Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Exploration Day

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Lousy ice here on Crane; too warm for the steep stuff, too cold to climb rock. What’re you going to do? I chose to explore an area that has been on my hit list for quite some time. I figured if I found viable ice in these conditions, it would be dependable stuff. I also figured it was time to take the fancy camera for a walk, so today I lugged the behemoth over hill and dale.

My destination isn’t far from home, so it wasn’t long before I parked the car and began walking into the unknown. I couldn’t find the trail, but knew it would show up once I got to the river; sure enough I stumbled onto it after five minutes of easy bushwhacking and one creek crossing. The trail ran along the river, which wasn’t quite what I had in mind, so at first I veered off, walking up a narrowing hollow. Soon, the right flank of the ravine steepened, and sure enough, I spied ice flows running down it. They are about 50 – 60′ tall, short for ice routes, but adequate. The most interesting, steep ones looked anemic, but there was one fat one tucked between rock buttresses that looked to be in good shape. I hadn’t walked long, they are only fifteen minutes from the road. Not exactly a gold mine, but a decent find.

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The first flows I found. They’re about fifty feet tall.

The ravine began slicing upward; although I suspected it ran toward my destination, I didn’t want to miss anything down low. Instead of ascending, I returned to the river to see the sights along it, and to find out if the steepening hillside held anything else. The river narrowed as I entered a tight-walled gorge. Across from me, great slabs of ice issued from the banks about ten feet above the water; had they poured forth from higher promontories, they would have made excellent climbing. They were picturesque, at least.

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The ice slabs across the river.

After perhaps an hour of casual walking (interspersed with occasional foolishness, like slithering down the icy ledges to take pictures), I passed the falls I had hoped to see. They were not nearly as large as I thought they were, and they were completely hidden under ice. I could hear them, but couldn’t see them. Above them, the river quickly widened, as did the surrounding terrain. Opposite me, a small mountain, set back slightly, rose up quickly. I could see ice on its flanks, but nothing large; perhaps one worthwhile flow in a notch between two of its summits, but of course, the river betwixt me and finding out.

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Ice flows high on the mountain across the river.

My goal lay on top of the mountain I had just walked along the base of through that gorge. Although I saw plenty of ice along the riverside, there were only two or three that made it to thirty feet tall or so. I thought I might find something bigger along the steep flanks higher up. As it became apparent that I was nearing the far side of that mountain, I finally began cutting upward.

It was steep going, and very icy. Soon, I walked up through an old-growth hemlock grove, the ground a veritable jungle of ice flows, every one of them too short or too easy to make worthwhile climbing. After weaving back and forth for closer investigation of several deceptive lines, I gave up on the chase in this particular spot and made for the top. The summit of the mountain is a hodgepodge of knobs and ravines; after wandering around awhile, I found the one that looked most likely to bleed ice. The northwestern slope turned out to be a dud: far too short, and not steep enough; but when it turned and began running south, I was happy to see glistening bands running down the face. Once again, they weren’t tall, perhaps forty feet or so, but there were several good-looking options. This high, many of them were not in good shape: the sun was tearing them up, but several were sheltered enough to be climbable still.

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Short ice near the top of the mountain.

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They’re getting taller…

I continued downward, to a point where the ravine merged with another one heading upward to my right. That looked intriguing, so I followed it to its end in a small box canyon. There, I scrambled up to a level ridge, hoping for a glimpse of something on the river side of the mountain. Tantalizing bits of ice, but nothing definitive was visible. After awhile, I cut back to my original ravine. At the junction, I could see a small rise separated this drainage from the start of another, so rather than go straight down, I cut up and along the ridge to have a look at the slopes across the way.

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Lousy picture, good ice. Trust me, it’s there.

Bingo! This was the sort of thing I was looking for. Several emaciated lines lay on the face across this ravine, and they were tall enough to make a long pitch, perhaps a hundred feet or more high. Not all were sun-spoiled. One in particular caught my eye: a steep thread running down a narrow cleft in the cliff. Except for the very last few feet, the ice there looked very healthy.

