Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rock and Snow Weekend

I am faced with a bit of a challenge this Spring.  The past four years I have used the conditioning hikes that are part of the Mazama's Basic Climbing class (BCEP) to stay hiking trim for the Summer's climbs.  This year I am not helping out with BCEP so I can focus on the Advanced Rock class.  However, there is very little aerobic exercise in rock climbing, hardly enough to prepare me for my upcoming climbs.  

So, with the glorious weather this weekend, I have attempted to kill two birds with one stone.  Sunday I drove out to the Columbia River Gorge and hiked most of the way up the Nesmith Point Trail.  Along the way I came across a Boy Scout troop, with the Scouts galloping down the trail.  They told me that their adult leadership would not let them hike up in the snow.  As I got towards the crest of the gorge I came across the snow.  There were good steps kicked in the snow, but I also would have thought it was too steep for Tommy Tenderfoot.  I picked a spot with a view of Beacon Rock and Mt. Hamilton and ate my lunch.

As I drove back to Portland I stopped at Lewis and Clark State Park and hiked up the crags of Broughton Bluff.  Saturday our Advanced Rock class had a field session focusing on building rock anchors.  So here I pulled out my gear and practiced placing rock protection and built a couple of anchors.  I am discovering the building an timely anchor is a big challenge, so this was an excellent opportunity to practice.

Check out this Equalette Anchor with three TriCams placed in a horizontal crack.

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