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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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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.


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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


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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 [In reply to]
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rangerrob wrote:
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

What? When did you see me visit? I haven't been to the brauhaus in years.

GO


jakedatc


Jul 22, 2010, 6:20 PM
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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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cracklover wrote:
rangerrob wrote:
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

What? When did you see me visit? I haven't been to the brauhaus in years.

GO

he was talking to John.. just a bit confused about internet protocol on replying tags :)


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Jul 22, 2010, 9:07 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
cracklover wrote:
rangerrob wrote:
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

What? When did you see me visit? I haven't been to the brauhaus in years.

GO

he was talking to John.. just a bit confused about internet protocol on replying tags :)

Yeah, I know, I'm just yanking his chain. RR, you'd think you'd have figured out how to use a forum by now!

GO


marc801


Jul 23, 2010, 6:24 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:
...Lost City, the holy Mecca of gunks climbing.
Hyperbole? You don't seriously believe that, do you?

johnwesely wrote:
I met up with Rob in the TOP SECRET parking lot, ...
Yeah, definitely hyperbole.

johnwesely wrote:
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.
Which is why it's called Persistence, and hence, the sister route, Resistance.


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 6:44 AM
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Re: [marc801] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
...Lost City, the holy Mecca of gunks climbing.
Hyperbole? You don't seriously believe that, do you?

johnwesely wrote:
I met up with Rob in the TOP SECRET parking lot, ...
Yeah, definitely hyperbole.

johnwesely wrote:
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.
Which is why it's called Persistence, and hence, the sister route, Resistance.

I was being tongue in cheek. I am sorry. It won't happen again.

Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 6:46 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
cracklover wrote:
rangerrob wrote:
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

What? When did you see me visit? I haven't been to the brauhaus in years.

GO

he was talking to John.. just a bit confused about internet protocol on replying tags :)

The first time I went to the brahaus, someone else was paying, and the second time, I got the cheapest thing on the menu.


marc801


Jul 23, 2010, 6:54 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 6:56 AM
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marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.


marc801


Jul 23, 2010, 8:12 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.

The green Gunks book is mostly fabrication and fantasy.


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 8:21 AM
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Don't you want somebody to Doug?

You may remember Doug from my first post. He was the guy I met at the welcome boulder when I first arrived. Anyway, I was making my dinner one night when I saw Doug making his and decided to strike up a conversation. Doug was at the Gunks to boulder and, apart from a break here and there, had been there even longer than me. He had not been staying at Slime until recently however but decided to come over once “Things were getting weird” at the Multi Use Area. I never asked him what he meant by that. I wish I had. From our conversation, I found out that Doug had done roped climbing in the past and had his harness with him. I was itching to go climb, so I asked if he wanted to go. At first he said no, but I insisted and he begrudgingly accepted my offer.

I finished my dinner, loaded up my gear sans pack, and we headed off towards the Trapps. We didn't have much time till the sun set, so we opted to climb The Brat, a short slab that marks the start of the cliff. It was a decent little climb, but I don't know if I would recommend it. Even if I did, it nearly always has gang topropers on it, and you couldn't get on it anyway. After The Brat we moved a few climbs over to Black Fly, another shorty. Black fly follows an easy finger crack up a ledgey face with a small roof at the top. It is a good route for a new leader but not super remarkable otherwise. After topping out, we walked off and walked home. Doug was hooked and wanted to climb again in the morning.

The next day we had one of those high volume days where the climbing never stops. We must have climbed fifteen pitches, but I can't remember which ones. I do remember doing Something Interesting because that is when I first encountered wild blueberries. I must have stood at that stance for almost fifteen minutes eating my fill of those delicious little blue orbs. I left a few for Doug, but he did not seem as excited as I. We decided to finish the day on High E just for all you haters. For the first pitch, I linked the first of High E and the second of Directissima. This was a wonderful pitch for Doug, a wonderful amount of rope drag for me. For the second pitch, I had one of the greatest ideas of my life. I was going to take a photo of Doug coming over the roof and on to the face. What a smart Idea!

He gave me his camera, which I noticed didn't have a strap. I should have canceled the plans right then. It was not like Doug was excited about it or anything. However, once I get an idea in my head, it doesn't really want to come out, so I headed up the pitch with his camera. To get the best shot possible, I manufactured a wildly uncomfortable hanging belay. It was going to be such a cool picture! However, just as Doug started climbing, I noticed a distinct tumbling sound and cried rock. At first, I was wondering were that rock even fell from. I certainly didn't dislodge anything, but a rock definitely fell. I thought it was really weird until I checked my pockets. Shucks! Doug's camera. It wasn't a rock. It was Doug's Camera. I couldn't believe it and cursed myself a few times before telling me new friend.

