Monday, June 1, 2009

The Projects

This is going to be the the best sport climbing in Juneau. Incredible rock, long routes (by our standards), and harder grades. Aside from a couple of trad lines, everything here seems to be checking in at 5.11(?) or harder (but don't let that intimidate you, hang a top rope and throw yourself at them). Oh, and the view is pretty ideal. Getting there is part of the adventure, too. You are going to need a canoe or a kayak to get to them, but I promise that it is worth it. Put in at the visitor center (prepare yourself for camera flashes and silly questions from tourists) and paddle out beyond Nugget Falls. Keep an eye out on your right for a little inlet with a beach that has some boulders on it. Beach your boat here, but pull it up really high - we almost lost our canoe once when the glacier calved - seriously.

This is the first bolted route on the wall, Hustlin'. It follows a diagonal seam up a steep (really steep wall). Juneau's most formidable route?

So, these pictures were out of order...this one should have been the last one. The head wall at the top of this photo is incredible and has at least a couple of routes on it (cross your fingers for a mild 5.10...) and is going to be unreal. It will start one pitch up, and climb 80-90 feet on overhanging rock with Mendenhall Lake below you and the glacier in the background. Just look at it - its pretty.

These images are going to have red lines showing routes as soon as I get my photoshop up and running. In this picture, the weakness on the left is a brilliant climb. Stepping up to it, I thought it would be cake - next thing I knew, the whole crew was getting spanked on it. Props to Tyler for making it to the top of this thing in the first session. And Hunter damn near flashed it. There are TR anchors at the top on the ledge and it will soon be equipped. Also, there is a piton in the middle of the route. No, it is isn't an ancient relic of climbing in the 50's (this place was under ice until the '80s), but rather a display of some gear shop putz "learning" how to use pins. Seriously, bad job Tim. And stop dry-tooling on the routes, too.

Moving on, the brownish bit of rock in the center of the frame just above the patch of alders is another route. It has a really bouldery start on good holds. While all of the holds are alright, they tend to be a tad slopey - this is going to be an exciting lead!

This should have been the first picture. The bulge you see just right of center frame is Glacier Smoothy. It is a trad line with a bit of a bite. Rob, on his FA (congrats), decided it clocked in around 5.7 - when he referred to it as "old school", I knew I was doomed. Tyler, upon following rob, decided it was more like 5.9 A0 (pulling on a cam proves helpful at the bulge). Myself...well, I've honestly climbed far easier 5.10's in Squamish, been less scared soloing, and placed less gear in four pitches than I did on this 80-90 foot route. I may have even shed a few tears on the last mantle. So, yeah - we'll call it 5.7 - but you've been warned. When you look at it from the ground, you're going to expect it to be 5.5, at least I did.

1 comment:

  1. What is the rock like here? Is it the crumbly slate like near the visitor center?