A Wise Choice in Climbing Foolish Behavior (5.9)
Sometimes the mere fact that almost everyone has been on a route makes that line a classic. Foolish Behavior (5.9) on Mount Scott is one such line. Located only a short walk from the upper Mount Scott parking lot, Foolish Behavior is likely one of the most popular lines in the Wichita’s. It’s an easy route to set up on top-rope, as are many of the lines in this area, and it’s a fun route for everyone to try whether you are a beginner or an advanced climber. There’s a significant difference between leading Foolish Behavior and top-roping it. The bottom section of the climb is a lie-back crack, which goes relatively easily, although it can be slick in spots. The first crux is at the top of the crack section when you have to reach left for a small edge. Place gear as high as you can in the crack before heading out onto the face. After clipping the first bolt the route wanders up and right. There’s one bolt protecting the last section of the climb, which means that you are in for a nice ride if you blow a move or the clip. The most difficult section of the climb is after the second bolt on the final edges/smears before the top. The holds are thin and your movements must be precise. I’ve seen several seasoned Wichita climbers underestimate the final section and take a surprising fall.
Climbing Foolish Behavior on top-rope is less stressful and it allows you to concentrate on the moves instead of the fall. It’s an ideal route to build face and slab and crack climbing technique, it’s a perfect “breakthrough” route for a beginner crossing into intermediate terrain, and a great route for an advanced intermediate climber building leading skills. Overall it’s an excellent introduction to Wichita Mountain granite. Odds are, if you have climbed in the Wichita’s for any amount of time, you have already done this climb, if you haven’t, I’m sure you will soon.