Bruce came up last week to sample the newest “classic” line on Crane, a multipitch run up the South Corner Cliff. I’ve eyed the cracks on the higher walls of this area for decades. Slowly, those lines have seen traffic: way back when (2010?), Tom & I made a late-season onsight of Solar Grace, a route offering good 5.6 climbing with poor protection: the crack we chose turns out to be shallow and flaring for much of the way. I took a few better stabs a year later, adding Solo, Gracias, Never Alone, and with Peter Whitmore leading, On the Fence. to that same patch of rock. Last year, Tom & I worked a face lower and to the right, putting up Riprovando, a nice 5.10b; and in the waning days of 2012, I cleaned up the natural crack line to its left and posted Provando, at 5.7- a kinder, gentler way up the same wall.
Archive for the ‘Climbing Areas’ Category
Nothing is writ in stone yet, but with the extended forecast calling for mid-40 temps and my work schedule, today’s morning jaunt to the Waterfall Wall may well be the last of this season.
I’ve been cussing this late snow-dump since it came, swamping paths and curtailing exploration as the season winds down. It has, however, provided a protective blanket that is preserving low-angle ice. The Waterfall Wall has decent ice…below a lot of snow. It’s more of a mountaineering route than ice route right now. I had to head to the Tempest variation in order to justify two tools, and there I found thoroughly sun-baked, rotten ice. I had to chop through 6 or 7 cm of ice to reach trustworthy material.
I did not bother going beyond the first pitch; it was totally swathed in snow. Both the uppermost pitch and Fifi’s are visible from the ridge, but I expect both are highly sun-baked. I wouldn’t recommend leading either one.
Hard telling how much longer it will last. I’m guessing it will be good through this weekend, but be out before the next.
I’ve been extremely lax about posting updates in the past two weeks. A lot went down, including a trip to Hoffman Notch with Jason Brechko, more FAs on Starbuck with the usual motley crew, and one more FA on Black Mountain with Todd Paris. I hope to post some “backlogs” on these.
ROCK SEASON IS COMING!!!
Tom, Todd, and I headed far along Crane Mountain’s Southeast flank for a sending day. And send we did…
Tuesday threatened to congeal into a busy day on Crane Mountain’s ice. (more…)
Real short shout-out to Alysia and Jamie; they came out Sunday for Alysia’s first time ice climbing. Jamie led the first pitch of the Waterfall Wall – only his second lead on ice – then set a TR for Alysia’s premiere go.
Alysia said she enjoyed the climbing, but it wasn’t worth enduring the cold. And it was cold. Frequent cloud cover hid what warmth the sun could supply, and a chill breeze guttered down Crane’s slopes occasionally. I suggested they come back some sunny, calm day toward the end of February for another go at it before Alysia renders a final verdict.
Jamie ran up and moved the rope over the Tempest variation, giving both of us a chance to sample some steep ice. Then, it was time to head toward warmth and a wood fire.
Keep your fingers crossed for another chance!
Three of us made the long journey to the Chatiemac Cliffs today to scope out the ice situation.
Scott came up today, looking to get on some ice. He’s had a fair amount of time on fat stuff, so today I dragged him over to Providence for a bit of mixed action. Having never handled a cam before, this was bound to be an interesting excursion for us.