Finale Ligure -Beaches, Castles, and Caves
Posted by sibylle in Italy, finale ligure (Sunday April 30, 2006 at 7:45 pm)

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The Chiesa dei Cinque Campanili
From Finalborgo it’s about six km (four miles) to the beach. The coast is rocky, with cliffs along some stretches. We drove from Finalborgo to Finalmarina and parked at the west end of town in a large pubic parking lot. We walked from here through town to the beach, which somewhat resembles the Santa Cruz boardwalk, minus the roller coaster. The beach here has somewhat rougher and coarser sand than the California beaches I’ve visited. One other difference from the US – expect to see topless women. The first time I came here with five German teens. The two girls promptly took off all of their clothes to jump under the open-air shower, as we hadn’t bathed in over a week.
On our days off, we explored ruined fortresses, visited old churches, and toured the castle up the hill from town (C. San Giovanni), which they were renovating while we were in Finale. One old fortress, Castelfranco, was destroyed by the Genoese in 1365. The Museo Civico, in the cloister Santa Caterina, has remains from prehistoric times, when our ancestors lived in about 50 caves in the vicinity. The Valdemino grotto (cave), near Borgio Verezzi, remains open year round. On the road to Parete Dimenticata and Monte Sordo you’ll pass another church, the Chiesa dei Cinque Campanili, built between 1488 to 1493.

Castel Gavone - Finalborgo

This ruin, just above Finalborgo, can even be in your stamp collection! We walked to the castle from Finalborgo, but you could drive up also. In 1188 Emperor Henry II founded Burgus Finarii (now Finalborgo). Castel Gavone was a fortress as well as his residence. The Torre dei Diamanti was added at the end of the 15th century. Spaniards conquered the castle in 1602 and kept it as a Spanish stronghold until 1714. In 1989 the castle’s owners donated it to the town of Finale Ligure.

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Tristan on hike up to Castel Gavone

Indian Creek - gear notes
Posted by sibylle in utah (Thursday April 27, 2006 at 9:19 am)

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Castleton after storm

So far more people have posted or sent me comments in favor of publicizing Kent’s gear notes; than have written to me to say that they’re opposed to it. So, as long as public opinion (such as it is) runs for, I’ll continue posting gear notes for some Indian Creek climbs.

Soon I’ll post some of our pictures from easy routes in Italy and Spain.

I’ll add a disclaimer: they’re not my notes; don’t depend on them; I’m not responsible for writing the notes nor for what you do with them.

FIN WALL

Third World Lover – main route (5.10b, ***, 80’) Gear: (1) #0.4, (1-2) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (4) #1, (3) #2, (2) #3 Camalots.

Third World Lover – right crack only (5.10c/d, ***, 80’) No gear beta, did as TR.

Unnamed #3 in DB book (5.11c, **.5, 80’ - 85’?) Plaque at base, but name not readable and no rating. Loose stuff at start. Cruxes are mostly fingers with some fat fingers. Anchor is 3 bolts, but 2 are without hangers (3/8” with washers and nuts). I added a sling to one and added a screw link Needs hangers and chains. With full slings, the rap links will abrade the rock and has in the past – a “V” arrangement of chains, rather than individual chains is recommended to reduce swing and abrasion. Gear: (3) #0.3, (4) #0.4, (4) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (1-2) #1 Camalots. Actually used some #1 Friends and counted as between #0.4 and #0.5 Camalots.

Crappucino - #4 in DB book (5.10c, ***, 120’) Gear: (?) #0.3, (3-4) #0.4, (3-4) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (4) #1, (3) #2, (1) #3, (1) # 3.5 Camalots.

Fintastic (5.10a, ***, 60’) Short boulderey move at base. Gear: (1 each) #0.5, 0.75, 1, and 2 Camalots; (2) #3 Camalots.

Hot Fun Sunday (5.11c, ****, ) Gear (1) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (2) #1, (1) #2, (2) #3 Camalots.

Walkin’ Talkin’ Bob ( 5.9, ***,50’) Blocks/broken to wide hand splitter. Sorry, no gear beta.

Brother from Another Planet – No. 19 in DB book (Hard, ****, short) Gear: bottom: (1 each) #0.4, 0.5, 0.75, & 1 Camalots, (2) #2C; roof – almost anything will work from #1 to #5 Camalots due to flare at beginning. At least 1 #4.5/#5 is good to get a piece as high as possible. A 9 inch piece (9” VG or #6 Massive) will work above the lip if you get that far. A large piece would get in the way if used before turning the lip.

The Piano – not in book (5.11a, **.5, short) Gear: #0.4 C and smaller. From ClimbingMoab site: (5.10d) Gear: #0.5 C down to blue Aliens)

Finito – not in book (5.11a, **, short). Gear: (2) #0.3, (4) #0.4, (3) #0.5, (1 each) #0.75, 1, 2, & 3 Camalots.

The Feltcher – No. 21 in DB book (5.10d, **.5, ____). Gear (2) #0.4, (4) #0.5, (4) #0.75, (1) #1, (1) #2 Camalots.

Nagasaki – No. 22 in DB book ( 5.10d, ****, 130’) Gear: Roger used: (2) med-large stoppers, (1-2) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (3) #0.5, (5-6) #0.75, (1- 5?) #1, (2-4) #2, (1) #3 Camalots.

