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dagibbs


Mar 25, 2013, 7:33 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Unexpected bouldering day [In reply to]
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Nice view!


Gmburns2000


Mar 26, 2013, 5:20 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Unexpected bouldering day [In reply to]
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yeah. hoping the weather holds. fingers are crossed.


dagibbs


Apr 2, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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I just spent this Easter weekend at the Gunks -- it was my first trip there, and I'm quite impressed. Good climbing, good rock, easy approaches (at least for the Trapps) and I had good time. Only down-side -- access fees ($17/day) felt a bit steep.

I went with 4 friends, and we stayed at a hotel in Poughkeepsie, which I was able to book for free on miles. Cast: me: most experienced climber in the group, most experienced leader, mid-grade climbing strength; Phil: strongest climber, poor lead-head, not much trad experience; Trevor: almost as strong as Phil, far-better lead-head, own rack but not experienced trad leader, about 3 letter grades stronger than me; K8: does some leading, about 2 letter grades weaker than me; and Jex: about 1-2 letter grades weaker than K8, doesn't lead at all.

On Friday, we stopped in at Rock & Snow in New Paltz, since I wanted to look at getting another guide book. I had Swain, but some online reading suggested it wasn't the best choice. I'd hoped to have gblauer along to show us around, but she was off to Costa Rica instead. So, I picked up the Williams guide to The Trapps, and I was glad I did. It had a lot better route descriptions, and especially, start descriptions. What I don't like about the Williams guide is the separation of route descriptions and route pictures. We split 3/2 most days, I was leading for the group of 3 for Friday and Saturday, while Sunday and Monday I was climbing with Trevor in a pair, and got to follow a couple tougher climbs.


Friday I started with Easy Keyhole (5.2, 2 pitches) as my warm-up climb, and to get a feel for Gunks rock, and gear. It was easy -- though with a couple interesting moves for a 5.2. I found the gear placement fairly easy and my rack seemed to work well. (I've got a lot of tri-cams on my rack -- most of the weekend I was mostly using tri-cams and nuts, very few SLCs.) I also lead Black Fly (5.5, one pitch) and from that top-roped a 5.7 (clean) and failed on a 5.9. I also did a quite TR run up The Brat (5.6), where I failed to pay attention to the climbing and took a fall. I think my brain decided it wasn't on lead, so it didn't need to pay attention to the climbing.

Saturday we moved a bit farther along The Trapps, into the Uberfall area. I lead both pitches of Dennis (5.5), and found the crux right at the opening (pulling over the bulge) to be very committing on lead, especially for a 5.5. After Dennis, K8 lead P1 of Roddey, then I lead the 2nd pitch of Belly Roll as a 2nd pitch there. From the rappel, we setup Jackie (5.5) on top-rope. Finally it was getting late in the day -- but Jex wanted to go up the first pitch of Belly Roll, so I lead it in the gathering dusk, and we rappelled, then hiked out in the dark. Amusingly, I lead both pitches of Belly Roll -- but in reverse order.

The weather had been gorgeous so far -- mostly sunny, varying from comfortable to a bit chilly depending on sun and breeze level. But generally quite nice for spring.

Sunday I was climbing with Trevor, and we looked at Laurel (5.7), but he doesn't have a lot of small pieces (cams or nuts) on his rack, so didn't like the look of the gear, so he lead Rhododendron (5.6) instead. After following that, I took a shot at Boston (5.5) on Trevor's rack (rather than my own -- Phil had my rack with the other two climbers), but after finding that I was lacking either the larger or smaller pieces I wanted for protecting the climb, I down-climbed, removing the two pieces I had placed. Trevor then lead Ken's Crack (5.7) with on hang, and I got it clean on the follow. He lead it like a face climber, and I used a lot more crack technique to make it easier for me. Finally I lead Bunny -- because I had to climb Bunny on Easter making it an Easter Bunny. We'd have climbed more, but it started to drizzle at that point, so we decided to call it a day.

