Comments: I absolutely loved this route. Once someone (Bueller... Bueller) cleans the leaves out of the cracks, there's some nice finger-locks, hand-jams, and rather elegant face moves. Once I neared the top, I stepped left to finish on the upper face of Birthday Party, making for a diagonal exploration of the Tower. I highly recommend this variation!
Comments: I agree with Matthew: one of the more engaging routes in the area of this grade and style. I also agree with Matthew's "variation" suggestion towards the top. As with many routes at Panic Town, you can climb left or right on to adjacent routes. Call it choose-your-own-adventure.
Comments: Jeff, I'm not trying to say anything definitive about the actual grade: just that we climbed the wrong route, and it was a hoot. Best mistake of the season, in fact. Oh, and 5.9d is what I rate every route that's hard for me.
My buddy and I walked up to the PSOM slab, completely new to the area, and had no idea what route to get on. I heard tales about some "cruiser 5.9s" somewhere up and right of the lower routes, and armed with an old guidebook we attempted to find gold.
To make a long story short, we started up the John Fischer Memorial Route thinking it was Big Deal, which is apparently rated 5.9. Pitch after beautiful pitch unfolded before us, and while we secretly thought t... more >>
Comments: It took a three-year off-and-on-again battle with Chips for me to appreciate the true nature of the Tor. And if you were lucky enough to watch Elijah wage war with Hardboiled (I was) then you really understand how long and protracted redpoint battles can be. The Tor is a brutal mistress, and will not be slandered.
Comments: My friend Bernd Zeugswetter and I climbed this in June. Perfect rock climb—with the exception of the funky 11ish climbing before the upper 12b portion. Bernd onsighted the pitch (very impressively, I might add—he climbed up and down the 5.11 portion several times before committing) and I followed clean as I well. The lower portion isn't terribly hard, just weird and hard to protect since some of the flakes aren't totally solid. You CAN protect it, however. Just get creative.
The lighter we step, the longer we climb. Access will always be an issue around here.
Kelly, I noticed that Tyler et all were naming problems mainly out of clarity. I've spoken at length with Tyler about his development (or re-development, as it were) of areas around SB, and I think he would be psyched if you and others contributed FA info and names. That stuff makes for fun history. Same goes for the Creamery. I think everyone would gladly relinquish their "new" name... more >>
Comments: I have personally spoken with the manager of Windermere Ranch (in May), and he simply said "be careful, and don't do anything stupid". I introduced myself, explained who we were, and that was that. He seemed to be totally fine with things; his only concern was that we respect the "actual" Windermere Ranch boundaries—and that we didn't kill ourselves.
By the way, Grover didn't write the article; some out-of-towner did. Don't know him.
Grover loves the Tor.
To add to your comments regarding the B-yard: after the Gap Fire, the old B-yard trail disappeared and the new path hightailed it to the Yeti area. Basically, traffic at the Yard' thenceforth consisted of Yeti, Charlotte's Web, Grotesque Old Woman, Watch The Dog, Smooth Criminal, and Dancing Outlaw. Other areas fell in to relative obscurity. After ... more >>
Comments: Sean, you're talking to a guy who has dug miles of trails... and this is a GREAT idea. We just have to figure out how to do it legally and not piss off the wrong parties. Do you have a proper idea of where to start cutting? Hit me up at 805-729-8146 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Digging and cutting trails is the only thing I love more than climbing. That, and my wife.
Comments: So it turns out that perhaps Bernd WASN'T the first ascentionist. We went to the Noir Boulder together and while he did recognize doing lines like Shake Junt, ACL didn't jog his memory. So Seth probably nabbed first crank.
Anyhoo, Bernd and I put this one down this last Thursday night, on a cool June evening. Awesome sesh, and very memorable. I spent about three sessions working the problem, then sent on the fourth, with good conditions and fresh tips. I'm not terribly confident in grading thi... more >>
Comments: It finally occurred to me why this is called "Chunks of Flesh".
We held my wife's birthday at the BBQ boulder last Sunday, and cooked all sorts of greasy fare between intermittent laps on Chunks of Flesh. At some point, someone inadvertently smeared the high crimp with cooking-related grease, and every subsequent attempt of the problem resulted in an epic finger-pop slip from the crimp.
Comments: All I gotta say is uffda. Burly, to be sure.
Dean and I discussed this problem the other day, and we both agreed that provided you execute the moves with perfection, the sequence feels hard but doable—as in V7/8 doable. Personally, I lean towards Thomas's assessment of V8, but I too sent the problem on a hot day. I gotta say, if you botch any part of the sequence, or fudge your accuracy, then it all goes to crap and feels IMPOSSIBLE.
This problem should be on everyone's tick-list, if only f... more >>