Monday, December 3, 2012

Frustration Creek, 11/24/2012

On Saturday once again we headed up to Frustration Creek to do some climbing.  I figured that now I really need to start working on my other route so that I can get it redpointed before we move back to Utah in a couple of weeks.  When we arrived we found that the route was still in the sun, and Amy wasn't feeling very well, so we decided to climb one of the routes on the middle tier so that she could belay down by the waterfall where there was still some shade.

I roped up down by the base of the waterfall, climbed up to the second tier, then decided that the third route from the left looked fun, so I started up that route.  It turns out that the route is a 5.10c called Burning Bush. Burning Bush turned out to be a pretty fun route.  It was very technical and balancy with the crux at the second to last bolt as you pulled over a steeper section on holds that all slope the wrong way.  I got the onsight of the route then rapped back down to the second tier.

Because we had the kids with us and due to the rope length we decided that it would be best to have both Amy and Gwynne start from the lower tier while I belayed from the second tier.  First up was Gwynne, she climbed the route without any major problems (even though she did have to take a time or two), then Amy also climbed the route with a take or two, then we decided that Danny would like to try climbing the approach to the second tier next to the waterfall, so I set up the TR and rapped back down to the lower tier.

Danny did really well climbing the approach route.  He kept complaining about the rock being too slippery, but he ended up climbing the whole thing without any help.  I hoped that Danny would be able to lower off all on his own again, but he didn't want to so I had to climb back up to him and help him lower off.

Approach to the middle tier - 5.2



Danny waiving from the anchors.


Amy still wasn't feeling very well, so she didn't really want to climb anything else, but I figured that Gwynne needed to do another route, so we decided to run up The Natural (5.10a).  I ran up the route and got the redpoint, then Gwynne TR'd the route getting the TRedpoint, then Amy decided that she was feeling well enough, so she also got the TRedpoint of the route.

Finally I decided to give my new route (Primal Quest - 5.12b) a go.  Although I still am nowhere near redpointing it I am getting better with each attempt.  I've finally found a leg position that allows me to get a good knee smear to help keep my body into the wall during the crux which makes that move much easier, and I am linking more and more of the moves together and hanging on less bolts, so that's good.  On this attempt I think I only hung on the second, fourth, fifth, and last bolts (and really I shouldn't have hung on either the fourth or last bolts because it wasn't due to being too tired).  I still have a ways to go, but it is certainly coming along.  Next, Gwynne decided that she'd give the route a go on TR, so I power belayed her up the route.  Between the power belay, and pulling on a few choice draws, she was able to make it to the top of the route.

Below is a sequence of the crux section of my new route Primal Quest - 5.12b






It was now time for us to go, but Danny wanted to "swing" before we left, so we hooked him up to the rope, hauled him to the top of the route, let him swing around, lowered him back down, packed up, and headed home.

Frustration Creek, 11/23/2012

So, I had to get back up to Frustration creek today after my failed attempt at the First Ascent of my new route The Expedition yesterday.  All morning I was feeling anxious and nervous about attempting it again because I didn't want to blow it again today.  On top of that, my legs are really sore from the two games of football that I played yesterday morning, but I knew that if I could put myself in the right mindset it would go down.

We finally left the house at around 10:45 and headed up the canyon.  After we arrived I took my time getting the gear out and ready, getting the camera set up, and just looking up at the route contemplating the moves.  Eventually, I decided that standing around wasn't going to help anything, so I roped up and started up the route.  The first four bolts are easy climbing at around 5.8, but once you hit the fifth bolt there is no stopping until you get to the anchors.  Because of this, when I got to the fourth bolt, I clipped it, then just stood on the good juggy holds below the fourth bolt for a few minutes as I prepared myself mentally for the send.

After a couple of minutes of standing there preparing myself mentally, I felt ready, so I just went for it.  I ended up not having any problems at all.  The crux felt great and I didn't get pumped at all, at the last bolt one of my feet skated off of it's hold, but both my hands and my other foot were great, so that wasn't a problem, and I reached the anchors easily.  It felt great, especially after my failed attempts from yesterday.

Starting the easy juggy section.

Waiting, relaxing, and getting my head in the game.

Pulling through the crux.

Finishing the crux.

Clipping the chains.

Lowering after the FA of "The Expedition" - 5.11b.

After getting down and cutting the red tag off the route I decided to give my other new route (Primal Quest) a try.  Unfortunately that didn't go as well as I would have hoped.  I had my usual problems with the crux move (all though I do seem to be getting a lot closer), then there were a bunch of wasps all over between the fourth and fifth bolts, so I opted to just lower off so that I wouldn't get attacked.

Amy wasn't feeling very good at this point, so I decided to try soloing one of Brent's new routes, a 5.2 called  Just the Tip, while Amy rested in the shade.  That went well other than the fact that the entire route was completely covered in lots of nice loose dirt which made it quite exciting for a 5.2 especially since I was free soloing it;)

Since Amy wasn't feeling very good, but still wanted to climb something, we decided to do the first pitch of The Dead Terrorist next.  Amy didn't want to lead, so I roped up to run up and set up a TR for her, but when I arrived at the anchors to Rumble in the Rubble, Amy asked me to just clip them and come down because she really wasn't feeling well.  I came down, Amy rested in the shade, then she TR'd Rumble in the Rubble.