Monday was going to be a short day -- but we thought about cancelling. Everything was wet in Poughkeepsie, and even on the drive up. Once we got to The Gunks, it was quite foggy, so we figured the rock would be too wet to climb, but we decided to hike in anyway, and found that, in fact, the rock was quite dry enough to climb. Jex wasn't up for the climbing that day, and K8 and Phil wanted to head out early -- so they got one climb in and left. Trevor and I had been eying Horseman on a couple previous days -- but it hadn't been open, but today it was. Trevor lead it, as 2 pitches, and I followed. That's a magnificent climb -- I especially like the moves out to and around the arrete. After that, Trevor wanted to do a run up Belly Roll, so despite having climbed it before, I followed him up it. It started getting dark, and spitting rain as we headed up the 2nd pitch -- but we finished the climb and rapped off. Then hiked out and headed back to Ottawa.

All in all, a really good trip.
Lead: Easy Keyhole (5.2), Black Fly (5.5), Dennis (5.5), Belly Roll (5.4), Bunny (5.4).
Followed: Roddy (5.2), Rhododendron (5.6), Ken's Crack (5.7), Horseman (5.5), Belly Roll (5.4)
TRed: The Brat (5.6), Nice Crack Climb (5.7), Jackie (5.5)


Gmburns2000


Apr 2, 2013, 5:40 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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that's a good starter list. well done.

next time head further in, and buy the near trapps book, too. so many classics further down. the uberfall area is a nightmare when it's busy.

still, well done. when's the next trip?


dagibbs


Apr 2, 2013, 7:35 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
that's a good starter list. well done.

next time head further in, and buy the near trapps book, too. so many classics further down. the uberfall area is a nightmare when it's busy.

still, well done. when's the next trip?

We didn't hit much crowding -- occasionally 2nd choice of climb, then come back to something we wanted, but that was about it. Probably still early enough in the season to avoid the overcrowding.

We'll definitely head farther in another time. I don't know when that might be, though. The Gunks is a longish haul from Ottawa, and there are other choices that I want to hit, too. I'm thinking maybe Canadian Thanksgiving (latish October), or Easter next year might be possible return dates.

But there's the 'Dacks, Rumney, lots in New Hampshire, etc, to distract me. Not to mention the New, the Red, and more...


Gmburns2000


Apr 3, 2013, 4:14 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
that's a good starter list. well done.

next time head further in, and buy the near trapps book, too. so many classics further down. the uberfall area is a nightmare when it's busy.

still, well done. when's the next trip?

We didn't hit much crowding -- occasionally 2nd choice of climb, then come back to something we wanted, but that was about it. Probably still early enough in the season to avoid the overcrowding.

We'll definitely head farther in another time. I don't know when that might be, though. The Gunks is a longish haul from Ottawa, and there are other choices that I want to hit, too. I'm thinking maybe Canadian Thanksgiving (latish October), or Easter next year might be possible return dates.

But there's the 'Dacks, Rumney, lots in New Hampshire, etc, to distract me. Not to mention the New, the Red, and more...

all worthy destinations, except I'd make Rumney a part of NH as a whole. It's not worth a long weekend in of itself.


Gmburns2000


Apr 3, 2013, 5:11 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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I have a bit of a TR, but it's not much.

A friend from Germany came to visit recently, and while we didn't have a lot of time to climb, it was on the agenda. He arrived on a Saturday and we hit the hill on Sunday under tenuous conditions. The clouds were thick around the peak and one couldn't see more than 100m most of the time. We had hoped that things would burn off as the day wore on, and at times we got some visibility up to a few miles with a bit of that strong sun poking through to make it even more humid than wet air had already been making it, but the poor conditions persisted and we left after only two climbs. We probably could have snared two or three more climbs, but we felt we had made a good decision because it was pouring about an hour after we arrived home. Better to be dry on that day.

Both climbs were climbs I had done already (lead), except the harder one was one I still hadn't gotten clean. I lead the first one, a warm-up normally with a nice photo opportunity that was clouded with a white-canvas background at best on this day. The crux stumped me for a good 10 minutes. I knew the moves and had done them several times before - it wasn't a difficult climb at all, but my head was screwy from the start. It clearly wouldn't have been a good day for a long, committing route, but I chalked it up to it simply being my first day since Spain a few months back. Eventually I pulled through, but it wasn't an inspiring performance.

