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Member Since: Jan 2, 2001
Last Visit: Jun 2, 2013
Contact Joe Collins


Point Rank: # 491
Total Points: 1,156
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9 Compliments
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Areas are worth 15
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All (828) | Routes (71) | Areas (10) | Photos (3) | Comments (281) | Posts (28) | Stars (312) | Ratings (123)
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Blob Rock Area : Blob Rock : ... : Orange Crush (5.11d)
By: Joe Collins When: Nov 1, 2004

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Comments: Fair enough Ivan... and I didn't intend to sandbag. I was using the other similarly graded routes on this section of Blob as a barometer. I agree that Boulder Canyon ratings are all-over-the-place, but at the very minimum a route should be graded somewhat consistently with its neighbooring routes.


Location: UT : Moab Area : Island In The Sky : Standing Rock : The Regular Route (5.11c)
By: Joe Collins When: Nov 1, 2004

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Comments: Additional approach beta: the gully is definitely the way to go. Note also that it is to the NW, and not NE of the tower. Walk to the rim and poke around a bit and you'll find the anchor and a somewhat useless fixed rope in a chimney leading down a 20 foot step in the caprock. You are aiming for a descent gully with a house-sized boulder in it. Jumars and your own rope to fix aren't mandatory, but they certainly are nice since the fixed rope is knotted with small loops for clipping daisies,... more >>


Location: UT : Moab Area : River Road : Big Bend Butte : Infrared (5.12-)
By: Joe Collins When: Nov 1, 2004

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Comments: Great route. Don't forget to bring the rack on the last pitch... it may be bolted, but its not sport. Also, the gear list above is a little short on thin gear... we used this gear list instead of the Bjornstad list, and would have liked to have doubles in blue through red aliens for the first pitch, which we felt was just as hard (more technical, but no burl factor) as the 2nd and 3rd pitches. I'd rate the pitches 10+, 10+, 10+, 11.


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Blob Rock Area : Blob Rock : ... : Orange Crush (5.11d)
By: Joe Collins When: Nov 1, 2004

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Comments: I disagree that this is 11d, even by modern Boulder Canyon standards. We did this line last January not knowing what it was, and thought it was 11a/b tops. Other Blob sport routes such as Respite, Jolt Cola, Bearcat, and The Ticket should provide reference as to what 11d/12a should feel like. Even the first pitch of Jolt Cola (11b/c) seems considerably harder.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : The Gym : My Generation (5.12d)
By: Joe Collins When: Oct 18, 2004

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Comments: I'm not sure how useful Peter's suggestion of a long draw on the 2nd bolt after the horizontal (4th total) will be... its a pretty tough clip but there really aren't any decent lower holds... the best hold in this section is a crimpy pocket next to the bolt... I'll have to check out that beta when I return. Bring a stick clip... pre-clipping the first two-bolts seems fairly crucial for the boulder problem.


Location: CO : Canon City : Shelf Road : The Bank : Living in America (5.12a)
By: Joe Collins When: Oct 18, 2004

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Comments: So, how does the 12a version go? I initially tried traversing from the pillar on the left with my hands in pockets at the 2nd bolt (there are 8 or 9 bolts on the route now). Moving up here was desperate, and felt way harder than 12a (harder than the cruxes of several 12+ Gym routes I tried the day before). I finally ended up climbing to the top of the pillar and traversing in with hands in pockets near the 3rd bolt, which felt reasonable, though reachy.

This route, along with all the others ... more >>


Location: CO : South Platte : Cathedral Spires Area : Poe Buttress : Mississippi Half-Step (5.11d)
By: Joe Collins When: Oct 13, 2004

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Comments: The lower traverse on the first pitch actually protects quite well with a 0.5" horizontal cam and then bomber gear once you reach the left seam. After that, difficult to place RPs from funky stances leads to a semi-rest below the two pins at the bulge mentioned by Steve. The Trout guidebook calls the RP seam 11d, but we found the bulge with the pins to be the crux of the pitch. An awesome and somewhat heady pitch.The second pitch is even more classic!


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : The Sport Park : Surprising Crag : ... : American Beauty (5.12c)
By: Joe Collins When: Oct 11, 2004

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Comments: Pretty silly that the chipping/overbolted discussion is going on for this particular route which is neither chipped, nor overbolted.

