Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Haunting Bald Routes
Over the Halloween holiday, I had a chance to run up to Rumbling Bald a couple of times and work on some routes that have continually haunted me over the past 8 or so years. The leaves were still turning nice colors and the Beauty Berry was out to remind us that its fall and winter is on its way.
The first session I was able to knock out 3 routes that have been like giant monkeys jumping on my back...Shady Grove/Basketball Mantle V3, Unknown V4 on the Brevard Fault boulder in the Central Boulders, and Unknown V2 (problem 10f) on the Gateway boulders in the West Side. Each one of these problems has given me fits for years, and it was so nice to finally send all of them...especially Shady Grove, seen in the above picture. Shady Grove was what most folks I knew called the problem for years, but the guidebook came out and said that the real name for the problem was Basketball Mantle...either way, it and Slave Driver have been 2 V3's that have never gone for me, no matter how much time and effort I have put into them. I wasn't even looking to send Shady Grove, but after walking by it and avoiding looking at it like it was an ugly ex-girlfriend for so long I thought maybe I should pick the project back up. I had put a couple of tries on it during a session last month, but during this session, the problem flowed better and the crimps were much stickier and easy to yoke up on. After getting the high right hand sloping crimp to feel good, it was just a matter of the sketchy top out onto the delicate slab...which made my knees shake, but I still was able to top it out.
From here I went out to the Brevard Fault, seen above, and sent the tricky V4 to the right of it...a sds on some crimps leads to a short crimp traverse and a delicate move to and over the sloping lip leads to the top out. Here's a picture of the V4 route...
Brevard Fault is one of my favorite Bald V2's and so I've always put a little extra time on the V4 beside it, every time I hit the Fault...and it finally paid off.
The other problem seems so benign, but for a V2, it has haunted me for years and years and always felt like it was sticking its tongue out at me everyime I walked by. On my way out of the West side, I stopped by for my usually token attempts, but surprisingly had no problem with the crimp on the lip that usually gives me trouble. So the first session was one of my better Bald sessions in a while, and it was especially rewarding to finally send Shady Grove!
Yesterday I got a chance to head back up to the Bald and finish off a few more monkey-on-my-back-routes. I've sent Crescent Crack V2 before, but it has been years and years since I have sent it...so it was nice to get on it and send it first attempt. It always seems that loud idiots gather near this route and I am not one to send routes with a lot of distractions around...if I wanted to climb with a bunch of morons, I could of just went to the gym! One of the last times I was trying to climb it, a couple of kids were throwing their toy cars at me as I climbed and their mother refused to get them under control...I couldn't even believe that the mom was that stupid and had such little respect for other climbers nearby!!! So, needless to say, it was nice to get the resend out of the way when it was chill and relaxed. From here I went over to the Cluster and sent the short Unknown V3 on the Top Rope boulder, across from the Silliness boulder. This is another route that I have tried off and on for a few years, but never really spent enough time on it to send it right. On a previous visit, Adam Johnson made it seem like such an easy send...so I was a little motivated to actually work on it to try to make it look as easy as he did. From here I went up to the Terraces and got shut down on Big Crimpin (more like Big Limpin for me), but I did get a chance to see Doug and Dale from the Clemson crew send a couple of awesome classics out at the Patio Roof...Dale sent the crazy hanging-from-one-foot problem Terminator Exit V6, and Doug sent the incredible route Kamikaze V10. Here's a shot of him getting ready for the big dyno...
Some of their friends were able to video both of their sends and hopefully I can link to their video when they get it polished up and available...definitely worth a watch or two! After hanging out and having some fun with those guys, I headed on over the Central boulders again to try to finish up a route that I was working on my previous session, Azimuth Coordinator V4.
Azimuth Coordinator, seen above, is kind of a crimp route, but really its mostly a tall slab...my favorite:) So, I loaded up on the big sidepull flake and smeared my way up to the small pinch/crimps and barely to the top just before I was about to lose it and fall off. This ended the second of my 2 Halloween sessions...I was completely happy with the routes I had sent and felt like I got more treats than tricks in my bag this year!
Here is another photo of Shady Grove...you may notice the sign on the tree informing boulderers that this is part of the property just recently purchased by the CCC. The loan is still far from paid off...please do what you can and give as much or as little as you feel comfortable giving to help us get this property paid off and permanently keep it in the hands of the boulderers that really enjoy it!
The Triple Crown is heading to Horse Pens 40 this weekend...so all you sloper buffs, get your open hand on! I'm really looking forward to a big party with a whole bunch of like minded people!!! If you havent seen the newest installment of Andrew Kornylak's Beta Series...here it is.