Sunday, September 30, 2012

Riverside Quarry, 08/16/2012

Well it was another saturday morning, and another trip to the Riverside Quarry.  As usual we went to Slab City, and as usual, we did some of our standard routes there.

I bet you'd have never guessed that we started with Mantle Marathon (5.10a) right?  Well we did, I went up the route first and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead the route and got the redpoint (after one fall at the first bolt and restarting).

Starting the crux of Mantle Marathon - 5.10a

Amy at the first bolt of Mantle Marathon

Amy Pulling the Crux

Our next route was Goody Two Shoes (5.10b) and it was the same story as Mantle Marathon.  Of course Goody Two Shoes has the fun 5.10b slab move for the crux, and it is always funny watching Amy get ready to do it and not commit to the move several times before she finally does and has no problem sticking it. 

Goody Two Shoes - 5.10b

Amy just before the crux

Trying to commit to the crux move

I wanted to do an .11 while we were there, so I decided on Bottom Feeder (5.11b).  I fell off of the crux once when I slipped off of the crimp that you are going to, then on my second try I stuck the move and couldn't remember what to do after that (it's super easy, for some reason I just couldn't read the rock).  I ended up hanging on and figuring out where I was supposed to go, then I realized that I had already passed the bolt after the crux, so I reached down below me to clip it and continued up the route without further incident.  I don't know what was up with me on the route, but my head just wasn't working right.  Amy didn't even want to try Bottom Feeder and we had things to do, so we packed up and headed home. 

Just past the crux of Bottom Feeder - 5.11b


Pirates Cove, 08/11/2012

On Saturday the 11th of August we decided that we wanted to go to the beach for the day, so it looked like it was going to be a no climbing day.  Initially we were planning on going to Newport Beach, but when we got there we couldn't find any parking anywhere, so we decided to head down to Corona Del Mar to go to the beach there.  Luckily we were able to find some parking there, and we decided to go over to the Pirates Cove side of the beach instead of the normal side.  We had never been to Pirates cove, but it ended up being a pretty cool place (all though it was quite crouded). 

We had a good day at the beach, and I decided to put it here on my blog due to the fact that I did climb one of the boulder problems at the beach, a V0 called "Tin Man".  The problem was okay, and did have some fun moves, but the rock is so slick it's not even funny.  The rock is just wet from all of the humidity, and the holds have chalk on them from other climbers, but becuse of the wettness the chalk ends up creating this slimey slippery layer on the holds.  I don't think I'd ever go to Pirates Cove just for climbing, but it was fun messing around a little bit while at the beach.

Holcomb Valley, 07/28/2012

On Saturday July 28th I was in the mood to go up in the mountains.  It was kind of funny because I wasn't even really in a climbing mood, but I just wanted to be away from the city and out in nature.  We drove up to Big Bear Lake, then decided to just drive around some of the dirt roads around Holcomb Valley Pinnacles to see if we could make it to some of the other parking areas.  One time last summer we had made it to the parking area on the backside of the central pinnacles (the one at the base of Motherload Rock), but subsiquent attempts have all failed, so we decided to try again.  We made it pretty far, and also drove down a few little side roads that branched off to check out where they went, but eventually we ran into some tree roots that my trusty Hyundai Elantra just couldn't make it over no matter what we tried.  Next we decided to check out some of the roads branching off of the jeep road that heads into the central pinnacles from near parking lot rock.  This time we made it pretty far down this one road to a point where there were several old mineshafts that looked pretty cool.  From here I could also see some bolts in a rock ahead of us, so we decided to check out the mines and do some climbing here.

Danny Checking out the old Mine Shaft

Looking down into a Mine Shaft

It turns out that we had driven into the western pinnacles, and the rock that I could see was The Ingot which has 4 routes on it.  The obvious route that initially caught my attention was a 5.10b called "All that Glitters".  It looked pretty cool because there was this quartz dike that went right through the center of the route and had some huge holds coming out from it.  We decided to make it our first route of the day.  I started up the route and didn't have any problems getting to the dike, but at that point you have to mantle up onto the dike.  Now the problem isn't necessarily the mantle, but the fact that you're high enough past the previous bolt that if you blow the mantle (especially with a light belayer like Amy) it's verry probable that you'll end up decking.  I hung on that dike for a while trying to get up the courage to commit to the mantle, and I finally did it without any problem, but it's certainly a bit scary.  After the mantle it's some steep slab climbing through the next two bolts with a slopey J-tree esque top-out.  Unfortunately, I ended up greasing off of the holds like a foot below the anchors and blew the onsight.  Amy then toproped the route without any problems.
Starting "All that Glitters" - 5.10b

