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.   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frustration Creek, 09/28/2012 - 09/30/2012

On Friday I got home from work a little bit early and wanted to get some climbing in, so we decided to head up to Frustration Creek.  We packed up the gear and the kids, jumped in the car and headed up the canyon.  When we arrived at Frustration Creek we noticed that something was odd.  There was a big pile of dirt blocking the normal trail, and when we walked up to it we noticed that the entire area had recently been bull dozed and dug out.  As we walked over to the climbs we realized why.  During one of the recent storms, the whole area was buried by rocks and dirt making most of the climbs a few feet shorter now.  The bulldozing was to dig the drain where the water flows under the road out of the rubble.

As we walked up to the climbs we saw one other person there who was bolting a new route to the left of Three Kings.  We talked to him for a bit and found out that his name is Matt Myers and that he has been bolting a whole bunch of new routes up at Frustration Creek lately.  He told us that he is currently working on bolting a six pitch route that starts on Rumble in the Rubble and then continues up and right all the way to the top of the canyon.  He said that we should give the first pitch a go to let him know what we think so we did.  This extension heads through slabby rock from the anchors of Rumble in the Rubble up to the anchors of Eco Challenge.  I lead the route getting the onsight, and though the route is still quite dirty, I thought it was quite fun for an easy route that gets you some decent height (especially for the lower falls area of Frustration Creek).  The extension felt pretty easy, like 5.5 or 5.6, so the full pitch remains at Rumble in the Rubbles 5.7 rating, but like I said, it was pretty fun.  Amy TR'd the route cleanly and we moved on.

For our second route I decided to do "Eco Challenge" (5.11a) since we already had draws on the anchors and since it's a fun route.  I cruised the route without any problems at all (it felt like 5.9, but I was probably just having a good day, and I know the moves so well by now), then Amy went up it on TR.  Amy did really well on the route, and did the crux without a power belay for the first time.

At this point Danny wanted to go and climb the slab that I had put anchors on for him to TR, so we headed over there only to find that someone had stolen the hangers off the bolts.  I'm guessing that it was probably the construction workers who had dug the place out thought it would be cool to take them for some reason.  Luckily for us, there is another slab around the corner that also has bolted TR anchors, and is now more easily accessible since they dug all of the bushes out that were at it's base.  I set up the TR and Danny had a blast climbing it except for the very start when his hands and feet slipped and he ended up face-planting into the rock, we decided that they need to make kids climbing helmets with a face-guard just for these incidents.  Luckily he didn't hit to hard, so after a few tears he cruised the route and did way better than he has done previously.

At this point the kids were getting hungry so we packed up and headed home to have some dinner.  The next day, Danny had a birthday party to go to  that went from 10 to 12 in the morning which is right in the middle of our climbing time, so we decided to drop him off and head back up to Frustration Creek for a few climbs while he was at the party.  For some reason Saturday felt like a super hot day, and when we got to Frustration Creek at 10:15 in the morning, pretty much everything was baking in the sun.  On the left side of the wall there is a big oak tree that shades a few routes so we decided to head over there so that we could be in the shade.  Unfortunately, 2 of the 3 routes that are shaded by that oak are trad, and I didn't bring the rack, so we were left with a single shaded sport route, a 5.11b called Myrrh.

We roped up and I started up the route (which didn't look too bad from the ground), but I didn't get too far before i had to take.  I've decided that Myrrh is like the route Three Kings, but on steroids.  Three Kings is a route that I like a lot because it is very technical and balancy, so it feels really hard for me (especially for a 5.10a/b).  Myrrh felt just the same, but 4 1/2 grades harder and much more sustained.  The crux on Three Kings lasts for about 5 feet, whereas Myrrh had climbing similar to the crux climbing of Three Kings, but harder, for the first 25 feet of the route.  The first three bolts consist of tiny crimps for your left hand, and pinches for the right hand on this slopey arette.  I made it to the second bolt before I was stumped and had to have a take to figure out the moves.  I then made it to the third bolt, where I couldn't see where my left hand hold was so I had to take,  after the third bolt, the climbing eased up considerably, and I made it to the anchors without any problems.  I felt like the route was very difficult for me, but I think I should be able to redpoint it after another try or two so that I can get the sequence dialed.  Amy then TR'd the route (she needed a power belay through the crux) and we decided it was too hot to do any of the routes in the sun.

Luckily I had brought a couple of new hangers to put on Danny's route, so I went and put them on.  I decided to epoxy the nuts onto the bolts so that it will be much more difficult for someone to steel them in the future.  Once I was done putting the hangers on it was time to go and pick Danny up from his birthday party, so that was it for our climbing that day.

