Rock Climbing --- 8/31/2007 - 9/1/2007 --- Gunks

Jim and I spent two days climbing hard at the Gunks. Didn't take many pictures, because I don't like to carry my camera when I lead 5.9 and harder. On Friday we climbed CCK Direct (5.9). I thought I had climbed this years ago with Jason, but really I had climbed some hybrid of CCK and CCK Direct. The real CCK direct is an amazing route with hard moves down low, then the famous CCK crack. Then a huge roof. I was psyched to onsight the roof. After that we climbed the 5.8+ variation of Silhouette. The rap station at the top of Andrew is gone (which I expected because it was gone back in May). So we walked left 200' on the GT Ledge to the bolts at the start of P2 of Arrow. Since we were there, we decided to climb the top pitch of Arrow. Very nice day.

Saturday we decided to just walk down the carriage road and jump on the first attractive climb that was open. This turned out to be Retribution (5.10b). I've been climbing Retribution for years. I regularly get it cleanly on TR and have attempted to lead it twice. The last time getting to the anchors with just two hangs and no falls. So I wanted the redpoint. I wasn't even close. Always disappointing to come back to a climb and do worse than the previous attempt. Jim led Bunny so we could set a TR on Retribution and clean my gear. Jim then climbed Retribution on TR and got it clean. His first time ever on the climb! Very impressive performance. I decided to work out a new sequence at the crux so I could find something more reliable for my next redpoint attempt. After a bit of experimenting, I've got a new sequence which is much more stable and static. I climbed the crux three times in a row with this sequence. Next time... it will be Retribution retribution. After that, we both worked our way up No Solution (5.12a) on TR. It is crazy hard. I reached the top of the climb for the first time ever. My fingertips were swollen and I was completely exhausted, but I did reach the chains. I can do every move on the climb except the highstep above the big roof (which isn't the crux for most people). I can get to the good crimps above the jug (with no hangs from the ground), but can't get my foot up to the jug no matter what I do. If I can ever figure out that move -- or stretch my right hamstring another three inches -- then it is conceivable that I could link the entire climb. And maybe next time I won't have to do the whole thing while listening to the sketchiest guide ever try to coach his clients on Bunny. He had them going off belay at the top of the climb and switching to rappel. He is shouting instructions from the ground and they have absolutely no clue as to what is going on. I kept thinking that any minute I'd hear someone free solo rappel. Complete chaos caused by total ineptitude. I can't believe the guy was a paid guide, but Jim swears he is.

Seems silly to go to the Gunks and only do two TR climbs, but we were both done for the day, so we left early. Helpful because I wanted to be back to Ithaca early to get some sleep before next morning's climbing trip.

The first pitch of CCK. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

The first pitch of CCK.    Gunks -- 8/31/2007

Jim leading the first pitch of CCK. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Jim leading the first pitch of CCK.    Gunks -- 8/31/2007

CCK Direct (Category:  Rock Climbing)

CCK Direct    Gunks -- 8/31/2007

Jim crimping hard on the crux of Arrow. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Jim crimping hard on the crux of Arrow.    Gunks -- 8/31/2007

Me and my new Petzl Meteor III helmet at the top of Arrow. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Me and my new Petzl Meteor III helmet at the top of Arrow.    Gunks -- 8/31/2007

Jim rappelling off Arrow. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Jim rappelling off Arrow.    Gunks -- 8/31/2007