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.

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