Sunday, March 29, 2009
Caballo Lake: Bat Cave
Bob and I went back to the Caballo lake armed with a hilti and bolts. This time we went to the actual Bat cave. Amazingly enough, the tracker made it all the way up to the Green truck. It was iffy at times, and I needed a running start for one gravelly slope, but it made it.
Someone's been hard at work there: we found lots of equipment for terracing the belay areas, gasoline cans, a generator, broken helmets, and a dozen or so sick lines climbing the overhanging cave. We jumped on two of the routes at the caves periphery, both pretty dirty. The one on the cav's far right was 5.9ish and not too steep. Then Bob jumped on one on the left side of the cave, steeper and harder. He hang-dogged up it, but said it probably would clock in in the 5.11 range. However, there is still loads of loose rock on the route, holds breaking off and chuncks of rock waiting to fall on your belayer. Not exactly confidence inspiring while you're on lead. To make things even sketchier, one of the higher-up anchors near the lip of the roof had a chain haning from it with a bolt attached to it! A bolt pulled out of the rock! Who's setting this stuff up!
Our curiosity sated, we were about to head down to the cars to get bolting gear for Gotham Wall, but then Bob noticed a line of bolts on a wall about 300 ft south from us. This wall was more like the Gotham wall, except taller. The line of bolts looked freshly drilled, with rock dust still bordering the bolts. It turns out there were two lines of bolts. the left-hand one had an anchor at about 80 ft. I led up to this anchor (about 8 bolts), and then Bob finished the route up past 5 more bolts. The 60 m rope was 3 ft off the ground for the rappel, just barely good enough for us to use.
We then tried the right-hand line. This one turned out to be more difficult, with a thin crux using some gastons and tiny crimps to pass two bolts. Bob led this one too, and I got to tool around at the crux on top-rope.