Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About BlackRock

  • Rank
  • Birthday 07/01/1978


  • Homepage
  • Occupation
    Gear Maker
  • Location
  1. Two jets crashed in March of 1956. They were USAF Northrop F-89D Scorpions part of the 321st Fighter Squadron out of Paine Field from 1955 to 1960. One crashed into the base of pop tart tower and the other about a 1000 feet South (away from the central "Jet Tower") on the slabs below another bulge formation on the ridge that I don't know the name of. Neither actually crashed into the formation named "Jet Tower", but close enough... We found both impact zones with gouged granite, etc. Parts are all over the place. It's truly amazing to see the destruction. The largest pieces of wreckage left are the Allison J-35 Turbojet engines. Still intact but twisted mangled pieces. You can see huge steel geared plates with teeth sheared off and taco'd like a rim of a bike tire. Here is one of the turbojets still under snow from an early trip up in July. After that trip I had to do more research on the crashes because they were simply so amazing. You can also see the oil pack turbo cooler in the foreground with serial plates and numbers matching the production info for the Scorpions as well. Luckily we went back in August to clean the route more and got to see way more wreckage after more snow melted out. We didn't see any pieces on route but we did trundle a few thousand pounds of rock. No bolts, webbing, slings or anything left on the route either. We also don't plan to put any hardware on the ridge either, so no worries CrazedManiac. The only thing we left was the draw Micah dropped while on route
  2. It turned out to be a really sweet climb. Right out in the open too. It's rad you guys got on it this season! Visible from the main trail even. I've been looking at those peaks on the ridge from the Illusion wall for the last few years. Last year while on the Page I got the best view I'd had and simply had to go find a way up to it. Glad we got out early this year! We ended up approaching from further up the valley too, so no Illusion wall approach. Not necessarily easier, but shorter at around 5hrs+. In all the approach is awful, but we did lots of work on the approach making it sort of doable to cross the river and work through old growth. I'll write up everything in more detail when I get a TR together. We called it "The Scorpions Tale" because of the two F-89 Scorpion Jets that crashed on the ridge over 60yrs ago and because it weaves back and forth across the arete like a tail. The wreckage is really amazing and found simply all over the ridge. There is even a bivy rock that sleeps two comfortably and as Otto mentioned the route would be good for a one or two day trip. Hike in day one, climb, bivy and hike back out. Here is Micah at camp a 5min walk from the base. You walk off the back and down the gulley Otto describes in the far left of the pics. 1 rope, alpine setting and amazing weather made for a superb trip. Here is that ultra sweet bivy rock. Damn, life was good. Another obligatory summit shot. Those two "Totems" were amazing. I felt like they might represent the two jets that crashed below the ridge. One of the best summit tops I've ever been on for sure. Good work guys!
  3. Chris Greyell

    This is just awful. I am terribly saddened by this. My condolences to Chris's family. He was a great guy and such super routes out in Squire Creek. I ran into Chris a number of times on the trail, always pumped up and ready to go. He was usually hiking twice as fast though, always on the move and ready for more rock. He will sorely be missed.
  4. [TR] Squire Creek - Oso Rodeo 9/8/2012

    I almost never bring a camera nor do I TR anything. However, Matt did talk me into bringing my camera and I did snap off a couple shots at the Grotto... So here ya go Stewball. After that pic I gave Matt the camera but he failed to take any shots either. You're just so amped, as you can see, to get on all that slab that you can't be bothered with anymore glamour shots. Then by the time pitch 15 rolls around and you've slowed down enough to snap a shot the sun has sucked the life out of you and your only thought is topping out so you can start the raps and get the F@*k off... As for that first pitch we'd already decided to forgo the boat anchor. I said I'd take the pitch and just roll with it. Light and fast was the goal of the day. I did notice the flake in the right flare was expando, but a nicely slotted green alien cammed all the way was bomber. I was also hoping for a bit of a top out, after leading P19 and hanging in that awful v-slot belay I was expecting a tree crawl and bushwhack to a sitting spot on the ridge for the final pitch. There sure looked like a tunnel through the knarly trees just above the anchor so I got a bit disgruntled when it ended a short 20m or so up from the last belay. I would agree that for all the mileage you get on route the lack of a top out was minor. On pitch 18 Matt snagged the LA and dumped a piece in the crack too. I think it was just the last set of moves off the final bolt to an edge that got the blood flowing. We were both sweating "just a tad" and would have preferred a couple 5.6 pitches to end the day. I definitely like the occasional pin on route though. A few up there if I remember. One on 11 and 18, another somewhere before 10 and another at P19. Those last couple pitches were the money though. I definitely put in some work on P19. After pulling that traversing face around the corner I'd hoped it was over but that angled ramp then out onto the arete had some exposure! That finishing layback just wasn't as positive as I'd have liked either... Wow! Another big route up in the SQ and a great day out. Having a cold beer at the river is always a major bonus and a stellar way to finish any day up there.
  5. Yosemite tick list for 2 day trip

