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Archive for September, 2008

Bill and I went up to Rumney this weekend for an ‘outdoor sport climbing tutorial’ to prepare him for our trip up to Acadia next weekend. I took him over to the Meadows, No Money Down Wall at first…but the routes were easy and it was SOO crowded (basically like a dirty indoor gym with trees).

False Modesty 5.7
Way easy and a good first lead (there are no ‘panic’ sections). I’d rate it a 5.6 though. 4 bolts to a quick clip anchor.

Mr. Popular 5.9
Seriously, the first two moves are the crux. Stick clip the first bolt or you’ll be driving home with dirt all over your pants. After you find a way to get on the wall, the route is fun. 6 bolts to a quick clip anchor (slightly overhanging).

Bored with the beginners’ area, we decided to up the ante over at the Orange Crush wall. I scared the shit out of myself leading Purple Microdot 5.10b (10 bolts to quick clip anchors) and then scared the shit out of Bill by making him climb through the crux and actually touch the anchors. The daylight faded fast so we didn’t get to stay as long as I wanted. Orange Crush has some serious, overhanging routes and I can’t wait to go back.

Everything about Rumney rocked with the exception of being eaten alive by mosquitoes… AGAIN. Even when I put 100% deet all over my body they still feast on my flesh. And I think I’m developing some weird allergy to them…all of the bites I’ve been getting recently have swelled up really big and stuff. I thought about taking a picture of one and posting it on here, but I figure that no one really wants to see that. So consider yourselves lucky. If I get West Nile I’ll be sure to turn this blog into a record of my death.

Also, Bill and I forgot to take any pictures of our trip. I’ll post some Montezuma’s Tower pictures and a route description later this week and will be sure to take lot of pictures/video of Acadia next weekend. Stay tuned!

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I’m chilling in my room right now listening to reggae and completely ignoring the reading that I need to do for classes tomorrow. I’m really finding it hard to get back into the swing of college… especially when the weather is so nice outside and I just know that there is awesome climbing less than two hours north. Scott was over on the East Coast this weekend to attend a conference in Philly. Rather than flying straight there, he flew into Boston to do a bit of climbing with me before he had to go ‘work’ down in Philly. We decided to head up to Maine to check out the rock there and visit a few of his old college friends (and their three kids…woah!).

Scott and I left on Friday morning and headed up to New Hampshire. Unsure of how the weather would unfold over the weekend (with the shockwave of Hurricane Hanna echoing up the coastline), we decided to do a bit of climbing in Pawtuckaway State Park off Highway 101 and take advantage of the fleeting sunshine. A brief note about finding this place – Don’t Follow the Signs to the Park!! They won’t lead you to the right place. Instead, take the 101 to the 07 and then turn onto Reservation Road. The road to the crag is dirt, but it’s well maintained. However, it doesn’t connect through to Deerfield Road, so you can’t access it from there. This cute crag was right by the water of a small pond (Round Pond) and the rock was easily top-roped. But, it’s also by some ‘marshes’ (AKA swamps) and the mosquitoes got pretty vicious as the day cooled off. Essentially, the routes were nothing more than long boulder problems, but there were some tricky finger and hand cracks…and an annoying off-width crack that I grumpily lie-backed to the top.

Up in Maine we were a bit too far south to hit Acadia, so we decided to check out North Camden (across the bay from Acadia). We ended up at the Verticals (parking is located at the Maidenhead trailhead) for sport climbing and top roping. I love the rock in Maine (it’s crimpy like cwazy!) and I was in no way prepared for how beautiful it is up there. We also lucked out on the weather and it didn’t rain us out.

Bolt Ladder 5.9+

I’d recommend leading this route and then setting top ropes for the others (trad protection is tricky, there are spots that run-out). This route runs up the face of theVerticals and it fairly crimpy. To start step out past the belay ledge (fairly exposed) and climb up to the first bolt. There are four good bolts and a few bombed-out pitons towards the top (but trad protection is better near the end).

500 Pound Flake Out 5.7 R

This is a fun, but eay flake climb to the left of the Bolt Ladder. Classic flake climbing.

Diagonal Crack 5.9 R

Right angle crack to another thin seam. This route rocks and I give it three stars!! SOO fun and sustained with classic lie-backs.

Brown Eye 5.10c

Climb up the flake ramp and continue up the face. There are four bolts and a 2 bolt fixed anchor. This route is crimpy as hell.

Scott and I also stopped by the Breakwater Lighthouse in Rockport and the Pemaquid Lighthouse in Ft. William Henry. Goddamn Maine is pretty!

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Apparently, as Bill informed me this weekend, Labor Day is the last day of summer. So to bid Summer 2008 farewell, Hidefumi and I set off on Saturday morning to do some swimming down at Cape Cod. Unfortunately we were thwarted by some rain and cold wind and instead of swimming at the beach we ate gelato and had some southern BBQ. However, the sun cleared up to welcome a living god to Massachusetts. David Beckham came to Gillette Stadium on Saturday. Oh yeah, the rest of the LA Galaxy came too. Despite the best efforts of super-fast #10 Donovan and Beckham, our New England Revolutions held their own and the game ended as a 2-2 tie.

Thankfully the sun came back out on Sunday. Bill, Aaron and I headed indoors to get a serious climbing workout at MetroRock in Everett, MA. Even though I’ve become somewhat of an outdoor purist, MetroRock is a big indoor gym with some fun, uber-technical routes that definitely challenge you as a climber. I was quickly owned by Aaron (who only started climbing three months ago) as he threw down several 5.10a’s and then jumped on some even harder stuff that I’ve since repressed to protect my fragile ego. Even Bill climbed well, despite the fact that he had spent the previous two days binge drinking at the beach with his friends.

Constantine the beer thief, hard at work

Later Bill and I dropped off Aaron and headed to Hull, MA to continue Bill’s binge drinking weekend. After pulling two thirty packs of beer and the supplies for Irish Car Bombs to the beach, it was time to make a serious bonfire and burn some shit down with the members of On Broken Wings and Bill’s other friends. The rest of the evening will remain censored. I will say that I can never drink Irish Car Bombs ever again…they are eviiiiiiil.

Monday we got up bright and early, refueled at Stars Diner (while I silently nursed a hangover) and then went straight to the harbor to kayak. We went from Hull over to George’s Island and looked at the old Revolutionary War forts on the island and angered tourists with our half-naked, beach bum behavior. Kayaking was awesome, but very tiring and now my arms are LIKE NOODLES. I rue tomorrow morning when I wake up and feel how sore I am. Goodbye Summer!

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