What lured me back to the original ravine, I’ll never know. I keep wondering what else might be along that taller flank; doubtless the question will annoy me until I go back. In any case, I did turn back to the first ravine, following it downward, where I soon stumbled upon the ice I had first seen on my way in. I hadn’t planned to, but decided to don the gear and climb that fat line, taking the opportunity to climb one short pitch, then make my way back down, pack up, set the timer, and head out, reaching the car fourteen minutes later.

Crane Mountain Autumn Pics

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Autumn asked for Autumn photos of the area, so here they are. The pics link to larger versions; I’ve had to deposit the big files directly on my website, because WordPress won’t upload them – more joys of dial-up connection. I’ll dig up more, from sunnier days last week, and post them in this same article, so keep checking back (Note: I’ve done so). It’s a downpour day outside, and I received no phone calls today, so there is time to do this sort of thing. Please let me know if the links don’t work. With that confounded dial-up, it’s too time-consuming to test it myself.

Love to all my children, their spouses, pets, and bosom buddies.

First up are pictures taken October 14th. It rained or misted most of the day, but during the afternoon, it looked like it might clear up. It didn’t.

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Looking north across the shoulder of Crane Mtn. from partway up the Long Play Wall

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Putnam Barn Facelift

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

September’s Soggy Days delayed Adam Pearsall’s plans for putting a new roof on the Putnam Barn, so the past week’s long-awaited Indian Summer initiated that project. A small flock of erstwhile carpenters, demolition demons, and go-fers descended on this lovely building last week and began the labor.

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With the help of a rolling lift, we tore all the metal off the main roof, ripped old, rotting lumber away, and began replacing the underlayment with strong, fresh boards.

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Though we did work hard, we couldn’t let a good photo-op pass us by. And over the past week, the scenery surrounding us was peak-level incredible.

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We didn’t get it all done before the rain, despite working well after dark last night. But we’ve made a lot of progress. Here’s hoping for another spell of good weather so we can finish the job!

Wayout Wall!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

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It has been a long time since I last climbed rock at the Wayout Wall. Two years ago, I managed a day of ice climbing out there, but as far as I can recall, my last rock climbing day out there was during the FA of Bulwark and Stepping Stone. It was time to make the pilgrimage once more.

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Could THIS be the End?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Yeah, I’ve said it a dozen times already, but if today’s glorious weather is followed by what is forecast for tomorrow night, things are going to get  tough for rock climbing on Crane. Ice is already forming, and despite the warm temps of yesterday, was still around in several spots today. A dusting of sneet lay on the ground as I walked in to the Long Play Wall for a day of projecting with Tom Lane.

 Sneet

 I was heavily-laden today, carrying a full rack, a 70-meter rope, lunch, extra clothes, and the camera. That latter I’ve been neglecting lately, but with today’s glorious weather (and tomorrow’s horrible harbingers), I decided to suck it up and bring it along. I love taking pictures, and I really like the results from a high-quality camera, but I also got accustomed to carrying a little point-and-shoot job, so several pounds of SLR aren’t normally welcome. I solved the problem partially, with a lot of rests along the way, using the camera as an excuse. I wasn’t tired, mind you, I just had to take pictures…

November Weed

 Fortunately, Tom caught up with me before very long and got me motivated back into motion. The weather was glorious, but we both knew it wouldn’t last, and the sun was tracking quickly away from the southeast slopes of Crane Mountain. We would have to make the most of the morning and early afternoon warmth in order to have a chance at sending anything.

 On the BAW Path

In no time, we were sorting gear, racking, scrambling up the steep gully on the Long Play Wall’s left edge, and Tom once more led out on Induhvidual. No problems here: each time we’ve climbed this route – the easiest way to the top of the LPW – we’ve cleaned a bit more, so now the holds are pretty obvious and secure. It probably goes at 5.6, not its originally-reported 5.7.