When Doug finished the climb, he wasn't super pissed. He was more concerned about the pictures on the camera rather than the camera itself. I assured him that even if the camera was demolished by its 200 foot plunge, the SD card would likely be intact. Upon reaching the ground, I immediately found the camera, which appeared to be in one piece. However, whatever the camera hit on the way down caused it to eject not only the battery, but also, the SD card. Great. A few more minutes of searching found us the battery, which was obviously busted, and the the flap that held the battery in. No SD card and night was soon approaching. We never found that SD card. Who knows were it went. I can't imagine that it is still in one piece, but you never know. From this day on, Doug and I were inseparable. I destroyed his camera and he still wanted to climb with me. What a trooper.


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 8:26 AM
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marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.

The green Gunks book is mostly fabrication and fantasy.

How so?


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Jul 23, 2010, 8:28 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.

That's at least the second time you've mentioned that "guidebook". Aside from the photos, don't you know that the thing is pure unadulterated garbage? It kinda bugs me that you keep bringing things up out of it as if the info in it actually had some validity. Please tell me you didn't buy it?

GO


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 8:50 AM
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cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.

That's at least the second time you've mentioned that "guidebook". Aside from the photos, don't you know that the thing is pure unadulterated garbage? It kinda bugs me that you keep bringing things up out of it as if the info in it actually had some validity. Please tell me you didn't buy it?

GO

I did not buy it, and I also never referred to it as a guidebook. I don't know why everyone is getting so upset over it. I just saw the book in Rock and Snow, looked through the pictures, and set it down. It is not like it had a warning on it that said: WARNING: MENTIONING THIS BOOK ON AN INTERNET FORUM WILL UPSET SOME PEOPLE.

Edit: I only mentioned the book once. Also, the only info from the book that I have used in a post is calling it Persistent rather than Persistence.


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 23, 2010, 9:03 AM)


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Jul 23, 2010, 9:24 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
marc801 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Also, I have seen Persistent/Persistence spelled/pronounced both ways. It is not like there is a guidebook with all of the route names spelled out.
John named it Persistence. It was also the cover photo of one of issues of the very short lived North American Climber magazine.

I was fairly sure that it was persistence, but then that green Gunks book with all the photos said persistent. Thank you for the clarification.

That's at least the second time you've mentioned that "guidebook". Aside from the photos, don't you know that the thing is pure unadulterated garbage? It kinda bugs me that you keep bringing things up out of it as if the info in it actually had some validity. Please tell me you didn't buy it?

GO

I did not buy it, and I also never referred to it as a guidebook. I don't know why everyone is getting so upset over it. I just saw the book in Rock and Snow, looked through the pictures, and set it down. It is not like it had a warning on it that said: WARNING: MENTIONING THIS BOOK ON AN INTERNET FORUM WILL UPSET SOME PEOPLE.

Hahaha! It should come in one of those plastic-wraps, with a big warning label on the front saying: "WARNING - the grades, descriptions, and directions in this book contradict that found in: all other guide books for the Gunks; long held consensus; and the grades, descriptions, and directions found elsewhere in this same book. Beware!"

For more fun reading on the subject: http://gunks.com/..._in_August#Post38551

Cheers,

GO


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Jul 23, 2010, 9:29 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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In reply to:
Edit: I only mentioned the book once. Also, the only info from the book that I have used in a post is calling it Persistent rather than Persistence.

Hmm... From earlier in the thread:

johnwesely wrote:
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.

I don't expect even the best guidebook to always get it right, but this guide is so bad that if you're going to reference the grades in it to those folks unfamiliar with the area, it's only fair to inform your readers that the book is a joke.

Cheers!

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jul 23, 2010, 9:30 AM)


johnwesely


Jul 23, 2010, 9:37 AM
Post #170 of 241 (6817 views)
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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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cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
Edit: I only mentioned the book once. Also, the only info from the book that I have used in a post is calling it Persistent rather than Persistence.

Hmm... From earlier in the thread:

johnwesely wrote:
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.

I don't expect even the best guidebook to always get it right, but this guide is so bad that if you're going to reference the grades in it to those folks unfamiliar with the area, it's only fair to inform your readers that the book is a joke.

Cheers!

GO

Ok, we were having some communication issues. The guidebook that you are referring too is a complete joke and I agree. I will be, and have been, the first person to make fun of it. In fact, people who were around me at the Gunks probably grew quite tired of me doing so.

The book that I was referencing concerning Persistence is Shawangunk Rock Climbing by Richard Dumais. Sorry for the confusion. I now understand why everyone was getting so riled up. That new "guidebook" is truly awful.


xbrianx1990


Jul 25, 2010, 4:28 AM
Post #171 of 241 (6728 views)
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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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However, just as Doug started climbing, I noticed a distinct tumbling sound and cried rock. At first, I was wondering were that rock even fell from. I certainly didn't dislodge anything, but a rock definitely fell. I thought it was really weird until I checked my pockets. Shucks! Doug's camera. It wasn't a rock. It was Doug's Camera.

