Sunday, May 30, 2010

Castle Rock 5/23/10

Castle Rock. Hidden away in the mountainous hills of Saratoga, Castle is one of Northern California's hidden bouldering gems. The boulders here are Fontainebleau-esque sandstone pillars with a soft layer of moss gently brushing each of the many surfaces, creating some picture perfect climbs.

I started the day hiking up to the Parking Lot boulder with my friend Mitch Newman, who had given me a ride so we could go work our project, Ecoterrorist (v10). After getting there and warming up, we started the early sending with a quick lap up Tree Route (v5), a way cool problem that stretched up the boulder's main face after a sit start. Still a hard problem with many variations, its a classic for the grade.

Mitch checking out a problem

We then started working on Deforestation (v9), which starts off way over head height and makes a huge move out right before topping out on tiny crimps. I made a little progress on this one, but local Castle crusher for over 15 years, Jeremy Meigs, showed me how it was done and fired it off first go. He's probably one of the Bay Area's strongest boulderers and is a great inspiration for younger climbers like me. Keep it up man!

After a couple tries, I was able to tick off Parking Lot Traverse (v7), a long traverse of the whole parking lot boulder, starting on the downhill side and coming all the way back up into Tree Route. Pretty psyched on this one.

Mitch and I headed over to Ecoterrorist at about 5:00, which didn't give us that much time to project the problem, but was still worth it anyways. The entire problem is about 6 or 7 moves, and is mostly just a mantle at the top. It starts at about head height with a hard moving getting into the starting hueco (I had to climb the tree behind me to get it first time), then makes a huge move up to the lip where you match and go out right to another sloper and top out from there. We worked it for a while, but the farthest I got on it was to slap the 2nd sloper lip and fell from there. Good project for the future.

start move of Ecoterrorist

Mitch at the crux

trying to pull the lip

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