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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree"
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Partner rrrADAM


Aug 2, 2002, 2:40 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree"
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How can I put this experience into words ???

It's a very sureal and spiritual experience to say the least....

Climbing Trad lines with just your headlamp, and a couple gas lanterns at the base. The whole park to ourselves. PERFECT temperature, silence, stars (hell the whole Milky Way !!!), etc...


Robert and I went up last night. Got there at 8:30PM, and were climbing by 9:30PM.


First climb:
I Onsighted Illusion Dweller 5.10b, a 5 star mega classic crack that usually has a line. Not last night. Got the Onsight, even though I was "in the dark" as to the beta. (All pun intended. ) Belaying Robert up, I was hiked out over the roofy section to get good pics of him. Had the headlamp off, and was awe-inspired by the stars, solitude, and the eerie glow of the rocks below from our gas lanterns. Truely one of my best experiences.


Next, Robert lead No Calculators Allowed 5.10a, a climb he had onsighted a little while ago. He got a little out of sequence on the overhand near the top, and took a 15-20 footer (in the dark !!!), but quickly finished. Balls of steel, as he loved the experience of "air time" in the dark.



Finished up TRing Child's Play 5.10d and Congradulations 5.11a, two roofs.


Pics to come, if they came out.




For anyone who has never done this... Try it, you'll love it, as it's truely a unique experience. I will be doing this regularly from now on. Anybody have the night off ???

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-08-02 15:00 ]


Partner sauron


Aug 2, 2002, 3:43 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/ascent/index.php?AscentID=6495

Night climbing by moonlight has been one of the most awe-inspiring things I have ever done.

It was about midnight, a June night, on Enchanted Rock. We hiked up over the dome in moonlight. As we approach the top of the dome, we start hearing congo/bongo drums, just drumming rythmically - little did we know that this drumming would accompany our climbing for the next 2 hours..

We set up the anchor on top, to rappel down. For simplicity, we ended up top-belaying, instead of both rapping down and then climbing back up.

My partner went first, over the edge he went.. and it got quiet. Slowly but steadily I was letting out rope, then I heard his faint "I'm down."

Sitting there, all alone in the darkness, with nothing but the light of my headlamp infront of me, was very spiritual.. The silence, the full moon.. Everything.

He started climbing - the rope drag was horrid - and I just sat there, reacting to the movements of the rope, taking in rope as he came up.

He had turned off his headlamp for the climb (it's not tooooo hard doing slab by moonlight - I'd be hard pressed to do crack routes though - and suddenly his head popped over the edge of the rock.

My turn. I tie in, and over the edge I go... It's a fairly long rap to the bottom (a full 60m rope).

I shout "I'm down", and we go through the process of pre-climb checklist. Then I'm off. Wait, don't forget to turn off the headlamp.

Headlamp off.

The first thing I notice, is how quiet it is. Then I hear the wind rushing, and oh-so-vaguely I hear the tom-tom-tom of the drums from the top.

I start climbing, luckily the moon is at such an angle that I can see the texture of the rock very well - much better than in broad daylight. I make it up to the small flake below the arch - good hand holds. I crank down, and pull myself up.

Time for the undercling traverse - hands are bomber, feet as well.. The transition off the right end of the arch, and into the shallow gulley that the route follows, is a littly hairy - but I make it fine.. Find some good foot placements, and shake out my arms a little..

For some reason, I always enjoy climbing the gulley - it has a few interesting hand holds, but it's mostly feet.. On slippery and not-quite-so-slippery lichen. Slowly but surely I work my feet up, and get to the less vertical stuff at the top towards the final 10' that make up the outside wall of the ledge.

In order to get up and over the ledge, you have to fist jam deep inside this goofy crack - as I traverse over to it, and stick my hand inside, I feel the head of the day radiating out from the crack..

It's like a soft warm wind - the outer shell of the rock has cooled off, but the core is still warm.. Almost as if it were alive...


- d.

[ This Message was edited by: sauron on 2002-08-02 15:47 ]


mtnjohn


Aug 2, 2002, 4:15 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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Night climbing is AWSOME!
I've climb NutCracker (among others)
under full moon with the reflection off the granite you don't even need a headlamp!
warm summer night breezes and spectactular moonlight views of the valley are your prize!


nikegirl


Aug 2, 2002, 9:38 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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Adam...Robert...

How do you put these experiences to words... you truly can't. They're personal.

For I have experienced a Full moon at Joshua Tree, and no need for any headlamps. Seeing the stars...to infinity...and sharing it with special people that mean the world to me. ~~**~~

Wind...blowing thru your tent, smell of desert. Bat's flying in the moonlite.

One day, I shall try the night climb*

I want to experience more of that beauty, I know Josh has to share.

My soul is still there, somewhere. Waiting for me to return. No place I've been, has given me that feeling. No place.

I shall do just that, return...climb...and come back in search of my soul again...
Never to let it fully return to me. It's not at all possible.
I love Joshua Tree



~T



climbchick


Aug 4, 2002, 10:20 AM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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Night-climbing shot to the top of my list of Favorite Things To Do after I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago. I was in Wyoming with Wyoclimber -- my first night there, we arrived at Vedauwoo after dark and decided to get a route in before setting up camp. We jumped on a crack, the name of which I forget -- I had the experience of my first true crack climb (no face moves)combined with the beautiful, hushed experience of being up there in the dark, unable to see my belayer, just the small point of light from his headlamp.

