Monday, November 21, 2011

Borehole Traverse, Windmills

(above) East side of Lower Wall at Windmill Boulders (nee "Shooting Range boulders.")
1. Borehole. A small tunnel. Get horizontal and worm through tunnel, turn around and worm back, without touching the ground, for extra squeeze chimney workout before resuming the lowball traverse.
2.  Borehole Exit. Enduro section. 5.9.
3.  First Crux. 5.10a, until you locate the key holds, then the rating plummets to 5.6.
4.  Second Crux. 5.10a. Some loose flakes, risk of crushing. Rating fluctuating wildly.
5.  South Wall pull-around. 5.10c.  For Lahka Peacock, it would be 5.6.

THE RULES:  This is a low-ball traverse.  Default to low.  There is a fairly well-defined horizontal line running the length of the wall.  In places, this horizontal demarcation truly is the top of the wall, other places it's like a mid-line.  Your center of gravity must stay underneath this line.  In places where the distance between this demarcation line and the ground is less than one bodylength, one may use holds located on the demarcation line.  Also, if you feel you are imminently to be crushed by traversing too low, by all means, higher holds can be allowed.  Otherwise, holds must be located below the line:  in other words, you can't just hand-traverse the top of the cliff, except where the lowness of the cliff forces you to do so.  In general, the quality of this bouldering problem comes from reverting as low to the ground as possible, chalkbag grazing the tundra, body vulnerable to complete crushage under tons of overhanging ""Chlorite rich, metaturbidite schist."  Rules may be adjusted when the potential for body crushage comes into play.

         The solidity of this metamorphic crap pile varies with the weather.  The rock is only as strong as your mind tells you it is.  Better in winter.  The cliffs are directly lined up with the old shooting range.  The moving of the shooting range with the coming of the rock creek mine came as a revelation:  in the past, you'd never dare climb there, people were shooting night and day.

      Absurd, blogging an obscure, utterly contrived, low-ball traverse.  A token of modern silliness, replicating the minutia of experience through digital representations. Were it a true summit, the apex of a prominent geological swell, maybe, but this is nothing more than a man sitting, on the ground, mostly, his body half wedged under a rock, fondling its surface with arms raised in lonely supplication, grunting occasionally in sudden spasms of pointed but failed movement.        
      Years of work went into this bouldering problem.  It was my proudest send of the summer.  The Borehole required I venture into new frontiers of focus and persistence. Sending at your free-climbing limits allows no mind pollution, there can be no weight of self-negation.  It becomes a matter of what Arno calls "plugging the power leaks" and giving the rock 100% of your Sharmic attention. 
(above) East-facing side of the Lower Wall.  No great challenges on this side of the Borehole circumnavigation, except for the "Scoop," the dark patch near the right side of the wall in this picture, a pretty cool overhang with flakes that rate only 2 on the death scale.  In winter, this side of the wall takes on a wonderful character:  that snow patch is a huge curling wave, the Scoop is an enclosed cave with dry-tooling challenges, and all that ugly turf becomes prime ice-climbing bouldering terrain, in the lee of the alapaa, alapaa, north wind.

      Try, try, try try, try, try, try.  Most falls are controlled, a few are not.  Now you're pumped and done for the day.  Each time you're charting out a body memory in your brain and muscles, neuron by neuron, the morphegenetic field strength of the climb increasing, the climb one degree closer to becoming a reality.  Herein lies the workout:  you're going to have to EXCEED the amount of effort you made the time before.  "Sweet" is the word when you finally nail it.

(above) Andy, 14SA, on one of our mini-top ropes, the narrow south wall of the windmills.  He happens to be poised near the third crux on the Borehole traverse.  

        WIRING a rock-climbing problem provides a classic experiment in Rupert Sheldrake's formative causation. Each new crux seems extraordinarily difficult when first encountered, yet, as the body memory of the moves needed to solve the problem are put into place, the difficulty rating seems to magically come down, which is absurd, of course;  a problem's rating is meant to be objective.  But there can be no objectivity until the morphic field has settled down, until enough climbers have ascended the problem to stabilize the rating.  Now that I have solved the Borehole, it will seem easy.  It's probably 5.6.  V-5.6

(above) The "Courtyard Traverse," another not-so-low lowball at the Windmills.

   The Borehole has yet to receive a complete dry-tooling send.  If anything, the traverse takes on added value in Mixed mode.


There is a notch between the rocks.  Go there and wait.
See our house, down upon the plain.
Think about the blessings raining down like rain.
Rock is the thumb in my photograph. 

Is this a Cobra I see before me, the handle toward my hand? 
Like a key in the lock, the Cobra turned inside the rock.
I pendulumed to a fat side-pull;  
I yarded through the broken backs.
Took the highway, the ground piled with snow,
The fall factor was low so just let it go
And trust the bite of steel on choss that's frozen fast,
Horizontal cam to a shaft,
Can't find a love that's built to last,
Into the Borehole where I rest in chimney stance,
Start the long traverse and stop all time,
A long time ago you were thinking about your mind,
But now you are only hunted.

1 comment:

  1. for a long time these rocks have been a mental respite for me...firing range or not, much time spent in their embrace!