Since Chris asked for beta, here's mine: Very technical. At the 2nd to last bolt, right hand in the pod, left hand in the highest good fingerlock in the crack out left. Stem left as high as possible and right hand/foot match in the pod. Bring right hand up to slopey layaway near the seam (the best part has a tiny thumb catch). Bring left hand up higher to a t... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : The Sport Park : Surprising Crag : ... : Mercy Drilling (5.12a)
By: Joe Collins When: Oct 11, 2004

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Comments: When I first climbed this route several years ago, I thought it was chipped as well, but after climbing a few more routes on the cliff, I highly doubt the two solution pockets in the upper part of the route were chipped. At the worst they might have been comfortized, but this section of Surprising Crag has several such pockets, nowhere near the cruxes of routes (you don't even have to use the crux "mono" mentioned above).

This would be an R/X-rated trad lead. It would be an exciting, but rela... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Avalon : Second Tier : ... : Dominator (5.10c)
By: Joe Collins When: Sep 15, 2004

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Comments: Charles- I agree, a bolted splitter is about the most repulsive thing I can think of.Dominator is far from splitter, though it does have crack features that perhaps could have best been left for natural pro.

Kirk- I agree that any action is open to criticism. What raises flags for me and prompted my response, is the incredibly overly self-important and myopic view of climbing that a lot of people on this site seem to display on a regular basis. One poster used a tone reserved for criminals... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Avalon : Second Tier : ... : Dominator (5.10c)
By: Joe Collins When: Sep 15, 2004

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Comments: From boulderclimbs.com:FA- Richard Rossiter and Von Grebe, 2001

I'm not justifying bolting cracks, but again, just like for Little John's Big Stick, some Boulderites have the uncanny knack for losing all sense of perspective.

Michael, Stefan, etc- don't you think there must be a reason why this wasn't climbed trad pre-2001? Because it was likely a hanging pile of choss, which only became a climb once several hundred pounds of loose rock were cleaned. It's still a one-star route at a one-st... more >>


Location: WY : Devil's Tower : East and Northeast Buttress... : Soaring (5.11a)
By: Joe Collins When: Sep 14, 2004

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Comments: I stand by my comments, Coward. The route as it currently stands is a pile, and for you to give it 3 stars based on a 1991 ascent soon after the FA (which I've since learned was in 1990), shows you to have no credibility whatsoever. As of this past weekend, the stemming pitch is in a condition that can only be described, in an understated fashion, as munge.

Whether it is my job, or not, as a visiting climber to clean obscure routes is beside the point. IMHO, the route is not worth the effort ... more >>


Location: CO : Estes Park Valley : Lumpy Ridge : The Pear : Fat-Bottomed Groove (5.10d R)
By: Joe Collins When: Sep 7, 2004

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Comments: There are some pretty blatant cases in the pantheon of Front Range granite sandbags, but this one may take the cake. Old-school 10+ for sure. Double rope technique isn't crucial, but use of long slings is. Definitely have a couple slings ready to drape over the flakes near the crux. The second pitch looks amazing... I would have liked to have made it that far.


Location: CO : Alpine Rock : Mt. Evans : The Black Wall : Good Evans (5.10d)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 30, 2004

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Comments: Great climb in a truly unique setting. Half of the climb is Yosemite, while the top half is so Black Canyon (including some peg). There are several sets of anchors at the top of the wall. The best anchor to use is the 2nd one you come to at the top of the wall. Two 60m raps will get you down, but just barely... if your rope is the slightest bit shorter you'll have to improvise.From the midway rap station an interesting looking bolted climb goes up and right. Anyone know anything about it?

... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Boulder Canyon : Blob Rock Area : East Blob : ... : Schizofrantic (5.11b)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 26, 2004

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Comments: I'm not sure I would call this a "sport" climb. The mantle out of the trad section is pretty heady. Call it "mixed", and one of the best mixed climbs I've done in Boulder Canyon at that. I didn't think it avoided any obvious trad ground at all. The route does cross an established 5.8 trad line, but this is far from any of the bolted sections.

There's a little bit of everything on this pitch. A boulder problem start, steep flake pulling, a trad corner with a spicey mantle, then thin face.... more >>


Location: CO : Boulder : Eldorado Canyon SP : Redgarden Wall : Redgarden - Tower One : Psycho Pigeon (5.11a)
By: Joe Collins When: Jul 20, 2004

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Comments: What a nice surprise this route is! Its tempting to give it 3 stars, but its hard to grant classic status to something that avoids all the obvious climbing on the Yellow Spur.

The crux traverse move felt like easy-11 to me, but the move is very height dependent... and apparently kind of scary for the second. Its another one of those Eldo problems where you see a jug above a blank stretch, and you have to concoct some scheme to get to it. I think the comments on the seriousness of the 3rd pi... more >>


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 >>


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