Crane Mountain Group Day #3

Another bushel of visitors to Crane’s southeast flank today. Valerie arrived at our house at 9:30, and before we headed up the road, Tom came along. We three headed uphill, parked at the shortcut, and headed into the woods, but not before Lauren, Scott, and Jeremy arrived. The developing squad hiked in together until reaching the far end of the TeePee Wall, where Valerie and I headed up to set a rope for her to do some route-scrubbing.

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Val cleaning house on Crane Mountain 

 The rest continued on a short way farther. Jeremy elected to climb Muckraker, to get a taste of one of the newer routes.

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Jeremy leads Muckraker

Scott belayed while Lauren took in the sunshine and scenery. The skies were clear, but it was brisk; once again this sheltered side of the mountain kept the wind at bay and helped us get the most of the sunshine.

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Tom leading Moe-hammed, Larry, & Curly

Meanwhile, Tom and I pointed our noses next door, to Moe-hammed, Larry, & Curly. We puttered around with different plans to enable a TR for everyone, but eventually rappelled so Scott could lead it. It’s a challenging line, with several stout moves along its 95′ length.

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Scott starting his turn at bat

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Lauren, sharp at the belay (Note Val still working diligently in the background)

Lauren belayed patiently while Scott worked those moves out. Leading it onsight isn’t a short order item. This route doesn’t give up its secrets easily, and many of the good rests are hard to spot. One has to work up with their head before moving from each stance.

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Belay, Tom? Uh, Tom…

Tom and Jeremy moved to the other end of the Long Play Wall, so Jeremy could lead Willie’s Danish Prince. Tom was a bit camera shy, but managed a smile just the same. Jeremy led flawlessly, though I noted with some relief that he didn’t just scramble up the route casually. There are some definite thought-provoking regions on the way to the ledge for this line as well.

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Jeremy at the overhang on Willie’s Danish Prince

Jeremy’s 70m rope barely allowed Tom to tie in to the middle, giving me a chance to take third on the climb and get a ride to the ledge. Once there, I manned the belay, while Tom and Jeremy rappelled down to find another climb. Scott and Lauren both took a lap on Willie’s, and while they did so, Jason Brechko arrived. He, Jeremy, and Tom went to climb Amphitheatre Crack, and shortly thereafter Doc Livingston walked in.

 My camera’s battery bit the dust about this time, so alas, no more photos. That’s too bad, because there was a lot more activity and excitement to come. Doc led Long Play without a lot of trouble (the first 20′ is very sustained), Jeremy Haas took his first leader fall of the year when a hold broke off of Broken Broom, (fortunately, it’s not a key hold – if you decipher the moves correctly), and Jason got to run laps on all three centerpiece routes of the Amphitheatre (the third being Pinch an Inch). Jeremy wasn’t ready to call it quits until he led Eatin’ Tripe and Lichen It, using Torcher’s direct wide crack start. Having lugged in a mega-cam, he was determined to use it before the day was over. Val worked the entire day on her project, unearthing a magnificent line. She didn’t have the energy or time to send it today, but took a run up it on TR before heading home. A great day was had by all, all eight of us climbed at least a little bit, and we all made it out of the woods safely.

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