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enigma


Dec 24, 2002, 6:31 PM
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  Spent the day climbing there Sunday and I really enjoyed myself. We climbed 8 routes from 5.7-5.11a. They were 40ft-100ft tall, even a 2 pitch climb. I had never climbed on Limestone before but throughly enjoyed it.
Its harder than most other rocks but there are horizontal lines of red feldspar that can be used as edging for your feet,thin ledges.
I would also say that the routes are well bolted and we rappeled down,which I like.
Go check it out for yourself, before you say anything . I recommend it,its mellow and quiet and you'll get a good workout,even some roofs.!! It's Sweet!

[ This Message was edited by: enigma on 2002-12-24 18:34 ]


roughster


Dec 25, 2002, 5:51 AM
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I had a great time with you out there the other day, Enigma!

Now for Lucerne Limestone. After recent PMs and discussions about Lucerne on RC.Com, I felt compelled to go out there to see what it was like...again.

I have not climbed out there since early 1999, and thought from the wide variance of what I remembered versus that of some of the feedback on the site, something is wrong. Either I had built up Lucerne to be something it wasn't in my own mind, or those people who were giving feedback seriously had some other issues. The result.

I'm sorry to say it, but some people on this site have serious issues as its related to Lucerne.

*NOTE* When I say RC.Comers I do not refer to EVERY RC.Comer as I have received several PMs and posts of positive feedback from RC.Comers. Those to which refer are easily identified by their 5.8 ticklists and negative responses on other threads.

Enigma and I started out on a 5.7 called Limestone Louie that goes straight up the middle of the Moderate Wall. The rock quality on this climbs is absolutely superb. Start up an easy ramp, to a slight bulge which is pulled by utilizing a huge chickenhead jug that you can't see from below. Next up a few vertical moves to reach a thin flake for the left hand and a large sidepull that runs up the entire wall with the right. This climb would be 5 star anywhere in SoCal if the length was longer than 4 bolts, but regardless of its relatively short stature (~35 feet), the climb is still awesome. For a 5.7 loaded with jugs and a steep airy feel, give it a go. Memory: 1 , RC.Comers: 0.

Next up was a 3 bolt variation to the above climbed called Tequila Salt and Limestone also 5.7. Same start but than angle right to a large crack that borders a steep pillar. Follow this crack up the face then arc back to the shared anchors with Limestone... Once again, fun moves with some hand jams, then sweet face moves on deep incuts. I began to wonder what routes RC.Comers got on... Memory: 2 , RC.Comers: 0

About this time, the wind started picking up and due to the relative location of the Moderate Wall to the top of the hill, it began to get quite chilly. The plan was to hit one more route on the Moderate Wall, then cruise over to the Main Wall to hide from the wind.

Bloody Knuckles 5.9 was called so due to when I was bolting it, the wrench slipped off the head of the bolt while tightening it, and I grated my knuckles across several sharp features on all 4 knuckles on my right hand. This left a nice blood stain on the rock (long gone from the looks of it) as well as some hamburger on the back of my hands.

Despite its omnious start, the climb is great. Between two discontinuous cracks is a clean pillar of rock. The climb folows this while using the cracks when face holds become scarce. The climb has a few bulgy sections, but there is always a jug just a high step and crank away. Another 4 bolt of approximately the same height as the previous two, another climb of quality moves on quality rock. Memory:3 , RC.Comers: 0

After finishing up Bloody.. we packed up our stuff and did a short 100 yard walk over to the Main Wall. It was nice to see and hear Enigma's suprise at how large the Main Wall was. I remembered it being fairly large, but even in my memory it had shrunk in size a bit. I was excited to see that some of the routes I remembered being short, were actually much longer than I remembered. It was a hard decision on where to start, but since the clouds had taken a turn for a darker color and were threatening rain, I figured it would be a good time to do the multipitch if we were going to do it.

The multipitch consists of one of two starting pitches: Step Up to the Plate 5.11C, or On Deck 5.8. We chose On Deck, while the second Pitch is called Local Wisdom and goes at 5.10a.

These two pitches could easily be combined with a 50M or 60M, however, you cannot lower off back to the ground with a single 60M as we tested when we pulled our double rope rappel. However, I think doing it two pitch style is the way to go. The top of the lower climbs ends on a perfect belay ledge for the belayers, as well as has a great view for the 2nd pitch. Both pitches have threadable chain anchors for raping/lowering, or if you want, it is an easy walk off back to your packs.

