Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preparing for Epinephrine: days one and two

When a turkey decided to fly into my windshield a few days before I headed west for three weeks, it never crossed my mind that Dreams of Wild Turkeys (5.10a) might not be the best route to start my Red Rocks trip. Our goal was Epinephrine (5.9 IV) - that towering classic in Black Velvet Canyon with the intimidating chimneys and the descent that has forced many into an unplanned bivy - so we chose the same canyon our first two days just so we could get a feel for the area and scope out the approach and descent. Wild Turkeys, a long, 10-pitch classic itself, seemed a good start two days before Epi. Frogland (5.8), an easier route that shared part Epi's descent, would make for a good sandwich rest day. What we didn't know, however, was how much Wild Turkeys would affect us for days to come.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Living and Climbing in Maine

I've been away for too long, and yet it sometimes feels as if it isn't long enough. My roots are firmly planted in Downeast Maine, but I haven't watered them for years. When I decided to go halfway home - to the Midcoast instead of Downeast - I walked away from the young, dynamic, and fast atmosphere in Boston to the slow, easy-going pace that settles one's soul into a peaceful lullabye of Sunday drives and careless lives.

Guidebook: Camden, ME - Fireman's Ladder (5.5), Natural History (5.7-), Out of Gas (5.8), Every Second Counts (5.9), Arrete (5.10b), Prospero (5.10c), Dream Weaver (5.10c), Ariel (5.11d)

Camden, Maine - The Rampart

Approach: Find the carriage road trailhead (small, brown side with a brown gate blocking the road) at about 184 / 185 Mountain Street (Rt 52) in Camden, ME, and park along the side of the road without blocking the gate. Hike in along the blue blazed carriage trail for about 15-20 min, crossing two wooden bridges. Then cross a log bridge (you'll have to wind back to the right to find the trail again). Find the cairn about 100 yards uphill from the log bridge and take that trail to the left. The climber's trail will bring you out at a bunch of boulders near Arrete (5.10b) on the right and Dreamweaver (5.10c) on the obvious prow / arrete to the left. 

Guidebook: Camden, ME - Charlotte's Crack (5.7), The Web (5.6), Harmonic Convergence (5.7+), White Streak (5.9 R),

Camden, Maine - Barrett's Cove

Approach: From the parking lot off Mountain Street (Rt 52) in Camden, which is a large, paved pullout across the street from Lake Megunticook, take the path on the right side of the parking lot (if facing the cliff). Follow the path up to the left to get near the base. For climbs on the left side, continue left. For climbs in the middle, head up right on a climber's trail that goes straight up and left, and follow that to a ledge. For climbs on the right, take the same path that goes to the center, but head right instead of going left to the ledge.