Tom Leads Induhvidual 

 In short order, we were at the top. For a late November day, it was incredible. Here, sheltered from the wind and in full sun, it felt almost too warm, despite the obvious surrounding overhangs and corners festooned with icicles. I spent some more time making use of that camera before we bent ourselves to the work.
 View from the LPW Ledge

Isobuttress in November

While Tom returned to his ongoing second pitch project, I scoped out another potential line near our ascent route. It’s good, will require mucho cleaning, and will have a hard overhang section. Hopes of sending it today onsight were dashed by the crud coating the top face and a bunch of loose rocks lying on a critical ledge under the roof, but hey, that’s what next year is all about.

Tom Scrubs Away

We would spend the rest of the day cleaning, and it would grow too cold for any hope of a real send. Crane’s own shadow gradually enveloped the Long Play Wall, making fingers woody and any inactivity uncomfortably cold. My puffy came out of the pack – no complaints about carrying that along – as I belayed Tom on a quick TR of his project. Then it was a hasty retreat, breaking down anchors, rappelling, packing, and lugging all that gear back out to the cars.

Perhaps we will get another opportunity to tackle these projects. Perhaps the ice will take over, and we’ll be forced to admit defeat for 2010. At least we got out and enjoyed a few warm, wonderful hours on the mountain today.

Hectic Last Days

Monday, November 1st, 2010

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Icicles drape the damp spots every day. Cracks are cold, only the faces full in the sun seem welcoming. Yet the season carries on; today was fine for a late morning stroll to the Black Arches Wall for some climbing, cleaning, and routehounding.

The deep overnight chill and overcast skies made an early start unwise. I relaxed at home until almost ten, then headed out. I had a few tasks to accomplish, one of course being to sneak a climb or two into the day. By the time I reached the Height of Land Walls, the sun was shining almost unhindered in a deep-blue sky. It would be nice enough for awhile, at least.

Continuing to the Isobuttress, I switched shoes and headed up Full Recovery. The rock was indeed warm where it faced the sun, the cracks cold, but at least all was dry. Midway along the traverse, I stopped to shoot a few pictures.

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View of the South Corner Cliffs from midway along the Full Recovery traverse.

 I continued climbing, moving along to the belay ledge and slightly higher, stopping once again for photos.

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 Looking at the South Corner Cliffs from the Isobuttress.

Once on top, I commenced one more bout of camera madness, this time at least on solid ground.

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Telephoto look at the Long Play Wall and the cliffs above it.

 It was time to move along. One tick on the list for the day, time to tackle another one. I wandered down a tricky notch below the usual descent route without mishap, slid down the Diagonal Ramp, then picked my way to the Pinnacle Overlook block. I scooted around the lower end of this and found: a lot of scat from a large, omnivorous animal, a cave of sorts, and a possible climbing route. There are actually two potential routes, but the righthand one is either a dead end or very, very hard. The lefthand one looks feasible, and in fact I played around a little on it, and believe with good shoes and a belay I could manage it.

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The Pinnacle Overlook block. Note the flap about halfway up; below this a flake system might provide access to the slab above.

 Without that belay, I opted to head back to the Height of Land Walls, though of course, I had to take a farewell shot of the Isobuttress before leaving.

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The Isobuttress, with the obvious triangular overhang of Carpenter & Das.

 I paused to scrub awhile on Oddy’s Crack of Horrors and Fool in the Forest, but I didn’t take long. There was one thing I did not want to put off past today. The HoLW #1 has an appealing, if short, right-facing corner. The corner is steep and leads to an overhang formed by a gigantic detached block. I wanted to test that block and then do some cleaning, maybe even TR the line. Suffice to say, the block is sound enough, though scary, the rock is still quite dirty, and the moves are hard 5.8. It was fun, but it’ll take some doing to make it go.

