Wednesday, July 4, 2012

SLC-Ram Visits-December 2011

Ram had moved from LA to Seattle and came out to SLC to see us.


Being a Ram visit the weekend start with repairing my 46” Samsung LCD TV which had some bad capacitors. 


You can see the capacitors bulging and about to leak here.  We got some new ones in and worked like a charm.


On Saturday we took Ram to see SLC’s number one tourist attraction; the Mormon Temple.


Since it was Christmas time it had some lights hung out.


On Sunday being SLC finding a Thai restaurant which was open was a challenge but we found Rose’s Tea House in Murray.  They had a spicy scale from 1-9 and the menu said they would not serve past a 3 to first time customers.  Ram being Thai and loving spicy food said NINE, NINE, NINE!

After a little haggling we got the waitress to serve him the nine.  We both got Chicken Panangg but I got a level one spicy.  As we waited Ram got nervous about his order when he saw the spicy challenge on the wall about when they used to have a 10 but too many people went to the hospital.  The thai peppers are flown in from Thailand to LA and then SLC.  Above is my yellowish level 1 and Ram’s dark red level 9.


The food was AMAZING!  Ram called it the top 10 thai food he has had in the US.  The level 9 was so good!  The first bite was really good but didn’t burn, the second bite was real hot and spicy, the third bite was destruction for me.  It was even too hot for Ram and he couldn’t finish it.  This was the first time I had seen Ram not finish something which was not a spicy challenge.


Before Ram flew out we stopped at Squatter’s Brewery and got some beers.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yosemite-Royal Arches; October 2011

We were not moving quick in the morning after the previous days long descent and visiting with Roger Suen in camp.  The next morning we chose to go for Royal Arches 5.7 A0.  It is a Yosemite classic long easy climb.


We go to the base at 10:45 am a very late by the often start time of 5 am.  The first pitch here was classic Yosemite physical chimney.


The chimney bought us to a long traverse ledge with a little 4th class climbing.


The ledge brought us to the base of a nice 5.7 crack.


Great views back to El Cap.


Views up the valley to Glacier Point Apron.  Since Anja’s hand was hurt from the slip on the talas the night before I was doing the leading.


We go to the flake system leading to the A0 pendulum.


There was a fixed rope on the pendulum which made it very casual.


We were catching up with a party in front of us and Anja wasn’t going to let the climb go by without at least one lead.


So she fired up on about pitch 6.


Views just kept getting better.


Looking down from pitch 7.


We topped out with 8 pitches at 5:30 pm.  Just under 7 hours on the route.  We took the rappels down.  This took about 2 hours in large part because we had caught the party in front of us who was fairly slow on rappel.


That night we drove to Tahoe to see Bill and Leslie.  Like father like son the little Suen was ready to take over the wheel and drive us home to SLC.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lower Cathedral Spire 5.9; October 2011

It had been raining the past days but we thought it would be ok to go for Lower Cathedral Spire’s Regular route.  It is 5.9 about 5 pitches but the 5.9 can be aided and becomes 5.7 A0.


The approach is really long and steep, plus it was slippery from the previous days rainfall.


After over an hour of hiking and scrambling we could see the route on the spire.  It goes up the left skyline to the large ledge and then traverses right on the ledge then up from the ledge to the top.


Anja gave the first pitch a shot but found the route finding to be difficult and set a belay and brought me up to confer on where to go.


The views on the route were stupendous.


Since at this point we were running a little late I took over the leads and found the route and shot to the ledge.  We did the traverse on the ledge and found the A0 move where I quickly pulled on a piton and swung though the 5.9 and onto the slightly chossy 5.7 flakes above.

After about 150 ft of climbing it was mostly over and it was 1.5 more pitches to the top.


We hit the top a little late but with daylight and got on rappel.  We got back to the base just after dark and started down the talas gully.


It was a bad descent as it was dark now and the talas was already covered in dew which made descending very slippery.  Anja slipped once and jammed some fingers and her hand.  I took all the weight I could from her and we finished out a kind of miserable descent in the dark.  Onto Royal Arches the next day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pinnacles–Post Orgasmic Depression and Cantaloupes of Death

The weather turned on us and we headed to San Luis Obispo and saw some of my college friends.  We rode out a couple of days of rain hanging at out at SLO Sails and Canvas and coffee shops.  From there we headed to Pinnacles National Monument.


Pinnacles is a big conglomerate climbing area which I had visited in college.  I’d followed Cantaloupes of Death 5.10b and recalled it as an awesome route I thought Anja would like.  We headed to that feature which also housed the classic Post Orgasmic Depression 5.11b.  We found our way there after getting lost a couple times and got in 4 routes.  It was nice but as I remembered I didn’t love the climbing there and we headed out that evening to Sonora.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Merlin Dome; Needles, CA


After our success on Demon Dome we thought we’d give Merlin Dome a shot.


