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Kris Solem climbing the route, 11-30-08. Photo by Michael Ybarra.


Member Since: Apr 2, 2004
Last Visit: 6 days ago
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Point Rank: # 1,827
Total Points: 324
Last Year: 9
Last 30 Days: 0
41 Compliments
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1



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Contributions


All 152 | Routes 5 | Areas 1 | Photos 42 | Page Improvements | Comments 49 | Posts 11 | Stars 31 | Ratings 13
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : ... : Photo
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 23, 2014

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Comments: That's the third belay.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Pizzazz (5.10- PG13)
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 23, 2014

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Comments: Double ropes allow the leader to place good gear on the back side of the chimney giving excellent protection for the move from the chimney onto the face into the crack.

I think this is a great short climb, but not for everyone.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Ankles Away (5.11 PG13)
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 23, 2014

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Comments: I don't see this climb - which I have done several times - as crossing the line into 5.12. That said it's about as hard as that kind of 5.11 can get.

It's just me, but I can't see the advantage of doing it in one long pitch. You have less freedom to move well with all that rope, the belay ledge is as good as they get, and you can't swing leads with your partner.

All in it's a Needles classic, and a bit unique for the area.

The biggest piece you need is a 1 inch cam. A few smaller TCU's are us... more >>


Location: CA : Tahquitz & Suicide Rocks : Tahquitz Rock : Northwest Recess : Sahara Terror (5.7)
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 14, 2014

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Comments: So yesterday this route claims another with major rockfall.

I have an idea. If you are looking for death defying stunts on loose rock with a track record of killing and maiming people, go to the Canadian Rockies, or the Devil's Crags in the Sierra; someplace where you know what the game is and you take your chances with your eyes wide open.

All this talk about Sahara Terror being such a great route is hogwash. A climb like this at a local crag should be avoided like poison.

IMO...


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Innersanctum (5.9)
By: Kris Solem When: Dec 31, 2012

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Comments: Thanks for the correction Steve, and the email. My comment was based on what I thought was 100% reliable info. Laeger placed the bolt - they belayed there - and I think he believed the route was unclimbed at that time.


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Bishop Area : Pine Creek Canyon : Three Hour Buttress : Three Hour Arete (5.10c)
By: Kris Solem When: Dec 10, 2012

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Comments: Regarding rockfall, when I did it in Sept., there was a lot of fresh scarring surrounding the belay at the top of P3. Was this from cleaning on the FA? Would have had to come from near the top of the route to hit there.


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Split Rocks : Future Games Rock : Games Without Frontiers (5.13a)
By: Kris Solem When: Nov 27, 2012

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Comments: Susan, The best of all possible worlds is to lead on the doubles with two belayers, one for each cord. The downside is that your beer expenses double...


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Split Rocks : Future Games Rock : Games Without Frontiers (5.13a)
By: Kris Solem When: Nov 13, 2012

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Comments: " ...but if it breaks while you're pulling slack to clip you will probably deck..."

This is why I used double ropes. Assuming your belayer is up to speed with the system you can pull slack on one cord to clip while still being properly belayed on the other.


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Bishop Area : Pine Creek Canyon : Three Hour Buttress : Three Hour Arete (5.10c)
By: Kris Solem When: Oct 18, 2012

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Comments: This is a great route. That little boulder problem in the sky which kicks off P4 is a real gem. Next time I must do the variation finish. First time I had to stay on the arete 'cause it is so cool.


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Bishop Area : Pine Creek Canyon : Scheelite Crags : ... : John Fischer Memorial Route (5.10c)
By: Kris Solem When: Oct 18, 2012

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Comments: Did the first 5 pitches of this one day before yesterday. Yes to all the props above. Super fun well protected climbing. Also did 3 hour arete and silver streak. All great fun.

Now guys, about the ratings...

Hair Lip at Suicide is a consensus 10a. On The Road on Tahquitz is 10c, and a much harder lead than JFMR. If P3 of JFMR were in Idyllwild it would likely be graded 10a as well, maybe 10b but that's it. Sorry but yer not as Old Skool as you think if you are serious about 10d. Of course the ... more >>


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : Courtright Reservoir : Trapper Dome : Trapper Dome, South Face : ... : Carson-Kodas Arete (5.11b R)
By: Kris Solem When: Apr 10, 2012

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Comments: I'm not sure how this climb got sorted onto the "Sex Wall" page, that is not where it is. Sex Wall is on the upper east side of Trapper Dome, this route is on the south west arete. FWIW...


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Lost Horse Area : Dairy Queen Wall : Dairy Queen Wall - Left Sid... : Toxic Waltz (5.12a PG13)
By: Kris Solem When: Oct 17, 2011

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Comments: I did this one with Hidetaka Suzuki bitd. Well actually he did it, second try. It did me, I would have had to come back a few times probably (which I didn't.)

Back then folks were calling it 5.13. Hidetaka did not suggest a downgrading. I remember after his send he came down and lit up a smoke, looked me in the eye and said "Kris, sometimes I think I am a pretty bold climber."

I was nursing a nasty swollen ankle from the flyer I took on my second try, and could not disagree.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Warlock : Ghostbumps (5.11)
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 18, 2011

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Comments: Josh did you guys actually get a clean TR on the third pitch up there?

