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johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 6:54 AM
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The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR
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I am finally sitting down to begin writing this report. Until just now I had forgotten. Two weeks of R&R has made my mind and memory soft, but I feel ready to write it now. I am planning on making it episodic, and hopefully, I can strike a balance between pointlessly short, and pointlessly long. If you notice any inconsistencies, feel free to point them out. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Partner j_ung


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Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue


johnwesely


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j_ung wrote:
Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue

That was the trailer. I am writing Episode one right now.

Here is a sneak peek just for your patience.

The most epic buttshot in history!


Mainline


Moonlight


Spinal Exam


Mystery Route



gmggg


Jul 12, 2010, 7:23 AM
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j_ung wrote:
Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue

What would be the point?


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 8:18 AM
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Part One: The Early Years

So I find myself at the New Paltz bus station, but find isn't exactly the right word. Lost is perhaps even less accurate, but had a sort of truth to it. I knew with cartographic precision were I was geographically. I certainly knew were I was going, that thought having pervaded my thoughts for the last four months, but nothing else was clear.

Twenty four hours earlier I was getting on to a Greyhound Bus, A few before that I was sitting in the station. Chaotic, to say the least, the Atlanta Greyhound station was not the most welcoming start to my journey. Smack dab in the bad part of town and housing at least a few convicts who were transferring prisons, the station did little to assuage my fears that my backpack would be stolen, and that I would arrive sans gear to my destination. Being the neurotic worrier that I am, I replayed every worse case scenario in my head. Arriving in a rainstorm and dying from hypothermia due to a lack of tent was the worse I could think of. Arriving without climbing shoes seemed almost as bad.

Those fears were irrational. If they actually came to pass, they would have been nowhere near as bad as envisioned. However, one fear was real. It filled me with a gnawing doubt that made me reconsider the whole trip. If I arrived without gear, I would find a way to climb. This fear would leave me stranded for six weeks with nothing to do no matter how much gear I had.

My friend Josh Robertson's death less than a month previous had left me mentally shaken. It was as if all the climbing experience I had ever accumulated had simply vanished, and in it's place, was nothing but fear and doubt. I was no longer the climber I had grown to be, cautious but calculating and able to silence fear. I was the thirteen year old me, consumed by irrational worry. My only climbing outing since the accident ended in major disappointment. My climbing ability was replaced by pure terror. On a no hands rest, I felt certain I would fall at any moment. At every opportunity, I placed half a gear shop's worth of gear.

Could I be healed? That question played over and over in my head on the bus. My only entertainment for the ride was a collection of Kafka stories. Perhaps, I would have been better served by a Bible. I could only read half a story at a time. The ride was not particularly smooth, and I am prone to car, now bus, sickness. Night fell, but sleep would not come. The bus might as well have been forty degrees on the inside. The seats were hardly comfortable. However, had Greyhound provided me a king size bed, I doubt I would have slept. The constant transfer stops and long layovers in the fluorescent lit stations ensured that my next day would be a tired one.

Thus, I arrived in New Paltz, tired, mentally weary, unsure. With almost ninety pounds on my back and a steady rain coming down on my head, I ambled towards Rock And Snow, the local and somewhat legendary climbing store. I had been planning on getting a ride with someone going up to the cliffs, but the rain, in addition to making me wet, canceled that plan for me. I would have to hitchhike the old fashioned way, which meant I wouldn't be able to fill up my collapsible water jug. I would have to somehow wrangle myself water once I arrived.

The worse thing about hitchhiking isn't trusting your life to complete strangers. The worse thing is that when a car passes you on the side of road, it appears to accelerate significantly as it passes you. Not only does this sensation mean that another car has not picked you up, but the cars all seem to be intentionally burning you off. I must have walked close to a mile in the mud before a car picked me up. I am glad they did, as I doubt I could have walked much farther. There were three people in the car that acted as my savior. They were college students and musicians and they were going up to the cliffs to smoke some pot. I was glad for that.

My first close view of the cliffs took my breath away. They seemed to go on forever and were imposing, despite looking like 300 foot tall road cut. When my new friends dropped me off I was again alone. Weary, I set up my tent in the first site I saw and made a meager dinner of undercooked rice, a staple for the next week. Now, I had two separate but both equally pressing concerns. I needed more water, but I also needed to see the cliffs. For water I needed to go down to the convenience store. For cliffs, I had to go to the cliffs.

Luckily for me, the map given to me by one of the rangers displayed a path that could accomplish both of these goals. This was how I set off for my first journey down the carriage road, one I would be wholly sick of by the end of the trip. I would not have to wait long for my rock seeing desire to be quenched. Almost immediately across the bridge from Camp Slime, I encountered my first boulders and my first friend. The boulders were soaked, but Douglass Weiss would prove to be both a stable and trustworthy companion in the coming weeks. At this meeting however, we exchanged some brief words, and I went on my way.

When I came to the uberfall, I was both impressed and intimidated. Horseman (5.5) with its steep hanging dihedral not only looked hard, but I had heard it was easy for the grade and more like a 5.4. Before the trip I was overjoyed with the prospect of endless steep moderates, but now they did not look so moderate. I went up to feel the starting holds. They were slick from the rain, but didn't feel like they would be good even if they weren't. The gnawing doubt grew stronger.

I made my way along the carriage road and down the East Trapps Connector Trail, AKA the stair master. When I came out on the road, I was greeted with plentiful honks from motorists who were upset with me for sharing their road. I made it to the store without getting mowed down by an SUV and paid my 3 dollars for a gallon of water and 8 dollars for a sandwich. I knew I was getting screwed, but I needed the water and my rice dinner didn't exactly fill me up. The sandwich was sub par, but I was so hungry that it didn't matter.

I walked the 1.5 uphill miles back to camp and, exhausted, fell asleep. It was around four in the afternoon. I slept like a baby.


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So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 8:50 AM
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j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

Well I do love climbing.


bill413


Jul 12, 2010, 9:34 AM
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j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

He's implied he went back up the stairmaster. That could count as climbing (a la soft-porn).


moose_droppings


Jul 12, 2010, 9:43 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Part One: The Early Years

So I find myself at the New Paltz bus station, but find isn't exactly the right word. Lost is perhaps even less accurate, but had a sort of truth to it. I knew with cartographic precision were I was geographically. I certainly knew were I was going, that thought having pervaded my thoughts for the last four months, but nothing else was clear.

Twenty four hours earlier I was getting on to a Greyhound Bus, A few before that I was sitting in the station. Chaotic, to say the least, the Atlanta Greyhound station was not the most welcoming start to my journey. Smack dab in the bad part of town and housing at least a few convicts who were transferring prisons, the station did little to assuage my fears that my backpack would be stolen, and that I would arrive sans gear to my destination. Being the neurotic worrier that I am, I replayed every worse case scenario in my head. Arriving in a rainstorm and dying from hypothermia due to a lack of tent was the worse I could think of. Arriving without climbing shoes seemed almost as bad.

Those fears were irrational. If they actually came to pass, they would have been nowhere near as bad as envisioned. However, one fear was real. It filled me with a gnawing doubt that made me reconsider the whole trip. If I arrived without gear, I would find a way to climb. This fear would leave me stranded for six weeks with nothing to do no matter how much gear I had.

My friend Josh Robertson's death less than a month previous had left me mentally shaken. It was as if all the climbing experience I had ever accumulated had simply vanished, and in it's place, was nothing but fear and doubt. I was no longer the climber I had grown to be, cautious but calculating and able to silence fear. I was the thirteen year old me, consumed by irrational worry. My only climbing outing since the accident ended in major disappointment. My climbing ability was replaced by pure terror. On a no hands rest, I felt certain I would fall at any moment. At every opportunity, I placed half a gear shop's worth of gear.

Could I be healed? That question played over and over in my head on the bus. My only entertainment for the ride was a collection of Kafka stories. Perhaps, I would have been better served by a Bible. I could only read half a story at a time. The ride was not particularly smooth, and I am prone to car, now bus, sickness. Night fell, but sleep would not come. The bus might as well have been forty degrees on the inside. The seats were hardly comfortable. However, had Greyhound provided me a king size bed, I doubt I would have slept. The constant transfer stops and long layovers in the fluorescent lit stations ensured that my next day would be a tired one.

Thus, I arrived in New Paltz, tired, mentally weary, unsure. With almost ninety pounds on my back and a steady rain coming down on my head, I ambled towards Rock And Snow, the local and somewhat legendary climbing store. I had been planning on getting a ride with someone going up to the cliffs, but the rain, in addition to making me wet, canceled that plan for me. I would have to hitchhike the old fashioned way, which meant I wouldn't be able to fill up my collapsible water jug. I would have to somehow wrangle myself water once I arrived.

The worse thing about hitchhiking isn't trusting your life to complete strangers. The worse thing is that when a car passes you on the side of road, it appears to accelerate significantly as it passes you. Not only does this sensation mean that another car has not picked you up, but the cars all seem to be intentionally burning you off. I must have walked close to a mile in the mud before a car picked me up. I am glad they did, as I doubt I could have walked much farther. There were three people in the car that acted as my savior. They were college students and musicians and they were going up to the cliffs to smoke some pot. I was glad for that.

My first close view of the cliffs took my breath away. They seemed to go on forever and were imposing, despite looking like 300 foot tall road cut. When my new friends dropped me off I was again alone. Weary, I set up my tent in the first site I saw and made a meager dinner of undercooked rice, a staple for the next week. Now, I had two separate but both equally pressing concerns. I needed more water, but I also needed to see the cliffs. For water I needed to go down to the convenience store. For cliffs, I had to go to the cliffs.

Luckily for me, the map given to me by one of the rangers displayed a path that could accomplish both of these goals. This was how I set off for my first journey down the carriage road, one I would be wholly sick of by the end of the trip. I would not have to wait long for my rock seeing desire to be quenched. Almost immediately across the bridge from Camp Slime, I encountered my first boulders and my first friend. The boulders were soaked, but Douglass Weiss would prove to be both a stable and trustworthy companion in the coming weeks. At this meeting however, we exchanged some brief words, and I went on my way.

When I came to the uberfall, I was both impressed and intimidated. Horseman (5.5) with its steep hanging dihedral not only looked hard, but I had heard it was easy for the grade and more like a 5.4. Before the trip I was overjoyed with the prospect of endless steep moderates, but now they did not look so moderate. I went up to feel the starting holds. They were slick from the rain, but didn't feel like they would be good even if they weren't. The gnawing doubt grew stronger.

I made my way along the carriage road and down the East Trapps Connector Trail, AKA the stair master. When I came out on the road, I was greeted with plentiful honks from motorists who were upset with me for sharing their road. I made it to the store without getting mowed down by an SUV and paid my 3 dollars for a gallon of water and 8 dollars for a sandwich. I knew I was getting screwed, but I needed the water and my rice dinner didn't exactly fill me up. The sandwich was sub par, but I was so hungry that it didn't matter.

I walked the 1.5 uphill miles back to camp and, exhausted, fell asleep. It was around four in the afternoon. I slept like a baby.

johnwesely wrote:
Wow, that was long.

SlyWink


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 9:55 AM
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moose_droppings wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Wow, that was long.

SlyWink

Nobody is perfect.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 9:56 AM
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bill413 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

He's implied he went back up the stairmaster. That could count as climbing (a la soft-porn).

Just getting you guys into it slowly.


ensonik


Jul 12, 2010, 9:59 AM
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Holly shit.

Based on the sheer amount of pointless horsehit drivel you post on this site, I didn't think you had it in you.

Bravo. Well done. I actually look forward to reading your next entries.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 10:06 AM
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ensonik wrote:
Holly shit.

Based on the sheer amount of pointless horsehit drivel you post on this site, I didn't think you had it in you.

Bravo. Well done. I actually look forward to reading your next entries.

That's just practice.

Edit:
Also, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 12, 2010, 10:07 AM)


sp00ki


Jul 12, 2010, 10:21 AM
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OMG JUST POST THE REST


ensonik


Jul 12, 2010, 10:33 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
lso, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool

Sly And he has a good memory.

