This year he is 150 pounds. While he went through the crux OK again he expressed being somewhat fouled up. I’m climbing OK which means I should be able to flash 10+ but may not flash 11ab. Oh well. It’s a fabulous route and I want to do it again soon.

    Ted finished off on Big Moe, getting it on his second try. I gave it a feeble little nothing try and that was the day. We had a good time which is pretty rare for us. We tried to climb together a few times in the last 6 months or so but haven’t had good luck.

    Hope to see y’all soon.

  3. Thanks Randy! I think JT is a good place for you & Ted – you just go out and spank yourself silly there. Anyway, nice to hear another account of that climb, which I remember fondly.

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