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Everything posted by Cairns

  1. squamish gang bangers - excessive top roping

    park 1km north on Loggers Lane to equalize approach time. Solving the problem by reducing it to a previous problem which had already been screwed up.
  2. squamish gang bangers - excessive top roping

    Uphill. Maybe 15-20 minutes. Waaaay too far to go for any one pitch. Please provide a 1-to-1 mapping of Smoke Bluffs to Squaw.
  3. squamish gang bangers - excessive top roping

    Well it was mid-week and a 17 year-old, but another visiting climber wanted to lead Crime of the Century (onsight) last week but didn't because an old fart was trying and trying and trying to lead it. In this case I thought the youngster could perhaps mention that he would like a turn, but he says he didn't ask. Did you talk to any of these groups Mr. Webster? Why not just ask them if they could finish up?
  4. To those who might look at the topo of Astride My Indian Queen, it is a black chimney, not a blank or blind chimney (as I thought). For anyone who is tired doing of the corner/traverse on Birds of Prey at that point I suggest the obvious alternative to the left.
  5. Alpine Climbing

    Baring offers excellent views of nearby peaks, but as a climb from the W or S it is largely a subalpine forest exercise.
  6. favorite climbing quotes

    Concerned friend: "Aren't you hungry?" Romanian hardman: "It is good to be hungry." Rick Sylvester? after he he and his Romanian? hardman partner got knocked down by a near-miss lightning strike in the Alps: "Are you okay?" "Yes. I only hit in head." Message left by Vulgarians in the Bugaboos: "Turn back, turn back, you will all be killed." Pete Cleveland: "It weally aggwavated my hemawoids."
  7. Use of a Protective Aura seems overly cautious in those conditions.
  8. The Rest

    My level of The Rest, maybe, but only we night shift truly know how to zone out.
  9. The Rest

    i think assessing the terrain ahead is kinda mandatory when sequences must be developed. "left hand must go here so right hand can go there" type of stuff. yeah pay attention to the now, but also develop an approach to what's coming up. I'll correct myself, too. Assessing the terrain ahead can be a mistake for me, because my brain can only retain about 1-2 planned moves. The strenuous sustained sections I didn't specify were laybacks and hand cracks where left hand or right hand is hard to tell from below. Zen I don't know from a hole in the ground but much of my climbing is from a look-up table in my long-term memory. No calculation needed so it works fast. Speaking of holes, though, it has a few.
  10. The Rest

    It may be obvious that resting is helpful but it can be hard to do when needed most, on sustained strenuous sections. Something akin to the "mental vacation" can work, even in the absence of a rest stance. Just take about 2-3 breaths' worth to pause and relax a little. Applies to sport also. User retains creative control, just please don't whistle a merry tune. That's mine. Assessing the terrain ahead can be a mistake unless you are considering bailing. Stay tuned to the terrain you are on.
  11. [TR] Squamish BC - Polaris 8/6/2008

    There was a short wide crack section (with some bolts) after the enduro pitch, and the last couple pitches were less awesome, and you would again be a better man than I if you climb through the very short bolted 12 face, although I think an alpinist would do as I did and not waste time, there.
  12. [TR] Squamish BC - Polaris 8/6/2008

    By my calculations, at the #5 Camalot, approximately. I used 2 of those on the so-called Yosemite Crack of Squamish a couple weeks ago, plus several only slightly smaller pieces, and once we work out the system of putting all that stuff in a padded sack at the top of the pitch and tossing it down, it will almost make sense to haul the weight, but only that far. I "know" I did that pitch twice before with nothing larger than a #4 Friend but if 3 bolts appeared on it, it would not be such a tragedy, in my opinion. Thanks for showing us Polaris. It looks like a good hot weather route. I don't know about Cedar Wright, but I think Kris looks like Jim: Hey Cairns... I took the wussy method and only used a single big cam (new #5 camalot, i think??) on the yosemite crack to do cerebus...just shoved the thing up in front of me...tr all the way...didn't seem to be too big of a deal to carry it up for that... same with pipeline...two big cams only...a #6 friend, pushed until tipped, then #9 VG and a qd for the bolt... You have better mind/body coordination than I do, perhaps related to having better mind and body. I don't know if I could have survived the extra work of pushing a cam up that thing. However, when I tried to climb past my placements I tended to invert them with my knees. After thinking about it, I would use longer slings and if I were leaving a cam I would put it way back in the crack because there is no reason not to. We did Yosemite Crack to approach Cerberus and then Milk Run to approach Cerberus and then finally walked through the Bulletheads to the top and rapped to it: definitely the way to go! Me on Cerberus was like a retired ball player trying to come back but only hitting .057 Next target is Tantalus Wall. And, of course, Polaris.
  13. [TR] Squamish BC - Polaris 8/6/2008