The next climb was my friend's lead, and it's a beautiful climb with an audacious start. It's well-protected, but the first bolt was incredibly loose and was pulled about an inch out of the hole. We tried to set it back in tighter, but it wouldn't stay. Making the first moves would have to be more focused than normal.

That first move is a doozy, too. One needs to reach out way to the left with one's left hand to the point that when one grabs the rail one's momentum is already swinging from the starting perch. There are no feet, and the route starts about 12 feet above the ground. So it's a reach to a rail and let your feet swing out into the open air beneath you. Once on the rail, one needs to smear and mantle up to the crimps above. If one blow's this start then one needs to be lowered and scramble back up to the perch to try again. My friend is taller and could reach the rail without committing too much, but not I. Once my hand is there, I can't push back. In fact, I almost have to fly just to secure it.

Normally this start takes me a few minutes to feel comfortable, but my friend nailed it on the second try. From there he worked his way up the beautiful assortment of crimps, jugs, and pinches that wove him back and forth like a snake up the molten granite slab. Unaware at first of how sharp and sticky the granite was, his fingers were peeling by the time he hit the crux, which is a slick high-step pull over a bulge to reasonable crimps once one's weight is up, which is no easy task, especially since the bolts are spaced nicely about eight feet apart at this point. After one-hanging it, he cruised the remaining 25 feet (one bolt) to the anchors.

Most people usually belay the second on this route from the top. So I tied in upon him pulling the rope and swung out into the air after about four attempts (the first three with me being to afraid to commit). I then wavered my way up to the crux, never wanting to come off and never losing my death grip on whatever it was that I holding. Three points were on at all times and rarely did I make a move that had any dynamic motion to it. I was simply afraid.

I hung at the crux maybe four or five times, and at each rest I also clipped myself direct into the bolt. I was literally afraid the rope would suddenly break, or the anchor would fail (solid bolts), or that God would find a way to cut my rope in a moment of complete vulnerability. I was having fun, but my god, I needed something shorter, easier, over-hanging, and with less of a knife's edge on the holds where the rope was rubbing against the rock.

I finally made it, but not without confessing my fear at the top. While I was very happy that we had gotten out, this was one of those days that I was happier to be alive than I was 80 feet off the deck.

A heavy mist had wet our packs and clothes and heads. The clouds were swirling closer, and in spite of the fact that the rock was still dry, we felt it was time to pack up and leave. The journey home was comfortable with Samba and MPB (musica popular brasileiro) wafting through the car's cabin. Caipirinha's awaited us at home and, as I mentioned above, so was a downpour. We watched movies and slept the rest of the day until it was time to take my friend to the airport for a short side trip to Foz de Iguacu.

The following weekend we had plans to climb above the sea in a beach town called Mariscal only to discover that climbing had been banned due to the unknown quality of the existing bolts (salt air and all that). We were bummed, but went swimming and snorkeling instead. A whole day at the beach with a fully-headed fish and rice and veggies for lunch - not climbing isn't such a bad thing at times. In fact, sometimes it's just what one needs. Has Brasil softened me? I don't know, but I won't complain. We swam, ate fresh fish, and drank caipirinhas all weekend. Maybe I'm more Brasilian now than I used to be, because I'm just going to chalk this one up to "maybe next time."


losbill


Apr 3, 2013, 6:22 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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DA - Thanks for sharing. Seems like the group had a pretty good time.

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After following that, I took a shot at Boston (5.5) on Trevor's rack (rather than my own -- Phil had my rack with the other two climbers), but after finding that I was lacking either the larger or smaller pieces I wanted for protecting the climb, I down-climbed, removing the two pieces I had placed.

Good job. Very smart.

Bill


dagibbs


Apr 3, 2013, 7:12 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
that's a good starter list. well done.

next time head further in, and buy the near trapps book, too. so many classics further down. the uberfall area is a nightmare when it's busy.

still, well done. when's the next trip?

We didn't hit much crowding -- occasionally 2nd choice of climb, then come back to something we wanted, but that was about it. Probably still early enough in the season to avoid the overcrowding.