Big Rock, 09/22/2012

We have some state park passes that expire at the end of the month, so we have been trying to use them all so that we aren't wasting any money.  Now the only state park that is very close to us that has climbing is Lake Perris where Big Rock is located, so we decided to head out there again this past Saturday.  Now Big rock really isn't the best place to go when it's hot outside since it just bakes in the sun, but at least when we get too hot we can head over to the lake for some swimming (which the kids love).  We got out of the house a little bit later than I had hoped, but when we got to the big rock parking lot it was kind of overcast and didn't feel too hot, so we thought we might get to climb for a little longer than usual.  Unfortunately, as we started hiking over to the rock the sun finally burned through the clouds and it got hot.

On the upper portion of Big Rock there are two prominent 5.7 cracks in a couple of big flakes that just look soo cool.  I've climbed the right one (creatively named Right Flake) a couple of times, but hadn't climbed the left one (Left Flake) yet, so we decided to do it as our first route.  Now of course both of these flakes start 100 ft off the ground and are generally climbed as the second pitches to the lower routes, so I decided to link up Variation to Boogaloo (5.9) with Left Flake for almost a full ropelength at 190 ft.  I started up the route and noticed that not only was it hot, it was humid too (at least for SoCal) and I was just dripping sweat as I climbed.  Luckily it was just a discomfort and didn't really affect my climbing too much as I was able to redpoint Variation to Boogaloo, and get the onsight of Left Flake.

After I rapped off, Amy TR'd the two combined routes (we tied two ropes together), but she climbed right flake instead of left flake because it was more directly in line with the rope and really doesn't feel any different from left flake.

Once we had finished the linked up routes we decided that it was really too hot to keep climbing, but as I tried to pull the ropes we realized that they were stuck.  even with both of us hanging from them they wouldn't budge, so we decided to have Amy anchor one side of the rope, and I rope soloed up the other side.  I ended up TR soloing Wedunett which is a 5.6, but I went directly up to the first bolt which bumps the rating up closer to 5.8, then for the second pitch I TR soloed a 5.10a called Cheap Thrills.  I have to say that Cheap Thrills was an awesome route and I'll have to go back to lead it.  The route is a pure friction route with basically nothing at all as far as holds go.  I did slip off once but I think that was due to the heat since I was watching the rubber on my shoes deform and roll off my foot with each move.  When I got to the top of the route, the only problem was that the rope had become twisted around itself a couple of times which when combined with the low angle slabby nature of the topout created enough friction that we couldn't pull the ropes.  I untwisted the ropes, rapped off, we pulled the ropes, then we headed over to the lake for some water fun for the afternoon.  Sorry, but we didn't take any photos of this trip, maybe next time.

Big Rock, 09/15/2012

So on Saturday, we were pretty much worn out from our previous day of hiking, climbing, and beach bumming in Malibu, so we got a late start to the day.  We had decided to go to Big Rock for some climbing, then to hit Lake Perris so that the kids could have some fun swimming in the afternoon.  We finally got out of the house at around 11:00 and it was already like 100 degrees outside.  Amy was saying that it was too hot to do any climbing, but I convinced her to at least try one route before we just played in the lake.

We drove to Big Rock and it was way hot, but there were two other people climbing there, so I guess we're not the only crazy people in the world.  When we got to the rock we had a kind of funny conversation with the other climbers there.  They were on the most popular route at Big Rock, a 5.5 called "The Trough".  When we walked up they asked us if we were climbing and I told them that yes we were going to do a route or two before going swimming.  At that point the climber tells me, "Okay, I'm just going to TR this quickly, so then you can do it" as if The Trough is the only climb on the rock or something.  He then added, "or I guess you can do the other one" and pointed to the other 5.5, African Flake.  I then told him not to worry and that we'd be find doing one of the other routes.  I don't know if it was the kids or what, but he obviously didn't think that there was any way we would be climbing something harder than 5.5.

Instead, we decided to do a 5.9 called "Variation to Boogaloo".  This route is very fun, and starts  with the crux right at the first bolt.  After the crux it is pretty much just continuous 5.7 slab climbing up through the last bolt, then it eases up to just a scramble to the anchors.  The route is nice and runout in true Big Rock style with only 4 bolts in the 100 ft. pitch.  I easily ran up the route getting the redpoint, and I think the other two climbers were a bit shocked with how quickly I did the route.

