Friday, July 2, 2010

Chapel Pond: 07/02/2010

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.

Beth lowering down NCCC

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.

Beth on the sharp end, Afternoon Delight

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.

Beth at the top of Afternoon Delight

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.

Chapel Pond

1 comment:

  1. 4 Archived Comments:November 3, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    Zelda said...
    Now THAT is amazing!!! Nice work, Beth!
    July 3, 2010 9:51 AM

    Harvey44 said...
    Jeff ... more nice climbing photos. I'm in awe of climbing and climbers in general. Love having it on Harvey Road. Top roping sounds like a great way to get some good exercise in a "low key" way. Here's a newbie/yahoo question: do you guys ever get scared? Beth looks very confident.
    July 4, 2010 7:19 AM

    Beth said...
    Lead climbers become competent after they have followed and top-roped many routes that are beyond their ability to lead. Muscle memory, experience, and understanding the grade all adds up. Being on lead is not really scary unless you are climbing above your ability level. (People typically follow routes at least 2-3 grades harder than they lead.) It is not exactly scary, but a combination of excitement and a bit of calculated risk, and the physical exertion in the moment, much the same as telemarking a double black diamond must be :)?
    July 8, 2010 11:32 PM

    Jason said...
    I think you never get the true adrenalin rush of climbing unless you are leading.
    You can second or TR a climb a thousand times.The moment you are on the sharp end , you get a totally different perspective of that climb.
    Following and TR is exercise, leading is true climbing..
    PS: I'm a big wimp when I lead , and always lead way under my ability...
    July 9, 2010 9:28 AM