Sunday, October 21, 2018

Beginner's Easy Variation - Multi Pitch Rock Climbing



Belaying Nuno up P2 

Congratulations Nancy! It was Nancy's first time on a multi pitch rock climb, and it was a lot of fun to be included on her special day! It was also gratifying to help her experience her first multi pitch rock climb. We climbed Beginner's Easy Variation on Whitehorse Ledge. After we got to the P2 belay at the tree, it started to snow light flurries - and then it just colder! In the middle of P2 I ran into a bit of trouble. 15 feet above my last piece of protection the rope wouldn't budge - it was stuck and I couldn't climb any further. Nuno had slack on his end and said it looked like the ropes were stuck around the corner. I had no choice but to downclimb to my last piece of protection. Then Nuno lowered me to the corner where I removed the pro, unstuck the ropes and flipped them onto the top of the corner. It was fine from then on. But it just kept colder so we bailed after completing P3. We used my 70m double ropes and rapped down in 2. Thanks Nuno for the lead belays and for including me. We'll be back to finish up the route when the temps are warmer.


Belaying Nancy up P1


Belaying Nancy up P2
Nuno at the tree belay


Nancy making her way up P3


Nancy rappelling 





Saturday, October 20, 2018

Beginner's Route - Rock Climbing



At the anchor of Beginner's Route





Well, I sure didn't expect to lead a trad route here at Rumney, but there's always a first time! We headed up to the Parking Lot wall first and Jackie and I both warmed up leading A Week With Pete (5.3). Then Jackie lead the route to the left of it, Shealyn's Way (5.7). 

Photo right: Jackie at the anchor of Shealyn's Way.





Looking down from the Beginner's Route anchor

We headed to the Meadows and was looking at Bolt Line (5.8) when I spotted Beginner's Route (5.5). So I ran down to my truck and grabbed my trad rack. Part way up the route I thought I may not have enough pro and quickdraws....from here I had to manage placing pro to make certain I had two quickdraws left for the anchor. And at the ledge just before the anchors, there was sooooo much rope drag. I realized then I should've brought my alpine draws along to use. I asked Jackie what I should do and she said to take up some rope and carry it up to the anchor. I was sketched out at first, but the footholds were all solid, so I did what she said and finished the climb. Whew! Definitely an onsight!






Afterwards we headed up the the Crow's Nest where I didn't feel like leading Pee Wee's Big Adventure (another trad route), but Jackie crushed Scuttlebutt (5.6).

Photo right: Jackie at the anchor of Scuttlebutt.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Indoor Drytooling - MetroRock Station



My first time Drytooling
The pieces of black squares under some of the holds are rubber

Was supposed to get some climbing/leading done in Bolton, VT but rain prevented that. So I headed to MetroRock Station in Essex Junction, VT and Jackie showed me some “Drytooling” moves! It’s was fun, intense and hard...just like crack climbing!  I can't wait to try this again, but on some real rock! We also did some climbing with Dry Ice Tools. Unfortunately, we had to cut our climbing session short because the climber's chalk and poor air filtration in this gym triggered my asthma.


Jackie crushing it!




We left the gym and headed to the Outdoor Gear Exchange to ogle over the climbing gear. Their consignment basement is huge! Some old pitons and hexes hanging on the wall. Afterwards we had dinner at the Asiana Noodle Shop.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Laughing Gull - Rock Climbing


Redrock, Gloucester
Pano of Main Crag

Super fun, super mellow day of rock climbing at Redrock in Gloucester with Etha! I didn't expect to climb my second 5.11 slab today, but sure glad I did. The start of Laughing Gull was so polished so I started to the left just under the cresent. Found a really good foothold to gain the cresent. Finding holds at the mid-section was definitely challenging. But that left-leaning crack was a sweet finish. 

Etha also didn't expect to climb a 5.12 today, but she did and she killed it! She climbed the Andromeda Direct Start, without even knowing she was doing the Direct - we both hadn't looked at the guidebook or MP beta on this climb. While belaying her I kept telling myself, "this couldn't be a 5.11!" Sure enough, after she finished the climb, we looked it up in the guidebook and got all giddy when we realized that she took the direct start and climbed her first outdoor 5.12 -- Congratulations!

Zipper was a fun layback. I started up the Zipper route climbing it like a crack, but meh, it's more of a flake climb and I quickly had to layback on it. The climb is fun, but way too short. 



Etha also didn't expect to climb a 5.12 today, but she did and she killed it! She climbed 5.12, Andromeda Direct Start, without even knowing she was doing the Direct - we both hadn't looked at the guidebook or MP beta on this climb. While belaying her I kept telling myself, "this couldn't be a 5.11!" Sure enough, after she finished the climb, we looked it up in the guidebook and got all giddy when we realized that she took the direct start and climbed her first outdoor 5.12 -- Congratulations!
Left to right: Andromeda Direct Start (5.12), 
Zipper (5.6), Laughing Gull (5.11)



Toe Jams was an interesting crack. Etha, who lead Toe Jams and is smaller than me, could get her legs including her knee right into the OW section at the start of the climb. She lead it and then I tried to lead it. I found it wasn't going to be as easy as Etha made it out to be. It was too wide for foot jamming, but too narrow to even get my knee into it. As a result, it sketched me out and I backed down. That's the first (and I'm sure not the last) time I ever backed down from a lead climb. I TR'd it afterwards and still found the start sketchy. Near the top is perfect (for me) #2 handjams and smaller. Perhaps having doubles of #3 and #2 to place at the OW beginning may have lessened the sketchy-ness?



Lots of polished surfaces on a lot of these routes, but it was fun to get out to climb before the rain. We had this crag all to ourselves today. Last time I climbed here was 7 years ago. Hoping to get back soon to get on those routes we didn't have a chance to climb.


The top of the Masters Wall from the top of the Main Crag


Along the trail