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Member Since: Apr 13, 2002
Last Visit: Mar 6, 2014
Contact Dougald MacDonald


Point Rank: # 732
Total Points: 816
Last Year: 47
Last 30 Days: 0
53 Compliments
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Areas are worth 15
Routes are worth 10
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Comments are worth 1



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Dougald MacDonald

 
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All (468) | Routes (42) | Areas (5) | Photos (32) | Comments (161) | Posts (64) | Stars (121) | Ratings (43)
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CO : Gunnison : Black Canyon of the Gunniso... : North Chasm View Wall : A Midsummer's Night Dream (5.11a)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 23, 2006

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Comments: Very good route for those days when you drive up to the Black in the morning and are looking for a shady afternoon route. It's in shade by around 2 p.m. or so. You can do it in 4 pitches by stretching the 3rd and 4th, and except for the 100 feet or so of crappy 5.7 in the middle the climbing is all excellent. I thought the crux second pitch was around 5.11a, but I got some beta by watching my partner lead it. (He thought it was 5.9+, but what the hell does he know.)


Location: CO : Gunnison : Black Canyon of the Gunniso... : North Chasm View Wall : Movable Stoned Voyage (5.10)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 23, 2006

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Comments: I think this route is getting a wee bit over-hyped on this page. While it provides a fun and relatively moderate tour up an impressive wall, people might get the impression from these comments that it's nearly Scenic Cruise quality. Not so. I thought the route was good but not a genuine classic. It has two excellent pitches (the 5.10s), some average Black Canyon 5.8 and 5.9, and quite a lot of scrambling and traversing. The easier stuff certainly wasn't bad by Black standards, but it does detrac... more >>


Location: CO : CO Ice & Mixed : RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Glacier Gorge : The Hourglass Couloir (M4 Mod. Snow)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Apr 12, 2006

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Comments: Definitely a great route, likely better and perhaps harder later in the year. (Like when we did it in May.) There's a chockstone on the first technical pitch that felt harder than M4 to me (it might be harder with less snow). Higher (4th pitch?) there was a classic short ice and mixed pitch: a runnel in the back of a chimney, which you exited by hand (tool) traversing across a flake at the top. Easy but fantastic! Don't underestimate the approach: It takes a long time to wallow up to the Solitud... more >>


Location: CO : Alpine Rock : Indian Peaks : Apache Peak : Bishop's Scepter (5.6)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Sep 3, 2005

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Comments: For what it's worth, Karen Kovaly and I climbed this spire in August 1996, during a traverse of the ridge aborted by poor weather. We too rapped from a sling around the top, which must have blown or rotted off or been carried away by acrobatic marmots. We called it Un-Impotent (Un-im-PO-tent) Pinnacle, but I'll bet it was climbed before... it's an obvious target if you're up there. Very fun and dramatic climbing, and well worth bringing a rope and small rack to do this one if you're traversing ... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : The West Ridge : West Ridge - part E - top t... : Purple Haze (5.9)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 31, 2004

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Comments: Here's a trick for protecting the start of the second pitch. Thread two wires together to give yourself about five inches of extra reach with your chosen nut. (Hard to explain this, but play around with it and you'll figure it out.) With the extendo-nut, you can get a bomber placement at the top of the little crack on the right side of the crux wall, making this move very secure. I backed this up with a smallish nut (#2 or #3 BD) in the nice slot about 6 inches below. Both of these s... more >>


Location: CO : Estes Park Valley : CO Hwy 7 & Tributaries : Jurassic Park - Lily Lake : Big Ass Slab? : Critical Morass (5.10d)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 24, 2004

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Comments: Very nice route, but the anchor is currently very unsafe. The right-hand bolt is extremely loose -- it wiggles significantly even when the nut is hand-tightened as much as possible -- and the left bolt might also be loose. Be careful! (We were concerned enough to downclimb to the anchor on the route to the left before lowering.)

Given the comments from people above, perhaps if this anchor is replaced because of the bad bolt(s) it should be moved lower...


Location: UT : Zion National Park : Temple of Sinawava : Monkeyfinger (5.12)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 15, 2004

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Comments: Crux of pitch 2 is the traverse to the left crack, probably 11- face climbing with good pro overhead at the base of the right crack.


Location: UT : Zion National Park : Red Arch Mountain : Wigs in Space (5.11)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: May 15, 2004

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Comments: Grade IV, not Grade VI. I think two stars is warranted for the middle 5 pitches, especially when more traffic cleans up the loose bits. The first three "pitches" are poor, but they go extremely quickly so I don't really count them against the route's quality. That said, Wigs is definitely in the second tier of long Zion free routes, below Monkeyfinger, Shunes, Moonlight, et al -- probably equivalent in quality to Iron Maiden or Northeast Buttress of Angels Landing, though I haven't done either o... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower Two : The Serpent (5.10b R)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Apr 28, 2004

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Comments: Take care with the crucial blocky-tower section before turning the corner/roof 20 feet up the first pitch -- the blocks seem to have gotten looser over the three times I've done this section (during the past six years or so). In particular, the key right-hand undercling at the bottom of the tower seems solid until you pull up into it, at which point it definitely wiggles. Use this with care, and be sure to place as much and as good pro as you can before you start this whole sequence -- a small s... more >>


Location: CO : CO Ice & Mixed : Vail Ice : Spiral Staircase area : Secret Probation (WI5 M6-7)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jan 31, 2004

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Comments: Craig Luebben: Bridalveil, Ames Ice Hose, Designator and the Fang, solo in one day. Now that's an enchainment.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower Two : The Naked Edge (5.11a/b)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jan 25, 2004

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Comments: The Alien's worth is not so much in shortening the fall as it is in backing up that pin. Sooner or later the pin in that flake is going to blow when someone plunges out of the chimney, and that fall will be ugly! I'll take my chances with the Alien (yellow or red, whatever), with yhe hope that it at least slows me down a bit before I weight that pin. For what it's worth, it held me (160 pounds), the one time I fell on it.


