Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I worked with Cam to compile this Google Doc of good climbs in the Adirondacks so we could keep track of what we have climbed, and to make notes on each climb for future reference. Feel free to check it out.
I emailed Kris before coming home for winter break to ask about working or volunteering at the local rock gym. She invited me to join her and a few other climbers for an afternoon of bouldering at Lincoln Woods, only about 30 minutes from home. Here is the link to Kris's Climbing and Living Blog for the full post, and here is a photo and video of me working on a couple problems. I'll definitely be back to The Woods for some more bouldering this winter.
It didn't take us too long to realize that Lake George was the place to go if we didn't want to have a long drive. The drive here was an interesting one though. I drove about 20 minutes past the trail head for New Buck and arrived at the huge parking lot for Sleeping Beauty. Charles came along with us this time, and we all started walking down a narrow dirt road until we decided that it was a waste of time, so I turned around and walked back to my car, leaving my pack behind. The road was only about a mile long, but I had to navigate my VW Passat around rocks, large pot holes, and a flooded section or the road. It was much better than walking, especially when we saw other cars parked in the lot at the end of the road. From there, the approach was only about 20 minutes, which we cut down even more on the way back by avoiding the main trail. We heard gun shots on the way back to the car, so Cam put on his orange jacket so we hopefully wouldn't get confused with deer.
This is the Tang Corner (5.9 G, 80'), which was one of the satisfying climb of the day. It was a great layback that ended up leading to a vertical crack for the finish.
Sun Downer (5.7+ G, 50') was the last, and sketchiest, climb of the day. Charles hiked to the top of this climb, where he planned to meet up with Cam when he reached the top. I was belaying Cam when all of a sudden both him and Charles yell out "ROCK" and I move away from the route to a more protected area. The rock, which ended up being around 90 lbs landed ~4 feet to my right, and broke to pieces after it collided with the hard ground. Cam finished the route and I lowered him back to the ground, where Charles met us. Now I had to climb the route, which we learned was full of big loose rocks, to retrieve the gear. I was very careful to test all my feet and hand holds before loading them with my weight, and asked to be lowered after clearing all the gear. We called it quits for the day, packed up, and hiked out.
Both Cam and I did not have classes on Wednesdays, I did not have to go in to my internship, and the forecast was beautiful...so on Tuesday night we decided to go to Lake George to climb. We left Troy at 5am, and arrived at the trail head shortly after 6. The approach was about an hour long, but totally worth it. We passed a guy hunting for deer shortly after we started the approach, but he was the only hunter we saw the entire day. The guidebook said that we would end up walking along a dry river bed and then would reach a small cairn on the right, which we did, and the rock was in sight.
The forest was very cool looking, and reminded me of a scene in The Blair Witch Project. There were no other climbers here, but there appeared to be some new bolts so it must be a fairly popular spot.
I understand why climbers must love it here, pockets. This was the first place that I climbed where some of the only good holds were pockets. After doing some research I learned that there used to be a big mining industry in Lake George for the abrasives in these pockets that were later used to make sandpaper. I was glad that I had bought some tricams the week prior to this trip because they ended up coming in handy to protect some routes. Once again, it was difficult to get lots of pictures with only 2 people, but there are a few good shots below.
I forget which pictures correlate to the routes that we climbed, but here are the names of them anyways:
Thin Soles (5.10b, G, 30'): This was the highest quality climb, and the first climb, of the day. Cam was just able to reach the last hold to finish the route, but it was just out of reach for me. Still satisfied with the climbing though.
Coffee Break (5.1, G, 30'): I got my first feeling of leading on this one. Not a difficult climb by any means, but a lot different with the mental game of placing gear and climbing above the gear. I like getting scared and feeling my legs shake, so I will definitely do more leading to balance the mental and physical sides of the sport.
Pick Pocket (5.8+, PG, 50')
Wisecrack Wednesday (5.7, G, 80')
Ten Point Buck (5.6, G, 80')
Fawn Crack (5.7, G, 80')
I came back to Good Luck Mountain for 2 days with Cam to take advantage of some nice weather, and finally, dry rock. It was nice to be on a familiar approach that was not as marshy as last time. We scrambled a bit further than we had before and reached a very nice ledge that would be suitable for our overnight stay.
We started off by unloading all of our gear and racking up for the first climb of the day. It was a relief to get the heavy packs off of our backs and to set down the trekking poles.
There was a neat crack that we wanted to investigate, but after Cam abseiled in it ended up being nothing interesting, so we left the area.
We spotted another good route from the top, so we set up an anchor and toproped the route. I rappelled down first to climb as Cam belayed me from above. Bon Chance (5.8, 100')
This was one of my favorite trips. Sleeping in the hammocks made me understand why big wall climbers like working on a route for weeks or months at a time, returning to their portaledges every day. I would like to come back to climb here and explore more routes, but I also want to explore more climbs in the Adirondacks.
Good Luck Mountain is in the Southern Mountains region of the Adirondacks. The drive from Troy was only ~1.5 hours, so not too bad. From the trail head it was another 30 minutes until we reached the spot we ended up climbing. It had rained heavily the day prior so there was lots of wet rock and much of the trail was swampy and wet. I heard that there were some boulder problems around here, so I went out to EMS with Cam the night before and bought a bouldering pad for some extra protection. We didn't end up bouldering because of the rain, but we did use the pad to cover some areas of the rock that would have "been in the way" of a fall. Luckily, I got to carry the bouldering pad while Charles and Cam made the approach with heavy packs of food, gear, and extra clothing.