Figuring out the Crux Mantle

While Amy and I had been climbing All that Glitters, Danny kept wanting to climb the boulder that was right next to the start of the route, but we kept telling him that he couldn't go too high without his harness, so when we were down we put on his harness and let him TR the boulder.  He had a blast, and then loved being lowered down the steeper side of the boulder.  We let him climb it and be lowered several times before moving onto our next route.

Danny TRing the Boulder

Hanging out on top of the Boulder

Practicing Lowering

Next up was a 5.11b called "The Melon Factor".  This route started out with a very bouldery crux between the first and second bolts (you can clip the first bolt from the ground).  The crux involved lieing back this horrible slopey seam with basically nothing for your feet until you can finally get the good jugs on the dike.  It took me several tries to figure out the moves, but I finally got the crux and then the route is cake from there.  After seeing how the crux looked Amy didn't even want to try the route, so we moved on to the 5.7 that shares the anchors with The Melon Factor.

Just past the crux of "The Melon Factor" - 5.11b

This route was called "Goldfinch" and was kind of a forgettable route.  It started with the crux right off the ground then just kept getting easier and easier through some grainey low quality rock.  I lead it, Amy TR'd it, then we packed up and went home.  I don't know how impressed I was with the rock in the western pinnacles as it seemed much more grainey, so I don't think we'll be heading back there, but it was fun to check out a new area anyway.

Starting "Goldfinch" - 5.7

Amy on Goldfinch

Riverside Quarry, 07/21/2012

On Saturday the 21st of June we decided that it was time to go to the beach.  Now of course I'm not one to miss out on some climbing on a Saturday, so we decided to go to the Riverside Quarry and do a few routes on our way to the beach.

We arrived at the Quarry and headed to slab city where we began with our regular warm up on "Mantle Marathon" (5.10a).  I lead the route and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead the route but took a fall at the crux.

Prepping for the crux of Mantlepiece - 5.10b

Clipping the bolt after the crux

Next up we decided to do the route to the right of Mantle Marathon, a 5.10b called "Mantlepiece".  I ran up Mantlepiece and got the redpoint, then Amy tried the route, but she was having kind of an off day, so she wasn't able to do the crux and decided to just come down.  I ended up running up the route again on TR to clean the anchors, then we moved onto a route that Amy wanted to do, "Shattered Dreams" (5.10c).

Amy about to try the crux of Mantlepiece

Amy still hasn't been able to do Shattered Dreams cleanly, and she knew that she was having an off day, but she wanted to give it a go anyway.  I ran up the route and set up the TR, then Amy went up it and didn't do too poorly especially considering how she had been feeling about climbing throughout the day.  She still hasn't got it, but she's getting closer.

After that we headed to Huntington Beach for some fun in the water.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Frustration Creek, 07/19/2012

As you may have noticed, we haven't been climbing with Bennett and Gwyenn very often lately.  the reason for that is because Bennett got a new job as a firefighter and being the lowest man on the totem pole, he got stuck with the Friday - Sunday shift.  Well, as I was driving home from work on Thursday the 19th of July, I got a text from Bennett saying that he wanted to go climbing, so we decided to just head up the canyon and go to Frustration Creek since it is so close to us that we'd have more time to climb.  I hurried home from work, grabbed the gear and family, and we headed up the canyon.

When we arived at Frustration Creek I jumped on "Three Kings" (5.10a/b) and Amy started with "Rumble in the Rubble" (5.7).  I really have to say that Three Kings is such a fun route.  It is super short, but the moves through the crux more than make up for it.  The crux is a vertical slab with these tiny holds and it is all balance.  I redpointed Three Kings while Amy also redpointed Rumble in the Rubble.  Bennett then TR'd Three Kings while Gwyenn TR'd Rumble in the rubble, then we moved on to other routes.

