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Member Since: Jan 2, 2001
Last Visit: Jun 2, 2013
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Point Rank: # 530
Total Points: 1,156
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1



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All 828 | Routes 71 | Areas 10 | Photos 3 | Page Improvements | Comments 281 | Posts 28 | Stars 312 | Ratings 123
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower Two : Predator (5.11c)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 20, 2004

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Comments: Hard to give three stars to a route with so many crucial holds about to go. I give it 2.5 stars for the spectacular position and great climbing, but generally chossy rock.

The first 50-60 feet until the 5th bolt are very pumpy. The climbing wanders and you end up trying to rest from awkward stances while you routefind. The climbing favors tall climbers, since many of the lower cruxes involve the classic Eldo, "how do I get up to that jug?" syndrome. As for the difficulty, the climbing isn... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower One : Roll Over Rover (5.11b/c)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 15, 2004

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Comments: 11b/c climbing, but making the 3rd clip feels like 11+.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Vampire Rock : Stage Fright (5.11a)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 14, 2004

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Comments: Great pitch!Nearly 3 stars. Routefinding at the crux is challenging. My belayer, who had done the route before, remembered going left at the crux along the continuation of the crack. This variation looks like it takes gear at first, but then turns into scarey looking slab climbing. When I got up there, traversing into the right crack (as described above) seemed the more logical, and safer, way to go. So after much confusion and hesitation I went that way. The crux takes very good stoppers ... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Vampire Rock : Crack of Desperation (5.10a)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 14, 2004

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Comments: Far from 3 stars, but worth doing if you're on the ledge above That's Weak. The roof move is easy-5.10 if you find the easiest way, which didn't involve any grovelling


Location: CO : Alpine Rock : Torrey's Peak : North Face Ski Descent (Mod. Snow R)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 1, 2004

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Comments: I skied the right couloir (skier's left) of the tuning fork today. The conditions were surprisingly variable for this time of year. The lower two-thirds of the couloir was excellent hero corn. The top of the couloir was covered in awful semi-consolidated slightly-crusty stuff ontop of hardpack, knee-deep in some leeward protected pockets, which must be recent accumulation. Several nearby peaks have fresh snowfall, with the Mt Evans massif having fresh snow down to below 13000 ft. I found th... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : North : First Flatiron : Direct Route (5.6 R)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 28, 2004

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Comments: Combining climbing, setting, exposure, and the summit, this may be the best 5.6 I've ever done. You mentioned that there are better 5.6 routes in the Flatirons, James, yet you go on to reel off Eldo routes. Yeah, Wind Ridge is a great climb, but Washington Irving?? C'mon, it ends at a set of chains! And if you are that concerned about crowds, don't climb it on a weekend. I climb this route every couple of weeks or so, and its rare that I see another party during the week.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : The Bastille : The Bastille - N Face : X-M (5.10c R)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 23, 2004

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Comments: Here's another testimonial for the quality of the small RP on the 10c variation to the 3rd pitch, and the insecurity of the move. No need to risk a 25 footer... my foot slipped off the mantle and the RP held... basically a 5 foot fall. The move isn't that hard, but you mantle with your weight fully on a polished, slanting hold... a strange, insecure move. Look around for the placement... it isn't immediately obvious, but it's there.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : The West Ridge : West Ridge - part D - Xanad... : Parallels (5.11b)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 21, 2004

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Comments: For the onsight, with no gear beta, this is a tricky lead. Your tendency on the onsight is to protect, then go for it, but it's very easy to screw yourself on Parallels by protecting in some crucial hand placements. For example, you can have overhead pro at the crux, but you have NO chance of sending with that gear in place. This feels like as tough a lead to me as Racoon Soup (and TRing is a very bad way to rate a climb), although once you figure out the gear beta, I can see this feeling ea... more >>


Location: UT : Zion National Park : Red Arch Mountain : Shune's Buttress (5.11+)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 14, 2004

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Comments: Great route. The gear list is about right on, except that you probably only need triples in the #1-#2 friend range. Maybe because I wasn't firing on all cylinders yet, the 1st pitch seems like the crux of the route. There is an 11a variation which starts around the corner to the right, but it doesn't look nearly as good as the 11c way. Considering its dramatic nature, the 5th pitch may be the best pitch I've done in the desert.

Overall, I found this to be a more physically deman... more >>


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : The Dark Side : Two Hearts (5.11b/c)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 1, 2004

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Comments: Hard to imagine you didn't notice the chipped hold at the start on this one. The perfect 4-finger mailslot is most certainly manufactured. There is another questionable two finger right after this, but I didn't need to use it... shorter people might have to. From the 2nd bolt onward, the climbing is sustained, tricky, and long... 3-stars. If you find long-5.11s with one move of V6 more troubling than route modification, you'll love this route.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : The Dark Side : Blank Frank (5.12a/b)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 1, 2004

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Comments: Best route I've done on the Dark Side. I thought the crux was the mono/undercling sequence near the top.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : Sand Gulch : Contest Wall : Little Mecca (5.12a/b)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 1, 2004

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Comments: Of the dozen or so routes I've done in Sand Gulch, this is my favorite. I was told that there haven't been any broken holds, but there used to be a large block you could stand on to reach the mailslot at the start.Pretty spooky finish.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : The Gallery : Menses Prow : Weed n' Feed (5.11b R)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 1, 2004

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Comments: Nice first pitch, though it really shouldn't be bolted... even at Shelf.Lots of loose stuff on the 2nd pitch... it really needs a LOT more cleaning. I went hard left at the last bolt... not much there straight up. This goes easily in one pitch with long slings in a few places.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Animal World : Global Gorilla (5.12c)
By: Joe Collins When: Jun 1, 2004