Unnamed No. 23 in DB book (5.11c, *****, +/1 80’) Interesting corner and companion splitter. Gear: (1) #0.3, (1) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (4) #0.75, (1) #1, (1) #2 Camalots. Byt may want 1 more #0.75 and #2 Camalots. I used left crack for pro till very top – right crack is thinner.

Double Trouble - No. 24 in DB book (5.11b, , ) Crux low (#1 Friend) upper hands easier (#2.5 Friend or =). Sorry no specific gear beta.

Beauty and the Beast – No. 35 in DB book (5.11c/d, ***.5, 65’) Good clean fingers the entire way. Gear: (2) blue A, (5) green A, (4) yellow A, (3) red A, (1) #0.3 Camalot.

Fist Fuck - No. 32 in DB book (5.11a, *****, 120’?) Perfect fists for me nearly the entire way. Gear: (2) #2 C, (1-2) #3.5 Friends, (7) #3 C/#4 F (note that #4 Friends are tight in some spots); (few) #3.5 Camalots might work in some spots but would be tight.

BROKEN TOOTH

Mondo, No 1 in DB book (5.12a/b, *****, 130’-155’) Great climb. Crux is 15’ of overhanging fingers to tight hands down low. Upper includes 75 ft of rattley fists (5.11a for me). Gear: (1) #0.4, (1) between #0.4 & #0.5, (2)#0.5, (1-2)#0.75, (1-2) #1, (1-2) #2, (3-5) #3, (3-5) #3.5, (4-5) #4. Need to save (1 to 2) #3.5’s for the very top (#4 won’t fit).

Unnamed 4 in DB book – Unknown B in my previous notes (5.11a/b, ***.5, 80’) Fingers in Flare. Gear: (1) Yellow A, (1) Red A’ (2) #1 Friends, (1) #0.3, (3) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (1) #1, (1) #3.5 Camalots.

Unnamed 5 in DB book – Unknown B in my previous notes (5.10d, ***, 55’) Overlapping Cracks, mostly fat fingers. Gear: (1) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (3-4) #0.75, (3-4) #1 Camalots

Blue Sky Mining - Prev. Unknown C in my notes (5.10c/b, ***, 55’) Finger to Wide Hand in Right-Facing Corner. Gear: (1) Blue A, (1) Yellow A, (1) Red A; (1-2) #0.3, (1-2) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (1) #1, (1-2) #2, (2) #3, (1) #4 Camalots.

Unnamed 7 in DB book on L Side - first one in book L of Heat Searcher and maybe 200′ - 300′ left of H S. (5.10d, ****.5, 120′ – 70m barely works for TR). Gear: (1) #0.5, (1-2)#0.75, (4)#1, (6-8)#2, (2-3)#3, (optional) #3.5 & #4 Camalots.

Dental Floss Tycoon – No. 8 in DB book (5.10b, ***, ≥165’) Gear: (1) #0.5 F, (1) #1 F, (2) # .5 C, (1) #0.75 C, (2) #1 C, (3) #2 C, (4) #3 C, (1) #4 C.

The Pussy Wuss Crack – No. 10 in DB book. Short wide wavy splitter w/ roof on sub-buttress near where the trail comes up to the cliff. (10d, ***, 50′) Used (1)#3, (1)#3.5, (3-4)#4, (1-2)#4.5 Camalots. May want another #4 and #4.5 Camalots. Did roof as a leavittation leg jam above a stack (inversion) - great fun.

Heat Searcher – 1st (5.10b/c, ***.5, 120’) Gear: (1) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (3) #1 (2) #2, (1) #3 Camalots
Heat Searcher – 2nd (5.11c/d, ****.5, 65’) Gear: (opt) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (3-4) #0.75, (1-3) #1, (1-2) #2, (1-2) #3 Camalots.

Rock Lobster (11b/c, *****, 120′) Used: (1-2) #0.4, (2-3) #0.5, (1-2)#0.75, (2)#1, (5-6) #2, (2) #3 Camalots. Recommend taking 1 extra each from #0.4 to #2. The upper crack thins from #0.75C to #0.4C which is the crux.

Inflictor (12a, ****, 120′) Can TR from R L. A little tips to wide fingers. Thin stuff the entire way - Visually need #0.3 to #0.5 Camalots with some smaller, can use a lot of nuts in finger pockets.

Polygrip – No. 14 in DB book (11c, *****, 120′) Used: (1)#1, (2 or 3)#0.75, (5)#.5, (3)#0.4, (3)#0.3 Camalots, +(3)#1Friends.

Rhythm Method – Reported to be 5.12- to first set of anchors with gear heave on #0.3 Camalots

Root Canal – No. 16 in DB book (5.11b, ****.5, 110’) A 60m rope barely works from the belay cave/alcove behind the flake, but be careful to not go on the outside of the flake and rap off end of rope. OW cruxy, roof above is intimidating and perplexing, but I though was easier than the OW, but Ken thought it was the crux. Gear: (approx 2 each) #2, #3, #3.5 C; (3) #4, (2) #4.5, (2) #5 C; (1) #6 Massive – 9” cam which was placed and cleaned a couple times, or #3 BB would work too.