Next Bennett and I jumbed on "Unnatural Act" (5.10b).  We both took turns leading the route, Bennett got the onsight and I redpointed it, while Amy and Gwyenn took turns TRing Three Kings.  Once Bennett and I finished up with Unnatural Act, we decided to head over to Ruble in the Rubble so that we could clean the anchors, so just for good measure, we both took turns leading it as well.

For our last route of the day, I wanted something a bit more challanging so we decided to do "Eco Challange" (5.11a).  Once again, Amy and Gwyenn took turns TRing Unnatural Act as I lead Eco Challange.  I ended up blowing the redpoint when I forgot the crux sequence and took a fall, but I quickly remembered the moves and finished up the route.  After I got down, Bennett, Amy, and Gwyenn each took their turns TRing Eco Challange, then we packed up and headed home since it was past the kids bedtime.

Overall we felt that we got quite a bit of climbing in for just heading out after work, I think we'll have to try this more often.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hungover Wall, 07/14/2012

On Saturday the fourteenth of July I was really itching to try out somewhere where we've never been before.  I looked on Mountain Project to try and find something that would work well for us and I decided that Hungover Wall looked like it would work and wasn't too far away.  Now Mountain Project says that Hungover Wall is the premire crag of Keller Peak, and was the original southern California summer sport climbing crag, so we figured that it would be a pretty good place to go.  Hungover wall is just outside of the town of Running Springs which is on the way to Big Bear, so we were hoping that maybe this could be a new place to go when it is hot outside but we didn't want to drive all the way to Holcomb Valley.  We made the drive which went quickly, found the crag which is right off the road (a plus when you have kids), and started climbing.

We started by climbing a 5.9 trad route called "More Moss than Gloss", and the first thing that I noticed was that the rock was pretty low quality with very big sharp grains and was kind of crumbly.  The route itself was pretty fun and followed a crack that varied from hands to off width, but the rock was just so sharp.  I onsighted the route, then Amy went up it on TR cleanly.

Now I was in the mood for trad climbing, so we decided to do the other main crack on the wall, a 5.10b called "More Punk than Funk".  This route ended up being less than fun in my opinion.  The crux was about half way up the route and involved some wierd awkward moves over a bulge with really nothing for your hands except this majorly sloping ledge thing.  Granted, the route did have a couple of fun moves at the beginning, and the last few moves to get to the anchors were pretty fun, but overall, I wasn't a big fan of the route.  I ended up having to hang to figure out the crux, then Amy TR'd the route and we decided to do some sport climbing.

Four our third route we did a 5.10c called "Brian's Song".  This route started out as a fun slightly overhung boulder problem, but then the crux once again involved trying to pull over the lip using this horrible sloping ledge thing.  Once again I ended slipping off and I had to hand while I felt around the ledge to find anything I could use to pull myself over with.  I finally found a spot that was slightly better than the rest, pulled through the crux, and continued up the easy wall above to the anchors.  Amy followed on TR and we decided to head home since the kids were tired and wanted a nap. 

After our three routes at the Hungover Wall, I kind of doubt that we'll be heading back there.  I really don't know why this wall was developed before some of the other (and much better) options that aren't that far away from it.  I don't know that I'd ever tell anyone not to go there, but with all of the much better options around I certainly wouldn't recommend it either.  Sorry about the lack of photos, we forgot the camera again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Riverside Quarry, 07/07/2012

Saturday rolled around and we decided to just hit up our local Riverside Quarry for a morning of climbing. As usual we went to Slab City since there are some pretty fun climbs there, and the area is flat and safe for the kids to run around and play in.

 We decided to start the day out with Goody Two Shoes (5.10b) so that Amy could lead it. Goody Two Shoes starts out with some easy slabby climbing for a few bolts, then it steepens to a vertical jug haul for a coupld of bolts, and the crux comes when you are pulling over the vertical section onto the slab above. There are really no holds on the slab above so it ends up just being a very balancy move as you rock up onto your foot that's smearing on the slab. After that it's just some easy slab climbing past a couple more bolts to get to the anchors. I ran up the route without any problems and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead the route and got the redpoint. Amy did take a while trying to get up the courage to commit to the crux move, but when she finally did she had no problems.

