Friday, October 7, 2011

Trashcan Rock at J-Tree

One of the places we like to climb in J-tree is trashcan rock due to the non-existant approach, good picnick areas for the kid to play at, short routes (better for if the kids get fussy), and the wide variety of easy to moderate climbs.

I've had the itch to get out to J-tree for the last month and a half, but due to the heat, this wasn't all that feasible. On Friday the 16th of September it finally fealt like it was cool enough to head out there. Amy wasn't really feeling like climbing that day so we decided to hit up trashcan rock so that we could get out there but she wouldn't have to climb anything difficult.

I was thinking that this would be a great day for Amy to lead a couple of trad routes since she doesn't lead trad much at all, and trashcan rock has three great crack climbs that are all rated 5.3 or under (B-1, B-2, and B-3). We got to the crag and Amy wanted to second something first so I decided to run up B-2 since it's the "hardest" of the 3 routes. I ran up the route, set up an anchor and lowered, then Amy TR'd it, cleaned the anchor and walked off the rock.

Amy still wasn't feeling the climbing, but she agreed to try to lead B-3. She started up the route, but really just wasn't feeling like clibing at all, so she placed a cam and lowered off. I ran up and grabbed the cam that she had lowered off of then decided that since she wasn't feeling like climbing I would try something a bit harder.

There is this 5.11c called Butterfly Crack that I have been eyeing for a while so I decided to give it a go (even though I know it is above my current abilities). The first 15 feet of the route contain a bouldery move to a tips crack , but then it mellows out to a juggy 5.9 hand crack for the rest of the route.

We walked around the rock to the base of the route to find a group of spectators just waiting to watch me flail my way up the route. I placed a small nut to protect the boulder move off the ground and started up the route. Unfortunately, starting up the route involved just about as much down as it did up as it took me 3 or 4 tries just to get to the first tips lock. Now since I was well aware that the route was above y abilities, and since it was too strenuous to place gear from the tips lock that I was in, I decided to hang on my first nut and place another as high as I could reach so that I wouldn't deck if I fell. I placed and clipped the piece (while holding onto the draw of course) then worked the moves up to that piece. Once I was there, I again took and placed another nut as high as I could reach and about this time, the spectators got board and left. I continued with this method of toproping until I had psced my fourth nut and reached the 5.9 section of the crack. By this time Amy had forgotten how to lead belay and was a bit confused when I told her that I needed slack because I was above the pro. Luckely, she quickly remembered and I dispatched the 5.9 section without incident.

I was pretty well beat from working the first 15 feet of the route, so we decided to call it a day and head home. Now I have to mention that we did bring the camera on this trip but didn't get any pictures. Why you might ask, well for 2 reasons: the first being that I forgot to set up the camera for the first route, and on the second route, Amy didn't think the pictures of me hanging on gear 6 feet off the ground would be that cool, and by the time I started actually climbing the camera had automatically shut off so the remote wouldn't work. Oh well, next time I'll have to set up a proper toprope and work the moves that way so we can get a few photos.

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