    By my calculations, at the #5 Camalot, approximately. I used 2 of those on the so-called Yosemite Crack of Squamish a couple weeks ago, plus several only slightly smaller pieces, and once we work out the system of putting all that stuff in a padded sack at the top of the pitch and tossing it down, it will almost make sense to haul the weight, but only that far. I "know" I did that pitch twice before with nothing larger than a #4 Friend but if 3 bolts appeared on it, it would not be such a tragedy, in my opinion. Thanks for showing us Polaris. It looks like a good hot weather route. I don't know about Cedar Wright, but I think Kris looks like Jim:
  14. First Trad Fall

    That was a while ago. I think the piece was an apple my partner gave me. I would have got back to you sooner but I was out getting the swages on my trigger wires replaced. What stands out in particular are several episodes when I may have endangered a younger more innocent partner, such as G-Spotter traumatized by the piece of gear older than he was. There was also Dave Fremes leading Agitez Bien at Metcalf Rock and Ian Bennett leading Serenity Crack, as the gunpowder taste crept in, as I pictured explaining to the parents. I think my first trad fall was Cleveland's Climb at Quincy Quarry. It was on toprope but it was a real fall because of stretch in the goldline and a swing. The first lead fall was on the FA of the roof of Welcome to the Gunks. A stopper behind a flake pulled the flake. The second piece was a nut in a good placement. The fall was about 10'. The belayer was Demetri "Jim" Kolocotronis.
  15. Crazy meetings in the mountains

    Sure. Every time out, in fact. But just once, in South Africa's Northern Province, after being lost, ill equipped, and plain f--ed up for a couple days, we met a couple of children returning from their day at school 3 hrs (for them, not for us) down the mountain.
  16. Solo? Have you or do you?

    When Mark started describing a climb to me that we'd both done, and got to the part he wasn't climbing the ice but had actually become part of the mtn....part of the ice... I took another swig of beer and just smiled. I think there are times even he actually believes some of that Me? I'd like to see the pictures. Mark has done some ridiculously hard Alpine solos [snip]. He has more than paid his share of dues. I thought he founded his own club. I would like to see a picture of my camera having an out-of-body experience.
  17. Solo? Have you or do you?

    Those are antics? I remember Mark Twight at UW Rock telling Dan Lapesca and me that soloman had done N. Ridge of Stuart and realizing he was using 3rd person. If you can see into someone else's head you are a better person than I, and if you think you know your own mind, well maybe you have done some serious soloing. Personally, I don't want to get to know myself that well. Way way back we deferred to Richard Goldstone as he chalked up (didn't know what he was putting on his hands until a couple years later) to solo Hawk, 5.4, at the Gunks. Didn't know who he was at the time, either, but from his climbing it was obvious he knew what he was doing, and he was an adult, so we didn't try to re-direct his play to a safer outlet. A couple years after that I was living in Poughkeepsie and an actual 'soloist community' did appear with people in it not very different from myself. Most of the people I knew started soloing just for the novelty of it and some found it more attractive than others. I did some 5.2s and towards the top of one of those near the Uberfall a girl on an adjacent route (about 5 feet over) looked at me with an unusual look, let's just say not an indifferent look. Up in the Adirondacks one winter on the way in to practice building an igloo I noticed a short cliff off the trail with a steep but doable-looking corner. 2/3s of the way up it I looked down and noticed an unpleasant sensation on not seeing the usual rope running through biners. My bread-and-butter climbing reward is going up a ways, getting nervous, putting in gear, feeling much much better, and repeat. Or is that meat-and-potatos? However, there are far superior delights to partake of, for a price. Like Dean Potter, Derek Hershey was said to have said, "If you don't let go of the rock, it won't let go of you." George H. of Squamish soloed past us on Dierdre a few years ago. He slipped briefly as he went by the bulge about halfway up where we were parked on the Passing Lane anchors. It did not seem to bother him. If I lived in Squamish I know I would be strongly tempted to solo because of the ease of it and the lack of hassle coordinating with a partner, but my brain loses track of what it is doing too easily to make soloing a frequent activity. Fortunately I live in West Van where I can climb frequently ropeless and mindless. There is still a small chance of getting smashed on rocks at low tide, but I have the rehearsal thing down tight and the fact that nothing bad has happened the last 200 or so times. A curious thing I've noticed more than once: when another climber is around when I'm in don't-fall territory my mind can be more relaxed than when solo solo. A climbing photographer came out to Lighthouse Park once and I did stuff I hadn't done before and felt perfectly safe doing it. LHP has poorer landings than the other place. Although the shots of me came out well, I was told that there wasn't enough detail in the watery backdrop. No crashing waves. Soloing is weird in that it might be totally irrational yet take a highly rational mind to do well. Talk to Richard Goldstone about it on gunks.com
  18. I fall down....