    So much to climb and so little time. I'd probably focus on anything that is really easy access. There are lots of crags like Church Bowl where you can hammer out a pitch or two if your plans fall apart like Bishops Terrace which is an amazing long pitch of 5.8 handcrack, but cragging doesn't do Yosemite justice. Manure Pile Buttress has no approach and two super classics: -Nut Cracker 5.8 5p -After Six 5.7 6p Descent is a quick 20 minute hike back to the parking lot. Then there is the Five Open Books cliff near the falls and Camp IV which also has no approach and a good number of super classic fun routes. -Commitment -The Surprise -Munginella You can easily walk back to the base and go for another 3-4 pitch route or you can hit Selaginella on the second tier for a 6-8 pitch day. All the routes are 5.6 to 5.9 or 10- and four stars. Selaginella is actually a pretty nice interesting route too. Then you've got Central Pillar of Frenzy which is a real classic 5 pitch 5.9 handcrack which is an easy approach and a simply rap back off the Middle Cathedral. There is also Super Slide which is 'ok' but listed as a super classic 5.8/9 that is really close and of course if you are feeling up to it Sons of Yesterday and Serenity Crack is a must do but clocks in at a pretty solid 5.10. There are so many routes up there it's hard to list them all. There are lots of bigger routes or others that are a bit further off the trail, but if you don't necessarily have two full days and just want to get a bunch of pitches then I think I've ticked off most of the super easy access classics I can think of. PM if you'd like, I'm sure I have more rattling around.
  6. I'm happy to announce that TiGoat retailers now carry the Black Rock Hat. Just in for the climbing season and ready to ship, now tax free for Washington climbers! At less than an ounce there is no reason to hit the backcountry with a cold head. Tucked in a pocket or stuffed in your pack there is no better way to be prepared for your alpine adventures. See us in this months issue of Rock and Ice or check out the field tested review online and order yours today.
  7. I would highly recommend alot of stretching, icing and eventually simple hanging to help recover your shoulder. Years ago I shattered the end of my clavicle where it meets up with your scapula. They removed my bursa sack, the end of my clavicle and a couple of ligaments. I was out for nearly 6 months, but that was mainly due to all the soft tissue damage of the actualy surgery to fix and clean things up. Once the soft tissue and stitched muscle healed up I was able to gradually build strength back up. It took quite a while, but my shoulder is more or less 100% again. I'm missing about 3 inches of clavicle and alot of connecting ligaments, but I have no more grinding or other issues. Climbing is such low impact though. I'd just take it easy and work back into it slow. The more PT exercises you can learn the better.
  8. Fall Alpine Objectives?

    Last weekend while heading over the pass towards Vantage there looked to be snow on most of Stuart. Not sure how low it went but my guess is most of the enchantments got a dusting. Prusik might be low enough though. Anybody got any pictures of the enchantments lately?
  9. Nice looking route! I've always thought the whole area was under-developed although it may not stay that way very much longer. That's what I would have thought when I first went up there with another buddy about five years ago, but it's a really long slog to take enough ropes, aid and cleaning gear to get something done. I think that's kept people away. We took pictures of the Tempest roof and the Scoop pitches way back when hoping some day we might head back up to get something new. Last year when Matt and I headed up there we brought a good amount of gear with plans to get on something new and even scoped out what turned into the first two pitches but ran out of go juice after doing The West Face and hiking the gulley two days in a row. Instead we bummed it around the lake and put up Sunchips which is a micro nut in comparison to this one There are definitely more pitches up there. Stewart did a bit of exploring on the last day but I've got to say I'm pretty burnt out after all the cleaning and slogging we did with big packs to want to go back up there. It's going to take some time for the lichen to work its way out of my eyes before I can see straight again.
  10. It was such a good trip and a bonus finding a great line. The Scoop is one of the best pure crack pitches I've ever done. Camping below the face around the boulders has to be one of my favorite places in the enchantments as well. I think this picture sums up what our trip was really about. Teamwork!
  11. Cleaning at Index

