Friday, September 21, 2012

The Great Escape - Another new Adirondack Classic!

Just when I start thinking that the Adirondacks are maybe tapped out all of a sudden there are WAY TOO MANY projects and I wish I could be in 5 places at once!

The most recent focus of my projecting OCD has been the new "Alcatraz" wall situated high up and left of Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch. For years I've looked at this wall from the road, meaning to go up there and check it out. This summer when I was in Canada, a young local named Conor Cliffe made the considerable effort to pioneer the vertical forest approach to the wall and established 3 new routes. As soon as I heard about this I had to go and check it out.

Will negotiating the fixed rope on the approach to Alcatraz!

Naomi was awesome as usual and agreed to make the burly trek up there with full bolting kit and multiple ropes. Right away the left-most line on the cliff drew me in. A barely-there seam in a shallow left facing corner leading to a perfect finger crack. I climbed the sandbagged .12a/b/c to the right, bolted an anchor and rapped over it, placing 3 bolts in between some solid gear placements. At first I thought the route would go quick but as is often the case, it turned out to be harder than I expected. The climbing is super fun with a series of lefthand slaps up the shallow corner and righthand face holds out on the face.

The Great Escape .13a/b

After bolting a couple of other lines and checking out a couple more potential ones I turned my attention to sending the project. My first redpoint burns were shaky at best and afterward I slightly lowered one of the bolts creating a little better flow and getting rid of what had been a unnecessary  scary clip. My next day out I one-hung it three times falling out of the crux move getting into the final finger crack.  This move is super unique and involved a delicate and barn-doory righthand crossover into a "imaginary" thumbs down hand jam which you kind of dynamically load before matching in and pulling into a layback. Each go I would stall the jam for a milli-second before exploding out rather violently!

Yesterday I went back up with my friend Will Roth and sent 3rd go! It super cool to be up there on an absolutely perfect day with a good friend. Will always brings the positive energy to the max and it helped a lot. Sometimes projects feel easy when you finally send. This one felt like a battle right till the end.

The fall conditions are here and the weather has been amazing! Onto to the next one!


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