G is for Gaston

“Do a gaston!”

“Say, what?”

It’s always fun to get advice partway up a climb that makes no sense. A gaston? What the heck? Who, or what is a gaston?

Turns out it’s a climbing hold named after Gaston Rebuffat, French mountain guide and climber (and author of various books including On Ice and Snow and Rock in which he is seen doing a double gaston) who liked to use a reverse grip that requires turning the hands backwards and pressing outwards to create resistance. The image used to describe what a double-gaston looks like is to think of how you’d put your hands if you were trying to pry open an elevator door.

Maria Ly posted this image of a double gaston in action:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariachily/6024815858/in/photolist-aboKRu-waLU8i-aJ7itH-pFMNGe-fKXMpK-fKXPog-qq5vFi-nAZbfi-fLfpx5-6ovGXN-6Aqm8w-5cRBju-6QviGM-ac5aPK-qB45fV-8vM8gK-nZSSdS-itcQeG-7LUuAz-7qCygK-dcazTq-o3prYU-dB3QSJ-o3AWMW-qGwhUK-njuuf5-neLmLJ-mponkB-9sids1-jgoh5v-6Lh5gp-7R1T8E-6Lkyr9-qiPc4o-dppNdo-ncgC2d-p4eUUz-pDoofL-nrHE3u-7YKC5L-3fpp6r-eJmRpJ-fJb2xo-nL23Zd-gNcRM-4TJ3pS-oeWCi8-778wUb-atpHUq-jgrWNE

Photo by Maria Ly (Flickr, made available under a Creative Commons license)

Much like in this photo, there was a narrow crack right in front of me that would have been very useful, had I known what a gaston was before I found myself looking for somewhere useful to stick my fingers. Enough said. Now I know. The gaston has been added to my toolbox of climbing tricks.

(I was also going to write about ice climbing in the Ghost River Wilderness Area and the super fun multi-pitch called Geronimo at Red Rocks, but alas, hula dancing is calling my name, so those subjects will have to wait for another day… Not sure if/how I’ll be able to link hula dancing to climbing, so even though tomorrow will feature the letter H, you may never get to find out how my evening is about to go here in Hawaii…)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s