Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Little Adventure Climbing

It's been such a busy late summer that we really have not had time to post.

Just finished teaching a PCIA Climbing Wall Instructor Course for Princeton University this past week.  Always a great group of students there and this year we didn't get washed out by a hurricane.  It's so great to see schools and universities investing in their students.

Well the last couple days have been re-invigorating and quite fun. Dick Chasse and I set out to find and climb a bunch of routes in Acadia that are not in any guidebooks and are a bit off the beaten path.
We began with some routes done by Butch and Jean K. - two climbers, who for the last 20+ years have been quietly exploring and putting up random traditional climbing routes throughout Acadia without much fanfare. Most of these routes require a little bushwacking to reach and a little wandering around to find the right line. None are in any current guidebooks.

We first explored a couple moderate routes named And She Even Kept Her Clothes On (5.7) and I'm the Man, You the Mam (5.6). The two routes cross each other and the latter finishes up some fine face and crack climbing. We followed this with a beautiful but strenuous 5.9 corner called Smirk This on the East Face of Champlain Mountain. Our fourth route of the day, The Patron Mezcal Connection began with some awkward bouldery moves which gave way to some nice crack and face climbing. All of these routes were roughly 25m each - so nice single pitch lines with tree rappels.

In the afternoon we headed over to nose around the Beehive.

After looking around a bit more and not finding the area we thought I spotted a nice corner line that looked like it was in need of a climber. It turned out to be a reasonably nice 5.6-7 line which I think we will call Broken Glass. We also did a couple 5.5 lines on some of the lower walls.

Yesterday we went back armed with wide crack protection and put up a nice 8 - 12" wide offwidth in the 5.7 range on the East Face (tentative name Luebbenize It - named for my friend Craig Luebben who invented to Big Bro to protect wide cracks and who was killed in an icefall accident a couple years back in the Cascades.  We also did a sweet little 5.8 corner with a small overlap similar to Bartleby on the Central Slabs. The route then continues up through some geologically tender blocks to a tree ledge. Looking for a name if you have any ideas.

The third and fourth routes of the day turned out a little harder than we thought. We started on a nice face but the protection was pretty sketch and the moves in the solid 5.10 range so we left it for the future. A bolt would be nice - so might write up a park request to add a bolt. Then we turned our energy toward a 30' hand and finger crack on a slightly overhanging wall. Awkward jams and funky body tension were needed to get through the beastly thing - it was thankfully short.  A possible name for this one may be Shortcake Jam, 5.10+.

We ended the day with a couple routes off the Pricipice Trail.  All in all a great change of pace from the usual guiding days and a great reminder of this is why we climb.