Seriously, the Gunks is amazing. Just came back from a road trip there 2 weeks ago, so I'll probably see a lot of parallels.


johnwesely


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sp00ki wrote:
OMG JUST POST THE REST

It doesn't exist yet. I will write another entry tomorrow.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 11:52 AM
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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
lso, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool

Sly And he has a good memory.

Seriously, the Gunks is amazing. Just came back from a road trip there 2 weeks ago, so I'll probably see a lot of parallels.

That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.


ensonik


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johnwesely wrote:
That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.

Being a programmer, I don't look up very often (how can you tell an extrovert programmer; he looks at your feet), but you may have seen me.

I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.


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I saw you on Sunday after the rain.


johnwesely


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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.

Being a programmer, I don't look up very often (how can you tell an extrovert programmer; he looks at your feet), but you may have seen me.

I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.

Nope. Were you training for something?


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 12, 2010, 10:32 PM)


ensonik


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johnwesely wrote:
ensonik wrote:
I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.

Nope. Were you training for something?

I keeeeeed, I keeeeed.

I'm a n00b nonetheless, so I guess you could say I'm training to become a climber.

(My partner is my 12 year old son, so I stitch pretty much every route I do and pretty much never run it out, so I do carry a lot of gear)

(Hitting refresh repeatedly, waiting for the second entry)


johnwesely


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He's the One They Call Dr. Feelgood

It is around six in the morning. The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me. Breakfast is as meager as the previous night's first dinner. In fact, it was the last nights previous dinner. Rice and beans, this time with some honey and a dash of cinnamon. What was disgusting when hot less than a day ago was now delicious when cold. The unrinsed rice had a grainy patina. The dessicated beans were hard and mealy. It didn't matter. My stomach didn't care.

After my gourmet breakfast, I wanted to go climb. It was time to see how feasible a solo climbing trip really was. Rather unsure of what the day held in store, I racked up and made my way to the Uberfall. I had heard from almost every source that the Uberfall was the place to find partners at the Gunks. It was a weekday, but I still figured that finding a partner would be a matter of minutes. There might not be a line of people waiting to climb with me, but there would be at least something similar to that. At least, that is how I imagined it.

Once at the Uberfall, I knew my expectations for finding partners were going to need to be drastically diminished. Only two or three other parties were climbing the frequently gang banged routes at one of the world's most crowded sections of cliff. None of them looked like people that I wanted to climb with.

If there is one thing you must know about the Gunks, it is that it is infested with noobs. Not just new climbers, but hordes of people with more money than sense. I wasn't wearing sunglasses. I don't own sunglasses. I have a pretty high tolerance for bright light. I was in no way prepared for the amount of shine coming off of the average Gunks rack. If I wasn't careful where I looked, I risked burning my retinas or worse, seeing some of the sloppiest belaying and leading anywhere in the world. Belayers using double ropes that obviously didn't know how to belay with singles. Belay techniques that left ATCs handsfree for seconds at a time. The Horror, The Horror...

However, I digress. If you skipped the above paragraph because it sounded like an elitist rant against the poor hapless noobs, I will summarize for you: finding competent partners was going to be hard. Therefore, rather than jumping right on the rock as I had anticipated, I spent a few terrifying hours solo bouldering.

I hoped the time that had elapsed since the accident would have numbed the fear, the terror. When I strapped on my rock shoes and attempted my first climb on Gunks rock, that hope proved to be more than a little naive. The climb was wiggles, a fifteen foot 5.1. From the ground, it appeared to be somewhere between a steep staircase and a ladder. On route, my observation proved to be correct. That didn't matter. The first move was easy as was the second. By the third, my hands were sweaty and legs were shaking. I was going to die. I was going to fall off that massive ledge. I knew it. My movements became jerky, robotic. I never felt more insecure. Despite the fear, I knew I had to push on. It would be easier to climb up than down. If I was ever going to get better, I told myself that it needed to start there. One more move. It was easy and I knew it. A fairly fit toddler could have done it, yet to me it seemed so difficult. One more move. Ten feet off the ground now. Sweating bullets. I am getting pumped on a 5.1. At this point, I am a firm believer in mind over matter. I reach the topout. The top is incut. The feet are huge. I can't do it. barely fifteen feet off the ground, I am immobilized. The only thing I can do is downclimb. With the lack of grace or technique I displayed on that descent, it is a marvel that I didn't get hurt. I was the worst climber in the world and was on a six week solo climbing trip.

At this point, I did the only thing I could. I bided my time. I still bouldered around, but now, I was not venturing more than a few feet off the ground. For two hours I putzed around. Finally, I saw a group that looked approachable. They were two young guys on Rhododendron (5.6), and most importantly, they didn't look like they were going to kill themselves. I approached them, and asked if I could jump on there line real quick. They obliged, and I told them my name was John. "Wait, are you John Wesely," asked the taller of the two. I told him that was the case. "I am Dr. Feelgood," Dr. Feelgood replied, and that was how I met my first member of rockclimbing.com.

I ran up Rhododendron, a super fun but kind of short hand crack, cleaned their anchor, and asked if I could climb more with them. they both agreed to let me stay on board because I had an extra rope. First we did Baby, a 5.6 offwidth followed by delightful jug hauling. Feelgood's friend led the first pitch, and Feelgood led the second. The climb went smoothly, but when we got to the ground it was my turn to lead. Needless to say, I was more than a little worried.

We decided on doing Bloody Mary, a two pitch 5.7. I was nervous, but I was there to climb. I climbed upon the boulder that marked the start of the route and placed my first piece. This was a zero pride lead. I placed gear every three feet. I must have been shaking the entire way. At the start of a traverse I placed a piece but didn't extend it for fear of falling an extra few feet. I was in rope drag hell from that point on, but luckily, I was done with the hard climbing. I finished the route, exhausted, but I knew that I could do it. The uncertainty was gone. It was going to be hard, but I was going to be healed. We finished that day climbing Shockley's Ceiling. It was my first day of climbing in the Gunks, and I was already being loaded up with classics.

Next Time:
The Day the Trapps Fell Down.


boymeetsrock


Jul 13, 2010, 10:03 AM
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^^^Worthless without pictures...



(just kidding. keep it coming! ...and add some pics damn it!Smile)


johnwesely


Jul 13, 2010, 11:03 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
^^^Worthless without pictures...



(just kidding. keep it coming! ...and add some pics damn it!Smile)

The next one will have pics.


ensonik


Jul 13, 2010, 11:58 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me

Were you at camp slime? If so, how was that? At a minimum, is there water? I always end up at Creekview which is dirt cheap but faaaaaaaaar .....

johnwesely wrote:
...but hordes of people with more money than sense

So apparently, you did see me.


moose_droppings


Jul 13, 2010, 12:33 PM
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ensonik wrote:
I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.

This is really good, where's your TR?


darkgift06


Jul 13, 2010, 2:00 PM
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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me

Were you at camp slime? If so, how was that? At a minimum, is there water? I always end up at Creekview which is dirt cheap but faaaaaaaaar .....

johnwesely wrote:
...but hordes of people with more money than sense

So apparently, you did see me.

Guess you didn't read the first report, where he tells the reader that he had to hike 1.5mile to the convenience store for water.


johnwesely


Jul 13, 2010, 2:13 PM
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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me

Were you at camp slime? If so, how was that? At a minimum, is there water? I always end up at Creekview which is dirt cheap but faaaaaaaaar .....

johnwesely wrote:
...but hordes of people with more money than sense

So apparently, you did see me.

There is no water at slime, but it is right next to the climbing. If you have a car,, just bring up water in a 5 gallon drum. You can drop all of your stuff off right at the campsite and then drive your car to the parking lot.


Gmburns2000


Jul 13, 2010, 3:59 PM
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awesome first two posts John! Can't wait to read about the Trapps falling down. I hear they did that a lot.


johnwesely


Jul 13, 2010, 4:49 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
awesome first two posts John! Can't wait to read about the Trapps falling down. I hear they did that a lot.

I heard that you did more than hear about it.


Gmburns2000


Jul 13, 2010, 5:29 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
awesome first two posts John! Can't wait to read about the Trapps falling down. I hear they did that a lot.

I heard that you did more than hear about it.

are you suggesting I had an active role? what? me? Noooooo...Unimpressed


johnwesely


Jul 13, 2010, 5:45 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
awesome first two posts John! Can't wait to read about the Trapps falling down. I hear they did that a lot.

I heard that you did more than hear about it.

are you suggesting I had an active role? what? me? Noooooo...Unimpressed

You tell that to the Stop and Shop employees and their families.


Gmburns2000


Jul 13, 2010, 6:09 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
awesome first two posts John! Can't wait to read about the Trapps falling down. I hear they did that a lot.

I heard that you did more than hear about it.

are you suggesting I had an active role? what? me? Noooooo...Unimpressed

You tell that to the Stop and Shop employees and their families.

I know, they weren't very happy with me. Unsure


sungam


Jul 14, 2010, 2:52 AM
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Great writing, wheeze. I'm enjoying it. Smile


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 6:35 AM
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sungam wrote:
Great writing, wheeze. I'm enjoying it. Smile

Thank you.


welle


Jul 14, 2010, 7:23 AM
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aa, gotta love Stop & Shop - never go as a gang to buy beer from there - they will ID each and everyone in your party no matter how old you look...

having said that, great reports - I enjoyed reading them, can't wait for the next installments!


juliacoreyburns


Jul 14, 2010, 9:22 AM
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Hi John! these first two installments are really great!! you have a talent for writing as well as climbing. and wow, after reading the first post and having met you near the end of your trip, i must say that you seemed super successful in getting back to a good head space and climbing hard!! i am looking forward to the next episodes.


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 9:41 AM
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juliacoreyburns wrote:
Hi John! these first two installments are really great!! you have a talent for writing as well as climbing. and wow, after reading the first post and having met you near the end of your trip, i must say that you seemed super successful in getting back to a good head space and climbing hard!! i am looking forward to the next episodes.

I know that you are a super nice person, but I will never forgive you for what you said about my hat. Wink


Gmburns2000


Jul 14, 2010, 10:27 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
juliacoreyburns wrote:
Hi John! these first two installments are really great!! you have a talent for writing as well as climbing. and wow, after reading the first post and having met you near the end of your trip, i must say that you seemed super successful in getting back to a good head space and climbing hard!! i am looking forward to the next episodes.

I know that you are a super nice person, but I will never forgive you for what you said about my hat. Wink
LaughLaughLaugh


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 10:27 AM
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The Day the Traps Fell Down



Despite the initial difficulties, partner finding became quite easy. It is true that I wasn't climbing as much as I wanted to, maybe just a few routes a day, but I was climbing exactly the type of routes I wanted to be climbing. I definitely wasn't finding partners who interested in pushing the grades. In fact, most were content to let me lead everything. That was perfectly fine with me. The fear was becoming manageable. Leading fives sixes and the odd seven was really helping me get back on track. As icing on the cake, RC.com user Fool graciously gave me a ride to the grocery store. Starvation diet no more!

That's not to say the fear had disappeared. When I finally ponied up to do Horseman, my knees were knocking and my legs were shaking the entire way up, but when I ran out of gear at the top and had to commit to a thirty foot run out, I felt something different. It was like an old friend that I hadn't seen for years and had little hope of seeing again. It was foreign but familiar. Excitement. Commitment. Knowing that my safety relied on my climbing ability and my climbing ability alone. For the first time in almost two months, I felt solid. That feeling would leave me after the climb, but its taste was in my mouth once again.

My breakthrough on Horseman wasn't the only reason I had to be happy. RC.com's own Greg Burns was coming to climb with me for the whole next week. The prospect of a solid partner, especially one who could show me all the classics and get me out of the uberfall, convinced me that I was able to push my climbing up to the next level. Greg arrived mid day on a weekday and we immediately got to it. Our first tick was Maria, a three pitch 5.6 with a daunting roof on the third pitch. It would be lie to say that the roof didn't intimidate me more than just a little. However, I wasn't going to let Greg think I was a wuss. I can't imagine the cavalcade of one stars that would have arose had that been leaked to the public. I shudder to think.

