Showing posts with label trad lead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trad lead. Show all posts

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Turning 60 & Climbing About It!



It's 2019 and it's the big 6-0 this year! Yes, I turn 60 July 10th and what better way to celebrate than to climb, climb, climb throughout the entire year! My big 60 goal would be to make 60 outdoor climbing pitches by the end of 2019! All disciplines (except bouldering...weeellllll....maybe bouldering!), either on top rope or on lead. I've enlisted the help of my climbing friends and I'm also looking for more to help me on my climbing journey. Follow along on my blog or let's get out to climb!


60 Pitches and Counting!

# of Pitches - Route/Crag - Location - Type - Date
1 - Trestle Slab, Frankenstein Cliffs, Ice Climbing - 1.7.2019
2 - Moss Slab, Stonehouse Pond, Ice Climbing - 1.11.2019
4 - Moss Slab, Stonehouse Pond, Ice Climbing - 1.13.2019
2 - Moss Slab, Stonehouse Pond, Ice Climbing - 1.26.2019
4 - Leprechaun's Lement, Kinsman Notch, Ice Climbing - 2.17.2019
4 - North End Pillars, Cathedral Ledge, Ice Climbing - 2.25.2019
3 - Parking Lot Wall, Rumney, Ice Climbing - 3.2.2019
7 - Moss Slab, Stonehouse Pond, Ice Climbing - 3.3.2019
1 - North End Slab, Cathedral Ledges, Ice Climbing - 3.11.2019
5 - Lost In The Forest, Frankenstein Cliffs, Ice Climbing - 3.17.2019
2 - Parasol Gully, Dixville Notch, Ice Climbing - 4.14.2019
3 - Deer Leap, Rock Climbing, Killington, VT - 5.12.2019
2 - Ship's Prow, Rattlesnake Rocks, MA, Rock Climbing - 5.25.2019
3 - Main Cliff & Meadows, Rumney Rocks, NH - 5.27.2019
5 - Rattlesnake Rocks, MA Rock Climbing, - 6.1.2019
6 - Buffalo Corral, Rumney Rocks, NH - 6.9.2019
4 - Mt. Forist, Rock Climbing, Berlin, NH - 6.22.2019
6 - DLM Memorial - Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing, Mt. Forist, Berlin, NH - 7.4.2019
5 - Buffalo Pit & Buffalo Corral, Rumney Rocks, NH - 7.6.2019
2 - Redrocks, Gloucester, MA - 7.14.2019
4 - Parking Lot Wall, Rumney Rocks, NH - 8.3.2019
1 - Marlow, NH - 8.11.2019
2 - Farley Ledges, MA - 9.28.2019
2 - Thin Air, Cathedral Ledge, NH - 9.29.2019
3 - Ice Cream Parlor, UT - 10.26.2019
4 - Parking Lot Wall & Meadows, Rumney Rocks, NH - 11.1.2019
2 - Leprechaun's Lement, Kinsman Notch, Ice Climbing - 12.22.2019

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Warm Up Wall, Farley Ledges - Rock Climbing


Nightfall came too quickly!

Veteran's Day might be our last day of New England rock climbing, so Etha and I headed out to Erving, MA and got in an afternoon of both sport leading and trad leading on the Warm Up Wall! So fun climbing and met a lot of super nice folks at the crag. Special "Mahalo" goes out to Josh who let me borrow his stick clip and showed me how to use it! 








Sunday, October 21, 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.

Tuesday, May 29, 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 an amazing day!







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 - 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.  

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












Vee Zee (5.4)
FA: 1988 Claude Mallegol & Nunzio Marino

Then I saw this crack that I just had to lead. It's located immediately right of the Emerald City Slab. 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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Multi Pitch Leader Course - Day 2

cathedral ledge, belay, north conway
Upper Refuse P2 Belay Ledge

Another fantastic day of instruction with Cathedral Mountain Guides co-owner (and American Mountain Guide Association certified guide) Bayard Russell! Ashley and I met Bayard at Cathedral Ledge for Day 2 of the 2-Day Multi Pitch Leader Course. Day 1 Lesson here

On our Day 2 lesson we headed up to Fun House for some mock leading. Before heading up to the base of the climb, Bayard took out the “North Conway Rock Climbs” guidebook and handed it to Ashley and I. We looked up the route to check its description, primarily what gear we would need. Ashley and I went through the gear and we put our water, food, camera in my small backpack. Bayard said to look through our backpack at the end of our climb and see what was left in it, then determine if we really needed it. I’m on “hiker mentality” and usually over-pack (just in case) and it wasn’t any different on this day. Bayard gave a solid piece of advice - climbing with a backpack as light as possible will help us go faster. He was right.  I found a section on the start of Fun House to be tough, especially with a heavy pack.

