Sunday, November 25, 2012

Adirondack Project Completion

The Adirondack Mtns of New York lie directly across Lake Champlain from my back yard here in Burlington, Vermont...I have spent many an evening watching the sunset behind these wild mountains while remembering past climbing adventures and day dreaming of future sends of the long term projects that I am so fortunate to have in my home region.


  
Of the myriad cliffs tucked throughout the massive Adirondack Park, none has held my interest the way Moss Cliff has. It has offered such a great juxtaposition, such an incredible motivating draw combined with good old fashioned shaky nerves, elevated heart rate and near dread at the mere thought of leading each of the amazing crack systems on the right side, or "Aid Wall" of this imposing 350ft chunk of Anorthocite. 

Below is the view looking out at the High Peaks region from the "party ledge" part way up the "Aid wall".
Below is a view of the "party ledge" from a buttress up and behind the wall, the wide crack to the left by the arete is the old school classic off-width 'Creation of the World' originally graded 5.10...but more like 5.11+ or in my case nearly 5.13 by the amount of effort I had to put forth to repeat this rig back in the day.

This fall I managed to complete the FA of the last independent crack line to be freed on the "aid wall". It generally follows the old aid route "Pan Am" A3...  It starts off the right side of the party ledge and goes up to a small pedestal and then up the twin crack system above me in the picture below, then up and right thru a powerful crux to a good rest below the hanging flake that comes down to a point in the upper right hand corner of the picture.
 I'd been trying to free this line off and on for three years. A short season (closed from march till august for Peregrines) and weather that is often too hot or too cold prolonged this process. Not to mention that this rig required (for me anyway) top notch fitness and superior concentration to remain calm through the runouts and execute the technical wizardry needed on almost the whole pitch.  To say that this thing has a lot of beta is an understatement. Its 140ft long and overhangs gently.  Up until this fall I'd only managed to two hang it on top rope and the thought of being ready to lead it felt pretty far off...In the last year I've gotten more and more into distance running and I feel like the new fitness I've developed definitely helped me with heart rate and recovery mid pitch.
   
     Mammuts amazing 9.2mm Revelation Rope offered just the right ratio of lightweight with the necessary safety for a pitch with such huge fall potential... a handful of Bionic Evo quick draws and a bunch of Moses Biners helped keep the gear weight down.
    
    Though I'd been able to link it cleanly on top rope, it was, as usual a whole other story to climb from bottom to top placing gear on the lead, the next few photos are of the last redpoint crux.
   Over the years after projecting a route for a prolonged period of time I have often had the experience that all climbers know, that effortlessness that comes when everything is done just right and the route that was previously "impossible" feels almost "easy".....well this was NOT one of those experiences.  This rig is a total enduro fitness challenge and you need to still be feeling pretty "fresh" when you get to this high crux if you have a hope of doing it...anyway I felt a bit less than "fresh" and I was sure I was going to fall for each of these moves, (this huge standup deadpoint off the undercling in my left hand to the slopey crimp in my right) ( the blind foot smears on tiny grains that you establish on to do the cross move and match the rail) and then (not pictured) a standup thrutch into an undercling crack up and right...

 Anyway...this route went down in the most satisfying manner...just the way you'd want a multi-year scary, proud line like this to go down, desperately fighting off a crippling pump with chicken wings up...legs shaking, heart pounding in my ears, totally battling, knowing this freak warm day in November might be your last day until next season and somehow NOT falling!!! Thought I was gonna go hoarse from screaming once I'd clipped the anchor....
       I named the free version "The Highline" 5.13d/14a R...due to the balancey, runout and serious nature of the route.

          The next two photos are of the final balancy, techy 5.11+ crux guarding the anchor, way out there, just two RP's in the last 40 feet....So psyched to have completed this thing before winter...Big thanks to the amazing energy of the incredibly psyched guys who came out to support me that day, my old friend Onslo Carrington (who was back for a visit from Vietnam where he's been living for the last few years) for the good vibes belay! And "the Duder", Adirondack local, Will Roth for snapping these photos!

Cheers!
Peter Kamitses
Burlington, VT



1 comment:

Gribbin Loring said...

Way to throw down Peter!