Unknown/Unrecorded – Corner directly below intermediate belay for Gingivitis which is left of 1st pitch of Gingivitis. (5.12b/a, ***, ___) Did as TR from belay above. Pro from inspection: #0.3 to #0.75 C with allot of #0.5 Camalots.

Gingivitis - No 17 in DB book (rap from 2nd at 115’ (1/2 of 60m) but with rope stretch and some down climbing):
∑ 1st – (5.10a, **, 60’). Corner chimney with some soft and loose rock. Gear: (2) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (1 each) #1, #2, #3 Camalots.
∑ 2nd – (5.10c, ***, 60’). Nice tight hands flake. Gear: (3-4 each) #1 & #2 C, and maybe a smaller cam.

Broken Tooth – No. 18 in DB book (5.12a/.11d, *****, 100’ route, with 95’ rap) Route overhangs by 5’. S.H. stamped on bolt hangers. Lower roof is fun and hard (5.11) upper offset splitter headwall is technical and hard (5.11), together 5.12a. Upper goes blue-yellow-red-green-purple and optional gray Camalots. Generally 1 each will do but you may want 2 to3 each #0.5 & #0.75 C. Gear used: (1) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (4) #1, (4) #2, (2) #3, (1) #4, (1)#4.5/#5 Camalots. Recommend 1 more of each to #2. Good to have 2 lager pieces (#4 or #4.5C) – 1 below roof and 1 in roof – either size will work; (2) long runners; several med length runners for lower.

The Dentist’s Chair, No. 19 in DB book (5.11c/b, ****, long) Good fun OW w/o any horror section. Long and physical. Gear (1) #1, (1-2) #2, (1-2) #3, (3-4) #4, (4) #4.5, (3) #5 Camalots. Save one #4.5 for the top, also at top one optional #3, #3.5, or #4.

Unbelievable No. 20 in DB book (5.12b?, ****.5, ) Very nice corner. TR set up from the Dentist’s Chair. Allot of fingers & butterflies with some hand pockets. I did crux as more like a long layback reach past seam rather than as a stem.

The Tooth Fairy, No. 22 in DB book (5.11a, ****, 120’ – 70m rope barely works for TR) Gear: (1) med-small nut, (1) #0.75, (1) #2, (2) #3, ( 2) #4, (3) #4.5 but take (1-2) more, (3) #5 Camalots and (1) #6 C4 new Camalot; also take (1 each) #0.5 to #2 Camalots. The nut is key part way up when you need to get out of the main crack and use a small supplemental crack to the left – a small cam may not work.

Fox running in snow
Posted by sibylle in Uncategorized (Tuesday April 25, 2006 at 8:53 am)

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View from my office window

This morning I was sitting at my desk, preparing to write the next set of questions for the MCAT exams. As I looked out the window, I saw a fox running across the hill behind the back yard. After days of sun and temperatures in the 70s, Boulder experienced one of the temperature changes so well known to Coloradans - the wind blew in some clouds; it began to rain - and on the next day, we woke up to several inches of snow.

I’ve got to get a telephoto lens for my camera, so that I can get photos of the foxes, coyotes, and peregrine falcons I see from my window. While I enjoy the great view from my office window, it was easier to work when I was in a basement lab!

OK, next I’ll post more Indian Creek gear notes and more about climbing in Finale Ligure, Italy. I’m tring to get my scanner working so that I can scan in the slides I have from Finale and Arco, Italy; France, and the Sierra des Prades in Spain.

Indian Creek - gear notes 2
Posted by sibylle in utah (Sunday April 23, 2006 at 6:59 pm)

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Bridger Jack Mesa

Indian Creek Gear Notes 2

I received several comments in response to my last post of Kent Pease’s gear lists for Indian Creek climbs – one for, one against. In response, I’ve decided to include Kent’s original explanation of why he records and freely distributes his gear notes to other climbers. I’ve posted them here at the request of climbers who wanted to see them. I view this as a public service – and hope not to offend anyone by publicizing this information.

Here are Kent’s comments:

“Finally, I understand that many climbers do not want detailed gear lists and prefer that gear selection be part of the challenge of the climb. Similarly, beta is controversial and often not wanted. The occasional beta notes are primarily for my benefit in recalling how I did the climb since my memory “ain’t for shit”. I am careful to not spoil a climb by spewing either beta or gear to a climber unless it is requested.”

And here are more of his gear notes:

ORIGINAL MEAT WALL

Unnamed #5 in DB book (5.10a, ****, 60’?) Gear: (1) #3, (bunch/6-8) #2, (2) #1, (1) #0.75, Camalots.

Sinestra (5.11a/b, ****, long) Great route. Traverse is 11a and hairy but not unsafe to lead, rest of the route is reasonable. Gear: (1) #0.75 protects traverse, (2) #1, (5) #2, (5) #3 Camalots widely spaced, two long slings.

Meat Hooks (5.10c, *****, 170’) Great route. Wide hands/fists. Gear: (1) #2 (allot/ 7-10) #3, (2-4) #3.5, (1-2) #4or #4.5 (low). Predominantly many #4 Friends and a couple #4 Camalots. Want (10 – 16) #3 & #3.5 combined.

Right Arm (5.10d/.11a, ****, long) Thin hands crux half way up the route protected with #2 Friend, rest of the route is OK. Take many #2 Friends and #1 Camalots (perhaps some other stuff too as per judgment and from inspection).

