Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rough and Readies

Bob Almond, Ross Allen and I headed over to the Rough and Readies after an OMTRS trash pick-up in the morning. I haven't been out to the R&Rs for quite some time (since February?) and was pretty sure that the sporty climbs would humble me. We came prepared for cold, as the cliff gets shade all afternoon, but it was actually quite mild and pleasant. I started off our session on Halitosis Monkey, 5.10c. Its a short 5.10 only 3 bolts long, and I figured that even if I pump out quickly I could get through it. Bob flashed up it next and then Ross spent some time working out the crux moves. His height allowed him to reach holds differently than Bob and I had, but he struggled at the crux.

Ross lead up the nearby 5.8 First Move. he claims to not have a very good lead head but he looked comfortable to me. Instead of following him up, I pulled the rope down and led up the short 5.10 between First Move and Halitosis, a little route put up by Scot Jones called Little Brangus. This is another "easy" 5.10 but what makes it exciting is that a fair amount of the holds on the climb are suspect. The clipping hold for the first bolt is a funky chock that looks like it could pop right out on you. Bob cleaned the route.

To my dismay, a small swarm of Bees was attracted to Sashas water dish. I was hoping that the cold weather would have put them into hibernation, but they were still out. Sasha snapped at them, and they got into our boots and chalk-bags, but otherwise were not too much a nuisance. Unfortunatly, their nest underneath Blood Sweat and Steers is still active and none of us were brave enough to hop on one of the routes in that area with the buzzing emanating from the hive.

Instead, Bob hopped on The Paw. He had previously worked out a sequence for the top section that avoids going into the crack on the left. However, on lead, he couldn't remember the sequence. I gave it a shot and wasn't much better. Even Ross with his extra reach couldn't puzzle it out. Eventually, Bob re-worked it out on TR. The key is to grap a small hold at the bottom of a right-handed side pull, but grab it with the left hand. This is not a natural hand to grab the hold with, ut after you work your feet up you can rock up and make the reach to the tiny right-hand crimp under the chains. Its a devious move.

Our last climb was on the way out, on the oddly technical Southern Fried. I had worked this route out previously with Scott and led it. The crux has an awkward clipping hold, then a funny heel-hook traverse to gain the big holds on the left arete and get up to the chains. Even after pulling the crux, I was having a hard time clipping the chains, because the clipping holds under the chains are overhanging and require some decent arm strength. I ended up at a stance a body-length away to the left awkwardly groping out to clip the chains. While we were climbing this last route, another group of climbers was on the North End routes. One of those climbers, Tanner, is an OMTRS member and we chatted a bit on the way down. They had a puppy with them which Sasha was having fun knocking over.

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