Rumble in the Rubble - 5.7



Now of course Danny had been begging to climb his route the whole time we were up there, so we finished off the day by letting him climb it twice.  One awesome thing was the fact that on his second time climbing his route we were able to lower him and he did great.  Normally I have to climb up to him, clip him to myself, then basically drag him down (which he loves by the way).  It's exciting to see him learn to lower himself though since that is much easier for me.

After Danny was finished climbing we packed up and headed home for a Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers lunch and naps for the kids.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Frustration Creek, 11/22/2012

I have to say that projecting my routes is taking longer than I had hoped due to bad weather.  The last time we had planned on going up there (last Saturday) we were rained out, so I was really hoping that Thanksgiving would bring us decent weather.  Lucky for me the weather was pretty much perfect today. 

I planned on trying to redpoint the easier of my two new routes (The Expedition), then maybe giving my other route a go as well.  I have been going over the moves in my head for the last week and a half since I figured them all out, so I figured that I was ready to do the FA.  I started up the route and was doing well, but once I got to the crux I was already feeling a bit tired (I'm sure that the two games of football I had played an hour before didn't help that), so I down-climbed to a good stance and shook out so that I could be ready to just power through and cruise to the top of the route.  After I shook out I did just that, I quickly pulled through the crux (which didn't go quite as well as what was in my head, but at least I made it through), and continued up the route fighting the pump clock to get to the anchors.  Now the last couple of moves to get to the anchors are pretty bouldery and sequency, but I hung on and got to the last jug before the clipping hold for the anchors.  From there you just have to reach up to a crimp with your right hand, then go to the clipping hold with your left hand and the route is over.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember where the crimp was and I grabbed a spot where there was nothing but a slight indent in the rock and off I came.  I was so mad, I was one move away from the FA, but because I couldn't remember where the hold was I lost it.  Well, after hauling myself up to the last bolt I was able to climb back up to the anchors, and I put a nice big tick mark on that crimp so that the next time I wouldn't mess it up, then I lowered down.

I knew that I wanted to give the route another go, but I realized that it would be easier to clip the bolt above the crux with a longer draw hanging on it, so I toproped the route back up to the bolt above the crux so that I could swap out that draw for a longer one, then I came down and rested up a bit.  When I felt like I was all rested I headed back up to try and get the FA.  Unfortunately, that wouldn't happen.  When I got to the crux and tried to clip the bolt above it, I couldn't even hold on to the hold that I had used to clip before.  My left arm was just too dead, so I just ended up hangdogging my way up the rest of the route so that I could get the moves a bit more dialed, but I'll have to go back up tomorrow to try and get the FA.  I also realized that I was just too dead to give my other route a go, so we just went and set up Danny's route so that he could get some climbing in, then we headed home so that we could make Thanksgiving dinner.

Frustration Creek, 11/12/2012

Monday the twelfth of November was Columbus day or Veterans day or some holiday like that, so I had the day off.  Luckily, it was finally a nice day outside so we were able to make it back up to Frustration Creek so that I could continue to work on my two projects.

We arrived and I started out on the easier of the two routes (the one I'm calling "The Expedition").  Up to this point I hadn't been able to figure out the crux moves.  I had only tried it on lead one other time, and because it was getting dark I ended up just giving up before getting it, but I knew that I had to figure it out this time.  I got up to the crux without any problems, but once again, I was having a really hard time figuring out how to do the move.  I was initially trying to go up to the side pull that I had planned on clipping from with my left hand, but soon figured out that I could get it with my right hand pretty easily, so I started trying to figure out a sequence to do it that way when I finally came to the realization that if I could reach the clipping hold with my right hand, that also meant that I could reach the bold with my right hand, so I ended up clipping from lower than I had planned, going to what I thought would be the clipping hold with my right hand, then moving up from there.  It was a little bit different than I had thought it would go, but it worked and I made it through the crux.  From there the route stays pumpy and steep all the way to the anchors,  but the holds are all pretty good until the section between the last bolt and the anchors.  Once again, I had to hang a few times on the last bolt while I tried to figure out the very last couple of moves to get to the clipping hold, of course it didn't help that one of the last holds was completely covered in dirt, but I was able to get to the anchors eventually, then I cleaned the hold well on my way down.  Now that I've done all of the moves I'm pretty confident that it'll go at about 5.11b.

Just starting the route

Through the delicate slab moves

Easy, juggy section

Starting the crux

Midway through the crux

Just past the crux

Starting the final boulder problem before the anchors

Once I finished up, Amy ran up the route on TR and had a fun time trying out all of the moves, she needed a power belay through the crux, but did very well besides that and seemed to enjoy the route.

Next it was Danny's turn to climb, so we headed over to his route and set up a TR for him, as always, he had a blast climbing, and we were able to get him to come down on his own instead of me having to go up after him, so that was an improvement.







For the last route of the day I knew that I had to give my other project (Primal Quest) a go to see if I could finally figure out the crux moves on that thing.  Amazingly enough, I figured out that if I put my left leg a bit lower than were I had been putting it, I could get a little bit of a crappy knee-bar that helped to keep my body into the wall as I made the move, and I actually was able to pull it off.  Of course it took so many tries to figure it out that I was pretty beat and wasn't able to do the next easier move, but hey it's progress.  I hang-dogged my way up the rest of the route, and was able to find a new hold near the anchors that made clipping them quite a bit easier so that was nice.  After finally sticking the crux move, I think the route will be a solid 5.12a if not 5.12b and I just hope that I can have the endurance to link it all together.

