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.

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