Hand Prints (5.11c start & 5.11b higher, **** 160’) Good test piece in several aspects; technical start, thin hands high, enduro, rope drag, and the final wide exit move. Gear:(2) small – med nuts, (1-2) blue Aliens for start; (3-4) #0.5, (3-4) #0.75, (5-7) #1, (1-3) #2, (1) #3, (1) #4 Camalots, and plenty of draws to mitigate rope drag. Upper goes #1 to #0.75 to #0.5 w/ a #4 optional at very top. Crux start is devious – read if you want or figure your own better sequence: small foot hold high on right w/ _ of a chicken leg of flare/chimney, underclinging jam or other with right hand and reach long and high w/ left hand for flake on face.

Ladies First (5.10a, ***.5, 80’) Fingers to hand. Gear (1) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (3 each) #0.75 & #1, but take some #0.5 & #2 Camalots also.

The Reaper Wears Pink (5.11b, ***.5, 70’?) Gear: (2) med to small nuts, (3) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (4) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (2) #2 (1) #3 Camalots. But take another #0.75 and #1 with more #2’s optional.

Following two are 300’ right of Sinestra & Meat Hooks. Unknown how they correspond to the unknowns in the book.

B. Unknown probably not in book? (Common anchor w/ A) Mostly fingers, choss with sand & silt. Traverse start from right crack and back at end the pitch.

A. (#14 Unknown in DB book?) (Common anchor w/ B) Mostly fingers splitter on side of left-facing dihedral (5.10b, ***, 115’). Gear: (1) #0.4, (2 each) #0.5 to #3, (1) #3.5 Camalots.

Another 2 or more climbs in the 10/10- range with plaques farther right.

TENDERLOIN WALL

Unnamed #1 in DB book (5.11b, ***.5, short) Splitter finger crack start to easier above. Gear: (3) #0.3, (2) Yellow Alien, (3) #0.4 C, (3) #0.5C, (3) #0.75C, (1) #1C, (2) #2 C.

Unnamed No. 2 in DB book (hard, ***, 90’) S.H. stamped on anchors. Could not do free or get close. Slot not bad, transition relatively hard, splitter above is hard starting #0.75 C and going to #0.5 C and small to blue Alien at the top. Gear: slot is yellow A & #0.4C; transition is #0.5C then #1C & #3C; above is allot of #0.75C thinning to #0.5C; and finally down to blue A.

Unnamed #3 in DB book w/ splitter finger start (5.12a, OK, relatively short) Start overhang to splitter finger then wavy fists at far left. Gear: small at start then to #4 C above.

Unnamed #5 in DB book beginning in OW slot (5.11c/b, ***.5, 150’) Listed in book. Crux start then easy (5.7/5.8) perfect hands above. 5.11c/b facing left; use chicken leg then long reach to fist jam. May be only 5.10d/.11a facing right using face hold on right side of chimney. Gear used: (1 each) #3, 4, 4.5 for slot (reverse order of use); allot (5 – 6) #2 above, but can save w/ #0.3 to 0.5 in secondary crack to left; also take (1 – 2 each) #0.75 & #1 C.

Slaughterhouse/The Fix – No. 8 in DB book. (5.10d/c, ****, 165’) Starts fingers (crux) then a lot of hand and wide hand above (.10c). Gear used (2 -3) #0.3, (2 -3) #0.4 (2 -3) #0.5, (1-3) #0.75 (2 -3)to #1 C; (4-5) #2, (2-4) #3 Camalots

Tenderloins – No. 10 in DB book (5.12a start then 5.11d above, *****, 105’). A 60m rope works for TR/lower as long as you are very careful. Hard start (Crux - #0.4/0.5 C), above (splitter with pockets/pods.11c/d - allot of #0.5 & #0.75 Camalots). Gear: (≥ 1) #0.4, (7) #0.5, (4-6) #0.75, (1) #1 and optional up to #3 C for pockets to save on smaller. Also (2) #1 Friends are helpful as tweener size.

The following climbs are clustered a ways around to the right. There may be others in the area too.

Steer it Up/Keep it Up? – No. 11 in DB book. L of Heinz 58 by 30’ ( 5.10b, ***.5, 145’) Flake fat finger to fists in saw-toothed shaped crack, mostly in right-facing corner. Gear: (2 – 3 each) #0.5, #0.75 C (1 opt) #1 C; (+/- 4 each) #2 & #3 C.

Beat The Meat (Unnamed #12 in DB book) (Book rating = 5.11+, plaque rating = 5.11, blurb in Climbing Moab rating = 5.11+) (5.11c, ***.5, 150’?) Route goes up fat finger to hand crack, then right to OW flake, then into fat finger/thin hand splitter. (#0.5 to #0.75 C, 5.11c crux) in upper middle, and hard thin to tips with final move left (.11b) to anchor up high. Gear: (1 each) Purple and Blue Aliens, #0.3 and #0.4 Camalots; (4 each) #0.5, #0.75, & #1 C; (3) #2, (2) #3, (1) #3.5, (1-2) #4, (1-2) #4.5, (1) #5 Camalots. Note that #0.75 C are critical and you may want more. Take long slings for traverse and OW.

