Monday, February 27, 2006

Mild Peril

A part of any good day in the desert are those moments just before sunset. It’s the end of the day, you have climbed hard and with any luck you will be back down at the car before dark. A beer from Mark Dean’s blue cooler awaits—nothing else could taste that good. Hanging out at the campfire in the evening, eating and talking about the details of the day’s efforts. If you were to attempt to explain your day to anyone else they would just look at you with a blank face—acknowledge what you said they might, but they can’t truly understand. But the people sitting with at the fire get it. They pick out every detail of what you are describing:

“From the belay at the top of the first pitch, head up twin cracks, the one on the left is protected with .2 and .1 Camalots (very thin), the right crack flairs but becomes better about 15 feet above and goes from .4 to 3 Camalots to the base of the overhang about 70 feet up. Cruiser. Climbing through the overhang is surly the crux, going from wide hands to OW (#3 to #4 Camalots), just as you pull the lip you are rewarded with a decent wide hand jam. Here is the where it becomes interesting. You can place a #6 Camalot in the pod above or skip it in favor of not having to climb by it on your way to the off-set crack at the top of the pod—it is an ok hand jam, but a fall would put you out in space (a solid ten feet away from the wall below), this is both good and bad, good because you know that the fall is safe, but bad because who wants to take a big fall only to have to collect yourself and head up for another stab. Not having the #6 would also get rid of some weight…to hell with it—you go for it. Once you are standing in the pod you have some time to relax. Another 20 feet and you are at the anchor (a tolerable location for a belay). There is a third pitch above that has a few large rocks to toss off…not enough large cams, it will have to wait until another day”.

The above is a description of the second pitch on a route done just the other day (Feb. 25, 2006) at Carpenter Ridge—lets hear it for Wingate—Mild Peril, 5.11+ (2 pitches at the moment with at least one more to go). Pitch 1; 5.11, 120’. Gear: .2, .3, .4 x 7, .5 x 2, 1, 4, 6-all Camalots (it is possible to get some other wide hands here and there if needed). This pitch climbs an OW for 20 feet or so, then opens into a pod, which offers some wide hands and stemming for about 10 feet and then enters a finger in a corner for 70 feet (.4 Camalots all the way to the anchor). A 70m rope is needed. FA: DJ, CF, BC 12/05. Pitch 2; 5.11+, 100’, (description above) FA: DJ, BC 2/06.

For more info on - Carpenter Ridge Climbs


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