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Member Since: Oct 29, 2010
Last Visit: 2 hours ago
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Point Rank: # 864
Total Points: 730
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Last 30 Days: 249
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
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Page Improvements = 3
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All 727 | Routes 24 | Areas 8 | Photos 36 | Page Improvments | Comments 190 | Posts 377 | Stars 72 | Ratings 20
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Mammoth Lakes Area : Crystal Crag : alpine / multi-pitch : Aretes of Crystal Crag dire... (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 29, 2013

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Comments: I think this is comparable to some of the great easy arete routes in Europe, and (unlike some famous Sierra ridges) with a Euro-style shortness + convenience of approach.

My first route on Crystal Crag was the so-called "North Arete" route with Sharon. But threat (later reality) of afternoon thunder made us stop at the Middle summit and descended the W face from there. So I was disappointed with the shortness and ungreatness of the arete climbing.

Thanks to the Comments I got the hint that the... more >>


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Mammoth Lakes Area : Crystal Crag : North Arete : North ArÍte (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 29, 2013

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Comments: The name of this climb is misleading, since most of the upward climbing is not on the arete. The first 3 (or 2) pitches are on the W side of the arete (not warm if starting early in the morning).

The summit arete as far as the Middle summit (where we and many parties down-climb off the ridge) is welcome + nice, but not in the same league as the high-ridge granite of the Tuolumne Meadows aretes. The really good arete moves + rock start just after the notch between the Middle and South s... more >>


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Mammoth Lakes Area : Crystal Crag : North Arete
By: kenr When: Aug 21, 2013

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Comments: This peak really does have wonderful top-10-in-the-world easy narrow-ridge arete climbing on good granite. Unfortunately many parties end their climb at the Middle summit and descend the W face from near the notch between the Middle and (highest) South summits. But that's where the great arete climbing starts.

To make sure to get to do the great arete climbing on this peak (and without so much loose rock), try this route... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Cathedral Range : Cathedral Range Traverse (Easy 5th)
By: kenr When: Aug 20, 2013

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Comments: Trip Reports for this traverse on other websites:

which Direction? clockwise or counter-clockwise?
The advantages I see in starting with Cathedral is that
  • ensures that you have time and energy to do Cathedral Peak.
  • SE or E side of Cathedr...
 more >>


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Mammoth Lakes Area : Crystal Crag : North Arete : North ArÍte (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 18, 2013

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Comments: There are three worthwhile things about this climb: the traverse along the narrow summit ridge, the short high section of bright-white crystal, and views over the lakes.

The first 3 or 2 pitches upward are a means to get up high to those three things. As a climbing route section, those pitches are just a "one move wonder" 5.6 with lots of loose rock that is not on narrow ridge/arete. So the game is just to get through them quickly and safely, with plenty of time and energy lef... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Tenaya Peak : Tenaya, Matthes, Cathedral ... (5.7)
By: kenr When: Aug 17, 2013

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Comments: Very worthwhile, after traversing to the N end of Matthes Crest, is to climb next the East arete of Echo Ridge. Its upper section is yet another knife edge ridge. Mostly class 3 moves but very sustained and exposed. For maximum fun, take it exactly on the top of the arete whereever possible: "balls over the razor". Or if hanging to the side, then switch sides frequently -- and look for chances to hang off the steeper side. (But I did bypass one high fin).

More on traversing Echo Ridge and Peaks... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Cathedral Peak : Southeast Buttress (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 17, 2013

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Comments: Descent
As of August 2013, the route around the East side of the rock peak is a improved trail -- even with some stone steps (and official-looking carabiner-icon signs near its top and bottom). Anything near the E side not on that trail is forbidden as part of a plant restoration zone.

The descent from the summit goes roughly like this:
Just below SW side of summit block, go down steep about 12 ft on double cracks - (positive holds or jams, but not all obvious or straightforward... more >>


Location: CA : High Sierra : Laurel Mountain : Mendenhall Couloir (4th)
By: kenr When: Aug 14, 2013

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Comments: Navigation ...
To my surprise yesterday on Laurel Mt, the tracks I had put onto my GPS turned out to be rather useful (and accurate) for doing both the climb and the descent.
The tracks I followed are linked from this page .

