As discussed in Part 1, the General performs well in Wingate splitters, especially offwidths. In Part 2, I was impressed by their smearing abilities on Cochise granite slabs. Compared to the La Sportiva TC Pro, I would rate the General as equal in hand cracks, superior in offwidths and slabs, and slightly inferior in finger cracks and edging.
My only complaints were that the shoes needed a resole after only five thousand vertical feet. Yosemite Bums took care of this quickly and even stretched the shoes a half size, sending them back in top-notch condition with a perfect all-day fit. (I wear US10 street, 43.5 TCP’s, and got offset US11 left and 10.5 right in the General. After being resoled and stretched by Evolv, they came back perhaps a quarter-size larger than they were when I sent them in, which was ideal).
While the General was out for resole, I climbed three thousand vertical feet outdoors in my TC Pro’s on granite and Wingate. After receiving the Generals, I put another six thousand on them and was pleased to find that the Trax XE rubber has plenty of life left. Perhaps the early resole was due to my poor slab technique and the harsh Cochise granite …
The biggest endorsement I can give these shoes is that I chose to wear them when I led the first pitch of Journey Home in the Black Canyon. Mickey and I chose not to take pictures of the first pitch because we wanted to preserve the mystery. All I will say is that it should not be taken lightly. I felt confident of the General’s ability to smear in mandatory-onsight terrain, even with the sun blazing down on the slabs. They didn’t let me down.
I recently started lead rope soloing in the Black with a Wild Country Revo and the General has been my go-to shoe for that as well. Since I get the privilege of climbing each pitch twice, having a comfortable shoe is key. I took it on Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sex Comedy) and found that it performed well on the cryptic .11a face crux as well as the .10+ splitter fist crack.
On Musical Partners, the General did a great job on both the 5.10- slab face traverse at the start, both squeeze chimneys, and the excellent 5.10- finger crack dihedral. Both of these lead solo routes provided 1200-1400 vertical feet apiece between leading and following the pitches
Of course, no shoe review would be complete without a trip to Eldo. I took the General up the Naked Edge and found that it handled the variety of terrain admirably, including somewhat heady slab on the arete followed by a greasy, pin-scarred dihedral. The bombay crux piton needs a review of its own … let’s just say that it’s bomber AF).
Grand Conclusion: After ten thousand vertical feet of outdoor testing, I can say authoritatively that the General is a quality shoe. Even if it were as expensive as the TC Pro, I would still purchase it instead. I think an ideal three-shoe quiver for my purposes would be as follows:
– The General with Trax SE, for all-day multipitch, medium-to-large cracks and slabs with edges.
– Katana Lace (sized comfortably) with XS Edge, for techy stuff and granite thin cracks.
– Moccasym with Stealth for Wingate thin cracks and pure friction slabs.