Thursday, March 13, 2008

3-13-08: Retrofit & others

Another two problems that were discovered, cleaned and climbed in short order are located on an unnamed boulder about 100 meters up from the Bridalveil Falls parking lot. Their discovery begs the question, "how many climbs have been found while searching for a good place to pee?" The first problem to go down sit starts in the obvious dihedral and climbs right with much awkwardness onto positive holds. Not to sound like sour grapes (since I was never able to escape out of the damn dihedral), but folks with a good arm span have a SERIOUS advantage here. In all fairness, tall folks in our group still used a tiny and rather heinously sharp crimp to gain the better holds out right, so it isn't all sunshine and roses being 5'10" and up on this problem. Paul named this line "Escape from Alcatraz" and Scott suggested a grade of v4, which besides hurting my ego, seems a bit sandbagged. Here's a video of Scott making it look at least v5.

The arete to the left is the problem that actually drew us to the boulder in the first place. The line is aesthetic and there are some obvious start holds. The one drawback is the tree directly to the left of the start, but by careful body placement, it doesn't get in the way too much nor pose a hazard in the fall. Here's a video of Paul on the attempt before his send. The move that he falls on appears to be the crux. The grade for "Retrofit" is in the ballpark of v7.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3-12-08: Hero & Others

Randy Puro on Hero, v8

What a great weekend! Several new problems were established, the weather was beautiful and everyone in the crew finished a problem they'd never climbed before. One excellent new line that was done by Paul and Randy is called "Hero" from the sit and "Crouching Spotter, Hidden Sloper" from the stand. Located in the shadow of El Cap, this climb tackles a cool arete that has surprisingly fun and powerful moves. The crux involves a poor right hand sloper and a tenuous move to a left hand jug. Randy makes the crux look easy in the video, but there was plenty of blowing off the top. The SDS tacks on only a few moves, but manages to add considerably to the burn at the crux. Possible grades are v7 for the stand and v8 for the sit.

Randy Puro on Jet Li, v6

On Sunday, we ended up at the Bruce Lee boulder spotting Randy on a very inspiring send of Jackie Chan. It was the first time I'd ever seen anyone get established on that problem, much less do any moves. The surprises didn't end there, though. Just to the right of Bruce Lee is another problem that I had never noticed before, perhaps given the lack of any discernible holds. Jet Li is an excellent, albeit sharp, climb that starts on the slab on the right side of the Bruce Lee arete and ends on Bruce Lee. The start is the crux for both tall and short due to a dirth of good feet and the high top adds a little spice to the end. Here's another video of Randy (it's a good thing he's so photogenic) sending the problem.