Thursday, December 25, 2008

Trapped in Greece

I've been watching mountaineering documentaries and reading books about sailing and climbing expeditions, as I'm trapped at home with my parents in Greece. Right now I'm re-re-re-reading "Sea, Ice and Rock", which I've had since 1996, and which has certainly played a big role in forming my obsession with sailing and climbing. I like Bonnington's explanation of the qualities he looked for in crew:

They also had to be congenial. Congeniality may be defined in a number of ways, but for crew I mean competent, hard working, willing, plus a good sense of humour. There is nothing worse than confining several people in a small boat who do not get on, and good humour overcomes most situations.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Heller Rocks

I've failed to document a couple adventures over the last month.

We took another trip to Owen's river gorge on the weekend after Thanksgiving, during which I was getting over a nasty cold. We spent one day bouldering in the Happies, one day in the Inner Gorge (which was mobbed) and one day at Heller Rocks. At Heller we did just one 5.7 trad route which caused me to come up with the designation 5.7 "T" for terrifying. The rock was really really loose and Ben kicked down a boulder, pieces of which landed on my helmet and back.

A couple weekends ago we decided to head to Owens' Ridge. We camped at Heller in 40 mph-gusting 60 winds, survived the night, but woke up amidst sleet and inside a cloud. We aborted the idea of climbing and drove to Death Valley via the Trona Pinnacles, which neither of us had seen before. DV was also cold and windy and not showing particularly well, so we returned to SB on Saturday night. On Sunday we went to Sespe, but the black wall was cold and windy. We continued to the Potrero John trail, thinking the climbing routes of the same name were off the trail, but a couple miles in we'd found nothing. We did an epic approach to a super chossy spot which we decided against climbing, and, on the way back, found out that the routes were on the other side of 33, closer to the black wall.