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About fgw

  • Birthday 11/30/1999


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    Portland, OR

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  1. “Visited Spitzkoppe while in Namibia last year. Hard climbing on sparsely protected slabs for the most part.” Yeah, we did more backing off/bailing than climbing in that place – runouts and exfoliating granite (& most routes were too hard). Regret not trying the standard route to the summit – supposedly a pretty good adventure. That place in Morocco looks cool. There’s another new (?) area being developed up north apparently (bolted, multi-pitch); either Assemouk or Rif on this page: http://www.christian-ravier.com/toporaviermaroc.html If you enjoyed climbing above quiet, traditional villages (w. calls to prayer), try to check out Wadi Rum in Jordan if you haven't already. Long trad routes.
  2. JayB - nothing really special insurance-wise. Have the AAC membership that I think comes with some benefits & keep the mazamas membership which also apparently has something...maybe it's time for me to look at that fine print.
  3. thanks gents. About the Duiwelskloof, never got a photo of the wall Lucifer is on but it's deeper in the canyons than what's shown in approach pics. Most of the multi-pitch trad lines apparently get climbed once/decade nowadays - Rocklands bouldering & sport climbing absorb almost all Cape Town climbers. Only found out about it by stumbling onto Ross's website. Turns out those things (multipitch trad FAs) are published in a S.A. Mountain Club journal - hard copies only. 3-4 hrs in the heat felt like hard approaches but really not that much compared to a good schwack in the cascades.
  4. Trip: Morocco, South Africa - multiple Trip Date: 12/30/2017 Trip Report: Africa Sampler Got a chance to do two Africa climbing trips this past year: two weeks in Morocco in May and two weeks in South Africa over Christmas. Polar opposites and not just in their location on the continent; the climbing in the two places could not have been any more different: bolted cracks vs. trad protected faces; well-traveled limestone vs. overgrown sandstone; easy approaches vs. steep bushwhacks; lots of climbers vs. none; sweet tea vs. booze. In Morocco, we checked out Taghia (pretty place but the really stunning lines were too hard for us) and Todra (less dramatic but with more moderates); in South Africa, we stuck to the Western Cape Province. We knew that Morocco had big walls with long climbs but were surprised to find 500 meter tall faces in the Western Cape. Morocco was easily self-organized. South Africa would’ve been as well until I stumbled onto a website describing some long traditional climbs in places I’ve never heard of. Ended up hiring the admin of that site and longtime local climber, Ross, to be our “fixer” – take us to those obscure gems but let us climb them on our own. Both places represent the easier shade of Africa travel – no coup d'etats, no jihadists. Though a community Facebook page called “Snakes Of South Africa” – where the good folks share their serpent run-ins – had us paranoid to the point of buying “snake gaiters”. People do get bitten and some die every summer in SA, particularly in rural areas. No mambas in Western Cape but almost everything else on the list. More spray and more photos on our site. Morocco South Africa Some Pics: Arriving in Marrakesh: Roadside eatery. Key beta: bring Tabasco sauce (family sized bottle is best). From Marrakesh, you drive 3ish hours into the Atlas Mountains where the road ends in the village of Zaouia Ahansal. From here, you hike 2 hours into the village of Taghia while a donkey carries your gear. First views of the climbing. Hiking through Taghia village to the climbing. Next day we climbed what is probably the easiest route there (6 pitch, 6a+) called La Reve d’Aicha. Looking up at Paroi des Sources (left) and Taoujdad. Did the first 4 (of 8) pitches of this l’Allumeur Du Reve Berbere route. Bailed off as it was baking in the sun and already plenty hard for us. Berber bridges. Some light canyoneering on