We'll definitely head farther in another time. I don't know when that might be, though. The Gunks is a longish haul from Ottawa, and there are other choices that I want to hit, too. I'm thinking maybe Canadian Thanksgiving (latish October), or Easter next year might be possible return dates.

But there's the 'Dacks, Rumney, lots in New Hampshire, etc, to distract me. Not to mention the New, the Red, and more...

all worthy destinations, except I'd make Rumney a part of NH as a whole. It's not worth a long weekend in of itself.

I know Rumney is in New Hampshire -- but I mostly think of New Hampshire as granite trad, with Rumney being the sport-bolted schist exception, which is why I kind of think of it as a separate destination. And, I think many might disagree as to whether it is worth a long weekend itself. As a trad destination -- no, but as a sport destination, I'd definitely say there's at least a long weekend's worth of climbing there.


Gmburns2000


Apr 3, 2013, 7:18 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
that's a good starter list. well done.

next time head further in, and buy the near trapps book, too. so many classics further down. the uberfall area is a nightmare when it's busy.

still, well done. when's the next trip?

We didn't hit much crowding -- occasionally 2nd choice of climb, then come back to something we wanted, but that was about it. Probably still early enough in the season to avoid the overcrowding.

We'll definitely head farther in another time. I don't know when that might be, though. The Gunks is a longish haul from Ottawa, and there are other choices that I want to hit, too. I'm thinking maybe Canadian Thanksgiving (latish October), or Easter next year might be possible return dates.

But there's the 'Dacks, Rumney, lots in New Hampshire, etc, to distract me. Not to mention the New, the Red, and more...

all worthy destinations, except I'd make Rumney a part of NH as a whole. It's not worth a long weekend in of itself.

I know Rumney is in New Hampshire -- but I mostly think of New Hampshire as granite trad, with Rumney being the sport-bolted schist exception, which is why I kind of think of it as a separate destination. And, I think many might disagree as to whether it is worth a long weekend itself. As a trad destination -- no, but as a sport destination, I'd definitely say there's at least a long weekend's worth of climbing there.

Sorry, I wasn't saying you didn't know it was in NH, more that it isn't worth a long weekend, especially since both NoCo and Cannon are only an hour away in different directions.


dagibbs


Apr 3, 2013, 7:37 AM
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Re: [losbill] Easter weekend at the Gunks [In reply to]
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losbill wrote:
DA - Thanks for sharing. Seems like the group had a pretty good time.

In reply to:
After following that, I took a shot at Boston (5.5) on Trevor's rack (rather than my own -- Phil had my rack with the other two climbers), but after finding that I was lacking either the larger or smaller pieces I wanted for protecting the climb, I down-climbed, removing the two pieces I had placed.

Good job. Very smart.

Bill

Thanks. Seemed the obvious thing to do, but I tend towards cautious on lead.


dagibbs


May 7, 2013, 7:03 AM
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It has not been a good spring this year up Ottawa way -- most of April was wet and chilly, and I was out of town a lot too. But, May has started with a week of gorgeous weather, so I've gotten out climbing.

Saturday 5 of us drove up to Montagne d'Argent -- some recent highway building has cut about 15 minutes off the drive, bringing it down to about 1.5 hours, which is nice. It seems MdA was a popular place, though, so we had to hike past a couple cliffs to find some open rock, and a bunch of it was still wet, too. But we got some good climbs in, and came back to one of our main destination cliff later in the day once it had cleared out.

Sunday 2 of us went up to Lac Sam to do some more cleaning on the cliffs there. Phil trundled a lot of rock and dug a bunch of dirt off one climb he was working on, while I re-brushed two others. It is amazing how fast lichen and moss re-grow! In doing the last climb to retrieve my rope from cleaning, I did a high step and felt my knee scream -- I was really worried I'd done myself another knee injury. After finishing the move, I felt around, and found that I had a bristle from the wire brush embedded in my knee. After pulling it out, my knee felt fine. Glad it wasn't an injury -- but a surprising amount of pain for such a small bit of metal.

The weather is continuing to be nice, so I'm hoping to get a bit of after-work climbing in this week, too.


