Comments: Some actual geologists should weigh in, but I'm pretty sure the white stuff is some kind of cold water sandstone--and a particularly good batch at that. But it seems almost crystalline at times. Crazy good rock.
Comments: I guess I do. Sans crashpad, too. I wouldn't have set off on this one, either, but I thought the big edge up and right (with the tick marks on it) was a jug. It wasn't. I'd actually say the top is the crux, even though it's not as burly as the bottom.
Comments: It might be on the butt-dragger end of things, but the stone, movement, and crux keep you engaged. The finish will likely look easy, but don't be deceived: you may have to use your noggin on this one.
Comments: Okay, so I went here after reading Tyler's postings, and GOOD GOD, the rock quality is amazing. Seriously: it might have some of the best stone I've ever touched on the California Coast. You can actually have a solid session here, even though the volume of problems isn't as high as other areas. I can't believe I walked by these rocks for years, looked at them, and then just kept walking.
Comments: This moderate evokes the serious nature of Sierra Highballs! Proud, for sure. Crazy good stone with beautiful positioning. It felt like you could exit left early (and deprive yourself of the "true experience") or even exit up and left of the tree on top.
Comments: As always, way to be intrepid! When I was at Westmont back in 2001, and just getting in to climbing, I did a little bit of exploring up there, but it never amounted to much. Usually, we had ropes with us, and were on our way to the Tangerine Falls sport climbs. I can't tell you how many times we looked at those boulders and said "hmmm, there's probably some good problems..."
But again, we never did anything about it. Tony Becchio et al might know more. I think they spent more time back there. C... more >>
We always topped out the route sort of to the left, on a hand-crack just right of the anchors to Sword In The Stone. There's a lot of ways to finish, but this one had the best rock and coolest moves, and it made it convenient to lower off the SITS anchors. Also, for gear-junkies, there a amazing little pod that accepts a perfect #1 Camalot before you enter said penultimate hand-crack.
Comments: Left hand on sloper, right hand on open-hand edge, deadpoint with left hand to decent open-hand edge, then step LEFT foot high and midline to smeary hold, and high-step right out to hard-to-see foot. Once you weight the foot, it's mostly over. Top-out is more or less straight up from there. I do grab the finish jug of West Nile with my left hand, but that's literally as I top out.
I promise you I'm not being a sandbagger! It is tricky to figure out, but definitely in the V4-5 range.
Comments: We called this line "The Wicked Duke Takes A Wife", after a hilarious romance novel cover we saw at a used bookstore. No, I wasn't perusing the Romance Section. Even if I was, it's none of your business.
Comments: Grading was tricky. Thomas did it first, then me, then Dean. All of us thought it was in the 7-8 ballpark. But that's just three opinions. Personally, I grade traverses based on She Made Me Do It, which I believe is THE benchmark for V8 (locally), and a litmus test for how easy or hard something claims to be. Stone Cold Stunner felt about as hard as She Made Me Do It—maybe slightly easier, but not by much.
Comments: I could be wrong, but the problem referenced in the book actually refers to the LEFT exit. Same start as you described, but you bust left pretty early, grab a devious-but-awesome-looking thin crimp, and do some very, very hard presses on sloping holds. Way, way harder than V7, and judging by the look of the photo, full of moss at the moment.
Comments: The Red Line was always the popular "up" line on this stone. When Darren Odgers showed me around here years ago, we seemed to think it was V5. Whatever, who really cares. The climbing is great. The inimitable Joel (also known as Acid Joel... sorry if that's a deprecatory handle, Joel, but literally everyone I know called him by that name) climbed here TONS. Anyhoo, the rock is actually better than it looks (sometimes).
Comments: While it has fallen in to disuse in recent years (until recently), The Noir boulder has seen lots of attention from key players and psyched boulder-seekers like Russell Erickson (who initially cleaned the boulder), Jason Kamen, Bernd Zeugswetter, and Brian Spiering—to name just a few. Back in 2003 or 2004 (I think) I remember Jason Kamen working some hard traversing lines L-R, and I know for a fact that Bernd did literally every single hard "up" line in the creekbed, including Shake Junt (a la t... more >>
Comments: Suspect foothold has broken... while I was literally going to top the dang thing out. My bad. There is still a foothold there, it just isn't very big. It's maybe a half-grade harder? We'll see. This is an excellent problem, by the way.