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Archive for the 'Climbing' Category

Red Rocks climbing


Did some climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada last weekend. This is more of a record and reminder for myself. Last time I was there was in 2005 back when I was a strong 5.11 climber. I don’t climb very often right now, and I felt rather nervous about doing much of anything.

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Costanza and her dog Douglas came with me. The first day we arrived around noon and stopped at the first pullout. I didn’t bring a guidebook (mistake) hoping I could piece it together from the Mountain Project website. I was targeting Panty Wall, but it was way too busy. We walked/hiked around a lot, which was a ton of fun in itself. We hiked towards the left (second pullout area) and saw some people climbing at Tsunami Wall:

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A young guy was doing the 5.12s. I debated doing the 5.7 trad climb…but I was just too nervous and wanted to work with Costanza on lead belaying first. We headed back towards Panty Wall and stumbled upon Amusement Park; I didn’t know what it was at the time, since we lacked a book, but it didn’t look too hard and I could setup a top rope on one of the last routes on the right to give me confidence:

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I set it up as a top and it was super easy for me. After Costanza gave it a good try I pulled the rope and led all of them for fun and practice.

The next day (Thanksgiving) it was again packed. We stopped at the first pullout again briefly; packed as usual at about 11am. We went to the second pullout and got out to hike around. I wanted to go to Magic Bus, as I recall doing routes there in 2005 with Jason. Unfortunately Douglass couldn’t make it up there, or the scrambling back behind it to check out other routes. No problem, so we went on to the Sandstone Quarry parking lot area. We hiked the short walk into the gap that I think is Front Corridor; it was packed, and two dogs where there off leash, so we looked for some more areas. The Wake Up Wall, which is to the left of the wash and a bit north west was recommended. We saw it from a short distance, and it looked packed. Plus, the easiest was 5.9..and I wasn’t sure I wanted to lead 9’s yet. We hiked in the wash “Turtlehead Peak” trail (according to the map) and found some routes on a wall. It clearly hasn’t been climbed in a while (or not much at all), and I setup a top rope pretty easily. The rope dragged over the edge because I forgot my webbing to extend it, but it was lots of fun! I’d say 10d to 11ish in rating. I can’t seem to find this area on the Mountain Project; I see the rock on the map, but nothing marked. I’d say it is the rock to the west and slightly south of Bull Market. Here’s a picture I took;

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The day after Thanksgiving we got up early and got there about 10am. This was early enough to get any parking (although it got super busy again later in the day). Panty Wall was already busy, but The Hamlet was empty and seemed easy to top rope for the “Lower Tier”:

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I don’t know what routes we really did; they were all 5.7 to 5.8, although I picked out some 5.10 variation moves that were pretty fun on the flat face like portion seem in the middle of the above photo (to the left of the large crack).

After this..it got busy, so we left and went to a later pullout by Willow Springs…TODO: look up the name of this area (I have it on my phone but can’t find it on Mountain Project):

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I did the easy 5.7? trad lead. One bolt on the bottom, and some old slings on top tied off a rock for rappelling.


Two Wheels in, Four Wheels out


Last weekend was an adventure in Tuolumne Meadows (by Yosemite, Ca, for those not around the area).

It started out Thursday night; I saw the midnight showing of the final Harry Potter with a bunch of friends. I then went to work at the usual time on Friday and promptly left at 5pm for a motorcycle ride up to Yosemite. Here it is packed up with tent, sleeping bag, climbing gear and my camel back:

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I rode up highway 120, stopping a few times for gas. I then passed a car show at a place I think was called the Hula Grill (or something like that). I am interested in the Factory 5 ’33 roadster, and I’ve been thinking about getting the kit car and making it all electric (maybe next year!), but I haven’t actually seen one in person. Well, I saw one driving down the road a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t count. It turns out there was one at the car show:

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It is a pretty neat looking car, but I definitely want one with fenders.

I road up right outside of the park and camped off the side of the road at Hard-and-flat Rd (that’s not the real name, but it sounds like Hard and Flat, and is how I remember the place). Camp was a matter of sleeping on the ground next to my motorcycle, and it was quite nice! I got up early and froze on the ride up to Tuolumne Meadows and went to the campground to look for my friends that I was meeting there: Mikael+Martha (and their baby girl, Sonja), Ranjeet (a new friend — and his two girls), and Mickey+Sarah. I stopped at the wrong “C” parking lot, and it turns out the motorcycle didn’t want to go anymore. Gas was leaking out of the carburetor (which is an easy fix), but worse was some electrical problem: hitting the starter would click a few times and then the bike would power off.

I had some allen wrenches, but I had to borrow a screw driver from a nearby camper. I decided to fix the carb, since I know how to do that. I took it apart, and as I was putting it back together a little needle valve piece literally disappeared before my eyes! I looked for it for two hours or so…but it was no where to be found. So, the bike was dead without that piece, and to tell you the truth, it was dead from the electrical issue too. I decided to leave it there, and pick it up on Monday with my truck — unfortunately causing me to take a vacation day for the adventure.

Saturday afternoon I hiked around; I went to the meadows and Elizabeth Lake, but I had missed my friends who were already climbing (san’s Martha, who was baby sitting).

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While I was at the lake, I talked to some tourists who had me take their picture. One of them made a funny comment about my tum-tum: “Hey, that does he have an 8-pack? I’ve only got a keg!”

Martha and I then made a plan to do Teneya peak on Sunday, which got me super excited, since I loved doing that climb with Jason a few years ago. Mikael and the others were graciously going to baby sit. So, we got up early on Sunday and drove out to do it, but then discovered it still had a ton of snow on the buttress. Instead, we decided to do a 5.7 on Lembert dome, which the other guys had done the day before. Once I got to the parking lot I remembered I did it years ago with JR, but no matter — it was fun!

