Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Dome, Pawtuckaway - Rock Climbing

Dome Face Right (5.8)

Another stellar day for climbing! This morning Noreen, Nuno and I headed out to The Dome at Pawtuckaway State Park. At first the weather didn't look promising, but forecasts called for afternoon sun. The morning fog did eventually burn off and blue skies warmed up the slab quickly. It was peaceful and we had this crag all to ourselves. 

Nuno setting up top rope

Nuno start, Another Face (5.7)

Noreen on the Pine Tree Crack (5.5)

This crag is perfect for a hammock!

Left: Start on the Half Moon Crack (5.7)
Right: Making my way up the crack in the short corner.

Looking down from the finish, Dome Face Right

The Dome overlooks the marsh that feeds Round Pond

Monday, September 3, 2018

Little Finger V1 Direct Finish - Rock Climbing

Little Finger - V1 Direct Finish 5.7+ G
Trad, 600 ft, 3 Pitches
Rogers Rock, Lake George, 
Adirondacks, New York

How cool it was to kayak to the base of a rock climb! When Katie invited me to climb in the Adirondacks, I really didn't know what to expect, but I was also stoked! But I was even more stoked when she said we were gonna climb the Little Finger route. The Little Finger route is a slab route on the Roger Slide on Lake George. The approach is via kayak, but you can also use canoes, boats (or any type of watercraft) or ask one of the campers with boats to give you a lift to the base of the climbs. You can also rent kayaks and canoes through the Rogers Rock Campground

The super sweet thing about the Little Finger route is its finger cracks. Harold did a fantastic job of leading the route. We climbed through to the VI Direct Finish (5.7+) G and traversed over to a tree with some rap rings and faded slings. We used my Sterling Duettos, 70m doubles for the climb and rapped down in 2. Sunscreen and lots of water is a must here, especially when its so hot. Warning - the rock gets super hot too! And its pretty fun to wave to the boaters when they stop at the base to watch. Good team work, mellow personalities and a stellar crack slab on over an equally stellar lake view made for a great Labor Day out in the Adirondacks!

I need to get myself a kayak!

Making my way up to P2 belay

Katie coming up P1

Harold leading P2

Harold at P3 belay

Beautiful views of Lake George!!

Katie making her way up to P3 belay

Climbers simul-rapping down Parallel Dream (I think)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Lower Slabs & Upper Cliff Pawtuckaway - Rock Climbing

Besides having crack climbing goals, I also have goals for climbing steep slab above the 5.8 grade. Today I got a chance to climb Thin Face, a 5.11, one pitch route on the Lower Slabs at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire. It sure was balance-y, finger-y and lock-offs came in handy in several sections, but the climb was so fun!. Slab climbing, what's not to love! *grin* Joined good climbing friends Noreen, Nuno and his son Daniel. We started at the Lower Slabs and then moved to the Upper Cliff. I tried The Horn and it was tough. Had Noreen lower me from the top to see if I could jam the right leaning crack. It's also a bit overhanging! Think I'll stick to leaning cracks on a slab! :-P

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Salt Pump Climbing - Indoor Climbing

Noreen and I spent several hours climbing at Salt Pump Climbing gym in Scarborough, ME. Originally we were supposed to climb at the Lower Slabs at Pawtuckaway but with heavy rains for the past 2.5 days and the crag being under tree shade, we cancelled and did some indoor climbing. This gave me a chance to work on the wide crack and Noreen a chance to climb at a gym she's never climbed at. 

In addition to top roping some of the other climbs in the gym, I did 3 runs on the crack route. My second time I made it half way up the crack before having to stop to rest. Working on building more stamina to finish the route in one sweep. Also, I noticed that if I didn't place my feet well, it was painful. If I placed my feet well, there was just pressure. I have to look at where I'm placing my feet, and purposely place them so that the rubber on the side rand makes good contact with the rock surface. I'm learning that It's really important to calculate just how deep or shallow to place my feet in the crack so that I don't experience any pain, and do it as quickly as possible. Having a really great pair of crack climbing shoes (Butora Altura Green) also helps! 
A short clip of my climb on the wide crack

Same climb, another angle - before my iPhone fell over! LOL!