    My buddy and I went up to "Clay" a couple weeks ago and dug it back out. It's on the upper town wall just left of the Zipper. It's a really amazing climb.
  12. camping at yosemite in mid june

    There is usually a line most days for Camp IV in mid summer, but things usually only fill up completely on Friday's and Saturday's. If you show up early most other days chances are you'll get a spot. Our usual drill goes something like this. Drive all day Saturday and camp somewhere near Sacramento (~12hrs). With about 4 more hours to the Valley we'll try to make it to the gates by about 9am. Our first plan of action is to head straight to Camp IV and see about getting a spot at around 10am. If we don't get a spot then we'll head back over to Curry Village and hit up the ranger shack for paid car camping. Spots may open throughout the day and there may already be a list of people ahead of you, but it's worked for us a few times. If that looks bleak we'll head to the Ranger station by the post office for backcountry permits and try to pick one of those up for "hiking" leaving the next day. If you plan to hike beyond Little Yosemite out of the technical "valley" you can usually always get them. With that pass, you can then spend your approach and descent night at the backpackers campground in prep for your trip. Then at least you'll be in the Valley and ready to get in line and start it all over again the next day. The last option is commando camping... Good luck.
  13. Index Lower Town Wall Access Issue

    Wow, this is aweful. I couldn't imagine losing Index to a new quarry operation. It kind of dwarfs our debates on bolting ethics On a serious note, what is the current status of climbing? I was there in February and plan to head straight back next sunny dry day. Are we in danger of being ticketed and towed? Who can we email, what can we do? I've probably spent the last 5 years practically living at Index and won't know what to do if it disappears. It's simply the only good crag in the state from my point of view. Lots of history though, maybe we could protect it in some way based on that?
  14. Training for a Yosemite Big Wall

    For my partner and I, big link up days at Index have been key but we usually aren't planning to haul. Those days are what prep us for speed up the big stone. Aid to free is important, short fixing is important and learning to lower out I think is more important than doing a penji for the leader. Crack jugging is also important if you are going for speed and learning to simply jug really fast helps too. Cam hooks are definitly key, heck they never leave my aiders when I'm solely aiding. I don't like Yates adjustable daisies though, in fact I hate them. They are just too slow for me, but one of my partners just loves his, so I think it's a personal preference and climbing style. They are nice however for harder aid, but thats not really a problem for most of what you'll probably get on. Same goes for etriers vs ladders. If I'm speed climbing something like the Nose then I only take a single pair of etriers with one on each daisy, but if I'm just aiding something like Zodiac then I'd prefer to have two pair of etriers or ladder style aiders. Again, a preference in my mind. A good trick my buddy taught me was the sling around the wrist trick for the follower. You girth hitch a super thin sling, like 7mm or so, around your wrist. It's usuall best if you can do it over your glove though too. Then when you get to a traversing pendulum while cleaning you feed the sling through whatever piece of permanent gear is there like a pin or bolt, etc. You feed it through then grab the other end which allows you to pull up onto that arm unweighting your piece or just the rope so you can unclip it. Then you simply extend your arm out and let go of the sling which gets pulled back through the piece and you go for a ride. Another good one that I recommend is learning to use the double figure eight "bunny ears" as your anchor. It's a quick anchor when you have bolts at most belays and is a perfect setup for short-fixing whether you are speed climbing or just aid climbing and hauling. Here is a link to it: http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/BunnyEars.htm I've got lots of other tricks for speed aid and speed climbing, but I think just going to the Valley and getting on some climbs is what will help the most.
  15. Training for a Yosemite Big Wall

    What sort of Big Wall? There is a big difference between getting on something that is mostly pure aid vs something which has a good amount of free climbing in it. Supertopo might show a bunch of 5.8 and 5.9 pitches on a climb but those can quickly turn impossible to free if you've spent all your energy hauling or dragging up tons of gear. As for getting in shape I do alot of running and alot of big training days at Index. One of our Big Wall circuits at index is to do Rattle Tail then hike up and do a few pitches by the zipper. Then we walk over and do Town Crier followed by Green Dragon and then finish up on Davis Holland where we lap the first pitch on TR until it gets dark It makes for a long day but you end up getting about 10 pitches of aid and ten free pitches in. My overall recommendation is to just go. You won't be sorry you took a trip to the Valley. If you really want a big wall then figure out which wall you want, memorize it and figure out exactly how you'll get through the entire climb and then train for that. If you fail then you should have all the answers you need to go back and be successful on it next time.