So to protect my dignity, I chalked up, racked up, and started the pitch. The climbing off the ledge was poorly protected but easy. When I finally got pro in, I was glad Greg made me carry the 3.5 Camalot. Twenty more feet of crackish climbing put me under the roof. Once again, I was glad Greg made me carry the #3 camalot. Here it was, a real Gunks roof, and unlike Shockley's, I was on lead this time. If I was going to make it, I needed to summon that sense of commitment I gleaned from Horseman. A deep breath. Chalk. Chalk. Another deep breath. It wasn't going to get any easier. Ok, this time. I shot my left hand up to the farthest hold a could reach, sidepull, in the crack above the roof. I was committed now, no doubt about it. Careful to keep my body as stiff as a board, I brought right hand up to match the left. Now was the hard part. Completely extended, I had to bring my feet up to around my chest, and I didn't have much time to do it. I could feel my fingers sliding off the holds. To compensate, I traded my fingers in for vice grips and made my best attempt to crush the rock. As a rule, forearms don't appreciate this type of treatment. If there was a time for hesitation, it was thirty seconds ago. I swung my feet over the roof, and cranked as hard as I could until I reached a welcome Gunks horizontal. At this point, pumped and mentally frazzled, I was glad that I wasn't climbing somewhere else. Gunks horizontals, truly manna from heaven.

Over the next week Greg and I went on spree of slaying the classics. CCK, Frog's Head, Strictly from Nowhere, Son of Easy O, Disneyland, and many others, but despite this success we needed to something more. We were going to climb High Exposure, the ultimate Gunks classic, by the light of the full moon. At first we toyed with the idea. And even as the planned day approached I wasn't quite sure that it would really happen, but somehow we found ourselves hiking into the Trapps after dinner, resolved to meet our goal. As a warm up we did both pitches of Arrow, a two pitch 5.8 with beautiful clean white rock. By the time we got down, dusk was rapidly approaching, and we made the short hike over to the High E buttress. In an act of blasphemy, I declared that I wasn't a fan of Arrow. At the Gunks, those be fighting words.






Much to our dismay, there was already a party on High E. High E is one of the most crowded routes in the world, but come on. At sundown on a weekday, there was a group of three going up. I still don't really believe it. Luckily for us, they were only going up halfway, so they could sleep on the ledge. Also, it wasn't exactly dark yet, so letting them climb before us ate up the lingering daylight. This party wasn't an inconvenience in terms of the climbing, but I still felt cheated out of a peaceful night ascent. I should have remembered rule number one of Gunks climbing, expect crowds.

Like a heavy metal song, darkness overcame the light and I was ready to climb. The first pitch of High E is only 5.4, but the route finding has thwarted more than a few leaders, when I later did the route in the daytime, I screwed it up. I was heading up it with only a three foot range of visibility. Strangely, I wasn't nervous. The gentle night breeze and the casual climbing turned out to be more soothing than scary, and I made my way up one of the most memorable pitches of my life. As I traversed over to the arete high on the pitch, the lights of New Paltz glistened in the distance. I could hardly think of anything more peaceful. When I belayed Greg up, he agreed.



Now it was Greg's turn. He was set to lead the world famous second pitch of High Exposure. With no hesitation he cruised the pitch and began to belay me up. As I pulled the reach around roof, I was once again filled with that peace that I found so comforting on the first pitch. With only moonlight as my guide, I slowly climbed up one of the most delightful sections of rock at the Gunks. I savored every move, knowing that it would never again be the same. When I reached the top, we sat for hours. The night could not have been any more perfect.



The next day, Greg left after we climbed Gelsa at the Nears, and I continued my climbing day with Gail Blauer. We had met up with Gail and her friend Michael earlier in the week but didn't actually end up climbing any routes together. She did, however, invite us over for not one but two delicious dinners, so I was excited to finally get to climb with her. We started off on Alphonse, A beautiful long pitch of 5.6 with a 5.8 roof, and continued on to Birdland, a classic techy face climb. At the end of the day, we finished with Roseland, hyper polished 5.9 corner. At this point I had climbed a handful of Gunks eights but was still reluctant to push it any higher, but I had such a good day climbing with Gail that I should at least try.

The corner was even more polished than it looked, but I had little trouble with it. What got me was the traverse at the top. From the ground, the traverse looked simple. Now that I was on it, I realized that the less than ideal hands and glassy feet were not going to make it easy. I clipped the fixed pin and made a few moves. Greasy. Greasy. I made a desperate clip of the next pin and, right before slipping off, found an insecure stance. The next moves seemed impossible. I was stuck. For fifteen minutes I hung onto a slopey undercling and prayed to the sticky rubber gods. My forearms were burning. My entire body was sweating. It was taking every ounce of concentration to stay on the rock and I still had no plan. I only had one option, I had to go for. Resolved to succeed or at least fail trying, I grabbed onto the next crimp, a move that put me dangerously off balance. I swung my right foot from its comfortable, relatively at least, position out to a slick smear. There was no going back. I hurled my weight over the foot and the sticky rubber gods answered my prayer. I had done it. Exhausted, I finished the climb. Another milestone, but this time, I knew the next one would not come so easy. To progress, I wouldn't have to only overcome mental barriers, but I would also have to simultaneously overcome physical barriers. My lofty goals I had made before the trip seemed both closer than ever and hopelessly out of reach.

Edited to Add Pictures.


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 14, 2010, 10:35 AM)


welle


Jul 14, 2010, 10:49 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gunks horizontals, truly manna from heaven.

Amen!

That's funny about High E - I was also flabbergasted to find a party on High E at 8am on a fall weekday morning.

I'm curious to find out your opinion about the Gunks protection ratings, in the past, IIRC, you said they seemed too soft. What do you think now?


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 10:58 AM
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welle wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gunks horizontals, truly manna from heaven.

Amen!

That's funny about High E - I was also flabbergasted to find a party on High E at 8am on a fall weekday morning.

I'm curious to find out your opinion about the Gunks protection ratings, in the past, IIRC, you said they seemed too soft. What do you think now?

They are not as soft as I thought previously, but less stringent than the Southeast.


boymeetsrock


Jul 14, 2010, 11:17 AM
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You definitely hit a bunch of classics !!

The thing you have to keep in mind about Gunks protection ratings is what you are going to hit on the way down. I haven't climbed in the SE, but I imagine that figures into the equation...


Gmburns2000


Jul 14, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Just to be fair to John, I never saw him shake, squirm, or get nervous the entire time I climbed with him. He had a little bit of trouble on one of my favorite routes the second time we met, but overall, he is the boldest and hardest climber I've ever climbed with at the 'Gunks. There was no external fear that I could see. As a result, he took me up climbs I never would have dared doing on my own.


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 11:41 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
You definitely hit a bunch of classics !!

The thing you have to keep in mind about Gunks protection ratings is what you are going to hit on the way down. I haven't climbed in the SE, but I imagine that figures into the equation...

The frequent ledges at the gunks definitely spice things up a bit.


johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 11:47 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Just to be fair to John, I never saw him shake, squirm, or get nervous the entire time I climbed with him. He had a little bit of trouble on one of my favorite routes the second time we met, but overall, he is the boldest and hardest climber I've ever climbed with at the 'Gunks. There was no external fear that I could see. As a result, he took me up climbs I never would have dared doing on my own.

I had to keep all of that on the inside. I didn't want a world famous blogger to discover my wussitude.


Gmburns2000


Jul 14, 2010, 11:58 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Just to be fair to John, I never saw him shake, squirm, or get nervous the entire time I climbed with him. He had a little bit of trouble on one of my favorite routes the second time we met, but overall, he is the boldest and hardest climber I've ever climbed with at the 'Gunks. There was no external fear that I could see. As a result, he took me up climbs I never would have dared doing on my own.

I had to keep all of that on the inside. I didn't want a world famous blogger to discover my wussitude.

I hear that he does tend to intimidate people sometimes.


hyhuu


Jul 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Fun read. Keep it comming. But you must be easy to please if you think Hight E. is that delightful.


johnwesely


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hyhuu wrote:
Fun read. Keep it comming. But you must be easy to please if you think Hight E. is that delightful.

Oh snap.


gblauer
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Jul 14, 2010, 12:59 PM
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John's write up is completely different from what I expected. Honestly, the guy that I climbed with is nothing like the sniveling, underconfident, shaking climber described in this TR.

Climbing with John was amazing; he was always in control, always confident, always willing to "go for it". I really admired his climbing, but even more so, his "head".

Reading this makes John's feats even more amazingingly impressive.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Jul 14, 2010, 1:01 PM)


johnwesely


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gblauer wrote:
John's write up is completely different from what I expected. Honestly, the guy that I climbed with is nothing like the sniveling, underconfident, shaking climber described in this TR.

Climbing with John was amazing; he was always in control, always confident, always willing to "go for it". I really admired his climbing, but even more so, his "head".

Reading this makes John's feats even more amazingingly impressive.

You climbed with me after my head had gotten a lot better though. It was really bad when I got to the Gunks. I was not exaggerating.


Gmburns2000


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gblauer wrote:
John's write up is completely different from what I expected. Honestly, the guy that I climbed with is nothing like the sniveling, underconfident, shaking climber described in this TR.

Climbing with John was amazing; he was always in control, always confident, always willing to "go for it". I really admired his climbing, but even more so, his "head".

Reading this makes John's feats even more amazingingly impressive.

yup. I knew he was dealing with shit when he arrived, but he never once showed it. not once.


johnwesely


Jul 15, 2010, 4:06 PM
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Liberation

After my day climbing with Gail, I climbed a few more nines, but I still didn't feel like I was quite back to my old self. It was true that I was feeling more and more confident on the rock, and compared to the climber I was a year ago, I was objectively better. However, I had made significant gains in my trad game last fall, and they didn't seem to be coming back. I was almost there, but I needed a boost to get me to the place where I could honestly say I was trying my best.

I didn't just get the boost I wanted, I got a complete transformation of my climbing. Gail had hooked me up to climb with her regular partner Michael. I knew ahead of time that this would be a treat. I had seen Michael climb the previous week and was completely blown away. He climbed with some of the greatest control and finesse I had ever seen. If I really was ready to start pushing it again, he was the person to do it with.

Our first climb together was a fairly run out variation of Maria Direct, 5.9. Rather than connecting with the second pitch of Maria, I shot straight up, following a vague white streak. The pro was scant and the climbing was a little dirty. When I belayed Michael up, he told me that nobody ever does that climb. It wasn't to hard to figure out why. It may not have been the perfect 5 star rock climb, but it was a perfect warm up for my first day climbing with Mike.

Afterwards, we each led Jean, a 5.9 roof problem to the right of Maria. The fun climbing, shortness of the route, and decent fixed anchors make Jean one of the quickest climbs at the Gunks. After Jean, the time for warm ups was over. Michael asked what I wanted to do, and I told him that I would really like to try and lead Doubleissima, he agreed, and we began the hike towards the High E Buttress. Doubleissima Is the kind of climb they make magazine covers for. It follows a direct line up in cut crimps on beautiful yellow stone. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones who thought it was such a nice climb. When we arrived, another group was toproping the first forty feet of the route. Why they chose to do this, I can't say. Those first forty feet are possibly one of the worst sections of climbing at the Gunks. To each their own I guess.

Half disappointed and half relieved, we made our way to the next route on our list, The Feast of Fools.
Like Doubleissima, The Feast of Fools has about 40 feet of 5.8 before the meat of the climb. However, there is no easy way to toprope it and the climb was open. It still being my lead, I racked up in preparation for my first Gunks 10. The first forty feet followed a crack like feature up to a big roof. The crack went easily, but the roof presented some difficulty. Not only would I have to make a super thin traverse under the roof to reach the slam dunk jug at the lip, but my last piece was well under my feet. If I haven't mentioned it yet, there is nothing I struggle with more than crimping when I can't close the crimp. That is exactly what this traverse was.

Trusting in my gear and wishing to best for my poor tendons, I began the sequence. The first hold was decent, but the second left much to be desired. Crimping like a mad man onto that nasty hold. I crossed my left hand into what looked like a similar shallow slot. Luckily for me, the slot was deeper than I though and gave me just enough purchase to throw for the jug. I slammed a gold Camalot into the hortizontal and pulled the roof. One roof down, One more to go. I traversed right into a stance and placed a big blue Camalot. If the rotten pins that protect the crux were to fail, I would be betting all of my bacon on the big heavy thing. I hung out at that rest for a while, for mental more than physical reasons.

