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One of those days... A fun day on Modern Times
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kobaz


Aug 3, 2010, 10:26 AM
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One of those days... A fun day on Modern Times
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I arrived in New Paltz at around 3am on Saturday. Ideally I wanted to get a nice sleep and then meet my partner in the morning who was coming in from NYC.

I forgot how annoying it was to sleep in my car. I got about an hour sleep.

"Fully rested" I made my way to Water street got some tea and fired up my laptop to kill time while waiting for John. Some many minutes later I get a phone call... it's the dreaded "I'm stuck in traffic".

Finally at 11 John arrives and we get breakfast. We get to the lower trapps parking lot and I ask John if he's got his pass. "It never came in the mail" was the reply. We then go to the visitors center he gets a temp pass.

By 12:30 we're racking up for the first climb. A nice warmup on Eyesore... John leads. I mentioned there was an alternative way which I've never done... though the back of the big starting block, a 15 foot chimney. Out come grunts of "damn spiderwebs", and "It's really dark". After much ado, he pops out on to the first ledge.

It's then that I find out that John can't stay for the weekend... damn, it's like 1:30 already we better get cracking. So we head over to the next climb, Sundown, my lead. After the initial little chimney section, the climb turned out to be really great. Good gear the whole way.

After pondering whether to do the next pitch or not, we decided to bail and get on to the route of the weekend, which John has been bugging me to do. it was 3:30 already after finishing Sundown, lollygagging around, and eating lunch. We headed down to the High E area.

By the time we get there and after I finished racking up, it's around 4. Plenty of time to run up modern times, maybe finish off by having John lead Ursula nearby.

First pitch goes quick, I've done it on lead before and the runouts are during easy sections. John hurries along behind me and we swap gear at the anchor. Luckily the party above that had to lower out their flailing newbie was finished with their epic, and the route was clear.

The general rule has been, anything I can lead, John can follow. 5.8's in the gunks and dacks, and 5.10's in Yosemite. John should have no problem with this one... it's mental I know.. I've followed it twice, but the holds are huge and you get good feet after the first crux.

I stand under the first roof for a little, contemplating the moves ahead. After some deep breaths, I reach out for a crack and hold the undercling in front of me. I don't quite feel solid, so I back off and stand back on the comfy ledge. I have three pieces right here.. hell this safer than a sport climb. I breath and then go for it again. The exposure is blocked out, my hands, my feet are the focus now. Yes, there I see the next hold... move, move, don't get pumped. My feet cut... oh yes, there's the heel hook. Relief.

It's not over yet. Off of a huge jug I place another piece. Move move, don't get pumped. I reach the tree. I use one knee to rest on the tiny dishcloset ledge and use my head to push off the tree. No hands rest... phew.

My leg starts going numb from all the pebbles digging into me... I must move... ow ow ow this is starting to HURT.. GO. I make some more moves and hit the finish traverse... I plug in some gear and through much grunting and terrible style, I get to comfort. There's way too much rope drag to belay from the top so I gear up in some perfect cracks.

"You're on belay John". Minutes later he's under the ledge, "Holy shit you are are insane.. what do I do?". I talk him through the moves, and tell him to just keep moving, and don't forget about the heel hook.

He falls. "Can you reach the wall?". "Yes, Lower me". Second attempt. He falls. "Can you reach the wall?". "No, but I can grab some gear here". "Good, get yourself back on route. Third attempt. He falls. "Do you want to try again?". "No... I'm so pumped, this is really scary". "Do you have your prussics?", "There in my bag at the bottom". Aughhhhh.

"Do you think you can do the moves?". "Probably not". Good thing I decided to not belay from the top. He's about 10 feet from me, but below the huge roof. What to do... what to do. "You have slings right". "Yeah, from cleaning". Hot damn, maybe this won't be an epic afterall. "Jug up the rope with those". I tie the belay off with a mule.

John's currently hanging under a piece in the roof crack. Good thing it's the fixed red camalot that he's on. "You'll need to unweight the rope and lower yourself off the piece to get in line with the rope to jug it". I know where he is... he's a dead horizontal to the next piece... cut loose and he's gonna smack into the block under of the roof. He tied some slings together for a lowerout off the thumb loop of the fixed cam. Half way through, one of the sling knots jammed on the thumb loop. 10 minutes later it's freed and now it's vertical to the next piece.

I should have done more self-rescue training with John. 30 minutes later he's gained about 5 feet and is now at the next piece. "How do I get this out? and how much daylight do we have left". By now it's like 6 or 7pm. "A few hours... you have your headlamp right?". "It's in my bag at the bottom". Auuuuuuuggggggh.

I get my headlamp from my chalk bag and I talk him through passing the piece with his sling ascension setup. He passes the next three pieces in about an hour. Now it's dark.