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Martha at the start (well, after scrambling up to the start from the base of the dome).

After some apprehension, I ended up leading the first pitch, which was scary since I haven’t lead trad in many years. But it was fun, and I remembered how much I love trad climbing in Yosemite!

Here’s a few pictures of the climb, so I can remember this for next time. Looking down during the second pitch:

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Looking up at the rope, following Martha on the second pitch:

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And the view of the meadows:

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We then met up with the gang for lunch, packed the cars and headed to Bothle Dome (I think that is how it is spelled). We searched around and found some easy climbs for the kids to try. I just soloed it (it was 5.4 or 5.5), which actually worked out great since I could help Ranjeet’s kids do the climb. Self portrait with the iPhone partway up (although, this makes my chest look funny for some reason…oh well!)

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I got a little sunburned, and really wind burned, but it was worth it! My chapped lips are almost healed 3 days later.

After the 5.4ish stuff, Ranjeet and I tried a 5.11 top rope. I didn’t do a single move, since it was really really hard, and I’m not a 5.11 crack climber. Ranjeet however pulled about 3/4 of the climb before doing a huge pendulum swing. It was impressive! After the climbing, I got a ride with Ranjeet and his kids back to Cupertino. Jason then saved me and gave me a ride to my house in the hills.

Monday morning, I left in my truck at 6am and by a little after 11’ish, I was loading my bike up:

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I couldn’t waste a day off and a day trip in such a beautiful area, so I decided to hike to Cathedral Lake (~12 miles). I did it really fast (about 3 hours), and some of the backpackers I passed on the way in were surprised to see me so soon on the way out. Still, I enjoyed it a lot, despite the speed hike.

Lots of snow out:

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and some neat views of Cathedral Peak:

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Jason and I are going go climb it…hopefully this summer!


Yosemite rock climbing


Jason and I did a little climbing last weekend. We drove up to Yosemite on Friday night, camped outside the park at Hard n Flat road, and then drove in early saturday morning to secure a spot at Camp 4. We then climbed some 5.7 / 5.8 starting with After Seven (next to Nutcracker).

After seven:

Corbin halfway up:

The last pitch I led, and I haven’t led in a while. It scared me a bit to do the 5.8 moves, but I made it through. Here I am at the crux:

And a view of the roof after I made it past

We then went to El Cap

And free climbed a little 5.7

Jason, you are off belay, so I can take a picture

Then, we drank some beer, and slept. The next morning I did a 20 mile unicycle ride throughout the valley to do some training. Jason followed some dirt bags to Camp Four wall and scoped some good routes. I led this 5.8 bunch of flakes, and again wasn’t doing so hot on the top:

Jason did the top 5.8 crack, as I wasn’t feeling solid on it. We then topped the side crack:

Jason led the next “dirty pitch” (totally not the right way to go…which should have been an offwidth chimney that I wasn’t about to do). At the top, we decided to rap down instead of doing the solid 5.8 crack as seen in the middle of this photo:

It was a great weekend of climbing and a little uni training for RTL. (ride the lobster).


Tenaya Peak, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, CA.


Last weekend, Jason, Louise and I climbed Tenaya Peak in Yosemite. More details later. It was SOO MUCH FUN!


Rock Climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada


For the past few days on my holiday break, I went and did some climbing at Red Rocks, Nevada with a few friends (Jason, Sara, and Ellie). It was a blast! I really love rock climbing, and being out in nature was great. I took a bunch of pictures.

I learned a TON of new stuff on the trip. First of all, I had never really known how to properly setup a rappel after a climb, but after a great lesson from jason and repeating it a bunch of times, I finally got the hang of it. In addition to that, I learned how to do some traditional climbing! (Also called “trad climbing”, which is when you use “natural protection” instead of bolts. This usually consists of camming devices, and various pieces of metal, called nuts, to stick in cracks and stuff).

The first day, we started off easy, doing some 5.8 warm ups followed by some easy 10’s. Then, we moved onto another area where we met this guy Gary, a long time Red Rocks climber from Vegas. He was self belaying a 5.12a (or was it a b?); well, technically, he had his little dog, Toby, there to help in case of an emergency, but other than that he was doing some solo climbing. We exchanged a few belays, and he gave me some great beta that allowed me to onsight a 5.11b (my first 5.11 outdoor lead). After that, I gave his 5.12 a try on top rope, and fell on the crux, but otherwise made it up! Then, I led a 5.11c; that thing was HARD! I was taxed at the cruz, and barley made the clip before falling. It was a risky clip; I was high cliping and there was a lot of rope out. It was scary for a moment. After I hung on the clip for a while, I finished it off with no problem.

The next day, we warmed up on some 10’s. Jason taught me some trad climbing techniques, and let me use his gear to climb my first trad climb (a 5.10-, which felt like a 5.9, and apparently another book has it listed as a 5.9+). It was a TON of fun placing gear, and I’m going to really get into it next year. After that, we headed to this really crowded area, where I attempted to lead a 5.11b. I fell twice, hard, on the second clip, and twisted my ankle a bit when I slammed against the wall. I finally made clip three after the third try, and finished it off. I then led a 5.11a, hanging on one clip for some rest; I was hoping for an onsight, but I was a little tired after my first attempts on the 11b. Then, I top roped an 11c a few times (falling on a few of the hard sections — i never did get it clean!), a GREAT 10d and then led a long 5.9 before we ended the day. A TON of fun climbing, and I’m really only telling my tale; everyone else had a great time and did a ton of great climbs.

The next day, man, my left foot was really sore from my hard falls! Oh well..c’est la vie.


For the climber in your life…


…there is the “Climbing Light”:

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Very cool! it makes me want one :)

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