Amy on "Variation to Boogaloo" - 5.9


Next Amy TR'd the route without any problems and when she got down they were like, "wow, how long have you been climbing?"  After telling them how long we've been climbing they quickly had to tell us that they were just getting back into climbing after a several year break as if we were judging them or something. I just thought the whole encounter was quite amusing.  Next up, Danny put on his harness and worked on his slab climbing skills.  With a bit of discrete tension, he made it through the crux without any problems and scampered about half way up the route before deciding that he was ready to come down and go swimming.

Danny practicing his slab skills


By this time, it was just too hot to continue climbing, so we headed to the lake where the kids had a blast swimming.

Malibu Creek, 09/14/2012

So, up until this last Friday, we had been to Malibu Creek State Park twice, but we really haven't done much climbing there.  The first time we went, we parked outside of the park and tried following the map in the Southern California Sport Climbing book to get there, but we ended up taking the wrong trail (I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for a full on two land road width trail, and instead thought it would just be a climbers trail), and we ended up following this trail down to where it was by a creek, and there were these huge spiders on their webs blocking further progress.  After that we turned around and headed to the beach.

The next time we went to Malibu Creek, I had looked up more about how to get there and realized that we had taken the wrong trail, so we decided to go and try climbing at the Stumbling Blocks area.  We found our way into the park, but the book makes it look like you can get to the Stumbling Blocks area either by doing a 5.0 boulder traverse above the stream (not doable with kids), or you can cross the stream on rocks in the water.  Well, we got to where this stream crossing on rocks supposedly is, and there was nowhere to cross without swimming, so instead we just toproped a climb at Planet of the Apes Wall.  Now why there are only TRs at Planet of the Apes Wall is something that I will never understand, but that is how it is.

So, Friday came around and I decided that we should give Malibu Creek another try.  The guidebook shows that you can get to the Century Lake Dam area without any stream crossings or boulder traverses or anything like that, so we decided to try it out.  We got a later start than I had hoped, but I figured we'd get there at around 11:30, of course that wasn't taking into account the accident that would close three of the lanes on the 101 freeway.  We ended up getting to the park at a little past noon, and it was a crazy hot day.  I thought that since we would be fairly close to the ocean, and up in the mountains that it would be a bit cooler, that was certainly not the case, and it was at least 100 degrees when we got there.

Luckily the guidebook was correct this time, and we were able to get to the Century Dam area without any problems (other than almost dying of heat exhaustion as I pushed the stroller up the hill to get to the dam).  Once we were at the dam we had to ditch the stroller to get to the climbing, but it wasn't too bad.  After checking the different rocks around the dam, I decided that he most kid friendly area would be Little Cheops (plus it was all shady).  We hiked in, let the kids check out the crawdads in the stream, then started climbing.

First up was the easiest of the three routes in this area, a 5.9 called "Scarab".   Scarab follows the right arette        of the rock through great pockets.  I onsighted the route, then Amy also lead the route and got the redpoint.  While I was climbing the route, Amy and the kids noticed that there were a bunch of mice that were running around the area, and the kids had a blast watching all of them throughout the day.

Scarab - 5.9


Amy Leading Scarab


For our next route we just moved over to the middle of the three routes on the wall, a 5.10b called "Tut".  This route was really good, and was mostly vertical with a couple of bulges providing the crux moves.  Again, the rock was very pocketed and made for interesting and fun moves.  I cruised the route and got the onsight, then Amy TR'd it.

Tut - 5.10b





For the final route of the day, we did the final route on the wall, a 5.10b called "Mummy".  This route wasn't nearly as good as the previous two.  It was much dirtier, and the moves didn't flow as well, but at least it was another route to climb.  I also onsighted this route, and Amy also TR'd it.

Mummy - 5.10b



We decided to call it a day since the other walls in the area didn't look nearly as kid friendly, and we wanted to hit the beach since we were so close to it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Riverside Quarry, 09/08/2012

On Saturday we wanted to go climbing, but neither Amy or I really wanted to drive very far because of our recent trip to UT.  That limited us to where we could go climbing so we decided to just hit up the quarry.  As usual, our area of choice was Slab City since it is great for the kids. 

We started on our usual warm up, "Mantle Marathon" 5.10a.  I ran up the route and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead the route.  She did very well, but did fall off at the crux once before getting through it. When she was about halfway up the route we realized that she had forgotten to take anything to clean the route with, so I told her to just not clip the final two draws on the easy slab section so that she could steal those to anchor herself in with. She did so and made it back to the ground safely.

