Sunday, March 2, 2014

Beating the weather… again

If there's been a running theme to this winter, it might be "get out there while we can."  This weekend was never really sunny for long, and the highs barely broke into the mid forties, but with more snow on the way tonight it seemed crazy not to make the most of it.

Today, despite waking up tired from whatever my body has been fighting off, I made it out for a few hours at Northwest Branch before the rain rolled in.  Initially planning to walk down and join a few others on Curtain Call, I ran into Adam at the Crack Line boulder and ended up climbing with him instead.  After an extended warmup on Crack Line (which still takes me several tries to finish every time), we got on River Dyno, The Fin, and Crimps for a bit before crossing the river so he could see what the south bank had to offer.  The rain was coming down hard before we could get on Crimptastic or The Business, but he knocked off Secret Garden in just a few tries.

Yesterday was a toprope day at Carderock, which I'm loving more and more every time I climb there.  It's not just the technical climbing on terrible holds, but also the history behind so many of the climbs.  More about that some other time though.

I had a few things in mind to climb yesterday, and thought that The Rack Direct would be a good warmup. Nothing like a little overconfidence on a Saturday afternoon!  Although that didn't go well for me, Chris made it look easy.

After not climbing for another hour, I decided to try my luck on Evan's Bolt Ladder, which locals apparently take pride in as the toprope climb that made Sharma fall.  What a great route!  Unlike many of the routes at Carderock, this one covers a relatively wide face, meaning there are several possible ways to climb it instead of one accepted sequence.  What worked best for me was following a line of underclings up the left of the face, then traversing right at the overhangs until the "holds" reappeared.

                                                                 Photo: Chris Irwin
It's interesting to me that Carderock regulars consider this to be the second hardest climb there, with Silver Spot being harder.  To me, this is way more of a challenge.  Yes, the top of Silver Spot is hard, but only for a few moves and the crux sequence comes after a good rest stance.  Evan's Bolt Ladder felt like crux after crux after crux, though admittedly it was much more physical than I'm used to and I've never done a climb that involved so many long moves off underclings.  In any case, I'm looking forward to getting back and finishing it up, as well as checking out more of the classics that I haven't yet gotten a chance to try.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this snow won't stay around long!


cadaverchris said...

I think you will send next go! And I think I have a chance at it too!

cadaverchris said...

btw - I'm serious about your clothes. You are absolutely wearing carderock-camouflage in that photo.

Robin said...

Next time I'll be sure to wear a gray ski mask too. Carderock Ninja!

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