Monday, March 26, 2012

Riverside Quarry - 03/10/2012

Alright, I know it's kind of lame that the last like 20 posts (do I even have 20 posts yet?) have been about the Riverside Quarry, but for some reason we haven't been climbing anywhere else lately. At least I know that next weekend I'll be at New Jack City since I have to take a group of scouts there so at least there will be a change of scenery.

So once again we headed to Riverside Quarry on Saturday the 10th of March and invited Asia to join us. Both Amy and I wanted to do our projects so we headed to Slab City so that I could do Vertical Vee, and she could do Shattered Dreams. Now the one problem with Slab City is the fact that there is nothing easier than 5.8, and of course, Asia is a very new climber. We decided to start on the 5.8 (Feetal Rearrangement) so that Asia could give it a go. Now Amy isn't a fan of this route because it is constantly traversing to the left, but she did lead it without any problems so that was good.




After Amy lead the route, Asia went up it on TR and did a good job on the route, but it worked her pretty well so she decided that she didn't want to try anything else after that. I pulled the rope and ran up the route on lead to get a little bit of a warm-up before trying my project.




Now it was my turn to try for the redpoint of Vertical Vee (5.11d). I had attempted the route 2 times before, the first time I made it halfway through the crux, but I killed myself trying to figure out the moves so I couldn't finish the route, the second time I was able to figure out the crux sequence, but again I killed myself doing it so I had to hangdog my way up the rest of the route, but now I knew the sequence, so I just had to go quickly before I got too pumped.

I started up the route skipping the first bolt because the climbing is easy, and the bolt is way right of the rest of the bolt line, then clipped the second bolt with a shoulder length sling to help reduce rope drag. From there it is an easy walk to the third bolt, but that is where the crux starts. I told Amy to be ready for a fall and started through the crux. The crux involves laybacking an overhanging flared finger crack through a roof with basically no feet. As I was making my way between the third and fourth bolt, my feet skated once but I was able to hang on and get to the fourth bolt. I clipped the bolt and as I started moving past it my feet skated again, but once again I managed to hang on and complete the crux sequence and clip the fifth bolt. At this point I knew I had done it since none of the climbing above is harder than about 5.10c so I gave a yell of excitement and continued up the route. I took my time and made use of the various rests throughout the remainder of the route to ensure that I wouldn't blow the redpoint because of something stupid and made it to the chains without any problems. Unfortunately, we forgot to set up the camera, so there are no photos of my redpoint, but you can at least see some photos of the route in the posts about my previous attempts.

After cleaning the route we headed over so that Amy could try once again to figure out how to get through the crux of Shattered Dreams (5.10c). I lead the route and set up a TR for her, then she gave it a go. She did really well through the lower portion of the route, but as usual she couldn't figure out how to get through the crux. I really need to belay her from the top sometime so that I can help figure out the sequence for her, but that will have to be another day. Once again, we forgot to set up the camera, so no photos of Shattered Dreams, but there are plenty of photos of the route in other posts.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Riverside Quarry - 03/02/2012

On Thursday March 1st Amy's brother Michael, his wife Kim, and their son Jonathan came from Utah to visit us for the weekend. Michael and Kim like to get out and climb with us when we are together so we decided to do some climbing Friday morning then take the kids to the OC zoo in the afternoon. Since the Riverside Quarry is on the way to the zoo we figured that it would be a good place to go (even though it seems like it's the only place we've been climbing lately). Since Michael and Kim don't do much climbing and since Kim is currently 7 months pregnant we thought we'd go to Schoolhouse Rock.

The weather in Redlands was beautiful, but as we started driving west, it started getting pretty windy. By the time we had reached the quarry the wind was crazy strong and we were about ready to just forget about climbing altogether. The wind was coming from the north, and I thought that if we headed to the Agony Arch area of the quarry it would protect us from the wind, so Michael and I decided to hike over and check it out prior to having everyone get out of the cars. We hiked over and found that there was basically no wind in that area, and there were a few other climbers there so we asked them what the routes were rated and decided that it would be a good place to climb.

Michael and I headed back to the car, got all of the gear, the wives, and the kids, and headed back to the Agony Arch (and what we later learned was the Fun Factory) area. We ended up climbing at The Fun Factory which is kind of an interesting area. From quite far away you are able to tell exactly where the routes are, not because of the bolts, but because they follow lines of drilled pockets. I really don't know how I feel about this because I am generally pretty much against manufactured holds, but you could argue that since this was a quarry, really all the holds are manufactured, and without the manufactured holds, the routes would have never been climbed. I'm sure that they probably could have been climbed without the manufactured holds, but I highly doubt that anyone would have wanted to climb them. As it is, there are now a bunch of fun routes on rock that would have never been climbed otherwise, so who knows, maybe manufacturing routes is okay in some very specific circumstances.

We wanted to start with something easy so that Michael and Kim would have a good time, so we began with the route "Fun Factory" which is a 5.7. The route follows a left leaning crack system through dirty chossy rock and in my opinion is one of the worst routes I've ever climbed. Why someone took the time and money to bolt and manufacture the route is beyond me, but that's their perogetive I guess. I onsighted the route, then Michael climbed it on TR, Kim climbed the bottom section of the route before deciding she was too pregnant to continue, then we pulled the rope and Amy lead the route and got the Redpoint.

