Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's celebrate!

Today I went out to San Ysidro with Theresa and Jamilah. We threw a toprope on Oranguhang, the stuff to the right and the stuff to the left of it. For me this was primarily an opportunity to test my new shoulder. It seems to have held, but we'll know for sure tomorrow. It was so nice to get out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh how the mighty have fallen

Being injured sucks so much. I am an endless fountain of complaints.

I went out to New Jack City this weekend, mostly to get out of Santa Barbara and see my sport climbing friends. I climbed two 5.8's that are usually my lead warmups, and onsighted an easy 9. The shoulder isn't that painful anymore so it was really hard to stay off the rock, but the experience of re-tearing the rotator cuff in March was enough to deter me.

I also got to meet Jack, the guy who set all the routes and after whom the place is named. He gave us the unofficial news that the BLM is planning on developing the site for R.V. camping, so they're putting in a proper road, campsites and toilets. And then, after a while, they're opening the canyon to windfarm development. Apparently, even though it's not optimally located for that, the fact that it's remote, hence the wind turbines won't ruin anybody's view, is a big draw to developers. So NJC will be temporarily closed to climbers during the campsite development, and then maybe again, possibly permanently, for the wind development, if they decide to do it right by the crags. The temporary closure nobody cares about anyway, since it's about to get hotter than hell in the middle of the Mojave, so climbing won't be possible again until September. The wind thing I just don't see. Who would put a turbine at the base of a chossy cliff?

By the way, Jack is a real character! I got into a conversation with him where I was defending NJC from the term "chosspile", which I've seen climbing mags using for it. But we ended up disagreeing, since he embraces that term wholeheartedly. He's all in favor of developing sport routes in chossy areas. His reasons are that good rock is usually not steep enough for his tastes, and I think he also finds it a little uninteresting if little bits aren't raining on him. I think of myself as primarily a trad climber, so the notion of chossiness goes hand in hand with the potential for gear pulling. From the sport route developer's perspective, though, that's not a consideration. NJC is supremely safely bolted. I watched Jack dance up a 12 and then heckle his girlfriend up the same climb, and I have to say, it was better than TV, better than the movies. A real character, I tell you!