Friday, November 25, 2011

Riverside Quarry - 11/24/2011 - Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving we wanted to do a bit of climbing before we gained so much weight that we wouldn't be able to climb anymore so we decided to head to the Riverside Quarry. Unfortunately, just after leaving the house I realized that we forgot the camera so this will be another lame post with no photos (I mean seriously, who reads a blog, you go to look at pictures).

So we arrived at the quarry and headed over to Slab City since it is a good kid friendly area and has some fun climbs. We started by climbing a 5.10a called "Mantle Marathon" which as the name implies, involves about 10 mantles onto ledges throughout the climb (ok, I might be exaggerating a little, but there are at least 4 or 5). I lead it quickly and felt like it was just a cruiser easy route, but Amy didn't feel the same about it. She has a hard time with the first 10 feet of the route and then does fine, but the first 10 feet were enough to discourage her from wanting to do anything else.

Amy wanted to head over to Schoolhouse Rock on the other side of the quarry (where there are a bunch of super easy routes), but I wanted to do at least one harder route before we headed over there, so Amy agreed to belay me as long as I didn't make her try to climb it.

I decided to try a 5.11b called Bottom Feeder. I worked this route a couple of times and got the redpoint about 1.5 years ago, but it had been a while since I'd done it so all though I kind of hoped to be able to redpoint it again, I certainly wasn't expecting it. I got to the crux move and couldn't quite stick it so I peeled off, I tried once more again peeling off, but on the third try I stuck the move and cruised the rest of the route.

We headed over to Schoolhouse rock to do a couple more routes before heading home for our Thanksgiving dinner. We started out with a 5.0 called "My Hero Zero" which has to be the most overbolted route in the entire world at 7 bolts in like 40 feet on climbing that really doesn't need any protection at all. Needless to say, I soloed up the route to set up a TR for Danny. Danny TR'd the route with me soloing next to him for moral support, but he did a great job. After Danny got down, Amy lead the route because she didn't want to TR it, but also didn't feel comfortable soloing it.

We decided to do one more route before heading home, and since we had draws on the anchors of "My hero Zero" we decided to do a 5.6 called I'm just a bill since it heads up to the same anchors. I lead it, Amy TR'd it, and we headed home.

J-Tree - 11/19/2011

On Saturday the 19th of November we decided to head out to J-Tree to do some climbing. I had been climbing at the gym the day before and was still tired and Bennett and Gwynne weren't feeling like climbing anything too hard so we decided to look for some easy climbs. Bennett suggested going to the Hemmingway area. I didn't even know where Hemmingway was off the top of my head, but not having any better suggestions myself, I agreed to check it out. As we were driving into the park I was looking out the window at some good looking cracks and mentioned to Amy that I've always wanted to climb them when we saw the sign for the turnoff that said Hemmingway.

We did the short hike over to the wall and decided to start by climbing a 5.6 called Poodlesby. Bennett lead it up first and as he was leading we realized that we had a problem, the wall we were climbing was in the shade and it was just a bit too cold to be belaying and hanging out in the shade. After Bennett finished up we pulled the rope and I ran up it on lead. As I was climbing I decided that I would top out and belay from the top so that I could at least be sitting in the sun while I belayed the girls up.




We decided to go find a sunny climb so that we wouldn't freeze to death. We headed over to Hidden Valley Campground to see if any of the west facing climbs were unoccupied and on The Blob we found a climb that would work for us, a 5.2 called "Beginners 2". We thought that this climb looked perfect, since it was so low angle we realized that Danny would love climbing the first half of it before it got steeper.

I ran up the route and set up a TR anchor then lowered off so that Danny could give it a go.




Danny had a blast. He went a good hundred feet up 3rd and 4th class slabs (which to him were certainly 5th class) and loved it. He did get scared a couple of times, but I was climbing up next to him and when he'd get scared he'd just say "Daddy Hug" and I'd give him a hug then he'd keep on climbing. It was hilarious.

After Danny finished his climbing Amy, Gwynne, and Bennitt TR'd the route and we called it a day. Although it certainly wasn't the most productive day of climbing we've ever had, we certainly had a good time.



And lastly, I got a photo of the rock formation called The Old Woman because from The Blob you can clearly see how the formation got it's name.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

St. George - 11/11/2011 - 11/14/2011

On 11/11/11 it happened to be Veterans Day which means that I got the day off. Since Veterans Day happened to fall on a Friday, and it also happened to be my normal Friday off, I also got Monday the 14th off so we decided to go on a roadtrip for the four day weekend. We decided to meet up with my sister Stephanie in St. George, UT since that is the halfway point between us and her, and there is some fun climbing there as well.

