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Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ
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bkboyd


Feb 16, 2006, 5:55 PM
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Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ  (North_America: United_States: Arizona: Phoenix_Area: Pinnacle_Peak)
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We saw a small rattler on the upper section of Varicose earlier today. The snake was in roughly the same location as the climber in this photo:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...oto_show.php?id=6300

Mr. Snakey was about as thick as my finger, but pretty long. I had run into a baby rattler in almost the exact same spot on this route about a year ago, so maybe this is the same one who has taken up permanent residence.

Looks like snake season is starting early!


fearlessclimber


Mar 24, 2007, 1:03 AM
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Re: [bkboyd] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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fuck man, that snake is out again, it scared the shit out of me. just to the right of amc boulder as i was walking south to climb rurpture it crossed right in front of me. I jumped way the hell back.


sonso45


Mar 24, 2007, 6:55 AM
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Re: [fearlessclimber] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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Yea, the warm weather is bringing em out. Isolation has a few of them living on the main ledge. One is a very large black tailed mtn rattler. Beautiful.


lvpyne


Mar 24, 2007, 8:03 AM
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Re: [sonso45] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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Ha ha -- Brian posted that note last year, but our snake saga continues.

So, last spring, (when Brian posted the original note about the snake), it was a *beautiful* day. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. The flowers were blooming. No one's around because it's Thursday morning.

We decided to warm up on Varicose and then head up to BeeGee. Brian offers me the lead on Varicose, and I start cranking away. I place #5 cam. I move up and place #3 cam. Pause for a moment to take in the beauty of chirping birds and sunny sky thinking about how much I love Arizona in February. Move up and carefully work in a #1. Move up past the cam and start fishing through my rack for something small. I glance at the crack in front of me and become disgusted about lazy climbers who leave old, rotting rope in the crack. Geez, people. Just take your old, nasty, rotting rope/cordalette *out* of the route -- no one wants to have to negotiate a placement around it. I think about yarding on the rope to rip it out, but realize that I'm in a really good stance to place a cam. So I pull a small cam out and poke the rope a couple of times with the #.4 to try to get the best placement around it.

And then .... the "rope" started to coil up and rattle at me.

Holy shit! It takes a minute for my brain to process what's going on. And then I screamed like a little girl.

Fast forward a year to the day, almost, to two weeks ago, before Spring Break. Brian and I head up to Pinnacle Peak to climb BeeGee crack. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. Brian and I make snake jokes as we pass by that 5.6 route. We make bee jokes as we rack up for the first "pitch" of BeeGee. Brian leads the first pitch and makes the most cushy belay anchor in the world -- I get to the anchor, clip in, and start racking up for the overhang part. We make jokes about bats (another wildlife encounter) as I place a #3 and start to move above it. I clip the #3. Crank, crank, crank. I place #2, clip it. Move above it and desperately clip a huge piton that's been hammered in the crack. Definitely full on overhung wide crack. Pop out of the crack trying to move above the piton. Hang and then pull myself back into the crack. Move above the piton and whip again. Shake out, move above the piton -- the jam sticks! I move my left hand -- the jam sticks! I go to move my right hand and I see.... A TAIL. A REPTILIAN TAIL. A HUUUUUUGE SNAKE TAIL. I scream like a little girl and let go of the crack completely.

So....once again, Brian and I were thwarted by the wildlife -- we climbed laps under the snakes (oh, yeah! There were TWO of them!) and then down aided to get the gear back and sulked off to find some slab.

I think the wildlife there just hate us on principle.


sonso45


Mar 24, 2007, 8:26 AM
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Re: [lvpyne] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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cracks and snakes make a scary mix. We were doing an climb in Iso when my bud, Mike jams the to the top and pokes a soft rope or so he thought. It slithered to the top and away. Another young rattler, it was last february. A couple years before, in Potrero Chico, my amigo Bob was bitten near the top of Estrellitas by a small rattler. He made it down and to the nearest hospital, quite a journey. He said he swelled up quite a bit but due to the good care he received, cheap too, the outcome was good. He spent about 5 days in the hospital. I think it was in Monterrey. Lesson to me was look in the crack before you jam, dynoing for ledges could be even worse. At least your climbing near the snakes may habituate them to climbers and keep them from striking!?


fearlessclimber


Mar 24, 2007, 8:53 AM
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Re: [sonso45] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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i was also climbing the 10b to the right of birthday party and there was a gila monstor in the horizontal crack, i put my hand right next to it, realized something move snf then fell like 10 feet to the ground, scared the shit out of me. IM GOING THERE TODAY DESPITE THE RAIN.


bkboyd


Apr 2, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Re: [fearlessclimber] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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I was rope soloing on Dead Meat right of the AMC boulder about a month ago and there was another rope/cordalette fragment in the crack above and right of the roof move. That rope had teeth attached to the front end as well. Never seen a gila monster up there, though.


lvpyne


Apr 2, 2007, 1:38 PM
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Re: [bkboyd] Rattlesnake alert on AMC Boulder, Pinnacle Peak AZ [In reply to]
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I think the only wildlife that is left to experience at the Pinnacle Peak Outdoor Sonoran Zoo is a pack of rabid javelina -- which are probably lying in wait for the next siege of Bee Gee Crack. Between the bats, the bees, the gila monsters, the damn snakes, etc., I think I'm permanently scarred....


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