Some detailed directions for my descent as I remember it ...
. (these are for the steepest most difficult "N then E" option) .

From the summit of Laurel Mt, follow a vague track roughly N about 500 meters dist... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Tenaya Peak : Northwest Buttress (5.3)
By: kenr When: Aug 14, 2013

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Comments: Approach
As of August 2013, I didn't think the approach was that difficult to follow. There's a .GPX file with a track for GPS navigation linked from this page .

Or here's some instructions:
From the parking lot 200m NE from the NE corner of Tenaya Lake (GPS latitude/longitude ~ N37.8378 W119.4518), walk on the paved trail to the beach roughly S about 300 meters, but before reaching the beach, where the paved trail curves R, continue str... more >>


Location: CA : High Sierra : Laurel Mountain : Mendenhall Couloir (4th)
By: kenr When: Aug 14, 2013

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Comments: Joined three very experienced Bishop climbers to do it today (with no rope). Some of us were thinking this is about the longest stretch of reasonably good easy rock in the Sierra.

At least two of us felt there was at least one 5.4 move. Most of the hard moves are near the bottom, but then there's one more like 3/4 the way up. The most recent guidebook rates this route 5.2

The harder moves mostly have slabby feet, so I recommend wearing shoes with sticky climbing rubber. I did it in my approach... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Mt. Conness : North Ridge (Easy 5th)
By: kenr When: Aug 12, 2013

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Comments: Did it yesterday ... Lots of fun interesting climbing and opportunities for exposure in the upper third, if you stay exactly on the crest as much as possible. I suspect in the upper section lots of people get over-eager to just "get to the top" and start just following the "line of least resistance".

Approach is mostly friendly and pretty (except the steep dirt near the top), but I missed the most efficient line, which holds close to the North side of valley which runs east down from t... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Mt. Conness : West Ridge, Mount Conness (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 12, 2013

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Comments:
  • Very worthy add-on for those who get to the top with extra time and energy:
Down-climb the upper section of the North ridge ... likely easier if often go a little below the crest on the SW side ... but stop somewhere before reaching the gap by the "second tower". Then
climb up the N ridge but now trying to stay as close to the crest as possible.

  • Alternate descent: Down-climb the whole North Ridge (as LeeAB pointed out). It's a good...
 more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Tenaya Peak : Tenaya, Matthes, Cathedral ... (5.7)
By: kenr When: Aug 10, 2013

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Comments: The idea of adding the Unicorn and Cockscomb is now included here on MountainProject (as of August 2013) in a different traverse route -- see
northwest Cathedral Range Traverse

Ideas for climbing or traversing Matthes Crest from its North end are now in this route description


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Mt. Conness
By: kenr When: Aug 8, 2013

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Comments: Approach details also in the Comments on the MP West Ridge page.

GPX file containing key latitude/longitude waypoints and some useful tracks for approach is linked from this page .


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Mt. Conness : West Ridge, Mount Conness (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 8, 2013

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Comments: Detailed description of approach from Saddlebag Lake area (east side).
It is helpful to combine this description with the photos + description on www.dreaminvertical.com/?p=1793 , and of course the description in the book High Sierra Climbing, by Chris McNamara (SuperTopo 2004).

GPX file containing all latitude/longitude waypoints in the following description (and some useful tracks) is linked from this page... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Mt. Conness : West Ridge, Mount Conness (5.6)
By: kenr When: Aug 8, 2013

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Comments: Doing it from the Saddlebag Lake area (East side) is a long ways in. Around 4 miles and +2500 vertical feet (7km and +760 vert meters). Which might not sound so bad. But that includes +2050 vertical feet (+625 meters) off-trail, so harder and slower, especially if carrying a rope and some sort of Trad rack.
And it includes 1725 vertical feet (525 vert meters) of descending, all off-trail.

