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Member Since: Jan 25, 2008
Last Visit: 6 hours ago
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Ben Townsend
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Last Year: 79
Last 30 Days: 24
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1



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Contributions


All 115 | Routes 21 | Areas 1 | Photos | Page Improvements 1 | Comments 62 | Posts 2 | Stars 28 | Ratings
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: NH : Great North Woods Region : North Percy Peak : South West Face (5.4)
By: Ben Townsend When: 1 day ago

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Comments: Did this route for the second time on 8-31-15. Nailed the approach this time. Comments:

1. Stay horizontal on the traverse through the woods after leaving the trail. Disregard the first little 10' vegetated "cliff." The cliff mentioned in the description is about 30' high and vertical. Head up right under it until it's easy to continue traversing left (there's at least one scary-looking spot where it looks like you might be able to scramble up; keep going). Once you've cleared the cli... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Shaken, Not Stirred (5.9)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 27, 2015

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Comments: Attractive line, disappointing rock quality. Approach as for Schaeffer's Delight, but where that approach heads up right into the brush, diagonal about 50' left.

P. 1: Climb awkwardly up the initial corner past some loose blocks to the next big ledge. 5.7, 30'

P. 2: Face climb up the nicely varnished prow, trending up and left to a triangular alcove. This is a really enjoyable pitch. 5.7, 130'

P.3: Up the low-angle crack, then pull over the obvious roof and on to the varnished headwall. Climb... more >>


Location: ME : Camden Hills : Maiden Cliff : Blue Vein (WI5)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 25, 2015

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Comments: Bolted rappel anchor at the top allows a safe rappel with one 60m rope. In a big snow year, it may be buried, in which case a single 70m rope permits rappelling from a tree slightly higher.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Southern Outcrops : Illusion Crags : Mirage (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 24, 2015

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Comments: Stout for 5.7; I could believe 5.8 or even easy 5.9 (body size matters, I think). Single rack to #5 Camalot worked well, but I lost track of how many times I leapfrogged the #3 -- more than one of those might be in order.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Mud Spring Canyon : Chuckwalla 21 (5.9 PG13)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 22, 2015

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Comments: Agree on the Ballnuts. We didn't take them, but there were obvious spots where they would have worked well, especially before reaching the bolts on the first pitch.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Mud Spring Canyon : Chuckwalla 21 (5.9 PG13)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 22, 2015

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Comments: Approach: As you near the red cliff (Chinle Formation), there's a slightly confusing trail junction with cairns leading (1) down into the main wash, (2) straight ahead, and (3) uphill to the right. The ones on the right, which don't seem as obvious, lead to the long switchback north and back south described in Supertopo; the ones straight ahead lead to a third or fourth class slab that cuts out the switchback. No idea where the cairns down and left take you.

Closer to the climb, goin... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : The Rad Cliff : The Chamber of Secrets (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 19, 2015

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Comments: Burly for the grade. Standard rack to #4 Camalot, plus doubles on #2 and #3, seemed about right for doing the whole route in one pitch. Keeping the rope drag manageable is a challenge.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Southern Outcrops : Disappearing Buttress : Vanishing Act (5.9-)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 17, 2015

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Comments: Really nice climb; only the worrisome rock quality keeps it from being a four-star classic. On the second pitch, it seemed logical to follow the arete and hand crack on the left, instead of going into the chimney -- done this way, it didn't seem any harder than 5.8. Two #3 Camalots were nice for the hand crack. In retrospect, we should have broken the second pitch into two, belaying at the good ledge at about 100'. The third pitch is spectacular and airy.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Gentle Ben's Afternoon Deli... (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 12, 2015

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Comments: This route has some really fun climbing, but also more than its fair share of bushes and rubble.

The fixed stoppers mentioned in the description were not to be found. Basically, set the first pitch belay at the base of the obvious corner with the cracks. Second pitch follows the crack past one 5.8 move; persist straight up through the (grabby and annoying) trees to a nice sloping stance. Third pitch diagonals left on easy ground. The last pitch is likewise very easy, pretty much stra... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Lazy Buttress (5.6 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 9, 2015

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Comments: The first pitch can be quite well protected, though some of the placements are thoughtful --Tricams help. A few extra long slings might help minimize the rope drag. The 5.6 grade seemed realistic to me, but it would certainly be easy to make it harder by missing key opportunities to stem or chimney.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Crown Royal (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 7, 2015