Next up was a 5.11b called "Marathon Man".  It feels like I've been trying this route forever but have yet to get the redpoint. The crux of the route is between the first and second bolt, and involves some very interesting, balancy, and hard to read moves.  My first try on the route I couldn't get past the first bolt, the second try, I TR'd the route to figure out the moves, but still didn't really feel comfortable with them, on my third try, I ended up taking a fall and coming within inches of decking when I lifted Amy off the ground, oh, and we also colided in the air both getting a few bruises in the process, so this time I had a new plan.  As Amy lowered off of Mantle Marathon, I had her clip the second bolt with a long draw so that I could clip it lower and eliminate the possibility of decking.  This would have been a great plan if there were any holds that you could clip the long draw from, but of course, there weren't.  I ended up having to grab the long draw to clip it which worked, but there is no way I could clip it from any of the holds without getting thrown way off balance.  At least I was able to figure out the moves without having to worry about decking that way, and I now feel confident that I can get the redpoint (with someone a bit heavier than Amy belaying me of course).

After the crux of Marathon Man, the route eases up considerably so I quickly reached the anchors and let Amy TR the route.  She wasn't able to do the crux without any help, but a little descrete tension goes a long way;)

Next up was Shattered Dreams since Amy is still working on getting the crux figured out.  As usual I ran up the route without any problems, then Amy tried it on TR.  I do have to say that she is getting much better at the lower section of the route.  She got higher than she ever has before without having to rest which was pretty awesome.  At the crux though, she still had a very hard time, so we'll have to keep working on it.

Danny of course also had a blast being hauled up Shattered Dreams a couple of times. The route is prefect for him to "swing" on (as he likes to call it) since it is a bit overhung and allows him to be hauled clear up to the anchors.

Well by this time it was just after noon and the shade was quickly leavng so we decided to follow it's cue.  Sorry about the lack of photos, but I forgot to set up the camera.

Utah, 08/18/2012 - 09/03/2012

I have been working at my current job for a little over two years now which means that I am now elegible for a promotion to an ND-4 pay grade (GS 12 equivalent).  In order to get this promotion however, I have to complete some training requirements including two week long classes that are held at various military bases accross the US.  Of course the base where I work isn't big enough to offer these courses which means that I have to travel somewhere to attend.  I completed the first of these two courses in San Diego in July, and was planning on doing the second course at Port Hueneme in August, but the course at Port Hueneme filled up before I was able to register for it, and it turned out that the closest non-full course being offered aroud the same time frame ended up being at Hill Air Force Base in UT.  Soon after signing up for the class we found out that my brother Steven had set the date for his wedding and was getting married on September 1st which was a week after my course ended, so we decided to just take the whole faily up to UT for a full two and a half weeks.  Of course that meant climbing in UT.

We left for UT on the 17th of August and drove all the way to Maple Canyon where we planned on staying our first night so that we could climb there in the morning.  We arrived at Maple fairly late on Friday evening, so as you can imagine, the campground was full which just meant that we wouldn't have to pay for camping, awesome huh?

While we were looking for somewhere else to camp we had driven up the road past the campground, but being in a Hyundai Elantra, we didn't make it too far up the road before we got to some boulders that were just too big to go over, and the road was too narrow to turn around, so I just started backing up to where we could turn around and head back down the canyon.  As I was backing up, Danny started telling us "We gunna die" repeatadly.  It was halarious, we had to reassure him that no, we weren't going to die, and that Daddy could see where he was going.

Needless to say, we made it safely to where we could turn around, then drove back to the mouth of the canyon where we found a lovely pullout that worked for our campsite.

Now, Amy has only climbed in Maple a couple of times, and wanted to do something close where there were easy routes so that Danny could climb too, so after a quick breakfast of oatmeal, se headed to the schoolroom.

Luckily we were early enough that there weren't any other climbers in the schoolroom yet, so we started by climbing the easiest route there, a 5.4 called "Bobs Bolts".   Amy lead the route, then we set up a TR so that Danny could try climbing it, unfortunately, it was a bit steeper than what he was comfortable with, but he did make it to the first bolt.  After that we pulled the rope and I ran up to route to clean it.

Next up was the ultra-classic schoolroom route, a 5.10b called "The Big Kahuna".  The Big Kahuna gets its name from the huge cobble found right in the middle of the route just before the crux roof.  I lead the route and got the redpoint, although Amy was quite sad that I didn't actually use the big kahuna as a handhold.  Next Amy TR'd the route and almost got it cleanly.  She did have to rest once, but we'll just say that was because she's not used to pulling on cobbles.