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Comments: For the problem of falling on your belayer, its best to do the first two pitches as one. Expect huge rope drag on the 2nd pitch though. We got around this by TR'ing the first pitch, then launched into the 2nd pitch with the belayer still on the ground.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Animal World : Evolution Revolution (5.12b/c)
By: Joe Collins When: May 27, 2004

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Comments: The slab, as well as the start, are much trickier than they look. I think the roof overhead gives the illusion that this section isn't very steep. 12b/c seems about right... we thought it was harder than the crux of Global Gorilla.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Animal World : Global Gorilla (5.12c)
By: Joe Collins When: May 27, 2004

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Comments: I did the second pitch of this recently and really didn't think it was any part of 12c. I would say 12b, 2 stars. The first pitch, however, is my favorite mid-11 sport pitch in the Canyon, fully 3 stars


Location: UT : Zion National Park : Temple of Sinawava : Monkeyfinger (5.12)
By: Joe Collins When: May 25, 2004

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Comments: Dave- I think the anchor would be much better located about 30 feet lower. As it is, the 4th pitch is very long and the 5th pitch is very short. The roof at the start of pitch 4 gave me massive roof drag towards the end of pitch 4. It seems that a shorter pitch 4 would make more sense with a belay not too long after the roof... then pitch 5 could be a long pitch up the corner with no rope drag. Also, if the anchor were lower it would be on the slightly lower angle section where a hanging bel... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : Central : Dum : Fumbledeedum (4th)
By: Joe Collins When: May 20, 2004

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Comments: There are several large, difficult to avoid, patches of poison ivy on this route/gully. The Black Canyon may have the reputation as the poison-ivy capitol of Colorado, but the Flatirons can be just as bad since it is often mixed in with thick vegetation. Know what the plant looks like, and STAY AWAY.


Location: CO : Boulder : Upper Dream Canyon : Lost Angel : Rock Odyssey (5.12b)
By: Joe Collins When: May 20, 2004

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Comments: This climb features several cool sections and quite hard cruxes interspersed with uninspiring climbing. A worthy outing but calling this one 3 stars is a bit of a stretch. The second and third pitches are way harder than the first. The section above the roof on the last pitch is bolted strangely: the zig-zaggy positions of the bolts leads to massive rope drag on the finish... I'd recommend judicious use of long slings on this pitch. Compared to other routes in Boulder/Dream Canyons, I would ... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - S Buttress : Black Top (5.11c)
By: Joe Collins When: May 18, 2004

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Comments: I think Dr. Dan is thinking of a different pitch since Backtalk is in a different place (Blackwalk maybe?). There are several sections on this pitch that probably warrant an 'S' rating. Getting to the first bolt requires a low-5.10ish mantle-like move and would be a bad swinging fall onto the anchor if you blow it. That bolt should probably be a couple feet lower. Beyond that, although the route is spicey, it's generally safe enough. There is nothing on the pitch as hard as the crux of Back... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : Central : Fourth Flatiron : Jester (5.10d R)
By: Joe Collins When: May 7, 2004

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Comments: Beware of poison ivy in this gully. Right now it's hard to avoid since it hasn't leafed yet, and I got it pretty good on my arm.

The cam placement after the unprotected mantle looked bad... an offset Alien might work well here. The next moves are tricky 5.8/9 to get to the ramp... borderline VS territory if the cam fails. The upper half of this pitch is quite nice. Bring your RPs for the thin crack. It really didn't look like this route had seen much traffic in a long time.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Shirt Tail Peak : Tiger Balm Arete (5.11b R)
By: Joe Collins When: May 5, 2004

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Comments: I agree with Samet that the 4 bolt 11a variation is a travesty. I can't believe it was ever approved by the FHRC. Basically, it is a bail-out option for those unwilling to do the scary part of the climb. I've read comments pooh-poohing the notion that these bolts draw the climber away from the original line of TBA. In fact, this is exactly the sensation I experienced after pulling the crux... I was faced with the choice of a nice clip-up versus scary inobvious climbing. I was very close to ... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Flatirons : North : Green Mountain Pinnacle : Death and Transfiguration (5.11b)
By: Joe Collins When: May 4, 2004

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Comments: I actually find it very difficult to believe people are downgrading this route. Maybe move for move there's no single 11 move. But on lead, after climbing up to the lip of the overhang clean, the crux felt like very solid 5.11. The pump factor's very high, so I can see this feeling easier if one is on TR, or if one hangs before the crux.

Incredible climb. The left to right traversing crack seems to be a staple of harder Flatiron trad climbs.


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Peanuts Walls : Upper Peanuts : Sunrider (5.11c)
By: Joe Collins When: Apr 28, 2004

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Comments: This would be a three star climb if it weren't so easy to climb the left side of the upper section of arete.It seems as if the upper 2 bolts (4th and 5th) were placed so as to force you to climb the right side of the arete, though the natural line of holds is on the left side.I took the left side of the arete in this section, left hand on positive crimps and right hand on the arete.The 4th bolt is in a bad location for this, and you are looking at a nasty swinging fall if you blow it. After cli... more >>


Location: CO : San Luis Valley : Penitente Canyon : Penitente - Inner Canyon : Bullet the Blue Sky (5.12c/d)
By: Joe Collins When: Apr 19, 2004

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Comments: Being an ex-NM person, I've met Alf a number of times at the Box and Enchanted Tower. He actually comes across as a nice, albeit insane, guy. I can't begin to tell you how many Alf tales (some tall) I've heard. They range from the egregious (chipping next to 45 degree wall at Hueco(see Verm's Hueco guide), threating people with guns, etc...) to the more mundane (destroying the access trail at E.T.). The guy has an "...in a Blender" problem at Hueco named after him, after all. Glad to see ne... more >>


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