Saturday, September 08, 2007

It Ain't so Regular (Route)

Every beginning rock climber needs a great first lead. One that's within their ability, but also has a good "sharp end" factor attached to it.

If you are a Northeaster like me, look towards the Adirondacks (ADK) for such a route.

The Regular Route (5.5, 700 feet, protection OK for a slab) is such a route. It's located on Chapel Pond, Keene Valley, ADK, Upstate NY.


Well, it's a nice long slab climb that's not too hard for a beginner, but the protection in some places is lacking. So, you get some fun run-outs along the way to keep you on your toes. And getting down from this route takes a little route-finding skills.

Slab climbing is all about technique. No strong arm bull crap climbing here. Keep your heels low and lean away from the rock. And when the pro is not there, keep your head together.

"Free your mind & your ass will follow."

At the height of my climbing ability, which wasn't much, I climbed this route by myself, only dragging a 9 mm rope & some webbing. What a great experience for a young kid that I was at the time. To this day, I still love this "regular" route.

So, pick up a copy of Don Mellor's guidebook (Don was my original climbing instructor way back in 1982) and hit this route, beginner or not. Make sure it's in the Fall when the leaves are bright and the air is crisp. Weekends are a bit crowded these days, so be there on a weekday.

And don't bring a big rack. A small rack of nuts, hexes & some Friends will do. And like any ADK climb, bring lots of webbing.

Towards the top, I recommend you follow the left facing corner.

And if you are not a beginner and have some experience under your chalk belt, this is a great girl friend (or boy friend) route.



Sascha said...

Every beginning rock climber needs to top rope. That does sound like a sweet beginner's climb though. When I first started leading, I did it in a bolted area that they had to rig extra pro so that I could actually reach all of the clip ins safely. Sometimes it sucks to be short. And don't come at me with "Lynn Hill is only 5'2"" because I'm still shorter than her and sick of hearing about it.

Roman Holiday said...

Thanks for reading KISL. Yes, the Reg. Route is a great 1st time route. Have fun.

Barkernews said...

Sounds like fun! Got any pictures of the route? I've always wanted to check out the East Coast.

Thanks for the link, by the way. I'm a fixie addict now. Gears suck. Fixies rule.

Roman Holiday said...

Let me know if you travel East, I can send you in the right direction in terms of climbing/hiking/other stuff.