Gmburns2000


May 7, 2013, 7:11 AM
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Nice! The weather has been stunningly good here, but I haven't had any opportunity to get out, which is a real bummer.

We did hit the beach recently, though, and that was both refreshing and needed. It's starting to get cool here, so the climbing season fast closing.


losbill


May 9, 2013, 7:21 AM
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Geez! I don't want DA to be the only one posting up. Good job on the self administered acupuncture! I'm going to have to try it on some of my swollen knuckles.

Drove up to Cathedral Friday night. Beers and burgers at the bar at the Moat. Guy sitting next to us was Craig Taylor an IMCS guide. Super nice guy, Mass native and Crow Hill climber. Small world. Up early next morning to the Bagels Plus for breakfast. Turns out a Connecticut rock climbing couple, Frank and Carol-Ann Dahlmeyer, had just purchased the shop and relocated permanently to North Conway. Frank's brother Joe is a climber acquaintance of mine. They are climbers so let's make sure they get our business. Gee, it is a small world.

Off to the North End. It was an incredibly beautiful day without a cloud in the sky with T-shirt temperatures and absolutely not bugs. The rock was as dry as I have ever seen it in the spring. No drippage, no moss. Conditions on the climbs were more like October after a dry summer and a lot of traffic. Unlike you DA we have had a dry and warm conditions for more than two weeks. Tom and I both led They Died Laughing (5.9) and both felt good on the lead. Tom felt good enough that he roped up for The Slot (5.10b). It is a tough finger crack. Tom did great on it for early season, getting all the moves but taking a couple of hangs. He is psyched to send it on the next trip. He set up a TR above the business and I gave it a go with a fall at the crux. Tom then went up and finished it with me following. On the rap we ran into a Crow Hill climber doing TR solo laps on Bird's Nest and Recluse. That small world thing again.

We had planned on Diedre but two parties were on it and not progressing very quickly. We were pretty worked from The Slot and Tom wanted to do something long and easy so we headed over to the Fun House area. While at the car grabbing a sandwich Steve Arsenault comes by and we had a nice chat. There's that small world thing again.

Tom decides he want to do Pooh. I'm not sure it fits the "easy" criterion but what the heck. I suggest doing a Pooh-Rollin' & Tumblin'-Orc link up The first pitch of Pooh is rated 5.7+ or something like that but looking up I'm not seeing anything 5.7 about it. While we are roping up Steve walks by below and shouts up "That's the biggest sandbag on the cliff!. It's at least a 5.9!" Thus reassured Tom heads up and does a great job with a real awkward and tricky crux. While I'm belaying Tom someone scrambles up to retrieve a pack they left on the belay ledge. Yes, you guessed it, another small world incident. It was Ben a Western Mass climber who frequently climbs at Crow Hill.

I get up to the belay ledge and Tom points and says here's your lead. It is the 2nd pitch of Rollin' & Tumblin'. It is rated at 5.8+. I followed it once several years ago and had forgotten how hard it is. It is 5.8+ except for the first 10 feet to get up to get a decent jam in the overhanging hand crack above. To get there you have to negotiate thin fingers/steep face straight up or tricky bouldery approach from slightly to the left. Either way was as hard as anything we did on The Slot. After mucking about trying both ways with a spot from Tom I decided it wasn't worth ankle sprain or worse if I blew it and smacked the ledge before I could get gear in above. Aided up to the hand crack and got it done. I bring Tom up and he has had enough. He didn't even look at the Orc's 3rd pitch. Grabbed the rope and headed left and up the 2nd pitch of Pooh. Too bad. Despite looking a bit dirty and loose it is actually a pretty good pitch and legitimately 5.8.

So we were done for the day. Back to the Moat, food and beer and then home. A great day at Cathedral.


dagibbs


May 9, 2013, 7:27 AM
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That does sound like a good day.

I got out to Calabogie, a smaller local crag, last night after work -- and OMG the black flies. With a decent quantity of mosquitoes to add to the fun. It is hopeful to hear that there weren't much in the way of bugs at Cathedral, since I'm heading down to Rumney in a week and a half, so hopefully there will be a similar lack of bugs there, too. (Might day-trip over to Cathedral or Whitehorse one day, too.)


