Monday, October 28, 2013

Wichita Mountains - Rock Climbing in the Narrows

Stephen Tremaine, Carly Kovacik, Cindy McCloskey, Jessica Upchurch, and myself climbed a couple of 20-30 foot 5.6 routes on a wall located at the mouth of the Narrows (rock wall is located across the creek from Meat Slab).  The first route was on a big can be tackled by liebacking, or using a combination of small hand/foot holds and leg wedging in the off width crack.  The second route we climbed goes up a crack that ends at a ledge, followed by 8-10 feet up a block to the top.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Upper Mount Scott - Foolish Behavior and Other Routes

In a trend started the week before, my friends Ethan, Stephen, Carly, and I continued to pick off climbing routes down-wall on Upper Mount Scott.  Stephen started off on a variation of Arm Bar (5.6), trending rightward along a ledge instead of going straight up the face of the cliff.  We then did a route called Foolish (5.8), which starts off by climbing a crack for 20 feet that leads to a short section of face climbing (the crux) and then easier rock to the top.  After that, we did an off-width'ish type route that follows up the space between a tall boulder and the face of the cliff.  In the spirit of Wichita Mountain route ratings, it was probably in the 5.6'ish range.  At the end of the crack, you have the option of going straight up a water streak, or moving left out onto the face and attempting a hard face climb.  The route Foolish Behavior (5.9+) was attempted next.  This route starts with a crack climb consisting of lie-backing and hand jamming.  The crux (and 5.9+ section) is located above the crack, and consists of hard face climbing.  I called it a day after this climb (I only had 3 hours of sleep), but the other three did Frankly Scarlet (5.9), which starts off in a large crack/off-width.  The guidebooks indicate you move out onto the face about halfway up the crack, but everyone continued using the crack to the top of the boulder and by-passed the 5.9 section.

Stephen starting his variation of Arm Bar (5.6).
Ethan moving up the crack on Foolish (5.8).
Ethan moving out onto the face and encountering the crux on Foolish (5.8).
Carly approaching the crux on Foolish (5.8).
Stephen moving up the crack on Foolish (5.8).
Ethan climbing the nose to the right of Foolish.
Stephen climbing the off-width'ish crack (5.6'ish).
Ethan crack climbing on Foolish Behavior (5.9+)
Watch out for the centipedes.
Stephen moving up the large crack on Frankly Scarlet (5.9).
Ethan on Frankly Scarlet (5.9).
Carly on Frankly Scarlet (5.9).