On Deck is 4 bolts and starts up a slab featured with a myriad of brown ribs that swirl in a a horizontal pattern that for some reason always make me think of zebras. These "brown rails" are really bands of hard feldspar (iron deposits) that erode slower than the relatively soft limestone. Fortunately for us climbers, this leaves pertruding rails to step on and use as hand holds. The lower slab is covered and it is a quick romp up the 1st 15 feet, till a sloping ledge is reached. AT this point Step Up to the Plate heads straight up thin face holds, however, slanting out right is a small dihedral with a juggy lieback crack and big features. On Deck takes these series of features for 4 bolts then traverses back left on a large ledge to the belay stance. I ran up and then snapped a few pics of Enigma as she climbed the cool features below.

From the belay ledge, a small series of large blocks are tackled while aiming for the obvios clean arete just slightly left and up. At the base of the arete, you clip a bolt, then make a committing move pulling out onto the arete on awesome pockets and incut edges. I have seen several climbers do the route and invariably someone will try to work there way up a series of ledges trying to avoid the step across, but eventually you are forced to commit to the move. I prefer to do it early as once established on the arete, you find a plethora of holds and the climbing is suprisingly moderate and very enjoyable.

The climb mostly follows the right side of the arete and pulls a few overlaps. In between large jugs are thin moves on the fledspar bands. The top ends with another bolted anchor and a fantastic view of the surrounding desert as the combined 100 feet of climbing and 100 feet of steep scree below the cliff give you a feeling of big exposure and an amazing view of the Lucerne Valley.

We rigged up a 2 line rappel with the rope that Enigma trailed up and reached the ground in one rappel. The other two options are walking off, or making 2 single lne rappels. Memory 4 , RC.Comers: 0

After the multipitch, the clouds looked much better, though it was still a bit chilly. Every now and then the sun would poke through the clouds teasing us with short 5 minutes sessions of perfect temperatures and warmth.

During one of these periods, I fired off into Ancient Chinese Secret 5.11a. A sweet long climb that a 60M rope barely gets you down from. Starts up a hgihly featured slab for 3 bolts, to a small ledge. A step across move is utilized to reach a large flake, then standing on that leads to a sweet face above that gets gradually steepers as the holds get gradually smaller.

At the end of the clean shield of rock, lies a nice capped roof, that will not be overcome without just commiting to the moves. A few holds lead over the roof and end with a high step and a dynamic move to a large jug. Shuffle around and stand up, one more move will lead to the anchors.

I don't care what comparable route you bring up at any other SoCal climbing area, Ancient.. ranks up there as one of the best 11as I have done in SoCal or any climbing area in the US that I have been to for that matter. Long, variety of climbing, a roof, etc... its got it all. Memory: 5 , RC.Comers: 0.

Enigma was flying through the lower parts, slowed down a bit before reaching the roof, then took a few mins to unlock the roof, but by the look on her face as she lowered, I could tell she liked the route and she backed that up as well with comments.

Next up was Tastes Like Chicken 5.10a. I personally remembered loving the climbing on this route, so I was looking forward to getting back on it. I also remembered the day I bolted the route, I didn't have any more chain, so I decided to place two of my own biners on the anchors for a quick lowering station and hoped that SoCal climbers would recognize that biners allowed for a quick clip and lower station and not steal them.

I looked up from the base to see a nice big stack of green webbing hanging off of the anchors, of course not a biner on either one. So I guess theres a little statement about SoCal Climbers.... I'll let you determine what that statement is

Anywyas, I did not let the theiving nature of "some" local climbers get in the way of getting on a quality route. Cool feldspar moves interspersed with a different type of slicker dark rock, leads to a small over hang which is pulled on huge jugs, then leads to a final small headwall before the anchors. The headwall can be made easier by heading slightly right. Originally we had it graded harder since I took the direct line up the face during the FA, but subsequent ascents revealed that most people were cheating out right to the jugs, so 5.10a it is

Another fantastic route on sweet features. Memeory: 6 , RC.Comers 0.

So conclusion? Don't believe the words of some on this site till you go check it out for yourself. Being back there again made me wished I had brought my drill as there are stil plenty of good lines to be bolted.

I can only scratch my head as to what routes the "group" of RC.Comers got on when they went out there. Were they even routes at all? Another question would be, were they lined up right and were getting on things above their heads? I noticed in one of the pics the climb was labelled wrong, as in the climb listed wasn't even on the right wall. Perhaps that is one of the sources of displeasure, they couldn't figure out what route was which?

Anyways, I would challenge anyone in SoCal to go out to Lucerne and make the judgement for yourself. The rock is quality, the climbs are quality, they are bolted exactly where you need them, and the view is pretty amazing with the snow covered San Berdos in the background.

Nearby NJC offers more routes for sure, however, Lucerne easily justifies a day trip and is a viable alternative for those wishing to escape the hordes as well as try out something new.

