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FA's can be scary.  Photo by DeAngelo

Member Since: Jan 22, 2006
Last Visit: 10 hours ago
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Point Rank: # 185
Total Points: 2,828
Last Year: 54
Last 30 Days: 6
221 Compliments
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1

Where has Karsten been climbing?


All 1380 | Routes 75 | Areas 17 | Photos 303 | Page Improvements | Comments 308 | Posts 189 | Stars 440 | Ratings 48
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Contributed Comments


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Mount Watkins : South Face (5.9 C2+ PG13)
By: Karsten When: Apr 30, 2015

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Comments: Feb 2015 report:
Most bolted anchors have at least on new bolt. There are several natural anchor belays and a few on pitons that you will likely want to back up. The route has a weird collection of bolts and stuff like nuts girth hitched to bolts and the like. We did not use any iron but a few tomahawks or beaks would be nice if some fixed gear blew out.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak : Triassic Sands (5.10) : Photo
By: Karsten When: Apr 7, 2015

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Comments: That would be Ixtlan.

Location: UT : Moab Area : Castle Valley : Photo
By: Karsten When: Mar 15, 2015

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Comments: Wow!

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Washington Column : Astroman (5.11c)
By: Karsten When: Feb 2, 2015

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Comments: Great description! Only some recent route updates.

As of Feb 2015 the last pitch has 3 fixed pieces:
-The extruding angle protecting the first moves off of the pilar
-A good copperhead with a long wire a few moves up
-One non-confidence inspiring head just to the left of the expando flake

As stated above and in description the rock is not great. You can put in several very small cams and a decent 0.4 C4 (yellow metolious or alien) in the flake before the final committing moves. I didn't h... more >>

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 32 - Elephant Rock : Hotline (5.12a)
By: Karsten When: Jan 20, 2015

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Comments: Great route and worth it for the 3rd pitch alone!

These pitches can be linked 1-2, 4-5, 6-7 (if using .11d 6th pitch variation). We rapped route with double 70m and were able to get down in 3 raps (7-6, 5-4, 3-ground). I think with double 60s you could do it in 4 raps.

Gear: standard rack of doubles to #3 camalot, 1 x #4, (optional: extra #2 camalots)

Approach: From below park at first pullout on the south side of the road west of the cookie parking lots. Cross the riv... more >>

Location: CA : Central Sierra : Calaveras Dome Area : Calaveras Dome : Silk Road (High Times) (5.11 PG13)
By: Karsten When: Jan 3, 2015

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Comments: Overall a great route that lives up to the hype. I found the face/slab sections very difficult but the rest very reasonable.

Would have to say pitch 10 is hard 5.10 but is one of those kinds of climb where knowing a specific technique is key. The crux section of this pitch is made pretty pedestrian if you have good stemming technique and easily 5.11 if you don't.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Fairview Dome : Sorcerer's Apprentice (5.11a R)
By: Karsten When: Aug 18, 2014

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Comments: Caught and Albers should pass that recommendation onto Don Reid.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Fairview Dome : Lucky Streaks (5.10c/d)
By: Karsten When: Aug 18, 2014

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Comments: Saw above poster noted you can link pitches 1 & 2.

You can also link pitches 2 and 3 if you extend pitch one up to where the vertical crack on pitch 2 starts. We had a 70m but seemed like a 60m would be fine too even without simul-climbing.

Location: CA : High Sierra : Merriam Peak : Direct North Buttress (5.10b PG13)
By: Karsten When: Jul 9, 2014

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Comments: Great route. I found the crux pitch easy for .10b and would rate it at hard 5.9 or 5.10a at most. Whatever the grade this was a really fun pitch.

On the second pitch just above the face moves there is hanging block at the point where you change from a right-facing corner to a left facing corner. This section is devoid of holds and so it is clear that everyone pulls on this block. My concern was that this block looked totally detached and if it decides to release you and your belayer could... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : Cactus Flower Tower : Blood Wall : OW Negative (5.9 C2+)
By: Karsten When: May 7, 2014

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Comments: Awesome to hear you got on this Matt and it sound like you guys got it to go free at 5.10 too. Double rainbows awesome.

This climb is another one of those hidden Red Rock gems. If the approach was more modest it most certainly would be more popular. Matt's ascent is only the 2nd team I have heard that has done this route but should certainly not be the last. I have vivid memories of trying to free the roof over what seemed like so-so gear while Larry gave encouragement . . .and a hip bela... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : Juniper Canyon : Jackrabbit Buttress : Swine Tasting (5.9)
By: Karsten When: Apr 24, 2014

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Comments: Red Rock is such an amazing place that routes like this can still be going up. So much fun and unclimbed rock to still be climbed there. Great job on seeing and going for this line. Looks like it was an adventure.

