that seam, a bat, and more climbing

just north of where that seam I mentioned last time is (see image below) lies the formation (viewed from the south side) where the Peanut sits (the north side). At its west end, just off the GTR lies a huge horizontal block sitting on some crumbled mini blocks; an earthquake would definitely send it tumbling down. Quite often we see campers and day visitors hanging out under it (scary!!!!). No, camping’s not allowed, but many try. The park service put up some small stones just along the side of the road to deter others from camping – pretty nifty, eh? Anyways, from that boulder there is an easy path up the formation trending pretty much up the west escarpment. An easier approach leads to just south of the summit along an obvious but narrow corridor of stair stepping boulders. Either way, the new lines, which have probably been viewed by countless peeps, awaited our efforts. (as a better reference, I probably should have mentioned this all lies up above from the Knuckleball boulder).

sorry for the blown out image. it shows the flake at the base but doesn't show the crack well. holds nearly end about 2/3rds along the crack. that darkish sploch is approximately the last hold along the seam.

knuckleball boulder on right. left peak is about where the abalone face is. behind knuckle ball lies the gunwale.

view looking south with the knuckleball boulder almost center near bottom at edge of vegetation. the seam sits about the center right base of the highest formation. hiking left leads you to special k crack.

So, on the 15th we went back to the Aegolius Acadicus project by way of a grungy arete. It sits just before the boulder chamber of AA and the Porcelain Crack, meaning you pretty much walk right past it before diving under the main boulder and exiting into the chamber. The right side is grainy. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ …and you probably could just as easily exit right, but it just feels natural to stay left until the top. Enjoyable. Venus Over My Sickle, v1 or v2.

before sending

I tried Aegolius and Acadicus both getting the gist of them: Acadicus has a final huge move maxing my wingspan and Aegolius has the nasty sloper match by way of a knee bar. Here are some more images:

Aegolius with Jill's beta to get the side pull.

I, instead, double gaston then reach my right under my left, meaning my left gaston would be right above where her right hand is reaching.

here is the sit start with Jill just about to reach her right to an edge just past the headlamp beam

ugh, punchy.

that start hold (the larger one to its right broke) could break meaning the start starts higher but the upper moves might be a bit harder.

I dig that headlamp streak referencing the motion of the head from the start.

that lower right light patch gives the illusion of daylight streaking down into a cave, well, maybe

working the acadicus line

Next time we go back, I can legitimately go for the either line knowing what I have to do. Acadicus is definitely reachy for short peeps, but Aegolius isn’t so much. The next day, sunday, I had to be in LA to coach, so we returned monday and tuesday. Monday, we headed over to the Knuckleball boulder with the intent to warm up and head up the boulders to test out the overhanging crimp lines we had scouted on a previous day, hence the second and third images. I got sidetracked after doing those four problems, 3 are in the book: knuckleball, curveball, and gutterball. A fourth one I had done a few years back and might be called the fastball. That line sits on the only other available corner with climbable rock. Working from an intrusion at overhead height and a sloper at face height, you basically set up to throw to the top. It all goes quite fast, hence the name. ๐Ÿ™‚

The boulder that some of the images I shot Jill from while “projecting” Curveball, has a west face with a black intrusion band running from right to left originating from a “soft” incut sidepull. Soft cause it feels soft like it might pull off. It’s a cool problem but the fall is marred by various small and not so small boulders sitting behind and underneath. It traverses left along the black band then exits up mantling the band. I call it Split-finger fastball, v3 or 4. The feet suck, so moving fast is a good thing, and, like a split-finger fastball, it’s odd and frustrating to manage. The rock is crumbly and there’s only a few spots that I cleaned worth pasting your feet on, so basically you end up pseudo-campusing. It’s actually really cool with a clean mantle about 2/3rds along the band.

notice my right foot, not exactly a foot hold. it starts one move right of my right hand.

from here I mantled. that black knob left of my waist was good, no more.

Here are some images from the warm up:

the start to knuckleball

getting annoyed by the click-click-click of a camera. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m saving the images of Jill on Curveball… for the next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

this cool bug was crawling over the stone on knuckleball. I had to wait... so I took his picture.

before I forget: jill "studying" bird poop.

...and 1 final note: this scorpion wanted to crawl into my shoe at Aegolius Acadicus.

After the warmup, we headed uphill with 4 pads. Not fun. We arrived at the next “warmup” calling it the Gunwale, v3 (pronounced gunnel, like tunnel). From overhanging jugs to a committing traverse to a pleasant slab finish. It’s probably 2o feet.

lighting it was difficult. Jill's campusing to this hold, a jug.

the wide angle shot is exaggerating the upper part. she's on the traverse before committing to the move to get to the face.

the first move

my first attempt shortly before the edge of the left crimp broke.

another angle jumping to the jug sidepull

After sending the Gunwale, which sits amongst several other huge boulders, we headed behind this problem to a short but super techie line I’d like to call Orange Marmalade. It doesn’t look like much, but the moves are excellent, the rock is first rate, and it’s sustained for 6 moves.

the first move takes you to where my left hand is by doing a long reach from a bad pinch.

On the Orange Marmalade project, my right hand bumps 3 times off the left sidepull then comes a hard highstep because because that final right hand is pretty bad. Stand up, and reach an ok sloper then another with the right then the top sloper with the left. so cool. ๐Ÿ™‚ The problem could start below my foot but the pads are sitting on boulders that obscure the holds below. Bummer, but that’s the nature of bouldering in a boulder pile.

I wasn't sure if the cows were wandering off . . .

This slab in front of me is fricken brilliant. It’s also too hard, or so it seems. The rock is actually smooth, perfect (couldn’t find a single thing to flake off) and feels like climbing on dark abalone shell hence the name: Abalone face. We ended up not climbing because we decided to clean an overhanging crimp line right near the Abalone face, and I ended up dislodging a male Pipistrelle sleeping in a small but very loose flake. Luckily, Jill specializes in bats and is qualified to handle them. She will post about it soon, but below is a shot of the bat. This brings up an important thing, and that is we recommend to anyone removing loose flakes (the one I removed was probably 3 or 4 inches by 5 inches and maybe less than an inch reliefed from the face. Just look inside with a flashlight or headlamp, and if a bat is in torpor, he/she should be very visible. We got lucky because Jill was present. Handling bats is unlawful primarily because of the fear of rabies, though the incidences are quite rare.

maybe 5 stars??? way hard. line stays left because under this foreground edge it drops maybe 10 feet.

an adult male pipistrelle, luckily unhurt.

I only noticed the bat on the ground because of the dark arms that were contrasted by the lighter rock. Having worked on a bat story in Orange County for quite some time now, something struck me as odd about the look of the dark objects. She returned him to another crevice, but he flew away. That was great because it meant he was able to fly.

~ by r. mulligan on 2010/05/24.

2 Responses to “that seam, a bat, and more climbing”

  1. i’ve decided that you should stop posting…I now understand what I’ve been missing out on…thanks for sticking it to me.

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