With two young kids at home, we don't get as many chances to go climbing as we once did. When we do get the opportunity, we often head up to the Chapel Pond area in the Adirondacks, where there are lots of great climbs in a beautiful setting. Today, we got in several climbs at the Jewels and Jems and Beer Walls crags.
I mentioned Jewels and Jems in my Favorites post last month. Since today was our first time climbing this summer, the two moderate climbs that we top-roped there provided a great warm up. We started on Diamonds and Coal (5.6) while another party (Bob and Ryan) led up North Country Club Crack (also 5.6), located about 20 feet to our left. Then we got our turn on NCCC next.
Bob on NCCC
Although Beth and I both lead climb, top-roping is a great option for climbing routes harder than you would lead, or, in our case, when you haven't climbed in a while and need to get your climbing feet back. Once you top out on a climb, your belayer simply lowers you back down the cliff, similar to rappelling.
With those two climbs under our belts, we took a quick lunch break along the shore of Chapel Pond and decided to head over to the Beer Walls, a great top-roping area located less than a mile down the road.
At the Beer Walls, we climbed Seven Ounces (5.7) on top-rope, a short but fun vertical crack climb. Now fully warmed up, Beth announced that she'd like to lead Afternoon Delight, a great 5.5 face climb with good holds and opportunities for protection in the right-rising cracks that cover the face. In lead climbing, the climber is protected by wedges and camming devices that she places in the cliff, to which the rope is attached with carabiners. Once the leader arrives at the top of the climb, she sets up an anchor and then belays the follower up, who removes the gear as he climbs.
Following Beth up Afternoon Delight, near the top of the climb and with a fair amount of exposure behind and below me, I was more than happy that I had let Beth do the leading.
Our final climb was a fun 5.8 hand crack named Fast and Furious, our hardest climb of the day and also done on top-rope. We packed up the gear and headed for home by about 5pm, pleased that we had the chance to do some great climbing in a spectacular setting on a beautiful Adirondack summer day, and looking forward to more climbing soon.