T-Rex 8c (b+) by Chuck Odette (64) - Updated

Friday, 11 September

Chuck Odette has done his first 8c (b+), T-Rex in Pipe Dream after roughly 80-100 tries over two years. The 64-year-old started climbing at age 23 back in 1978. Turning 35, he decided to try to start pushing his limits, reaching his first 7c+ at 37 and first 8b+ at 44. (c) Eric Steiner

"It was cold and wet yesterday (9/9/20) here in Maple. There was a skiff of snow on the trail up to the Pipedream. It was a huge change from two days prior when the temps were 75f (24 celcius) and 14% humidity. My dry skin doesn't adhere well below 20% humidity. We (Maggie & me) almost didn't make the trip up for our Wednesday climbing ritual. The warm-ups were numb-outs. Maggie offered to stay and belay but it was too cold for her to climb... :(

Temps made it up to a balmy 49f (9 celcius) with humidity at 33%... I figured I'd give it one go and wait for hopeful better conditions on Friday. T-Rex is 40 meters long... too long for cold temps. I almost fell at the 3rd bolt... not a good start for a route that's 26 bolts long! Somehow I reeled in the bad left hand pinch that was attempting to thwart my efforts for the day. Instead of monitoring heart rate and pump, I focused on how numb my feet and hands were before moving on from rests.

Taking one move at a time I passed the crux and eventually the anchors of Millennium (8b+). I felt strong on the moves connecting Millennium to the T-Rex extension and just kept knocking down section after section one move at a time. Before I knew it, I was making one last big move to a jug at the lip of the cave, a place I'd fallen on previous attempts while on redpoint. The last four bolts were totally on lock down and anticlimactic. Done... whew... I announced my retirement from climbing to everyone at the crag immediately after lowering off the anchors and touching the ground... then... I qualified it... I'm retiring from climbing until Friday. Time for a new project... something fun... stay tuned :)

PS: I know some strong climbers have started giving T-Rex a downgrade to 8b+ recently from the original long standing consensus grade of 8c. I feel that it's deserving of the 8c personally. It's a full step harder than any 8b+ I've done in the past, but I'm also a full step older than most of my previous 8b+ routes... oh well... ratings... kind of like religion... totally subjective and worth about 2-cents on a good day... lol."

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