Sending ‘Gigantor’: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Route

After zero people in 15 years were capable of — or interested in — repeating this man’s scary 7b chossfest, he came back to take a stab at the second ascent.

“Stab” is an intentional word choice.

This article was originally published on GearJunkie.

Australian climber Zac Vertrees first put up Gigantor (Australian grade 26 or about 7b) in 2005. Right away in this video, you get a feel for the route: It’s an incipient seam with rounded edges leading up vertical sandstone that looks about as soft as a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sound like secure climbing?

Riiiight. One thing I know about moderately-rated climbs is that it’s a ringing endorsement of their crap quality when nobody — not one person — manages to repeat them in the span of four U.S. presidential terms.

Learn whether Vertrees can re-open Gigantor here or if the cliff, where “gear can pop, holds break, rusty bolts snap by hand, and the climbing is always a sandy affair,” will shut him down, spit him off, or worse.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.