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Gunks October 16-17

November 7, 2010

How could I be so lazy? October continued to be a great time at the gunks.

October 16th: We took a late start and snubbed our noses at the weather. Brian headed straight up Yellow Wall, an exciting lead for sure and I was glad to follow it.  I felt the climbing was pretty easy but surprised how committing it’d be. Way to go Brian!  We rappled from the top of Airy Airia and pulled the rope.  The rope got caught in one of those improbable ways around a tree branch, effectively tying a girthhitch around itself and latching on to a branch nub. We coulndn’t get it out from the ground. I lead Airy Aria in one long spectacular pitch (aside from the weight and drag of the rope) and we freed the rope. Again, despite our best efforts the rope tried to do the same trick, rapping repeatedly around the branch…fortunately this time it missed the catching nub and we were able to retrieve it.  We took a couple quick runs up the Sting before calling it a day.

Sunday October 17th:

Andrew Mcconicco joined us on a spectacular Sunday. We headed to the Nears with big plans. I lead the first pitch of Criss Cross Direct, we top roped it a few times then Brian lead the second pitch.  Again, a committing thin section leads to an eventual and fun roof.  We headed over to the meat of the day, FAT CITY DIRECT. A climb I’ve often looked up at and said “no fucking way.”  I racked up and got on it. The first pitch is perfect. A thin seam leads to a funky 5.9 roof, up to fixed nuts and a bulge. Leave safety of the ledge and get into some committing climbing to the next roof. Thank god I made it, got gear in.  Move left until the roof lets you through. This is definitely the crux of the route, smallest cams (or some inventive nut placements) are the protection.  After this there is bolted belay.  Second pitch has thoughtful climbing between the pins and clipping the second pin at the end of the roof is the trouble. Andrew had no problems with this and Brian and I followed him up.  From there we TR’d the 5.12 left of the Bird Cage corner.  Don caught Craig on a big whip on Birdland when he fell at the crux and popped his gear.  Kinda scary to watch but Don did a good job catching him.



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