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 ‘Rock’ Category
Way too much snow still on Crane. Ra and I escaped to the southlands for a chance to touch real rock. Little Falls is slightly closer than the Gunks, so that was the place to go.
We met Bruce Monroe there, already tuggin’ a line on Jeff Loves Eileen. This would be Bruce’s first climbing since the onset of a hip injury way back in September. He did fine, experienced no real problems, and even tied into the sharp end and led the route!
We saw a few other familiar faces there as well: Justin, the man who organized the Southern Adirondack Festival back in 2011, and Mitch, who seems to get around a lot, at least where climbing is concerned. We also met a couple new folks, Kevin and JP, who had come along from Mexico with Mitch, and were sampling a bit of NY-style climbing.
With rain and continuous 40-degree temps in the forecast, I’m putting the ice tools away. Soon, the wire brushes will come out of storage and I’ll be poking around Crane’s cliffs, looking for that next great project…
Seems this time of year elicits a taste for spontaneous adventure. With any lingering projects nearly certain to be out of reach for the year, thoughts turn to more casual objectives, things that may just go at first sight. Over the years, that impulse has led to several “alpine” routes, lines snaking their way up Crane Mountain’s flank, generally along the South Corner Cliff. This year has been no different.
Robin and I had just finished a 5 pitch line of unknown affiliation somewhere in the vicinity of the North Ridge. Or maybe My Route. We weren’t sure, but we had had a blast doing it. There was plenty of daylight left for exploration.
With few exceptions, we spent 2012 focused on Crane Mountain, achieving our goal of 200+ routes there. With that target acquired, we turned our attention momentarily to the Rods’n'Guns Wall, last year’s Big Discovery. Tom had left one project uncompleted there, so we decided to give it a go before snow and cold made the attempt impossible.
I’ve broken up the two days & nights we spent at Table Rock into two parts. This first part covers the one long route we did here; the next part will cover what we did with the rest of that Saturday and our explorations before pulling out Sunday afternoon.
NORTH CAROLINA CLIMBING TRIP 2012
Robin and I are back from a week and a half in North Carolina. We spent a weekend at the Outer Banks, enjoying warmth, sunshine, and the ocean before turning westward and tackling a few of the myriad climbing areas the state offers.
I wont bore you with the details of our first weekend, suffice to say we had a grand time on the Outer Banks. Most of you are interested in technical climbing, and there isnt one iota of that out there.
For those climbers who plan to visit North Carolina, I will mention one caveat. Outdoor tourism-wise, the state can be divided into two regions: the coast, and the western Mountains. Between them lies a whole lot of driving past swamp, agriculture, and the occasional city. If you surf, it might be OK to combine both venues and deal with the 6 to 8 hours of driving in between. Otherwise, just head west. Asheville or Winston-Salem are good jumping-off points for vertically-minded travelers.
Fully caffeinated, we drove from Durham to Moores Wall in about 2 hours. The weather was exceptional: cloudless blue sky, comfortably cool, and a scant breeze. Our directions were exemplary; with nary a hitch we wound around the access road, marveling at the view of the cliffs, and arrived at the climbers parking lot.
Crane Mountain now has over 200 routes gracing its cliffs, 220 in fact, according to my latest count. 2012 was a good year to focus on the benchmark, with an early spring and prolonged dry weather throughout the summer. Autumn hasn’t been quite so good – on the contrary, it has been lousy – but we’ve managed one or two major additions all the same.
Tom and I gravitated toward the high South Corner Cliffs, finally tackling that long project I’ve longed to do. Tom sent the direct line, dubbing it Second Amendment; I circumvented both 5.10b cruxes (!!) to yield a 5.8+ version named Bill of Rights. I highly recommend climbing one or the other, this is another Crane “must-do” and an excellent introduction to this piece of the mountain. Bring plenty of QDs, green and red C3s, a selection of smaller C4s, and maybe the #4 C4 as well (optional at the belay). Two pitches, both of which have 5.8 or 5.10b cruxes (depending on which line you take). The upper 5.10b crux is well-protected, but there is some runout 5.7ish terrain shortly thereafter.
We also spied, cleaned up, and finally sent another line about 200′ to the right, yesterday. It’s an 85′ 5.10a/b, again with cruxes at the start and finish, called Riprovando. A burly start involving a jughaul to a left-rising crack in a steep wall gives way to elegant friction crossing a face to finish off on delicate and dicey moves to a distant rail near the finish line.
We’ve a few other projects that may be finished before snow and cold put a stop to the madness (yes, Slabmeister being one of them), so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crane’s sum total reach 225 before the year is out. We are praying for good weather and time to accomplish the feat.
HERE is the lowdown on what went down during this year’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival. Those of you who missed it, missed a great time, fantastic climbing, and an incredible storm...
Ben Brooke cleaned and sent the straightshot corner system 25′ left of Cranium yesterday. Christened Sleepy Hollow, the line begins in a right-facing corner, which transforms into a left-facing corner and back again before bumping its hard-nosed head into an overhang. Two finishes are possible: a stout 5.8+ scoot to the right gets around the initial lip before returning to the main line, or a direct 5.9 assault through a bombay chimney to reach the anchors at 100′.
Ben, Tom, & I hiked out to have a looksee and sample the latest line today. It needs more cleaning, but even in its present condition is well worth the trip. Bring a full rack, with doubles of #.7 to #3 C4s and a full assortment of C3s (or equivalent). Cold Shuts at 100′. Congrats to Ben on his first big send here on Crane Mountain!