Amy starting "The Big Kahuna" - 5.10b

Danny "swinging" on The Big Kahuna

After The Big Kahuna we moved one route to the right to what I thought I remembered Jason Stevens telling me years before was like a 5.11a or 5.11b.  Well that certainly wasn't right, I climbed it onsight and realized it was about a 5.8.  After looking it up, it turns out it was a 5.8 called "Hot 4 Teacher".  Amy lead the route getting the redpoint easily.

Hot For Teacher - 5.8


I realized that the route that Jason Stevens had told me was an .11a or .11b was actually one route further right of Hot 4 Teacher, but it had been extended since then and is now the longest route at The Schoolroom which is why I didn't recognize it (it used to be like 2 bolts to a single coldshut).  I decided that it was next up so I cruised it getting the onsight.  I'm going to have to say that it is easier than .11a or .11b, I thought it felt like a 5.10d with the crux between the second and third bolt, but in Darren's new guidebook the route is listed as a 5.10b called "The Horney Thing".  I'm going to have to say that it is definately harder than any of the other 5.10b's that I've done in Maple and I've done a lot of them.  The route was tons of fun however. The crux was kind of technical on slightly overhanging rock, then the route goes over several bulges before the final steep but juggy headwall guarding the anchors.  I think this is definately my new favorite route at The Schoolroom.

Pulling the crux of "The Horney Thing" - 5.10d

Higher up

And still higher

After climbing it, we let Danny put on his harness again and go swinging.  He always has a blast when we just haul him up overhanging routes and ths was no exception.  After his swinging, Amy ran up the route on TR and we moved onto our next route.

Danny swinging on The Horney Thing



Amy pulling the crux


Danny loves to help pull the rope

As I was belaying Amy up The Horney thing, I had noticed that there were two bolts on the roof to the right of The Big Kahuna and to the left of Hot 4 Teacher.  I thought that they looked fun, and since I thought the climbing on the lower section of Big Kahuna was better than on Hot 4 Teacher I linked up the lower two bolts of Big Kahuna with the two bolts on the roof, then continued over to the anchors on Hot 4 Teacher since the anchors above the two bolts were way back from the edge of the cliff and would have been horible to TR through.  I got the onsight, then Amy TR'd this linkup.  It turns out that the two bolts are part of a 5.10a route called "The Little Kahuna" which technically starts on Hot 4 Teacher and finishes at it's own anchors, but I think my linkup was better.

Big Kahuna - Little Kahuna - Hot for Teacher linkup - 5.10a?

On the crux overhang

Amy on the traverse from Big to Little Kahuna

After finishing my Big Kahuna - Little Kahuna - Hot 4 Teacher linkup, we packed up and headed to my parents house so that Amy could go to my new sister-in-laws Bridal Shower that was happening at 2:00 that afternoon.

Because of my training we weren't able to go climbing again until the following Wednesday after I got off work.  We haven't been climbing much in the Ogden area, but since we were staying in Clearfield we decided to check out Ogden Canyon.  We drove up the canyon checking out the different areas, but soon realized that pretty much everything there is right on the edge of the road.  Now this is great if you don't want any approach at all, but having two little kids with us, we decided that this wasn't the safest option for them, so instead, we headed to 9th Street wall in Ogden.

9th Street Wall sits up on the foothills directly above 9th street in Ogden (imagine that).  It was about a 10 minute walk up the hill, and luckily, we were late enough in the day that the wall was completely in the shade.  The rock was a gneiss (metamorphosed granite) and was slightly overhanging for most of the wall.  We decided to start on a 5.9 called "Shino".  The route was overhanging and pumpy (especially for a 5.9), and I ended up blowing the onsight when I couldn't figure out where to go at the crux.  After hanging I could see that there were holds on the overhanging arrete that weren't visable from below.  Next up, Amy TR'd the route and we moved on.

Shina - 5.9

At the crux



Our second climb was a 5.10d called "Midnight Cowboy".  This route was a really fun route that was pretty crimpy and technical with a small crux roof.  Once again, I blew the onsight and had to hang once at the crux before figuring out the moves.  Also once again, Amy followed on TR.