Incredible Spam Crack – No. 13 in DB book (plaque says 5.9) (5.8/9, ***, 80’) Right facing low angle corner. Can walk ledge to Heinz 58. Gear used: (0-1) #0.75, (0-3) #1, (2-4) #2, (2-3) #3, (0-1) #3.5C.

Heinz 58 (Plaque) – No. 14 in DB book. (5.10b, **.5, 80’) Mostly fingers splitter. Can walk ledge to I S C. Gear: mostly #0.4 C with some #0.3 C & thinner including small Aliens at top. Take a few larger for pods.

Mad Cow Disease – No. 15 in DB book (5.11a/b, ***.5, 112’). Single 60m rope will not work. Thin crux up high with final long reach to anchor. Gear: some small for top , (2) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (3) #1, (2-3) #2, (1-4) #3, (1-2) #3.5, (1) #4 Camalots.; (1-2) #4.5 including upper OW, (0-1) #5 Camalots.

Chopped Liver (5.10c, ***, 90’) Gear: (1) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (2) #1; (1 each) #3, 3.5, & 4 Camalots. May want extra #4. Upper predominantly #0.75 Camalots.


SECOND MEAT WALL

Swedish Meatballs ( ) Located a ways around to the left but I couldn’t find. May be one of two lines about 100’ left of Gorge on It. Hard to distinguish (have not done)

Gourge on It, 1999. Plaque on splitter crack 45’ left of Two Timer. (have not done)

Two Timer (5.10c, ***, 110’) Plaque states “Two Timer, 10+”. Bolt anchor has “Bandito” stamp. Reported by others to be 5.11a. Clean left-facing corner. Gear: (3) small pieces #0.3 to #0.4 C at start, (2/1 low & 1 high) #0.75, (4 each) #1, #2, & #3 Camalots; but take more #1 (predominant size) and #2.

Tofu Crack (5.10a, ***, 120’). Hand crack in left-facing somewhat broken corner; begins at some blocks, has a couple small overhangs. Located between Swedish Meatballs and Top Sirloin. Gear: (1) #0.5, (1) #1, (4) #2, (4) #3 Camalots; may want 1 more #3.

Top Sirloin (5.11b, ****.5, 120’) Tight hands the entire way. Gear: Ken used (8-9) #1, (4) #2, (?-3) #3.

X-tra Lean (5.11d, ***.5, Short) Short very hard cranks in at several (3?) crux sections. Fingers, tips, and face. Gear: (2) #0.2, (6) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (1) #0.75, (1) #2 Camalots or equivalent sizes; actually need some tweener sizes, especially between #0.2 and #0.3 Camalots.

Samukai Lovins – No. 15 in DB book. (5.10c/b, **.5, 165’) Gear: (1) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (8) #1, (3) #2, (1) #4 Camalots. Did right start w/ #4 C & +/- #0.5/0.75Camalots.

Seshone Cookin – No. 18 in DB book (5.11a, ***.5, 120’) Tight hands corner. Anchor has “Bandito” stamped onto gear. Gear: (1-2) #0.5, (5-6) 0.75, (5-8) #1 C. May want more of each.

T-Bones Tonight – No. 20 in DB book (5.12a/5.11d, ****.5, 100’) Great tight hands then fun hands roof. Gear (2) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (3-5) #0.75, (3-4) #1, (2-3) #2, (2) #3. Could take another # 0.4, 1, 2, 3; don’t need large stuff as per book.

Tube Stakes Tomorrow – No. 21 in DB book. (5.10b/c, ***, 95’) Gear: (1-2) #0.5, (0-1) #0.75, (2-5) #1, (3-4) #2, (1-2) #3 Camalots.

Carnivore – No. 22 in DB book. (5.12a, *****, 120’ from raps on TST to top). Plaque at ground says “Carnivore 5.11b 11/01”, plaque in crack at top of climb reads “Carnivore 5.12-, 11-01”. Climb starts fists then goes through and OW roof and continues OW for a long ways above. Gear: (3-4) #3, (2-3) #3.5, (1) #3.75, (6) #4, (3) #4.5, (1) #5 Camalots, (≥ 1) #5 Friend. Roof takes either #4 or #4.5, but #4.5’s work better at roof and a short distance above. Save the #4’s for rest of climb after roof. Leave the #5 C below the roof. A 9” piece (smaller VG or #6 Massive) would help in getting to the roof, but is not necessary. Yates Big Dudes are slightly larger than #4.5 C and don’t fit.

Unknown/Unrecorded (5.10a, **.5, 95’) Not in book. To right and from same anchor as Tube Stakes

At Your Cervix (5.11b, ****, 140’) Lower stuff fun & not bad, wide fingers crux up high. Gear:: (2-3) #0.4, (4-5) #0.5, (3-6) #0.75, (1-2) #1, (1-2) #2, (1) #3 Camalots.

Pleased to Meat Ya – No. 24 in DB book (5.11c, ***.5, approx 70’) Thin but plenty to use. Good stems and footwork. Gear: (1) #00 Metolius, (3) Black/Purple Aliens, (3) #0.2 Camalot (or Blue Alien, or Purple Metolius), (4) #0.3 Camalot (or blue Metolius or Green Alien), (1) Yellow Metolius, (1) #0.4 Camalot, (1) #0.5 Camalot.

