Friday, November 16, 2012

Frustration Creek, 10/26/2012 - 10/27/2012

Well, another weekend has come and gone, and another couple of days have been spent up at Frustration Creek.  I know Frustration Creek isn't anywhere near a world class crag, but the fact that it is so close to us, and so many people are currently working on making it nicer makes me really enjoy going up there.  Last weekend I put up some anchors above another route that I wanted to bolt, so I figured that I could get it bolted this weekend.  On Friday morning we decided to head up and do some climbing while it was still cool out, then Amy and the kids could head home while I worked on bolting and cleaning the new route.

When we arrived at Frustration Creek we decided to start out by climbing "The Natural" (5.10a).  We had climbed this route the week before, and Amy seemed to really enjoy climbing it, so I thought that it would be a good route for her to lead.  I started out and ran up it to hang the draws for her, then she went on to lead it.  At first she was having some trouble (thanks to my beta) and had to hang a couple of times before she found a sequence that would work for her, then she was able to make it to the top without any problems.  She cleaned the route, then when she got to the ground she decided that she wanted to try redpointing The Natural, but she preferred to have the draws pre-hung.  I decided that I could lead the route to the left of The Natural, a 5.10b called "Unnatural Act", then I'd hang draws on The Natural on my way down.

I lead Unnatural Act easily and hung the draws on The Natural for Amy so that she could try redpointing it. She cruised it and got the redpoint easily, then she toproped Unnatural Act as well.

I decided that I was sufficiently warmed up at this point so I tried leading my new route Primal Quest for the first time.  Now you can see in my previous posts that Primal Quest is going to be a fairly hard route, so with this being my first time leading it I knew I wouldn't be able to redpoint it yet, but I wanted to make sure that I have sequences that will work well on lead.  I was a bit worried about being able to clip the second bolt because the clipping hold is a tiny crimp right in the middle of the crux, but it turned out to be easy enough.  The crux move that comes right after making the clip however was just as difficult as before.  I think I have figured out how to do it, but I'm going to have to work on my crimp lock-off strength before I'll be able to stick it.  After that I hang-dogged my way up the route and was able to do all the other moves, but I wasn't really trying to link them yet since I am still so far away from doing the crux.

After I climbed Primal Quest Amy and the kids headed home so that I would have time to bolt and clean the route that I had installed anchors on last weekend (I'm calling it The Expedition).  I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon working on that project.  As with all of Frustration Creek, the rock is pretty chossy in most places, but this new route does have some pretty cool features that should be a lot of fun to climb.  As I was working on my new route, Matt and Chris told me that I needed to come up to the upper falls area and try climbing there since I haven't ever climbed there before, so once I finished getting all of the bolts in my route I headed up.

I have to say that the upper falls area looks amazing.  The routes look long and overhung, and they are all permadrawed (is that a word?) so you can escape easily if you get in over your head.  Chris had a fixed line on a 5.12a route called Mohawk that he wanted to get down, so I belayed him up the route so that he could retrieve it.  Mohawk is an extension to a 5.11d route called Delusions, so once Chris got down I decided that I'd just TR Delusions since I was feeling pretty tired from climbing, bolting, and cleaning all day.  I ended up doing pretty well on the route and flashed the crux without any problems, unfortunately that about killed me and for the last three or four bolts on the route I was falling off of huge incut jugs because my arms were so tired.  Regardless, it was a super fun climb and I'm definately going to have to get on it again sometime soon.

After Delusions I packed up my gear and headed home since we were planning on taking the kids to a pumpkin patch that evening.

Saturday we planned on heading up to Frustration Creek again and were planning on climbing with Gwynne.  We left the house around nine and just told Gwynne to meet us up there when she was ready. 

We decided to start out by climbing The Fourth Wise Man since Amy hadn't redpointed it yet (in fact, the only time she tried leading it she only made it to the last bolt, but couldn't figure out how to get to the chains).  I ran up the route and hung the draws for her, then she headed up for her redpoint attempt.  At first it wasn't looking like it would happen because she was having some trouble with the lower section, but eventually she got in her groove and ended up redpointing it easily.  She didn't have any trouble with the section from the last bolt to the chains, so that was cool.

The Fourth Wise Man - 5.8

Amy getting the redpoint

Now it was actually pretty hot out and the wall was baking in the sun so we decided to head over to the other side of the canyon to climb a 5.8 called "Welcome to Frustration" since it was in the shade.  A week or two ago I had climbed the route, but Amy hadn't wanted to at the time, so this would be her first time on the route.  Welcome to Frustration is mostly a really easy slab route, but the 5.8 crux comes when you ar pulling over a pretty big roof so that makes it pretty interesting.  Again I ran up the route first and hung the draws for Amy, then she lead it and got the redpoint.  She did look a little bit concerned when she got to the roof, but she figured it out without any problems.

Welcome to Frustration - 5.8

Amy just starting the crux

Amy pulling the roof

Of course Danny wanted to climb his route so we set it up and let him have some fun climbing it, then Amy was feeling hot and wanted to rest for a bit, so I decided to continue cleaning the route that I had bolted the day before.  I was hoping to be able to finish cleaning it so that I could go for the FA, but unfortunately there were a bunch of wasps that didn't want that to happen.   I started cleaning from the bottom and working my way up the route, and got about half way up the route before there were these two wasps that just didn't want me to go any higher.  As long as I stayed below them they just sat there and didn't do anything, but as soon as my head would get to their level they would come out at me and act very aggressive.  Needless to say I ended up heading down before I was attacked.  We decided that we could at least try climbing the route up to bolt just below the wasps so I ran up it to that point and found it to be quite fun.  The holds are cool, and it is like 5.7 up to that point, so it was fun.  After I came down Amy TR'd it up to my high point.

Danny climbing his route - Preschooler's Playground - 3rd class

Cleaning my new route - The Expedition

Trying the moves for the first time (below the wasps)

Amy trying the moves

We decided that it was getting kind of late and that the kids needed to take their naps before a haloween party that we were planning on going to, so we started packing up to head home when Gwynne finally showed up. We decided that we'd better stay just a bit longer so that she'd be able to climb something. Gwynne didn't feel like leading anything, so I decided that I could lead "The Natural" since from there she'd be able to TR both that route and "Unnatural Act" since they share the same anchors.  My feet were sick of being in climbing shoes so I decided to try leading the route in my approach shoes.  Of course the crux of the route is down low where there are no good feet and everything is all slick, but I managed to redpoint the route without any problems in my approach shoes. Gwynne then TR'd both The Natural and Unnatural Act, but when she got to the anchors after TRing both of them she realized that she had forgotten to bring anything to clean with so I got to run up Unnatural Act on TR to clean the anchors (again in my approach shoes). 

After that we decided that it was really time to head home so that the kids could get a nap in before our party. Hopefully I'll be able to get back up there soon so that I can continue working on my projects.

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