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.