Location: OR : Central Oregon : Smith Rock : (p) Spiderman Buttress : Spiderman (5.7) : Photo
By: Karsten When: Feb 12, 2014

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Comments: Rule #1 of climbing: Looking Good. #2 is having fun. Safety is in there but something like rule 5 or 6.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Mt. Wilson : Photo
By: Karsten When: Jan 13, 2014

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Comments: Majestic George. Really nice light and hi-res. May be my new background photo too.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : El Capitan : Photo
By: Karsten When: Jan 2, 2014

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Comments: Great photo Brian!

Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Bishop Area : Owens River Gorge : Upper Gorge : ... : Superfly (5.10c)
By: Karsten When: Dec 2, 2013

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Comments: The horn on the first pitch flexed noticeably this last weekend which I don't remember from several years back. Additionally I would say the rock on the 2nd pitch has some questionable looking blocks. I pulled on them with no incidence but just be aware.

Guide says you can link into one long pitch which is true but with quite a bit of rope drag even with using long slings. I was barely able to lower back to first pitch anchor after linking with a 60m and so doubt you could toprope as one lon... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : White Rock Spring : Angel Food Wall : Tunnel Vision (5.7) : Photo
By: Karsten When: Nov 27, 2013

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Comments: Nice topo.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Coco Crag : Moon Where the Wind Blows (5.9)
By: Karsten When: Sep 18, 2013

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Comments: I don't know what all of you are talking about. Looks like it protects well with hooks.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Calico Basin : The Fringe : Lunatic (5.11b) : Photo
By: Karsten When: Sep 13, 2013

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Comments: And its like the worst gym ever. The holds are always dirty and the routes on that wall never change. Plus the tape is always missing from the key hold.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Cannibal Crag : Baseboy (5.10+ PG13) : ... : Photo
By: Karsten When: Jun 17, 2013

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Comments: Really nice camo job

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Five Open Books : Try Again Ledge (5.8)
By: Karsten When: Jun 3, 2013

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Comments: Agree with Rodger's comment about awkwardness. While there is pro, it is somewhat less than inspiring. There are also several big, spooky blocks you must pull on near the top of the first pitch. If they came off it would be bad for both the climber and the belayer.

I can see why this route rarely gets done.

Location: NV : Red Rock : First Pullout : Dog Wall : Cujo (5.11d) : Photo
By: Karsten When: Jun 3, 2013

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Comments: Great Photo. Nice composition.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : North Dome : Crest Jewel (and Crest Jewe... (5.10d R)
By: Karsten When: May 14, 2013

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Comments: I found the first .10a section (pitch 2) to be harder than the upper .10a pitch. Maybe because your getting used to smearing on the orange polish but the lower pitch seemed like it had harder moves. The upper .10a pitch is more sustained with delicate moves through about 3 bolts.

I don't know whether I would call this route R or not. There are large runnouts but as stated on easier ground. The 9th pitch has one bolt and so technically you could take close to a >100ft cheesegr... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : Mt. Wilson : Aeolian Wall : Aeolian Wall (Original Rout... (5.9 A3)
By: Karsten When: May 13, 2013

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Comments: A couple of years ago when we did it Paul Van Betten said he thought we were maybe the 6th ascent (I think he had been on 3 prior ascents himself).

You might be able to get the A2 pitch clean but the A3 would be very difficult. I don't know of any cams that fit knifeblade cracks. You clip several old 1/4 inch bolts and then place quite a few knifeblades in the roof. I remember several being a little loose and one shifted on me while I was on it. Yikes! The next ascent party may have to sta... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : Willow Spring : Willow Springs South : Nadia's Nine (5.9)
By: Karsten When: Apr 12, 2013

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Comments: I was under the impression this was a clever play on words and sports about Nadia Comaneci, the famous Romanian gymnast known for scoring the first perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympics. The route FA was in 1977.

You could be the stingy judge that gave her a 9 but everyone else would know her performance was really a 10. Hence this routes provenance. You can call it a 5.9 but when you climb it you will know it is really a 5.10.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Photo
By: Karsten When: Apr 12, 2013

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Comments: A few years ago Josh Thompson and Joanne Urioste put up the first line to my knowledge on the right side of this wall. I did the second ascent and found it to be an adventurous route. On my ascent we evidentally took a variation that bypassed the best climbing on the route. Oh well.

The easiest way to approach this wall is from the top, taking the old 4x4 road that goes out willow springs. If taking the loop road expect around a 4 hour approach to get to the base. Even from the backside app... more >>

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