Weekend of Adventure

Hello good readers! This past weekend was rife with adventure. Friday night, Shaun, Pete, and I headed out to Wallkill, NY to spend some time with Tony and Paulette and enjoy the beautiful topography of the Mohonk Reserve. The plan was for Shaun, Tony, and Paulette to do some hiking on Saturday while Pete and I did some climbing at the gunks – and oh what a perfect weekend for the outdoor activities.

Pete and I started early, arriving at the gunks around ~7am-ish. Pete started leading DisneyLand (5.6). I must admit, for a gunks climb, this one really didn’t do it for me. It’s even considered somewhat of a classic at the gunks – the trouble for me was the traversing*. I think it’s safe to say that I loathe traversing – for me, traversing seems to exaggerate the feeling of being strung out (being far away from the last piece of gear). As a result, it’s pretty scary. This was exaggerated by some unusual rope dynamics – we were using two ropes, and one had seeeerious rope drag**.

After DisneyLand, Pete led a 5.7, and I followed up by leading the first pitch of Gelsa (5.4). Despite the rating, this climb was pretty extreme. It is a quintessential gunks climb: big holds, overhanging roofs, and long pitches. The first pitch was lengthy and traversey. I found myself pretty wigged out on this 5.4 (despite a generous peppering of gear) with long steps of faith, and calf shaking maneuvers around slopey aretes***. Pete finished the route, which drove straight vertical through an exciting jagged corner.

Pete, setting up the rappel

Adding to the fun was a breathtaking hands only rappel between routes. Halfway down the rappel, the rope draped off a fierce overhang… so a hundred feet in the air you had to hang in open space and mindfully lower yourself down the rope. It’s enough to make the casual climber (a title I would assign myself) hold tightly to his or her nerves.

Post climbing, I returned to Tony and Paulette’s place for an epic BBQ and great times.

An amazing Saturday!

Tune in tomorrow for a Roller Derby recap!!

*Traversing is when a climber goes sideways instead of up
**Rope drag is when a rope is pulled through such a sharply angled collection of gear that the friction makes it extremely hard to pull the rope

Two. Quick.

Shamus sent me an exciting link this past weekend after having seen Jesse and me on TV. Sure enough, we were in a panning shot at the climbing gym. You’ll have to pay attention, it’s only for a fleeting moment. I’m wearing a yellowish shirt and belaying Jesse on the wall. I have now officially used up 3 of my 15 seconds of fame.

Shaun L. exhibited an exquisite display of Ninja reflexes this weekend. He stood in the Kitchen of Rock holding a raw egg, soon to be placed into a pot of boiling water on the stove. Somehow, the egg was dropped. Now, if I were in this situation, I would most certainly cut my losses, leap backwards, and let the egg explode. But not Shaun L. No. Shaun instead performed a masterful display of delicacy and power. As the egg fell, Shaun somehow managed to catch the egg between his leg and the cabinet. The egg survived with only the most minor of cracks. It was a remarkable feat.

Climbing pics!

Just a few quick pictures from Sunday’s climbing adventure at Ragged Mnt.

Pete cleaning up his anchor

Pete leading the climb Knight's Move (over Wetwall)

Trad climbing works by placing gear into the rock as you climb. Here’s a nut Pete placed halfway up the climb above.

If Pete were to fall, the nut would jam itself into the rock and act as an anchor.

We did three quick routes. I had to convince Pete not to bother with Carey Corner – which is a nasty off width. UGH. I hate off widths.

Looking down on Wishbone (My favorite route at Ragged)

Pete’s considering heading out to Red Rocks next season. Perhaps I’ll join him. It’s a different league of climbing.

Bouldering Comp

The Bouldering Competition video has gone through!

I must say, I did a poor job with the file management and the movie ended up losing quality through compression. I’m going to have to figure out a new system of editing and saving movies so that they retain their super-crisp feel. All that aside, here’s the winner of the 2010 men’s bouldering competition at Prime Climb.


Bouldering Competition from mikedidonato on Vimeo.