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Bayard on the start of P1

At Fun House we waited behind a party of two. The start of this route is definitely sandbagged. It’s a 5.7 but I thought it was way harder than the Pipe Pitch of the Whitney Gilman Ridge route! The first section of the dihedral was fine but I struggled up the overhanging section. Afraid that I’d put myself into an asthma attack, I had to rest and catch my breath. My backpack was also too heavy....2.5 liters of water, a camera, two pairs of approach shoes, hiking compass, hankie, bottles of bug spray and sunscreen, chemical handwarmers, Giddy hand salve, headlamp, several packs of tissue!! And I brought way too much food (PB sandwich, pear, banana, 5 protein bars, 1 Nuun) and I only ate the PB sandwich!  Bayard was right about having too much weight in my pack. I finally made it to the belay station, rested a bit and Ashley and I switched leads. Also, I didn’t think it would matter, so I didn’t organize any of the gear on my harness at this point.

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley at the top of Fun House P1

Like the day before, Bayard kept out of our system at each belay station. While we came up on the route, he’d rap down to check our gear placement offering advice and pointing out proper/good placements, and overseeing our transitions. I had a bit of a problem trying to figure out what to place but it was because my rack was totally disorganized with cams, nuts and draws all mixed up on my harness – I was a bit annoyed at myself for not taking the time to organize the gear on my harness. At the base of Upper Refuse Bayard told me to organize all the cams & nuts on one side with the quick draws on the other side of my harness. This helped immensely!

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Fun House P2

 At Upper Refuse there was one party already on the climb. A second party started up Black Lung  then up left on Final Gesture to finish. To keep Ashley and I out of the way of the other two parties, Bayard combined the first two pitches into one, and kept to the left side (crack) of our first pitch. I found lots of good holds and kept placing gear in the crack as I went up. I found that the more gear I placed, the easier it got to figure out what to place. And what a joy it was to have all the gear organized on my harness. Made the process so much more easier and faster! 

Upper Refuse, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Upper Refuse P2

Once past the first belay station I got into the chimney and the rope got insanely heavy! I kept telling myself that I'd do Upper Refuse again and on lead but I wouldn't combine the first two pitches because there is just way too much rope drag and I'd prolly get pulled off. But that climb out of the chimney onto the ledge was good. There was a sweet undercling that made the rope drag bearable. On the last pitch Bayard wasn’t tied into Ashley so she lead it legit! Yay Ashley! Like the last scramble pitch of Fun House, we finished the last scramble pitch of Upper Refuse using a terrain belay. Bayard also demonstrated the "Kiwi Coil" used for short roping protection on 3rd & 4th class terrain. And since Ashley had never been to the top of Cathedral Ledge, Bayard led the way so all three of us stood atop the summit. We hiked down back to the parking lot and Bayard went over lowering techniques. I also went through my backpack....too many stuffs I didn't use/eat and shouldn't have brought along!  :(

Upper Refuse, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Upper Refuse P2

All in all, the weekend was a fantastic learning experience - Ashley got to try trad leading and I got to place as much gear as I could!

I don't know what I don't know
[Again] which is the reason I took Multi Pitch Leader course from an AMGA Guide. As with my private ice lead lessons with AlexaSiegel this past winter, I wanted to learn multi pitch trad lead climbing skills so I wouldn't have to "wing it". It was also important that I learn the most current skills used in the industry.

Bayard's services as a guide are invaluable and the semi-private professional instruction was perfect. He answered all of our questions - and we had a lot! The personal attention and constant feedback were invaluable! Not once did I feel overwhelmed, afraid or unsafe. Thank you Bayard for an awesome two days of lessons, it was fun and gratifying to learn new climbing skills. These lessons were another milestone for me. I have been rock climbing for 6 years and seconding (both ice & rock) for 3 years. I wanted to be able to have the fun opportunity of trad leading on a multi pitch climbs with my climbing buddies.


And a final thanks to my husband for his love and support!

The Multi Pitch Trad Leader Course is designed for those with a background of gym climbing and sport climbing who are comfortable leading bolt protected routes. Covered are basics of Traditional protection, anchor building, lead climbing systems and multi pitch rappelling. Taught at a 2 participant to 1 guide radio. 2 days, semi-private course.

Bayard Russell has been guiding in New Hampshire since 2003. He is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor, a team leader and director of the Mountain Rescue Service, New Hampshire’s volunteer technical rescue group, and a passionate year-around, all conditions climber. In 2008, he founded Cathedral Mountain Guides.


Links of interest:
How To Move Faster & More Safely Through 3rd & 4th Class Terrain
http://www.outdoorresearch.com/blog/stories/how-to-move-faster-and-more-safely-through-3rd-and-4th-class-terrain

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Multi Pitch Leader Course - Day 1

cathedral, north conway, rock climbing

A fantastic first day of instruction with Cathedral Mountain Guides co-owner (and American Mountain Guide Association certified guide) Bayard Russell! Ashley and I met Bayard at the North End of Cathedral Ledge to start the Day 1 of the 2-Day Multi Pitch Leader Course. Day 2 Lesson here.





