Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Pine Creek Freak

Pine Creek Canyon, California

Maxwell Joseph onsights "Phenomenon"

Sarah Land on the Phe na na na

Shadow Ayala works his new route 'The High Lonesome'

Its a 5.12+ on the Ministry Wall, 60 meters!!!!!

On days off from froggin' I've been sampling some of the Sierra Eastside's finest granite in Pine Creek Canyon. Home to the infamous Pratt's Crack, an intimidating 40meter wide crack first climbed by Chuck Pratt way before camalots were concieved, year 1968!! Tucked away in this shady narrow side canyon, the climbing is spectacular. I've dreamed of climbing all the 5.11 sport routes here in a day, long pitches of technical footwork and scheelite patina pulling, a 10-15 pitch linkup! Crack climbing here also brings a smile to the wayward adventurer; Sheila, a beautiful dihedral is apparently the first 5.10 established on the Eastside in '71.
There is no end to the granite in Pine Creek; development has reignited all over the canyon, with new multi-pitch and sport climbs being opened regularly. They call Bishop local Ty Devore "Mr. Pine Creek', as sparked the recent new-routing torch. Maybe I can earn my own nickname, spurred by my intense psyche for this mind-blowing little spot...

Yosemite Valley Shots

View from The Sentinel

Me leading on the Chouinard-Herbert

Following one of the 5.11 pitches

Finishing the crux pitch, after the Afro-Cuban Flakes

Sunrise illuminates the Cathedral group, from the West Face of El Capitan

Runnin from the sun!

The wacky traverse pitch

Ridiculously fun moderate terrain way up

Matt givin Thanks on El Cap's biggest ledge

....and praises!

As the bro mentioned earlier, I was living in Yosemite Valley this Spring volunteering on the NPS Peregrine Falcon monitoring project. It was incredible to observe these creatures as they incubated their eggs, caught food for the young chicks, and eventually the little dudes took flight! It looks like the Rostrum is one of the most successful nests in the park, go figure!
It was a super-wet and generally cool spring in California, which meant great cragging temps when it was dry. In June, I started climbing a few of the longer routes. The West Face of El Cap was my favorite route of the season, which I climbed with a young send-bot, Matt Wells from Bzoeman. Hard, technical cruxes down low, with fun knobby jug-hauling towards the top of the climb. A few days later, we suited up for the Sentinel's Chouinard-Herbert, another classic! The Afro-Cuban Flakes make up the hardest part of the route, where you pull over tough roof with tons of air under your feet! Hooking up with Taylor, a Valley fixture, we climbed the Astro-man, getting redemption from an earlier attempt being rained off AFTER the harding slot. Sorry no photos!(harding slot again)((its an extremely tight squeeze chimney)).
It seemed as if the snow in the high Sierra would never melt, and I finally made it to the Eastside and started work on July 7. Another season catching frogs is underway!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Status update

Neil is working in the Eastern Sierra and climbing in Pine Creek where there is reportedly shade. The last few months found him in Yosemite. A combination of falcon monitoring (read: housing in the Valley and 1/2 price everything at the cafeteria) and free climbing allowed him to climb Astroman, the West Face, and attempt Freerider.

May and June found me in Leavenworth. The monkeys are STRONG in these parts. Current location; base of the Tetons, heading up. I find myself thinking increasingly about towers at the other end of the earth... and the monkeys that call the vertical realm home.

The Nectar was JUICY!!! CBR

Jens follows the Argonaut ridge.


Mate, Porro y Todo lo Demás

Real nice bivy ca. 15 pitches. Tom and Jim prepare for a night out.


Fitz Roy - North pillar

Mate, Porro y Todo lo Demás

900m 6c

Bean Bowers and Rolando Garibotti 1/2008, to top of the pillar; Matjaz Dusic and Lovro Vrsnik (Slovenia) 2/2011, to the summit (first integral ascent).

Poroto, Muchismo gracias para TODO!!!!


"The route was initially climbed to the top of the pillar and saw 5 or 6 repeats to that point before an integral ascent was completed. The first ascent party took ten hours to the top of the pillar. The name of the route was an attempt to keep up with Pedrini’s nearby “argentinismo” (Chimichurri y Tortas Fritas). Dusnik and Vrsnik did the first integral ascent of the route, climbing it over two days, making one bivy 20 pitches up and reaching the summit at 9PM of their second day. Thomas Melling (Norway) and Magnus Eriksson (Sweden) followed behind them, making an ascent of the lower part of Mate-Porro to Gringos Perdidos to the upper Casarotto route." Rolo

Palabra!!! Ten hours to the top of the pillar is FAST! We are in awe of the style Rolo and Poroto climbed in and seek to emulate their achievements. All of us shared in the frigid shower as the rime on the upper headwall began to melt. Timing is everything!