Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pinnacles 5/31/10

Memorial day is a great day to go climbing. There's no school, relatively good temps usually, and no time constraints. Last memorial day, I went climbing at the Pinnacles with my friend Chris Bellizzi, who put up quite a few routes there in the 80's and 90's.

When we got there, it was pretty crowded with lots of hikers trying to enjoy the 3-day weekend. Our first stop was by the Monolith, where a lot of the good classics are located.

The rock at the Pinnacles is a conglomerate based rock with a lot of little pieces of smooth rock scattered throughout. This gives the climbs a gym like feel where you’re grabbing sometimes golfball-sized holds, sometimes watermelon-sized. The climbs at the monolith climb more or less like that.

My Lizard Friend

I started out the day on a classic of the area, Cantaloupe Death (10b). The last time I climbed this route was when I was 10 years old, and it requires you to lean across a gap to reach the starting holds. I have always been too short to make the span, requiring me to jump all the way across the span. Today, I did the direct start to the route, eliminating the jump and making the route 5.12a.

Cantaloupe Death Direct 12a

photo: Chris Bellizzi

After Chris got on it to warm up, I got on Hot Lava Lucy (12c) after looking it over and pre-equipping the first 2 draws, I went for the onsight. I got all the way past the crux and up to the third bolt, and was about to clip it, when I realized that I left all remaining quickdraws on the ground. DUHH. Oh well. After two more goes I was able to fire it off and continue the day.

First two bolts on Hot Lava Lucy

The rest of the day, we tried the super long Ranger Bolts (13a), which is an 80’ climb on the back of the Monolith. After quite a few attempts to get to the top, I saved it for another try and we hiked back over to the Discovery Wall area to finish off the day. After climbing Cosmos and Chris’s route Verdict, we called it a day and headed back to the car. Good times.

photo: Chris Bellizzi

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