Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ali Bubba

Well, it's springtime at the New and with lots of the usual rain we've been struggling to find dry rock.  Many dry days were spent at the lakebed and a handful of new routes got bolted.  I put up some real classics this year like the Honey Badger 5.12d/13a, Michael Boltin' 5.13a, and what is possibly the best 11+ in the region, Porter for Recorder.  Kirk put up a new hard 12b called Blood Trail that makes Slash and Burn look like a choss pile.  He also bolted one of the finest 13- routes around which he should have finished up soon.  For those looking for a challenge, you're welcome to get on the Movie Screen project that I finally sunk some bolts on. 
It overhangs about 30 degrees and has perfect pockets all the way up.  It would be about 13c if it didn't have a 6-foot dyno to a three finger on it.  I've never been more tempted to drill a hold in my life but I would never answer that demon.  Come and get it before the lake fills up!  Bring your A-game.  It's 5.14. 

Recently I've reinvested all my time back into the Beauty 'mega-proj'.  I don't want to jinx myself but I've never been as consistently close as I am now.  I've fallen at the last move about 5 times this season and excluding the now infamous punt-in-the-gramma-section debacle of Nov. 11, 2008, I've never gotten closer.  Unfortunately the finishing 5.11+ slab has been a waterfall all year and with the flooding I see outside right now, it's not going to get any better for a long time.  I climbed the wet section to make sure I could do it and I succeeded pretty easily but add in a heartrate of 230 beats a minute and a 5.14 pump....I'd rather wear a space helmet full of yellow jackets than face that nightmare.  Oddly, I hope to be facing that situation soon. 

Also odd is the fact that I've been pretty psyched to boulder this year.  I found what I believe is a new problem at Beauty Mountain and dispatched it a few days ago.  So far it's the best problem I've seen in the region and although many people would say otherwise, I think it's a classic.  The sit start and the extension still have to go down but the meat of it came together pretty quickly.  I tried posting it on youtube but those A-holes didn't like my choice of music and banned it.  I thought this was America?      

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beauty Facelift by Dr. NRAC

I was out at my favorite crag yesterday: Beauty Mountain.  Between taking burns on the mega proj, Kirk and I hiked around a bit and I was reminded just how much has gotten done in the past 5 years to make Beauty a safer place to climb.  One of the best crags in the country is almost completely reequipped with Stainless Steel (SS) hardware.  The rusty old time-bomb bolts are gone and this showpiece cliff now represents the successful efforts of the New River Rendevous (fundraiser), NRAC, and most importantly, the people that have attended the Rendevous and/or donated money to NRAC.

It would be much easier to create a short list of what still needs to be accomplished at Beauty but instead I'll give a rundown on how much has been done!

You want it you got it 5.9 sport:  Completely rebolted with SS

SS top anchors for all trad routes including Journey to the Center of the Brain 5.7, Out of Mind 5.10a, Hot Flash 5.10b, Brain Teasers 5.10a

SS top anchors on Mensa 11d, Dancing in the Flesh 12a, and Butta 11d

Stonger than a stainless steel bolt on Chunky Monkey?  Doubt it.  Mike Turner photo

Chunky Monkey 12b: completely rebolted with SS

Mono Loco 14a: New route!  first route bolted (SS) and sent under the new NPS climbing management plan.

Climax Control 5.13b: 3 new SS bolts and top anchors.  Remaining bolts removed and inspected.

Travisty 5.13c: 2 bolts replaced with SS

Super Whiny Bugs 5.14a:  completely rebolted with SS

Whiny Bugs: rusty pin replaced with 1/2" SS bolt

Mulatto Serpent 5.12b: completely rebolted with SS

David Gibbons on Disturbance.  Safe above new SS bolts!

Genocide Cave: Done!

Genocide 12a:  rusty pin replaced with SS bolt and SS top anchors

Green Envy 12c  and Disturbance 11d:  Two of the best in the gorge completely rebolted with SS

Blood Meridian 12d:  two rusty pins replaced with one SS bolt

Burning Buttress: Done!

Kurt Smith had a big hand in this by putting SS top anchors on the trad routes:

Happy Hands 5.9, Spider Wand 5.10b, Wham Bam Thanks for the Jam 5.10b, Burning Calves 5.10b, Rod Serling Crack 5.10b, Quick Robin to the Bat Crack 5.10a

Elaina Smith on Burning Calves.  New SS top anchors.  Mike Turner photo.

Porter Jarrard took care of the mixed classics:

Will to Power 11c R: New 12mm SS bolt at the crux before the looooong runout!  New SS top anchor
Chorus Line 12c:  4 new 12mm SS bolts in the right places this time!
Steve Martin's Face 11c:  New 12mm SS bolt to replace Andrew Barry's super dangerous expansionless carrot bolt!

Fade to Black 12b:  completely rebolted with SS
Sportster 5.13b:  4 bolts replaced with 12mm SS
Grace Note 12b:  Classic!  completely rebolted with 12mm SS
Ad Lib 12d:  rusty pin replaced with SS bolt

Gunnin' for the SS top anchors of Super Crack.  Mike Turner photo

Thunder Buttress:

Super Crack 5.9 and Gun Club 12c:  new SS top anchors
Beast in Me 12a: new SS top anchors
Screamer Crack 5.8 and Mushrooms 10a: new SS top anchors
Left 11d and Right 11c Sons of Thunder:  new SS top anchors, old bolt replaced with new SS bolt on right
Loud Noise 12b: new SS top anchor
Let's Make a Deal:  completely rebolted with SS

Ram's Head: new SS top anchors for rappell site

Estimated volunteer man hours required to complete this job.....?  A lot.  And that's just Beauty!  This represents just a fraction of the work completed recently.  Beauty has about 145 routes that are almost all in good shape now but that's just 145 of the 2500 routes in the gorge.  NRAC is fighting against time to replace the slowly deteriorating bolts that still lurk in the region.  Just know that merely attending the Rendevous raises money to continue this effort.  Donating money doesn't hurt either ;-)   As long as we continue to be supported by the climbers that love this region NRAC will continue to make it a safer place to climb.  See you all soon at the Rendevous