Sunday, May 30, 2010

L'argent pour un jour

Jason, Pete, Andrew and I took a day trip to climb the solid granite lines at Montagne d'Argent. On arrivial we decided to hit up the Grand Canyon which can be accessed by either climbing the stairs or 35 meter 5.3 slab. The slab is actually pretty fun and it was interesting to see what climbing with a pack full of gear was like.

I started my day in the Grand Canyon on a 22 meter 5.7 trad climb called Triplets. The guide shows two bolts but they don't exist. Anyway, I got most of the way up when I ran out of large gear. I really needed another #1 or #2 camlot. After deciding against putting myself in a position to take a 30 footer I downclimbed and traversed to a sport route. So with a less than stellar performance under my belt I decided to lead Mauvaise Herbe. This is a 5.10d with 6 bolts which is one more than the guidebook states. I climbed it but not well or clean. Although, after resting I sent it clean on TR. Now at this point in the day I was looking for redemption so I picked, the familar, Pathfinder 5.10c. Finally, a redpoint. All in all a good day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cave Wall

Rachel, MC (a.k.a. stonecrusher) and I headed out to the north side of the Western CWM in yesterday's crazy heat. We spent most of our time on Cave Wall. I warmed up by leading Neruda and sent Security on TR. Security felt good so maybe it is time for another lead attempt. I spent the rest of my energy working on "Al on the Run 5.11c". This climb has a hard lower section followed by 5.7 climbing once you pull the roof on good holds. The crux (for me) is getting to the side pull pocket, marked with green, just below the roof and between the second and third bolt. Once I get that with my right I can pull the roof and finish. At the moment I get stuck on the two good holds, marked with red, just below the second bolt.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eastern Block

Bob and I hit up the steep slabs of Eastern block yesterday. We climbed the usual stuff: Ethics Police 5.8, Mr. Clean 5.8+, Coda 5.10a and two that are not in the guidebook. I put a TR on The Slide 5.10c as well. Not much to report, just a day of climbing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It is the nature of the beast

It was back to Downunder with Mike today for some sport climbing. I warmed up by leading Sausages 5.10c and Mike did a couple laps as well. Then I decided to give Catwoman 5.11b a go on lead. I climbed through to the second bolt before heading out left but got lost while looking for holds and I had to take. On Mike's advice I moved out right and found the climbing more straight foward. I had to take again near the top as I got pumped looking for a hold to clip the anchors on. Now that I know where the holds are it should go next time. Next up I TR'ed El Ninjo 5.12a after Mike ran a couple laps on it. I found it really hard today. Catwoman took more out of me than I had thought. Mike has been working the Beast 5.13b this spring and the last time he had linked the upper and lower sections. So, today was game day (in mine mind anyway). On the first burn Mike push through the lower section to the no hands rest before the second crux. Mike looked strong but got shut down by a wicked barn door after releasing his toe hook. It was clear this beta was not going to work so he worked out a new approach and returned to the ground. It was again my turn to get pumped out on El Ninjo again and I did as expected. Mike looked a bit tried on the lower section of his next burn on the Beast but pull through to the rest. After sticking the second crux; I knew he was going to do it. Nice send Mike! After resting I thrashed around on the Beast on TR to clean it. I was mostly aiding on draws. It is clear that I had no business on a 5.13. The holds are heinous.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anti-Gravity, a first glance

This afternoon I went to Downunder for the first time this year. I have been climbing moderate routes on gear for about 1.5 months so I was worried about getting crushed by the Downunder routes. For us mere morals Downunder can be an intimidating place. So after Mike ran laps on Pita de Roma 5.11a to warm up I decide to give it shot on TR. Lame, I know. In my defense, Pita was at my lead limit last year. Anyway I was surprised that I sent it clean. Next up, El Ninjo 5.12a and again Mike runs a couple laps. I jump on TR, fail at the crux, rest and finish the climb. I gave it two more goes before the day was done but I just could not get it clean. In the mean time Mike works the Beast 5.13b and sends Exodus 5.12d. Just to see how hard it is, I gave the lower crux on the Beast a couple tries for fun. Mike was also kind enough to run up Anti-Gravity 5.12c so I could try it on TR. It is a fantastic route but super hard from both a technical and power stand point.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Corruption Buttress

Hit up the Corruption Buttress with Rachel, Bob and Haley today. It was a cold morning at 5 C with a 15 km/hr wind so we opted for cover in the Western Cwm. I warmed up on Martha Steward 5.8, a 2 bolt near-vertical climb. It is a fairly easy onsight with the crux at the top. Next, it was onto Corruption 5.9, 1 bolt and gear. The crux, which is hard for 5.9, is well protected by a bolt but gear is sketchy higher up. There are small and I mean small cracks for micro stoppers and RPs (I did not have any with me). The Black diamond #4 and #5 stoppers are too big because their cables are too fat and get in the way. However, working higher you can get them in. Away, this is a no fall zone because if the gear goes you are hitting a big ledge. So in the end I, pulled my 2 crappy nut placements, down climbed to the bolt and retreated to the ledge. After some "Gatineau Mountaineering" up a dirty 5.1 (?) I put a toprope on Corruption. With a clean send on TR I found some better placements and holds so next time I think it will go.

As a side note:

The galvanized steel mallions that connect the sport clips to anchors on the Corruption Buttress (specifically Enron and Corruption) are reacting with the hangers and are rusting. The anchors on Corruption are the most affected. The anchors are certianly sound at this point but perhaps the mallions should be removed and/or replaced.