On Rope on the Glenn Highway – The Dry Docks

On Sunday, Keenen, Jared and I drove north to check out a few old bolted sport climbing projects at a small area 1 mile past the Chickaloon boulders along the Glenn highway. There are currently 5 lines out there, all short, and all quite hard.  The furthest right line is a 5 bolt Paul Turecki line that goes at 5.12c.  If anyone knows the name, I’d love to know.

The next line to the left is the first project we wanted to get on.  It’s a 20ish foot route following an areteish feature with 2 bolts to a one chain anchor (if anyone would like to add a second anchor bolt, please feel free). When Dan Kryger and I bolted this back in 2002ish, we came close to doing the line, but never managed to finish it off, being thwarted by a hard finishing sequence.  At the time we thought it would be in the low 5.13 range, and basically a really big boulder problem without a manageable landing.

Keenen on Harpooned-5.13b

Keenen on the first project of the day

The next line to the left is a really aesthetic three bolt 20ish foot route.  This route starts out up a really tenuous layback then cuts right on better holds, but crap feet to a big powerful move to good holds and the third clip, and is topped by a henious shoulder ripping finishing crux.  If I recall correctly, way back in 2002-2003 Chris Terry and a guy named Helmut did the upper crux, but were never able to do the lower sequence.  Altogether this routes is likely in the low 5.14 or v11/12 range and a really aesthetic and powerful project for anyone up to the task.

Further left about a hundred yards and directly above the pullout is an overhanging white wall with the last two routes.  The first is a two bolt line up the belly of the white wall, dubbed the White Whale Project.  This is a short striking line which looks blank at first, but has just enough crimps to make it possible.  All of the moves on this have been done except the last, a six foot dyno to glory.  This is also likely in the 5.13+/14- or v10/11 range.

Last but not least is a thin seam in a small dihedral.  The crack takes gear, mostly 0 and 00 cams and most of the moves have been done.  Who’s gonna sack up for this thin seam?

After warming up, we got on the Arete line and started working out all of the bits of beta.  The lower section to the last move we figured out fairly quickly, but the last move continued to stump us.  Finally, I yarded up to the anchor to see what was up there and found we were going for the wrong hold.  After lowering down a bit, I was quickly able to do the last move and then it was time to start going for it.  First go I fell at the last move again, but I had touched the hold, so I knew it was there.  Keenen linked quickly to the second to last move, but was struggling to get his body in the right spot.  After a few minutes he figured out the right spot and felt solid on that move.  I tied and and managed to fire it next go, and Keenen followed shortly after for the first and second ascents of Harpooned-5.13b, or basically a long hard v8 boulder problem on a rope.

Keenen on the second to last move of Harpooned-5.13b

Keenen on the second to last move of Harpooned-5.13b

Next up was the line to the left.  After a little bit of cleaning, I was able to figure out an incredibly tensiony sequence through the bottom which was huge progress from many years past and relearn the middle sequence. Keenen worked the bottom, but couldn’t quite link through the tenuous moves.  The top eluded both of us.  The sequence I recall from 12-13 years ago involves an insanely powerful iron-cross into a sloper gaston.  I could stick the sloper gaston, but had no hope of moving my feet from that position to transfer onto it.  Maybe next time and definitely something to train.

Sticking the last move of the tenuous start sequence.

Sticking the last move of the tenuous start sequence.

We ended the day cleaning the white whale project, but didn’t have either the strength, energy, of light left to give it some effort.

All in all, a very good day out.  A new route finished, some projects re-discovered, and a good time was had by all.