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The Climbing Club • View topic - Vantage March 10, 2012 Saturday - nice climbing

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:15 am
Posts: 129
Last weekend, Saturday March 10, 2012 there were five of us, Stewart, Courtney, Paige, Cheri and myself, David. The sun was spectacular, the rock was warm on the hands, the air temperature was quite nice, the winds encouraged us to cover up. Without the moderate winds we would have been in shorts and t-shirts, slathered in sunscreen.


Paige standing on top of the plateau, above all the cliff faces with all the climbs below us



Approaching the cliffs by climbing down the chimney trail, from the top of the plateau



Finishing the down climb to the trail down below



We began were the sun hits first, Riverview Columns. I have been at the ‘Coulee early, watching for sunrise from the climbing walls, waiting for the sun to first crest the east horizon. It is at Riverview Columns the sun first strikes. Our first route was the nice 5.8 Aeolachrymation.


Paige right foot high step, where next to place her hand?



Paige's first route outdoors. ever.
5.8 and loving it !!!!!!!



Next was the 5.10A Crepuscular Passions of the Blissfully Spanked

second route oudoors.
5.10A and loving it more !!!!!!!



Then the other 5.10A Dusk and Her Embrace, and on to the 5.10B Mortal Prying in the V Shaped Realm. I really enjoy this 5.10B

5.10B with a pull over a burly bulge



Finishing this area we sent the 5.10D The Inverted Trance of Rapturous Nocternity, which features a crux of traversing and balancing.


Stewart making the crux moves on 5.10D



Now we packed up and walked climber’s right, east, to arrive at Tomato Wall. Tomato Wall is part of Sunshine Wall Far End. Beginning with the 5.10A Tomato Paste, and then to it’s left we did 5.10B Bad Moon Arisen. Now further right we hopped on 5.10B Broken Glass and delightedly discovered the bad rock at the beginning was completely cleaned up and now this is a definite 3-star route! Our favorite of the 14 routes on Tomato Wall.

Next was a very good hand crack on 5.9 Hamhocks. This route does not see nearly enough traffic. It’s not dirty, it doesn’t need cleaning, traffic will not make it any better. It’s already a fine handcrack. More people would love to climb this if they only knew about it. Paige, who had never climbed outside before certainly didn’t now about crack technique, so she climbed the entire crack as a layback; burly!


48F and mostly sunny at Frenchman Coulee means t-shirt for Courtney !!!!!!!!



5.10C Burning Spears was next, and I didn’t think it lived up to its published quality. I thought it 1-star or maybe 2-star; I certainly didn’t find the 3-star fun factor enroute. The last route we did on Tomato Wall was 5.10A Canadian Handjob. Bring 2 open slings to best lead this sweet sport route. Two-foot open slings really help with rope drag for the 2 bolts that are located way off to the right, like the book describes. This was a remarkable route, and if 5.10A is good for your lead then hop on this!!


First top rope belay outside.



Finally, we wandered a long ways climber’s right, east, to reach the King Pins area where we did laps on the super fun 5.9 Whipsaw. It has about 11 bolts and every single bolt is on the left side of the arête. So, you rack every quickdraw on your left gear loop of your harness and every clip you make with your left hand while your right arm gets destroyed from the constant pump.

This was a perfect opportunity for Paige to experience her first lead belay session. With Cheri as backup on the brake rope, Paige learned how to feed slack to the leader as they ascended and made all 11 clips.

A wonderful day for Cheri and the five of us!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:15 pm
Posts: 812
You guys got a lot in for a day (from other TRs I've read, you usually rack up the ascents for a single day of climbing). Nice! I really like the burning spears route; it's full of super delicate, tenuous stemming moves. It'd make a scary lead on gear, but is a fun top rope. I'll have to search for this 5.9 hand crack you speak of. I've been ignoring most low starred trad routes at Vantage, but a good hand crack is worth a look.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:18 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:15 am
Posts: 129
5.9 Hamhocks hand crack route was published at 5.8 in their first guidebook, but when compared with several 5.9 cracks and some 5.8 cracks I persuaded them to consider an update to 5.9

What's rare for the 'Coulee is that this crack has a more parallel nature rather than the wavy nature. If you eschew the face holds for hands and feet then it becomes a nicely challenging quality pure crack experience - I'd think many leaders would want three #2 camalots. There is no bolted pair of anchors up top, you need to build a natural anchor and extend it over the lip for top roping.

5.10C Burning Spears. A real fun way to work up to a full trad lead would be to rappel from the bolt anchors, and use an autoblock hitch on your leg loop. As you rappel you can place bomber pro. Place lots of pro, like every 4 feet, or more! Reach the ground and do a few top rope laps to get a feel for the route. Then, pull your rope, and lead, clipping all of your pre placed gear. After you can lead cleanly on pre-placed pro, then you could lead it again, but at each piece of pro, you get into a stance, remove the pro, rack it on your harness, then take the pro off your harness and place it in position and clip it. Now climb up to the next pro. Once you can do that cleanly a few times your redpoint ascent should be guaranteed!


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