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Old 07-09-2008, 04:04 PM   #1
Kevin
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Shanty Cliffs - July 4-6, 2008

[Pictures]

Val and I opted to camp near Shanty Cliffs and try our hand at a few routes. As beginners setting up anchors and protection consumed half of our time. Choices of routes and anchor placement consumed the better part of the other half, so we only got some climbing done. All of our time was spent on the main wall. It was challenging setting up a top rope (neither of us lead yet) and the amount of rope we had to use definitely allowed for a lot of stretching. We originally setup our belay from the top but had a hard time communicating with each other.

We're going back soon to apply our newfound knowledge and to tackle a few routes on the wall opposite Raven's Nest (most 5.5/5.6 routes until we're stronger climbers).

Some of the time was spent near our camp (random place along a brook in the woods) climbing and rappelling on some small walls. We actually found this to be important in building our confidence and trust in the rope.

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Old 07-11-2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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Nice to see a trip report on Shanty...hopefully we'll get out there together some time.
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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Hi Jay,

Sometime soon we hope!

Just got back from Shanty Cliffs. We felt like we had unfinished business, and boy did we make some progress today. Did a route that was not listed in the ADK Rock guide to the left of Shanty Clear. Each did that twice, great climb for a warmup.

Then we moved back to Little Gem Diner, which I couldn't climb because of sore feet last weekend (you start on a long crack) and Val couldn't get over the bulge. Both of us did it first try, and we read the friggin guide for a change, which says to use the left crack on the bulge. It was a new way of using a crack for us but we managed with only minor nerves.

Feeling more confident and prepared with each outting.
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
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Just got back from Shanty Cliffs. We felt like we had unfinished business, and boy did we make some progress today. Did a route that was not listed in the ADK Rock guide to the left of Shanty Clear. Each did that twice, great climb for a warmup.

Then we moved back to Little Gem Diner, which I couldn't climb because of sore feet last weekend (you start on a long crack) and Val couldn't get over the bulge. Both of us did it first try, and we read the friggin guide for a change, which says to use the left crack on the bulge. It was a new way of using a crack for us but we managed with only minor nerves.

Feeling more confident and prepared with each outting.
We really had a great outing today! I actually spent all week obsession about that route(Little Gem Diner). It felt great to finish it. Laybacking at about 50 feet up (when a beginner) is all about realizing that it can be done and letting your fear go.

So...if we climbed a route that isn't in the guide book(even if by mistake) is that considered an FA? Do we get to name it? I came up with a good one...not sure if I want to post it here though.

We saw one other person as we were getting ready to leave. Surprising since it is such a great place.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:42 PM   #5
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If it hasn't been climbed before, it's an FA. You can name it; if someone leads it they have an option to change the name, but generally they don't.
The only stipulation is of course, that you report it, with description of the route so it can be found and climbed by others, listing of who was involved in the FA, date, grade, and style of ascent. For lead climbs, protection rating is also desired.
Wish I had known you were going there today; I would have joined you. Turns out I had today off, strangely enough.
I did have work that had to be done, so I suppose it was meant to be. I did end up going up "the mountain" (Crane) and climbing awhile, so the day wasn't a total wash.
The best exercise for climbing is of course, climbing...which you've seen first hand today. One week of thinking about climbing has improved your ability to do so. Isn't it a blast?
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:14 AM   #6
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The best exercise for climbing is of course, climbing...which you've seen first hand today. One week of thinking about climbing has improved your ability to do so. Isn't it a blast?
I couldn't agree more. The rock gym is good if you know what you're doing and can use it to focus training exercises, etc. But to learn how to make moves on rock I'm finding only doing it on the real thing works (for me). When I was being lowered down the wall and saw the crack I would need to use to climb the bulge I thought "no ****ing way". But when I got to the bulge and was able to get started, like you say frequently, I was committed and ended up doing well considering the lack of practice doing finger sized cracks. At this stage I'm convinced 50% of my obsticles are mental (fear based). With each success overcoming those fears I'm doing more outside of my beginner's conservative comfort zone, and doing it with more confidence.