A few days later, we were rapping off Pingora in the Cirque of Towers in the dark and I had the same sensations as I waited alone at the top of each pitch . . . the sounds of the rope, the mysteriousness of the night, complete darkness in the valley below and the jagged peaks around us silhouetted against a clear starry sky . . .

Before I left, we climbed again in the dark at Wild Iris. It really is hard to put the experience into words . . I guess it feels the way that I imagine soloing will feel. It adds an incredible new dimension to climbing and is something that I plan to do often.


traide


Aug 4, 2002, 10:42 AM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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This post has probably the best descriptions of what climbing can do for your mind, body, and soul that I have ever seen or tried to come up with. The next time someone asks me what it's like to climb, I'm going to have them read this forum. Great job, guys.


hangerlessbolt


Aug 5, 2002, 9:18 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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This is amazing...

When Adam first brought up the idea...my response was "If you're referring to a night time assault on joshua tree…I'm up for it.

Assault was such a poor word to use

For one…Joshua Tree will quickly tame those seeking to assault her in anyway.

But more than anything, Joshua Tree is a spiritual place that reveals herself to many…and chose to reveal herself to Adam and I on Thursday.

Seeing the lower half of Illusion Dweller lit up by the lights of our lanterns was very nice. Anyone who’s sat next to a campfire as the light bounced of the golden quart-monzonite knows what I mean when the rock sets on fire. This was true of lantern light.

I watched as Adam led up the route. Seeing the faint blue of his headlamp as he spotted places for his hands, feet, and protection. I turned off my headlamp and kept my eyes on what I could see of him. Within half an hour, he tops out.

I follow…with my headlamp set on low (peztl duo). I clean the pro…but I’m getting pumped… I general don’t warm up on 5.10b trad. Smile

The moves are a little awkward and I’m getting tired. Cleaning pro isn’t nearly as fun as setting it. I ask for a take…if only I had shined my light a little higher, I would have seen a huge rest coming up…oh well…guess I was “in the dark” on that one.

I finally worked my way to the top to Adam who had extended the anchors to allow himself to be positioned over the edge quite a ways to get good shots of me coming over the roof crux.
I pulled the roof and we turned off our headlamps. Wow…is the only word to describe the atmosphere. Perfect silence… slight, warm breeze… and the smell of the desert.

We sat there for about 20 minutes in silence. Then we rapped off and headed over to thin wall.

I geared up and started up no calculators allowed (5.10a)…I’ve led the route before…onsighted it. I got up about 10’ to my first piece…a .4 cam. …climbed about 5 more feet and slotted a nut. Climbed about 6 more feet and placed a number 1 cam…but I didn’t like it…so I backed it up with a .5….now comes a move that I like to make…it’s a dyno up and left off two crimpers. I make the lunge and I completely missed the hold. I yell falling…I fall…but I’m not stopping…I yell DUDE!!! Then I feel the rope come taut. I look back…Adam’s giving me kudos for the airtime. He was taking a picture (cuz it’s all about the photo) and let out a lot of slack…which made for a cushy catch. I finished up the route and setup a TR on an 11a and a 10d. We worked those…then packed our stuff and headed for the truck.

As we walked along the pavement, the moon was just coming over the horizon…what a perfect night…what great climbs…and walking side by side with a great friend….Thanks bro.


roughster


Aug 5, 2002, 9:35 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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I climbed Double Cross at night by accident, well sort of

The plan of the day was to blitzkreig a billion routes and then finish off with Double Cross which was very near our campsite.

Tired and weary at the end of the day, we stopped back in camp for a quick beer or two, in my case three, then grabbed the gear (and an extra beer) and headed over to the base of D.C.

Sure enough there was still a group on it, and we patiently waited at the base for them to finish up. It was well beyond sunset before they finally pulled their rope.

Having consumed my 4th beer in a little under an hour, I realized this probably wasn't the best time to try and onisight this route but oh well. I slapped on my headlamp, and one of the people at the base had a maglite that used to spot light the crack just above me.

As I climbed, I was very focused on the crack since everything else was very much dark. The darkness IMO added to the experience as I was able to focus specifically on the quality of the climb. Reaching the top was a very cool experience. Funny thing is, as I lowered I realized that I had only set 3 pieces during the entire course of the pitch, where normally I would have most likely placed quite a bit more protection.

Anyways, JT at night is a special place and one that everyone should try to experience at least once during their climbing career

[ This Message was edited by: roughster on 2002-08-05 21:37 ]


Partner rrrADAM


Aug 8, 2002, 1:55 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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Most of the pics were of poor quality due to the darkness, but here's 4 of the best...

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=ListPhoto&PhotoID=6334

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=ListPhoto&PhotoID=6336

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=ListPhoto&PhotoID=6337

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=ListPhoto&PhotoID=6333


marmot


Aug 8, 2002, 2:24 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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WOW! rrradam and hangerless, that sounds like a really cool climb! Thanks for sharing it.


froggy


Aug 8, 2002, 2:29 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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      I LOVE NIGHT CLIMBING!!!!
I have done it quite a few times and I love the feeling of the rock. I did Walk on the Wild Side in the dark last season in Josh and it was one of the most Thrilling things! I lead the second pitch and got a bit lost and was happy to have my down jacket on... but I would do it again now that I know where the bolts are
Glad to hear that you guys had the same experience... But, be aware you are probably addicted now.. and let me know next time!


skier-climber
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Aug 8, 2002, 2:43 PM
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rrradam & hangerless "Night Climbing J-Tree" [In reply to]
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i can describe night climbing in one word....

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~D~


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