Just starting the crux

Still in the crux section

Past the first crux

Pulling the second crux

One move away from the easy climbing above

Amy didn't even want to try Primal Quest and the kids needed to get home to take their naps, so we packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Riverside Quarry, 11/10/2012

On Saturday the 10th of November I wanted to head up to Frustration Creek to continue working on my new routes, but unfortunately, the weather wasn't looking great up there so we decided that we'd have to make a trip to the Quarry.  Now it's been a while since we went to the Quarry (since I've been spending all of my climbing time up at Frustration Creek), but it ended up being the perfect choice because it was the perfect temperature in the sun.

Of course we headed to Slab City since it works so well with the kids, and decided to start out with Goody Two Shoes - 5.10b.  I ran up the route (getting the redpoint easily) and hung the draws so that Amy could give it a go.  She then did a good job leading the route, but she did fall off a couple of times before sticking the crux move.

After Amy finished up, we decided to move one route to the left and give Bottom Feeder (5.11b) a go.  I cruised the route with no problems at all, in fact, I did the crux move completely statically, I chalked up off of a hold that I had torn a pully on a couple of years ago, and the crux really felt like nothing to me.  The hardest time I had on the route was at the upper 5.10a crux pulling over onto the slab, and that was just because the wind kicked up and was making me feel a bit insecure on the delicate slab move.  It felt pretty good cruising an .11b as easily as I did.

At this point Danny was really wanting to do some climbing, so we headed over to the big boulder in front of Shattered Dreams and let him top-rope it a couple of times before we decided to give Shattered Dreams (5.10c) a go.  I lead the route easily, and set up a TR so that Amy could try working through the crux again.  Amy actually did really good through the lower section and made it further than she ever has before without resting, but the pump finally caught up with her and she had to take.  After that she was pretty tired, but she did do pretty well through the crux, and was really close to pulling those moves off as well.

After Shattered Dreams, Amy was ready to head home, but I wanted to try something new, so I decided to give Hang Thang (5.11b) a go.  Hang Thang starts out by pulling over a big roof before joining up with Cling Thing at it's 5th bolt. Hang Thang went well allthough I certainly didn't get the onsight.  It took me a few tries to figure out the crux move which involves a really big reach up to a cool lieback flake.  I kept trying to do these smaller moves because the move just looked too big, but when I decided to just go for the big move, I found out that it wasn't all that dificult.  Once past the crux the route eases up considerably, and I had no problems finishing it up.

After that we packed up and headed home since as always, the kids needed a nap.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Frustration Creek, 10/30/2012

As you may have noticed, Bennitt hasn't been showing up in my blog too often as of late. The reason for this is that he works every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday which are the days that I regularly have off.  Because of this it's kind of hard to get out climbing with him. I decided that since daylight savings time is ending this weekend I'd better get out climbing with him after work this week since it is still light enough to climb for about an hour. 

Of course one hour isn't a whole lot of time, but we decided to at least try to get in a couple of routes.  When we arrived I decided that we should do something that would chalange him a bit, but not be too hard so we decided to start out on The Natural. We decided that I'd lead it first and hang the draws, then Bennitt could try leading it as well.  I ran up it as quickly as I could, then Bennitt went up and got the redpoint.  I have to say that he did pretty well considering how little he's climbed lately along with the fact that the route is 5.10a.

As Bennitt was cleaning the anchors I ran over to my new route and threw in a first bolt quickly (originally it was going to share the first bolt with Louie's route, Rabble Rouser, but I thought it would be nicer if it had an independent start so that people could climb both routes simultaneously if they wanted), then we decided to give it a go (I had come up and finished cleaning the route the day before on Monday).

I lead the route up to the fifth bolt without any problems, but that is when the crux hits. The crux moves consist of pulling off of a good crimp with your right hand to get a left hand-jam in a horrible flaring crack in the overhanging wall before bringing your feet up and then bumping up to a sidepull crimp that you are supposed to clip the sixth bolt from.  I tried the move several times, but I wasn't able to stick the sidepull crimp and fell off a few times (hey at least now I know that the crux bolt will hold a fall right;).  After a few tries I knew that we didn't have much time before it got dark so I lowered off and let Bennitt have a go at it. He did fine up until the crux, but then he had the same problems that I was having, he did however come up with a different sequence than I had been using, so I'll have to give it a try next time we head up there.  Eventually Bennitt gave up and lowered off, then we packed up the gear and headed home since it was just about dark.

Frustration Creek, 10/26/2012 - 10/27/2012

Well, another weekend has come and gone, and another couple of days have been spent up at Frustration Creek.  I know Frustration Creek isn't anywhere near a world class crag, but the fact that it is so close to us, and so many people are currently working on making it nicer makes me really enjoy going up there.  Last weekend I put up some anchors above another route that I wanted to bolt, so I figured that I could get it bolted this weekend.  On Friday morning we decided to head up and do some climbing while it was still cool out, then Amy and the kids could head home while I worked on bolting and cleaning the new route.

When we arrived at Frustration Creek we decided to start out by climbing "The Natural" (5.10a).  We had climbed this route the week before, and Amy seemed to really enjoy climbing it, so I thought that it would be a good route for her to lead.  I started out and ran up it to hang the draws for her, then she went on to lead it.  At first she was having some trouble (thanks to my beta) and had to hang a couple of times before she found a sequence that would work for her, then she was able to make it to the top without any problems.  She cleaned the route, then when she got to the ground she decided that she wanted to try redpointing The Natural, but she preferred to have the draws pre-hung.  I decided that I could lead the route to the left of The Natural, a 5.10b called "Unnatural Act", then I'd hang draws on The Natural on my way down.

