Sunday, March 30, 2014

Moonlight Buttress. Again.

We spent three full days in Zion. We shared camp site, food, and gear with our friends Wally and Kevin. We were all there for Moonlight. Moonlight Buttress is the most amazing long route I've been on. The position and the exposure make it worth doing even if you don't climb the grade. For me the crux pitches are too hard for sure. I enjoy the challenge and simply french free (pull on gear) if a move doesn't go. I'd be psyched to know if Finnish people have climbed it! I've been on it three times now so I have a pretty good understanding of what it would take to be able to free the route. I must climb more. Much, much more.

Moonlight is rated somewhere between 5.12b and 5.12d depending on who you ask. Or 5.8 C1. I say it's 5.12hard. The route is about 365 meters and 10 pitches. A single 70 raps the route so it works the best if you are not hauling. The descent is mostly paved trail. I brought a headlamp, four granola bars, candy, and a liter of water. We started climbing 7:30am and got to the top around 4pm. Long day. Check mountainproject for gear. Here is a summary of the day.

The first four pitches up to the rocker block are pretty mellow. I led the third pitch (5.11c traverse, 3 bolts and a #1 camalot) and hung a bunch of times. But I did it! The 5.12hard climbing starts from the rocker block. First comes two corner pitches: Jump to a flake and layback a bunch to a hanging belay. Then layback some more until the crack becomes an ow. Somehow get yourself up the crack and continue to another hanging belay.

Wally and Kevin above the corner pitches.

Then comes the 12a chimney pitch. Hardest move for me was getting from the belay to the chimney. A Couple of easier moves are followed by knee-barring up a flaring chimney. Should I face in or out? So hard. I guess facing out would be easier. Next time. The chimney gradually turns into a face which leads to (surprise surprise) more liebacking and the bivy ledge. Max hauled my backpack on this one. I was very thankful.

Time for lunch. We hung out in the sun, ate candy, and watched other people climb the wall on the other side of the river. We could also see Wally and Kevin on Monkeyfinger. My arms were pretty tired but the exposure and perfect weather made me happy. And candy for lunch! I wanted to pee but I didn't know how to do it safely. I'm used to it. I checked the time just before Max took off again. It's 2pm.

At the bivy ledge. The video upload is not working. Think of it as a slide show.

Next we climb the splitter finger cracks. First one has feet in the beginning so I can pull the moves. So much fun! Then feet disappear for 3 meters. Take! Take! Second crack is even more splitter and Indian creek-like. No feet so I pull myself up from a piece several times. Cleaning gear while climbing is almost impossible for me. There is a good rest in the middle of the pitch. It's a little tricky to get back to the crack after the rest. Hmmm. Take!

Last pitch is called the Nutting pitch. You place nuts and it's the easiest pitch of the hard pitches. Unless you are me and tired from the 300 meters of climbing you've done so far. I hung between every four moves. There is about 60 meters of rope out when you start the pitch so if you can't send (pull the moves without the help of the rope) you will hate your life. I climbed every hard sequence two to three times. The rope stretch made sure I fell right back to where I started. There is no way to communicate with your partner either. To avoid this and to minimize rope stretch I suggest belaying the second up to the bolted anchors in the middle, but it's a fully hanging stance and is very uncomfortable. The climb ends with a 5.10 roof crack.


At the top we changed into flip flops and hiked down Angel's landing trail. I was tired, thirsty, sweaty, and hungry. We were back at camp by 6pm. We made dinner with Wally and Kevin and played bananagrams. I lost every round.

Next Bishop!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Indian Creek

We spent one and a half days at the creek. It's just like I imagined: sustained crack climbing, long routes (we got by with a single 70) no feet, corners, splitters, and quality sandstone. Bring a lot of gear or share with fellow climbers. I can't wait to go back. For food and water you need to go to Moab which is an hour drive from the Creek. There were bathrooms at the trailheads and the camp site. For more info about climbing in the area check Friends of Indian creek:

We climbed in two areas. Max put up TRs and I enjoyed the painful, but fun jamming. First night we ticked off the classics at Super crack buttress:

The Supercrack! Splitter!

Supercrack (5.10)
Incredible hand crack (5.10)
3AM (5.10)
No name (5.9?)

Next day we headed to the Cat wall. We climbed eight routes:

Fat cat (5.11-)
Unnamed corner crack (5.10)
Pit bull terror (5.11)
Johnny Cat (5.11+)
Cat Burglar (5.12)
Puma (5.11)
More than one way (5.10)
Kool cat (5.11)

Study time. Tomorrow Moonlight buttress!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Off to the desert!

For the past two days we've been in Eugene, visiting family and friends. Tomorrow we head to the desert! It'll be a 16 hour drive to Moab, UT and another two to the Creek. It looks like we are doing three to four days in the Creek and drive to Zion Monday night. I'm super excited to go to the Creek. I've been wanting to go there for over a year now and finally it worked out. My goal is to cover as much ground as I can in the creek so I get dialed in and climb (TR) all the pitches of Moonlight. Psyched! I do have a paper due by the end of the month so there'll be some school work to be done on the road... not so psyched. Oh well. Last stop will be Bishop, CA where we'll meet up with our friends from Bend/Eugene.

