There is nothing like an east coast fall. ( Read more... )
Former Anchorite Austin Thayer was visiting and the weather forecast looked halfway decent so we met up early and drove up to Hatcher in the hopes of getting in some climbing before the rains came back. Ignoring the puddles we pushed up Archangel road and were roped up and starting up the first pitch of Toto by 10am. Swinging leads we jogged up the route and topped out on the top of pitch 5 two and a-half hours later... ( Read more... )
A guide to a route that should get done more often but doesn't. ( Read more... )
Pix from a day at Hatcher on two stellar routes. ( Read more... )
An afternoon on the West Ridge of Pinnacle. ( Read more... )
A fall, sprain and fractures in the tibia and talus meant I spent most of September and October on the couch watching bad Netflix, [reading] [a few] [good] [books] and learning how to code jquery mobile. No late summer / fall rock climbing trip for me. After the doctor said I wasn't going anywhere tickets were cancelled and the news was broken to my climbing partner who was pretty bummed that he wouldn't get the chance to drag me up Sierra granite. Alas. ( Read more... )
The Tetons; will I ever tire of them? There are so many places to go so many mountain ranges scattered across the continent yet I am always drawn back to the magnificent view of the Cathedral Group towering above the valley floor. The tops of the peaks dusted with snow, lines traced with fingers of places I've been and places I want to go.
And so I once again found myself there - and with Brad Hornung no less, my climbing partner from years past who can always be pulled away from his home in Helena, Montana for a 3 or 4 day trip if you call long enough in advance and promise him the skies will be sunny and rock warm.
We had 4 days and our first day was rain; a deep soaking rain that promised to turn the upper peaks into ice and the lower rock walls into vertical walls of water. We spent the day killing time in Jackson and at the Teton Ranger Station where we captured climbing icon George Montopoli who pulled out books and maps and photos and pointed out route after route that we should climb. "I climbed this one with Mugs Stump back in '81. Mugs couldn't pull the crux move!" he guffawed - his eyes alight in memory.
We waited out the rain looking at maps and photos and listening to stories. When we emerged late afternoon the clouds were breaking up so we drove around looking at peaks and then turned in early. ( Read more... )
To a climber that's all one has to say. The word implies good times, good fun - a vacation. To a non-climber how can I explain it? Cragging is when you go to a climbing area where all the climbs are an easy 5-10 minute walk from the car and the climbs are maximum 1 or 2 rope-lengths. Where you can easily find yourself in a terrifying situation 20 feet off the ground... but in 30 minutes you're back on the terra firma laughing at your antics that took place a few minutes ago. Cragging means you go to an area and set up your tent and cook a fine meal. At night you sit around a campfire, drink beer, chat with old friends and make new friends. The alarm goes off at 7am, you tank up on coffee and go climb hard for 8-10 hours. Then you wander back to camp, make another fine meal, stoke the fire and crack open a beer. Best results are obtained when you repeat for 5 days or more.
When I lived in Virginia I used to crag all the time. Most of my college years were spent at classic east coast crags: the New River Gorge, Seneca, Looking Glass, Red River Gorge. Any place from the far southwest corner of North Carolina to the far northwest corner of Kentucky might see our car roll in at 2am Friday night. We climbed hard all weekend and stumbled back to class on Monday morning tired, bloody, sore and full of stories. ( Read more... )
Winter lasted well into June in Anchorage. Snow patches lingered in the yard till June and we were still climbing snow couloirs like it was May in mid June. Then the July rains came early... rock climbing consisted of long drives to Hatcher only to turn around and drive home, mountain climbing was out of the question. Even the fishing sucked. So I made some calls, coordinated with friends and family, cashed in my Alaska Airlines miles and headed south. ( Read more... )