I rappelled, on a whim climbed To Do, the neighboring corner, which is much easier and a bit shorter, then for some odd reason continued walking uphill, toward the Blueberry Ledge. I reached the righthand edge of its base, where I found a crack cloaked in grass knots and crud. On a further whim, I clambered up a few steps, yanking myself handholds as I went. Under all the disguise, there was some good climbing to be had. I followed my initial crack until it joined another that was heading perpendicular to it, slanting up left. I followed this to a good ledge beneath a right-slanting flap about six feet tall. I stood below its lower right corner, to my left the flap turned and diminished, running straight across a steep face; to my right it rose up into an overhanging face itself. Not far to my left, a pockmark – a tafone (pl: tafoni), as Evelyn Green has informed me, about 6″ in diameter, lay in the surface of the steep face. Above it, closer to me, a huge pockmark hid under a shield flake. I could not quite reach that latter, and the former seemed frightfully exposed to what was now a lot of air. It took awhile to work out the reach to that secretive pockmark, but once I managed it, the difficulties were not over. I could easily put my entire forearm behind that flake within the tafone, probably could have put my whole arm in there, but was worried what might be living in it. My feet were pretty solid. My right hand found a good edge, small, but positive. Problem was getting up farther. I could see more knobs just out of reach, couldn’t tell if they were slopers or not. No solid footholds higher, I would have to smear some smaller ones. Should’ve brought the shoes! After a few false starts, I figured out an optimal step up and went for it. The knobs were not so good, but adequate, I just had to bring that left foot higher, and voila, I stood, my funky dirty approach shoes squeegied on a couple knobs, my hands on equally unpleasant prospects. A quick reach left and I had one bomber hold, step up and over, back and my right foot found a solid stance. My right hand continued to slack off, but the rest of my body made up for the lost work, clinging ever so sincerely to the slot behind a large flake and those knobs below me.

I had planned on running directly up this lower-angled face, but once ensconced upon it, thought better and continued moving left to a large, welcoming crack, almost a chimney, really; in any case, secure and homey. Woohoo! There was more to come, but it was all very manageable from there onward. In short order, I stood on familiar, blueberry-carpeted ledges. Add Blueberry Tafone to the list of new routes on Crane this year! I think it’ll go at 5.6, maybe PG, not sure of that last bit. It’s close to 180′ long, and deposits climbers at the high point of Blueberry Ledge, with good potential to break through the Vulture’s Nook above as a second pitch – and onward to the top of the South Corner Cliffs eventually.

The sun was nearing the shoulder of the mountain even here by this time. I slid on my backside down to the trail, recovered my gear (shoulda brought it along!), and headed out to home, where I would discover that the next two days I would be down in the Gunks, working. The forecast for Thursday and Friday is ugly, so this may well have been the farewell tour I’ve expected. If so, it was a fine way to say good-bye. To those who are coming up this Wednesday, have fun, be safe, and scrub a little!

Rock Season Dwindles Down

Friday, October 15th, 2010

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Looking north toward the Isobuttress Face of the Black Arches Wall.

Rockclimbing season is probably not over, but this current bout of inclement weather is likely to bring a little snow our way. There’s no doubt that the days of warm, dry rock are drawing to a close for 2010. As always, I’m frantically trying to pull a few last projects together before the door finally shuts.

After a long spell down in the Gunks, I arrived home Tuesday night. I had guided for three days (wonderful bunch of folks each day) and given the Praters a quick tour of the place on Tuesday, so I was tired, and a bit homesick as well. After mulling things over for awhile, I looked at the forecast and decided to take Wednesday off. Bad weather was heading our way, perhaps as early as midday Thursday, and I was anxious to get back out on “my” mountain in good conditions.