I lead Unnatural Act easily and hung the draws on The Natural for Amy so that she could try redpointing it. She cruised it and got the redpoint easily, then she toproped Unnatural Act as well.

I decided that I was sufficiently warmed up at this point so I tried leading my new route Primal Quest for the first time.  Now you can see in my previous posts that Primal Quest is going to be a fairly hard route, so with this being my first time leading it I knew I wouldn't be able to redpoint it yet, but I wanted to make sure that I have sequences that will work well on lead.  I was a bit worried about being able to clip the second bolt because the clipping hold is a tiny crimp right in the middle of the crux, but it turned out to be easy enough.  The crux move that comes right after making the clip however was just as difficult as before.  I think I have figured out how to do it, but I'm going to have to work on my crimp lock-off strength before I'll be able to stick it.  After that I hang-dogged my way up the route and was able to do all the other moves, but I wasn't really trying to link them yet since I am still so far away from doing the crux.

After I climbed Primal Quest Amy and the kids headed home so that I would have time to bolt and clean the route that I had installed anchors on last weekend (I'm calling it The Expedition).  I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon working on that project.  As with all of Frustration Creek, the rock is pretty chossy in most places, but this new route does have some pretty cool features that should be a lot of fun to climb.  As I was working on my new route, Matt and Chris told me that I needed to come up to the upper falls area and try climbing there since I haven't ever climbed there before, so once I finished getting all of the bolts in my route I headed up.

I have to say that the upper falls area looks amazing.  The routes look long and overhung, and they are all permadrawed (is that a word?) so you can escape easily if you get in over your head.  Chris had a fixed line on a 5.12a route called Mohawk that he wanted to get down, so I belayed him up the route so that he could retrieve it.  Mohawk is an extension to a 5.11d route called Delusions, so once Chris got down I decided that I'd just TR Delusions since I was feeling pretty tired from climbing, bolting, and cleaning all day.  I ended up doing pretty well on the route and flashed the crux without any problems, unfortunately that about killed me and for the last three or four bolts on the route I was falling off of huge incut jugs because my arms were so tired.  Regardless, it was a super fun climb and I'm definately going to have to get on it again sometime soon.

After Delusions I packed up my gear and headed home since we were planning on taking the kids to a pumpkin patch that evening.

Saturday we planned on heading up to Frustration Creek again and were planning on climbing with Gwynne.  We left the house around nine and just told Gwynne to meet us up there when she was ready. 

We decided to start out by climbing The Fourth Wise Man since Amy hadn't redpointed it yet (in fact, the only time she tried leading it she only made it to the last bolt, but couldn't figure out how to get to the chains).  I ran up the route and hung the draws for her, then she headed up for her redpoint attempt.  At first it wasn't looking like it would happen because she was having some trouble with the lower section, but eventually she got in her groove and ended up redpointing it easily.  She didn't have any trouble with the section from the last bolt to the chains, so that was cool.

The Fourth Wise Man - 5.8

Amy getting the redpoint

Now it was actually pretty hot out and the wall was baking in the sun so we decided to head over to the other side of the canyon to climb a 5.8 called "Welcome to Frustration" since it was in the shade.  A week or two ago I had climbed the route, but Amy hadn't wanted to at the time, so this would be her first time on the route.  Welcome to Frustration is mostly a really easy slab route, but the 5.8 crux comes when you ar pulling over a pretty big roof so that makes it pretty interesting.  Again I ran up the route first and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead it and got the redpoint.  She did look a little bit concerned when she got to the roof, but she figured it out without any problems.

Welcome to Frustration - 5.8

Amy just starting the crux

Amy pulling the roof

Of course Danny wanted to climb his route so we set it up and let him have some fun climbing it, then Amy was feeling hot and wanted to rest for a bit, so I decided to continue cleaning the route that I had bolted the day before.  I was hoping to be able to finish cleaning it so that I could go for the FA, but unfortunately there were a bunch of wasps that didn't want that to happen.   I started cleaning from the bottom and working my way up the route, and got about half way up the route before there were these two wasps that just didn't want me to go any higher.  As long as I stayed below them they just sat there and didn't do anything, but as soon as my head would get to their level they would come out at me and act very aggressive.  Needless to say I ended up heading down before I was attacked.  We decided that we could at least try climbing the route up to bolt just below the wasps so I ran up it to that point and found it to be quite fun.  The holds are cool, and it is like 5.7 up to that point, so it was fun.  After I came down Amy TR'd it up to my high point.

Danny climbing his route - Preschooler's Playground - 3rd class

Cleaning my new route - The Expedition

Trying the moves for the first time (below the wasps)

Amy trying the moves

We decided that it was getting kind of late and that the kids needed to take their naps before a haloween party that we were planning on going to, so we started packing up to head home when Gwynne finally showed up. We decided that we'd better stay just a bit longer so that she'd be able to climb something. Gwynne didn't feel like leading anything, so I decided that I could lead "The Natural" since from there she'd be able to TR both that route and "Unnatural Act" since they share the same anchors.  My feet were sick of being in climbing shoes so I decided to try leading the route in my approach shoes.  Of course the crux of the route is down low where there are no good feet and everything is all slick, but I managed to redpoint the route without any problems in my approach shoes. Gwynne then TR'd both The Natural and Unnatural Act, but when she got to the anchors after TRing both of them she realized that she had forgotten to bring anything to clean with so I got to run up Unnatural Act on TR to clean the anchors (again in my approach shoes). 

