Thursday, June 10, 2010

If at first you don't succeed...

Well sometimes a weekend warrior gets to join the full-timers, so on Tuesday Ginger Slack and I went and had a go at the first four pitches of La Gota Fria, which is what our route (should we ever be men, err, I mean, courageous-- enough to actually climb the entire thing) is called.

Now Ginger Slack is a guy who knows what extreme sports are REALLY all about: meeting women and working as little as possible. When not modeling neural artchitecture, or discussing now neural networks' signal-to-noise ratios correlate with adaptivity to new challenges, you can find him with his slackline, which is basically a kind of fishing net for a certain kind of girl. For this, he is sponsored! Nice work, young man. Anyway, between his horrendously busy schedule of slacklining, sex and neural modeling (oh and selling clothes at M.E.C.), Slack sometimes climbs. So on Tuesday we huffed and puffed our way through the humidity to the base of the route.

I freed P1 which Slack thinks is 5.10d (it has one short bolted crux). I was psyched to free the pitch, and then I realised that Driller and I had fucked the bolts up AGAIN, being gumbies and all. The first is too high, the second too far right. There is a good reason why purists drill on lead...anyway, the thing is doable, but not ideal. Driller would later say "we are using oil to clean up water" which makes about as much sense as BP trying to stop an oil-well explosion with some nice mud, but was actually accurate.

Slack led P2 which is IMHO 5.9 but he says 10a...but then I have them mad face-hold-detection skillz. P3 was another story. I managed to fall off on lead, then on the yo-yo, and then again a whopping two feet higher than my first two tries. This thing is 5.11B for sure. Basically, it is two hard awkward fingery move, then either a solid rest, or a bomber handjam. It is like the Squamish Buttress crux pitch-- very easy to aid.

Slack led P4 which he thinks is 5.10b, then we rapped.

The good news is that while P1 and 2 need some cleaning, the route dries more quickly than we thought for a north-facing route. After one day of no rain, with +15 temps, it is climbable with the odd wet spot. If it has 2 dry days and is +10 (e.g. April, late Sept) it will go. Wind helps hugely. The nice thing is, since the route starts off Caramba Terrace, it escapes the summer humidity trap that affects the valley-floor-starts of routes, and it gets wind.

Anyway, I know this post is really boring. But...stay tuned. We are going for the FA of La Gota Fria (Lite) on Sunday, and we will have pictures and a good story for all ten of you. That's a 25% increase over two weeks ago...and all I had to do to get new followers was, try to kill Perry Beckham and Jia Condon, and then get trash-talked on the comments part of this blog. Maybe I should try to kill Peter Croft or Steph Davis (after Napoleon finishes with her, of course) that way I could up the readership to, say, 15 and Google would come running with offers of not just $$ but also hordes of nude willing women (invisible to Driller and my girlfriends), plus free Timmy Ho coffee forever, man oh man, I can see it now...

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