Wednesday, June 20, 2012

State Of Jefferson 3rd Edition, NOW AVAILABLE!

SORRY SOLD OUT or Contact Shasta Base Camp 530.926.2359

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back in Jefferson

Peter Principle V6
Great to back in the State of Jefferson, spent a year in Sacramento seeking more gainful employment, however what I gained in employment I lost in climbing. So back to Shasta, back to work, real work that satisfies the soul, route development! The season has been slow to kick off though the fall temps are creating a buzz and I'm feeling like we are going to get some sh@t done.
Lover's Leap Limestone
We've been concentrating our efforts on the Lover's Leap Limestone Plug out near Callahan and every time we throw a line on something we get another classic. Some of the latest classics are 'Lead It To Beaver' 5.10d, 100' of slightly overhanging glazed Limestone, 'Last Of The Mohawk' 5.11d, 30' feet of desperate thin cranks to sustained 5.10, 'I and I' 5.12a, steep and technical and the Mega classic 'Oh Gee!' 5.12a pumpy overhanging start to technical dead-point crux;-o
Look for these routes and many more in the upcoming 3rd Edition of State of Jefferson Rock Climbers Guide. I'll be including a few other Shasta area hot spots as well as more beta on the climbs included in the past editions. Available only at Shasta Base Camp, for now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Clean Up Crew

Getting things done is the motto I strive to live by, it seems to be a tough one though especially in these tight times. The Clean Up Crew project is the first project on the South Flank for the new Shastafarian crew of Castle Crags route developers. It began in the winter of '07, we  decided to head up what we thought was the best line on the face, a beautiful right facing corner with a splitter crack. I lead up about 40' and got to a bolt, not a first ascent? not surprising as it is hard to come by beta from the last generation in there attempts to "keep special places special". I climbed up and found some more gear, a couple of fixed nuts and a sling on a skinny pine tree growing out of the crack. Seeing that theirs was a mission that ended in retreat I was eager to see if I could push through. I climbed up and around the tree and was faced with 40' of splitter hands which led to an roof/overhang. Jammed my way up through some steep but enjoyable climbing and got to the overhang plugged in some bomber pro and stemmed through the roof. The roof crux was followed by 50' of moderate climbing leading to a 20' hand traverse to a tree ledge.

The first pitch was great! we rated it 11a and called it Clean Up Crew, as a light stab at our reticent predicessors. We came back the following week and began the 2nd pitch. I climbed up 60' feet on super cool face moves, managing to get stoppers and small cams for pro.  Then I was compelled to add a bolt and then another and a 3rd. Progress was slowing rapidly and the face above was looking hard! the day ended with an anchor at the 100' mark of the 2nd pitch and a lot of uncertainty.

Enough doubt was cast that day that we went in search of other projects. We discovered the Marble Gully and our project issues were solved. We charged the extra 1/2 hour to the Marble Gully, passing Clean Up Crew for 2 seasons and never looked back due to the incredible rock and perfect temps in the Gully. After 2 seasons the Marble Gully was getting saturated and quality projects again were on my mind. I convinced Angela to climb Clean Up Crew, just to see if maybe we gave up to soon. I climbed up to my last bolt and was about to punch up to the anchor when I noticed some features leading left and up to a possible weakness. So I headed out added a 4th bolt, a 5th bolt a 6th and stopped 10' shy of a crack. I was blown away with the quality of the climbing and was psyched on the line once again.

We've been up the wall 3 more times this summer, heading out at the crack of dawn to beat the heat and get as much done as possible before the sun hits us at about noon. Our efforts have truly paid off with pitch 2 and it will be one of the best hard pitches in area when it's all said and done.  Pitch 2(The SideWinder Pitch) is 65m long and sports 11 bolts, it weighs in at 5.12+ and is as exposed as you could possibly be on a vertical wall. Pitch 3(The Gold Room) is under way, and 3 bolts in, is proving to be of equal or better quality.

I'll update my blog as we progress and will hopefully be writing a 'summit post' This Season!

Peace and Blessings,


Monday, July 13, 2009

Following Spirit

Finally made it out to do Following Spirit III 5.11(r) on Castle Dome put up by Peter Chesko and Co. circa 1999. Thank you Peter for the beta and for this fine route. This was Peter's last big project in the Castle Crags Wilderness and it is one of the best routes there, 2nd only to The Dike Route, in my opinion, which Peter also had a hand in.