Once I realized that I wasn't getting any younger, I began pulling on the hold that led to the routes crux. When I reached the pins, I disappointed by the holds. After pawing around for what seemed like a minute, all I could find was a heinous crimp. There wouldn't be a horizontal to bail me out this time. Desperately, I clipped the first pin. Pumped, but still confident, I clipped the second. This one wasn't going to be so easy. When I tried to extend the sling, it got snagged in the carabiner. Of all the times for that to happen. Forearms blazing, I fiddled with the sling. It wasn't coming out. I figured I had, at the most, seven seconds before I was coming off. The rusted relic that I was currently clipped into wasn't doing it for me. I took the sling all off the carabiner, and with the help of my mouth, detangled it. I barely made the clip. I was about to fall when, at the last moment, I spotted a jug to the right. Grateful for a decent hold, I grabbed it.

Now able to slightly depump, I figured I was in the clear until I looked to the left. Chalk. A perfect line of bomber edges. I looked up from my position, nothing. With no other options, I did the only thing I could. I mantled on that hold up into the blank corner. I wasn't up there to give up. The second I started to ill conceived move, I could feel gravity pulling me backwards. Like a broken record, the exclamation, I am falling, played over and over in my head. My right hand, fully extended pressing downwards on the jug, was starting to slip. Desperately I pawed with my left. Nothing. I could feel my body falling backwards when I seized a credit card edge with my free hand. It was not enough to pull on, but it was enough to stop my descent. Delicately, I made a hand foot match and brought my right hand up. Fully appreciating the nature of my position, I shot that hand into the air where, at the apex of reach, I found a real hold. In that instant, I went from being sure that I was going to fall to being filled with ecstatic joy. After plugging one last cam, I made the final traverse around the lip. I had done it. My tendons were screaming and my forearms were aching, but That momentary discomfort didn't come close to matching my unbridled joy.

We finished Feast of Fools and made our way over to Doubleissima, our top roping friends were gone. I was exhausted but the climb beckoned me. With the exception of my right arm seizing up mid climb, the climb went smoothly. We finished on High E. I had found that which I had lost. I was really rock climbing again. The holy Gunks 5.10s were now open to me. Now all I needed was someone to do them with.


davidnn5


Jul 15, 2010, 4:26 PM
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Just for my own clarity, Gunks 5.10s are what, 5.12/V4+ moves elsewhere?? Heck, the constant mention of 'roof' and 'crimp' in climbs under 5.10 is indicative in itself.

I'm sure there's historical reasons for keeping the climbs rated/weighed down with such heavy sandbags...


johnwesely


Jul 15, 2010, 4:36 PM
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davidnn5 wrote:
Just for my own clarity, Gunks 5.10s are what, 5.12/V4+ moves elsewhere?? Heck, the constant mention of 'roof' and 'crimp' in climbs under 5.10 is indicative in itself.

I'm sure there's historical reasons for keeping the climbs rated/weighed down with such heavy sandbags...

I thought the grades were accurate compared to other traditional areas but about a number grade harder than sport areas.


davidnn5


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johnwesely wrote:
davidnn5 wrote:
Just for my own clarity, Gunks 5.10s are what, 5.12/V4+ moves elsewhere?? Heck, the constant mention of 'roof' and 'crimp' in climbs under 5.10 is indicative in itself.

I'm sure there's historical reasons for keeping the climbs rated/weighed down with such heavy sandbags...

I thought the grades were accurate compared to other traditional areas but about a number grade harder than sport areas.

Good to know, in case I get out there to the holy Gunks...!


Partner j_ung


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johnwesely wrote:
Avalanche of beta.

Thanks for blowing all those onsights, asshole. Tongue Seriously, though, fun TR. Keep 'em coming.


johnwesely


Jul 15, 2010, 6:25 PM
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j_ung wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Avalanche of beta.

Thanks for blowing all those onsights, asshole. Tongue Seriously, though, fun TR. Keep 'em coming.

That is the last one for this week, but to keep your interest piqued:

[trailer announcer voice] On the next installment of the Lonestar's TR, the clothes will come off, bones will break, and John Wesely will find out who his real father is. [/end trailer voice]


brokesomeribs


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Great TR. I think I saw you more than once. I was up in the Gunks about 2x a week during your stay.

Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.


johnwesely


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brokesomeribs wrote:
Great TR. I think I saw you more than once. I was up in the Gunks about 2x a week during your stay.

Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.

They were lifted about two weeks before I left. I got to do Madame G's and Le Teton. I know everyone says that High E is overrated, but I don't think you can beat the jug hauling on the third pitch.

Maybe I saw you more than once? Now we will never know.


brokesomeribs


Jul 15, 2010, 8:53 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
brokesomeribs wrote:
Great TR. I think I saw you more than once. I was up in the Gunks about 2x a week during your stay.

Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.

They were lifted about two weeks before I left. I got to do Madame G's and Le Teton. I know everyone says that High E is overrated, but I don't think you can beat the jug hauling on the third pitch.

Maybe I saw you more than once? Now we will never know.

The last 60 feet of High E are really something, but I still prefer M.G's.

I guess we'll have to run in to each other down in the dirty dirty. Gonna be at the Red the 1st weekend of August? If so, we can have another ex-post-facto greeting in my own not-quite-as-epic-but-I'll-put-forth-a-good-effort-nonetheless TR.


johnwesely


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brokesomeribs wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
brokesomeribs wrote:
Great TR. I think I saw you more than once. I was up in the Gunks about 2x a week during your stay.

Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.

They were lifted about two weeks before I left. I got to do Madame G's and Le Teton. I know everyone says that High E is overrated, but I don't think you can beat the jug hauling on the third pitch.

Maybe I saw you more than once? Now we will never know.

The last 60 feet of High E are really something, but I still prefer M.G's.

I guess we'll have to run in to each other down in the dirty dirty. Gonna be at the Red the 1st weekend of August? If so, we can have another ex-post-facto greeting in my own not-quite-as-epic-but-I'll-put-forth-a-good-effort-nonetheless TR.

I am so broke right now, that I can't imagine a trip to the Red happening, but maybe with enough people.


sethg


Jul 16, 2010, 6:08 AM
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I am really enjoying your reports so far, John. Please keep them coming.


gblauer
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Jul 16, 2010, 7:01 AM
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"I am so broke right now, that I can't imagine a trip to the Red happening, but maybe with enough people."


This is your mother talking...

GET A JOB!!! Go babysit, be a valet, look on craigslist for day "gigs", get some shifts at the local rock gym...You can't be a bum forever!!!


Gmburns2000


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Another nice write-up dude, keep it up. Micheal really is an amazing climber, and I'm that this is when you started to get over your head games.


welle


Jul 16, 2010, 9:08 AM
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brokesomeribs wrote:
Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.

Best 5.6s in the Gunks don't have 3 stars.


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 9:53 AM
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welle wrote:
brokesomeribs wrote:
Too bad the peregrine closures were still in place - Madame G's is the most spectacular 5.6 I've ever climbed. I too will blaspheme and declare it a greater climb than High E.

Best 5.6s in the Gunks don't have 3 stars.

Name them.


johnwesely


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gblauer wrote:
"I am so broke right now, that I can't imagine a trip to the Red happening, but maybe with enough people."


This is your mother talking...

GET A JOB!!! Go babysit, be a valet, look on craigslist for day "gigs", get some shifts at the local rock gym...You can't be a bum forever!!!

I told my climbing partner I would babysit for him. If I get a conventional part time job, I won't be able to climb because they will make me work weekends. I used to have a work study job that gave me weekend off, but budget cuts took it away.


welle


Jul 16, 2010, 10:14 AM
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I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.


Partner cracklover


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j_ung wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Avalanche of beta.

Thanks for blowing all those onsights, asshole. Tongue Seriously, though, fun TR. Keep 'em coming.

That was a very accurate portrayal of Feast of Fools. It hits you with the real crux (being out of balance and on the wrong side of the dihedral) right after you thought you'd finished the crux.

The second pitch is excellent, too, with a character that is radically different from the first.

I enjoyed your description of the traverse on Roseland, too. That was my first 5.9 lead, and when I finished the traverse (onsight) I was more pumped than I had ever been in my life.

Man, I do miss Gunks climbing.

Cheers,

GO


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welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.


johnwesely


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cracklover wrote:
j_ung wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Avalanche of beta.

Thanks for blowing all those onsights, asshole. Tongue Seriously, though, fun TR. Keep 'em coming.

That was a very accurate portrayal of Feast of Fools. It hits you with the real crux (being out of balance and on the wrong side of the dihedral) right after you thought you'd finished the crux.

The second pitch is excellent, too, with a character that is radically different from the first.

I enjoyed your description of the traverse on Roseland, too. That was my first 5.9 lead, and when I finished the traverse (onsight) I was more pumped than I had ever been in my life.

Man, I do miss Gunks climbing.

Cheers,

GO

Thanks GO.


Gmburns2000


Jul 16, 2010, 11:04 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable was seriously going to fall on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.

5.6+++++


Gmburns2000


Jul 16, 2010, 11:20 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable was seriously going to fall on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.

5.6+++++

not a good place to fall either. gear isn't that great just before the traverse.


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable was seriously going to fall on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.

5.6+++++

not a good place to fall either. gear isn't that great just before the traverse.

I noticed that.


welle


Jul 16, 2010, 11:44 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable was seriously going to fall on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.

5.6+++++

not a good place to fall either. gear isn't that great just before the traverse.

I noticed that.

true dat. to me the crux was the runout arete after the traverse and tiny fingerlocks with your feet smearing on blank face! The 5.6 Dick Williams recommended to my friend is "The Last will be first". I'm with you on High E though - something about that steep and exposed wall on incut but overchalked greasy jugs cause a mild pump to scale up the pucker factor!


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 11:47 AM
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welle wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
welle wrote:
I think I saw you on one in one of your photos ;) It has it all - airy traverse, cool arete, clean face and a thin fingercrack. Also Dick Williams last summer favored one particular balancey face climb that's in the High E vicinity - he recommended it to a friend visiting from out of town. Does GGG in the Nears have 3 stars? I forget... but it has interesting moves and finishes with a great jug haul as well.

I really didn't like Moonlight. Greg will vouch for me.
Ursula?
I never got on GGG. It seems like no matter how long the trip, you can never do everything.

yeah, he felt a little uncomfortable was seriously going to fall on the crux. I never realized before then that the traverse was harder for taller people.

5.6+++++

not a good place to fall either. gear isn't that great just before the traverse.

I noticed that.

true dat. to me the crux was the runout arete after the traverse and tiny fingerlocks with your feet smearing on blank face! The 5.6 Dick Williams recommended to my friend is "The Last will be first". I'm with you on High E though - something about that steep and exposed wall on incut but overchalked greasy jugs cause a mild pump to scale up the pucker factor!

Now you spoiled it. You were being so cryptic before.


welle


Jul 16, 2010, 12:00 PM
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I know, sorry! That's because at first I thought 3 stars were meant to keep tourists away from good climbs. But thinking back, not many would enjoy these climbs since they're a tad harder and/or more sustained. People like getting on climbs with short cruxes - the way everyone loves Arrow...


rangerrob


Jul 16, 2010, 5:47 PM
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Best 5.6 in the Gunks that doesn't have 3 stars.......The Last Shall Be First.

The hardest 5.6 in the Gunks......Wisecrack.

Moonlight blows away High E or Shockleys's. The best 5.6 overall.........Madame G's


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 6:30 PM
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What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?


losbill


Jul 17, 2010, 7:50 PM
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What the hell?!?!?! Gail, weren't you feeding the poor boy?!?!?! John if I had known you were such on short rations Bob and I would have invited you out to dinner and filled you up the Saturday we met you at the base of CCK. Very much enjoying the write ups. Fun to compare and contrast them after my exposure to your dry wit and "insightful" commentary on various issues over at the Bonnie's Roof area.


gblauer
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Jul 17, 2010, 9:28 PM
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losbill wrote:
What the hell?!?!?! Gail, weren't you feeding the poor boy?!?!?!

