Intro to climbing at Pinnacles

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Lisa had been hassling me on and off to take her climbing, and after a couple of false starts, it came together. Turns out Karalee had been hassling Scott too, and all sorts of people wanted to go outside climbing so we made a day of it.

We were meeting at my place at 8am, which various people were complaining about, but they came anyway. For a change it was me who wasn't ready. At 7:30 I decided that I still had enough time to make Lisa and I pancakes for breakfast. Silly me. On the brighter side, it meant I had pancakes for everyone when they got here.

We were hoping to climb the direct route on the Monolith, and set up an easy toprope and a medium toprope there, but funnily enough we weren't fast enough. We were only too late by about 10 minutes it seems, but 10 minutes is plenty. After a brief look at tiburcio's X, we decided that that was going to be too slow for toproping with 8 of us. (It's ~140ft high, and would need both ropes.) The upper crust it was.

We were hoping to avoid the upper crust because it's not as scenic as the monolith, but we had the place to ourselves, so it made up for it. It also meant we got to keep everyone together. Scott and I were really trying to avoid splitting the group into an easy climb and a medium climb, and the upper crust gave us this.

Time to set up some ropes. I'd not led anything on the upper crust before, and we were setting up Japanese Water Torture as our easy climb (5.7) It's a bit runout, and I'd whimped out of it before, but was feeling decent today, and had my brand new mythos on too, so how could I go wrong?

A committing move over the first bolt, then easily to the bulge on top. Scott was by this time chatting to all and sundry, so after asking him to watch me while I pulled over the lip (good ankle breaking potential if you miss this bulge, the bolt is at your feet, but it's easier than the moves by the first bolt) I proceeded to do just that. Setting up topropes here proved to be a bit of a hassle, as the anchor bolts are all set well back from the cliff edge. No matter, we had some longs slings with us, so after a bit of fiddling around we got that one set up.

I got TJ set up to start belaying people up there, while I went off to belay Scott up Organgrinder. (5.8+) Gessara watched and learned how to lead belay. Scott couldn't quite pull it off without stemming across the chasm, but made it to the top quite quickly, and we got a second rope set up.

Finally set up, I could finally return to paying attention to my guests :) Gave a brief safety spiel, then it was time to start getting people into harnesses and showing people how to belay.

Lisa, Junko, Brian and Steve, all first time climbers all went hard, with the girls successfully sending Japanese Water Torture, Lisa even sending it clean. (no falls at all!) Brian and Steve went onto Organgrinder, and Brian even had a bash at the 10a we set up in the afternoon.

Karalee, a climber from way back, demonstrated that you can climb while dressed up for a night club, you just substitute size 7 boreals for size 8 pumps. I guess this would be the modern era of climbing attire? Compare to Lisa's cotton lycra, and my generic t-shirt and shorts and I think we had most of the recent era's of climbing attire represented. Scott wasn't wearing his long sleeved button down, or we would have had some historical wear as well.

Josh, having never climbed outside before was jumping around all day saying how much he loved it, while his charming fiance, Gessara quickly dispatched all the climbs she laid her shoes to. I predict a bit more outdoor climbing from those two. :)

TJ demonstrated his ability to adapt to any situation, whether it be salami eating or a new way of belaying. Someone else who'll probably be seen more and more outside over the course of summer.

And that just leaves the photos....

Steve, Gessara and Karalee

Karl starting up Japanese Water Torture

TJ chillin

Karalee, Brian and Junko

Karalee on Japanese Water Torture

Karalee on Japanese Water Torture

Karalee scans for the next move

Brian working it