The route starts at the base of the Castle Dome Saddle on the left side of a 1oo' detached buttress/spire. A full rack, up to a 4"cam and a set of RP's/Micro Nuts, are useful. Don't forget your MACRO NUTS as well as this route is OLD SCHOOL!!!

P1 - 5.9 Climb chimney/offwidth for 1oo' past 1 bolt to a 2 bolt anchor on a small ledge.

P2 - 5.11 Climb up and right to a bolt then left to another bolt with a flattened hanger(I was able to thread a stopper through the hanger, but a new hanger is needed, add a 1/2"wrench and new hanger to your rack) climb past damaged hanger and 3 more bolts on sustained 5.11 climbing. A small crack is reached at about 100' where the pitch can broken up to avoid rope drag.

P2a - 510 Climb up and right on beautiful wavy wall with knobs past 3 more bolts placing gear when you can on 5.9 run out climbing until a small ledge with a 2 bolt anchor is reached ~ 80'.

P3 - 5.10+(r) Climb up and right past 2 bolts to a knobby arete and then left past another bolt, continue up incredibly featured rock with sparse gear on 5.8  runout climbing for ~ 150'. Belay on ledge below dirty looking steep dike.

P4 - 5.8(r) Climb up and right on steep dike(not as dirty as it looks) past a bolt then continue on more featured runout climbing passing 2 more bolts until a left leaning seam takes you up to a ledge with a tree/bush to belay from ~ 230' may need to have your belayer simule climb for 20' or so to reach the belay shrub.

P5 - 5.9 climb into amphitheater to a small shrub at the base of a 60' 4-6" crack/flake, climb up steep crack, past crumbly ledge then up dirty corner until a crack is reached to set the final belay.

Thanks again Peter and all others involved who I won't mention since they don't like to promote climbing at Castle Crags nor do they like to claim credit for their vandalism/route development.

If you are bold enough to go get the 3rd ascent on this route drop me a line I'd love to hear about it.

peace and blessings,


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crags Report 2009

Getting back up to Castle Crag's has been long overdue. It's been a busy year so far, Sheep Rock and Hunter's Point, earlier this year, thanks to the tireless efforts of Sean M., having stepped back into the local seen, have proven to be great additions to the local climbing seen. Followed by new routes and bouldering on Mount Shasta with no end to worthy projects as well as a revival of Sean's and some of the past generations efforts, could keep motivated developers busy fo many lifetimes. And then there's Lover's Leap Limestone which also keeps getting better with every day spent, and is now beginning to get some well deserved attention.

With all that said the last couple of weeks I've managed to get up to Castle Crags a few times and it's been great, did the Cosmic Wall, the West Ridge, 6 Toe Crack and some Crag'n at the Burly Buttress with my girlfreind Angela. And it's got me fired up for another great season of route Development and alpine adventures of a very unique flavor.

Approaching Beck's Tower

Angela snacking at the base of Beck's Tower

Angela jamming up the approach pitch of The Burly Buttress

Having a blast on the Right Crack 5.10, The Burly Buttress

Kin high on the West Ridge 5.8+, Castle Dome

The climbing has been great but the views have been less than great it seems California in an effort to keep our heads above water has been selling off our resources at an accelerated rate. Check out these fresh clear cuts above Dunsmuir visible from the Dome trail.

But that's just the beginning look what's going on right on State Park Property. The Park's official postion is that they are creating a "shaded fuel break". A shaded fuel break which has Castle Creek road, a man made fuel break and Castle Creek a 30' wide natural fuel break directly next to this newly needed fuel break. In my opinion this does nothing to protect Castle Crag's Park as it does not address the huge loads of fuel throughout the park. It simple widens an already existing fuel break.

This is We The People's property

It's just a little thinning

This is a full scale operation, expect 5-60 minute delays if traveling down Castle Creek Rd.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fist Fight with a Sumo Wrestler

I've been a bit obsessed with the Marble Gully this summer, and as the season comes nearer to the end my anxiety about finishing projects increases. But somehow I let Styles talk me into venturing out of the Marble to hit this splitter crack that we'd been eying for months. What a nice treat for any self abusing climber, this 2 pitch climbs a nice lieback flake then scary steep climbing on hollow flakes followed by a splitter fist crack to an anchor. Pitch 2 continues up the splitter crack for another 90' to a decomposing ledge.
Another Crags Classic "Fist Fight with a Sumo Wrestler" 5.10+.