Camping Under the Influence (5.11c, ***.5, 95’) Gear: (3) #0.4, (5) #0.5, (4) #0.75, (3) #1, (2) #2.

Meat Machine (5.11a/.10d, ***, Short) Gear: (2-3) #0.75, (3) #1, (1) #2 Camalots.

End of the Line – No. 34 in DB book (5.12a, *****, 175’) Long enduro route. To get out of OW best to face right (left side in) and jam rather than layback. Above the OW the crack gets thinner finishing fingers at the belay. Gear: (4) #0.4, (8) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (1 each) #1, #2, #3, #3.5, & #4 Camalots.

Cube Steaks – No 36 in DB book (5.10b, ***, 115’ = _ of 70m) Gear: (1) Yellow Alien, (3) #0.5 C, (7) #0.75 C, (1) #1 C, (2) #2 C.

Unnamed #38 in DB book (5.10a, **, 90’) Gear: (1) #0.4, (0-1) #0.5, (4-5) #0.75, (4-7) #1, (1-2) #2 Camalots.

Addition – No. 39.5. Just L of The Potato w/ plaque 5.10 or 5.10-?. Hand/fist or <. Sort of a flake. Did not do.

The Potato – No. 40 in DB book. Not that attractive. OW is bottom .5 then thinner (thin hands?) up top. Did not do.

Addition – No. 41. A ways R of The Potato w/ plaque 5.10 or 5.10-?. Hand/fist and maybe a little >. Did not do.

Indian Creek - gear notes
Posted by sibylle in utah (Tuesday April 18, 2006 at 9:35 am)

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Kent Pease - in his “Old Dudes Rule” T-shirt

Since Kent almost red-pointed Carnivore (a 5.12 off-width), not many will dispute this! (By almost – he says there was a slight taint, which is not good enough for him. People who watched say he did red-point it.)
I met Kent over a year ago, and was fortunate to climb with him several times. Kent has been writing down the gear that he actually placed on every route he’s climbed at Indian Creek over the last few years. He’s sent this information out as “Kent’s Notes” to climbers he knows. The gear notes are in Camalot sizes, not Friends.
As an engineer, his notes are meticulous and well organized. He warns everyone to whom he gives the notes that these are the actual pieces which he placed on that lead on that given day, and that he himself takes along more than the gear on the list when he does the lead. I take more gear - a LOT more gear. But his list is a good start - just look at the sizes he used, double the number of cams, and I come out about right!
Below I’m including some of Kent’s gear notes for several cliffs at Indian Creek. I’ll add more gear notes for more cliffs in later posts.
CLIFFS OF INSANITY
Unnamed - #1 in DB Book (5.10c, ***.5, 130’) Semi-diagonal splitter w/ some roughness. Far left by 5 minutes. Gear: (1) #0.5, (0)#0.75, (2) #1, (6) #2, (6) #3, (1) #3.5, (0) #4 Camalots.Man in Black - #4 in DB Book (5.12b, ****, 85’) Several cruxey sections. Gear: (2) Blue A, (1) Green A, (1) Yellow A, (2) #0.3 C, (3) #0.4 C including 1 at top, (2) #1 Friend, (5) #0.5 C.

M.C.’s Hammer - #5 in DB Book (5.10c, ****, 100’) Mostly fists with some hands and a little thin hand /fat finger (crux) at top. Gear: Bottom - (1) Blue or Purple Alien, (1) #0.3 C; rest of climb - (0 – 1), #0.5, (1-2) #0.75, (1) #1, (3) #2, (4) #3 Camalots. May want 1 more each #2 & #3 Camalots.

Nurse Ratchet - #7 in DB Book (5.9, ***, 70’) Good fists. Gear: (1) #3, (4 – 6) #3.5, (1 optional) #4 Camalots.

Puzzle Factory - # 9 in DB Book (5.12c, *****, 70’). Did as TR. Crux is to ledge on right, but above still not easy. Gear: likely #0.5 Camalots with some #0.75 Camalots.

New Climb – Potentially named “Loopy Raven” by Bevis & Bert. (5.10d, **, 70’) Left-facing corner, mostly tight fists, w/ fat fing/thin hand crux a ways up; silty. Gear: (1 each) #0.5, #0.75, #1, (some) #2, (many) #3 Camalots.

Mini Cave route reported to be 5.10/5.10+ not 5.11.

Prepare to Die - #11 in DB Book (5.10a, **.5, short) Gear: (2) #0.75, (2) #1, (1) #2 Camalots.

Unknown # 12 in DB Book (5.11a, A1, PG; **, 140’?) Start is 5.11a thin with an OK but ? block; then #0.75 C size to fixed piece (I aided by fixed piece) then some soft and hollow rock. Above is #0.75 C size (5.10c?) to flaring chimney (5.10c) which is not too bad with hands in back. Crack above is steep tight hands (tipped out #1 C). One bolt anchor! I backed it up by placing a natural chockstone with long slings, but it needs a second bolt. A second pitch is likely possible and may have been done? Gear: (2) Blue A, (1) Green A; (1) #0.3, (1) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (6) #1, (5) #2; (1) #4, #4.5, or # 5 Camalots.

Unnamed - #13 in DB Book (5.10c/b, **.5, 135’) Gear: (1) #0.2, (1) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (2) #1, (5) #2 (0) #3 Camalots.

