Ballnut Splitters and Hand Placed Beaks
The micro gear of NAZ basalt
The columnar basalt of Northern Arizona will shift one’s perspective on what “small” means in terms of trad protection. The rock type is often splitter. But, with an intermingling of crimps and pockets, the 5.12 and up routes don’t fit hands and fingers quite like sandstone splitters of corresponding grades. There may be occasional pods, but the perfectly parallel seams in between often allow millimeter widths to wedge in protection.
Wiggling in my protection
Small holds on the shield
Optional 000 size cam, if you can stop!
Joel leaning left, a wide span to leave these kneebars
Leaning right, tech jams and a bit of squeezing to get up into this position