Tonight we are having friends over for dinner. And go to bed early I hope. Back to school work. Mui mui!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vertical rescue skills

Olemme ottaneet tavaksi käydä lepopäivinä (lue Emman gradupäivinä) läheisellä kiipeilykalliolla harjoittelemassa pystypelastustaitoja. Juuri niitä, pystypelastustaitoja. Vertikaalin kirjakokoelmassa on hyvä kirja aiheesta, mutta sen lukeminen vaatii aivan tajuttomasti aivokapasiteettia. Emman opetussuunnitelma on tähän asti sisältänyt kaksi perusjuttua: passing a knot ja raising with mechanical advantage. Kun olin ohittanut solmun niin monta kertaa, että se alkoi sujua, sain siirtyä tosielämän sovelluksiin. Max heitti minulle skenaarioita ja minä toimin sen mukaan. Ensin meillä oli back up -köysi, mutta lopulta jätettiin sekin pois. Jokaisessa tilanteessa minä varmistin ylhäältä guidella (eli plaquette-tyyppisellä varmistuslaitteella) ja puolessa välissä seinää roikkuva tajuton/loukkaantunut kiipeilijä piti haulata ankkurille tai laskea takaisin maahan/edelliselle ankkurille.

Viimeinen oli vaikein: tajuttoman kakkosen pelastaminen keskeltä seinää ja laskeutuminen alas simulina. Eli minun piti saada guide pois lukkoasennosta, siirtää kakkonen varmistuksesta ankkuriin, laittaa meille laskeutumisköysi valmiiksi, laskeutua kakkosen luo ja laskeutua simulina alas niin, että vain minä hallitsen laskeutumisnopeutta. Apuvälineinä kaksi narunpätkää, lukkosulkkareita ja yksi köysi. Vain yksi lukollinen sulkkari sai jäädä ankkuriin. Minä räpelsin ankkurilla vaikka kuinka kauan. Max roikkui köydessä kolmen metrin päässä minusta ja pelasi puhelimella jotain timanttipeliä.

Pics of some of the fun scenarios! First pic: Transitioning from Belaying with a plaquette to simulrapping to the ground. The second is unconscious so they can't help you. What they can do, is play iphone games and read mountainproject. DUH! Second pic: I'm passing a knot because I need to lower my partner with ropes which are tied in together. Or a rope that has a core shot. Black ribbon marks the knot I'm trying to pass. Third pic: Transitioning from belaying from the top with a plaquette to lowering the second. In other words, figuring out how to get the guide mode off when the second is weighting the rope.

Että tämmösiä.

"Max, can I use grigri?"

Passing a knot

Problem with the guide mode is...?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lower gorge

Tänään oli aivan upea sää. Menimme Smith rockille, varjoisalle halkeemakiipeilyalueelle eli lower gorgeen. Minä olen kiipeillyt tuolla viimeksi kesällä 2012. Tällä kertaa minä alaköysittelin kolme ja puoli reittiä: Gruff (10a), Bad Finger (10b), Cruel sister (10a) ja 1/2 Blood Clot (10b).  Ainut reitti, jonka lähetin, oli lämppäri. Eli perussettiä. Nikakin oli matkassa mukana. Sillä on teippihanskat ja kaikki. Pari kuvaa!

Nika ja kurttusärkisilmä-emma. Kataja ja leppä kukkii, helmee!

Nää voi varmaan vielä resole, eikö?

Mää olin ropegun ja liidasin kaiken! Cruel sister 5.10a
...kunnes väsyin, otin pakit ja Max pelasti. Blood clot 5.10b

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rye bread and indoor climbing

Täällä taas. Kaik on hyvin, mutta perhettä ja kavereita on ikävä. Ihan oikein puristaa välillä, kun tekisi mieli halata ja jutella. Bendissä ollaan. Vettä sataa. Minulla on kuukausikortti Bendin kiipeilykeskukseen. Tiistaina kävimme Smith rockilla. Kiivettiin reitteja, jotka liittyvät Maxin työprojektiin. Neljä reittiä ja Where ever I may roam (5kp, 5.9). Max otti kuvia ja kirjoitti muistiinpanoja. Minä kummastelin, että onpas kalliokiipeily taas vaikeaa kun ei otteissa ole värikoodeja. Illalla menimme vielä kiipeilykeskukselle Maxin kavereiden Miken ja Angelin kanssa ja illallistimme yhdessä. Yllätys yllätys teimme Pizzaa.

Minä osaan leipoa ruisleipää nyt. Tein juuren jälkiuunipalasta ja kolmas leipä onnistui jo niin hyvin, että voin varmaan pikkuhiljaa vähentää hiivan määrää. Mitään ohjettahan tähän ei enää ole, koska menin laskuissa sekaisin. Pääainesosat ovat ruisjuuri (jälkiuunileipäpala, 3dl vettä ja 3dl ruisjauhoja), ruisjauhot, vesi, suola ja hunaja. Aikaahan se ottaa, kun pitää kohottaa ja kohottaa. Mutta lopputulos palkitsi tänään. :) Nyt kiipeelemähän!