Friday, November 19, 2010

Castle Rock State Park

Color that will soon be missing from the Valley

Yesterday I made an unusual decision. I passed on an opportunity to go to Yosemite and opted for nearby Castle Rock instead!? Crazy, I know. There was some reasoning behind this madness though, first of all I'm going to Fontainebleau in the middle of February and Castle is just about the best simulation of Font sandstone around (so I'm told) so this was first of many acclimation trips I plan on making to the area. Second, I'm still nursing my finger injury though it is finally improving. Castle has a bunch of nice friendly slopers and I figured it would be good therapy for my weak link. Thirdly, there was(is) an ass-ton of weather on the horizon that would have made the chances of climbing two days in the Valley less than optimal to warrant the drive.

Turns out I feel like I made a fine choice. My good buddy Skippy and I had a great day with prime conditions at Castle yesterday. I managed to do three new-to-me problems that were all high quality, the "Nature Nazi Arete", "Groundation", and "Egghead Arete".

Here a video of Skippy on "Groundation". I think I'm going to teach a clinic on iphone videos soon because I'm basically a pro.

Groundation from Princess on Vimeo.

There has been some notable activity going on in the Valley worth mentioning. Currently Tommy and Kevin are on their first push effort to climb the Dawn Wall project. Unfortunately this weather pattern doesn't bode well for them. I hope they succeed but their safety is more important to me.

Elsewhere in the Valley, my friend Thomasina Pidgeon made the first female ascent of "Drive On" yesterday. This is proud tick indeed and one I'd like to climb as well, if I can ever crimp again...

About a week ago Randy and I climbed a couple of new problems. The first was the old project on the King Boulder at the Cathedrals. This problem is just right of "The Stamp" and just left of "So Good". The problem is tall, beautiful, climbs up perfect rock, and has some really unique moves. The name of this soon to be classic is "Old Dog, New Tricks". The second problem we did is a line I scoped out and cleaned last spring but was unable to unlock. Randy figured out the beta for the distinct crux on this one and I followed up shortly thereafter. Here's a picture of the line that makes it look a lot shorter than it is.

We dubbed this line "Iwo Jima"


Beth said...

Awww, tdog.

Susy said...

After not seeing any blog activity for quite some time, I happened on a new post & a ton of new (to me) info. Didn't know the computer was sick, did know about France thanks to Becky but didn't know dates... could feel the gloom but glad to hear there are some bright lights on your horizon....