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Comments: P. 1 is really nice and not very difficult. Not much of a belay ledge at the top.
P. 2 is awkward and a bit bushy. The oak trees at the top make for a cramped belay. Sadly, the beautiful crack directly above the first belay, which looks from below like a good alternative, ends in the middle of nowhere.
P. 3 is excellent. A second #4 wouldn't have been unwelcome, but there's enough variety to improvise other protection for the wide section. Great belay ledge.
We finished up the varnished ri... more >>


Location: NH : * NH Ice and Mixed Climbing : Cannon Ice Climbs : La Deepfreeze (WI3)
By: Ben Townsend When: Mar 7, 2015

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Comments: P1 is a rope-stretcher on rolling blue moderate ice.
P2 is a long snow section (may want to simul-climb to reach the highest tree belay).
P3 is moderate mixed climbing, about 100' to the trees.
The descent trail is only a few yards straight back from the top. In good late season snow conditions, butt-sliding the trail is very fast and easy, whereas rapping the route from trees would require two ropes and backtracking down the talus.


Location: NH : * NH Ice and Mixed Climbing : Dixville Notch : Beaver Brook Falls (WI2)
By: Ben Townsend When: Mar 7, 2015

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Comments: Located on NH Route 145, not US Route 3 as per the guidebook. Also, be aware that the actual ice climbing section is about 20' high, and the rest is walking.


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Echo Rock Area : Echo Rock : Echo Rock - East Face : Bambi Meets Godzilla (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Jan 26, 2015

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Comments: The 1986 edition of Randy Vogel's guidebook (the one with the glittery pink-purple cover, it was the 80s after all) briefly credited me with the FA of this route, as I had climbed it with Mingo Morvin in the spring of 1982 and reported it to Randy. It's such an obvious line I wasn't a bit surprised to learn it had been done previously. Even though we didn't do the FA, it appears the name we gave it has stuck. I remember thinking it was about at the top end of 5.8, or maybe easy 5.9.


Location: ME : Camden Hills : Barretts Cove Cliff : Heathrow (WI3+)
By: Ben Townsend When: Jan 3, 2015

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Comments: In typical conditions, a light rock rack is helpful for the first pitch.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Kraft Crags : Classic Crack of Calico (5.9+)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 30, 2014

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Comments: What a great climb! Sunny all day, and pretty sheltered from the wind until you top out. We did it in three pitches, plus moving the belay to the base of the last pitch. The descent gully is very intuitive, and extremely well cairned as soon as you find it.

I saw one bolt on the attractive face to the right of the first pitch; seems like it would be worth exploring.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : The Rad Cliff : Basilisk Fang (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 29, 2014

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Comments: An elegant, easy climb. We encountered no loose rock to speak of. The Dementor rap is longer and brushier than one might expect from the guidebook.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : The Rad Cliff : The Fright of the Phoenix (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 29, 2014

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Comments: Elegant, airy climb. The looseness seems to have abated. The descent is a bit involved: go up, scramble left and down to a rap down a slab, then traverse back right through a tunnel and scramble down to another rap.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Magic Mountain : Magic Triangle (5.9 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 29, 2014

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Comments: We replaced the jungle of old tat at the top of the first pitch with a solid static rope anchor and a beefy rap ring.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Brass Wall : Sniveler (5.6 PG13)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 29, 2014

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Comments: Demonstrating the difference between "unprotected" and "tricky to protect," this climb gobbles up Tricams, offset Aliens, and other inobvious gear. I had solid pro at least every body-length. It's a gorgeous, somewhat unlikely-looking easy climb.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Flight Path Area : Car Talk (5.9)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 26, 2014

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Comments: More a variation than an independent climb. Same high quality and stout moves down low as Doin' the Good Drive, then some thoughtful face climbing up high.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Flight Path Area : Doin' the Good Drive (5.9)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 26, 2014

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Comments: Quality climb, stout moves.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Oak Creek Canyon : Solar Slab - Upper Tier : Sunburn (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 24, 2014

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Comments: Doing the first five pitches, then traversing to the terrace and rapping the Solar Slab gully, turned out to be a great low-key, low-logistics outing for a short November day. We had sun all day except for a period of about 20 minutes when it briefly went behind the summit of Mt. Wilson.

Judging by the comments above, the route must have cleaned up a bit. The bushes have clearly been tamed, and we encountered no more loose rock than normal for any less-travelled Red Rock route.

P1-2: 180', 5.6... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Flight Path Area : Ignore the Man Behind the S... (5.6)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 22, 2014

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Comments: A really good, well-protected easy lead.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Flight Path Area : Common Bond of Circumstance (5.9)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 22, 2014

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Comments: Fun climbing. I placed two Aliens and two Tricams to supplement the bolts.


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