Ha, I was on Frogs head a few weeks back and someone did the same thing...Hmmm, what are the odds?

BTW, great TR. I am enjoying it thoroughly.


johnwesely


Jul 25, 2010, 7:08 AM
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Re: [xbrianx1990] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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xbrianx1990 wrote:
However, just as Doug started climbing, I noticed a distinct tumbling sound and cried rock. At first, I was wondering were that rock even fell from. I certainly didn't dislodge anything, but a rock definitely fell. I thought it was really weird until I checked my pockets. Shucks! Doug's camera. It wasn't a rock. It was Doug's Camera.

Ha, I was on Frogs head a few weeks back and someone did the same thing...Hmmm, what are the odds?

BTW, great TR. I am enjoying it thoroughly.

Thank you. There will be a new post tomorrow.


johnwesely


Jul 26, 2010, 10:48 AM
Post #173 of 241 (6615 views)
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Re: [xbrianx1990] 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 get along?

We were climbing with a full house that day. Doug and I were meeting Gail early in the morning and would be meeting up with Michael later that day. I had one climb on my mind that day, the newly opened Le Teton. I had seen a picture of the wild pitch three prow in a Climbing magazine photo spread a few months back. It looked crazy. I am in to crazy. Initially, we planned on doing Mr. P's Wurst as a warm up and then rapping down to the start of the money pitch on Le Teton. However, there was one problem with that, apparently I am a moron. I got up to the ledge described in the book and prepared to belay, but I could not find a single piece to build an anchor with. I searched at the height of my reach. I searched near my feet. I searched to the left and to the right. Nothing, not a single piece. So much for Mr. P and his wurst. I am sure it is very nice.

Unable to find a belay, I made a long traverse right and connected with either Southern or Northern pillar, the traditional approach to Le Teton. What a pile. The rock is loose and pro leaves much to be desired, good thing the climbing is 5.2. After a fair bit of choss wrangling, I found myself at the traverse out onto the prow. It looked rather hard. After six or seven feet of traversing over air, a mega thin tips cracks shoots up to a roof and a series of tiered overhangs on an exposed arete. I made the traverse and plugged in a small nut. That little piece of wire was all that was keeping me from swinging violently from the prominent Madame G's Buttress into the rest of the cliff line if I were to blow to crux. I stacked another nut on top of that one, not particularly sure how much it would help, and started making the moves. Holy cow, they were hard. I down climbed a bit to reassess the situation.
This climb was going to require absolute commitment on tenuous finger locks and nasty feet. What a way to get the heart rate going early in the morning.

This time more committed, I reached up for that greasy lock, hiked me feet up, and threw for what looked like a nice jug. It was a jug, but just barely. It would have been a great hold, but my feet might as well have been dangling given the quality of my foot holds. I summoned every ounce of will and clipped a fix pin. Somehow, your position always seems to be so much better once you get some pro in, and I proceeded to make the traverse out to the prow, clipped some more pins, and prepared myself for the steep rock above. While the rock was steep, the just were plentiful and the climbing above was great. I highly recommend Le Teton.

After we rappelled downward, we decided to do Dat Mantle, a one move wonder on a short detached block. Although Dat Mantle only has one truly difficult move, the rest of the climbing is pleasant and it stays in the shade because it is so short. If you find yourself near it on a hot, busy day, you might as well get on it. After we had our fun with the the party trick on Dat Mantle we headed over to V3, our last climb before meeting up with Michael. V3 is probably one of the coolest sevens at the Gunks. The crux is super committing and can be done facing outwards for maximum exposure. It probably took me fifteen minutes to commit to the hanging, flaring, v slot chimney that surprisingly does not give V3 its name.

Michael arrived and we decided to split up into two groups. He and Doug would do Commando Rave, a really long traverse followed by a devious crux, and Gail and I would head over and climb Balrog a few routes to the right. When we came up to Balrog, it was taped off with caution tape. A family of Vultures had decided to nest in the talus below, and we were to take caution. For those who have not had the pleasure of being in close proximity with vultures, THEY STINK. Anyways we arrived at the base of Balrog, but it took us a while to make sure we were on the correct route. What we were climbing, and the description of Balrog didn't quite match up, but they were close enough for us.

