More problems since the 4/4 day

At the same crag off Geology Tour road, opposite Dike Face, are a nice collection of problems that you might find worth doing. Since the previous week when we went there the day after Youth and Open Nationals in Virginia, we’ve put up other problems including one repeat ropeless without TR preview. Most of these problems are visible from the road (including the ones done that previous day in the 4 for 4 blog). At the Southern end of the formation just off the road sits a boulder with a distinct north face and left arete. At the top is a single bolt. I’ve always wanted to boulder this line, but the bolt led me to believe it was worse than it looked. I finally decided it was time, threw down the pads and went to work. It’s probably v5 then again it could be 4 or 6. The only problem with the fall is the boulder behind your back because it creates a cut ledge at about 3 feet high about 4 feet back. If you fall, you have to jump back, if you fall without knowing it, like your foot blows, you will appreciate a good spotter; otherwise, the landing is pretty flat.

On an unsuccessful attempt doing the main big move. The rest of the crux involves matching hands. Delicate.

The opposite arete (right side) is way fun and maybe v0+ or something. It has a bad landing but can be topped out anywhere along the top rail. It’s more fun, though, to go to the top and then turn the lip. Anyways, if you know the area, you most likely have bouldered the slab and crack problems right off the road on the right at about midway along the formation. One problem is called Bluecut, the crack, with a few slabs to the left of it on an adjacent boulder. The guidebook doesn’t show it, but there is a third slab line on the far left of the boulder with the problem Cinders to it’s right. Another line is on the back; ; it’s fun, but it’s short too, and I can’t remember the starting holds. (Update: It starts on the obvious sidepull flake. There is another problem around the left of Bluecut that follows a thin crack with start holds high about head height. Also on the north end of the boulder is a slab with 2 lines going up side by side.)

So, if you are standing facing Bluecut, walk right about 50 meters and you will see too much stuff, ugh. Ok, there is an overhanging seem/crack low with a set of horizontals that angle left after the lip of the overhang. This problem sits just to the left of a north facing face with a slashing intrusion dike running from left to right. This would be a sweet line if you can figure out the first move. Hard but doable on perfect stone. This face is an easy landmark and the sloping overhanging rail is just to the right set in from the collection of boulders. I’ve included two images to help you find it.

The overall face with the token topout (straight up) and a left exit.

Here Jill is matched for the final hard section. It starts below at her knees.

It starts matched at the left hand. I used a Tanto to avoid touching the boulder through the crux sequence.

I would recommend taking the left exit, only because the direct finish has a worse fall and a giant flake that’s totally thin and hallow. I used it along with a sinker 3 finger pocket all on loose rock. Traversing would also fit with the line, but regardless, it’s super cool and should remain pretty cool even during more warm temps.

Udpate: I pseudo-repeated (didn’t really because I touched the pads like 3 times with my back or leg or shoulder) the sloper problem with the left exist, and found it to be better. At least the effort gave me a good idea of the finish because when I worked it out after the crux, it felt as if it might add another crux to the line. It didn’t, it follows the quality rock and has one awkward move trying to get past the bush; otherwise, it’s a bit safer.

From here, more lines exist further right heading north along the road to the north end of the formation. I mentioned in the earlier blog Four for Four about the two lines on the giant boulder that looks like the stern of an old sailing ship? Well, if you continue past it and work your way around the north west end of the formation, staying clear of the jumble by walking around most of the stuff, you will reach The Reacharound. It’s truly a cool problem. It faces west, so you won’t see it until you are past it. It sits high on the hillside.

Getting ready for the crux... reachy. Btw, behind me and to the left is the road.

Committing to the foot... See the vid for a better idea.

Sorry, no video yet; it costs $60/year. I’ll work on it and post it in the near future. It’s a test video done handheld, so it’s a bit sloppy. Edited in iMovie, I have little options to do interesting things. Once I get FCP going, things should improve. Well, I have the video now, and here is the test base: ep-2 using 720HD (though the uploaded vid is not HD). I don’t have the audio adapter yet, so I won’t be able to do legit sound. This is of Aron doing the second ascent. The topout is quite awkward. I pretty much did the same walrus technique. Ugh. Regardless, it’s an excellent line. Btw, it’s in flash, which is a joke. Once I figure out how to offer a vid in its native format without flash, I’ll do it. Flash is proprietary, unsearchable, a massive resource hog (literally makes my work pc useless if I run flash in the browser), and, well, it’s from adobe. Need I say more? 😉 As you can see from the vid, it’s very shaky because I didn’t use a tripod and it was very windy. I also shot it on auto, and won’t be doing that anymore. The auto AF tracking function should be a nice thing to try since tracking a person is pretty much what it was invented for.

Update: I forgot about this line, a short but high quality slab that Aron fired called Like a Cholo. The start is a jump to an obvious intrusion, then the fun starts. Rated maybe 3 or 4???? I did it right after him, but can’t say what it is. The problem sits just west or down the slope from the front of The Reacharound.

Here I'm trying an early attempt with bad beta. Basically, using the same left hand and foot, jump to the intrusion. What follows is not what we expected.

~ by r. mulligan on 2010/03/02.

One Response to “More problems since the 4/4 day”

  1. that left arete is awesome. and look! me and my kid made the picture! 🙂

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