Val thinks she sent you an email about our plans this weekend. Are you receiving her emails? She sends from a yahoo account (sometimes blocked), but I send from a less-frequently blocked email address (nycap.rr.com/roadrunner).
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:22 AM   #7
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The best exercise for climbing is of course, climbing...which you've seen first hand today. One week of thinking about climbing has improved your ability to do so. Isn't it a blast?
I did spend a considerable amount of time during the week studying rock climbing books and watching videos. I even dreamed about it a few nights.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #8
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New Routes

fvrwld,

Like Jay said, if the route isn't in the book, it's most likely new. Name it, and send me a description (follow the format of other routes in the book) -- I'm compiling all the new route info for he reprint. Send to jim@summsoft.com.

Climb on!!!

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:59 AM   #9
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I just looked in my emails and DOH! it's there. When I originally read it, I was scheduled to be working both days last weekend, so I didn't consider the possibility. The cancellation didn't come through until late Friday, and I didn't put the two together nor did I remember her invite. Wish I had. As I said, it must have been meant to be: I got some needed work done on "the hole" where I hope to build a house in the near future, so that at least was good.
Keep me posted on your goings-about and knock me upside the head so I remember!
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:19 PM   #10
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fvrwld,

Like Jay said, if the route isn't in the book, it's most likely new. Name it, and send me a description (follow the format of other routes in the book) -- I'm compiling all the new route info for he reprint. Send to jim@summsoft.com.

Climb on!!!

Jim
We'll get to work on that shortly. I'll probably scan the map from the book and draw our route in.

As a side note - thanks for a great book! Without it there's no way we'd be getting as deep into climbing as quickly as we have. In less than a year we've gone from not knowing how to put on a harness to being ready to start leading (easy stuff of course). We're plugged in.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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Kevin, You and Val should check out Spanky's cliff (pg 155 in ADK Rock). I think you would really enjoy it. There are multiple moderate trad routes 5.3/5.4 that take excellent pro. With Bolted anchors at the top. The rock quality is excellent too. Just had a great day there today!
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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fvrwld,

Like Jay said, if the route isn't in the book, it's most likely new. Name it, and send me a description (follow the format of other routes in the book) -- I'm compiling all the new route info for he reprint. Send to jim@summsoft.com.

Climb on!!!

Jim

Hi Jim,

I'm having some issues.

1) I scanned a copy of the map and have tried by hand and digitally to draw our route, but the space between Shantyclear and Time Trails is not great enough to "fit" our route. I think Time Trials may be a little too far right and/or Shantyclear not far enough right.

2) I don't know enough about the lingo used to properly describe the route in words. Hopefully when I get in there in September I can show a more experienced climber the route and they can help formulate it into words and maybe even help draw it out (separately and have you guys work it into the map as you see fit).

For the record, Val and I agree it's a fun 5.4. We also agree "No-so-clear" to be its name. It starts on the ledge just above Shantyclear's start and follows a few right facing walls, eventually intersecting the top third of the Shantyclear route.
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On a side note - any chance you'll be distributing the book in electronic form? We've been scanning and printing the maps to bring instead of lugging the whole book, but having an electronic copy would save a lot of time scanning! Just future food for thought.

Last edited by Kevin; 08-07-2008 at 05:05 PM..
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:10 PM   #13
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Don't worry about drawing the route. A written description is all that is needed. Just try to be as detailed as possible about the start of the route, where it goes, pitch length(s), difficulty and pro ratings for each pitch, first ascent info, and so forth.

Regarding distributing the book in electronic form -- we've made many backcountry topos available for use in the backcountry. For cliffs near the road, we figure people can just carry the book. If there was a way to make the book available in electronic form to every person that purchased the book, then we would. So far, I haven't discovered a way to do this. Any suggestions here?

Reproduction of the book isn't allowed, but everyone does it, including me. I figure it's OK since I do it only for books I've purchased. Whatever. BUT there's an easier way that avoids the trouble of scanning -- take a photo of the topo(s) with your digital camera (which you carry anyway), and refer to that at the cliff (using the camera's screen). Also, buy a mini digital recorder, then record the pitch descriptions into it. These things are fantastic, weigh nothing, hang around your neck, and you can play back the descriptions while leading. (This is how we made the route descriptions in the first place.) We used the Olympus WS 300M, but I'm sure there are even smaller and fancier ones available these days. Plus, if you're at the cliff, you can record your new route description while standing in front of the cliff -- the device later plugs directly into your USB port so you can download the files and play them on your computer.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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Great suggestions Jim . I've already started keeping the scans/copies of the maps we've made for future use. Between me, you, and the internet - I was thinking about taking our already worn copy ( ) and removing the binding, and keeping it around for when we need to print out a certain section.

