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

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After zero people in 15 years were capable of — or interested in — repeating this man’s scary 5.12 chossfest, he came back to take a stab at the second ascent.

“Stab” is an intentional word choice.

Australian climber Zac Vertrees first put up Gigantor (Australian grade 26 or about 5.12b) 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.

Runtime: 19.5 minutes

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