Showing posts with label Peter Kamitses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Kamitses. Show all posts

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Gunks Project

Photos by Christian Fraccia from last years efforts.  The french connection roof is like sculpted marble.
While I can appreciate hucking laps on classics at the local crag or visiting new areas for the first time and seeing how my onsighting skills have fared since my last trip to a brand new crag, its really the route that becomes a project that temporarily scratches my eternal itch.   Every year I have to look a little bit farther from my home base in Burlington, Vermont.  But every year I continue my stubborn, hard headed quest to find new rock climbing projects that kick my ass, humble me and force me to get fitter in mind and body to eventually succeed.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Zion and St George

Peter Kamitses leading the crux corner pitch of Moonlight Buttress on his Duodess Revelation 9.2mm rope

     One of my favorite things about being a hopelessly addicted rock climber is how often I am able to immerse myself in beautiful and majestic landscapes.  Add to that the unique feeling of experiencing those landscapes from unusual vantage points often while trying to perform feats of mental creativity combined with physical strength and exactitude....and yeah...I love climbing!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Product Review: Mammuts Realization Shorts (Climbing Harness)

Just wanted to do a quick product review of Mammut's Realization Climbing Shorts that are actually a pair of shorts with a harness, complete with waist belt and leg loops built right into the garment.

As a member of Mammuts Athlete team I have been using all manner of Mammut products for many years now and have always been impressed and reassured with the quality, durablity and functionality of all of it.

The Realization Shorts have been on the market for about a year now,  and I must admit when I first heard about them I was a bit skeptical. But as I am curious by nature and they are new and different I finally got around to trying them out.   
  I have never been a big fan of too many bells and whistles and have always appreciated the construction of the lightest gear and the aesthetic of the cleanest lines in design,  this product does both of those things.  They are pared down to the simple basics you need for most cragging and gym climbing. Two plastic gear loops and two UIAA certified tie in points that serve both as the carabiner attatchment for belaying and rappeling as well as the rope tie in point.
The construction is solid and well fitting, I have about a 32inch waste and the medium size fits well.

I spent some time cragging in them this spring including some lengthy sessions projecting some sport routes hanging around for nearly an hour at a time.  My first pleasant surprise was that this rig was definitlely a bit more comfortable than a traditional harness....I attributed this to two factors....

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!

Peter Kamitses
Burlington, VT