The first thing Bayard showed us was a typical “Cathedral Ledge Trad Rack”. We went over the different types of Cams, stoppers, slings, quickdraws needed for a typical climb at Cathedral Ledges. I was actually surprised that the rack wasn’t larger.












He showed us how to place gear in cracks starting with stoppers. I have to admit, I was not a fan of stoppers. But after this weekend’s lesson, I really like their versatility. Their tapered shape as well as their concaved side can allow it to be placed in pretty much any orientation.



















Afterwards, we practiced building trad anchors using cams and nuts. I really dig this “quad anchor”!


















What I like about the Quad Anchor is that it's super easy and fast to build. And the leader and second can be anchored in and equalized neatly, very quickly and with ease.







Nice crowd at the North End






After covering multi pitch rappelling, we headed out to Whitehorse Ledge. We did 4 pitches up the Standard Route via The Crystal Pocket to the thread anchor in the main arch. Ashley making her way up to The Crystal Pocket.






Selfie at The Crystal Pocket


From there we practiced multi pitch rappelling where Bayard stayed out of our system at each rap station in order to oversee our transitional process.




On our way out to the parking lot a couple in a pink golf cart drove by and her putter fell out. I called out to them and they stopped and let me get a photo next to her custom cart! It was meant to be!


Links of interest:
Revisting the Quad for Load Distribution and Stance Management
by Dick Chasse
http://www.rockandice.com/Article-Images/Quad-Anchor-full-paper.pdf

Climbing Anchors and the Evolution of the Quad
by Dick Chasse
http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/climbing-anchors-and-the-evolution-of-the-quad

The Masterpoint, The Shelf, The Components: Anchor Anatomy In Action
by American Alpine Club
https://americanalpineclub.org/resources-blog/2016/6/27/the-masterpoint-the-shelf-the-components-anchor-anatomy-in-action



The Multi Pitch Trad Leader Course is designed for those with a background of gym climbing and sport climbing who are comfortable leading bolt protected routes. Covered are basics of Traditional protection, anchor building, lead climbing systems and multi pitch rappelling. Taught at a 2 participant to 1 guide radio. 2 days, semi-private course. 

Bayard Russell has been guiding in New Hampshire since 2003. He is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor, a team leader and director of the Mountain Rescue Service, New Hampshire’s volunteer technical rescue group, and a passionate year-around, all conditions climber. In 2008, he founded Cathedral Mountain Guides.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Coyote, Blues & Tardis – Multi pitch rock climb


Coyote Rain (5.6)
140 ft, 2 pitches
Wonderland Wall

Evening Blues (5.7)
135 ft, 2 pitches
Wonderland Wall

Tardis (5.7)
65 ft, 1 pitch
Indigenous Wall

More training for Colorado climbing! Jeff, Kevin and I spent the day climbing at Longstack Precipice. It took us a bit to find the trail, so we ended up following the dirt road until it ended. Then bushwacked our way up to the base of the Wonderland Wall. And on our way out, we took the climber’s path which took us to the logging road and back to the open area where we parked. But next time going to follow these directions:

At 1.5 miles of Rines Road in Alton, drive through the first gate and sign for the Knight’s Pond Conservation Area. Go to the very end and park in the parking lot with a kiosk. Large boulders border the parking lot. Between two boulders is a shortcut path. Take path to the intersection of the dirt, logging road. Follow for a few minutes and on your left a “climbers path” is marked with a cairn (there may be some overgrowth near the start of this path). Follow this well-worn path to the base of the Indigenous Wall.

Overall, it was an amazing day of climbing! Besides us, there was another pair of climbers and that’s it!!! After that other pair left, we had Longstack Precipice all to ourselves!  Well, not all to ourselves….there were a couple of giant Ravens who didn’t appreciate our company. Whenever they felt we were too close, they let out a loud series of squaks. And the mosquitoes, too many, oi!! The day started off cloudy and muggy. By mid day there were a few minutes of enjoyable cool temps and light breezes. But towards the end of the day it was muggy again, but with plenty of sunshine. Enjoy some photos taken of our day climbing in New Durham, NH!

Longstack from the approach

Jeff and Kevin

Kevin did an impressive job of leading Coyote Rain

Fun roof of Coyote Rain 

Up and over, piece of cake!

View from the top of Coyote Rain

At the base of Evening Blues


View from the top of Evening Blues

Kevin leading Tardis

Jeff on the bulge of Tardis

On the run-out slab to finish (3)




Learning to crack climb!

Crack climbing is hard. 😄 Fun learning how to crack climb on the 5.9 Crack at the Salt Pump Climbing Gym. Thanks to Noreen for the belay an...