"Can you get back on the route and do the moves". "No, I don't think so... I should just jug". He finally passes the last piece but the rope is running over a little ledge at the start of the finishing traverse. "How do I pass this last piece". "What piece? The rope's on a ledge". 10 feet of rope between the anchor and John, dead horizontal. "I'm going to have to escape the belay and build another anchor so you can go vertical.. I need the blue tcu from you". I can see john now at the edge of the traverse. I escape the belay, extend my anchor tether and throw a bit of rope to John to get some gear. He gives me some cams... I build another anchor, and he gets himself up to the ledge.

Now it's really dark. (Jokingly) "Hey John.. You can lead this last pitch right?". I gear up for the last 15 feet of the route and head off.

John kisses the ground at the top. It's a beautiful view. The same view I've been sucking in while waiting for John to jug the line. He takes some long exposure shots with the camera we happened to bring and then we walk over to the High E rappel and get going. We get to the bottom and check the time. It's 11:30. Holy hell man... what a day, we smile at each other and I ask when he wants to do it again.


kobaz


Aug 3, 2010, 10:28 AM
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And since we all know it's useless without pictures. Here's me.




johnwesely


Aug 3, 2010, 11:02 AM
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When I did Modern Times the first time, both of my seconds fell. Luckily, I didn't place any pro during the actually steep part, so they just jugged up to the ledge.


gblauer
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Aug 3, 2010, 1:45 PM
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Nice write up.

Sounds like you handled the situation quite well. I routinely follow a hardcore gunks climber, so far, I have never had to jug. I guess the harder he climbs, the more likely it will be that I have to resort to some aid climbing. That said, I have had a couple of assisted belays (the thin seam on Fly Again, gunks 11D)!


kobaz


Aug 3, 2010, 4:17 PM
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gblauer wrote:
Nice write up.

Sounds like you handled the situation quite well. I routinely follow a hardcore gunks climber, so far, I have never had to jug. I guess the harder he climbs, the more likely it will be that I have to resort to some aid climbing. That said, I have had a couple of assisted belays (the thin seam on Fly Again, gunks 11D)!

Thanks. Looking back I'm not sure what else I could have done to make things go more smoothly. The biggest time sync was my partner having to unbind the slings he was using to jug, which were the new style dental floss 8mm guys. Every two moves he would have to fight for 5 minutes to get them to budge again... that and never having jugged outside before.

I knew this would happen at some point, so I did some initial training in my basement with him. It's much different prussicing up and down 2 feet in a comfy basement versus doing it one pitch up while it's getting dark.

Gunks 11d... nutty. The 5.9's are hard enough. The 9 facey climb to the left of Laurel always kicks my butt. At least I think it's a 9. It's got these little crystals you need to crimp on with one or two fingers almost the whole way.

I think I'm finally getting towards where people say they thought I would be climbing at years ago. I can climb 12 in the gym, but I just really started getting into gunks 8's this year.


Gmburns2000


Aug 3, 2010, 5:04 PM
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nice write-up, but you didn't do much to encourage me to lead this! Crazy Tongue


johnwesely


Aug 3, 2010, 5:25 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
nice write-up, but you didn't do much to encourage me to lead this! Crazy Tongue

Lead it Greg. Don't believe the hype.


bill413


Aug 3, 2010, 6:45 PM
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Hmmm...aside from the admonission I've heard against using the dental floss in friction knots....what sort of knot did he use? I can see a prussik being a real pain - the Bachman (which includes a biner) might be the knot of choice.

Your description of it actually makes me think about doing the route...sigh.

But, man...leaving everything except the camera in the pack...oh, well, guess he brought the essentials.


johnwesely


Aug 3, 2010, 6:53 PM
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bill413 wrote:

Your description of it actually makes me think about doing the route...sigh.

Do the route. It is really fun.


coolcat83


Aug 3, 2010, 7:45 PM
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kobaz wrote:
Gunks 11d... nutty. The 5.9's are hard enough. The 9 facey climb to the left of Laurel always kicks my butt. At least I think it's a 9. It's got these little crystals you need to crimp on with one or two fingers almost the whole way.

Apoplexy, I've known more people to break ankles on that route than any other, just enough to catch your foot on on the way down and vertical enough to build up some speed before you hit it.


(This post was edited by coolcat83 on Aug 3, 2010, 7:47 PM)


rangerrob


Aug 4, 2010, 4:49 AM
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I think he means Junior actually. Apoplexy is pretty juggy.


johnwesely


Aug 4, 2010, 6:18 AM
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rangerrob wrote:
I think he means Junior actually. Apoplexy is pretty juggy.

I think he means apoplexy. Most people don't lead Junior.


Jnclk


Aug 4, 2010, 6:49 AM
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kobaz wrote:

I can climb 12 in the gym, but I just really started getting into gunks 8's this year.

Modern Times may be a bit sandbagged. But, perhaps the "12s" in your gym are a tad soft. The Gunks ratings aren't any stiffer than any other traditional areas that I've visited (Seneca, Adirondacks, Tahquitz/Suicide, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Cochise etc.).


kobaz


Aug 4, 2010, 3:29 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
rangerrob wrote:
I think he means Junior actually. Apoplexy is pretty juggy.

I think he means apoplexy. Most people don't lead Junior.