Location: CO : CO Ice & Mixed : Redstone
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jan 20, 2004

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Comments: Both the Redstone Pillar and the Drool felt tough for the grades in current conditions. Much chandelier ice, especially near the bottom of the pillars. The Drool was very chandeliered and impossible to protect for big stretches. After an aborted lead, I ended up on TR.


Location: CO : Alpine Rock : Indian Peaks : Haimovi Tower : Southeast Buttress (5.7)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Dec 10, 2003

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Comments: This indeed offers a beautiful day in the mountains. The lake at the base of the buttress is slightly out of the way, but a gorgeous place to visit. For the descent, traverse off the back (some 4th class or rappel). If you haven't left anything at the base (a good idea), you can contour around talus slopes and a few gullies to hit the meadows just below the pass on the way in -- that way you don't have to hike back up a long trail.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Blob Rock Area : Blob Rock : ... : Talon Contest (5.10+)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Oct 10, 2003

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Comments: I went back and brushed the worst lichen off this route a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy! An excellent, four-pitch 5.10 link-up can be done by climbing the first two pitches of Where Eagles Dare, the second pitch of Blacklight (5.10 corner and hand traverse above the big ledge, a bit dirty from under-use but well-protected and exciting), and then finishing on Talon Contest. This adds up to one of the most continuous and interesting long 5.10s in Boulder Canyon.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower Two : The Naked Edge (5.11a/b)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Sep 27, 2003

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Comments: To be fair, I said, "The yellow Alien, I believe." Yellow, red, whatever. Go up there with both of them and you'll be much happier. I know I fell on one of them, and it held. I just better replace my busted red Alien before I go back up there, in case I was wrong about the size....


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Peanuts Walls : Lower Peanuts : Forbidden Planet (5.11b)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jul 27, 2003

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Comments: Did this climb today. If the hold that broke was where I think it was, it makes the move between bolts 1 and 2 harder for shorter people. At my height (5'10"), I could stretch up to grab the good crimp, and the crux passage through 1 and 2 still felt the same way it did when I first did this route, around a decade ago. Great pitch -- if you can reach that hold!


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Lower Dream Canyon : Plotinus Wall : ... : Boulder Quartz System (5.12a)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jul 10, 2003

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Comments: I'm surprised this route doesn't get more raves. I thought it was excellent! The diagonal traverse up the quartz dike is unique in the canyon, and the crux is very interesting. Hint: It seemed easier to me to start the crux up and right, then move back left.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Cadillac Crag : Auburn Lane (5.10-)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jun 9, 2003

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Comments: This climb is a lot better if you take the variation called Auburn Court, which adds about 35 feet of quality crack climbing and a second crux (and avoids the rubble at the top). We should have listed it as a variation here, but it's posted as a separate route on this site.


Location: CO : Grand Junction area : Colorado National Monument : Independence Monument : Otto's Route (5.8+)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Apr 16, 2003

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Comments: I never really looked at Otto's Route as a climbing route anyway. It's more like a super-advanced trail or via ferrata to a great summit.


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : South : Shanahan Crag : Prune Face (5.7)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Mar 24, 2003

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Comments: Good to get the history on this fun climb. We called it Prune Face in honor of Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, but, of course, there may be another name.


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : South : Shanahan Crag
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Mar 8, 2003

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Comments: With several new routes, the south face of Shanahan is now an excellent destination for moderate climbing. There are six routes from 5.4 to 5.9+ (not including the 11a Leonine), and several of these climbs merit three stars. The new routes all have adequate protection, but it can be tricky to arrange. RPs are a must and double ropes can be useful. Many leaders will be more comfortable a grade or two below their limitis.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : Cactus Cliff : Gravitations (5.11d)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Jan 28, 2003

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Comments: It occurs to me that with all the comments bout "spice" and runouts, some do-gooder might get the idea to add a bolt or two to Gravitations. Please, please, please don't! The route is great the way it is.


Location: CO : CO Ice & Mixed : RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Glacier Gorge : Aquavelva - aka Headdress -... (5.9 WI5 M5)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Oct 19, 2002

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Comments: Pretty sure this was climbed by Topher Donahue and (?) a couple of years ago.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Eldorado Canyon Bouldering : Redgarden Boulders : The Wisdom Simulator Simula... (V9 R)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Oct 18, 2002

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Comments: A 50-foot V9 traverse into the Wisdom yields a 5.11+?


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Vampire Rock : Stage Fright (5.11a)
By: Dougald MacDonald When: Oct 1, 2002

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Comments: I diagonaled directly to the roof, the option you described. I don't know if it's harder than stepping right and going straight up, but it was fairly run-out. In the end, we felt it was sort of silly, though -- better to just follow the easiest ground to the roof, where the real action starts. Great climb, all in all, with the crux near the top, where it should be.


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