 Next up, I wanted to do something a bit harder so we decided to move one route to the left to a 5.11b called "Bottom Feeder". I had redpointed Bottom Feeder back in August of 2010, and had then tried climbing it again in November of 2011, but I fell off at the crux in 2011, so I wanted to see if I could redpoint it again. The crux of Bottom Feeder involves palming this rounded slopey arette with your left hand, getting your left foot way high, and then making a quick step up and reach with your right hand to a crimp back in a corner. When I had done the route the two times before I had needed to make the crux move dynamically to get the crimp, but I guess I am stronger now because I made the move statically without any problems. After the crux the route is pretty easy, so I cruised the rest of it and re-redpointed the route. Amy didn't want to climb an .11b, so I cleaned the route, then we moved on to climb her nemesis.

 The climb that has been thwarting all of Amy's attempts at (for quite a while now) is a 5.10c called "Shattered Dreams". Shattered Dreams is a really fun route that follows a jagged, slightly overhung crack system through an otherwise fairly blank wall. The crack portion is quite easy, clocking in at about 5.9, but then the last 10 feet of the route after the crack ends involve some fairly reachy moves through the still slightly overhung blank face above. I ran up the route and set up a TR so that Amy could work on the crux moves. Amy then climbed the route and did pretty well on the lower crack section which is usually still quite hard for her due to the overhanging nature of the climb, then she spent some time trying to figure out how to do the final moves. Eventually she found a little jib for her foot that allowed her to make the big reach and was able to complete the route. She still has some work to do before she'll be able to TR the route cleanly, but she is definately making progress.

 After Amy finished the route we packed up and headed out to continue with our Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Big Rock, 07/06/2012

I had Friay the 6th of July off, and we wanted to go climbing, but the kids also wanted to go swimming, so we decided to head to Big Rock so that we could do some climbing in the morning before it got hot, then go swiming in the afternoon at Lake Perris.  We ended up getting a decently early start (considering the fact that we have 2 kids) and made it to Big Rock while it was still pretty cool outside. 

The first time we went to Big Rock I had TR'd a 5.10a/b called Mind Bender, but I had never lead it, so we decided that since it was cool outside we'd try leading it.  I ended up getting the redpoint without any problems and have to say that it is a pretty fun route.  Amy went up the route on TR and did have to hang a coupld of times through the crux, but eventually made it to the top of the route.

Amy just past the crux of "Mind Bender" - 5.10a/b

Amy a bit higher

We had never climbed any of the routes that are right of the anchors on Mind Bender, so we decided to give one of them a go.  The route we chose was a 5.6 called "Puppy Dog".  This was a pretty fun route that follows a ton of good chicken heads up the easy slab.  I did think the route was a bit runout though (even by Big Rock standards) since it only had 3 bolts in the 100ft pitch.  The climb was easy enough that it didn't really matter, but it's certainly not a climb I'd recommend to new leaders.  I got the onsight, and Amy TR'd it cleanly.

Me Leading "Puppy Dog"- 5.6

Just past the third bolt and looking for the next one.

Ariving at the anchors (x's show the locations of the three bolts and anchors on the 100' route)

The last time we came to Big Rock with Bennett and Gwyenn Bennett and I did a 5.7 crack on the upper half of Big Rock called Right Flake.  Bennett hasn't done much multipitch climbing, so I figured it would be a good way for him to do some.  After Amy saw us do it she wanted to try Right Flake as well, but we didn't have time that day, so we decided to do it the next time we came (which was now).  Now since Amy and I were alone with the kids at Big Rock we decided that we probably shouldn't do a 2 pitch route and leave the kids on the ground by themselves, so I lead a 5.9 called "Variation to Boogaloo" (onsight), then just continued up Right Flake linking the two routes into one long (almost a full 200') pitch.  I trailed a second rope up with me, so I was able to rap off, then belay Amy up the combined route on a super long TR.  Amy did great on the route and really enjoyed Right Flake.

Variation to Boogaloo - 5.9


Starting up "Right Flake" - 5.7

End of "Right Flake"

Amy on "Variation to Boogaloo"

Amy Starting up "Right Flake"


By this time it was getting hot outside, so we packed up our gear, drove to the other side of the lake, and went swimming for the afternoon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Holcomb Valley, 07/04/2012

On the fourth of July, we realized that Bennett and Gwyenn were both off of work for the holiday, so we decided to see if they wanted to go climbing with us.  They did and we decided to head up to Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.  Amy already had some plans for that afternoon and evening, so we didn't have a ton of time, and Bennett and Gwyenn wanted to check out Lost Orbit Rock, so we decided to head there.