After that we decided that it was really time to head home so that the kids could get a nap in before our party. Hopefully I'll be able to get back up there soon so that I can continue working on my projects.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frustration Creek, 10/19/2012 - 10/20/2012

I didn't have any triathlon or anything like that this week to keep me away from my project up at Frustration Creek, so we spent Friday and Saturday there this weekend.  I was psyched to start actually working my project, but I knew that there was still some cleaning that needed to be done before I could really get to work.  We headed up the canyon and got to work.  The first order of business was removing the dead tree just to the left of my route about 3/4s of the way up the route, but when I started to work at it I realized that all the rock surrounding the tree was rotten thanks to the tree roots.  After trundling off a few hundred pounds of rock I was able to remove the tree without any problems (well other than the fact that the tree tried to attack me when it realized what I was doing and scraped up my arm pretty good, don't worry, I promptly showed the tree who was boss as I threw it 70 feet to the ground).  After removing the tree, there was another clump of vegitation that I removed a bit lower on the route, then I deemed the route clean enough to start climbing. 

At this point, the sun was on the route, and we had brought up some poison oak killer which says that it's best to apply it when it is sunny, so I decided to spray all of the poison oak again before climbing.  Once the oak was sprayed, I decided to TR the route one last time to get the sequences down.  The TR went much better than it had the first time I tried it since I knew the moves, and the only part that really gave me any trouble was the crux.  I know that I'll be able to stick the move eventually, but alas, once again I failed.  Of course it didn't help that the TR runs directly over the hold that you are going for and completely gets in the way.  I honestly think that the crux move will be easier on lead than TR which is kind of counter-intuitive.

At this point Amy wasn't feeling very well and was hot, so we decided to let Danny run up his route (that I've decided to name Preschooler's Playground), then pack up and head home so that Amy could make it to her doctor's appointment on time.

After the kids naps and Amy's dr appointment we called Gwyenn to see if she wanted to head back up there with us to do some climbing.  Gwyenn said that she would join us as soon as Adeline woke up from her nap, so we headed back up the canyon. 

When we got there I decided that it would be fun to link the first two pitched of Matt's new multipitch route, The Dead Terrorist", so we started with that while we waited for Gwyenn to join us.  I ran up the route, redpointing the first pitch and onsighting the second, then I rapped off to let Amy have a try.  Amy didn't feel comfortable leading it since she had never climbed it before, so we just had her do a long TR of the route (not the best idea due to the rope drag, but when you have kids and can't belay from the top, you do what you have to do).  Amy had fun TRing the route, but she said that she was glad she didn't lead it since she had a hard time reading the route and got off route through the crux section.  Once Amy got down and we pulled the rope, Gwyenn arrived so we decided to let her try one of the new routes that she hadn't seen previously, Matt's new route, "The Fourth Wise Man" - 5.8.

I lead the route, once again getting the redpoint without using the crack or face to the left of the route which makes it a pretty fun and technical route, then both Amy and Gwyenn took turns TRing the route.  While they were TRing The Fourth Wise Man, I took Danny over to his route again and let him climb it before it got dark.

When they were all done, it was starting to get dark so we packed up and headed home for the night.  On Saturday morning, we woke up to an overcast sky and very cool temperatures.  I was hoping that the clouds would burn off so I decided to do a quick oil change on the car while I waited.  Unfortunately, the clouds didn't burn off, so I thought that maybe we should head out to J-Tree for the day since the weather is usually better out there.  Amy said that she didn't want to drive that far so we decided to just head up to frustration creek and see how it was up there.  It was amazing how the weather changed as we drove, as soon as we hit the mountains the clouds disappeared and the sky was perfectly blue.

Again, Gwyenn was going to join us, but she had a few erands to run first, so we decided to start without her.  We hadn't climbed "The Natural" for a while so we decided to start on it.  The Natural is a pretty fun route that is supposedly 5.10b (I can't see how it could be any harder than 5.10a personally), with the crux right off of the ground, followed by fun juggy climbing up an arette.  I ran up the route getting the redpoint, and Amy TR'd it.  I think I'll have to get Amy to lead it soon because she really didn't have any probles with it and seemed to like the route a lot.  Of course Gwyenn showed right after we pulled the rope so she didn't get a chance to climb it, but we decided that Amy and Gwyenn could both take turns leading the first pithc of The Dead Terrorist.  While they did that I figured that I could put some anchors in over another route that I would like to bolt (just to the right of Louie's project).

While Amy and Gwyenn each took turns redpointing the first pitch of The Dead Terrorist I TR soloed up the first two pitches of the same route so that I could then rap off over to where I wanted my anchors.  I figured that the quickest way would be to do a double rope rap so that once I placed the new anchors I could just pull the rope and rap the rest of the way to the ground from there.  In theory this would have been great, and all was going well until I tried to pull the rope after placing my new anchors.  Unfortunately, the rope was completely stuck and I couldn't get it to budge. 

