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moose_droppings


Jul 13, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: [ensonik] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ensonik] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ensonik] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [Gmburns2000] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [Gmburns2000] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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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Re: [Gmburns2000] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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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


Jul 14, 2010, 12:43 PM
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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)

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