Amy and I made it up to Holcomb Valley before Bennett and Gwyenn, so we decided to do a quick route on Parking Lot Rock while we waited for them.  The route was a 5.6 called "Nice Cleavage".  I ran up the route quickly, then Bennett and Gwyenn showed up while Amy was getting ready to TR the route, so she ran up and cleaned the route, then we headed over to Lost Orbit Rock.

When Amy and I had gone to Lost Orbit Rock the week before, we had stayed on the east face, so we decided to change things up and start out on the west face.  Both Bennett and I were in the mood for some trad climbing, so we decided to start out with a 5.7 crack called "Bear's Choice".  I lead the route onsight, then I belayed both Amy and Gwyenn from the top.  Bennett wanted to lead the route, so I walked off and belayed Bennett while he climbed the route.  When he got to the top we realized that someone needed to second the route to clean it, so I ran up it again on TR then Bennett and I both walked off.

For our next route I just looked for something that looked fun and ended up choosing a 5.10c called "Ursa Major".  Ursa Major was a pretty fun route that had the crux pretty much right off the ground.  Bennett took the lead and did pretty good.  He fell off a couple of times before figuring out the crux moves, but he got them eventually and didn't have any more trouble with the route.  After Bennett finished I gave it a go and ended up getting the redpoint without any problems.  Once I got down, Amy and Gwyenn took turns belaying each other while Bennett and I moved one route over to a 5.8 called "Benevolent Bruin"

Benevolent Bruin pretty much felt like an easier version of Ursa Major, but it was fun nonetheless.  I onsighted the route, then Bennett redpointed the route, then the girls took turns TRing it.  Just as the girls were finishing the route it started raining on us, so we took cover under a rock to try and wait out the storm. Once we thought the storm was dying off Bennett and I headed around to the east face of the rock to give Lost Orbit a go, but just as we got over to the route it started raining hard again.  We hung out with a couple of other people who were waiting under an overhang for the rain to stop, but it didn't seem to want to stop.  Eventually the rain died down a bit, so I decided to just climb the route in the rain since I wanted to do it.

I didn't really have any problems with the route, but I think the crux was a bit harder than 5.10b since I couldn't use my wet shoes on the wet rock at all.  I ended up just campusing through the first few moves to get to the first bolt, then after that it was nice and easy to the top.

I guess no one else in our group is a crazy as I am because no one else wanted to climb the route in the rain, so we just packed up and headed out.  It ended up being almost perfect timing getting to the 4th of July party that Amy had planned, so it was probably good that the rain forced us to leave.  Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures on this trip, so sorry about the boring post.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Holcomb Valley, 06/23/2012

The very first time that we went to climb at the Holcomb Valley Pinnacles (HVP) I had printed off the routes from Lost Orbit Rock to try and climb there.  Unfortunately, when we arrived at HVP we couldn't find Lost Orbit Rock, and instead, went climbing at Parking Lot Rock, Coyote Crag, and Motherload Rock after someone showed us where the central pinnacles were.  We have since been back to HVP several times, but have never climbed at Lost Orbit Rock.  On Saturday the 23rd of June we decided to change that.

Following the directions in the guidebook got us to Lost Orbit Rock without any problems, the key was to follow the road that heads south from Parking Lot Rock, and it curves around the rock and eventually turns north to reach Lost Orbit.  Now, the route that the rock is named after is the classic of the area, but when we arrived it was occupied, so we opted instead to start out on a 5.10b called Hubble.

Amy pulling the fun starting roof on Hubble - 5.10b

Hubble started out fun with some cool moves over a roof at the first bolt, but after that it turned into a less than stellar route.  The route was kind of dirty, the rock was kind of crumbly, and to top it all off, the last bolt of the route veered off left away from the obvious line to give it the .10b crux.  The route would have been much better as a 5.9 that followed the obvious line rather than a contrived .10b, but whatever.  I got the onsight, and Amy followed it up on TR.

Traversing over to the contrived crux of Hubble

By this time Lost Orbit (also 5.10b) had opened up so we jumped on it.  This route lived up to it's quality rating and was just tons of fun.  It started with a steep crux right off the ground, followed by a just less than vertical jug-haul for a few bolts before a somewhat tricky move just before the anchors.  Once again, I got the onsight and Amy followed on TR.