Gmburns2000


May 9, 2013, 7:42 AM
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losbill wrote:
Geez! I don't want DA to be the only one posting up. Good job on the self administered acupuncture! I'm going to have to try it on some of my swollen knuckles.

Drove up to Cathedral Friday night. Beers and burgers at the bar at the Moat. Guy sitting next to us was Craig Taylor an IMCS guide. Super nice guy, Mass native and Crow Hill climber. Small world. Up early next morning to the Bagels Plus for breakfast. Turns out a Connecticut rock climbing couple, Frank and Carol-Ann Dahlmeyer, had just purchased the shop and relocated permanently to North Conway. Frank's brother Joe is a climber acquaintance of mine. They are climbers so let's make sure they get our business. Gee, it is a small world.

every time I eat at the Moat I get sick. Three times now. Can't go back. Prefer the Muddy Moose. EXCELLENT burgers there, and a good selection of drinks, too. But yeah, it's not the climbers's spot, so I get why no one other me and K&R hit it.

In reply to:
Off to the North End. It was an incredibly beautiful day without a cloud in the sky with T-shirt temperatures and absolutely not bugs. The rock was as dry as I have ever seen it in the spring. No drippage, no moss. Conditions on the climbs were more like October after a dry summer and a lot of traffic. Unlike you DA we have had a dry and warm conditions for more than two weeks. Tom and I both led They Died Laughing (5.9) and both felt good on the lead. Tom felt good enough that he roped up for The Slot (5.10b). It is a tough finger crack. Tom did great on it for early season, getting all the moves but taking a couple of hangs. He is psyched to send it on the next trip. He set up a TR above the business and I gave it a go with a fall at the crux. Tom then went up and finished it with me following. On the rap we ran into a Crow Hill climber doing TR solo laps on Bird's Nest and Recluse. That small world thing again.

The Slot is my favorite climb there. I haven't led it, and have only followed it once. I think I got it clean, but not because I was good that day, but more that my fingers were in so much pain at the crux that I was afraid to let go and hang out of the fear that I'd lose a finger on the way down (rope stretch can be just as scary I guess). I really want to work up to it someday, though. Beautiful climb.

In reply to:
We had planned on Diedre but two parties were on it and not progressing very quickly. We were pretty worked from The Slot and Tom wanted to do something long and easy so we headed over to the Fun House area. While at the car grabbing a sandwich Steve Arsenault comes by and we had a nice chat. There's that small world thing again.

I thought it was well established that Steve only climbs Cro-mag. Ah, but you only said he was there, not climbing. OK, never mind.

In reply to:
Tom decides he want to do Pooh. I'm not sure it fits the "easy" criterion but what the heck. I suggest doing a Pooh-Rollin' & Tumblin'-Orc link up The first pitch of Pooh is rated 5.7+ or something like that but looking up I'm not seeing anything 5.7 about it. While we are roping up Steve walks by below and shouts up "That's the biggest sandbag on the cliff!. It's at least a 5.9!" Thus reassured Tom heads up and does a great job with a real awkward and tricky crux. While I'm belaying Tom someone scrambles up to retrieve a pack they left on the belay ledge. Yes, you guessed it, another small world incident. It was Ben a Western Mass climber who frequently climbs at Crow Hill.

Steve's right. There's nothing 5.7 about that climb. That slot is fucking HARD for the grade. And no, there's no secret. And if he says it's 5.9...that's old school 5.9.

In reply to:
I get up to the belay ledge and Tom points and says here's your lead. It is the 2nd pitch of Rollin' & Tumblin'. It is rated at 5.8+. I followed it once several years ago and had forgotten how hard it is. It is 5.8+ except for the first 10 feet to get up to get a decent jam in the overhanging hand crack above. To get there you have to negotiate thin fingers/steep face straight up or tricky bouldery approach from slightly to the left. Either way was as hard as anything we did on The Slot. After mucking about trying both ways with a spot from Tom I decided it wasn't worth ankle sprain or worse if I blew it and smacked the ledge before I could get gear in above. Aided up to the hand crack and got it done. I bring Tom up and he has had enough. He didn't even look at the Orc's 3rd pitch. Grabbed the rope and headed left and up the 2nd pitch of Pooh. Too bad. Despite looking a bit dirty and loose it is actually a pretty good pitch and legitimately 5.8.