Bill, of course we fed the poor boy! We even showered him too! And let him do his laundry. Alas, his nutrition was awful when I was not around. LIttle Debbie peanut butter snack cakes, pudding cups; high calorie. empty calorie snacks. Without a cooler he had to stick to non perishable foods. He claims he gained weight on the trip (muscle), that may be true, but I sure didn't see it. He was skinny as a rail when he left.


charley


Jul 18, 2010, 6:11 AM
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One of the best tr's I have read here. Good writing and good story. Congrats on the growth and getting back to climbing rock. I can't wait for more.


(This post was edited by charley on Jul 18, 2010, 6:13 AM)


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 6:43 AM
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gblauer wrote:
losbill wrote:
What the hell?!?!?! Gail, weren't you feeding the poor boy?!?!?!

Bill, of course we fed the poor boy! We even showered him too! And let him do his laundry. Alas, his nutrition was awful when I was not around. LIttle Debbie peanut butter snack cakes, pudding cups; high calorie. empty calorie snacks. Without a cooler he had to stick to non perishable foods. He claims he gained weight on the trip (muscle), that may be true, but I sure didn't see it. He was skinny as a rail when he left.

I gained almost 10 pounds during the trip. It is a medical fact.


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 6:43 AM
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charley wrote:
One of the best tr's I have read here. Good writing and good story. Congrats on the growth and getting back to climbing rock. I can't wait for more.

Thank you.


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2010, 7:11 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 7:14 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2010, 9:02 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 9:08 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2010, 10:00 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.

you'd better watch it buddy. those georgian cliffs don't look nearly as stable as the Trapps once did, and we know how that ended up.


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.

you'd better watch it buddy. those georgian cliffs don't look nearly as stable as the Trapps once did, and we know how that ended up.

Did you just one star blitz me?


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2010, 11:27 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.

you'd better watch it buddy. those georgian cliffs don't look nearly as stable as the Trapps once did, and we know how that ended up.

Did you just one star blitz me?

no, but I saw that and was afraid that you'd think it was me. it wasn't.


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.

you'd better watch it buddy. those georgian cliffs don't look nearly as stable as the Trapps once did, and we know how that ended up.

Did you just one star blitz me?

no, but I saw that and was afraid that you'd think it was me. it wasn't.

It was probably climber photo bum. I one starred one of his pictures, and he sent me 3 pms telling me to change it. I changed it to a two star.


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2010, 11:38 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
What exactly makes moonlight better than High E?

everything.


just sayin'

Maybe if you are 4 foot 2 inches.

hey, that's 4 foot 6 inches to you buddy! Mad

I really liked your last blog post, but if you keep exaggerating your height like that, I am going to have to change my mind.

you'd better watch it buddy. those georgian cliffs don't look nearly as stable as the Trapps once did, and we know how that ended up.

Did you just one star blitz me?

no, but I saw that and was afraid that you'd think it was me. it wasn't.

It was probably climber photo bum. I one starred one of his pictures, and he sent me 3 pms telling me to change it. I changed it to a two star.

well, now you know your nemesis at least.


sungam


Jul 18, 2010, 12:39 PM
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John. Get a jorb, work fuck-sick hours for 2 weeks, tell them to fuck off then get your ass to the RED!


johnwesely


Jul 18, 2010, 12:46 PM
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sungam wrote:
John. Get a jorb, work fuck-sick hours for 2 weeks, tell them to fuck off then get your ass to the RED!

By the time I got that done, I wouldn't have any more time to go to the Red. The Red is too hot now anyways. There are some north facing granite monsters that are in my sights though. We will see.


sungam


Jul 19, 2010, 1:24 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
sungam wrote:
John. Get a jorb, work fuck-sick hours for 2 weeks, tell them to fuck off then get your ass to the RED!

By the time I got that done, I wouldn't have any more time to go to the Red. The Red is too hot now anyways. There are some north facing granite monsters that are in my sights though. We will see.
Dooettttttttttttttt.


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 7:21 AM
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sungam wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
sungam wrote:
John. Get a jorb, work fuck-sick hours for 2 weeks, tell them to fuck off then get your ass to the RED!

By the time I got that done, I wouldn't have any more time to go to the Red. The Red is too hot now anyways. There are some north facing granite monsters that are in my sights though. We will see.
Dooettttttttttttttt.

My financial woes are over. My father paid back some of the money he owed me. Time to rock climb.


boymeetsrock


Jul 19, 2010, 7:41 AM
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Who's sister did you screw to get one starred on every one of your posts?


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 7:59 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
Who's sister did you screw to get one starred on every one of your posts?

I have my theories. Whoever does it must have even more time on their hands than me, and that is really sad. I have to give him my respect though. Not only is he, incredibly thorough, but he also has been doing it consistently for about six months. Talk about real dedication. If I ever win the Pulitzer for this TR, I won't thank god, I will thank my one star helper. I never could have done it without him.


boymeetsrock


Jul 19, 2010, 9:01 AM
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1 star... I couldn't help myself. Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Three Roofs: A Farce, A Fantastic, A Fall

Part I

Just when I needed a reliable partner, I found one. Will was chock full of alpine experience and going to school for outdoor recreation in Ithica. Before him, I never met someone who was as excited about climbing as I was. We were destined to make a great pair. Will was climbing that week with Adam, a newcomer to the Gunks, but he would be returning by himself to climb for an entire month. It was perfect.

We set off towards the Trapps with Adam and Will's friend Katie and decided on high E, as Adam had never done it before. Luckily for us, the route was vacant. Katie and Adam headed up the normal start, but I had my eyes on Directissima. Though only 5.9, Directissima intimidated me for some reason. I tend to build up certain climbs in my mind until they seem insurmountable, and this climb was one of them. Like I expected, the start was insecure and strenuous, but after only one or two moves, it eased up considerably. I was about to continue up the ramp that leads to the first belay when something caught my eye, the direct variation. Rather than traversing to the right only to traverse back left, therefore mandating that the route be done in four pitches, the direct variation shoots straight up a very steep and crimpy face. It was beautiful. I had to climb it.

I told Will that I was going up a harder variation, committed to the sequence, and threw warming up out the window. Committed onto the face, I clipped a manky pin, and placed two blind pieces. My position was delicate, right hand on a crimp, left hand on a hidden sidepull. I began to wonder what I had gotten into. However, I didn't have time to wonder for very long. The pump clock was ticking and I had to get moving. I threw my momentum into the dihedral to the right where big moves between slopey jugs led to nasty pins and a steep crimp ladder. Pumped, I made the moves and finished the pitch. That was rock climbing, to commit to an unknown and unplanned route. What freedom. Rapturous.

The next pitch, steep 5.6 up a knife edge arete, was without peer. Totally exposed, beautiful moves, thoughtful climbing. The last pitch of High E was nice, as always. This time I did it on all passive pro. By the end of the trip, my High E count would be seven. Please don't judge me too harshly. We all rapped off the route and then were stuck with the ever present existential crisis of decision making.

I had something in mind, but I didn't know if I could actually pull it off. It wasn't because of difficulty, however, or even because I was concerned about the protection. The route was only 5.6 and G rated, but I didn't really believe I could pull it off. I wanted to do Shockley's naked, and not only that, I wanted the classic Dick Williams photo. I talked it over with my new friends and not only were they down, but Katie was a commercial photographer. A better coincidence could not have arose.

Now firm in my resolve, we headed back towards Shockley's. On the way I told Will that it didn't always make sense to tie knots in the rappel ropes, as the chance of a rope getting stuck increase exponentially as you increase the amount of knots in the rope. He disagreed. At the base of Shockely's, Will and Adam decided to do do strictly from nowhere. Katie and I warned the party that had just arrived of our plans and headed up Shockley's where we encountered one of the worst noob crews of my entire trip.

The boyfriend, out of shape and loaded with huge hexes, decided to belay way out of earshot of his helpless lady. She couldn't pull the roof, and she couldn't here the moron leader. Things were going to be rough. I told her clip a long sling to the piece on the roof and aid past it. She couldn't do it. I could then here her boyfriend yelling at her in quite the angry tone. He wanted her to lower and go into the anchor while he devised a rescue. I had to tell her this, as she could not here him at all. When she got to the fixed pin she was to trust her life to, she didn't even know how to tie a clove hitch. In one of the scariest lessons of my life, I had to teach this girl how to tie a clove hitch from 30 feet away and somehow ensure that it was done correctly. Thankfully, I used to teach the boy scout climbing merit badge course. Boy scouts are by far the worst knot learners on the face of the earth. If I could teach them, I could teach anyone. My hopeful observation proved to be true, as the girl correctly cloved herself in to the piton.

The Boyfriend rappelled down the route. Sweating profusely and more than slightly resembling a pig, the leader perfectly matched the sniveling, whiny yell that I had been treated to for the past half hour. He set up an anchor directly above the roof, and at my suggestion, girth hitched a bunch of slings together, so the girl would have a half way decent ladder. After much struggle, she finally made it up to the stance. Our hero the leader then proceeded to self belay up the rest of the route with an ATC. Yeah, self belay with an ATC. He was a pretty smart cookie.

Glad to finally be rid of captain noob and the poor girl, who I truly pitied, I got ready for my big debut. I stripped off my shorts, handed them to Katie, and began the pitch. At first, I felt more naked than I had in my entire life, but that feeling soon vanished. Something about rock climbing demands your full attention. Once I started climbing, I could hardly worry about my impropriety. It was a wonderful feeling, especially since I am so bashful. It was wonderful to be naked up there, 200 feet above the ground. I posed at the roof for about 5 minutes while Katie snapped the pics. Much to my delight, the next party came up right under me while I was splayed out on the crux. They could only say one thing, “You really are doing this naked, aren't you?”. I guess they didn't believe me. I finished the climb and belayed Katie up. I was glad to put my shorts back on, and we rappelled the route.

On the way down, lo and behold, Will and Adam had gotten their rope stuck due to the knot they had tied on the end of the rope. I love to tell people that I told them so, but first I had to get their rope down. It was lucky for them that we were hung up so long by that party, as we would have finished before them otherwise. All being well, and the temperature being hot, we decided to spend the rest of the day swimming at Split Rock, a very good decision. Despite doing only two climbs, it was a great day.


rangerrob


Jul 19, 2010, 9:57 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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C'mon I keep waiting for the good stuff!! When are we gonna hear about the good stuff!!

Oh and by the way if you need to ask why Moonlight is better than High E, you've probably never climbed it. The first pitch corner is way better than High E's first pitch. And the traverse out left to that exposed nose, with the splitter crack on the face above. C'm on John...you can't be serious!! High E barely makes it onto my list of top 10 5.6 routes in the Gunks. Hell, even the first pitches of Arrow and Modern Times beat it.

RR


welle


Jul 19, 2010, 10:27 AM
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this post is worthless without pics


sungam


Jul 19, 2010, 11:10 AM
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welle wrote:
this post is worthless without pics
GOOD GOD ARE YOU MAD? WE DO NOT NEED TO SEE LATS-LIKE-A-BAT'S "BATMOBILE" THANKYOUVERYMUCH.


sungam


Jul 19, 2010, 11:10 AM
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MUCH LESS THE BATCAVE.


boymeetsrock


Jul 19, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Nice!


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:10 PM
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sungam wrote:
MUCH LESS THE BATCAVE.

For a description of the BATCAVE, ask those people who came up below me. They got the bomb bay view.


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:13 PM
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welle wrote:
this post is worthless without pics

Those pictures will never be made digital in any way, shape, or form. On film they were conceived, and on film they shall remain.


johnwesely


Jul 19, 2010, 1:15 PM
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rangerrob wrote:
C'mon I keep waiting for the good stuff!! When are we gonna hear about the good stuff!!

Oh and by the way if you need to ask why Moonlight is better than High E, you've probably never climbed it. The first pitch corner is way better than High E's first pitch. And the traverse out left to that exposed nose, with the splitter crack on the face above. C'm on John...you can't be serious!! High E barely makes it onto my list of top 10 5.6 routes in the Gunks. Hell, even the first pitches of Arrow and Modern Times beat it.

RR

What is the good stuff? I will make sure and get to it.