Lost Orbit - 5.10b


Amy pulling the crux of Lost Orbit 


When I was climbing Lost Orbit, I noticed that there was a bail biner on the route to the right of it, a 5.11a called Lunar Eclipse, and being the pirate that I am, I can't say no to some free booty so Lunar Eclipse became our third route of the day.  Lunar Eclipse was fun right up until the crux.  It started with some interesting moves to get to the first bolt, then was very similar to Lost Orbit for the next few bolts, then had an interesting mantle move up high, but the crux ended up being the last 5 feet of slab moves to get to the anchor.  I had to hang a couple of times before I figured out the moves, but the slab topout just didn't flow very well with the rest of the route, and again, I think the route would have been much better if they had just placed the anchors 5 feet lower (plus, it would be much better on the rope for lowering and TRing).  After I topped out, Amy also ran up the route on TR, doing much better than I did on the slab portion.

The fun starting moves of Lunar Eclipse - 5.11a

By this time the kids were getting cranky and needed a nap, so I decided to do one final route before leaving.  The final route was a 5.10d called "Slacker".  This route was okay, the crux was between the second and third bolt, and I blew the onsight when I tried going for what looked like a hold from below, realizing that it was nothing a bit too late, and falling off.  Once I was hanging on the rope however, I was able to see what I should have done and made it through the crux without any more problems.  After the crux the route consisted of several mantles before arriving at the anchors.  Amy just wanted to head out at this point, so we just cleaned up the gear and headed home after another good day of climbing.

Riverside Quarry, 6/22/2012

On Friday the 22nd of June, the kids wanted to go to the zoo, so we decided to head to the OC Zoo, but we figured that since the Riverside Quarry is right on the way to the zoo, we'd at least do a couple of climbs on our way there.

We headed to slab city as usual, and decided to start out with Mantle Marathon (big surprise huh?).  I ran up the route, and left the draws hung for Amy, then she lead the route and got the redpoint.

After Mantle Marathon, I wanted to do something that would be quick but still give me a decent pump, so I ran up Cling Thing since it has a nice pumpy crux through the first three bolts.  After those two quick routes we packed up and headed to the zoo.

Riverside Quarry, 06/16/2012

On Saturday the 16th of June, I still wanted to get some more climbing in for the week so we headed to Riverside Quarry. Now Amy wasn't feeling like doing too much climbing since we had climbed so much that week, but I wanted to get at least one route in.  We headed to Slab City as usual since it is such a good place for the kidos to hang out, and I decided that I wanted to try a route that is to the right of Cling Thing. 

The route isn't listed in the old guidebook that we have, so I decided to just give it a go.  The route started out with some fun moves through a bulge, then it goes technical as you get over the bulge.  I had to hang once here because I headed right and got offroute when I couldn't see the third bolt and the holds looked to head that direction.  Once I figured out where the route went I continued climbing as the route passed a couple of bolts in a super easy slabby section before coming to the crux roof. Now the crux turned out to be tons of fun.  it followed a finger crack through a decent sized roof, then pulled the roof on some pretty good jugs with pretty much nothing for feet.  It took me a couple of tries to figure out the sequence, and I'm sure all of the climbing that I had done throughout the week didn't help me out.  Once you pull the roof the route is pretty much over as you just finish up a big juggy detached flake that is bolted onto the main wall so that it won't fall off and kill your belayer.  I'd say that the route felt like about 5.11b, but I was pretty tired from the week of climbing, so I could be off on that rating by a bit.  I think the route is called "Hoochie Mama", but I'll need to get the new guidebook to be sure.

After I finished the route, Amy tried it on TR, but she was tired and only made it to the second bolt before coming down.  After that we decided that we were both too tired to continue climbing for the day, so we headed back home for some much needed R&R.

Frustration Creek, 06/15/2012

On Friday afternoon after getting all of our stuff unpacked and getting settled back in at our appartment, we decided that we should head up the canyon so that I could finish bolting a route that I had started several months ago.  We headed up the canyon to hike out to the route which is about a mile from the road, but as we started hiking, we found that the trail was overgrown, there was a lot of poison ivy, and there were tons of annoying bugs, so we decided that maybe the area wasn't a summer area.  Instead we just headed to Frustration Creek since it was only about 5 minutes away and gets afternoon shade. 