I would suppose that to be giving it a grade you had to have, right?

Juss' curious...


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Warlock : Planet Waves (5.11c PG13)
By: Kris Solem When: Jul 14, 2011

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Comments: The anchor bolts at the top of P1 and the protection bolts on P2 are now upgraded to stainless 5 piece powers. The lead bolts are 3/8" x 3" and the anchor is one 3/8" and one 1/2". Have fun!!

Also Shadows in the Rain, the face climb to the right of Imaginary Voyage has new bolts.

Special thanks to Levy, without whose hard work this would not have happenned. And to Greg Barnes and the ASCA for the materials.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : Church Domes : Rock of Ages : Liquid Jesus (5.11a)
By: Kris Solem When: Jun 14, 2011

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Comments: Solid for 5.11c. About 7 bolts.

I think the crux is not the reach move down low, but rather some thin technical moves through the dark band about halfway up.

Fun moves on fine rock.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Spook Book (5.10+ R)
By: Kris Solem When: May 23, 2011

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Comments: Hi Eric - FYI Bob Kamp's contemporaneous notes from the FA have him placing the first bolt and Herb Laeger the second. On the first day,7-9-78, they ran out of time and traversed to Inner Sanctum to escape from about P3. Came back 7-15-78 and did the whole line.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Innersanctum (5.9)
By: Kris Solem When: May 23, 2011

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Comments: The bolt was placed by Herb Laeger in 1976. His personal diaries list the FA of Inner Sanctum ("Named after an old television horror serial") as Herb Laeger, Mike Jaffe, Eve Uiga 12 July 1976. They graded it 5.8 at the time. On this ascent the first belay was at the bolt with some gear too.

Becky et al may have climbed it earlier but the bolt and route name came from the 76 ascent. It is also possible, even likely that Becky's group climbed a different line altogether. Many of the early Needles... more >>


Location: CA : Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP : Kings Canyon : Photo
By: Kris Solem When: Feb 4, 2011

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Comments: Hi Van. Nice to see more of your outstanding photos. What a place!


Location: CA : Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP : Kings Canyon
By: Kris Solem When: Feb 3, 2011

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Comments: I finally got around to putting up a page on The Gorge of Despair, a crown jewel of King's Canyon back country climbing.

Enjoy! Let me know how to improve it too.


Location: Ken Trout : Climbing Projects : Photo
By: Kris Solem When: Feb 3, 2011

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Comments: This photo was taken in July 1996 by Guy Keesee from the top of the Silver Turret. Guy climbed the 4th class South Ridge to meet Chelsea Griffie and Kris Solem on top following the first ascent of From Afar, IV 5.12a.

The two pitch 5.11 Ken mentions on the South Face of The Cobra is called From Afar and was first climbed by Kris Solem and Guy Keesee in 1992. The climb starts just right of a large alcove about halfway up the hill and passes 3 bolts to gain the crack for two pitches.


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : The Entity (5.10d R)
By: Kris Solem When: Dec 17, 2010

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Comments: Herb Laeger's notes from the FA specifically describe climbing the corner into the crack and heading up and left as shown in John's second beta photo (on the FA this was P3.) He makes no mention of the bolt. Perhaps it was placed later by someone trying a variation or not aware of the route?

That is a pretty long first pitch going all the way up through the roofs, left facing corner (crux) to the ledge. The FA belayed in the crack just below the first roofs. The big ledge was the top of P2. Thi... more >>


Location: CA : Southern Sierra : The Needles / Kern River : The Needles : The Witch : Igor Unchained (5.9+)
By: Kris Solem When: Dec 17, 2010

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Comments: Just for perspective, the FA party graded this route as 5.8 when they did it. The name of the route came from the lyric "Igor Unchained by his Baying Hounds" from the song "Monster Mash."

IMO the crux is the bit on P1 where the crack gets shallow. Some folks find it to be the slabby section on P2, which is also kind of cruxy. I'd say the upper pitches are 5.8. I've soloed the upper pitches many times but never had any interest in being ropeless on the first two.


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Split Rocks : Future Games Rock : Hang 'Em High (5.12a/b)
By: Kris Solem When: Mar 17, 2010

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Comments: I found this climb to be difficult to redpoint, and getting it took several visits after the day when Jan, Herb and I got the bolts in place (ground up by hand of course.)

The moves entering the crux are hard so setting up right for the crux is part of the deal. I finally got it when I used double ropes. I ran one cord for all the pro up to the crux including the fixed pin, then the first clip for the second rope was the crux bolt. This method made the clip easier, and I was able to focus on s... more >>


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Indian Cove : Indian Cove Campground : Campfire Crag : ... : Genuine Cowhide (5.10a)
By: Kris Solem When: Jan 12, 2010

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Comments: Genuine Cowhide is one of my favoriite Indian Cove moderates, and I've done it many times. I have to say that .10a does seem a bit of a sandbag compared to other 10a's in the same area.


Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Indian Cove : Rattlesnake Canyon : Indian Country : A Good Day to Die (5.11c R)
By: Kris Solem When: Dec 12, 2009

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Comments: Guy Keesee did the first lead of this one. I put in the two bolts, climbed up to the horizontal and lowered off so Guy could have a crack at the upper headwall. I really figured he'd get in some more bolts but he just got rolling, did not want to stop, and gunned it to the top...


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