Now of course I didn't bring prussics or anything that would let me ascend the double ropes back to the anchor on The Dead Terrorist, so I was kind of stuck.  Eventually I decided that I would just have to reverse rap the route (luckily the only overhung section was just the first 5 feet above my anchors).  I tied one end of my rope to the new anchor so that once I reached the anchor on The Dead Terrorist I could just throw my rope off and it would then be hooked to the new anchor I had placed and began climbing back up my rope while pulling it through my ATC.  After a lot of effort, sweat, and a nice dirt shower I managed to make it back up to the anchors that my rope was through.  When I got there I realized that the ledge at the top of the second pitch of The Dead Terrorist actually has two sets of anchors, and had I just used the anchors on the right instead of the left I probably wouldn't have gotten my rope stuck, I hadn't even noticed the second set of anchors when I had reached the ledge the first time.

Well anyway, I was finally able to rap off of the fixed line on The Dead Terrorist and made it back to the ground safe and sound.  Amy and Gwyenn were just hanging out talking since they didn't feel comfortable leading anything else, and since I had taken much longer than planned.  They both said that it was about time to head home since the kids needed to take their naps, but we all wanted to climb at least one more route before we left. 

Recently someone pulled the crux hold off of Eco Chalange and no one had climbed the route since, so I thought it would be fun to try it out.  Amy and Gwyenn both like TRing Eco Challange so we decided to make it our last route for the day.  I lead the route and got the redpoint/onsight of the new crux sequence.  It certainly took me a bit longer than usual as I tried to figure out the new moves, but I was able to hang on without too much of a problem.  The crux is definately a bit harder now making the route at least a solid 5.11a instead of a soft 5.11a, and it may even be 5.11b now.  Next Amy and Gwyenn took turns TRing the route while I went over and set up a TR on Preschoolers Playground for Danny. 

Well, that was it for our weekend climbing adventures.  Sorry about the lack of photos, but I keep forgetting to bring the camera.  On Saturday morning as I was getting everything ready I even thought about grabbing it, but then it slipped my mind again.  Hopefully I'll remember it next weekend.

Big Rock, 10/13/2012

On Saturday I raced in my first triathlon.  I participated in the Big Rock Super Sprint Triathlon held at Lake Perris which consisted of a 400 yard swim, 11 mile bike ride, and a 3 mile run.  Luckily for me, the race started at 7:30 am which means that I finished up just after 9:00 and still had plenty of time for some climbing.  Since the race was held at Lake Perris, I just had Amy bring the climbing gear when she came to watch me, and then we headed over to the other side of the lake to climb at Big Rock.  I feel bad because we haven't taken many climbing photos lately, and Amy forgot to bring the camera, so here is another pictureless post.

When we arrived at Big Rock there was a big youth group there, but fortunately, they were only taking up two routes, The Trough, and Wedunett (two of our least favorite routes at Big Rock).  I felt like we haven't climbed Boogaloo direct (5.9) in a while, so we decided to start with that.  Variation to Boogaloo is a pretty fun route that sports three bolts in about 95 feet and has the crux right at the first bolt.  After the crux the route continues at about 5.7 for most of the rest of the way with a single 5.8 move right after the third bolt.  I ran up the route redpointing it easily, then Amy TR'd the route.  Next Danny really wanted to climb, so we put his harness on and had him climb the route.  He needed some help getting through a couple of the harder sections, but overall he did great.  I can certainly see that he is improving a lot.  When he got to the anchors, he didn't want to come down alone, so I climbed up to him and we lowered off together.

For our second route we just moved one route over to Variation to Boogaloo (also 5.9), and a route the it seems like we've been climbing quite frequently when we go to Big Rock lately. This route follows 4 bolts up the rock for a full 100 feet, and again, the crux is right at the first bolt.  The natural line of the route starts just left of the first bolt, then traverses right into a seem at the first bolt, but I decided that I wanted to try a more dirrect start up to the first bolt.  Doing this direct start felt like it bumped the rating up to about 5.10b, and really made the route more fun and interesting.  I once again redpointed it without any problem, and Amy once again TR'd it cleanly (doing the direct start as well).

By now the sun was starting to creep over the top of the rock and it was getting hot, but I wanted to do something easy before we left so that we could see how Danny would do on something easier.  We decided to run up a 5.6 called Puppy Dog for our last route. Puppy dog climbs past three bolts in 100 feet, once again with the crux being right at the first bolt, then it just gets progressivly easier and easier the higher you get until you can pretty much just walk up the last 10 feet to the anchors.  I ran up the route, then Amy decided that her feet were kind of hurting, so she decided to TR the route in tennis shoes which gave her a bit more of a workout than she had initially thought, I guess tennis shoes aren't the best for slab climbing.  After Amy got down we tried to get Danny to climb, but he wasn't really in the mood.  He climbed up about 10 feet before he decided that he just wanted to come down, and that was it for our day of climbing.

It ended up being a short and very easy day of climbing, but I think it was just right after doing my triathlon.  Now I'll have to start training so that I can actually get a decent time in the next triathlon I decide to do.

Frustration Creek, 10/04/2012 - 10/08/2012

For a while now I've been eyeing this line up at Frustration Creek that is right next to Eco Challenge.  The line looks awesome and it pulls through several roofs and overhanging sections and is certainly much steeper than anything at the lower falls area of frustration creek right now.  Well, this last weekend Amy went to Utah for a friends wedding, and I decided that since I didn't have a climbing partner I'd finally go an put up the route. 