So we were done for the day. Back to the Moat, food and beer and then home. A great day at Cathedral.

Sounds like you're pushing yourself again Bill. That's awesome. I hope you have a great season. You ever do that 'Gunks 5.9 season yet? If you haven't, I'm looking forward to that season-long TR. I was hoping you'd do it the last time we climbed together. Was always inspiring climbing with you. I always learned a lot, though I swear I could have followed you just fine with blurred vision that day.


dagibbs


May 22, 2013, 7:36 AM
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Weekend in New Hampshire [In reply to]
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Last weekend was the Canadian May long weekend, so Kate, Jex, Bruce, and I drove down to the d'Acres farm near Rumney for a long weekend of climbing.

On Saturday we went to Main Cliff, which I had not previously visited. I on-sighted a few climbs, including two 5.9s and Venus Envy (5.10a), the hardest climb I've lead clean at Rumney so far.

Sunday we split up, Jex and I drove over to Whitehorse Ledge where we did the first 4 pitches up Beginner's Route (which seems to have a couple bolts reducing the run-out on Pitch 2 as compared to when my (ancient) guide was written). Then we rapped off, and headed back to Rumney, where I got one more lead in at Parking Lot wall before it started to rain.

Sunday night it poured rain, so the rock was quite wet Monday morning. We decided to climb anyway, at the Meadows, and I lead Bolt Route (5.8) and Truth in Advertising (5.7+) with them both quite wet, especially at the bottom. The wet rock made the leads quite a bit more intimidating than they might otherwise have been.

We left after a short day, around 2pm. It started to drizzle, and we had a long drive ahead of us back to Ottawa.


Gmburns2000


May 22, 2013, 8:42 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Weekend in New Hampshire [In reply to]
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Lots of good routes you can climb in the rain at Rumney. Head to the overhanging stuff. If you have a stick clip, you can always bail by using the clip to unclip the next-highest draw.

Too bad you couldn't have met up with Edge, as he has put up a bunch of new routes in a great location. He lives for an extended road trip on Friday.


dagibbs


May 22, 2013, 8:55 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Weekend in New Hampshire [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Lots of good routes you can climb in the rain at Rumney. Head to the overhanging stuff. If you have a stick clip, you can always bail by using the clip to unclip the next-highest draw.

I don't climb strong enough to climb most of the overhanging (therefor dry) stuff at Rumney.

I'll have to figure out how to unclip a draw with a stick clip -- I've never tried that. I'll bet it is a bit tricky, though, without practice. And, yes, I did have a stick-clip with me. I consider Mr. Stick-Clip to be my good, good friend. :)


Gmburns2000


May 22, 2013, 9:22 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Weekend in New Hampshire [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Lots of good routes you can climb in the rain at Rumney. Head to the overhanging stuff. If you have a stick clip, you can always bail by using the clip to unclip the next-highest draw.

I don't climb strong enough to climb most of the overhanging (therefor dry) stuff at Rumney.

I'll have to figure out how to unclip a draw with a stick clip -- I've never tried that. I'll bet it is a bit tricky, though, without practice. And, yes, I did have a stick-clip with me. I consider Mr. Stick-Clip to be my good, good friend. :)

I can't remember how to do it either, but I was with someone once who could do it. I think he had a cord of some sort that he could use to pull the clip open with.


dagibbs


May 22, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Weekend in New Hampshire [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Lots of good routes you can climb in the rain at Rumney. Head to the overhanging stuff. If you have a stick clip, you can always bail by using the clip to unclip the next-highest draw.

I don't climb strong enough to climb most of the overhanging (therefor dry) stuff at Rumney.

I'll have to figure out how to unclip a draw with a stick clip -- I've never tried that. I'll bet it is a bit tricky, though, without practice. And, yes, I did have a stick-clip with me. I consider Mr. Stick-Clip to be my good, good friend. :)

I can't remember how to do it either, but I was with someone once who could do it. I think he had a cord of some sort that he could use to pull the clip open with.