I climbed Moonlight. I though the first pitch was dirty and easily forgotten, the traverse out the nose was awkward, and the "splitter" didn't really do it for me either. To each their own I guess.


Partner j_ung


Jul 20, 2010, 6:40 AM
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I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.


rangerrob


Jul 20, 2010, 7:11 AM
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We'll have to agree to disagree I suppose. High E's first pitch is loose, often wet, ho hum climbing....totally forgettable. The second is one thought provoking move, followed by 30 feet of 5.4 ladder climbing.

Anyway...on the with the TR!


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 7:22 AM
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j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 7:22 AM
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rangerrob wrote:
We'll have to agree to disagree I suppose. High E's first pitch is loose, often wet, ho hum climbing....totally forgettable. The second is one thought provoking move, followed by 30 feet of 5.4 ladder climbing.

Anyway...on the with the TR!

That 5.4 ladder is awesome!


Gmburns2000


Jul 20, 2010, 7:49 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.

for clarity's sake: you did do Madam G's, but you fucked up the finish.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 8:02 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

Yeah. It was a really nice climb. I am didn't get to do it though. The peregrine closure got lifted in the nick of time. Le Teton, right next to Madame Gs, is also excellent.

for clarity's sake: you did do Madam G's, but you fucked up the finish.

I made it better.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 9:28 AM
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Three Roofs: A Farce, A Fantastic, A Fall

Part II

We woke up that morning rearing to climb. Modern Times and Bonnies roof were on the ticklist, and the weather was beautiful. It seemed like it was going to be a perfect day. I don't remember what climb or how many climbs we did to warm up, but after that we headed to Modern Times. Modern Times, is an impressive and intimating eight foot roof that somehow goes at the moderate grade of 5.8. I was excited, but I was also nervous. I had heard from nearly everyone that Modern Times was a notorious sandbag. The full color Gunks guide has it listed as a 5.10c. Still, I wanted to do the climb. It looked fantastic. Will led the first pitch, a near rope length of high quality 5.7, and brought up Adam next.

This is an aside, but I think it is necessary for me to properly tell the story. When I get nervous, my bladder shrinks to the size of a walnut. From the time Will left the ground to the time I did, I peed four times. I felt the rope go taught, and I started the climb. Twenty feet above the ground I felt thirsty. Forty feet above the ground, I was parched. One Hundred feet above the ground, I had to pee again. I finished the pitch and walked twenty feet to the right to relieve myself. I had peed 5 times during a single two pitch climb. It was worse than coffee.

I racked up and began the climb. The money pitch of Modern Times is more than a little run out without big cams, and I found myself without pro until the pedestal below the roof. This pedestal, a two foot by four detached block sitting conveniently before the roof, seemed to be beckoning me to stay on it forever. On it, I was so comfortable. Above me, I knew the story would be quite different. I plugged two cams into the roof, but I wasn't quite ready. Anybody who has climbed a route with a big roof knows that they always look entirely different when you are right under them. What looks so logical from the ground often seems absurd. I grabbed the undercling that would allow me to hike my feet up and reach way out into the roof. That first hold was a lot worse than I had anticipated. Luckily, the second one was a slam dunk jug along with the third, fourth, and every other hold. Before I knew it, the roof was over. I didn't even place anymore gear or use the goofy knee bar rest that an old timer told me it was folly to go without.

My hands were on the ledge that I was going to belay from, but I couldn't pull the mantle. The ledge was slopey. My feet were way under the roof. The last piece of pro was far under my feet. The fall would be clean, but it was going to be huge. No matter what I did, where I moved on the ledge, I couldn't do it. The confidence I had gained during the roof was quickly dissipating, until I found my savior hold. It was a loose chockstone laying on the ledge, but it did the trick. I was on the ledge. What a route. What a fantastic route. It is not everyday that you have fun like that. I brought up Adam, he was also being belayed from the bottom to reduce the swing if he were to fall. He did fall, and our crazy vertical limitesque sort of worked. He didn't swing as much as he could have, but he still couldn't get back on the wall. It was a good thing we taught him to prusik right before the climb. Will, got slightly farther than Adam before he fell and was able to get back on and finish the route.

Once we were all safe on top of the cliff, we decided to do Bonnie's Roof, an amazing line up a steep corner. Will wanted to lead it, but I secretly hoped he would chicken out so I could nab the first pitch. However, when we arrived at Bonnie's, Will was still rearing to go. He racked up and set off on the climb with no hesitation. He cruised up the start, and had only a little trouble with the corner under the roof. Hoping to reduce rope drag, he put a four foot sling on his last piece before the roof, a big blue Camalot. I don't have many regrets in my life, but I do regret not being a more active belayer in the events that followed. Will climbed another ten eight feet and came to a fixed pin. He didn't clip it. I should have made him clip. He began traversing out the roof. He didn't place gear anywhere under the roof. I should have told him too. He seemed to be doing fine. I wasn't worried, but then it all started going down hill. Instead of pulling the roof, he kept traversing left into what we later found out was the 5.12 rated route The Throne. I thought it was odd that he was traversing that far left and told him so. He said that is how he thought the line went. He was the one up there, I couldn't really argue with him. He then tried to pull the roof, but couldn't pull the 5.11 moves. He retreated back under the Bonnie's Roof. Now he was visibly shaken. I don't know why I didn't insist that he place more pro. He started pulling the the crux of the real route, missing the obvious jugs. He was going to fall. I knew it. I was ready. Will slipped and plummeted towards the ground. He fell at least thirty five feet. When I later went back to the route and analyzed the fall, it seemed more like forty. Not only did he fall forty feet, but he also slammed into the rock due to his position out on the roof.

By some miracle, he appeared to be unscathed, and he was even going to finish the route until he actually tried to get back on the rock. Will couldn't put any weight on his foot. We hoped that it was just a sprain as I lowered him gently to the ground. Will is a wilderness first responder, but I am not really sure how much that helped him out that day. He did have a first aid kit with him, but I think the beers that he and Adam had brought with them helped out much more than the kit. Anyway, there was a couple hundred dollars of gear on the route, and somebody had to get it back. I took Will's remaining gear, and Adam put me on belay. I was terrified. What if I fell at the same spot and took the same fall. Then we would be in trouble. I am not as tough as Will. Surprisingly though, the climb proved to be much less daunting than I imagined. I clipped the fixed pin, placed gear under the roof, and found huge jugs that Will's tunnel vision prevented him from seeing. It was a great route, but I wish I did not have to lead it under such conditions.

Now we were in a pickle. We had a crippled climber. and were a half hour away from the parking lot under normal circumstances. Luckily, we were at the Gunks and our only real obstacle would be getting Will down the talus field to where he could be picked up by a ranger. Did I mention Will was tough? He hopped down the entire talus field on one leg. He refused our help, but I did tell him that if he were to fall and hit his head, I would just leave him there. Once, we got to the carriage road, Will got in a truck and Adam and I walked back to his car. At the car, Will was waiting with a new beer in hand, his ankle was really starting to hurt at this point. We drove him to the Doc in the Box recommended to me by Gail and were chastised by a doctor in the Parking Lot for not supporting him and letting him hop around.

Less than an hour later, will popped out of the doctors office with a big bottle of pain pills, instruction to go to a orthopedic surgeon first thing in the morning, a leg wrap that went all the way up to his crotch, and an x-ray showing his ankle was shattered on both sides. Our plans of climbing together for the rest of my trip were obviously not going to happen. Miraculously, will was still in good spirits. He never became despondent and kept a smile. He was upset, but he didn't let it ruin his day. He was a real trooper to say the least. To thank us for rescuing him, I am not really sure that we did that much, he took us to the Brauhaus, the local German restaurant, for dinner. His giant cast got us really nice service and we had a wonderful time. It was sad that we would soon be parting. We stayed at dinner until around eleven. Will's friends had arrived from Ithica to give him a ride home, and we had to say our goodbyes. Adam would stay with me to climb for one more day, but he didn't have a place to stay because Will took the tent. That night, I found out that two person tent does not really mean a two person tent. The next day we had a great day climbing in the nears, and Adam took his first traditional lead, the 5.1 second pitch of Layback. Adam left, and I was once again alone. The king of Camp Slime.


Gmburns2000


Jul 20, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.


marc801


Jul 20, 2010, 10:23 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
He cruised up the start, and had only a little trouble with the corner under the roof. Hoping to reduce rope drag, he put a four foot sling on his last piece before the roof, a big blue Camalot. I don't have many regrets in my life, but I do regret not being a more active belayer in the events that followed. Will climbed another ten eight feet and came to a fixed pin. He didn't clip it. I should have made him clip. He began traversing out the roof. He didn't place gear anywhere under the roof. I should have told him too. He seemed to be doing fine. I wasn't worried, but then it all started going down hill. Instead of pulling the roof, he kept traversing left into what we later found out was the 5.12 rated route The Throne. I thought it was odd that he was traversing that far left and told him so. He said that is how he thought the line went. He was the one up there, I couldn't really argue with him. He then tried to pull the roof, but couldn't pull the 5.11 moves. He retreated back under the Bonnie's Roof.

Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

And for historical correctness nitpicking accuracy: the "roof" in the name Bonnie's Roof refers to the huge one on the second pitch at the very top of the dihedral. The original line aided out left under that roof and was led by Bonnie Pruden. The roof is not the little 5.8 crux overhang on the first pitch.


johnwesely


Jul 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
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marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.


Partner cracklover


Jul 20, 2010, 12:27 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.

No, you should have *suggested* it. The belayer's job is to give a good belay and offer advice where warranted. It is *not* to protect leader from themselves. I can understand why your conscience is nagging you. I'd probably feel much the same in your place. But that's just hindsight talking. In reality, you did very little wrong.

Cheers,

GO


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Jul 20, 2010, 12:30 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.

Actually, John, that final traverse and mantle are *much* harder if you're short. Took me five trips up the thing to finally figure out why some people struggle so mightily and others don't, but I've got it 100% clear now. Beta upon request by PM or email only.

Cheers,

GO


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Jul 20, 2010, 12:50 PM
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cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Wow. I really don't know how anyone can miss the overhanging section on Bonnie's. To me, it's so obvious. That must have been a scary, scary fall.

BTW - your desc here of MT does not equal the "it's totally casual, Greg, go for it" description you gave me the day we bailed due to the heat.

It is totally casual once you commit to the roof and actually do it. That doesn't mean it isn't intimidating. You would have done fine on it.

Actually, John, that final traverse and mantle are *much* harder if you're short. Took me five trips up the thing to finally figure out why some people struggle so mightily and others don't, but I've got it 100% clear now. Beta upon request by PM or email only.

Cheers,

GO

What makes it hard for short people? Are the feet out of reach?


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Jul 20, 2010, 12:58 PM
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j_ung wrote:
I forget, did you do Madam G's? It's been so long... I can't remember much about it, other than looking up and wondering how on earth a 5.6 could possibly be that steep.

That spooky view up the climb was the nail in the coffin of one of my early climbing partnerships. To make a long story short, pitch two was the moment of clarity when my partner realized that rock climbing wasn't for him - he was really and truly an alpinist. He refused to go any further, and that was that.

GO


sethg


Jul 20, 2010, 5:04 PM
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marc801 wrote:
And for historical correctness nitpicking accuracy: the "roof" in the name Bonnie's Roof refers to the huge one on the second pitch at the very top of the dihedral. The original line aided out left under that roof and was led by Bonnie Pruden. The roof is not the little 5.8 crux overhang on the first pitch.

What is the source of this historical info, if you don't mind my asking? Williams' guide says Hans Kraus did the second pitch in 1958, six years after he and Prudden did pitch one. He doesn't list Prudden as being there in 1958. I don't have any kind of inside line on the true facts, as it were, but it has always been my understanding that the first roof is THE Bonnie's Roof.


(This post was edited by sethg on Jul 20, 2010, 5:09 PM)


welle


Jul 21, 2010, 9:37 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.