Starting "Midnight Cowboy" - 5.10d


At the crux


At this point Amy was pretty pumped since she's not too used to doing overhanging routes, but I wanted to try something a bit harder, so we decided that I'd just climb one final route before we left.  I chose what I thought looked like the best line on the wall, a 5.11c called "Vile of Crack" 

Vile of Crack followed three bolts out a huge roof before turning vertical for the last two bolts before the anchor.  The crux ended up being between the first and second bolts, and I had to hang several times before I figured out the moves.  By the time I was through the crux I was pretty much dead, so I just hangdogged the rest of the route to get to the anchors.  When I arrived at the anchors, I clipped a draw to them, but they were to the left of where I was standing, and I didn't have enough strength left to grab the draw and swing over to the anchors to clip them, so I had to do it without cheating;)  Unfortunately, right when I asked for slack to clip them, Danny decided to throw a fit and lay down on the rope causing Amy to short rope me after I got the first armfull of slack.  Now the anchors on the route were a bit runout from the last bolt considering that the first three bolts of the route were on a huge roof with very little hight gain, so I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't worried about decking if I blew the clip.  Luckily, Amy was able to free the rope before I fell off and I was able to clip the chains without decking.

Starting "Vile of Crack" - 5.11c (unfortunately, the camera died right after this photo, and I had left the charger at my parents house, so we went the next few days without a camera)

That was it for our climbing in Ogden.  We headed to Costa Vida (our favorite fast casual mexican restaurant that is only in UT) for some dinner and called it a day.

Our next climbing excursion of the trip to UT happened on Friday the 24th.  I was supposed to have my training from 0800 - 1200, but we ended up only having 45 minutes of training, so we were able to hit the road by 0900 to do some climbing.  Because of the limited climbing options (especially kid friendly options) in the Ogden area we decided to head up to Salt Lake and hit up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We figured that Chalange Buttress is always a good spot for the kids, and since it was a Friday morning we thought that there would be something open. 

The west face of Chalange Buttress has a really fun 5.9 called "Hollow Man" that I thought would be a really good route for Amy to try leading, so we hiked around to the west face.  When we arrived we found that Hollow Man was occupied along with several other routes, which left us with really only one option for warming up, a 5.11b called "Winky and Waxman go Bolting".  Allthough the route is 5.11b, the crux is pretty much right off the ground for like two moves, then it's just a jughaul to the top.  I ran up the route getting the redpoint, and Amy TR'd it without too much difficulty.

After that, the group was still on Hollow Man, so we decided to try a new route that I had never seen before that was above Winky and Waxman go Bolting.  This route ended up being a really long 5.10b called "Better than Bitter".  The route was awesome.  It was overhanging for the whole route, and was very continuous in nature.  Needless to say, I blew the onsight because my endurance is so bad, and I had to take on the second to last bolt to rest my arms before finishing up the route.  Amy also enjoyed the route, but she didn't have the endurance to TR it cleanly either.  I think this is my new favorite route on the west face of Chalange Buttress.

Hollow Man was finally open at this point, but Amy felt too pumped to try and lead it, so I ran up it getting the redpoint, and Amy TR'd it.  Hollow Man is an awesome route because it's only 5.9, but it's slightly overhanging for the whole route, and it gives you a good pump.

At this point Amy was ready to go home, but I wanted to climb one more route so I jumped on a 5.11a called "Wrecking Ball".  I had climbed this route once before, but I definately didn't remember how to do the crux.  I had to hang for a bit as I tried to figure out the moves over the lip of the roof, but I finally got it and made it to the anchors.  Amy was too tired to even attempt this route, so we just packed up and headed to my Grandma's house for the afternoon for a visit.  Sorry about the lack of photos, but the battery for the camera died.

Because of all of the family stuff gong on we didn't get to do a whole lot of climbing on our trip, and the next time we were able to make it out was on Monday the 27th.  Once again we headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon, but this time we went to the Lower S-Curve Wall.  There is a nice overhung 5.9 there that I've always wanted to do, and that I thought would be a perfect route for Amy, but it's always occupied when we've climbed there.  I figured that it should be open on a Monday morning so that helped with making the decision on where to climb.

As I predicted there was noone at the wall which was a good thing because Danny had decided to slam his finger in the car door when we got to the parking lot, so he was crying and probably would have disturbed other climbers if they had been there.  We figured that at least we had ice from our watter bottles to put on it, and it would hurt just as bad there as anywhere else, so we just continued to the crag to go climbing.

First up was the 5.9 that I've always wanted to do.  The route is actually just the first pitch of a two pitch route called "Ionic Bonding" of which the second pitch is rated 5.11a.  I'm going to have to say that it's the steepest 5.9 I've ever seen, but it was good and juggy, so I got the onsight pretty easily.  I was hoping that Amy would lead the route, but she thought it looked to overhung, so she just TR'd it.

