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Gunks March 20

March 22, 2010

Met up with Brian, Don, Craig and Lance at the bottom of the stairmaster around 9.  Brian and I packed up and headed to Three Vultures.  I lead the first pitch of the route and found the start both wet and difficult.  Despite the warm dry weather, there is still plenty of run off coming through and down the cliff.  The sun was out and the temperatures were in the low 70s, about 20 degrees warmer than anything we’ve seen this year.  On a summer day, it would be delightful, but for this time of year it was HOT.

Aside from the desperate moves off the ground the first pitch was pretty easy. I set up a belay high on the GT ledge below the Pillar. Brian climbed up the pillar into the crack, out the traverse and up to a belay.  I followed up and finished atop the cliff after a short 5.7 ish pitch. From there we rappelled at No Glow, stopping at the ledge.  Brian then took on Amber Waves of Pain (5.10a). I was already thirsty and getting way too much sun, but figured I’d follow him.  He had some trouble at the crux. I also fell there.

Amber Waves of Pain starts just left of the pillar and heads into 3 small roofs/ an over hang system. The holds are good and there is good protection. Atop the last last overhang is the crux. The feet are far below you at this point and the crimp over the roof is poor. A large ledge can be had for the tall.  After falling, back below the roof, I was thankfully able to pull myself back on.  I climbed up again, crossing my right hand to the crimp. got my feet as high as possible and lunged for the ledge, catching it with my left finger tips.  I threw my right hand up and got my tips on the ledge. I did a quick pull up and got my feet above the roof.  There was another tricky section, but negligible compared to this reachy crux.

We rappled to the ground and drank for the first time in 4 hours, it was 2PM.  Don came by and we walked down the cliff toward Simple Stuff. I lucked out and a party was already on it. Brian Lead City Lights (5.10b), a pretty simple climb with a well defined crux reaching above a roof.  The holds were a bit damp and I failed to pull it without falling first.  I did some gymnastics and got back on the rock, this time committing to the move, reaching big and catching the next good hold before my feet slipped again and was able to finish up.

I was pretty beat and humiliated. First day back…. We met up with Don, lance and Craig and headed straight to Bacchus to have a few beers and learn about the new ways kids smoke pot.  Crazy kids.

I bought a new nut tool and Muira VS.  Went back to Laura’s and watched Milk.

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