We headed out on Friday morning and arrived in St. George about 5 hours later. Stephanie hadn't arrived yet so we decided to do some climbing at Chuckwalla Wall since it is super close to the city and it would be easy for her to find.

We started out by climbing "Apostasy", a fun 5.10a through a bunch of huecos (that's basically all of Chuckwalla Wall), I easily got the redpoint, then Amy followed it on TR.




After Apostasy we moved down a couple of routes to try a 5.10c called "Popular Demand", I don't think that I have ever climbed this route, so i wanted to get the onsight. I made it to about a foot below the anchors but all of the hand holds ran out and I couldn't really see my feet to figure out where to move them. I was on two slopers for hands and basically just ended up sitting there pumping myself out until I fell off. I paid a bit more attention to where the feet were as I headed up again and got to the chains without a problem, but I was feeling pretty pumped because of hanging out earlier. Amy again ran up the route on TR and we pulled the rope just before Stephanie arrived.


Steph wanted to climb something easy, and the easiest route on Chuckwalla wall is a 5.9 called "Sands of Blood". I ran up it getting the redpoint, then Steph and Amy TR'd it.




After climbing "Sands of Blood", it was starting to get a little dark, but Danny had been wanting to climb, and luckily we recently bought him a harness. I climbed up a low angled section of the rock just right of "Sands of Blood, and belayed Danny up to me while Steph climbed next to him helping him out. It was pretty cool seeing Danny climbing and loving it. Here are a couple of pictures of his first time climbing.



By the time Danny was done climbing it was dark so we decided to call it a day.

The next day we decided to head into Snow Canyon State Park. Snow Canyon has been one of my favorite places ever since I was little, and it is one of the places that made me want to be a climber. We started out the day by hiking into a little slot canyon called Jenny's Canyon, then we went to the sand dunes so that Danny could play in the sand.

Finally it was warm enough to do some climbing so we headed to Circus Wall. The classic climb on Circus Wall is a 5.7 called "Pygmy Alien", so we decided to start out with that. "Pygmy Alien" starts with some third class slab, steepening into 4th class slab, followed by a little bit of easy fifth class slab and ending with 100 feet of near vertical face climbing on varnished patina edges to a cool little cave 200 ft. up the face. I lead the route without a problem and following our usual pattern, Stephanie and Amy TR'd it.






After "Pygmy Alien" we climbed a route that I have always seen and wanted to climb, but have never gotten around to it. The climb is a 5.6 called "The Barbarian". The route follows a left facing corner crack for 150 feet. It was super easy and we all took turns cruising up it (unfortunately we didn't get any photos).

Amy and Stephanie both wanted to be done with climbing for the day at this point, but I wanted to do at least one more route so we decided to climb the first pitch of "Cloudwalker". I started up the route, and arrived at a set of belay anchors about 50 feet up, but at this point I noticed some bolts heading right up a steeper face. I thought the route looked fun so I decided to go that way. The route ended up being a super easy (like 5.5 or 5.6) face climb past tons of bolts (the route was way overbolted, especially for the dificulty) to a set of anchors about ten feet left of the anchors atop "The Barbarian". Again Amy and Steph TR'd the route, and again we forgot to get any photos.

Sunday we went to church, Stephanie headed home, and then we went to Pioneer Park to do some hiking and get some photos. We didn't do any climbing so I won't include anything more about that day here.

Monday we needed to drive back to CA, so we didn't have a lot of time, but I had noticed a few new routed in Pioneer Park so we decided to check them out.

We started by climbing a steep hueco'd 4 bolt route that I thought looked like fun. It was a pretty good route that felt like a 5.10c. I ended up going with my right hand to the crux hold on my first attempt (which made it so that I couldn't clip the third bolt) so I fell off, but the second time I went with my left hand and completed the route. Amy then TR'd the route, but she isn't really a big fan of overhanging routes so she didn't like it very much.




After that route, Amy just wanted to head home, but I wanted to climb at least one more route, so we decided to run up a fun little 5.9 just down the canyon from our first route of the day. This route follows vertical huecos past 2 drilled angles and one bolt to the anchors. Again I ran up it and Amy TR'd it then we headed home after a good weekend of climbing.