    A good story from the bad side. Well worth the effort it may have taken to tell. I see myself in every account of an accident that I read. Not perhaps in the preamble but in the stomach-tightening details of the injuries. At this stage, 40 years in, the accumulation of safe adventures threatens to quiet the voice of common sense. You tend to forget how pain can change you. Your story came right in through the defenses.
  19. Rant about your "Freedom"

    How many pages?
  20. Amer Alpine Club Harms Climbers

    I suppose I should declare myself strongly against garbage. And loud music, and snoring. But I can live with them if the price is cheap. In related news, why is Johndavidjr STILL dredging up Appies versus Vulgarians? That was over even back in my Gunks era of 1968-1973. Obviously the legends persist but PLEASE forgive and forget the long long long ago idea of the AMC to certify climbers. Very soon after the AAC opened its cabin in the Tetons we drove in to meet up with a friend of mine staying there. We arrived late and slept beside the car on the road to the camp. We had been doing the same pretty much all over the country but should have thought twice about trying it in a National Park. The AAC digs were very nice, I think they even had showers, but the clientele and ambiance were notably different to the climbers at Jenny Lake campground. I can understand the attraction of being able to make reservations, though, for people who work for a living. Surely there is room for the AAC to operate a nice clean quiet lodging near the Gunks. And garbage isn't all bad. You can only take so many pictures of flowers. The piles of rusty cans and broken glass I came across in corners of Utah looked pretty good, sort of like relics of an ancient lost civilization.
  21. 24 Fifty Foot Falls later...

    Ha, Ha, if he can find it this time.
  22. Amer Alpine Club Harms Climbers

    The former free camping zone below the Chief springs to mind. Now it's regulated, has proper sites, shelters, outhouses, and costs money, but in the late eighties it was squalid free camping with a fair bit of garbage, the surrounding woods covered in toilet paper blooms, and piles of foul smelling char and wire from steel belted radial bonfires. The free camping along the south shore of the Tieton River is often a garbage strewn wasteland, I spent a solid half hour cleaning up garbage at the last site I stayed in there on Memorial Day weekend. Free things are cool, but usually only if most people don't know about it. Humanity en masse can be a pretty ugly thing. I think that your picture of the former Campground Wall free camping is selective and possibly exaggerated. However, the late 80s is the one block of time I can't personally account for. Yes, things look and smell better when someone is paid to clean up and/or supervise, but humanity en masse can take care of itself fairly well, too, just not to a degree acceptable to everyone. I believe free or cheap options for camping are usually seen as good policy lest too many users go underground and money must be spent on hounding them out of the bushes. Surely there is a mix of conventional and free-rider use at many climbing campsites including the venerable Yos which is a crowded area at times of the year.
  23. Amer Alpine Club Harms Climbers

    Could you please give me a few more evils to choose among? I am not good at either/or choices. Also, I am not sure I would want to associate with climbers who want to pay a nominal fee for a hot shower after a sultry day. Unless the free campers were allowed to come use the showers at the AAC facility, that is, for a nominal fee, say 50 cents? The generation gap seems to be showing, again. I'm not sure what all Jim Donini was responding to but he seems a mite on the defensive. Of course I respect him and I respected Jim McCarthy when he was AAC President. As long as they don't try to police the climbing world and clean up all the bad acts. Climbing organizations may do good by mediating between selfish climbers and uber-bureaucracies but having a foot in 2 worlds can be awkward. There needs to remain a place for people with next-to-no-funds and in the near future it may need to be quite a large place. The stodgy old AAC types we don't need to worry about. Most of them most of the time, anyway.
  24. Huge fall at Smith

    Did it look anything like this? If memory serves, I went to the top of p2, in 2 pitches, where the climb did get scary where the angle kicked back but the pro looked scarce. I don't remember the distances.
  25. Huge fall at Smith

    Ah, a voice of reason, not to mention first-hand. That could have been it.