Timeline 2015: Stone Henge and Cap Rock

[updated 2020]–This follow-up that I started to write in 2015, then forgot about, is the follow-up on the original story from this post. Here it is.

In the winter of 2014, the Park was very warm during California’s previous drought years with 2015 being no exception. I also tore my left meniscus back in November (2014), leaving me unable to take long hikes or trudge uphill on uneven terrain. This left us with the opportunity to re-explore well-established areas and also give Jill an opportunity to climb established lines. At Stone Henge, I repeated a highball Aron Couzens had done, we then added two lines, in addition to a sit, but we seemed to have lost another problem. More on that later.

3 Honkeys getting prepped for a go…

Let’s backtrack a bit: in that previous post, I added a stellar highball called Flowers For Algernon that avoids the right wall (which forms a dihedral) and added a true sit for Leisure World. We also added a sit called Exit Through The Gift Shop that climbs the huge boulder to the right of Leisure World, trail side (or opposite Flowers For Algernon). The top was super easy and is the down climb too, if I remember correctly.

Regarding this Timeline post, we repeated Jezyrl (Finger Fetish), and I climbed 3 Honkeys and Some Hip Hop Yo (a highball v7). I wanted to do the line 3 Honkeys ever since Aron put it up. It has a high right hand gaston and a low left something or other to start, can’t remember. The gaston is key for the beginning. I agree with the given grade. Also, the finish is real committing. The upper crux fall is onto the backside boulder or you tag it on the way down.

3 Honkeys and Some Hip Hop, yo. Big reach move. Just before the crux top “slab” moves off some slopers. Blue pad is on elevated boulder.

Just before the scary part.

A very committing high step. Left hand, and soon to be reached right hand, are poor.

It’s committing…

Topout. Down climb to the right.

The best part about doing this line was my spotters, Jill was on the upper boulder making sure I got pin-balled down to the ground avoiding the ledge, and my ground spotter was a flight paramedic friend that said at a certain point he stopped thinking of spotting and starting thinking of how to treat me! Ok, a bit morbid, but I’m fine with that. He’s a great spotter and none worse for preparations.

Jezyrl felt soft for the grade. Jill said it was 6, and I agreed. (Today, that grade is a given) The solid heel hook was used for all 3 moves to the incut at the lip of the overhang. Also, the upper body compression was very good. It was all about trusting the heel hook. Deadpoints that don’t cause you drift off the weighted heel make a real difference.*

The Hoi Polloi boulder with the sun/shade line being just right of Foot Fetish. Jill on Foot Fetish (FF) after the first move. It starts underneath sitting.

The latest gB and it’s predecessor differ in the topo for the Hoi Polloi boulder. The book says to exit right out of the cave onto Foot Fetish (FF). For us, topping out Jezyrl felt more natural to head up and meet the left arete.

As the climbing moves go, FF climbed directly above the right side of the Jezyrl overhang. It starts at some good incuts a bit under the lip. The new gB has FF correctly marked. The previous gB is incorrect showing Prince Fari, a 6, where FF is. Prince Fari is clearly shown in the photo above, as per the new gB, going up the sunny face with FF along the sun/shade line, but Foot Fetish felt 5.10 over a wide breadth of stone.

We tried climbing the sunny face (Prince Fari), but that proved problematic as there’s no real start holds in the center. There seemed to be some holds out right close to the right arete (Prince Hoi). Instead, we started on the left side, right of the shade line, and reached some crimps about midway in the center (moving right). After matching, the easiest move was to reach out right to a prominent point on the arete above Prince Hoi where it begins to slab out. This felt like a 4. If I forced a move up (there was something small up higher), I’d then reach the arete with my right hand. No matter what, it becomes an Eliminit. The website Mountainproject.com shows Prince Fari going straight up just left of Prince Hoi, but that doesn’t make much sense since the lower part of the face is pretty blank below those crimps I mentioned. Maybe it’s an eliminit that stays just left of the Prince Hoi arete, but uses the arete for the start…? I digress. I’ll have to return and rethink the line.**

This is a problem, whereas having start holds and a finish point makes for a more enjoyable, or at least logical, experience. The question begs, why have such a detailed gB then lack critical information related to FA’s?**

Mike Brady’s right hand on the first of the face crimps, but he’s more left than I would have thought Prince Fari would be so…

I made a cross-over move while my right is on the same hold as Mike’s right hand in the above photo.

After having matched, I’m shuffling to make the reach to the prominent point at the top of the shadowed arete.

