Rock Climbing --- 6/28/2009 --- Gunks
Alex returned sans belay device, so we decided to do single pitch climbs to avoid muntering my rope into a kinky mass. Yeah, I should learn the double munter which doesn't kink the rope... but can it be tied one handed? I lead Wisecrack and Alex learns a new belay command. The new command is, "Snake!" The new command is used when there is a snake crawling on the leader's hand at the crux of the climb a few feet above the last piece. I used the command three times in rapid succession, and then tossed the snake down the rope. It coiled around the rope and slid towards Alex. It reached the belay device, then dropped to the ground where it hung out for a few minutes before slithering off. We managed the episode fairly well. I didn't let go of the rock and Alex didn't let go of the rope. And I identified the snake as a small black snake and not a copperhead. Interestingly, I feel like I see an equal number of black snakes and copperheads at the Gunks, but I've never seen a copperhead on the cliff. Hopefully I never well.
Three feet above where the snake crawled on me, I discovered a giant spider on a key handhold.
Finishing Wisecrack with no additional encounters, I didn't see where I could belay less than 100' from the ground. So I traversed to the anchor above Absurdland and brought Alex up on a munter. Then we toproped Absurdland. It went pretty easily, but I was glad not to have led it. Then Alex led the first pitch of Middle Earth which I cleaned.
After that we finished the day on V-3. I led it, then cleaned my gear and let Alex lead it. His first 5.7 lead. Then we were going to look at Galactic Hitchhikers, a variation to V-3. But the climb wasn't obvious and our rope wouldn't reach far enough right to let us comfortably explore. So I cleaned V-3 and we were done for the day. I don't have many pictures because Alex kept suggesting that I belay instead. Weird.