Friday, July 23, 2010

Life at Work

I couldn't help myself. Someone brought this to my attention and I had to post it. There is always a running joke between anesthesia and surgery, paticularly orthopedics, about trying to get cases done in people who are not not healthy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Upper Face

We finally did it! We have a couple routes on the Upper Face. They are rope stretchers so read carefully. Do Not Climb these routes without a 60 meter rope and even then be very careful not to belay your partner off the end of the rope. The bottom apron was a bit of a issue. The climbing there was very easy and not consistent with the climbing above. We decided to split the route into 2 pitches. The bottom route is a 5.3 or 5.4 up to the rap anchors noted in the photo by the blue dots. We shall call it 'Cake Walk'. The next 2 routes start at the top of Cake Walk and are meant to be belayed from these anchors. Both routes can be belayed from the bottom but have very little rope to spare. If there is a concern, stop at the rap anchors and lower in 2 stages.

The route in blue on the right is called Obsession 5.8. This route moves through the little ceiling I have been staring at for the last year. It was fun and challenging to bolt. The route has really cool movement as it moves over 2 small ceilings. It may seem a bit intimidating but the climbing is solid. Just when you think you have gotten through the hard stuff, you get to the hard is a little blank but I am sure you will figure it out. It finishes on some easy slab terrain. It lowers off onto the apron and terra fir-ma can be reached with rope stretch.
The route in red (on left) is called Juggernaut 5.9. It is fun right off the ground with very consistent climbing. It follows some great features that appear to be just seams in the rock. Sometimes you just get tips and sometimes your whole hand falls in. You never know if it is going to be a jug or not. I brought the top anchors down a bit so the finish was more consistent and the lower should be fine now.
Note: if you do intend on belaying from the bottom, bring an extended sling to clip the belay anchor on your way up.
Post some feedback for me. I would like to hear.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Would have never thought.

We out at Manuels today.  There were some people on German Face.  Be we were on the Upper face and couldn't see how many.  We were quite surprised to see this many cars (8).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rumney Day 3

Day 3 was a very good day. We went up to Jimmy Cliff which was about a 45 minute hike up Rattlesnake Mountain. The hike was really cool because we passed 2 really cool faces; Darth Vadar and the famous Waimea. Waimea is described as the Crown Jewel of Rumney with more 3 star routes than any other at Rumney. It holds the hardest route in the North-East, Jaws 2 going at 5.15a. It also has 7 5.14's and 23 5.13's among its 47 routes starting at 5.10d. The picture can not do it justice, it was freakin awesome. Just look at all the fixed draws and how they hang from the wall. So cool.

Once we got to Jimmy Cliff, we went straight to 'Clip a Dee Doo Dah', a classic *** 5.3 2pitch sport climb that almost goes to the top of the mountain. Bob had read about this climb weeks before we ever left for Rumney and wanted to do it. I felt the same way, it had to be done. It was a very cool climb, all slab and well bolted. There were enough features to make the climb easy but for a slab novice, it was no give away. I took this picture of Bob while I was climbing the 2nd pitch. He is at the belay anchor. The walk down was quite easy and from there we went to the next area of Jimmy Cliff.
It was Bob's turn to do some lead. He led 3 climbs being a 5.5, 5.6 and a 5.7. One was particularly heady but Bob took his time and worked through it. I followed him on it and was quite surprised about how quirky the route was. Bob's lead head was really starting to come around.
Myself, I want to try a couple things that might have been a bit over my head. I got to the bottom of a 5.10b that followed and arete to a set of anchors. It was slightly overhanging with a traverse. I finished it with a bit of hangdogging but I knew I could get it clean just not on this trip. The anchors I finished on were directly over a 5.10c. I TR'd that route. I had to sit back 3 times but knew that with a little work I could get that one too. This answered one of the questions I had before going to Rumney...Could I really climb in the hard 10/ easy 11 range. The answer was yes and that made me a pretty happy guy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jan is a Dad!

Jan and Kelly just had their baby. They had a baby boy at 8 pounds and 11 ounces. They have named him Magnus. All are doing well as far as I know.
Now the work really begins!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Rumney Day2

Bob and I decided to try and get some milage. On day 2 we went to a big face that can be easily seen from the road. Of course it is called Main Cliff (similar to our Main Face). It has 57 lines most of which are moderate sport routes. We chose to go to a gully that had believe it or not, had a 5.1, 5.2 and a 5.3 sport route. They were actually very good routes. The 5.3 was called Wimpy Gilman Ridge and it followed a very thin arete to the top of another route called Preppy's Crack (5.7). Bob couldn't decide which route he liked more.

There was an interesting 5.6 just around the corner called Rainbow, so I decided to give it a shot. It starts off a ledge and goes up a steep juggy wall. That was cool but then I almost got shut down by GD slabby runout. I noticed a series of holds off to the right that allowed me to finish the climb. That was definitely my highlight of the day. The top of the climb looked over into the gully we had been climbing in earlier. The pic is of Bob at the top of Rainbow cleaning the anchor and I went back into the gully to take the shot.
Well I didn't think the day could get better but of coarse it did. We went over to have a look at a climb that was a 'must do'. It was called Metamorphosis (5.8). The guide had a big warning to only use a 60 meter rope and don't lower your partner off the end. The climb follows a left facing corner and then under a BIG overhang to the headwall to the top. Looking at it from the base, it scared the hell out of me. Then along came Lenka and Mike. Lenka had climbed it a few times in the past and wanted to lead it. Her boyfriend, Mike, followed the climb and set up our rope as a TR. It was an absolutely awesome climb. Logically I know I could have led it, but as I was doing the TR, I was thinking about how the lead would be...intense and exposed. Another day...maybe. You can see the rope following the route and Bob is at the anchor above.

