Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just Around The Corner

Bring Your Own Water Dihedral 5.10b/c

Just around the corner lies an oasis of rock sprawled out for miles among Manzanita and Scrub Oak. As progressing climbers, we are always looking for the new line, boulder, or potential project. With enough time and energy you can find the line you're looking for. It just takes some determination. My buddy Buck Branson is one of those guys who's been hunting these lines for years. Last week, Buck invited me to check out this amazing new 50ft dihedral he found.

 After a sweaty 30 min hike we stumbled upon his warm-up boulder area where I watched him send a pretty sick new line up a seam. After one potential fall onto a bad landing, we decided to put a TR on it. Buck sent it right away. The top out was for sure the business of the problem. I tied in and sailed the the V1 rail to the top where I was abruptly stopped by the thin V5ish top out. After some grunting and groaning and hearing Buck's encouraging yell, I scrambled over the top. Congrats Buck on a gnarly FA.

Buck on his new line I call "buckit Seam" V5ish

After moving on from the boulder, we bushwhacked our way another 15 mins up the trail to get our first glimpse of the dihedral. It was the most aesthetic crack climb I'd ever come across.  The weather couldn't have been better: warm in the sun and cool in the shade. 

Top to bottom view of "Bring Your Own Water Dihedral" 5.10b/c

After sizing up the crack and racking up, Buck sent me up the unknown. I knew I'd get pumped at some point and have to take, I just didn't know when. With little offwidth crack climbing experience, I took up what little info I knew and my determination to succeed. After a few steps into the crack and a few karate chops, I was in it to win it.

Cruisin' the bottom section until my first placement (BD #3)

Once I got to the ledge, the midpoint of the climb, I was able to get a knee-bar rest and place my BD #5. At this point I was amazed I wasn't pumped yet and didn't have far to go. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. After a decent rest and placing a high BD #1, I was off to the races. This was the crux. With a combination of stemming and liebacking I was able to reach the last placement just before the top.

At the overhanging crux looking for jugs

At this point of the climb the crack gets a bit overhung and powerful. Your only option is to reach your hand around the rock for a wrist/fist lock, with a secure left hand you quickly place a BD #2 and clip. This is where I felt like I was going to lose it. Fortunately, I made a risky move for the top and stuck a bomber jug. I was so psyched and pumped at the same time. I set up an anchor and belayed Buck up the beast. He cruised the bottom half until he got to the crux where he accidentally pushed the BD #2 deep into the crack. I could tell he was getting pumped while he was fishing for the buried cam. Finally he pulled it out, clipped it to his harness, and made it over the top to congratulate me on a solid lead.

Short video..
  Bring Your Own Water 5.10b/c (Enhanced) from John Daniels on Vimeo.

Congrats Dan on the FA.
Thanks Buck for the 2nd ascent onsight!

The "Bring Your Own Water Arete" and "Grey Boulder Huecos"


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