Unnamed - #14 in DB Book (5.11b, ***.5, 100+’ from ground below ramp) Gear: (3) #0.3, (2) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (3) #1, (2) #2 used, but take (3 -4 each) #0.3 to #1 Camalots.

Hors D’oeuvres (5.11a/b, ****, 160’) Gear: (1) #0.4, (1) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (3) #1, (4-5) #2, (5-6) #3; (1 each) #3.5, 4, 4.5, & 5 Camalots.

Wiggins I (5.11b, *****, <115’) 70 m rope works for TR & lowering. Gear: (1, opt for start) #1, (2) #2, (4) #3, (3) #3.5, (4) #4 Camalots. Anchor backup is (2) #3 C.

Wiggins II (5.12a, *****, long) Outstanding route! Gear in order: (5) #1, (3) #0.75, (2) #0.5, (1) #0.3, (1) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (2) #1 Camalots, take 1 more each #0.5, #0.75, #1 Camalots; top is #2 Camalots for 20’ - carry (1) #2 or run it out. Total gear: (2) #2, (5-6 +) #1, (7) #0.75, (4 +) #0.5, (2) #0.4.

SACRED COW WALL

Cow-Ch-Potato (5.10d, ***.5, 75’) Has plaque, not in book. Plaque says .11-, but our consensus is .10d. Gear used: (1) #0.5, (1) 0.75 (top), (2 – 3) 1, (2 each) #2 & 3 C.

Karen’s Corner (5.11a, ***.5, ) See Roger’s notes

SC Memorial (5.11a/b, *****, 165′) Great - mostly hands & wide hands with a couple fists. See Roger’s notes.

Fatted Calf (5.11b/c, ****, 75′) Short splitter. Gear: (3) #2, (5) #1, (3) #0.75, (1) #0.5 Camalots

Have a Cow (5.11c, ****, 140’) Long OW splitter after broken splitter start. Begins #3 C and ends #4.5 C with a lot of #4 C and #4.5 C. A lot of thinner-than-knee OW splitter. Gear used: Start – (2 each) #0.5 through #2 C. Primary part of round – I took (3 each) #4 C & #4.5 C but walked a lot. Better to take more large gear.

Jim Donini - New AAC president
Posted by sibylle in utah (Monday April 10, 2006 at 9:08 pm)

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Jim Donini playing hard at Indian Creek

As I walked over to the fire at Micah Dash’s birthday party, I saw a gnarled, gray-haired man lying in the dirt beside the fire pit.

“Jim!” I ran over to hug him. Jim had first taken me up some hard Yosemite cracks when I was still a teenager and he a Valley regular.

“Are you here for a while? Or just the weekend?” I asked.

“Just tonight and Saturday,” he replied, and explained that he was climbing with a friend on Saturday and then heading back to his home in Ouray. After we caught up on events since we saw each other at the last American Alpine Club meeting in Ouray, he mentioned that he had only recently returned from this year’s AAC meeting.

“And guess what!” he continued. “I’m the new president! And I’m planning some changes.”

Donini explained that he would work on expanding the ‘Huts’ committee, which would work on acquiring climber’s campgrounds in areas like Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and other areas.

“Plus, we donated the Wag Bags for here,” he proudly told me. The Wag Bags are the new toilet-in-a-plastic-bag concept that requires removing all human waste and carting it back home with you.

They couldn’t have chosen a more suitable president. Jim pioneered first ascents in Yosemite, Patagonia, and Alaska since the early 70s. Despite being well over 60, he still cranks hard and grovels in the dirt at climber parties. Well - maybe he did leave a bit early to go to sleep. But he was out there the next day, despite clouds, cold wind, and occasional snow flurries.

“We’re working on a new route in Patagonia,” he proudly explained. “It’s almost done! We’ve already done 38 pitches.” At an age when most people stick to golf or playing bridge, Jim’s still out there, cranking hard first ascents. If anyone can direct the AAC and help find locations for climber’s campgrounds, Jim can.

Walter Rosenthal
Posted by sibylle in skiing (Sunday April 9, 2006 at 9:23 am)

Walter died last week attempting to rescue two ski patrollers who had fallen into a fumarole (volcanic gas vent). It’s so like Walter, to immediately jump to help others with no thought for himself.

I met Walter in the 70s, when Bev Johnson and I were walking back to Camp 4. As we approached camp, we saw Charlie Porter and Walter. He and Charlie were working on an El Cap route – I think it was Zodiac. I saw a lot of Walter in the next several weeks, since he and Charlie were climbing together, Bev and I were climbing, and Charlie was Bev’s boyfriend.

We all hung out together until Walter decided to solo El Cap (maybe by Tangerine Trip?); and Bev decided that it was time for the two of us to head up on The Captain ourselves. When we came down off of our wall, he was still up there soloing his route.

I next saw Walter in Mammoth, where he lived in the winter and worked for Pea Soup Andersen’s. Over the next few years, friends and I were always welcome to stay at his places in Mammoth when we went backcountry skiing. In about 1979, I went up during college summer vacation and Walter and I climbed the Sunribbon Arête. Werner Brown was living in his trailer in Walter’s driveway then. As always, Walter always helped out anyone he could.