Thursday morning rolled around and we took Amy to the airport at 5:00 AM so that she could catch her 6:00 flight, then the kids and I headed home to get a bit more sleep before starting our day.  When we finally got up, we ate some breakfast, then packed the car with all of my bolting gear and headed up to Frustration Creek.  We arrived at the area and I had to make several trips from the car to the base of the route so that I could cart all of the gear, the kids, and the toys (to keep the kids occupied).  Now I needed to get to the top of the route so that I could start bolting and cleaning it.  Unfortunately, there isn't anywhere to walk around and arrive at the top of the route, but recently, another developer (Matt Meyers) had bolted an extension to Rumble in the Rubble that goes all the way to the top of the wall (6 pitches) and would offer me a place to rap down over my intended route.

I set up my gri-gri for a rope solo and started up Rumble in the Rubble (5.7) so that I could begin my route.  I chose to climb in my approach shoes so that the bolting would be more comfortable, but in retrospect, I probably should have just done it in my climbing shoes because some of the route is kind of slabby, and my approach shoes just don't edge very well.  Anyway, I was planning on going up to the second bolt above the new first pitch anchors on Rumble in the Rubble, but I found the climbing between the first and second bolts to be a bit more difficult than what I wanted to tackle in my approach shoes, so I just went to the first bolt past the anchors and decided to go from there. Luckily the bolt was high enough that I would be able to traverse accross to where I wanted my anchor to be.  At this point Emily was crying (she had a dirty diaper), so I rapped off to change her.

Next I grabbed my drill (I didn't really want to lead the route with the drill hanging off of me) and I TR soloed back up to the high bolt, brought the rest of the rope up, backed everything up so that I wasn't relying on a single bolt, traversed accross to the top of where I wanted my route, and drilled a temporary 1-bolt anchor to inspect the route from (wow, talk about a run-on-sentance).

About this time Matt showed up to do the FA on his new 6 pitch route, and Danny wanted a drink of water and to go climbing, so I rapped off to help out the kids. On the way down, Matt mentioned that there was a huge death block sitting on a dead tree about half way down the route, so I had him move the kids to where they would be out of danger and I knocked down the tree and trundled the microwave sized rock, then continued to the ground.  I got both of them some water, then Danny really wanted to climb, so we caried a rope over to his route (I had replaced the stolen hangers a few days earlier) and set up a TR for him. From this vantage point I was able to watch Matt and Chris as they did the first ascent of their 6 pitch route, while I belayed Danny up his route.

Now it was time for me to really get to work on my route. I ascended back up to my anchor while cleaning some of the bigger loose stuff of of the route, then put in the top 4 bolts through the vertical section just above the lower roofs.  The biggest chalange with bolting the route was just the fact that the rock quality in Frustration Creek is just so poor that it takes a while to find solid rock that is near good clipping holds all while trying to keep a decent bolt spacing.  Once I had the top four bolts in, Danny and Emily were both getting pretty tired and fussy, so I decided it was time to take them home for their naps, so I rapped off the route and started packing up the gear.

About this time, Matt and Chris got down from their route, so we talked for a while (really I just wasn't in the mood to pack up all of my stuff and take it to the car), but eventually I decided that the kids really did need a nap so we headed out.  Although it was a fun and productive day, I have to say that everything takes so much longer with kids.

Friday morning we woke up and headed up to the route again.  When we arrived at the parking area there was another car there and the owner was getting all of his gear together to put up some routes as well.  I introduced myself and found out that his name is Brent Webster and that he was working on a route on the south side of the canyon.  It turns out that Brent is one of the local developers who has put up a bunch of the more moderate routes in the area, and he was super stoked to hear that I was bolting the route next to Eco Challenge.  He also thought that it was awesome that I had brought the kids along with me and he gave Danny and Emily a Fall Apart Frankenstien toy so that they could play with it.

After making several trips to the base of the route so that I could cary all of the kids and gear over, I finally got to work.  I decided that I would start from the ground and willy-stick my way up the overhanging lower section of the route so that I could stay into the wall for placing the bolts.  I started by cleaning all of the loose stuff off of the bottom of the route and slowly climbed up to where I wanted the first bolt to be. When I got there, of course the route was overhanging so I had to hold myself onto the wall with my left hand while drilling the bolt hole over my head with my right hand, all I have to say is that I'm glad I've got a nice lightweight yet powerfull drill.  I threw in the first bolt, clipped myself into it, and continued cleaning the route.  Next I willy-sticked up to where the second bolt would be, cleaned some of that rock and figured out where a good clipping hold was, then drilled the second bolt.  At this point I realized that the route was going to be hard.  The clipping hold for the second bolt is a pretty small crimp on the otherwise blank, overhanging wall, and after that crimp it just gets worse. Just looking at it I'm sure that it'll be at least 5.12a. 

At the crux of my new route

After the second bolt the kids needed some attention so I rapped off and we hung out for a little bit.  Of course Danny wanted to climb, so I set up his route and let him climb it, then I headed back up my route to continue.  After the second bolt, the route turns vertical, but of course there are still a couple of roofs above the vertical section, so I couldn't get in close enough to the wall with the willey stick, and I couldn't just use my fixed line, so to put the third bolt in I attached myself to the fixed line, teathered myself to the second bolt to help keep myself into the wall, then I ended up sitting on the top of the willy stick which was awesome because it gave me great support for getting the hole drilled. 

