Aloha Monday

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Thanks to Matt Hagar and Todd Paris for manning the camera while I climbed!

Monday ushered in the end of a wonderful long weekend. Fair weather marked the entire four days, and with the fortuitous culmination of Census work on Saturday, I was able to take adavantage of it every day. Described earlier, Friday afternoon was spent at Stewart’s Ledge. Saturday I played around solo at Crane Mountain’s Measles Walls, Viewpoint Slab, and Summit Cliffs. Sunday was a return to the Measles Walls with Robin and a posse of other climbers for a sociable time climbing there. Monday coaxed me out of my home turf once more.

When I left home, I noticed a slight haze, odd, since it didn’t feel particularly humid. As I drove north, the haze thickened, and soon it was obvious from tint and smell that the haze wasn’t humidity but smoke. I guess Quebec has a huge forest fire going right now, and its smoke settled thickly in the High Peaks all day long.

I picked up Todd Paris, we kidnapped Matt Hagar, and drove to Chapel Pond, then walked up to the Tanager Wall above the pond’s eastern edge. There, we started out on Brightly Colored Males, a route you want to do if only for the name, but once you get there, it’s an obvious attraction, and the easiest way up the wall. Even so, it is a challenging layback, requiring commitment to that uneasy, feet-high position that just squeals “Inverted Fall!”

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I’m just reaching the layback point of Brightly Colored Males.

TR set-up for neighboring, harder routes is pretty simple, though in the future I would bring a static line along to make it easier. The 5.9 variation of BCM is well worth a run, and the 5.12a direct finish is possibly the most possible for me of any I’ve ever attempted at that rating. I couldn’t pull it off, of course, but felt that, with a bit better conditioning and shoes, I might have. That would be a bizarre feat, indeed.

To the left, another TR set-up allowed us to sweat it out on Lifelong Affliction, a deservedly four-star 5.9, left-slanting crack, as well as the more technical lines of Tenacity and Veracity. All of these routes are short, only 50′, but well worth the trudge up Chapel Pond Gully. A few hours is all that is needed to lead one and TR all the rest.

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Todd leads the run-out start of Silent Spring.

Todd then roped up to lead Silent Spring, and we all followed to the ledge. The belay lies close to the TR anchor point for the short routes left of BCM, so this 5.5 provides an easier, albeit slightly less protectable, means of accessing the top of those routes. I led the second pitch, we all rode that one, then rappelled down and called it a day.

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Matt raps down off the Brightly Colored Males anchor.

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