I last saw Walter about 8 years ago, when a friend and I were climbing on the East side and we visited Walter and his family. He had a wonderful little girl, Lily, who was about my son’s age. I wanted to bring Tristan out so we could all climb or hike together. I guess I won’t have that opportunity now.

You can contribute to Memorial Funds in the ski patrollers names. Read more about the funds here.

Indian Creek: hard cracks
Posted by sibylle in utah (Thursday April 6, 2006 at 3:54 pm)

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Aid Trees

We’re at the base of the cliff, eyeing yet another steep, forbidding crack when my son suggested, “Hey, let’s climb that one!”

“Hmmm,” I muttered. “I’m not sure that I can lead 5.11 offwidth (in fact, I strongly suspected that I couldn’t). It might involve some aid.”

“Yeah, but we don’t have any of those ‘aid-trees’,” Tristan replied.

“Aid-trees?” I sputtered.

“What? What’s so funny?” Tristan wondered.

I’d once long ago mentioned using ‘etriers’, the original French term for what are  often referred to as ‘aiders’. When he didn’t understand the term, he imagined it as ‘aid trees’. Thus it remained in his memory, as words do with kids.

I asked him what he thought ‘aid-trees’ would be like.

“I imagined sort of a tree hanging up with rungs, like branches, sticking out. Like a long runner, with loops sticking out each side that you can climb up on,” he said.

“It was like a tree, ‘cause you’re climbing up the branches …”

Eric Bjørnstad - Old Man of the Desert
Posted by sibylle in books, films, photography (Wednesday April 5, 2006 at 1:16 pm)

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Eric Bjørnstad near his home in Moab

After climbing hard cracks for three days, we almost welcomed a rainy day. We went into Moab to shower, eat and visit Eric Bjørnstad. I had never met Eric, but recently we’d exchanged emails and he invited us to visit.

Eric asked us to sign his guest book - an amazing collection of famous and historical climbers. Of course Fred Beckey was in there - but also German climbers, like Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert, had signed. I imagine the book will become quite a collector’s item someday.
Eric was packing up and moving out of the trailer he’d lived in for almost twenty years. The owner of the land was building condos - same old development story - and the trailers had to go. Since he would move to a smaller trailer near Castleton, he was storing his books and giving away much of what he owned. He gave us each lovely little etched glass ornaments that me makes himself, of which I’ve been trying to take a picture. My attempts so far don’t show much.

While I went out to the car to get my camera, he gave Tristan a guidebook! Not the famous “Desert Rock“, now rare, valuable, and out-of-print, but Falcon Guide’s Desert Rock IV. I inherited a pristine copy of the original Desert Rock from my father, which I’d brought for Eric to sign, so now Tristan and I each had our own copy of signed books.

Eric is currently working on yet another book, a climbing guide to desert towers of the Colorado Plateau. If you have information about climbing on the Colorado Plateau, contact Eric at P.O. Box 790, Moab, Utah 84532 or by email: bjornstad@frontiernet.net
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Indian Creek, Easter Island
Posted by sibylle in utah (Monday April 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm)

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Tristan Hechtel leading pitch two on Easter Island
“Let’s climb Easter Island,” my son Tristan suggested. “You lead the crack and I’ll lead the face pitch.”
Things had changed since last year. Instead of me leading every pitch, like I had a year ago on South Six Shooter, Tristan offered to lead the 5.10 second pitch and leave me the easier 5.8 first pitch.
This climb would not qualify for my “Fun Climbs” book either, not only because of the second pitch, but also due to rather significant rockfall. On Easter in 2002, we watched from our campsite as the large chockstone that previously bridged between the two towers fell down. About the size of a grand piano, many climbers used to sit on the chockstone to belay for the second pitch. Ironically, it fell out early Easter morning.
After hiking for 20 minutes on a good trail, we reached the base to find an obvious large crack.
“Oh, good thing that’s your lead,” Tristan laughed. Though his hands were now as big as mine, he hadn’t climbed many cracks and remained hesitant on the bigger sizes.
“Hey, maybe it’s the first mother-son ascent of Easter island!” I suggested. I thrashed up the crack, placed two BD #3 camalots and wished I’d brought a #3.5 camalot. Just where the crack got too large for my gear, I could no longer get a good jam.
I jammed my foot in, stuffed my arm in up to my elbow, and thrashed my way up. No delicate, graceful, balancing moves here! At the end of the crack, I stepped right onto an insecure sloping foothold and blindly reached for what looked like a sloping hold just out of reach. When I finally let go of my left hand hold and moved right, I found a good flake! I grabbed it and pulled my way over the bulge.

Tristan looked up at the next pitch. “That looks hard,” he commented.

“You can do it,” I encouraged him. Despite his apprehension, he fluidly moved up to clip the first bolt. He’d recently grown another few inches, weighed very little, and had strong fingers, making him a great face-climbing partner.

I followed him up to the top of our second tower, happy to sit in the warm sun again after freezing in the chilly, shaded alcove below.

“That was really fun,” Tristan said. “Let’s climb another tower tomorrow. Towers are a lot more fun than one-pitch cracks.”
We walked along the base, scoping out the climbs on Thumbelina and Sunflower Tower.
“Do you want to try Sparkling Touch?” I asked.
“Sure,” he replied. “The 5.10 face climbing was easy.”

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Rappelling down from Easter Island

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