Hangin’ Wit Da Boyz. December 9, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Action/Adventure, climbing.
Tags: Afterburner, Erving MA, Farley Ledge, Party Wolf, Pete ward, rock climbing, sport climbing
So this past week I spent a couple of days hangin’ wit da boyz.
Pete C and Pete W let me know that they were going back to Farley ledge to continue working on “Afterburner”, a climb which had only seen two ascents to date. I went there a day ahead of time to do some tree work; a giant hemlock teased the route with a spray of dead branches, complicating both the climbing and the photography (though more so the latter.)
I spent four hours in the tree with a bow saw, and another hour cleaning up my cuttings, opening up the space of the climb to psychic simplicity and visual clarity, then came back to shoot when conditions were right for the climbers.
On the day of the Big Effort, I showed up a couple of hours ahead of time and hiked to the top of the cliff. Then I rappelled down, leaving a rope hanging. I got a rope up into the hemlock, and climbed said tree while attached to the rope hanging from the cliff. This allowed me to suspend myself between the rock and the tree and adjust both my height off the ground and my distance from the rock face.
The Petes showed up on schedule, and the action commenced.
I was suspended well above it:
…and positioned to get the shots I’d envisioned.
Unfortunately, it was about the same time of day as my previous effort to document the proceedings, and the light was similarly harsh. I worked it hard in Photoshop, and got these suboptimal results.
Pete Ward snagging the third ascent of “Afterburner:”
This was a wicked cool effort. It was a bone-chilling day, and everyone’s fingertips were insensate. Imagine doing something this physically near your limit while you can’t feel your hands!
Anyway, congratulations, Pete, on a spectacular effort.
The day ended with a visit to the Spring Boulders, where Pete C was working out the subtleties on what will be a benchmark New England boulder problem. It’s left of the classic Speed of Life, and somewhat harder and much more consequential if one falls, so Pete was checking it out on top-rope. Pete W threatened to step on my face for photographing it, but hey, I just shoot what I see:
Around the corner, Jonah Meyer sent “Party Wolf:”
This is a committing problem requiring buttloads of body tension, a posse of attentive spotters and a number of pads to be done safely.
Jonah had all of that, and made it look pretty reasonable.
Yeah, right. ;)
Nice job, man. I sweated just watching from a distance!