Sunday, September 10, 2006

Beacon Rock

Karen, Joyce and I climbed at Beacon Rock this weekend. They had never been there, and I had only been once before, a few days after moving to Oregon, but I didn't climb.

After going to the wrong side of the tower, we finally found the area that had a route we wanted to do. Free For All is a 5.8 trad route that has some minor face climbing and some pretty interesting crack climbing. I'm not much of a hand-jammer, so I tended to climb the crack like it was a face. The route is 150 feet long, so needless to say I was glad to finally reach the anchors. Joyce followed and then was lowered, where Karen climbed and was lowered. I rapped off and called it a day. Karen and Joyce both got on an interesting looking 10d/11a, Free For Some top rope and then called it a day.

After paying $16 (yeah, that's right, SIXTEEN DOLLARS) for what was the last open campsite at Beacon Rock State Park, we chilled with a few games off Hoopla. How the hell was I supposed to Soundstage accurately Harrison Ford?!?

After getting a so-so night sleep with a shit-ton of strange dreams, we ate breakfast then headed over to the rock. Cruisemaster was already being climbed, so we opted for Young Warriors, a 5 pitch 5.9. Joyce lead the mixed first pitch. Karen followed, then I swung the lead. The 2nd pitch was kinda hairy...

So, I'm not a trad climber. I, you know... boulder. Occasionally I do some routes in the gym. While I love the thrill of gear climbing, I have a lot to learn to make me a better climber. I forgot took a sling off a draw that I REALLY should have left on. Luckily I didn't generate the 50lbs of rope drag until the end, which was a pretty easy scramble. I did almost fall of once at what I'd call the crux.

With a high right foot, I locked off on my left hand and luckily found a good right side-pull. Shifting my weight, I moved my left hand up to pretty much nothing. A bit of figiting and I slipped my left hand onto a jug, then hung out. That might have been the sequence that slightly pulled my groin, not 100% sure.

So, once at the Tree Ledge, with Darren from Climb Axe (new store at 28th and Sandy!) I took a bit too long and kinda upset Joyce and Karen. It was hard to hear, and the rope was acting like an ass. Plus, Darren and his crew were chatting it up. Regardless, I should have talked over the communication signals with K & J before we started climbing anyway.

Upon rapping down, the rope got tangled in a tree. Then, I got tangled in the tree trying to get the rope untangled. Terra Firma never felt so good!

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