Author Topic: D4 Review and mini trip report: Lurking Fear  (Read 38 times)

Joe

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D4 Review and mini trip report: Lurking Fear
« on: November 01, 2019, 07:47:25 PM »
Solid performance by the D4 on Lurking Fear.

Luke and I broke Lurking Fear up into 4 days. We fixed to P3 on Sunday afternoon Sep 22 2019 and slept on the ground that night. We teamed up with another set of climbers on those first few pitches so that we could efficiently fix ropes and avoid a cluster on Monday. The next morning we set off from the ground a few hours after the other party and proceeded to work our way from P3 to the top of P9, the "Pillar of Despair." But despair we did not, for we were prepared with a full size D4!

Time traveling back two days:
We picked up the D4 from Andy, and he gave us the quick rundown and pointed us to several videos on YouTube. Luke and I watched the videos carefully, and practiced setting up the ledge on the ground. Just as importantly we practiced packing the ledge. Setting up the ledge is straight forward and mostly intuitive. There's a few tricks to getting it packed just right and it was good to get that dialed because having it packed right makes deployment a breeze. From watching the videos and practicing, things seemed easier when we used the bed tensioner straps to keep the bed fabric bundled in the middle of the ledge during assembly and disassembly of the frame. During these steps, the bed fabric ends up entirely on the middle tubes of the long sides of the frame.

Reverse the previous time travel:
So there we were on top of the Pillar of Despair on a pleasant evening with no chance of rain. We deployed the D4 and had it assembled fairly quickly. Probably less than 10 minutes and that was our first time assembling it while off the ground. Because that section of the wall is considerably less than vertical, we found ourselves wishing that the main straps on the air side were a little bit longer (maybe an extra foot would have been good) so that the whole thing could sit a little further from the anchor and be easier to level. But with some fussing around, we were eventually able to get the ledge level and well positioned. The pockets in the center shark fins were a nice feature and there were plenty of points to clip things to.

Tuesday morning we packed up the ledge as we had practiced on the ground. Once we had it put away, we didn't need to think about it again since we didn't need it anywhere else on the wall. Since it's lightweight, it was an easy decision to bring it, even it was only for the one night. We made it to the top of P14 by Tuesday evening and slept on the natural rock ledges there. And on Wednesday we made it to the awesome bivy a short walk from the top of P19. We slept there and were surprised on Thursday by the amount of vertical distance we still had to cover. It took us probably 2-3 hours to get from the bivy spot to the point where we finally considered ourselves on top of the route. At the top, the D4 packed easily into our large Metolius haulbag which was now mostly free of food and water. I put the haulbag on my back and Luke packed a surprising amount of weight into and onto a 35L backpack we had brought along with us. We then enjoyed the views on our walk to the East Ledges and took our time getting back to the car, having successfully completed Luke's first bigwall.

The D4 was solid, light, comfortable, and easy to set up. Super glad we had it along for the climb and would definitely recommend it to others!