The rest is chill. It felt like a 4.

There’s a possible sit to Grainline. One move and hard. It looks like others tried it, so it might have been done by someone at some time. It’s still intriguing to work it out to success. Very body powerful. Grainline is on the sunny side of the Black Lichen boulder, to the right around the corner of Arrive on Vacation, Leave on Probation/Palm-o-Granite. Such a cool name, Palm-o-Granite***.

Picture Perfect stand gets 2 stars but is over in a move. The sit gets one star and has a killer technical body sequence on a far heel. It’s actually a really challenging sequence on unlikely holds. Solid stone. The sit (IMO) deserves the stars, not the stand.

There’s an easy line left of Ace (5.9) that’s in the latest gB, and it’s called Deuce (5.9). follows the left arete and is a good problem.

Squirm is worthy, just because. Power moves on slopers. Either exit but the right exit is morpho.

Oh, yeah, what was lost? Prince Fari. I’m still looking for him.

Cap Rock:
In 2019, I resent Pumping Monzonite (without the now non-existing original crumbling thread heelhook), using tall beta off a small low foot edge out right. Same grade, just slightly harder for that grade. If short, I think one uses a heel hook next to the hands. This is for starting matched instead of the original ascent with the right starting on the lightning bolt crimp up right.

On Lockjaw, the gB references the start off “(a) diagonal seem to the left.” Though it then says go to another seam to the left, this might be confusing. The start was on a right sidepull hold (just about head height when standing on the boulder) with the first move using a left at shoulder or face height. Once on, it’s a precision stab to the far left diagonal seem. There’s another higher right sidepull that is used later. If you’re really tall, you might be able to reach both the far left sidepull and upper right sidepull. But that wouldn’t be the start for the given grade/name. FTR.

I also believe the southwest arete, the shortest arete on the Molar, can be bouldered out. It’s a ground up, one bolt, testpiece put up by Woodward called The Skin of the Teeth, 12d.

* Commercial gym setting tends to prioritize finger strength and upper body-initiated movement while forgoing leg-centric position and balance, or centering (a term I use for establishing pseudo-balance using tension). This effect tends to de-prioritize nuanced structures while prioritizing inertial energy flows. With funky natural holds, tension and control helps to minimize skin damage, thus, gym styles usually adapt poorly to outside movement.

** This an example where designating start holds and a finish point (especially if it’s an eliminit) makes the most sense as I see it. It eliminates the “adventure” thinking that some gB authors want yet that doesn’t really exist. The line and location are known (via GPS) and it’s almost always drawn on a photo, so where’s the adventure? Oh, and what about getting the line wrong after putting in ton of effort only to realize, fuck, that wasn’t the problem I wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the boulderer doing their own thing. But with a misleading gB, it deprioritizes the idea of sending something of known value. The truest “adventure” gB is more akin to Mari Gingery’s original bouldering guides to JT. It’s an overview map with a marker for the location. The map is crude and can elicit a true adventure at times (or all the time)!

This is a typical example of her topos for bouldering.

*** Original ascent was done by Matt Beebe and called Arrive on Vacation/Leave on Probation. The name is the story. 😉

[Many thanks goes to Mari Gingery for putting in all the effort to record and help establish the many Stonemaster boulder problems. Those early boulderers weren’t necessarily doing super hard, but what they did, they were solid because they had no pads. I was a novice when I met several of them and was, and still am today, very impressed with how well they climbed. Their mind and movement were pretty much one and the same. I, along with Jon Wright and Mike Brady, et al decided that using pads was a good thing for our bodies, but we wanted to keep the spirit alive, so we adopted strict ground up style. The pads allowed us to venture to worse landings while always accepting certain “costs.” Because we did everything to reduce impact to vegetation, it placed us in ethically difficult situations. One example was trying to repeat Beebe’s The Thin Crack (for whom he toproped then sent without plant damage), we placed our two pads under the 6′ Cat’s Claw bush with the thinking that if we had to fall on it, it and us would both pay a price. It was very convincing, no send unfortunately , but not because of the padding choices. Today, the plant has been cut after it was previously seriously damaged when boulderers placed their pads on top to crush it down. Times have changed. For those bold enough feel free to try the early ascents in original style, or our approach. :)]

~ by r. mulligan on 2021/02/24.

2 Responses to “Timeline 2015: Stone Henge and Cap Rock”

  1. I need to come visit this blog more often! Your content is amazing 🙂

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