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The Climbing Club • View topic - UWCC Fall Vantage trip 2011

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:15 am 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Many UW climbers converged at Vantage this weekend for climbing and sunshine. As has been the theme for past Vantage trips, this was another weekend of “firsts”. The first car to arrive couldn’t wait for the weekend of climbing to begin and started immediately with a night ascent of “house of cards” (5.8 ) on Agatha tower. The rest of us trickled in Friday evening and Saturday morning, meeting up at the Feathers for some warm-up climbs. Here, we mainly stayed on the Southwest side (with more sunshine). A few got their first outdoor climb in on Don Coyote (5.8 ) or Updrafts to Heaven (5.5 ). For others, Updrafts to Heaven was a first outdoor lead. Jason parked himself up on the tops of a couple of routes and showed some UW climbers how to clean routes outdoors. All in all, we put up (left to right): Medicine Man (5.10a), Don Coyote (5.8 ), Arterial Bypass (5.8 ), Hardening of the Arteries (5.10c), Nightbird (5.10a), Me too (5.9) and Updrafts to Heaven (5.5). Not bad for a morning’s work.

After our warm-up at the Feathers, we were off to Sunshine wall for some taller climbs, some trad climbing and more sunshine! We spent most of the rest of the day at the King Pins region on the Sunshine Wall (specifically the George and Martha area). Here, we put up several trad routes: Seven Virgins and a Mule (5.7), Tangled up in Blue (5.9), George and Martha (5.10a) and TR’d Red M&M’s (5.12a) and more sport routes: Steel Pulse (5.10b) and Peaceful Warrior (5.6). Peaceful Warrior was another good chance for a first outdoor lead. Jochen and I took a quick break from the George and Martha area for some trad practice on Chapstick (5.6) in the Tilted Pillars area. This is one of the best easy trad climbs at Vantage (other recommendations for trad practice at Vantage are Edge of Mistakes (5.6) on Zig Zag wall, Stroken’ the Chicken (5.6) on Sunshine Wall and Big Black Hen (5.5) on Hen House Wall). As we returned from the mini excursion to Chapstick, we came across Ben, Hannah, and Jason with Ben eying Air Guitar (5.10a). “Do It!” Ben didn’t take much convincing. For gear, doubles on everything up to #3 (and an optional #4) was plenty. As Jason put it, you only need triples of Kahunas for Air Guitar. He let me get a head start on the neighboring trad climb, Crossing the Threshold (5.8 ) so that I could take photos from above, then onsighted this classic trad route.

This was a perfect way to end the day and we joined the rest of the group back at camp for a good potluck dinner around the campfire. I think that the best random quote around the campfire was an urgent, “Don’t pee on my bivy!” by Nathan as someone wandered off in that general direction.

The next morning (after a restless night for most of us due to wind), Jason and I got up a little early and hit up two of the mega popular routes on Sunshine Wall. First Jason had a strong lead on Party in Your Pants (5.8 ). Not bad for a third trad lead ever! Next, I finally got my own shot at Air Guitar. After flailing up to within one move from the top of Air Guitar (before I lost my nerve) on my last attempt some time ago, it felt great to comfortably red-point this intimidating climb. Really, Air Guitar is just that; more intimidating than difficult. And oh so fun!

After that we continued on to join the rest of the group down at Riverview Park for more climbing. Several more routes were put up on this wall by many of us including: Bob is real (5.10a), Awareness Drooling (5.10C), Crescendo of the Sarcophagus Breeding (5.10D), and Weep Holes on Sill (5.11a). These routes and a few more were enough to finally exhaust the group and we were ready to head home to Seattle.

Thanks to everyone that joined for making this another fun trip! Hope to see you all at the crags again soon!

I didn’t take the camera out enough on this trip, but here are a few of my photos (hopefully others will add some more photos to fill in the gaps):
Rain was not too far off in the distance on Saturday, but it stayed sunny at Vantage all weekend:


Sarah climbing Updrafts to Heaven at the Feathers (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Will climbing Red M&M’s:


Jochen getting some trad practice on Chapstick:


Ben goes for the crux on Air Guitar:


Yahoo!


Around the campfire (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Sarah’s climbing club inspired pumpkin, the other side had a rock climber on it (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Morning light at camp (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Jason leads Party in Your Pants:


I love cragging dogs:


Climbing around the Riverview Park area (photo by Nathan Kurz):


More climbing around Riverview Park (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Ilana draws quite an audience on her first 5.10a lead (photo by Nathan Kurz):


Awareness Drooling (photo by Nathan Kurz):


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:48 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:34 am
Posts: 324
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Great weekend out! Thanks everyone and especially to Val for putting this together. :drink:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:53 pm 
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UW Climber
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Location: Seattle
Wow, Val! Nice job organizing what looks to have been a fantastic weekend. Way to tick off those climbs! I ended up out at Vantage with some friends for the weekend, and we were wondering where ya'll were hanging out. Thanks for the list of good easy trad climbs at Vantage. I hauled my trad rack around with me, but didn't end up using it since we only climbed sport routes. Trip report coming shortly!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Dang. Too bad we didn't meet up there. I've seen you climb. You should at least hit up Crossing the Threshold and Party in your Pants, both 5.8. Crossing the Threshold is the easier of the two. Both eat up mid-sized gear. Go for it next time!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:48 pm 
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UW Climber
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Location: Seattle
Val, I still feel too new at trad climbing to be pushing the grade when I need to be focusing on safe gear placements, so I've been chickening out on trad leading even moderate climbs until I feel more experienced on the protection side of things. I have a feeling the moderate trad climbs will start happening for me by next spring. However, I can't say I didn't have a blast this past weekend putting up some fine sport routes!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:06 pm 
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UW Climber
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Location: Seattle
Are those two opposing nuts for the first piece of protection on Chapstick? I've seen lots of diagrams of that setup in climbing books, but I've never actually seen it in use. Seems like cams were the multi-directional first piece of choice during my trad leading instruction. I'm still learning about trad climbing, so I would love to hear personal preferences and logic for using opposing nuts vs cams, etc for that first piece. Here's the pic again:

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Yep. These are opposing nuts for the first piece. I almost always just place a cam first, just because it is faster. But since this was for practice, we went over setting up the opposing nuts as a first piece. There was a perfect spot for it there that I just couldn't pass up :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:36 pm 
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The Pub Czar
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Location: too far from a pint.
sounds like a great trip! much better weather than up here... :drink2:

(though cheering by the Goran Kropp plaque seems a little off...)

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