Friday, December 10, 2010

Pinnacles - Lucky 13 to Red Line Linkup on Machete

Another great Pinn trip to Machete Ridge on the west side of the Monument. About 1/2 way to Soledad it started raining but stopped as we pulled into the parking lot. We ended up going for a hike in the morning hoping the sun would come out and dry things off.

Weird, wild, wet moss. Cool to look at but bad for rock climbing.

I like the carabiner sign post and map. Maybe we should bolt a sign at the base of each climb stating the grade, number of bolts, and notes for loose rock!

Look closely at the orange/red dots. They're lady bugs. The pathway was covered with them! 

 After lunch we decided it was dry enough to climb and headed back to the car. I opened the door and this little guy landed on it.

 At one point, he actually flew into my car! Unfortunately I was not fast enough with the camera.

Our objective. A linkup of a couple of moderate free routes. Lucky 13 to the traverse (Pitch 2 of Alias Bandit Bench) to Red Line. 

I led Lucky 13 and had the camera with me. The book says it's 5.9 but the start has a bouldery move that's more like 5.10b. I made the first clip, go to clip the 2nd and my handhold breaks off and I fall back to the first bolt. Welcome to Pinnacles where the rock and grades are constantly evolving!

I linked Lucky 13 and the traverse into 1 pitch (with monster rope drag) and hand over the lead to Vickie to do the 5.7R Red Line.

Lost in a sea of crusty lichen. The climbing isn't hard, you just have to figure out which hand holds and foot holds are solid and which ones will blow out. More of a game of "eliminate" than anything else.

Vickie bumping her head into the sky.Vickie finds a leaver biner on bolt #2 of Red Line.
The top or Red Line ends at the head wall for Bills Bad Bolts and Rock Around the Clock. Both A1 aid climbs. I plan to head there on Saturday with Bryan Carroll so we can bust out the whole linkup to the top of Machete.

You can see how the head wall is seriously overhanging.

We work out right (staying roped) over a bit of seriously crusty, loose and exposed 4th Class to a cool "hanging meadow". 

I decide to go after a "leaver biner" on bolt #1 of Rock Around the Clock (just can't help myself) and nearly step down onto this loose "nugget". Vickie's watching me and says, "Don't step on that it looks loose." I work my way around it then gently nudge it with my hand only to find out that it's just barely sitting there and ready to dislodge itself onto climbers and hikers below. I downclimb with the nugget and find a safer place for it.  We now have 2 leaver biners in our possession.

Looking back at the Balconies from the meadow. 

As always, we hiked out in the dark. Only this time we forgot our headlamps! Fortunately, we were on the trail and not the rock when it got dark.

Another great day at Pinnacles!


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