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Erect Direction for the Nurse’s Aid

June 10, 2013

Mike and I have been having a hard time finding dry days to climb together.  It rained heavily on Friday and Saturday was drizzly in Philadelphia but things cleared up in the evening. We left around 7:30 Saturday night and made it up around 10:30 for some dirt bag camping.  On Sunday we grabbed coffee and breakfast at the Deli before hiking up the stair master. WE got on Arrow as a warm-up and already the crag was getting crowded. I lead the first pitch and Mike took the second.  From there I headed over to Nurse’s Aid, wanting to get my tick in for the day before it got too hot.  The climb went well, though it was thinner than I remember down low and easier through the steep section.  On the Face I was able to place a Green Alien, then a flared Yellow Alien (a hybrid would be bomber but this was acceptable). It is important to put the cam in AFTER pulling through the move, it’s a critical hold. Using some subtle side pulls and spider man foot work I got up to the good slot before the traverse back left.  From there I pulled casually through the roofs placing plenty of gear for a safe and fun ascent.  For the Anchor I threaded a sling around a block and used a #2 higher up for a second piece (yay for 2 piece anchors).  We didn’t do the second pitch off the GT ledge, but I think I’ll get on it another time.

The Porcupine:  While I was leading Nurses Aid I heard a lot of commotion and yelling from the ground.  A dog found a young porcupine and mauled it to death.  It was quite sad for the Porcupine. Mike thinks the critter may have been in bad shape before the dog attacked but it was definitely dead with black flies eating it by the time we got off the climb.  Mike cleaned up the quills the bad dog owners left laying all over the ground and we rolled the porcupine off the trail and in between some rocks so it wouldn’t be chewed by another dog or stepped on by some hikers. Poor little guy was cute too.

Mike then lead Feast of Fools getting it On Sight! It’s interesting watching someone climb a route I feel like I know well at this point, different gear, different beta. I did urge him to bring the #4 and he found the placement for it before the pins. I TR cleaned the route and we began walking down the trail.  Originally we considered climbing up to the GT ledge and getting on Amber Waves, 3 Vultures, Face to Face, No Glow, Keep Strutting but that whole area looked busy so we walked on and Mike cajoled  me to get on Erect Direction. We figured there wouldn’t be a line for this notorious line. I hemmed and hawed a bit before deciding to lead all the pitches.  I’ve never followed ED before so this would be an onsight.  I lead the first pitch and found it pretty crowded around the ledge. I set the belay off a tree and mike came on up.  Then we waited. One party was just finishing up pitch two and another party was going to start up Moondance.  After cooking in the sun for a I set the rack and headed up. I put in a lot of gear around the crux section. A slotted nut, a #4! in the wide crack before the traverse, two small cams in the traverse and one at the end of it!  About 5 pieces in less than 10 feet of climbing And when it came down to it, the climbing wet smoothly. Probably the hardest part is getting into the traverse, muscling up the wide crack and getting your feet up high.  I have a nice rock rash behind my left shoulder now from leaning into the flare.  I made it around the corner and up to the fixed nuts, slinging together a hanging belay with a #.75 at the top of the dihedral.  I got the rope a little stuck in the crack below so the rope was slow to pull.   The party ahead of us was battling with a stuck TCU right off the belay so we had a wait ahead of us anyway.  Once that was cleared mike and I fixed the belay up a bit and I took on pitch 3.  A traverse under a giant roof and then an foot cutting move to a right heel hook on a wild wild roof move. Good gear is plenty, I think a #3 worked well, but a #1 went in blindly too.  there are some more big pulls before you get to another tricky move, a layback up a shallow dihedral with thin (purple C3) gear, this would be the crux of the pitch if the roof move wasn’t so crazy and memorable. After the layback the climbing eases. I got to the top and realized I didn’t grab the second cordolette so I made due with the rope and gear in the seam.  Belaying at the edge made communication a bit more possible.

Here we waited again, wandering to the no-glow anchors which were occupied by a belayer then to the Last Will Be First rap anchor.  We rapped with another party and ate lunch around 4PM. Erect Direction took a big hunk of the day but I was happy to get the tick.

I suggested Never Never Land to Mike and he cruise the pitch. I Cleaned the pitch on TR and set up J’Accuse on TR.  A #.5 worked well in a horizontal near the top of the route as a directional. I went right back up and found this climb to be significantly thinner than it’s neighbor despite the modest grade bump from 10a to 10b. The Lone bolt protects almost all of the business on the route. This would be a really committing climb from right off the ground.

We wrapped up the day, hit the new R&S annex and got some road food.

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From → Climbing, Gunks

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