Right, that makes sense. I pictured trying to do this with just the stick-clip, and it didn't work in my head. But if you setup the cord while at the bolt, lower to the next lower bolt, clip in direct, then use the stick-clip & cord to free the higher bolt, and so on, you could bail off something that way. Well, as long as the inter-bolt spacing is within stick-clip range. Sometimes they're not.


dagibbs


Jun 10, 2013, 12:30 PM
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A weekend on the Niagara escarpment [In reply to]
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Or, how to spend a weekend climbing chossy, freeze-thaw fractured limestone.

The Niagara escarpment in south-western Ontario is the main climbing destination for Toronto, and the communites west of Toronto. It is a major geological feature that runs from the western half of the south shore of lake Ontario, across south-west Ontario to the Bruce peninsula, then along the divide between lake Huron and the Georgian bay, to the north and north-west shore of lake Michigan. It has a number of different sections of cliff of varying height and steepness along the way.

I spent Saturday at Devil's Glen, in the Beaver Valley area, which was quite damp, lots of mosquitoes. Got in 7 routes, all on-sight leads, mostly sport (up to 5.9+), but a couple trad leads (up to 5.7).

Sunday I went to Mt. Nemo, which is about 45 minutes west of Toronto (rather than 2 hours out), so it was a lot more crowded. I spent most of the day following or top-roping, up to about 5.10b, though I did lead one classic trad route, also 5.7, at the end of the day.

I found the rock, especially for placing gear, to be quite disconcerting. Lots of loose or semi-loose bits (somebody pulled off a two-fist-sized hand hold about 60' (20m) to our left, and almost hit someone at the bottom of the cliff on Sunday), fractured and broken blocks, thin flakes, etc. So, not just was I worried about whether or not my gear would hold, but I was worried if a hold would break dropping me on to that gear. For sport, at times I was even worried about how anyone found something solid enough, in places, for a bolt. Also, the limestone tends towards smooth/slick in many of the cracks, so I tried to most place passive pro. I'm told all these issues are "normal" for the area. :)

I'm glad I spent the weekend down there, especially as the forecast for the weekend around the Ottawa was bad. But, I have no particular need or desire to return. Still, I did definitely enjoy many of the routes I was on, and a day outside climbing is a good day.


gblauer
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Jun 10, 2013, 6:31 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] A weekend on the Niagara escarpment [In reply to]
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I don't think I would like suspect rock either.

It rained for three days straight at the Gunks. Saturday was gray. We hit the cliff at 3PM and the rock (at least P1) was soaking. I put up an easy climb (reasonably dry) and we TR'd a bunch of face variations including a fun 10 roof move. We then moved on to Classic and Jackie. The rock was seeping but we managed to pick our way up.

Sunday was better; partly sunny and a slight breeze. The rock was much dryer, but, still very wet in places. We stuck to the moderates and enjoyed our day. My honey (Mitchal) tried climbing for the first time in almost 2 years. His wrist was pretty good; no pain just minor twinges. He did three pitches and called it a day. No sense in pushing until he builds back his strength.

This weekend looks like it's going to be spectacular.


Gmburns2000


Jun 10, 2013, 7:07 PM
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Re: [gblauer] A weekend on the Niagara escarpment [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
Sunday was better; partly sunny and a slight breeze. The rock was much dryer, but, still very wet in places. We stuck to the moderates and enjoyed our day. My honey (Mitchal) tried climbing for the first time in almost 2 years. His wrist was pretty good; no pain just minor twinges. He did three pitches and called it a day. No sense in pushing until he builds back his strength.

This weekend looks like it's going to be spectacular.

glad to hear that Gail. Was sorry when he had to stop. Nice that he's able to get back into it. Now you both have good stories to tell. Cool


dagibbs


Jun 10, 2013, 7:59 PM
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Re: [gblauer] A weekend on the Niagara escarpment [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
I don't think I would like suspect rock either.

It rained for three days straight at the Gunks. Saturday was gray. We hit the cliff at 3PM and the rock (at least P1) was soaking.

Wet rock with wet gear placements -- also not my idea of fun.

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