"Iconic Bonding" - 5.9

Just a bit steep for a 5.9 wouldn't you say?




For our second route of the day we just moved one route to the left to a 5.10d called "Clastic Cling".  This route started with an overhanging section through the first couple of bolts providing the crux, then deteriorated into a low angled hike past several more bolts to get to the anchors, at least the crux section was fun and thought provoking.  I onsighted the route and Amy TR'd it.

Starting "Clastic Cling" - 5.10d

Pulling the crux


Amy was ready to leave at this point, but I wanted to do a final route, so once again we moved over one route to the left to a 5.10b called "Melting Point"  This route was fun, varried, and looong.  The route started with some cruxy moves through the initial overhanging section before it turned into an easy low angled slab for a few more bolts, the rock kicked back again and was slightly overhung for a few bolts providing the .10b crux, then it continued through just less than vertical terrain until the anchors.  I got the onsight, but when I reached the anchors Amy told me that I was over half a rope length up so I had to rap the route in two raps from some midway anchors on another route to get down.  We then packed up and headed out so that the kids could have their naps.

The next day we were staying with my parents in Highland so we decided to hit up AF Canyon to get a few routes in.  We just went to The Membrane since there is zero approach and it's a nice area for the kids.  For our first route we did a 5.10a called "Drunken Midget".  This route is always a fun one and involves pulling a small roof between the second and third bolt for the crux, followed by some easier juggy climbing to the anchors.  We did this route because Amy has tried to get it cleanly on TR a couple of times, but hasn't yet been able too.  I ran up the route, then Amy tried TRing it and almost made it through the crux, but couldn't quite get it on her first attempt so she had to hang once.

Once Amy got to the anchors I realized that it would be easy for her to set up a TR on the 5.12a next to us to the left, so I told her to do so.  The route was called "26" and ended up being quite fun.  It started with some good juggy pocket pulling for the first two bolts, then you were hit with the crux at the third bolt where the rock just turned completly blank.  It took me several tries to figure out the moves, and granted I was on toprope, but with the position of the third bold, you'd be on TR through the crux on lead anyway, so I think that I would be able to redpoint this one without much work.  I really wanted to go back to this route later in our trip so that I could try and get the redpoint, but alas, between bad weather and my brothers wedding we weren't able to.

It was starting to get dark, so we decided to do one last route before we left and chose a 5.10b called "Kitchen Sink".  I had climbed this route back in December of last year, but had blown the onsight due to numb fingers, so I wanted to go back and redpoint it.  Unfortunately that wasn't going to happen.  I climbed the route just fine until the last bolt when the location of the bolt made me think that I was supposed to head right.  Unfortunately, if you head right towards the bolt, there are no more holds above it once you get there, and from your field of view you can't see the holds to your left.  I ended up having to hang so that I could figure out where to go, and now know that you should stay left of the last bolt to do the route.  Well, live and learn I guess.  Amy once again TR'd the route and didn't have the same problems as me since she now had the beta.  That was it for our climbing in AF Canyon on this trip.

On Wednesday we wanted to go to Maple Canyon again since it is just so much fun so we decided to drive there on Wednesday afternoon, do some climbing, camp, climb again in the morning, then head back to my parents to help with the wedding preparations.  My sister Stephanie decided to join us since she had never been climbing at Maple before. 

We drove out to Maple, payed for a campsite, then headed over to the Orangutan Wall to do some fun long easy routes. We started with the easiest route on the wall, a 5.6 called "Don't Feed the Monkey".  This route consists of a near vertical cobble jug haul for almost a full 100 ft.  I ran up the route and hung the draws for Amy and Steph, then they both went up and redpointed the thing.  I think it was Steph's first time leading and she did awesome.  Once the girls had climbed the route, Danny wanted a turn, so he TR'd the lower angled section through the first couple of bolts.

Steph on her first lead, "Don't feed the Monkey" - 5.6


Now it's Amy's turn

Danny rocking the cobbles

We decided to just work our way accross the wall and try to hit all of the routes before it got dark.  That meant that next up was "Primate Grooming Procedures" a supposed 5.7.  Now I've clibed this route before (many years ago), and I remember it being about 5.7, but I think something has changed because it fealt more like a 5.9 than a 5.7.  I redpointed the route, then both Amy and Steph did the route on TR, and both of them had to hang at the crux before figuring it out and I don't know when the last time either of them hung has had to hang on a 5.7.