Now Amy has always hated the 5.7 called "Rumble in the Rubble", I'm not sure why, but she feels like it is much harder than 5.7, so I decided that it was time for her to lead it.  I lead it first to hang the draws for her, and then she lead it as well and got the redpoint without any problems.  I think she still thought it was harder than 5.7, but she did great.

Next I wanted to do "Three Kings" because it is the route that I feel like is much harder than it's 5.10a rating.  Three Kings is like a slab route that has just be tipped up until it is almost vertical and has these tiny little sharp edges that you can use for holds.  I climbed the route cleanly, then Amy TR'd it.

Showing Danny where to go

After that, Danny wanted to climb, so we had him TR the slab that I had put a bolted anchor at the top of back in April.  Unfortunately, the only photos we got were of Danny's TR, but they are still pretty fun.

Climbing next to Danny

Arriving at the anchors

St. George, UT, 06/08/2012 - 06/14/2012

My little brother was gone serving a mission for our church for two years and returned in the middle of May. Since no one in the family had seen him in two years, my parents decided to get a couple of condos for a week in St. George, UT so that we could hang out and catch up with him.  Of course St. George has quite a bit of fun climbing so we obviously had to use the trip to get as much climbing in as possible too.

We drove out to St. George after work on Thursday the 7th and arived in beautiful St. George around 10:00 pm.  We said hi to everyone and talked for a little bit, but soon we headed off to bed since it was June and we wouldn't be able to climb very late in the day because of the heat.  In the morning we convinced my sister Steph and my brother Steven to join us as we headed to Chuckwalla wall to do some climbing. 

We had two ropes and four people with us so we decided to set them both up to make it so we could get more climbs in, but I was the only one who wanted to lead, so I started out by running up Apostasy (5.10a), then set up Sands of Blood (5.9) and everyone else took turns TRing both routes with Amy going last so that she could clean.

Steph on Apostasy


Everyone had fun, but Steven had forgotten to bring his climbing gear to St. George, so he was climbing in dress shoes (they were all he had brought), and Steph, Steven and Amy all got pretty pumped with the first two climbs, so they were all ready to head out.  I on the other hand wanted to get some more climbing in, and since I want to try and redpoint 20 5.12s in 2012, I figured I had better give one a try.

I chose a 5.12a called "Pilgrimage". This route is steep and powerful, but the crux is between the second and third bolts, so I figured it would be good since I'd get it out of the way early.  It was a good thing, I did have to hang once to figure out the crux, but it went just fine, the problem was my terrible lack of endurance.  After the crux I ended up hanging on almost every single bolt just because I was too pumped to hang onto the good jugs.  I also wasn't ready for the 5.11 moves from the last bolt to the anchors and took several falls there before I finally clipped the chains.  Overall it was a really fun route with good moves, but I definately don't have that kind of power endurance.  I'll have to work on that;)

After that it was getting quite hot, and all of us were too dead to continue climbing, so we called it a day.

The next day we decided to climb at Black Rocks, unfortunately we didn't realize that Black Rocks was closed for the desert tortouses or something like that, so since there isn't a whole lot of climbing right by Black Rocks, and since Amy wanted to try making it up Apostasy cleanly on TR, we decided just to head back to Chuckwala Wall again.

Steph on Apostasy and me on Dirtbag, both 5.10a

Steven on Apostasy

This time we did 4 routes.  Once again we started on Apostasy and Sands of Blood, but this time both Amy and Steven also lead the route (we got Steven some new shoes Friday afternoon), and Amy almost TR'd Apostasy cleanly (we'll have to go back some time so that she can get it).  After those routes we moved over and did the two routes to the left of them, a 5.10a called "Dirtbag" and a 5.10c called "Popular Demand".  I redpointed the two routes and everyone else took turns TRing them.  Once again, the shade was quickly leaving the wall and it was getting hot, so we packed up and headed out for the day.
Amy on Apostasy

Me on Popular Demand - 5.10c

Steven on Popular Demand

On Monday the 13th, we decided to go to Green Valley Gap.  My nephiews Aiden and Matty both wanted to try climbing and I knew that there was some super easy stuff there so we decided to let them try it out.  I started by soloing up a 5.3 called "Brazilian Ninjas" to set up a TR for them and they each took turns on the route. 