I racked up, and started the climb. The first thing that I noticed was that the pro was rather dicey for the G rating given in the book. I found myself in ground fall zone and placed a crazy trick nut, the only possible protection. After some rather technical and irreversible moves, I found myself once again in the ground fall zone, this time, forty feet off the ground. Not only that, but the coming moves were going to be harder than any of the previous. Here it was, a real do or die situation. I was beginning to doubt the G rating, as I made a high step, grabbed some tiny crimps, and stood way up to reach the next tiny hold. One more move led me to a jug and easier climbing, and a few feet later, I finally got a piece in. The rest of the route, was easy and protected well. It surely did not feel like the Balrog I had heard rumors about.

As I lowered off the route, I found out why. Balrog was to the left of me. It was as clear as day. No wonder the route I climbed did not match the description exactly. I wasn't even close to being on the right route. After looking at the book a second time, we discovered that I was on Sheep Thrills, an R rated endeavor without a specific, tiny ballnut. I would argue that the appropriate rating is X. Had I fallen at the crux, it would have been a definite grounder from 40 or 50 feet.

As Gail was climbing the route, Michael and Doug came over to climb the real Balrog. I decided that I would just top rope it on Michael's line. I had blown my Balrog psyche for that day on Sheep Thrills. After everyone had taken their turn on Balrog, Michael led Country Roads, and I followed. It was a decent but forgettable route. Gail and Doug opted not to climb, and we headed towards the Mac wall.

Once we arrived, another party occupied the route I wished to climb, MF, so I sat and rested while Michael and Gail did Mother's day party and Doug top roped Birdy Party. I was feeling rather fatigued at this point and didn't want to expend any extra energy. Once Doug got down, MF had cleaned up and
I began the Mac Wall's classic line. The start was technical and fun, but easier than I expected. However, once I got to the crux traverse, I found myself unable to do the move. For the life of me, I could not figure it out. It seemed to be impossible. Rather than risk failure on the easier traverse, I made the decision to take the harder and R rated direct variation. At first the going was smooth. The rock was steep but the holds were decent. However, soon I was high above my pro and the route didn't seem to be easing up. My only option was a micro steel nut and a micro cam, but it was better than nothing and gave me the confidence to go on. When I reached the anchors, they were quite welcome.

When I reached the ground, I was dead tired, but I didn't feel done for the day. I had a great day climbing, but it didn't seem quite over. Despite not feeling like I had one more in me, I knew I had one more in me. I wanted to do Coexistence, the old Rich Goldstone test piece. After their climb, Gail had to go home, but Michael offered to belay me. Gail told me to be careful and she meant it. I wasn't quite sure myself why I was doing this climb. I certainly was not in top form. I could have fallen asleep right there, yet something was drawing me to this climb. I couldn't escape its pull.

The first thirty feet of the climb are unprotected with the exception of a black alien behind a flake. Maybe it would hold, but I can't say. The moves off the ground are steep and bouldery, but the climbing eases up at the twenty foot mark until a ledge is reached at the thirty. I then stepped into the finger seam that led off the ledge and placing plenty of nuts high stepped and crimped my way up to the crux. Suddenly the holds became slopey and the fatigue hit me. What was I doing up there, I asked myself. I wasn't in any condition to be on that climb, but for some reason, there I was.

I somehow managed to pull off the sloper into a crimp that led me to a horizontal at the lip of a small roof. With aching forearms, I barely clipped the fix pins that were to protect the crux. Now I was really stuck. The headwall above the roof seemed featured enough, but none of those features seemed to be worthwhile. Knowing my time was short, I threw up a heel and moved into a slopey gaston. That wasn't going to work, and I moved back down to the lip to shake out. I tried again, this time trying to layback the same feature and experienced the same result. Now I was really pumped and neither of my solutions appeared likely to solve this problem. I could feel my hands slipping. Thinking about the imminent fall and how I was glad the pins were right at my face, I noticed something. It was as little crimp up and to the right. It may not work, but it was at least something. With this in mind, I made my third and final attempt. The crimp was tiny, maybe a quarter of a pad, but combined with the heal hook, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I grabbed the crimp, sucked hips in, and brought my right hand up to a much nicer crimp than the one in my left. I was through the woods, and a few feet of moderate climbing put me at the chains. I was ecstatic. All my fatigue was replaced by an overwhelming sense of contentment. Nothing could be better.


Partner cracklover


Jul 26, 2010, 11:16 AM
Post #174 of 241 (6605 views)
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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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Sweet! That OS of Coex must've been very gratifying.

Only thing missing is that your TR needs more pics! Here's a pic of me on Le Teton. HTH



If a pic of someone else is distracting from what you're going for here, let me know and I'll take it down.

GO


hyhuu


Jul 26, 2010, 11:29 AM
Post #175 of 241 (6600 views)
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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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Nice job on Co-Ex. When I led the climb somehow I didn't see that crimp until I was well above it so the whole time I was thinking man! this climb is really hard.

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