No one could come out and play with me that day, so I went alone, carrying a small load: a semi-static, 150′ rope, a cordalette, 10 ‘biners, a couple runners, harness, belay kit, shoes, helmet. I wasn’t sure what I would do, but figured since I was alone, it wouldn’t involve leading anything.  The one thing I did have in mind was examining the tall face right of the gully beyond <em>Oddy’s Crack</em>; I had eyed it at every passing for several years now, and over the past weekend Val had also noted it; I figured it was time to give it a real lookover.

A quick perusal along the base of the wall past it convinced me that any approach from that direction would be circuitous at best, so I returned to the gully and scrambled up to its left edge. Here, a wide crack leads up a right-facing corner, entering a chimney before reaching the ledge at the top of the “Long Play” Wall that I wanted to inspect. I decided to pull out the gear and have a go at that chimney. With luck it wouldn’t be too hard, I would get to the top, and have time to rappel and look things over.

There were a few challenges to be addressed before starting. I had an Edelweiss canyoneering rope, not quite fully static, but definitely not a safe lead rope. There was no real way to make it safe for a fall, but in the end, I opted to tie one end to a stout tree, coil the rope several times loosely around it, and then tie myself in with alternating eights-on-a-bight; all of which were tied very loosely. The idea was to supply some dynamics to the system via coil and knot-clinching action. Hopefully, that would stop me from breaking in two like a twig if I fell. Whether this yielded any real safety at all, I’ll never know: it is most definitely not something to do. Only professionals – chiefly idiotic ones, and specifically me – work with this sort of program.

The first twenty feet were easy scrambling up a dirt cone leading to the start of the wide crack. Within reach of the first real rock move, a large birch grew out of the crack, I hauled myself up on this and stood on a nice, flat boulder perched on its upper base. My shortest runner barely fit around the tree if I pushed it up the trunk a ways – hopefully that too would offer some spring, without breaking, if I fell.

The next 3 meters were wide crack moves, assisted by a flaring chimney in the face to my left. It was steep and dirty, but not particularly difficult to climb them, but the corner pitched up steeper and pinched off above into a vertical tunnel, restricting movement and increasing the difficulty considerably. I didn’t have to worry about shockload if I fell: I would almost certainly hit the ground before coming on the rope. Of course, that wasn’t much consolation. I backed down and considered my options. The crack was far too wide to jam a knot, but looking in the notch to my left, I saw some rocks lying within reach. They looked like they might fit, so I yanked one out, eyeballed a likely spot along the crack, and set it home. Perfect. One more, this one a bit wider, fit well four feet higher. Stringing one end of my cordalette to the bottom one, running it up, then lassoing the top one, I arranged a makeshift pair of protection points, once again utilizing loose knots in the fashionable and fanciful hope they would provide the necessary dynamics if I fell.

Moving up again, I peered into the tunnel above me. It would be cramped in there, and it was both wet and dirty. I tell this to my friends all the time: on Crane, wet is OK, dirty is fine, but wet and dirty is bad. I didn’t like the looks of things in there. To my right however, a horizontal crack headed straight out ten feet to the outside corner of the LP Wall. Just where I wanted to have a look-see anyway, and under its heavy garb of rock tripe, the crack appeared to have excellent handholds. I made a tentative move out, scraping away the brittle brown leather, blowing out sand and grit, and scrabbling my shoes against the steep wall below to find footing. The exposure increased instantly, and I nervously crabbed back to my perch in the wide crack, panting from a tad too much adrenaline pumping through the veins. This would be exciting.

It would also require better shoes. Downclimbing to that lovely flat rock on the birch, I swapped footwear, stashing my approach shoes in the crack. Briefly, I considered their value as chocks, but passed on the thought. The now-resident chockstones would do well enough. More important would be protection farther out the crack. About halfway out, a blocky flake looked like it might take a sling, and since I had one left, that would have to do.

