Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Hanging Chain Boulders
Adam Johnson and myself got a chance to run out to the Bald last Friday and check out the Hanging Chain Boulders. If you haven't had a chance to get on the Rumbling Bald Blog and see the great photo gallery, click on over there and check out the new routes. There isn't a topo of this area yet, but the captions to the photos will let you know the name and grade of each problem...so you can use these as a photo topo until the new guidebook comes out. Chris just recently posted directions and a little beta on the Bald Blog about these boulders...here is a repeat post to help anyone that might not of seen it.
"Directions and information about the Hanging Chain Boulderfield -
Once at the Patio Roof, continue hiking West along the Hanging Chain Wall (roped climbing) trail. This trail starts off pretty good and obvious, but then quickly gets overrun by downed trees. Step over and duck under the trees and keep hiking West. Do not go uphill or downhill. Stay on the flat area. After about 4-5 minutes from the Patio Roof, you will come to 3 cool boulders. These have all been climbed 10+ years ago. They are pretty cool, especially the backside of the left one (Southernmost boulder).
Keep hiking West for about 5 more minutes. Here the trail improves. Cross over a shallow creekbed and view 2 boulders to the right. The left one is called the Slash Boulder and problems have been done. The right one has not been climbed to my knowledge, but it is good looking.
At this point, the Hanging Chain Wall trail cuts directly North (right) and heads straight up the steep hill, just to the left of the Slash Boulder. For the main Hanging Chain Boulderfield, continue straight (West) on the well worn and wide path. Head uphill and once over the rise, the boulderfield is in plain view!!!
This is the beginning of the area, and we are calling it The Library. All problems have been done here already. They range from V0 to V6. The Classic, Butch Seamstress, V6 is in this area. For the other areas and boulderfields, continue through and to the left (downhill side) of The Library area. After 1-2 minutes, you will be at The Laboratory. All problems have been done here except some hard projects. The classic, Scientific Method, V7 (cover photo on the blog) is in this area.
We have developed several boulder beyond The Laboratory, but from here on out (West) most of the boulders (40+) have not been touched! Go get em'!!!
See you all out there and happy FA's!"
I have to say that right now the trail is overgrown and sometimes difficult to follow, but keep your eyes out for the rock cairns (small stacks of rocks) here and there and they'll keep you going in the right direction. As soon as the first freeze hits, this vegetation should die back and make travelling out in that direction much easier.
Before we could get out to the Hanging Chain area, we stopped off and warmed up at the Terraces. After sending some easy V0's, Adam flashed Liza Minelli V3 like it was a V0-...impressive send. We took a look at some of the other classics in the area like The Sail, Big Crimpin and Crimpin Aint Easy but decided to head on out to the Hanging Chain Boulders instead of wasting our fingers on other stuff.
When we got out there, we found the Library Area first, obvious by the complex of multiple fins that cant be missed. We sent all of the fin routes...from left to right, Scarlet Letter V1, Grapes of Wrath V3 & Robinson Crusoe V3. I also sent a couple of more easy fun lines on the face of the uphill fin, and a couple of fun easy slabby problems on the boulder facing the fins. From here we went and checked out the boulder that Butch Seamstress V6 and Remember The Future V3 were on. We didn't send either of these, didn't even realize that Remember the Future was a route really, but we did send a fun route to the left of these, with a tricky slabby top out.
From there we checked out the Twin Peaks boulder and sent Cooper's Dream V1 and Adam sent The Mystery V2. At that point, my pinkie was killing me and so we decided to call it quits and head back. I think it was a good intro to the area and it's always good to climb new stuff! I look forward to getting out there when the trail dies back a little and sending more in this new area. A big thanks to Chris Dorrity for cluing us in on the new stuff and sharing the pictures and beta to help us find our way around these new classics!