While Bob was TRing Metamorphosis, Mike was climbing a really cool looking overhanging route to our left. I snapped this pic of him. It turned out to be Cereal Killer (5.11c). Again, we met some really great people.

We bailed after that climb and got the BEST burger ever at a local bar and grill called Panthers, after the local university sports team.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Rumney Day 1

Bob and I got back last night. We had a great trip but very tiring. My fingertips are shredded and Bob's elbow needs a lot of TLC. Last time I did a trip, I created a 'diary' of sorts but not on my blog. I figure this time I will try to publish something.

The town of Rumney is nothing more than a rural blip on the map. It has one intersection with a Cafe and a stretch of highway that goes by Rattlesnake Mountain. The climbing area of Rumney is spread over 15 to 20 individual crags on the Southern slopes of Rattlesnake Mountain. Access can be quite easy with a short jaunt up to an hour slog up the freakin mountain. The rock type is Schist which was way different than what we are used to.

We stayed at a motel in Plymouth, NH which was only about a 10 minute drive. We arrived late Tuesday night and were ready to climb Wednesday morning. We knew the weekends get crowded so we decided to climb the easily accessible crags during the week and the deeper ones one the weekend (less crowded).

The first crag we went to was called the Parking Lot wall, for obvious reasons, it was directly above the main parking lot. It had a good range of routes from 25 to 75 feet in height. I have no intention of boring you with all the details of every single climb but I will mention the highlights.

Glory Jeans (5.7) was a highlight for me. This climb was about 70 feet and the notable part was that it had a traverse with great feet but poor hands right near the top. It was a heady lead but because on 3 clips you were worried about the pendulum whipper. Really cool climb.

Bob soon after had a highlight of leading Easily Amused (5.6). It was important for Bob to get on the sharp end as soon as possible. He dealt with a mental crux on this one not because the climbing was hard but because there was a 15 foot runout over the last bolt to the anchors.

You can't experience accomplishment without experiencing defeat at some point. I had been having a great morning after climbing several routes including Glory Jeans and Curly for President (5.8) just a stellar line. Some one had recommended another great line called Bolt Line (5.8). Being on a high I thought 'Hell ya!'. To quote the guide "Excellent sustained low angle climbing (ie -slab route)" "This originally had only 3 widely spaced bolts. However, even with the added protection (total 7 bolts now) there is enough of a runout at the top to maintain that warm traditional feeling." "The direct unprotected start is about 5.10". Okay so it is a bad could it be. Well the first bolt was really high over a bit of a roof. After some farting around Bob and I managed to get the first bolt stick clipped. So then I get on lead. I manage to get over the bolt that was clipped and with a few dicey moves I can clip the next bolt. Well shit, the 3rd bolt is at least 15 feet away and all I can see are a few ripples and divots on about a 15 degree slab. This wasn't even the run out part. Waves of nausea and panic washed thru me as I thought about the cheese grater of a fall and the though of climbing higher. I felt pretty defeated as I lowered off one of my biners on the second bolt (pic is before I pulled the rope). Spanked!

We bailed soon after and came back that evening to a place called the Meadows. Again it had very easy access with a good number of moderates. I finished that night by sending a 5.10a (Mr.Popular) that finished on a small roof, really cool. Bob lead a 5.7 called False Modesty. Overall we had an amazing opening day. I lead 10 different routes and Bob lead 3 over 8 hours of climbing.

The other climber that were around for the most part were great. As mentioned before, I had lost my route guide and two sets of other climbers helped us out. Matt and Marie showed us a couple of other worthy routes. Katie and Chris were also really helpful. Chris actually helped look for the guide and then they invited us to climb with them for the rest of the day so we could use their guide. Good people.

We ate supper at about 9pm and were passed out by 10:30pm. That was our first day at Rumney.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Drive back and we are passing Conway.  We could see 2 teams on the face.  Probably 5 pitch stuff.

Last day

Back to Parking Lot wall for last day.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Waimea Wall

Bob and I went to Jimmie's Face which has a 2 pitch 5.3 slab route.  We then went on to climb a few other routes.  We had to pass Waimea on the way.  Waimea is probably the hardest and most notable face in the North-east.  It has Jaws II at 5.15a, one of the few 5.15's in North America.  Most of the climbs are in the 5.13's.  The whole face is around 30 over hanging with bulges and corners.  Really cool to see in person.  I think there are a couple of routes with Janes name on them.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Metamorphosis 5.8

We went to another section of the face to climb Metamorphosis.  Some one highly recommended the climb.  It is a full half rope and in fact people have lowered their partners off by accident.  Somebody was on it and offered to bring up our rope.  Thank god because it would have shit my pants.  Great climb.

Main Wall left side.

Needed to work on Bob's lead head so we came to this gully which has 4 climbs under 5.7.  He lead them all.