Once again, I headed up and then out. The moves were familiar now, much less frightening. A bit of work and that last runner sat securely around the flake, yet one more loose figure eight knot providing that theoretical “give” if needed. My wire brush would be the most effective protection from here on out and up. Once around the bend, the way appeared easy, but there would be no way to tell for sure until I got there. That meant the moves had to be reversible. I took several false starts, going out and back to assure myself I could handle both directions, but the last move would require a committing step up and right. It might be reversible, but it would be hard to do so, and by now, that flake would be five feet to my left. I would have to place a lot of slack in the rope to make the move, so a fall would put me very near the base of the route. I could not see much past the outside corner: a low-angle face cloaked in tripe was evident, but whether it held critical holds or not I couldn’t tell. The one reassuring factor was a spacious foot ledge: once I made that step, I knew I would have a good resting spot.

After a brief rest, I went for it, hopping onto that ledge quickly, and breathlessly eyeing my new location. The traverse took me from a relatively sheltered corner forty feet above a patch of trees, to this airy roost 110′ off the deck. I was close to the top, blocked only by a steep slab secretively blanketed in tripe. Ten minutes of brushing revealed two main options: I could climb the steep edge of the corner on my left using small but sharply-defined side-pulls, or friction-stem my way up the face to my right. In the end, I took the left option, preferring secure fingers to tenuous smearing above the void. One brief difficult move and it was easy scrub-and-go, then a brief wrestling match with a final defensive screen of oak limbs, before I was on top, thoroughly loving the spacious ledge there.

After a brief rest, I rapped down, pulled gear, changed shoes, and belayed myself back up to the ledge. It was a beautiful day, so I took some pictures before rearranging the rappel and heading down the main face. What I found there brought me back the very next day for more fun and excitement, this time with a willing partner and a dynamic rope, but that can wait for another installment.

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The view ESE.

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Nearly straight down, looking at Pinnacle Rock.

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Closer View of the Isobuttress. Carpenter & Das runs through the obvious overhang.

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Looking out from the spacious ledge atop the Long Play Wall.

Olympus Evolt 620 Macro

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Back and weary from four horribly hot days guiding at the Gunks. Clients were great; a few other details (weather being one of them) were aggravating. With today’s rainy weather, along with my need to rest and take stock of a few important items, I figured this was a good time to veer off tangent and play with photography awhile.

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A bit fancified via software, but this shows the detail at 1 to 1.

Robin bought me our first digital SLR, an Olympus Evolt 620. The kit we purchased comes with two lenses: a 14-42mm and a 40-150mm one. Being a “Four-thirds” image sensor, that translates to 28-84mm and 80-300mm, “traditional” 35mm equivalent set, which spans a lot of optimal usages. I would have preferred a bit wider angle at the low end, something closer to a 24mm equivalent lens, but pretty much every company out there uses this cutoff point for their “stock” and “kit” lenses.

While down in the Gunks, I had spare time every morning to walk around and take some pictures – but no way to review them until I got home. I love macro shots of flowers and such, and wanted to see what rig could do. The camera has a macro setting, which modifies the output image by sharpening it slightly as well as a few other slight changes. I took a few flower pictures to have a look.

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Extending the 14-42mm lens to its longest focal length, I can get pretty close (<3″) to a flower and take decent shots. Much closer and my shadow gets in the way, and focusing maxes out at about 2″. This chickory blossom photo is taken near that minimum distance. The sun was already up too high for best color rendition, but the camera does a decent job nonetheless. Of course, this image is highly downsampled; below is a close-up with as little of that as I could supply without sacrificing my life to uploading images. I’ve cropped a 720×540 chunk out of the original, 12 megapixel image.

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 Not bad. I would’ve liked greater depth of field, but until/unless I purchase a lens made specifically for macro shots, this will have to do.

I use the camera mostly for nature stills, scenics, and occasional climbing photos, and in these regards I’m very happy with it. Indoors, I’ve yet to figure out the flash settings. In that environment, I’m somewhat flabbergasted with its flash-assist focus system. The flash strobes in a jarringly distracting and irritating way whenever the focusing system cannot handle the job without it; which makes it a risky tool for any formal or ceremonial shots. More than once, I’ve had to forego using it in these situations. Unfortunately, my eyesight is bad enough that often, I can’t focus manually any better!