Route descriptions were poor but described and rarely harder than 5.9.  We found this dihedral with cracks and headed up it.


Anja cruised the first pitch 5.7


to a nice tree ledge belay.


I headed up the second pitch which was mellow 5.7.


Anja followed the second pitch to my nice fat belay ledge.


Anja headed up the third pitch.


About half way up it got dicey with kind of poor gear on some poor rock and very wondery.  She lowered off and gave me a shot.  It took some rope management and climbing on the double ropes was real handy here to manage rope drag.  I pulled through and wondered around and found a 3rd nice belay ledge.  Anja followed up but we just saw slab above with no bolts and didn’t look promising.  So we down climbed a 3rd class rap to the right and then down lead a 4th class gully to gain the base of the dome and walked back to our gear.  While not as big a success as our previous day on Demon Dome it was a nice 3 pitches of climbing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Demon Dome; Needles, CA

We caught the wedding in Hollywood which was on the roof top of a hotel and awesome.  As Brian is Mexican and his bride is Asian the night was capped off with a Asian Mexican fusion taco truck.  It was very LA and Brain.  Good times. 

Sadly almost everyone we know in LA was out of town for the weekend so we didn’t catchup with anyone but headed to the Needles to climb.  We were joined by Skater Dave and in the morning headed up Summer Sojurn 5.7 on Voodoo Dome.  The first pitches went fine but when we got the the runout 5.5 pitch things went back.  I headed up on the lead got a few pieces in the crack above the belay and started a runout traverse which wasn’t bad but not easy.  Following that I moved up into a bowl and found a yellow alien placement from there I looked up at 50 ft of slab and couldn’t see a bolt.  I moved up about 15-20 ft on the to slab staying with in my retreat zone but still couldn’t see a bolt.  I wasn’t up for running it out on that to who knows where so I down climbed everything which was less than fun and we back lead the pitch below and then were able to rappel off the two bolted belays.  Drag…

The next day we headed up on to Demon Dome on Rosemary’s Baby 5.8 4 pitches.

Anja took the first pitch and cruised up to a nice belay.


Skater Dave following pitch 1.


I led the second pitch and got the kind of hanging belay which was kind of lousy.


We extended Anja on a 10 ft clove hitch on the rope to a super comfy ledge.  Too bad there wasn’t a nice pair of bolts on this ledge.


Nice views


Ken belaying.


Dave took the 3rd pitch and got the crux. Up high on the pitch was a big block with a very slabby poorly protected step out. Anja took the 4 pitch which was slabby and kind of hard also but overall went pretty ok. From there is was a 4th class scramble to the top. We topped out and then down climbed to the bolt anchor at the top of 4. Rappelled to the top of 3, then rappelled out on the face and did two more to the ground. Nice double rope ride back down. Was a perfect day for climbing as a party of three on double ropes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tahquitz–Whodonit 5.9

We were headed to Hollywood for a college roommate’s wedding and made a stop at Tahquitz to get on the classic Whodonit.  I’d never done the route because on a weekend it always had a line of people on it but this we rolled into town on Wednesday night.  Paul followed shortly rolling into camp that night.  In the morning the three of us hiked up hoping for an open route. 


The route and whole Northwest Rescess were vacant.  Stoked!  I got on the first pitch which had some 5.9 slab I was not excited about which I did find very dicey and a fall off the slab on the black alien and micro nuts would have been bad.  I hope the rest of the route makes up for it.  Anja took the next pitch and we rolled up.


We made the classic chimney and I headed up it was a pretty cool physical 5.9 exit move and was an awesome pitch.


After that it was a pretty cruise to the top of a few pitches.  We topped out with plenty of daylight for the hike down the north gully.  Overall it was a great route but I thought it paled in comparison to Traitor Horn and the Long/Wong Climb.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Laura’s reception and moving

After Jackson we headed back to Boulder to go to Anja’s childhood friend Laura’s Wedding reception.


Anja’s mom flew in for it and stayed with us in Boulder at my folks house.  She and Anja got out for a bike ride and some hiking while there.


Laura and Ian got married in Cancun Mexico a few weeks earlier which we didn’t make it to.


For those who couldn’t make it they also had a reception up at Blackhawk casino in Colorado.


Laura’s mom here in the center was who kindly let us use her Condo on Grand Cayman Island the year before.


At the end of the night those who had suits enjoyed the tub.


I officially had a job offer with the State of Utah so we move our stuff to Salt Lake but since we couldn’t move in yet we threw it all in a storage locker.


After this we headed to California for one of my college roommate’s wedding in Hollywood.