I also think that you shouldn't be really beating yourself. If the leader is experienced it's the leader's responsibility to protect her lead. If he chose to run it out maybe he knew better, and it's up to him to deal with consequences. Nothing is worse than your belayer freaking out and psyching you out as well. There is a great quote by Frank Sacherer in the new Grey Dick "Shut-up you chickenshit!" to his belayer pleading to put more pro. It's different of course if the leader is less experienced, or if the belayer is pointing out things out of leader's sight like rope drag, last piece of pro pulling, ropes crossing or getting stuck in crevices...


jakedatc


Jul 21, 2010, 10:36 AM
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welle wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Key learnings:
* route finding can be an issue, even on an obvious 5.8 corner.
* part of the belayer's responsibility is point out to the leader when they're doing something questionable, like ignoring gear placements.
* you really don't want to be taking big falls in the Gunks - there's just too much to hit.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I really should have insisted that he put a piece in. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I really don't. The subsequent trauma sort of pushed the previous events out of my mind.

I also think that you shouldn't be really beating yourself. If the leader is experienced it's the leader's responsibility to protect her lead. If he chose to run it out maybe he knew better, and it's up to him to deal with consequences. Nothing is worse than your belayer freaking out and psyching you out as well. There is a great quote by Frank Sacherer in the new Grey Dick "Shut-up you chickenshit!" to his belayer pleading to put more pro. It's different of course if the leader is less experienced, or if the belayer is pointing out things out of leader's sight like rope drag, last piece of pro pulling, ropes crossing or getting stuck in crevices...

Yea, As a fairly new trad leader i don't mind a reminder if it is looking sketchy since sometimes when you're focused on climbing you don't really realize how far you've gone. That said, leader has the gear and the responsibility in the end.

how you get lost on Bonnies is beyond me though..

MG's is my favorite .6 so far for sure. extra interesting by headlamp.


Partner cracklover


Jul 21, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Oh, and after all the exciting posts that came after, I got understandably distracted. So now that I've said my piece on all that other stuff... back to the fun part:

Congrats on the Vulgarian Shockleys ascent!

Cheers!

GO


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 11:17 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Oh, and after all the exciting posts that came after, I got understandably distracted. So now that I've said my piece on all that other stuff... back to the fun part:

Congrats on the Vulgarian Shockleys ascent!

Cheers!

GO

Thank you. I would like to here what RGold has to say. I have heard that he disapproves of such actions now.


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 11:31 AM
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The Post Gunks Locals Don't Want You To Read. If You Notice That I Have Been Terminated, You Know Why!

I got my first phone call from Ranger Rob while I was waiting for Will to get out of the Doctor's office. My phone was off, so really, I got my first message from Ranger Rob at the the Doctor's. When I tried to call him back, it went to his voice mail, which greeted me with, “You've reached Ranger Rob...” Wow, I thought to myself. This guy answers his phone with his Rockclimbing.com screen name. That is really intense, but come to think of it, so do I. We ended up playing phone tag for the next couple days until we finally got a hold of each other. Rob was going to take me to the Lost City, the holy Mecca of gunks climbing. People would always asked me if I climbed at Lost City, but I would always have to tell them no, now was my chance.

Lost City isn't like the Trapps. The first obvious difference is closely related to the second. Lost City does not have a guidebook. Knowledge of climbs and even how to get to the crag are entirely dependent on knowing somebody who knows somebody. Some people think this is elitist, but it does lead to Lost City's second obvious characteristic. Lost City is completely devoid of the hordes that dominate the Trapps. On a weekday, the Trapps are busier than any Southeast crag on a weekend. Lost City felt like a little slice of home. Outside of the general ambiance, the rock at Lost City is substantially different than the rest of the Gunks. The horizontals that are so prevalent in Trapps are a rare sight indeed at the City. Also, the walls themselves are much much steeper. If the walls at the Trapps look steep, it is only because of an optical illusion generated by all of the roofs. Lost City will put a pump in your forearms unlike anything outside the Red.

I met up with Rob in the TOP SECRET parking lot, and we began our approach to Lost City. The approach is short but quite the step up from the carriage road nonsense. After scrambling up some boulders that put my worn to the foam-midsole sandals to their very limit, we arrived at our first climb. This 5.8 warm up looked like a gimme from the ground, but that was because I was judging it based on my experience at the Trapps. The first lead was Rob's and after a little difficulty with the pure finger crack start, he cruised up the line. On top rope I made it through the finger crack just fine but noticed that the corner above was much much harder than I had anticipated. I was actually starting to get pumped. This was when I noticed another detail about the City, the grades are stiff. I lowered off the top, and Rob asked if there was any climb that I wanted to do.

There was. I only knew about one route at Lost City, but it looked like a doozy. I had seen pictures of Stannard's Roof on SuperTaco when I was preparing for my trip, and the route had stuck with me. The route goes out the largest part of a giant horizontal roof that makes Modern Times look like Shockley's. I came to Lost City with the sole intention of climbing that route, and luckily for me, Rob knew exactly how to get me there. We scrambled back down the scary boulders, down climbing was even worse, and made our way towards Stannard's. It looked even bigger in person. Naturally, I had to pee.

The first hundred or so feet of stannards go at the fairly moderate grade of 5.7 and, except for a few patches of choss, would make quite a nice pitch all on its own. Unlike Modern Times, the moves out on to roof would not be so well protected. A fixed micro nut and a manky micro cam were all that protected the initial crux moves. A sat there for quite a while contemplating these pieces, examining the rusty wires of the nut. However, I couldn't help but be excited by the massive size of this roof. It looked great.

Determined to succeed, I made the first long move to a crimp. As I matched my hands, I hoped that every hold wouldn't be so small. The next hold was bomber horizontal, and I slammed in an equally bomber red Camalot. What a relief. At least I wouldn't be falling onto that nasty wire anymore. A few more core strength testing moves led me to another nice horizontal and an even more bomber Gold Camalot. Only a few more moves to go, I thought to myself. However, I was quite wrong. The Crux of Stannard's is in no way shape or form the actual roof, it is pulling the lip of the roof with the most horrendous rope drag ever experienced my man. The holds are slopey and the feet are non existant. I am still not quite sure how I didn't manage to fall, but somehow, after squirming around as the pump clock ticked, I managed to pull the lip and set up my belay. When I said the crux was pulling the lip I was lying. The real crux is pulling up the remaining slack to belay up the second. That was what really got me sweating.

After Stannard's we made our way over to Lost City Crack, all the way on the other side of the cliff. En
route we passed Persistent, a John Stannard test piece so tough that it took the man himself almost two years to successfully redpoint it. Rob said he had toproped it, but could never imagine leading it. It looked hard, and I agreed. When we finally arrived at our destination, I was quite pleased that LC Crack with well in the shade. Lost City Crack is something that I thought I would never see, a real Gunks splitter crack. After thirty or so feet of 5.7ish climbing, the route takes a hard right into a perfect overhanging tight hands crack splitting a small roof. I couldn't believe my eyes. After the section of tight hands, the crack narrows to splitter ringlocks and then to perfect fingers. Finally the climb pulls another small roof and finishes at a tree next to a giant snake. Great route, sustained and quite different than anything else at the Gunks.

After my success of Lost City Crack, Rob recommended that I try Resistance, which I think is supposed to be Persistent's little brother. Just as our luck would have it, Resistance is even farther down the other end of the cliff than Stannard's roof and was also directly within the sights of the blazing summer sun. We would have to wait until the sun disappeared, but that was fine with me. I needed to eat my lunch, and Resistance didn't exactly look to be very easy. The route follows a thin tips crack on a completely blank face for the first forty or fifty feet and then wanders through roofs to the top.

After about an hour, the sun seemed to be less menacing, so I racked up and started the climb. The sun may have been gone, but the rock was still hot as a skillet. Despite this, I made it through the first twenty five feet just fine. The pro was all small, but solid, nuts and I was feeling fine. Then, the crux hit me. The crack widened and flared into a basketball sized and pebbly pod. Now I was starting to feel the grease. Cranking as hard as I could off a crimped pebble, I stabbed a pin scar in the fingercrack above, brought my foot up into the pod, and cammed it in for my dear life. My position was precarious I couldn't let go with the hand in the pin scar because my right hand, only holding on with the very tip of my finger couldn't hold me by itself. To make matters worse, the pin scar was soaking wet with my sweat. If only I could let go for a second to chalk it up. Instead, it just got wetter and wetter. My last pro was well below my feet. I needed to place something and place it quick. I let go with my right hand just long enough to grab the small nuts off my rack and put them in my mouth. If it would have taken any longer, I would have fallen. I cammed the foot in even harder and grabbed the nuts from my mouth. Desperately I slotted in number four stopper and once again grabbed back on with my right. My left hand was shaking and thoroughly soaked. The nut wasn't confidence inspiring, but it was what I had. I started making my next move, and my nasty, soaking wet left hand slid right out of the slot. I was airborne. After three weeks, I was finally taking my first fall at the Gunks. It felt good. I trammed back up to my highpoint, and after thoroughly chalking up, made a few more moves and placed a nice orange TCU. After a few more off sequence moves, I found myself falling once again. When it rains, it pours, I guess. I trammed back up and, this time, finished the route. It was a route that I definitely wanted to come back to, classic in every single way.

After resistance, Rob got on his project of unknown name and grade. With only one fall, he made it to the top. Despite somewhat chossy rock, this route had excellent moves and superb steep terrain. I would recommend it but wouldn't even know how to go about doing that. Exhausted from the heat and hard climbing, we parted with Lost City, and Rob gave me a ride back to Slime. During the car ride, I found out that Rob really was a Ranger. That made the phone call thing make much more sense.


moose_droppings


Jul 21, 2010, 12:01 PM
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In reply to:
Finally the climb pulls another small roof and finishes at a tree next to a giant snake.

I thought that one topped out by a tree next to a large squirrel?
Laugh


johnwesely


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moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
Finally the climb pulls another small roof and finishes at a tree next to a giant snake.

I thought that one topped out by a tree next to a large squirrel?
Laugh

What do you think happened to the squirrel?


moose_droppings


Jul 21, 2010, 1:03 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
Finally the climb pulls another small roof and finishes at a tree next to a giant snake.

I thought that one topped out by a tree next to a large squirrel?
Laugh

What do you think happened to the squirrel?

I just set them up and pitch it out.
Wink


welle


Jul 21, 2010, 1:50 PM
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That's funny, I thought RangerRob didn't climb between Memorial and Labor day weekends...


(This post was edited by welle on Jul 21, 2010, 2:32 PM)


rangerrob


Jul 21, 2010, 2:19 PM
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Visiting climbers deserve special treatment. Trust me, I was in no way excited about the intense sun. I feel kind of priveleged in a way to have been the one to push John hard enough to finally fall! Granted, if it weren't blazing hot I think he would have styled Resistance. Too bad we didn't hook up anymore, there are plenty of super secret projects I could have put him on. But in the end, it indeed was too hot for me the rest of the time he was here.

I was pretty jealous that John was climbing so well after only a short time here. Jealous that he did routes in a couple of weeks that took me years to get to. But the dude is so freaking tall and skinny. He wasn't far off when he called himself the human string bean.

Glad you had a good trip John, Glad the Gunks could represent. Look forward to hearing the other stuff you did.


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 2:49 PM
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welle wrote:
That's funny, I thought RangerRob didn't climb between Memorial and Labor day weekends...

He told me he didn't climb "hard" between memorial day and labor day.


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 2:50 PM
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rangerrob wrote:
Visiting climbers deserve special treatment. Trust me, I was in no way excited about the intense sun. I feel kind of priveleged in a way to have been the one to push John hard enough to finally fall! Granted, if it weren't blazing hot I think he would have styled Resistance. Too bad we didn't hook up anymore, there are plenty of super secret projects I could have put him on. But in the end, it indeed was too hot for me the rest of the time he was here.

I was pretty jealous that John was climbing so well after only a short time here. Jealous that he did routes in a couple of weeks that took me years to get to. But the dude is so freaking tall and skinny. He wasn't far off when he called himself the human string bean.

Glad you had a good trip John, Glad the Gunks could represent. Look forward to hearing the other stuff you did.

I wish we could have hooked up again too. It just seemed like every time you could climb, I already had a commitment line up. There is always next time.


boymeetsrock


Jul 21, 2010, 3:15 PM
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This TR has got my vote for best thread of 2010. Great pace. Excellent content. Many RC avatars.