a rest day. Views of Taoujdad. An 8 pitch line called El Geonauta on Taoujdad. Which features some spelunking. Arriving on the summit of Taoujdad Weren’t super thrilled with climbing in Taghia (hard) and so we decided to relocate to Todra Gorge. Apparently the scenic way to do this is to hike across the Atlas Mountains (35+km or about 12ish hours) which then puts you within a 2hr taxi ride of Todra. This unlucky donkey got to carry our junk on this little hike. A Berber family doing their own high mountain crossing. I woke up feeling sick the morning of the hike and so was dragging ass behind the donkey, his owner, and Shirley…have not suffered like that in a while. Village of Oussikis on the far side of the hike…Alhamdulillah!! Storks nesting atop a minaret of a mosque was a common sight. Town of Boumalne on the drive to Todra. We stayed in a guest house outside the gorge in Todra. The owner’s son is a climber and actively putting up new routes. But we were the only guests. An aqueduct at the mouth of Todra Gorge. Starting up a route called Tiwira, 6 pitch 6a+. Some views. Hiking off. Checking out the local Kasbah. Voie Abert climbs this pillar inside the gorge in about 8 or 10 pitches (6a+). High on the route. A large and old Kasbah Ait Benhaddou near the city of Ouarzazate. More Kasbah sights. At a roadside café. Maybe I cannot onsight Taghia’s 6b+, but I can sure put away watermelon like a mother… Souk in Marrakesh. Cat selling gold in the souk. Animal abuse at the Jamaa el Fna square in Marrakesh. Welcoming alcohol back in our lives during an overnight layover in Amsterdam. Amsterdam. And Amsterdam (man, those black shoes totally clash with the outfit). Shirley looking for a toilet during a long layover in London on the way to Cape Town. Arriving in Cape Town with Table Mountain in background: Final portion of a 3h approach to a route called Mooloo Face the following day – prow of the buttress visible at the head of the gully. 20+ pitches per description but easily linked into <10. Stretching our 70 meter cords and linking the first handful of pitches. I’m near the top & Shirley is belaying below. Photo by our “fixer” Ross. Arriving on top. Jonkershoek Twins (home of Mooloo Face). Freshly shed Cape cobra skin seen on approach. Hiking into Duiwelskloof with 500 meter walls towering above. We’d spend two nights there and climb a long (18 pitch) route called Lucifer the following day. Low on Lucifer the following morning. Shirley on Lucifer with Devil’s Tooth in the background. Crux of Lucifer. Note the 2 micro cam belay anchor. Very trad: ~500 meters of climbing and only fixed shit we saw were 2 ancient pins (2 more than on Mooloo). Money traverse pitch high on Lucifer. Shirley on the upper third. Hike off from the top was loooong but scenic. Kind of like Resolution Arete but with more time spent on top of the wall traversing rolling summits to access the descent gully. Ready for a beer. Snakes were never far from our minds. Did a bit of sightseeing during a 2 day break over Christmas. African penguin at Boulders Beach. Table Mountain from Cape Town. Some cragging at a place called Paarl Rocks – a collection of large granite domes sitting on top of a large hill. This is an area classic called Sands Of Time (4 pitches and about 5.9). Shirley and I on pitch 3. Photo by Ross. Did 2 routes in this here Yellowwood Amphitheater of Du Toits Kloof Mountains. Crux of a route called Lekker Time. Photo from the base by Ross. One more from Lekker Time (Afrikaans for Good Time). Four evening’s worth of sending. For the final climb, we hiked up to one of the Apostles (buttresses) of Table Mountain to climb Slangooli Frontal route. Morning approach. Ho-hum climbing mostly but with great views. A bit of vertical bushwhacking. The scenic hike down. Cape Town sights. Gear Notes: Bring Tabasco esp. for Morocco. No trad in Morocco (where we went); Mostly trad in Western Cape. Approach Notes: A mixed bag.
  5. thanks guys. I'd guess it's mostly humidity & cloudiness. Think both places are far enough from huge population centers that it's not smog & the sun did come out in Yangshuo eventually.