Only issue with doing the digital camera thing is the size of the screen. Even with being able to magnify the photos on the lcd screen I have a hard time making out enough detail in a scale I find useful. Tried and thought about that for basic hiking maps before. Voice recording is a good idea, or carry paper/pen to write it down immediately.

Going back to my initial issue, I'm not fluent in the lingo climbers use. I had to look up arete the other day (just to be sure I was right). I'm sure in time it will be second nature, but it's a whole new language to learn. That's why I'm probably going to have someone experienced climb the route and help with the descriptions for the sections.

You can digitally sign PDF files using Acrobat Pro. I did this for a not-for-profit I was involved in. You create a certificate that allows changes to be made to the document and give that cert to people that should have it (you and your publisher in this case). Everyone else only gets read access on the file, and you can tighten it down even more from there. It can be made as a download online, or given on a thumb drive at book signings, etc. Big issue with this is how many will get a copy of the PDF but never buy the book. My answer to that is to start a website and offer people the ability to print maps and descriptions from the book for a small fee (say $5). When you release a new edition, offer them access to it for a $2 "upgrade". Then you have control over what they can do with your content, etc. I don't know how many copies you've sold or how much demand there would be for a printable online store. That would determine if it would pay to develop it .
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #15
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I use my digital camera when I am exploring a cliff area, also. Very handy tool.

As anyone who has done any exploration in the adks knows, our cliffs are very obvious from a distance, but as soon as you get under the trees, everything disappears in the canopy. On a couple occasions, I have been able to take a picture from across the valley, or some other vantage point. Then, when I am crawling around in blowdown and thorns, with three foot visibility, I can reference the picture to help me recognize features.

I carry reading glasses to be able to see the screen. Once upon a time, I could see, but that was years before digital cameras were invented...

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Old 08-13-2008, 06:44 PM   #16
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I went out to Shanty Cliff yesterday morning, arriving at the parking lot at about 9:30a. Skies sunny. Crossed the Sac - it's a bit high right now - and lugged a huge load of gear up the hillside, thinking I might meet some folks who had mentioned climbing there Tuesday. Got up to Pug Love and gave it a go, or rather, went up between it and the route to the right (Shanty Girl?), splitting the difference I guess, between a gal and a pooch. All of thirty feet of climbing. At the top, there were some awesome, dead-ripe blueberries. I spent a few minutes picking and eating until it began to sprinkle. Then I downclimbed Pug Love (using the handy tree once or twice) and waited to see what would develop. What developed eventually was a good bit of rain. I hiked out in a heavy drizzle that ended before I got to the Sac. Blue skies again from there on.
(Later, it did rain again, but even later, I ran up on Crane and climbed Scenic Slip.)
There's room for quite a few more routes at Shanty, though most will involve a fairly intense amount of cleaning - not that the Shanty Team didn't have to do their share of that already! I saw several enticing lines in the short time I was there.
One thing I didn't find, was anything worthwhile to on the left side of the drainage. I found nothing worthwhile between the lower slabs and Lunch Rock. Not on the Shanty Cliff side nor could I spy anything across the brook.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:27 PM   #17
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Back to Shanty for some more climbing Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. We got quite a few climbs out of Little Gem Diner and Vernal Imperatives (both 5.6 routes opposite the Raven's Nest wall) before ending with a very overgrown and mossy Time Trials (5.7), that was so bad Val couldn't get more than 30 feet up the route, constantly having to kick/pull dirt and moss out of the holds. We keep forgetting to buy and bring some brushes!!

We enjoy belaying from the top of the walls. The view is excellent and most of the routes look well travelled and clean. The rock super grippy with lots of little holds. Once we start leading we'll be moving to some of the other walls there.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:15 PM   #18
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I am guessing you were not on Time Trials. I climbed it last autumn and if I recall correctly, it is pretty clean. We'll have to get together up there this September 5-7th and figure it all out.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:07 PM   #19
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I am guessing you were not on Time Trials. I climbed it last autumn and if I recall correctly, it is pretty clean. We'll have to get together up there this September 5-7th and figure it all out.
We were definitely on the right route, after I started on the wrong one . Val figured it out with the description and map, then tried to climb it. There isn't much sun on that route and lots of moisture/runoff, so I'm not suprised it was yuck. Once over the A shaped ceiling I think it may have been dryer, but it was there she encountered what would be the last straw of moss/muck. Definitely something I want to try in a few weeks, but only after we clean it a bit.
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