Noreen crushing the 5.9 Pipe Master

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rose Ledge - Rock Climbing

rose ledge, rock climbing

Met up with Nuno for some craggin' at Rose Ledge in Erving, MA. The last time I climbed here was back in 2015 and I don't remember the hike up to the Main wall at all. Today Nuno and I did some "extra hiking" to get to the crag. ;) But on the way out, we found the trail to be straightforward after all.

Surprisingly, there were no crowds today and Nuno and I pretty much had the Main Cliff to ourselves. Couple of boulderers hiked past, a couple climbed Guillotine, and then left. And there was an AMC group that hiked up to the Amphitheater and back out. A quiet day great for Nuno's first time climbing at Rose Ledge!

Nuno's first experience climbing at Rose Ledge

Greeting Crack (5.4) at Introductory Buttress

Main Wall
Top Left: Tennessee Top Right: Marie Antoinette -Guillotine
Bottom Left: Beginners
Bottom Right: Double Helix - Pumper Pillar - Off Width

Approach Directions:
Park in the lot and pay $3 in locked box on tree. 
Walk uphill to the left fork in the road with a yellow gate. 
Take this paved road uphill until it turns right. 
When the paved road turns right, look left and there should be an opening in guard rails.
Continue through opening in guard rails and follow gravel road slightly right and uphill.
Continue uphill through woods.
Follow until you come to the Rose Ledge trail junction.
Turn right at "Rose Ledge trail" sign. Tree behind trail sign has red blaze and "snowshoe trail" signs on it.
Trail will take you to Introductory Buttress on the left.
Continue along trail to the Main Face.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Crack Climbing Instruction #6

Fantastic crack climbing lesson with Tino today!! After warmup worked on “Pressure Garden” the green route (right) to practice, what else, cross-body tension - and it was so fun!! The route is a dihedral and is supposed to mimic the 5.11, 5th pitch of The Prow on Cathedral Ledge - "Stemming" used to ascend. Climbing on vertical cracks is super strenuous but I have to admit, it makes the low-angle cracks outdoors easy. #crackclimbinggoals

Monday, July 16, 2018

Rock Garden - Rock Climbing

rock climbing, trad, onsight, lost horizon, sundown ledges

Rock Garden (5.4)
Lost Horizon, Sundown Ledges
Albany, NH

Got to onsight Rock Garden (5.4) this morning. The chimney was damp and dark and smelled a bit of urine. Got to hand jam, foot jam, face climb, friction and stem on this climb. But I didn't need to do any liebacking as listed on the MP description for this climb. It was a fun climb and hope to get back there to climb again! Lost Horizon is a super nice crag with clean rocks and the base is well shaded. We were the only ones climbing at Lost Horizon and it made for a mellow day of climbing.

Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller

Eric brought this cool mosquito repeller to the crag and I was impressed! It's very lightweight and kept the bugs and mosquitoes at bay while we climbed. You can order one online here at

The Main Cliff
A couple of years ago I had hiked the Boulder Loop Trail at Sundown area off the Kancamagus. At the time I didn't realize it was a rock climbing area. Today, Eric showed me the Lost Horizon and Main Cliff area. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Betty - Multi Pitch Rock Climb

Day at the Gunks
Right to left: Lovena, Richard, Alisa & Nicole

Betty (5.3)
Trad, 150 ft, 2 pitches
Jackie and Friends, The Trapps, The Gunks

Such a stellar day for my first trad lead in the Gunks! I've second several routes at the Gunks, but this was my first time leading at the Gunks and it was a most memorable day for me! I lead the 1st pitch of Betty and Nicole lead the 2nd pitch. For the second pitch we took the variation up instead of the chimney. At the finish there were a lot of horizontal cracks which makes the rock look like its stacked - these made for lots of good hand jams! A route doesn't have to be a 'crack climb' in order to utilize its crack(s) as a hold. If you know how to jam, it can make a lot of the climbs easier.