  6. Trip: Southern China Sampler - Multiple Date: 9/4/2016 Trip Report: Southern China Sampler Two weeks and three locations across southern China covering a wide spectrum of settings. From the very rural Getu, to the very touristy Yangshuo, and including urban cragging in Hong Kong. Noodles, dumplings, dim sum and a touch of multi-pitch climbing on steep and sharp limestone surrounded by post-card perfect Chinese landscapes. For more text filler, a couple short video "haikus" and many more photos, check out our webpage: http://chossclimbers.com/testing/china/ Photo highlights are below. Beijing - too bad the layover was only 4 hours: Road hazards on the drive to Getu: Tire blow-out (not giving a shit seemed to be the name of the driving game): The now famous Getu - nothing easy on those formations. Except for a shitty, wet and flared chimney to off-width pitch inside the Great Arch. 4-star setting, no-star climbing. Photo by our "local enabler" Ola: Lower Arch from the inside: Also did some deep water soloing that day (photo by Ola): Our four afternoons/evenings in Getu were spent trying to get the water in our room turned on, drinking shitty beer, and playing with local wildlife: In the next couple days we climbed all the "easy" multi-pitch routes (all 3) in the area. The best one was a 7 pitch, 6b line called "Golden Boy" on the amazing SE face of Pussa Yan mountain: Hazy views were enhanced by the presence of rice paddies: Steep and thuggish climbing that we normally try to avoid (in other words, hard for us): Shirley near the top: Steep bushwhack on the descent: In addition to some loose rock (airmailed one the size of a dresser from near the top), there were other hazards. Some pissed off local wildlife on the approach: A farmer taking his cattle and bird for a walk in Getu: Besides bad beer, local vodka and a pool table were the other post-climb entertainment options in Getu: Always the gentleman: On a rainy day, we hiked into the mountains to see a cave village: Complete with a basketball court: A farmer tilling his small patch of land with the aid of a cow: Clean Heel route: Miao women dressed in their traditional garbs at a highway toll plaza in a town called Ziyun: Women sitting on balls listening to a monologue delivered by a woman holding a cock. Guiyang. High speed rail link between Guiyang (near Getu) and Guilin (near Yangshuo)...480km in <2 hrs: From the rural, we moved on to the touristy (Yangshuo): Our days would start with some decent coffee and a session of trying to get the scooters to start: More steep limestone climbs. This is 5 pitches up Grandfathered In: Pretty black colored limestone on Happy New Year route (and a couple sweat drops on the lens): Despite being touristy, Yangshuo is chockfull of natural beauty: Shirley loving the steep limestone climbing in the sauna (this actually was the one trad line we climbed on the trip): A fisherman on the Yu Long River: One of the climbs involved a 50 meter free air rap off a karst summit, followed by a 50 meter tunnel through the karst and some more rappelling...kind of unique: Yangshuo at sunrise: Then we moved on to Hong Kong where we had an 18 hour layover and so we prearranged to be taken out to Lion Rock for a quick multi-pitch climb. Alpine start with Hong Kong below: Gweilo to Wards Grooves - about 5 short pitches on some nice if a bit greasy granite (humid environment): The views were spectacular in a unique sort of way. Not wilderness but the dim sum was to die for. On the hike down: From there it was off to Bali, Indonesia for a couple days of touristy beach time a.k.a. mostly boredom. Bali: Robbery in progress at a temple: The monkeys there are not what you'd call "shy": Molotov cocktails for sale: The secret ingredient of Luwak coffee: And then it was time to go home. The only unplanned bivy on this trip: Gear Notes: Mandarin language skills.
  7. When we tried the route in '06 (did 3 pitches before bailing), I recall the first bolt on pitch 1 being way up there. When we came back in '12 & finished the route there was no more stress on P1...guessing those first 2 bolts that were missing might've been a retro-bolt job. Best multipitch in Oregon.
  8. man that looks fun - thanks! you walk off? which direction?
  9. Nice TRs and photos. You really didn't like that guidebook? We thought it was pretty accurate for the most part.
  10. Nice! How's the trail head access? Can it be done in a high(ish) clearance 2wd?
  11. That's a sweet bivy. Always wanted to try that route. Nice to get some input on the finishing slab too. Thanks for the TR.
  12. Nothing specific - just a prudent hunch (we did plan on moving around before the trip & actually stayed at Main de Fatma longer than initially planned).
  13. Thanks D. Yes, I think they found pottery on Kaga Tondo (others?). Which blows my mind considering some of those towers are 5.8-5.10- by easiest of lines (the phallic one on the far left is 7a min…don’t think they found pottery on that one).
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