Good stuff John. Way to make the most of a trip!


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 3:46 PM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
This TR has got my vote for best thread of 2010. Great pace. Excellent content. Many RC avatars.

Good stuff John. Way to make the most of a trip!

Thank you.

I would like to use this post as a springboard for some questions.

How is the pace? Is one a day too much?

What about content? Am I too broad or specific? Should the episodes be shorter?

Is there anything anyone would like to hear about that I haven't covered yet?

Thank you.


boymeetsrock


Jul 21, 2010, 4:01 PM
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I think one a day is a great pace considering that you are covering about a month long trip (right?), and the general readership here isn't checking in all day (though many of us are). You have to balance the pace with the amount of material to be presented.

The amount of content is also good. I think if you draw this out too long you may loose interest. Seems like you are on pace to keep us all baited the whole way through.

You could possibly include spoiler alerts for those of us who may be hoping for the onsite... Tongue Content is always a balance between creating atmosphere and belaboring the point. For the most part you have struck a good balance.


davidnn5


Jul 21, 2010, 4:08 PM
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Every time I read something about spoilers blowing an onsight, something in my brain rebels. I don't think it's possible for someone with my shit memory to have an onsight blown in that way. You can tell me in excruciating detail every move and piece required for a climb and I'll have forgotten it 3 seconds later.

Re: the TR, I want something climactic at the end. If things didn't work out that way, go ahead and make something up. Maybe a bizarre love triangle between you, Rangerrob and Gmburns. Or that you find out you're really Gblauer's love-child.


johnwesely


Jul 21, 2010, 4:17 PM
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davidnn5 wrote:
Every time I read something about spoilers blowing an onsight, something in my brain rebels. I don't think it's possible for someone with my shit memory to have an onsight blown in that way. You can tell me in excruciating detail every move and piece required for a climb and I'll have forgotten it 3 seconds later.

Re: the TR, I want something climactic at the end. If things didn't work out that way, go ahead and make something up. Maybe a bizarre love triangle between you, Rangerrob and Gmburns. Or that you find out you're really Gblauer's love-child.

Don't worry, it all comes together at the end. If you wanted to, you could spoil it yourself.


jedasmith


Jul 21, 2010, 5:09 PM
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Re: [davidnn5] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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Davidnn5-- I am laughing out loud at the love child comment!! :)

John-- this is Jen-- Gail's friend you so kindly set up Apoplexy for. I am thoroughly enjoying the posts and am glad you are well!


sungam


Jul 22, 2010, 3:49 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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The pace is perfect.
The writing is still great.


Partner j_ung


Jul 22, 2010, 4:22 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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Short approach... no crowds... This "Lost City" sure does sound like a great place to bring a group. Thanks for the beta!


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jul 22, 2010, 4:24 AM)


rangerrob


Jul 22, 2010, 5:13 AM
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Re: [j_ung] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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You just have to watch out for the locals who patrol the cliff with sticks and other weapons, scaring away groups of gang topropers.

RR


Partner j_ung


Jul 22, 2010, 5:40 AM
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Re: [rangerrob] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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It's a group of Navy SEALs. Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 22, 2010, 6:12 AM
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Re: [j_ung] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
It's a group of Navy SEALs. Tongue

Then you will only be rappelling?


mr.tastycakes


Jul 22, 2010, 6:28 AM
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Re: [j_ung] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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all the best lines at LC are friggin' hard and/or necky leads...that's what truly keeps the crowds away, IMO. the average gunksgoer is better served TRing at peterskill.

oh yeah, and a horrendously bad talus approach, poison ivy, bears, snakes, wasps, etc, etc.


johnwesely


Jul 22, 2010, 9:35 AM
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Re: [mr.tastycakes] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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What's it called when you go see a movie early in the day?

After my day with Ranger Rob, my climbing hit a bit of a lull. I made onsites of the two Uberfall classics Nose Candy and Retrobutt with random belayers. I must not have done anything else memorable, as I don't remember anything else. However, I did get trapped in a torrential downpour after leading Nose Candy, an event that would leave me with sticky cams for the rest of my trip. I felt bad for my second though. He was a new climber and was already having trouble enough without getting completely soaked. Cleaning the anchors must have taken him a century, but he did make it back to the ground safely eventually. Maybe it seemed longer because I wasn't wearing a rain jacket, or maybe it was because I was late for the dinner Gail had invited me too. I like to be punctual. I hate being wet.

Dinner was great. The steak sliding down my malnourished gullet wholly erased the memories of being stranded in the rain, but could never prepare me for what I was about to hear. I was the love child of Gail and Ranger Rob. I couldn't believe it and neither could Gail's husband, Mitch. To avoid the awkwardness of this situation, I began talking about my climbing plans for tomorrow. Michael was coming up to meet up with me and his friends from Minnesota. Although the social aspect of the day meant that we would not be engaged in a day of full bore, pedal to the metal, rock climbing insanity, I still had been anticipating the it all week.

The day started off slow. I led Laurel to set it up on as top rope for Michaels friends. As an exercise to prepare me for the day ahead, I led it with only two nuts. After Laurel, I walked over to Nose Candy to belay Michael up his warm up. If there is one thing to know about Michael, it is that he rarely places pro, but when he does, he really places it. While seconding Nose Candy, I encountered a green alien that I couldn't even come close to cleaning and a 00 Tech Friend that was nearly fixed as well as in the middle of the crux sequence. If you can follow Michael up something, then it is well below your leading limit, even if it feels really hard at the time.

After seconding and cleaning Rhododendron, Michael and I opted to head a few hundred feet down the carriage road towards P-38. P-38 is the opposite of the ever popular Ken's Crack. Rather than being very easy but looking very hard, P-38 looks like a 5.6 but is actually quite challenging. By placing a marginal cam to protect the tricky overhang start, I blocked a key handhold and had to use a tricky knee bar to surmount the obstacle. After the start, P-38 eases off considerably. People say that the route is pumpy, but they are wrong. While I was approaching the end of the crack with a bomber ledge in sight, I placed my brand new #4 black diamond stopper. I am fairly sure that I gave me old one to Will, but whatever happened to it, I had just bought this one and had never even placed it. I am not even really sure why I placed it, as, like I said, I was approaching a bomber ledge and I had gear two feet under it. It must have been because it was brand new.

Excited about my new gear, I clipped it with a sling and started moving towards the ledge. When I arrived, two things became immediately apparent. The first was that it was not even close to being a ledge, and the second was that the rock was extremely blank and polished. I also knew why the rock was polished. Not only had water, over the course of eons, removed any semblance of texture from the rock, water and algae were both coating the rock. I had found the hard part. Desperately, I smeared my feet on the damp glass. I moved my hands slowly up the next crack, pawing for locks. I found one and brought my feet way up near my hips. Too bad my feet didn't stay there. In an instant, I was relieved of my awkward situation and coming quite close to the ground. When I finally stopped, my feet were level with that early crux. That marginal cam in the handhold had popped out during the fall. Thirty feet onto a small wire, what a pastime. I climbed back up to my highpoint, backed up the nut with a small cam, and discovered a sinker bucket far to the right of the red herring ledge. This time, I went right rather than left, and now with my left hand in the next crack, surmounted the technical crux. Hindsight is twenty twenty. Now came the weird part of the route, a long unprotected traverse to the left and an equally long unprotected traverse back right, which led me to the top. Due to the traverses, we did not leave this one up as a Top Rope. Rather, we decided to give a go at Stirrup Trouble.

An aside, Don't let the R rating on Mountain Project deter you from Stirrup Trouble. The protection is completely adequate, and it may not be the best route at the Gunks, but it is definitely my pick for best at the Uberfall. I now wish it hadn't have been Michael's lead because I missed the opportunity to onsite such a nice line. The first thing you notice about Stirrup Trouble is that it not only looks unprotectable, but also, the climbing looks nigh impossible too. The start is thin and protected by a small fixed wire about ten feet off the deck. After that, there is a hidden horizontal you can load up with gear followed by one of the coolest sequences at the Gunks. A high heel hook combined with a micro crimp sidepull allow you to make a massive move up to another horizontal Jug. I couldn't praise this route enough, so I will stop trying. Needless to say, I made it a point to return to this one for the lead.

Our next route was to be Matinée, one of Michael's favorites and for good reason. The easy to photograph first pitch crux gets all of the pictures, but the entire route is worthwhile. It is rare to find a Gunks route with such sustained quality. Michael was going to take the first pitch and I the second. For this climb, we were also joined by Gail's friend Patrick. Michael's quick ascent of the first pitch was only delayed slightly by getting off sequence at the crux traverse. Rather than attempting to describe it, I doubt I could do it justice, here is picture I stole from the nets.



Just for reference, the hands are half pad underclings and the feet are barely good enough to be called smears. It is a pretty wild little traverse and ends with slapping a thank god sloper on the lip of the roof. When it was my turn, I barely made it. Stuck on bad hands and even worse feet, I was entirely unable to move. As I started falling, I reached out wantonly and found that beautiful sloper. I thought I had a few more moves to go. Sometimes it is nice to be wrong.

My pitch was the crux pitch and a diametric opposition to the first. Rather than being technical and thin, pitch two powers through an overhanging dihedral before easing off and turning into an enjoyable corner crack at the top. The pitch looked questionable. There was obvious good gear, but it would be at my feet once I was actually in the business. I didn't mind the gear at my feet. If I did, I probably should have quit climbing an taken back up crochet. However, right in the line of fall was a sharp upwards pointing horn that I really wanted to avoid falling on. I was going to have to be on point when I made those moves, no room for error. To make matters worse, Michael told me that this pitch was harder for tall people.

When I arrived at the base of the corner, I plugged in a few cams and arched my neck to suss out the moves. It looked improbable. The pin scars I was supposed to use for hands were far too close to the edges I was supposed to use for me feet. It wasn't going to work that way. Rather than scrunching my way through it, I grabbed the lowest scar, reached up to a jug on the left wall and matched. I was committed now. There was no reversing these moves and I knew it. I brought my feet up and smeared them on the right wall. I was hanging free in the air, my feet on nothing. I rocked my momentum downward and swung it back up. While throwing for that next good hold, I was weightless. I stuck it, and it felt great. With the pump clock ticking, I placed big nut and pulled up into the next hanging corner. A few more moves and I would be through the business. A powerful, poor feet, traverse around the nose of an arete led me to easier ground. I had just pulled off my hardest traditional onsite to date. It felt pretty nice.

After I belayed Michael up, I rapped to the ground. The ledge was too small for three people. None of Michaels friends had finished stirrup trouble, so I offered to clean the gear and take down the rope. Still buzzing from Matinée, I was overjoyed to climb Stirrup Trouble again. We finished our day down at the Brauhaus. This time, I had the Gunks burger, and like a true dirtbag, took all of the excess bread and butter back home with me. Armed with almost a whole loaf of raisin pumpernickel, I returned to Slime. That bread didn't last long.


Partner cracklover


Jul 22, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Re: [rangerrob] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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rangerrob wrote:
Visiting climbers deserve special treatment. Trust me, I was in no way excited about the intense sun. I feel kind of priveleged in a way to have been the one to push John hard enough to finally fall! Granted, if it weren't blazing hot I think he would have styled Resistance. Too bad we didn't hook up anymore, there are plenty of super secret projects I could have put him on. But in the end, it indeed was too hot for me the rest of the time he was here.

I was pretty jealous that John was climbing so well after only a short time here. Jealous that he did routes in a couple of weeks that took me years to get to. But the dude is so freaking tall and skinny. He wasn't far off when he called himself the human string bean.

Glad you had a good trip John, Glad the Gunks could represent. Look forward to hearing the other stuff you did.

And I thought the only thing you hated more than climbing in the summer was climbing vertical cracks.

Your online persona is melting away like a popsicle left on a hot summer dashboard.

GO


rangerrob


Jul 22, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Re: [cracklover] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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Doing your visit I personally saw you at the Brauhaus twice. Who knows how many other times you were there. Are you sure you are as poor as you let on??

RR


Partner cracklover


Jul 22, 2010, 2:20 PM
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Re: [rangerrob] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR