Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows - Pine Creek (I think)

P1 5.5 John:

The climb starts out above a creek on a very nice slab with thin holds and a couple of bolts.  John did exceptionally well.
A wider view of John on P1.
P2 5.5 Glen
P3 5.8 Glen
P4 5.8 Glen
I think this is me on P4.
J at the anchor at end of P4.

While waiting for our turn on this classic route, the first party dropped two cams somewhere during or after P4, in quick succession. One of them was the gold camalot, which bounced and then plunged into the creek at the base of the climb. After the second scream of "Rock!!!" a crew of philly climbers yelled back up, "What the f***??!!" They fished out the camalot and left it for the party who by then decided to back off the upper pitches of Dark Shadows.  Here we attempt to use a large branch to fish it out of the ice cold water.
 The party that dropped the gear came down, and we told them the cam bounced, implying that we'd never climb on such gear, and they shrugged and said, "Thanks, we'll get it looked at."

P2 was harder than the guidebook's 5.5. I nearly ate it using my approach shoes. P3 is the "money" pitch, and very photogenic. We didn't have doubles for our party of three, so we used two 60m sport ropes (10mm and 10.3mm). Well, I'll never do that again! They were heavy as hell, and not as smooth as real doubles.

On the last rope pull after rapping from P1, the ropes fall into the creek at the base of the climb. You can't avoid it. Everybody with the exception of two old timers spent an inordinate amount of time devising schemes to keep their ropes dry. Best scheme I heard was from Ben who suggested tying a shoe to one end of the rope and throwing it past the creek from the last rap station. The best realistic proposal was to let Dark Shadows be the last climb of the day so your rope could dry overnight.

Exchange of the day ( I think this was on a 5.11 trad climb next to dark shadows)
Climber 1: "I don't know... that looks hard."
Climber 2 on lead reply: "It's ok, I'm strong."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Carriage Path.

Bouldering with M and E of NJR on a nice carriage path day. Finally sent two classics that had eluded me for years. Here's a video of us trying Gill Egg.

Gill Egg - V4 from Hotel Sierra on Vimeo.

Here's a vid of me on Black Boulder.

Black Boulder - V5 from Hotel Sierra on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Taming of the Crew.

Bouldering crew, that is.

Scene I. Triple Right, a dank forest dwelling swelling with black flies and mosquitoes.
     [Enter King Matt, Lord Mark, Squire Jeff and sundry barons and such from New Jersey.]

King Matt: Use your feet! Push!
     [Gym Rat Boulderer struggles, falters. Whimpering.]
King Matt: Do something!
     [Gym Rat Boulderer falls.]
King Matt: How's that workin' fer ya??

Mark on a V4 called Captain Blowhard or something.  It has surprisingly nice movement, and is even a little long.  Atypical for the area.  The top out is notorious for creating beached whales.
L on the same.

Here's King Matt leaping towards the downclimb.  "Pretty Spry for an old guy," pronounceth the King.  One of the young guns from NJR looks on in amazement as a flash of techwick old enough to be his father bounds overhead.

I sent some stuff, but don't know the grades.  I think a V4/V5 by the initial warmup slab, then a V2/V3 on the arete with the spiffy undercling which I didn't use, and finally "Gillette" V6 over by Didactic Tactics and Captain Blowhard.  All names and grades are open to change; all I know is that it's a long walk and you better bring gallons of DEET.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The balance has been off. I started leaving the camera at home since I seem to climb more without it. Also when most of your time is bouldering alone or sport climbing with one partner, its tricky to get good shots*. P is a gifted photographer, but when we go out climbing, the results often consist of a couple of butt shots embedded in a slew of cactii closeups. In the meantime, here's a video of my friend Tim (the Dabbawalla) sending Caliman V7 at Kraft Boulders. It's better than the one of myself because you can see the overhang better. Note JB's action with the pads to avoid the dabbage.

Tim on Caliman V7 from Hotel Sierra on Vimeo.

*However, this might be a good excuse to purchase a new comfier harness that I can spend extended amounts of time in to obtain good sport climbing shots.