At this point I just continued working my was up the wall on the willy stick and got the fourth and fifth bolts in before the kids once again needed some attention.  Once again I headed back down and got them some water and hung out with them for a bit, then I decided to head back up Rumble in the Rubble to clean the rest of my gear off of that route.  Luckily, Matt's rope was still hanging on the route so TR soloed the route only to find out that Matt had already cleaned the gear and had hung it on the other end of my rope for me, so I hadn't even needed to go up there, but whatever, at least I got to do some climbing.  While I was TR soloing a couple of construction workers walked over and started asking about the climbing.  It sounded like one of them had climbed before but had never climbed outside, so they were just curious if there were any routes in the canyon.  I think they thought I was completely crazy for climbing without a belayer;)

Once I got back down, the kids were saying that they were hungry, so I packed up all the gear and we headed home for lunch and naps.  After the kids were done with their naps I decided that there was still way too much cleaning to be done to waste the evening, so we headed back up and I continued cleaning the route until dark.  While I was cleaning the roof I decided that the route needed one more bolt just after the roof because the moves were still kind of hard, and there was a bit of a runout to the next bolt so I added the final bolt on my route.  While we were there, a couple of people came to climb and as I talked to them I found out that they were the ones who had pulled out all of the poisen oak at the base of my new route.  They said that they don't have a drill so they can't establish new routes, but they figured that since so many people are currently working on the area that was something they could do. All I can say is that I'm extremely greatful for all of their work.

I continued to clean the route until it got dark, then we packed up and headed home for some much needed rest before we continued the next day.

Saturday morning I had some things to do, so I wasn't able to make it up to work on my route, then the kids had their naps, so we were finally able to get out of the house around 3:30 which gave me a couple of hours to continue with the route.  This didn't give me a whole lot of time, but just before the kids naps we had made it to home depot to get some poison oak killer, so my main accomplishments on saturday were spraying all of the poison oak around the route, and I finally installed the anchors in at the top of the route.  I also was able to do some more cleaning on the route and once again, Danny wanted to climb, so I set up his TR and we had some fun letting him climb.

On Monday morning we headed back up to finish the route. Amy had returned from vacation on Sunday, so this was the first time that she got to see my route.  When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was that in the day that I hadn't been there (Sunday) someone had bolted another route just to the right of my route.  Brent was there working on his route, and he told me that on Sunday Louie Anderson had come up planning on bolting my route, but since I was already working on it he decided to do another one right next to it.  I guess I snatched it up just in time.

I wanted to finally try climbing my route since I had a belayer, but there was still some cleaning to do before I could give it a go.  First off I once again sprayed all of the poison oak around the route so that hopefully it will all die, then I headed up the route to finish cleaning it.  On my way up the route I finished cleaning all of the smaller loose stuff that was still there, then I decided that it would be good to at least clean all of the big loose stuff between my route and Eco Challange, so I worked on that on my way down.  I also brought up a torque wrench and made sure that all of the bolts were torqued correctly (I was surprised at how close they all were with just using the normal wrench).

Finally, I deemed the route ready to climb.  I decided that I would just try it out on TR to start so that I could more easily figure out all of the moves before leading it.  It wasn't too bad getting up to the second bolt, but then the crux hits.  Unfortunately, the TR ended up always blocking the hold that you are trying to go to for the crux move, so I wasn't able to do the move, but it feels like it'll be like 5.12a or 5.12b unless I can figure out some easier sequence.  I ended up just pulling through the crux, but I was able to do all of the other moves on the route.  Pulling the roof on the route felt like about 5.11b, and then there is a final 5.10d crux guarding the anchors so that should be fun on lead.  Once I finished TRing the route, Amy was tired and hot and wanted to head home, so we packed up and headed home.

Pulling the crux

The second 5.11b crux

After eating lunch and putting the kids down for their naps we decided that we would head back up to do some actual climbing instead of route developing once the kids woke up from their naps.  Since I still hadn't climbed Matt's new route "The Fourth Wise Man" - 5.8, we decided to start with that.  I onsighted the route and thought that the moves were quite fun, but the route is stil lpretty dirty and loose in places.  After leading the route I convinced Amy to try leading the route.  Unfortunately, Amy wasn't having the best of climbing days, and was really freaking herself out while leading the route.  She did make it to the last bolt before she finally decided to call it quits when she was having trouble with a reachy move.  Since I had to reclimb the route to clean the gear, I decided to do it without stemming on the wall to the left.  I was able to redpoint the route without stemming, and thought that it made the route much more fun and sustained, and probably bumped the rating up to 5.9.

The Fourth Wise Man - 5.8


My hot wife belaying

Danny had been begging to climb while Amy and I were climbing, so we decided to let him have a turn.  Of course Amy hadn't seen how good Danny had been getting while she was away, so I was excited for her to see him cruise his little 3rd class slab.  He of course did a great job, but since Amy wasn't really feeling the climbing thing, she just wanted to head home.  I convinced her to let me try a 5.8 right next to Danny's route called "Welcome to Frustration" before we headed home.

Danny climbing his 3rd class slab

Welcome to Frustration was pretty much a 5.1 slab with one 5.8 move getting over a roof.  The roof move was kind of fun, but personally I don't think I would have spent the time or money on bolting it.  I think it took me less than a minute to onsight the route and be back on the ground packing up the gear.

The 5.8 crux of "Welcome to Frustration"

We cleaned up the gear, said good bye to Brent (yes he was still there working on his route from before we had arrived the first time in the morning), and headed home.  I didn't get a whole lot of actual climbing in over the weekend, but I feel like I accomplished a lot with my new route, and I think it will be a very high quality route.  Once I redpoint it, I hope that it becomes a Frustration Creek Lower Falls classic.