Richard and Alisa paired up to climb Belly Roll and Easy Overhang. Afterwards the four of us checked out Rock and Snow as well as the Rock and Snow Annex. Then sat down for drinks and dinner at the Schazti's Pub & Bier Garden of New Paltz. More checked off on my Tick List - looking forward to doing more trad leading at the Gunks! 

Bringing Nicole up P1 of Betty
Gunks, rock climbing, Betty, trad lead

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Rumney Rock Climb

Most, if not all, my outdoor trad climbing have been with male partners. But just recently I've had more opportunities to share the rope with other women while climbing outdoors! I've started climbing Connecticut Traprock with Nicole, and we now have more climbing in the plans.

This past weekend I got to meet and climb with more slaydies! Top roping at Rumney was the plan for @girlswhoclimbofficial meetup and although it was a scorcher, we climbed and hiked! There were women off different climbing levels - it was Sarah's first day outdoor climbing! And I even met and climbed with another woman who loves to crack climb! Photos taken at 5.8 Crag and Jimmy Cliff by Lovena Harwood and Sarah Mooney.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tarzan - Rock Climbing

Tarzan - Crow Hill

A strenuous but fun climb. I've been wanting to climb Tarzan ever since first I saw it when I started climbing at Crow Hill for 6 years ago. Most of, if not all, the climbs are very intimidating for short person like me. But today I got to finally give Tarzan and try and loved it! I didn't get to finish it, but so happy I got on it and am really looking forward to trying it again. Thanks to Udai for the beta and belay!

I was glad I could fit my entire left side into this bit of off-width crack. It's such a fantastic rest spot for me.

Our Gary group including Dan, Scott, Andrew, Dan, Zheng and Jane met up at Crow Hill. Here's Dan (left) on Tarzan and Dan (right) on Buttress.

It was Andrew's first time outdoor climbing and he crushed it! Here he is on Intertwine.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Connecticut Rock Climbing

Shaka from the top of Wiessner's Slab
Ragged Mountain, Connecticut

Spent the Memorial Day weekend with Nicole and climbing in her neck of the woods. It was amazing and I learned a lot and got to spend time with a badass climber chick!

On the first day Nicole and I went to Ragged Mountain. I wanted to lead a slab so Nicole showed me the Wiessner's Slab. I quickly learned their slabs aren't the same as the slabs I'm accustomed to in NH. 

Nicole didn't want me to miss an opportunity for an on-sight - what a cool partner! So I lead Wiessner's Slab and it sure was fun. There were a couple of hand and finger jams as well as a couple of foot jams to satisfy my crack fix! LOL!

Right: bringing Nicole up!

Rain the second day so we shopped at REI. It was cool to see Wilson hanging out!

Afterwards we headed over to Prime Climb climbing gym to do some indoor climbing. There are two crack climbs (in the wall) and I got on both. They're both narrower than the crack I get my lessons on, but I was able to climb both several times. Still fun and it satisfied my urge to climb crack!

The last day we climbed at Pinnacle Rock. I followed Nicole up Double Crutch. She did a stellar job of leading this climb. 

Nicole at the belay up top!!
Trad is Rad!

Vee Zee (5.3)
FA: 1988 Claude Mallegol & Nunzio Marino

Then I saw this crack that I just had to lead. It's located on a section of wall between the Emerald City Slab and the A Frame Wall. This route isn't in the guidebook nor does it list it in MP. The start was tough and a reachy for me. It was wide in the beginning and my small hands and feet weren't jamming. But there were good foot places at the back of the crack and the crack was wide enough for me to fit up to my calf. However, as I got higher the crack narrowed and I was able to get a few (shallow) hand jams and a 4-finger slot. Near the top and at the end of the crack I was able to get a couple bomber foot jams in as well. It was an amazing weekend!

Bringing up Nicole on Vee Zee.

Pano from the top of Pinnacle Rock, Connecticut