Matty on Brazilian Ninjas

Aiden on Brazilian Ninjas

Mike on Brazilian Ninjas

Once they were done, we decided to do some slightly harder climbs to let the adults try since my brother-in-law Mike had joined us for the morning.  We next climbed a 5.9 called "Perky's Playground", and a 5.10b called "Beggars and Choosers".  Both Amy and I redpointed both routes, and Stephanie and Steven TR'd them both, and Mike TR'd Perky's Playground.

Mike on Perkey's Playground


After that all of the tag alongs headed out, so Amy and I decided to do some more difficult climbs before it got way too hot.  I recommended that Amy try leading a 5.10a called "Puppet Strings"  because it is well protected, ends with a pretty good sized roof, and would be good for working her.  She had to hang once through the roof, but ended up doing very well on the route.

Amy pulling the roof on Puppet Strings - 5.10a

Now I wanted to give a 5.12a called "Sandstoner Reverse" a go.  I had climbed this route many years ago and remembered the moves being awesome, so I had to try it again.  We left Steven and Stephanie at Puppet Strings TRing it while Amy and I crossed over to the other side of the gap to give Sandstoner Reverse a try.  This route is awesomely overhung and follows big jugs all the way to the top of the wall with some big moves in between them.  The crux comes right at the third bolt where you have to do a big dyno off of a crappy pinch to get to a big ledge where you can clip both the third and forth bolts from.  I climbed to the third bolt without any problem, but then I wussed out and didn't want to commit to the big dyno so I fell off.  The second time I decided to just go for it and stuck the dyno without any problem (I have to say that it's one of the most fun moves I've ever done on real rock).  After the crux it's just a matter of endurance as you continue up the steep juggy rock, so of course I ended up hanging on the rest of the bolts since I have none.

Me climbing Sandstoner Reverse - 5.12a

That finished our climbing for Monday.  On Tuesday morning we ended up going for a hike as a family, so no climbing that day, but on Wednesday, we headed out to the Turtle Wall because there were some 5.12s there that I wanted to try.  Wednesday ended up being very hot, and it didn't help that Turtle wall is east facing so it gets morning sun.  Luckily, there is a big cave that houses several 12's and keeps them out of the sun. 

Me on Voodoo Economics - 5.8

For our first climb at Turtle wall we did the easiest route on the wall, a 5.8 called "Voodoo Economics".  I lead the route onsight, then left Stephanie and Steven TRing it while Amy and I went to climb a 5.12a called "Lagardo.  Lagardo ended up being lots of fun.  I had to hang once at the crux to figure out the move, then after clipping the chains with a draw, I had to hang on the last bolt because I was too tired to clip the rope to the chains, but I think I could redpoint the route easily now that I know the moves, and if I had all the draws prehung. 

Starting the crux of Lagardo - 5.12a

Clipping the last bolt on Lagardo

Next Amy, Steven, and Stephanie each took turns trying to TR Lagardo, none of them made itthrough the crux but they all had fun trying.  I TR'd the route once more to clean it, then Amy climbed Voodoo Economics so that she could clean it.  By this time it was too hot to even climb in the shade so we headed back to the condo.

Amy Trying Lagardo

Steven trying Lagardo

Steph trying Lagardo

Amy cleaning Voodoo Economics

Thursday meant that we had to leave St. George, but we decided to hit up the Black Corridor in Red Rock to do a quick climb or two before heading home.  The first route we did was a 5.9 called "The Cel".  I lead the route and hung the draws so that Amy could lead it.  She did a good job, but did have to hang on the first bolt a couple of times to figure out the crux moves.

We didn't have the Red Rock guide book with us, but I wanted to try something a bit harder so I found a climb that looked fun and decided to give it a go.  It turns out that the climb was a 5.10d called "Friend".  This climb didn't go as well as I had hoped.  I ended up slipping off of a sandy hold around the second or third bolt, then at around the fifth or sixth bolt, I tried going directly up between the bolts, which seems doable, but more like 5.12 than 5.10.  Eventually I noticed that all the holds out right of the bolt line were chalked up even there was no route there, so I took that route which ended up being the 5.10d way.  Overall it was a very fun climb, I just made it much harder than it should have been.

After the two routes we continued on our way home so that we could get there at a decent time.  Even though it was summer in the desert, we managed to get a decent amount of climbing in on our trip and had a great time.