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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! 😆