Bigtime Climbing

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Started the weekend off with a bang Friday afternoon. Jason Brechko and I skedaddled from Glens Falls High School and headed straight for the Buck Mountain Trailhead off Pilot Knob Road. We made the quick walk in to Stewart’s Ledge, firmly intending to climb until we couldn’t grip any longer.
Jason started off with a quick lead up the 5.7 variation of Barking Spider. He lowered leftward, rigging a directional for a route that crosses the descent corner, then I cleaned his lead and we both TR’d that line, which goes at 5.10. We shifted the entire belay rightward to the anchors of Crackatoa and TR’d that line, then shifted farther right and TR’d the 5.10a Lithium.
After we both TR’d that line, I took the sharp end and led The Entertainer. Jason took clean-up, then we moved the belay over toward Dog Pounder, rigging a TR for the steep corner system just right of that route. That turns out to have a start that is somewhere around 5.10a, with another move that may push a letter grade or two higher. By then, it was dark. The mosquitos swarmed us during that last route, but otherwise the outing was pretty bug-free.

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 Jason leads up Barking Spider.

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 Jason works his 5.10 TR line left of the descent route.

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 We were not alone at Stewart’s Ledge. A bevy of Eastern Mountain Sports people and friends shared the crag with us.

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Yepper, a good time was had by all. 

Saturday, I made my last Census run, rounding up a few seasonal units before handing in my badge. With that load off my schedule, I could relax a bit, or at least use more time for climbing – which I promptly did, jogging to the Measles Walls for quick runs up Cracklosis, Trickagnosis, El Muerte Rojo, Hydrophobia, and Social Disease. No biggies: too many buggies.
After some socializing at Thurman Baptist Church, I returned to the mountain, this time heading up the trail. Running up Every Creature’s Theme along the way, I hustled to the top ridge, climbed Cornerstone, then ran over the summit and down to a nice clifftop sunset viewing point.

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The pics weren’t bad, but the sprint down the mountain was tiring. Returning home, I went to bed shortly afterward, and overslept longer than I’ve ever done before!

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Kevin mans the belay below Hydrophobia.

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The crowd at the base of the Upper Measles Wall.

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 Mike’s faithful partner Mammut.

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Climbing afficianado Mike Prince at the base of the Upper Measles Wall.

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Robin flashes Cracklosis. 

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 Portrait of the Climbing Couple at the Upper Measles Wall.

 After church, Robin and I walked out (in my case, back out) to the Measles Walls to reenact our ascent of Hydrophobia. We joined a growing crowd there, seven of us, TRing that route as well as several others: Full Moon Fever, El Muerte Rojo, Cracklosis, Run for Rabies, Scared for Life, Trickagnosis, and even an attempt on Resistant Strain. Whew! Good half-day of climbing.

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Tomorrow? Not sure, but maybe a drive up to Chapel Pond Slab for another day of climbing!

Sunset Scenics

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

It rained hard Friday morning, enough so the cliffs stayed damp into the evening. Other than a scary wander up a nondescript slab, a quick run up Cornerstone, and another terrifying wallow up a moss-choked slot, I didn’t do much climbing. I went up the mountain seeking pictures instead. 

My neverending quest for mountaintop sunset pics continues. Last night was a bit better than usual, though not topnotch. Can’t complain. I did forget my headlamp, so the race against darkness down the mountain was exciting. My knee is squealing this morning.

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Typical view from the western edge of the main summit ridge cliffs. 

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 This is the all-too familiar mtn-profile-with-sun-streaming-behind-cloud picture. Obviously, I like these.

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 That’s Snowy Mountain the sun is setting behind.

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Looking away from the sunset, the cliffs had that alpenglow tint to ’em. 

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Going,…

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 …going,…

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GONE!