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On The Rocks! April 27, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in climbing.
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being invited out by some climbing friends, and without ever putting a hand on the rock (I’m not functionally ready for that yet) I had a blast!

The crew for the day:

Tanya, Neko, Tim and Brian.

We went to nearby Farley Ledge, where there’s a burgeoning “climbing scene” with people coming from all over to enjoy both the Sport climbing (with permanent “fixed” bolt anchors) and the “Trad” climbing (where climbers place their own removable anchors as they progress.) Being an Old Fart who grew up climbing before Sport climbing even existed, I tend to prefer the “clean climbing” ethic of leave-no-trace Trad climbing. But that’s just me, and I’ve accepted Sport as a valid variation of the vertical game.

Here’s Tanya climbing one of the Sport routes, Eye Opener :

The section of the crag with mostly Sport routes was pretty crowded though, so we beat feet to an upper tier of walls where the Trad scene still prevails, and I hope it remains that way – it’s beautiful up there, cloaked in hemlocks and looking a lot less worn.

Here’s Brian starting up the unfortunately aptly named Dirty Corner :

These first few moves (and the last few as well!) were the “cruxes” of this climb, that is, the most difficult moves, which inform the difficulty rating of the climb. I misremembered the rating, having not climbed this route in perhaps twenty five years, and told Brian that it was mostly 5.6 climbing, with a few moves of 5.8 at the start and finish. Turns out it was at least 5.9, a considerable jump in difficulty from the lower grades. Sorry Folks!

Tim high up on the route:

I had a great time hanging my butt off the top of this sweeping wall – I haven’t had a climbing harness on in a year!

Next, Tim lead a really nice face climb, moving delicately on thin face-holds and finding adequate opportunities to place “protection” in the propitiously spaced horizontal cracks:

Nice job, man!

It was pretty chilly in the deep shade, and Tanya and Neko snuggled up for a nice warm nap:

Aren’t they cute?

We’d almost packed up to leave when Brian, an inveterate Crack Master, succumbed to the Siren song of Peapod Crack, one of my favorite climbs at Farley, and perhaps in all of Southern New England. It more nearly resembles Out-West granite climbing (the rock here is gneiss,) with straight-ahead hand jamming and lay-backing being the techniques-du-jour:

Having my cameras with me took the sting out of not climbing. I actually missed it less than I thought I might, and was pretty content to just noodle around snapping off pictures. I’ll be doing a lot more of that as the season progresses and I get some strength back in my arms and shoulders – I’m (insert best Deiter vioce) as weak as a little guuhl! 😆


1. Spartacus - April 27, 2008

CR – Can I send my 13-year old son up to you? Only kidding. I’m sure you have enough on your hands.

I mentioned it because your posted reminded me of the climbing kick my son and his friend Zumpfel (they all call each other by last names.). They’ve have been into climbing onto tall 18-ft fences, swing sets and roof tops; the last of which I’ve warned my son to stop because he could get both hurt and/or arrested.

Thanks for sharing this. Great shots as usual. Looks like your had lots of fun.

2. sherry - April 27, 2008

amazing! why are some of the rocks purpulish green looking? what kind are they?

me, not climbing anywhere unless it’s up on a kitchen chair to get something off the top shelf! : )

3. Pagan Sphinx - April 27, 2008

What’s for dinner, Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr? 😛

4. DCup - April 27, 2008

Fantastic! You did have a great weekend. I’m sorry you can’t climb, but those pictures are really good.

5. littlebangtheory - April 27, 2008

Spart, your thirteen year old son and I would have WAY too much fun, provided that he likes the outdoor adventure life. But beyond that, you need to consider what a bad influence I’d be, with a satchel full of worldly vices weighing heavily against my pocket-full of virtues.

And yeah, I had a ball at the cliff. Those people are very much on my wavelength, fun and relaxing to be around. And Neko was such a sweet doggie, he reminded me of my friend Charlie, who now sleeps with angels.

6. distributorcap - April 28, 2008

i am with the dog — i will take a nap

7. littlebangtheory - April 28, 2008

G’Night, DC! 🙂

And sherry, the green is a thin patina of moss and lichen, the purple/brown color is mineral stains on a section of rock which is wet a lot of the time (it’s a great little ice climb in winter!)

8. sherry - April 28, 2008

that’s something i’ve never seen. thanks!

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