Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cragmont Park Climbing

After my anchoring class, my friend and I tried out some climbing at Cragmont Park. The wall is relatively small and is practically in someone's backyard. If you turned around there is someone's yard right there and there isn't even a fence. We tried two climbs there.

When you arrive at the park the left path is to the base and the right path is to the anchors.

To get to the anchors you just hop over this short wall.

It looks like there are at least 3 sets of anchors here. Someone showed us where one set of the anchors were and told us the route was called "Farewell to Arms." From a Google search, it's a 5.10a route. Just to be safe I tied myself off to a tree to reach the anchors. I just used a double bowline with a backup on the tree and a figure eight on a bight on my harness. Now that I look back, maybe a clove hitch would have been better since I could adjust it better but I've seen somewhere that people use the Prussik but I didn't have a small cordelette for that.

This is my first anchor without help so I decided to use the standard figure 8 with a runner. It probably wasn't equalized very well because I didn't really know where the climb was so I just kind of picked a middle point. It worked great except the carabiner kept rubbing against the rock and it's now all scratched up.

That red line is supposed to be the path but it looks kind of weird. But this climb was harder than I thought. I actually couldn't even finish it and this is supposed to be a 5.10a, which is pretty easy in indoor gyms. I got stuck at that hole near the top but everything up to that point was pretty easy. Outdoor climbing feels way different than indoor climbing. 

We found another bolt by looking up near the top of the wall. This time I used the sliding X as the anchor and used two slings for redundancy. I really like the sliding X because it's just so easy to make and it's self equalizing. The only con is the shock loading if one anchor fails but it sounds like bolted routes are usually very bomber.

This route was much easier maybe a 5.7 but it seems like outdoor climbing is harder than indoors so maybe it's a 5.6 or lower. There was one point near that big crack near the top where I had a hard time finding a hand hold but other than that it was easy. I also tried picking a path along the right side but I couldn't find a hold and it was getting pretty far from the anchor so I would have swung really far if I fell so I gave up on that attempt. I saw another set of bolts after this but we ran out of time.

There were actually a lot of mosquitoes there, so lesson learned, bring bug repellent when climbing outdoors. We only climbed for two hours and then we had to stop because the sun was setting. But we had this amazing view to look at as we watched the sun set. Overall it was a good first time anchoring and hopefully there will be more to come.

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