Climbing Afternoon

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 One of the silliest climbing pictures I’ve ever seen. Yep, double-barrel butt shot!

Haven’t downloaded the pictures yet (Edit: now, I have), and took all too few of them, spending more time climbing and showing other folks around. Something strange happened today as I walked out to the Measles Walls to meet Mike Prince and his Facebook Adirondack Adventure Group climbing event. As I turned the corner of the Lower Measles Wall, I met two climbers just packing up. The strangeness was that I didn’t know these folks, nor were they connected with the group I was heading to meet. They were…two climbers, climbing at the Measles Walls, because they were in the region, did a Web search for local crags, and came up with this. John and Adrienne (sorry if the spelling is off) are from downstate, visiting for a day or so. John may well have made the SA of I Am Lesion; not sure if anyone else has bothered leading it or not since last September.

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Adrienne enjoying the MW toe-hop.

Having satisfied their roped desires, they wanted to do some bouldering, so I showed them around the untouched potentials at the height-of-land. They worked those for awhile, while I went back down to the Upper Measles Wall to climb with the gang. Mike, Garth, and Cody were TRing lines there: Hydrophobia, Full Moon Fever, and El Muerte Rojo. This was Cody’s first day climbing, and he was doing very well, though the spotty toe-hopping of Full Moon Fever gave him a lot of trouble. That is, of course, a bit rough for a first-day climb.

 

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Mike Prince (foreground) and John, from New Paltz.

During a lull, I grabbed Mike and tied on for another attempt at the unled sport route between FMF and Hydrophobia. John and Adrienne came down and joined the TRing options, and a couple of their friends walked in after hiking the mountain, so it was a busy place suddenly. I didn’t scamper up anything, and often I was a hair’s breadth from giving up, but the crowd support helped motivate me to hang in and press on. Finally, I was in reach of that hitherto unreachable last bolt. Ahhh, CLIP. Done deal. Cat Scratch Fever joins the bevy of Measles Wall toe-hoppers, at 5.9 one of the harder ones.

John, Adrienne, and friends had to head out, and Mike and gang wanted to go to the Black Arches Wall, so I said good-bye to one crew and accompanied the other westward. I had an idea, a route I had done just yesterday, that seemed exciting, yet not too difficult. It would be a bit tricky, with four people, but I was too enthused about the route to let technical difficulties dissuade me.

We climbed up the crux section of E-Stim, then traversed left to the anchor above Recuperation Boulevard. Cody came up second, then Mike, and things got crowded at that semi-hanging belay. Mike didn’t care for leaving Mammut, his Australian shepherd, alone on the ground, so he opted to descend. Garth came up afterward, we sorted out ropes and other details, then finished by traversing over to Carpenter & Das and climbing up that way, using the “without” variation. Cody made every move on his own, no falls; excellent for a first day out. Garth did as well, even taking on the overhang directly (5.8). 

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That’s the author’s head on the skyline, Cody on his first day climbing doing multipitch, Dad Garth awaits his turn.

The shadow of Crane was creeping over the world to the east, and it became a bit chilly before we all stood on the ledge by the rappel anchor. A quick lower for Cody and a double-rope rappel brought us all safely down to Earth, where we called it a day, packed, and trekked out. Now this was a good day of climbing, enjoying good company, good rock, good times.

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