Also fairly high altitude. Merely the approach goes over 12,200 ft (3725 meters) altitude... more >>


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : i. High E : Ursula (5.5)
By: kenr When: Aug 4, 2013

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Comments: P1 - felt to me like it was hard to point to any single move as harder than 5.5, but it's very sustained. Also seemed like several stances in a row for placing protection were fairly sloping and not as positive as you'd normally expect for placing pro on a Gunks 5.5.

Not a good choice as an early lead for someone whose previous experience is mostly indoors.


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : i. High E : Space Invaders (5.10d)
By: kenr When: Aug 4, 2013

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Comments: Variation? Perhaps need to get clear on "Space Invaders Direct" versus "Groovy Direct". Williams guidebook gives a direct 10a variation for Groovy. Other climbers have found it too -- see Comments under Groovy .

So do we have two names for the same line, or is there a separate "Space Invaders Direct" line in between the Groovy Direct variation and Space Invaders proper?

The direct variation I did was fairly juggy and fun, seemed like 10a. I... more >>


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : g. V3 - Middle Earth : Dis-Mantel (5.10)
By: kenr When: Aug 4, 2013

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Comments: As Monk suggests, if shorter than 5ft8in w normal reach the lower crux is much harder - (perhaps more than 10b?). Not just finger strength, but a sort of awkward trick -- took me a lot of tries to work it out even after I saw it demonstrated.


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch : Bloody Bush (5.7)
By: kenr When: Aug 3, 2013

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Comments: I led P1 with Sharon (not P2 because she didn't feel ready to take on a traverse at 5.6 difficulty). We both thought it had lots of fun climbing on positive holds.

I'm not convinced there was any single move on P1 which reached full 5.5 difficulty (and I think Sharon would have noticed and commented if any move had hit full 5.5) -- but the difficulty was very sustained (though with suitably frequent rests for me) -- and the intimidation of the sideways-overhanging configuration was very sustain... more >>


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : b. Gelsa to Moe (closure) : Yum Yum Yab Yum (5.4)
By: kenr When: Jul 27, 2013

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Comments: Did it again today with Sharon. Had more climbing moves than I remembered.
I did not notice any ledge-fall-hit potential in the 20 ft above the first big pine tree with rappel slings. I was able to get threaded placement low on the right side, then another high on the right side before making the traverse to the left. Then another high placement of cam (with a second cam as backup) about two-thirds of the way across the traverse. Then I was able to reach around to the left-facing corner. But Sha... more >>


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch : Baby (5.6)
By: kenr When: Jun 9, 2013

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Comments: I think the off-width is more fun done as a layback - (also more committing) - (likely more scary).
Sometimes I wish the Gunks had some good practice on off-widths, but I've found the possible off-width here is too short to be useful.


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch : Easy Overhang (5.2)
By: kenr When: Jun 9, 2013

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Comments: The new chains + rings at the optional belay 50 feet up on P2 (which is also the top anchor for Son of Easy O) makes it easy for the leader to stop there and maintain good communinication with a follower who might be having trouble with the overhang low on P2. Or having trouble with the slopy mantle just before the the optional belay.

I think the overhang on P2 is 5.2 only if the climber sees the best sequence (and is strong and confident). Otherwise could be troublesome for a beginner. Also th... more >>


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch : Sixish (5.5)
By: kenr When: Jun 6, 2013

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Comments: After leading it again today, still one of my favorite less-than-5.6 climbs in the Gunks: for the variety of situations, and the fun of the non-difficult moves on positive holds.

Using double-ropes carefully made it easy to protect both me and my follower well on P1 and P3.


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : a. The Uberfall : Dirty Chimney (5.0)
By: kenr When: May 28, 2013

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Comments: I still like it two years later (after not climbing it at all in the 2012 season because of a warning sign).

I guess that a few feet below the top of the lower "chimney" section, most people exit to the right to the bolt anchors for Laurel. It's a little harder to continue directly those last few feet to the top of the lower section.

The upper section is indeed dirtier -- and has a tricky exit move at the top of the whole climb -- might be 5.2


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