Steph trying to figure out how to get through the crux of "Primate Grooming Procedures" - supposedly 5.7, fealt like 5.9

Our next route was "Full Moon Monkey", a 5.8 that definately fealt a full grade easier than Primate Grooming Procedures.  Once again I ran up the route and got the redpoint, then Steph TR'd the route, but then when Amy started up the route it started raining on us.  Now I'm not talking about a little sprinkle kind of rain, it was a full on downpour.  Considering how wet everything got, Amy did great on TR and made it to the anchors cleanly, I was impressed.  The only problem was the fact that now everything was soaked (including all of us).  It was still raining, so all the other routes on the wall were out of the question, but I had noticed that there were project draws on a 5.12c in The Pipeline, and since The Pipeline is so overhung, I figured that it would be a good place to go to get out of the rain.

The route with the project draws was called "Ethan Screams".  It was very overhung, but well protected, so I roped up and gave it a go. Now I didn't come anywhere close to doing the route cleanly, but I do feel that I did pretty well for the route being a full 4 grades harder than anything I've redpointed recently.  I had to grab all of the draws to clip, but I did manage to do the moves between the draws which is pretty amazing.  I didn't end up finishing the route though (I only made it to the last bolt).  By the time I got to the last bolt my arms were just so shot that I couldn't pull through to the anchors.  I did make it high enough that my feet were even with the last bolt a couple of times, but I still had a couple of feet until the anchors and I just couldn't hold on anymore, so I lowered off and neither Amy nor Steph wanted to try it.

It was getting dark outside, so it was time to go set up camp, but we were still soaked from the rain, and realized that we hadn't brought a change of clothes, so we decided to just head back to my parents instead of camping even though we'd already paid for the campsite.  So that was it for our climbing at Maple Canyon.  We only got two short days of climbing there, but it was still a ton of fun. As an added bonus, I picked up the new Maple guidebook while we were in UT, so that is pretty cool. I've been waiting for this guide fo at least 6 years now, hearing rumors that it was just about done the whole time, but the book was certainly worth the wait and is amazing.  I'd suggest that anyone heading to Maple Canyon should pick up a copy (it's the one by Darren Knezeck, not the Wolverine Press one).

Since we weren't in Maple Canyon the following morning we ended up heading to Provo to visit my sister Chantale.  We also had plans that evening to have dinner with one of my best friends who also lives in Provo, so we decided that between the visit with Chantale, and dinner with Scott, we'd head up Rock Canyon to get a few routes in.  Because of the kids and the shade situation we decided to just do a few routes in The Kitchen.  When we were hiking up the canyon we saw a bunch of cops on the road below Superbowl wall and we weren't sure if there was some kind of training going on or what, but it turns out that I guess they found a body there of somebody who had fallen and died, crazy huh.

We arrived at The Kitchen and started by climbing the easy 5.6 corner the right side of the wall with the very interesting name of "Right Corner".  I was hoping that Amy would want to lead it since it's an easy trad route, but she was feeling a bit worn out, so I led the route and Amy TR'd it.

For our second route at The Kitchen we did my favorite route there, a 5.8 called "Double Jam" which as you can imagine, follows a double crack system up the center of the wall.  The route is tons of fun because it's only 5.8, but the crux involves perfect hand jams through an overhanging section of rock.  I like it.  Anyway, I redpointed the route and Amy TR'd it.

For our final route of the day, and of the trip for that matter, we did the 5.9 in the left corner of The Kitchen, which as you may have guessed, is calle Left Corner. This route goes through the same overhanging section of rock as Double Jam, but it uses a finger crack instead of a hand crack which is why it's more difficult.  I was ticked when I fell off the route at the crux because of a lack of chalk in my bag.  Right where the route is the steepest, the crack widens to between off fingers and ring locks size, but there is a slopey face hold that you can use, so I took that option.  The only problem was that the rock was hot and my hands were sweaty, so I tried to chalk up, but there wasn't enough chalk in my bag to get any on my palms where I needed it.  I tried a couple of times, but if I got my body high enough to put my left foot on the next hold I would start slipping because there wasn't enough friction, and I eventually fell off.  After drying my hands off on my pants and using both hands to get the chalk onto my palms, I was able to pull through the crux without a problem.  I am not one of those people who can climb without chalk.  Amy went up the route on TR, then we packed up and headed to the Bombay House to have dinner with my friend Scott and his family.

We had hoped to do some more climbing on Friday and/or Saturday, but between the wedding preparations and bad weather we weren't able to get out again.  Overall it was a good trip and I feel like we were able to do quite a bit of climbing especially considering that it was both a business trip, and a trip to my brother's wedding.