Monday, April 21, 2008

Return of the Sunburn...and all is good in the world

I don't have much to say today, except that Sunday at QQ turned into a pretty enjoyable day. I met up with "KITT", "Gecko", and the formerly known as "Asshole", who I have to come up with a new nickname for now that I know his kids look at the pictures. Oops! For the time being, I shall name him "Plymouth".

Quincy is a hit or miss place for me. I get bored there easily, mainly because I've done so much there that I'd just rather go someplace else. But each time I go I find a new way to challenge myself, even on the popular routes on the smooth, granite J-wall and K-wall (the prow). Yesterday was no different, as I tried a few new variations on the popular 5.9 and 5.10 routes. Of course, the new spray paint doesn't hurt the challenging part. The same old routes get changed every year with new blotches of paint, making last year's foot holds seem like this year's impossible nubs. We ticked off Ladder Line (5.11a on - odd because I swear the book says 5.10), Layback (5.6 - "Gecko" and "KITT"), Bombay (5.10a - we probably did a 5.8 version), Power of Positive Thinking (5.10a), Pins (5.10a), Tensile Strength (5.9), and Outside Corner (5.8). I also did a face climb to the right of Outside Corner that I don't remember the grade of. Depending on how one does it, it could be in the hard 5.10 range.

I was both amazed at the number of people I knew there who I didn't know were going to be there, and the lack of climbers there on such a nice day. I know, as I noted in my previous post on comps, a lot of folks headed down to the 'Gunks, but you would have thought there would have been a few more than a dozen cars parked in the lot and along the side of the road. I guess luck was on our side, though, as there were enough ropes to go around to create the usual gym-like atmosphere and yet it wasn't as busy as I expected it to be.

On the plus side, "Gecko" got his first outdoor climbs under his belt (except for bouldering, but we all know that doesn't count), "KITT" appears to be getting much stronger, and "Plymouth" was tooling around with gear just so he could learn how it feels. The top of my head is a little pink (not helped by standing in the sun today while watching the Boston Marathon), but I really got a good workout, something that doesn't happen all that often at QQ for me.

There's reason to look forward to next weekend, too. The weather looks like it could be nice, and I should be heading down to the 'Gunks with "KITT" and maybe "Gecko" for some good old trad practice.

Enjoy the pics, especially the ones at the end of the slide show.

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