Monday, June 28, 2010

Hey Joe, what d'ya know

On Sunday, Pete and I returned to Montagne d'Argent with Jeff and Iris. We walked to L'hippocampe but decided to move on to Le fou instead. I started on Cracker Joe. A clean 5.9+ trad route which follows a 12m left leaning hand crack. This would be my hardest trad route yet and it looked like a route I could do. The climb has a small ledge about six feet off the deck from which I placed my first pieces. I put in a #1 BD cam and just above it a mega bomber #13 BD stopper. I always like to have two solid pieces for peace of mind near the start of a route. Climbing up I then placed a #1 BD cam and then later a #2. Although the #2 did not sit right so quickly put jammed in another above it. I was pumped at this point and there was no way I wanted to come off while fooling with a piece of gear. Somewhere near the end of the crack I used a #3 BD cam. I was near losing it at this point because of exhaustion. Despite the solid hand jams I found the climbing strenuous as I cammed my right foot in the crack and smeared with the left. When the going gets tough I tend to talk to myself and there may have been some Sharma like grunts. Anyway, when the crack ends you get to rest on a couple jugs before climbing easy terrain to the anchors. Being tired, I was so focused on climbing that I actually climbed past the anchors on the blocky terrain. This was certainly my hardest trad onsight.

Been both physically and mentally fatigued from Joe Cracker I climbed a sport route called Boeing which is a 12m 5.9+ sport route. 5.9+ sport is a walk in the park compared to 5.9+ trad. A fun redpoint, I have done it in the past and I even clipped the second bolt this time. The lockoff on the flake did not seem that bad this time.

Next we moved to Controverse for some 5.8-ish slab climbing. I lead Controverse, a 25m 5.8-sport, since it is such a fun route. There are a couple delicate moves on this climb and it deserves some respect. After this I climbed Hiroshima. Hiroshima is a 30m 5.5 trad route that really is not worth leading. If you do lead it then take passive gear as cams are not very useful past the first 15 feet. Also, I could not find the anchors.

The last climb of the day was M&M. M&M is a 23m 5.8 eye catching splitter in the middle of the M&M wall. Pete wanted to lead it and being short on time I decided just to second it. Pete crushed it and even placed some hexs along the way.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fly on the wall

Matthew and I had a late start to the CWM today; due to overnight and morning rain. The walk in was scenic as always but the 100% humidity was less than pleasant. Also, the flies were crazy thick. Some deer flies and lots of non-biting horse(?) flies. While leading Neruda there were at least 20 flies crawling on my arms and back. There must has been twice as many just circling around my head. Super annoying while leading. After Neruda I worked "Al on the run" on TR and figured out some more beta to link the upper and lower sections. I'm excited to get back to try a clean ascent on TR. I feel this definitely could go on lead with some more work.