Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adirondack Climbing Spreadsheet

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.

12.22.2011 Ship's Prow

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.

11.12.2011 Sleeping Beauty Mountain

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.
Cam and I walked back and forth along the wall trying to figure out where the routes in the guidebook were.
It was difficult to see anything from the base of the wall, so Cam decided to hike down a bit further to get a better view.
Here he is, looking up at the wall trying to pick out the good climbs.
The first route we attempted was Sizzle Me (5.6 G, 70').  Cam led the way, and I followed.
For some reason, my hands got very very cold part way up the route.  I could not feel the rock or even a carabiner.  What a great way to start the day.  I continued the climb like this, pausing periodically to try to warm up, which never seemed to work, until I reached the top and was lowered.  My hands were fine for the rest of the day so I have no idea why they were so cold then.

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.

 Here I am belaying Cam.
Charles decided to take a hike a bit further up the mountain and see what he could find...which ended up being the best views of the day.


Back to climbing, I believe that this is Cam leading Frack (5.8 G, 90'), which we ended up joining with Frick to make a "custom" route.
Here I am warming up a little bit before attempting the route in the following two pictures.  For some reason, I can't remember the name of this one. Oh well.

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.

11.9.11 New Buck

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')

10.9.2011 Good Luck Mountain

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.
 Here is cam getting the rope ready for the climb.
This route was overhead of our belay and sleeping ledge, so we decided to look it up in the Adirondack Rock book.  House of Cards, 5.13a, maybe next time.
 This is the actual route that we started off with.
Cam takes the lead and sends it, but I am unable to follow.  By the time he was up and ready to belay me it was already getting dark.  I could make the first couple moves, but could not make it past the bulge below Cam's feet in the photo above.
After Cam rapped down to clear the gear we set up our hammocks by headlamp.
Here I am waiting for water to boil so we can make some noodles for dinner.
A better view of the final hammock setup.  We used hexes and slings to secure the hammocks to the rock and trees on the other side.  Small chocks were set and attached to long slings to clip to while sleeping in our harnesses.
Here is House of Cards at night looking up from the hammocks.
Final picture of the night getting ready to rest up for a full day of climbing tomorrow.  It was a bit cold at night, dropping below freezing without much insulation from the hammock fabric, but it warmed up quickly in the morning.  After eating some deli meat for breakfast and making hot chocolate, we organized all of our gear and set out to climb.
It is a lot tougher to take good climbing shots with only 2 people on a trip, but we tried to tie off to get some pictures of the trip.
 Here is the view from the top of Cleveland (5.8 G, 150').
 Cam at the top...
 ...and then me.

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 is me on the same route, just more zoomed.
Cam on the same route.

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.

10.2.2011 Good Luck Mountain

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.
 This is the area where we stopped to do some exploring.  We probably spent close to 40 minutes spelunking and following a pink string that someone had put out to mark a "trail".  After a bit more scrambling we got to a wall with some nice climbs on it, but it was soaking wet.  Cam and I came back for an overnight trip to climb there a couple weeks later.
 This area was protected from the rain so we unloaded and tried to find something dryish to climb.  There were no routes in the guidebook for this specific area, so Cam picked out a crack on lead to see where it went.  He later named this route Submarine (5.9+ G, 50').  Here it is looking up at Submarine from the bottom.
 Charles belaying Cam on the lead.
 The climb ended up being longer than we expected, which was a pleasant surprise.
 Here I am thinking out a section that I was stuck on.  The rock was great, nice and textured.  You can see Cam's legs here.  We decided to belay for this route on an upper ledge instead of from below where Charles was in the photo before.
 I ended up making it past the tough move and making my way up the route.
 Almost to the top anchor.
 Charles' turn to give it a try from the bottom.
 Passing by the belay spot for a nice photo op.
 Cam belaying Charles, notice the Lichen that covered a lot of the rock here.
The weather wasn't optimal for this trip, but you'll see that it gets a lot better here when it is dry.  There are plenty of quality climbs.