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johnwesely


Jul 14, 2010, 1:39 PM
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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


Jul 14, 2010, 2:03 PM
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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


Jul 15, 2010, 5:13 PM
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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


Jul 15, 2010, 6:14 PM
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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


Jul 15, 2010, 8:45 PM
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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


Jul 15, 2010, 8:48 PM
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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


Jul 15, 2010, 9:07 PM
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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


Jul 16, 2010, 7:55 AM
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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


Jul 16, 2010, 10:21 AM
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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


johnwesely


Jul 16, 2010, 10:58 AM
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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


Jul 16, 2010, 10:59 AM
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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


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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.

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