Michael on "Fun Factory" - 5.7

More Michael

And some more

Kim Starting up the route

Amy starting up the route

Amy nearing the anchors

After climbing "Fun Factory", we wanted to do at least one more climb, and there was a climb that a couple of other groups had done while we were there that looked fun so we decided to give it a go. The route is a 5.10b called "Mass Production" and is much better than the first route we climbed. Mass Production climbes a slightly overhanging wall that is pretty much blank except for the drilled pockets. The route felt very much like a gym climb, but it was pretty fun nonetheless. I climbed the route and got the Onsight, then Michael and Amy went up on TR. I didn't really think that Michael would be able to make it up the route since we had never put him on anything harder than 5.8 before, but after much hanging he made it to the anchors. Not bad for someone who climbs a couple of times a year.






After finishing "Mass Production" we headed out to spend the afternoon at the OC Zoo where the kids had a blast.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Riverside Quarry - 02/25/2012

Amy has been wanting to go the the beach for a while, but it seems like every weekend when there is the possibility to go to the beach it is always cold outside. On Saturday the 18th she wanted to try going, but it was so smoggy outside that it wasn't very warm, so we decided to go climbing at the Riverside Quarry until it warmed up enough to go to the beach.

We arrived at the quarry and the smog was so thick that you couldn't even see any details on the rock from the road which might be a quarter of a mile away, it almost was like a fog, but without the wetness. We were really hoping that it would get nicer and warm up a bit, so we decided that we would start out by doing our projects. Amy has been working on figuring out how to do the crux move on Shattered dreams (5.10c) for a while now, and I figured it would be a good warmup for trying out Vertical Vee (5.11d) again, so we started out with it. I ran up the route without any problems, and then Amy took her turn on TR. She did really good and cruised up the route all the way to the crux, but then she was once again unable to figure out how to do the move, and since she is shorter than me, I am really no help either. Eventually, she ended up pulling herself up with the rope until she could reach the crux hold, then finished the route that way. We decided that sometime I need to set up an anchor right next to the crux and belay her from there so I can try and help her figure out a way through it.





After Shattered Dreams we headed over to try Vertical Vee again. I had tried the route the week before, but I couldn't get to the fourth bolt. I had been thinking about the moves all week, and thought that I knew a way to do it, and it looked like the route eased up considerably after clipping the fourth bolt, so I figured I would be able to make it up the route this time. I started up the route, and cruised up through the crux to the fourth bolt, clipped the bolt, reached for the awesome looking finger crack above the bolt, but found that just like the part below, the crack was shallow and flaring and not nearly as good as it looked. I ended up coming off, then had to work the moves for a while until I figured out the foot sequence that would work to get established above the roof. The rest of the route was pretty easy, the only problem was that I was so spent from working the crux moves that I still had to take at the second to last bolt and the last bolt to get my strength back, but at least I made it to the top of the route (I'll have to go back and get the redpoint sometime soon).




After finishing the route, it had warmed up quite a bit (even though the smog was still horrible), so we packed up and headed to the beach where we had a great time doing something non-climbing related.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Riverside Quarry - 02/18/2012

After the long drive, and the somewhat hard hike (due to the stroller) the day before at Devil's Punchbowl, we decided to head to the Quarry since it is so close and has such an easy approach. Amy wanted to do some leading, so we were planning on heading over to the Schoolhouse Rock section of the quarry, but when we got there we noticed that there was a huge group of at least 20 people on that side, so we decided to head over to Slab city.

Since Amy wanted to lead we started out on a 5.8 called Feetal Rearrangement. This route is really a pretty crappy route that is constantly traversing to the left, but it is the easiest offering at Slab City, so we started there. Amy lead the route and got the redpoint, then we pulled the rope and I lead it as well.





After Feetal Rearrangement I wanted to try something new, and there was a really cool looking crack just to the right of us so I decided to give it a go. We didn't have the book with us so I had no idea what the route was, but it didn't look too bad so I started up it. The crux was obviously between the third and fourth bolts where the crack is overhanging, but it looked like it was perfect finger sized from the ground so I didn't think it would be too much of a problem. The route was pretty easy up until the third bolt, but that crack that had looked so good from the ground ended up being super shallow and flaring. It was obvious that the route was an old Aid route because all of the hand holds were made by sawed off angles which is why they were so shallow and flaring. I ended up working the moves between the third and fourth bolts, but I just didn't have the strength to clip the fourth bolt, so I would climb up to the bolt, try to figure out a way to clip it, and fall off. I did this several times until I was sure that I wouldn't be able to do the route that day and I gave up (after getting home and checking the guidebook, it turns out the route was a 5.11d called Vertical Vee, I'll have to try it again some other time).


Starting the crux sequence


A little Higher


The high point


And Fall off (now scroll up to the top picture and back down again a bunch more times to see the whole sequence)

Next we decided to climb a fun 5.10b called Goody Two Shoes which is just to the left of the first route we did. This route is really quite fun, and is also very easy for the most part since the 10b rating comes from a single move getting established on a slab just above the steepest section of the route. I lead the route cleanly, then Amy TR'd it and we moved onto another route.








For our next climb we decided to do a 5.10a called Mantle Marathon. This is a route that Amy generally has a hard time with because it consists of basically manteling onto a ledge about 10 times, and she isn't all that good at manteling. I ran up the route, then Amy went up it on TR, and she didn't have any problems at all. It looked like she could have lead it easily, so I suggested she try, but she refused and said maybe next time.








Finally we decided that Danny needed a chance to climb something, but Mantle Marathon is a little bit too dificult for him, so I decided to run up Goody Too Shoes again since the first part of it is so easy. I set up a TR for him and he had a good time playing around on the rock, then we decided that it was time to get home for the kids naps, so we headed out.