Enigma and I chatted on the drive back and one of the possible reasons we came up with that people didn't like Lucerne is for that very reason listed above. Some people like to be in the scene or at the very least capable of having an audience for "their" scene. If your looking to spray to crowds or look macho in front of the masses, Lucerne probably isn't for you. Just keep driving a few more minutes and you can do all of that at NJC, for the rest of you, check Lucerne out

Oh and we climbed all day at a reasonable pace, ended up doing 7 routes, 8 burns total, which means there were 13 more routes to do. My point to bringing this up is there is more than just one days worth of routes as well.

[ This Message was edited by: roughster on 2002-12-25 09:05 ]


crack_head


Dec 25, 2002, 10:12 AM
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damn


roughster


Dec 25, 2002, 12:13 PM
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I assume the "damn" was in response to the length of my post, heheh

I did want to make sure I gave people reasons why I feel the way I do as well as provide an alternative perspective from some of the other posts I have seen about Lucerne.

Though I don't know if you can call some of the other responses to previous threads "perspectives" since they basically amount to 3 word statements w/o any justification at all.


antimatter


Dec 26, 2002, 9:10 AM
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It was just blissfully quiet with not a soul around, no traffic noises, just the sound of the breeze and carabiners clicking. Seeing the snow-covered SB Mountains about 20 miles away rising above the barren desert floor wasn't too hard on the eyes either. Mmmm...

Small crags do rock.


cabouldering


Dec 26, 2002, 9:20 AM
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Aaron,
Were the bolts and anchors all in good shape on the routes you climbed? Does it look like anyone is assisting in maintenance of the same?

CABouldering


roughster


Dec 26, 2002, 10:36 AM
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Dan,

Everything looked bomber on all the routes we did. Chains are still shiney and new, all good

The area has obviously only seen a small amount of traffic as there is no wear on the chains hardly at all, even on Ancient which is probably the most done route there.

The only bad thing was the stolen biners off of Tastes Like Chicken Anchors, but next time I go out there I will take some chain and fix them permanent. The only thing is I most likely won't be back down for another 6 months or so.

So if anyone else wants to go buy 2 sections of 3/8" or greater chain with 2 quicklinks, feel free to slap them on the anchors. As of right now the anchor is rappable off of two equalized webbing strands, but thats not the prettiest of anchors, nor is it thread/lowerable.


tigerbythetail


Dec 26, 2002, 12:57 PM
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 "As of right now the anchor is rappable off of two equalized webbing strands, but thats not the prettiest of anchors, nor is it thread/lowerable."

Not the prettiest of anchors...nor are shiny chains...you should try and camo those and stick with dull-finish chains in the future, even in an out of the way place like this.


roughster


Dec 26, 2002, 2:27 PM
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"shiney" as in "no rust and not worn through from overuse".

The chains are not exactly "shiney" nor are most even visible as the cliff is grey and the chains are grey. Regardless if they were polished to a highly visible shine, they would still be less visually impacting than a sea green sling and a nice bright red one.

In addition, some of them are camoflauged, not all, but some are (Shoe Fly, Dope Ass Fly, Slut Buckets, In the Middle, Fortune Cookie all have como'd anchors and On Deck and Local Wisdom's anchors are not visible from the ground). I wonder if I walked around Holcolmb if all the chains are camo'd....


[ This Message was edited by: roughster on 2002-12-26 14:29 ]


anthonydl


Dec 26, 2002, 2:48 PM
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We climbed outthere the other day and a guy who lived at the base said somebody is going to be mining that whole area very very soon. It's caleld sidewinder mountian is anyone knows anybody at Access Fund or any other source of prevention.


tigerbythetail


Dec 26, 2002, 8:09 PM
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"shiney" as in "no rust and not worn through from overuse".

Oh!, sorry my mistake...

Went there once several years ago and don't really recall the anchors, although I remember an anchor on the left side with webbing.

[ This Message was edited by: tigerbythetail on 2002-12-26 20:10 ]


roughster


Dec 26, 2002, 8:26 PM
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Anthony,

I actually talked to the rangers at the BLM ranger station in Barstow before I developed the routes out there and they said it was BLM land. My understanding is there is a small section near the base of the hill, but thats the extent. Hopefully its just the area they currently have fenced off, which does not impact the climbing areas at all. If not, that would really be a bummer

Chris no worries, I just didn't want you to think that we didn't think of the visiual impacts of the bolting as we did. I wouldn't be surprised if the green sling had been there for a bit, and like I said, I will fix it next time down if someone else doesn't before the next 6 months or so.

In addition, I'll probably bring my drill and put up a new route or two




[ This Message was edited by: roughster on 2002-12-26 20:34 ]


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