Yeah... Apoplexy. The moves aren't terribly hard, but if you don't get the gear right, it could be catistrophic. There was a guy who ripped two/three pieces and died a few years ago. But it's not the grade that kills you. Someone died leading boston (5.4) a few years back too.


kobaz


Aug 4, 2010, 3:33 PM
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bill413 wrote:
Hmmm...aside from the admonission I've heard against using the dental floss in friction knots....what sort of knot did he use? I can see a prussik being a real pain - the Bachman (which includes a biner) might be the knot of choice.

He did a klemheist, which I figure would be less likly to bind than the prussic, but it was problematic nonetheless.

bill413 wrote:
Your description of it actually makes me think about doing the route...sigh.

Definitly do the route... there's HUGE JUGS. But it's really PUMPY.

bill413 wrote:
But, man...leaving everything except the camera in the pack...oh, well, guess he brought the essentials.

The funny thing is, when we got to the bottom, John's looking for his headlamp and couldn't find it in his gear bag. After digging and digging and digging, he found it in the water backpack that he had brought up with him on the climb (which also stored the camera).

The problem with the water backpack was that before leading the second pitch I happily asked to take a chug from the water backpack. It was empty.


gblauer
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Aug 4, 2010, 3:42 PM
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kobaz wrote:

Yeah... Apoplexy. The moves aren't terribly hard, but if you don't get the gear right, it could be catistrophic. There was a guy who ripped two/three pieces and died a few years ago. But it's not the grade that kills you. Someone died leading boston (5.4) a few years back too.

No one died on Apoplexy...the guy landed on his pack, was in the hospital for a couple of days and lived to tell the tale.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Aug 4, 2010, 3:44 PM)


Gmburns2000


Aug 4, 2010, 3:49 PM
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curious: how tall are you.


Gmburns2000


Aug 4, 2010, 3:49 PM
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gblauer wrote:
kobaz wrote:

Yeah... Apoplexy. The moves aren't terribly hard, but if you don't get the gear right, it could be catistrophic. There was a guy who ripped two/three pieces and died a few years ago. But it's not the grade that kills you. Someone died leading boston (5.4) a few years back too.

No one died on Apoplexy...the guy landed on his pack, was in the hospital for a couple of days and lived to tell the tale.

and didn't someone die on three pines last year, too? (or a couple of years ago, or one of those easy classic routes in that area?)


gblauer
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Aug 4, 2010, 3:55 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:

and didn't someone die on three pines last year, too? (or a couple of years ago, or one of those easy classic routes in that area?)

Yes, an older guy was way above his gear (or had no gear) and he fell, striking his head. I say "older", I think he was in his late 50's. It was two years ago in October.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Aug 4, 2010, 4:01 PM)


kobaz


Aug 4, 2010, 5:52 PM
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gblauer wrote:
No one died on Apoplexy...the guy landed on his pack, was in the hospital for a couple of days and lived to tell the tale.

I specifically remember someone not making it. I remember the pack fall though. Hmm... Maybe it was a different route.


kobaz


Aug 4, 2010, 6:00 PM
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Jnclk wrote:
kobaz wrote:

I can climb 12 in the gym, but I just really started getting into gunks 8's this year.

Modern Times may be a bit sandbagged. But, perhaps the "12s" in your gym are a tad soft. The Gunks ratings aren't any stiffer than any other traditional areas that I've visited (Seneca, Adirondacks, Tahquitz/Suicide, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Cochise etc.).

I think gunks ratings are really stiff compared to elsewhere (Other than Dacks and Seneca). I've lead Yosemite 5.9/5.10 pretty comfortably, but I'll never attempt to lead gunks 5.10 for another few years. 5.9's in Indian Creek were a breeze. Most 5.9's in the gunks look scary and hard. And the one's I've toproped give me quite the pucker to think about leading them.

I think the gym 12s I climbed at my old gym were probably on par with some of the softer areas. And by "climb 12s" I mean, flail like it's nobodys business and work my ass off, usually falling several times. Tobacco Road at The New made me work just as hard, although I didn't get very far.

So... in conclusion... I think the gunks is pretty stiff. It's got the hardest 5.7's I've ever done.

Edited to add: What?? This gunks 5.6 warmup has a ROOF on it?


(This post was edited by kobaz on Aug 4, 2010, 6:02 PM)


kobaz


Aug 4, 2010, 6:04 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
curious: how tall are you.

5'4


johnwesely


Aug 4, 2010, 7:45 PM
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kobaz wrote:

Edited to add: What?? This gunks 5.6 warmup has a ROOF on it?

The Gunks 5.3 warmup might very well have a roof on it.


johnwesely


Aug 4, 2010, 7:45 PM
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kobaz wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
curious: how tall are you.

5'4

Told you Greg.


bill413


Aug 4, 2010, 7:52 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
kobaz wrote:

Edited to add: What?? This gunks 5.6 warmup has a ROOF on it?

The Gunks 5.3 warmup might very well have a roof on it.

Nah - Gelsa is 5.4 (but yeah, the roofs are 5.3)

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