Pervertical Sanctuary, 5.10d – The Diamond, RMNP

MountainProject.com >> Pervertical Sanctuary, 5.10d 
…with The Finnish Machine, Wilhelm Bergman (@willmountainman)

Fantastic. Steep. Prime granite.

The splitter cracks, crisp friction and hidden face holds/edges on Pervertical Sanctuary make this route amazing, and doable with some granite wizarding for sport climbers like myself. Will and I also tagged a 65m 8.4mm half-rope to the leader and hauled a small pack on every pitch to make the experience for the follower as good as for the leader.

The Approach
starts from Long’s Trailhead, hike to Chasm Lake and around right following the climber’s trail to the bivvy sites and glacier snow/ice, then up towards Mill Glacier keeping below and moving right to where the snow section is shortest (if there’s still snow there).

We bivvy at midnight, and at 3:45am caterpillar in our sleeping bags to the cans of double espresso. Once we are awake enough to eat, we hang our packs off the ground on a nut (you can also hang it off a boulder on a stick anchored down with rocks) and start up the approach to the North Chimney to start climbing at 5.30am, or first light. While North Chimney is an easy fifth class, it only stays at the 5.4 if almost all the snow is melted off, and you manage to start and follow the easiest line starting almost all the way up the gully on the left.

Approach Pitches: North Chimney
Is actually a gulley, and easy fifth class to 5.4 for 400 ft up to a final leftward traverse to Broadway Ledge. Pitching out, soloing, or simul-climbing this fun precursor pitch up to the start of the Diamond’s more famous routes start can be a sketchy affair – it’s full of rock fall, ice fall, and snow melt, depending on the conditions / time of day! Get on it at the break of dawn if possible.

There is always a danger of knocking off loose rocks! There were multiple parties soloing and simul-ing the North Chimney, but luckily everyone on the wall was amiable, even chatty, and careful not to knock too many rocks down! Will and I pick our way up the pre-dawn-sticky ice and kicked-out footsteps to solo to the first good ledge and simul the rest of the 300 feet to the left turning corner onto Broadway ledge.

Your alternative: Chasm View Wall Approach and/or Descent
Some hike up via the Camel to start (or hike down from the summit to finish) and rap down Chasm View Wall, traversing left on Broadway to get to where the routes and rap descent start. Or like us, descend this way from the summit after hiking to the Cables Route rap (descent info below). Starting with this rap, the easiest way may be to hike up the 2nd class Camel route and heading left/east to the top of Chasm View Wall – you can bivvy high the night before to avoid the morning hike – and then rap in from the shiny new bolts now located on the visible side of the block (not around the exposed corner, as before) and go down with double 60m ropes/a tagline. *BEWARE* you may send rocks down into the North Chimney EVEN if you’re super, super careful!)

At Broadway
walk left on Broadway to where a broken ledge trends up and left, where you can solo-traverse from the right, belay from almost straight below, or if there’s no snow/ice left, walk left and up to cross in from the right. Obvious anchor just right of the starting crack.

Route Description // Pitches referenced from MountainProject

Pitch 1: 5.8, 130ft Use slings well! Went up the left side of the Mitten past a crap anchor at the halfway, traversing out right and just under the belay with considerable rope drag.

Pitch 2: 5.9, 100ft
Up the left flake. Fantastic climbing – “nothing to write home about.”

Pitch 3: 5.8, 100ft, apparently can be linked with Pitch 2 with a 60 meter
Belay at a ledge right of the Obelisk

(Our pitch 4 linked the next two for ~230ft // full 70m rope length)

Pitch 4, .10d — 80ft Short crux pitch with a few fixed wires and good edges. (A real sport climber’s dream!) The crux was a short section of great fingers, to thin hands, to fists/lie back, so when I stood on the ‘diving board’ at the first anchor, I decided to link into an enduro pitch that continued up the 5.10a face/stem/big hands/fists/OW/lie back.

Pitch 5, .10a — 140ft Save your #3s for the last half, and a #4 for the last 30-ft section. Combining this into an enduro 68m pitch was amazing. I was able to jam and fist far inside the crack, but then stem, face climb and lie back outside most of the wide sections, so while I have small hands, I could rest most of the time and walk the bigger pieces. The Park provides!

Both hands were on the thank-dog ledge when Will shouted that he was out of rope.

Pitch 6: 5.9, 100+ft Head straight up towards a piton and use that wag bag with the best view possible on Table Ledge.

Summit:
Keiner’s finish to Long’s Peak summit. 15 feet of 4th class ledges to the left of the anchors, then head up on solid 3rd-4th class ground for the last few hundred feet to the top.

Descent:
Cables Route, 5.2/raps. 60m rope is fine. From summit, head north and east towards Chasm View and down before reaching the slabs along 2nd class scree, following a highway of social trails, for 20-30 minutes until the trails head left to a final flatter ledge and large cairns direct you towards the eye bolts. It’s possible to down climb this super easy 5th class, and we passed the first cable eye-hole to start rapping from the second, which you can do with a 60mt. You can then hike down the Camel 2nd class route, but we rappelled Chasm View since we had the two 70m ropes (one a half-rope).

What a mind-blowing climb!
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This photo of Will finishing the enduro pitch sums it up very nicely. (Love you!)

Be safe out there, humans.

And if anyone has questions about this route, or our gear collection to empower youth at Move Mountains (www.climbingwithoutborders.com), shoot me a message on Facebook or email me at Tiff@ClimbingBorders.org

ALSO, THANKS TO THESE GUYS!

David, for rescuing my Weaver rock shoes from Broadway last month!!!
Matt at NiteIze for the sweet 280-lumin waterproof, rechargeable, lockable headlamps for the long adventures
Kenny and the crew at Mad Rock Climbing for the sweetest trad shoes ever, the breathable Weavers
Jon at Pebble Wrestler Collective for donating 5% to Climbing Borders
Katie, at Honey Stinger for feeding our climbs!

– Tiff, Semi-pro Climber & Advocate for Youth

 

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Escalando Fronteras Clip

 

We took a group of kids to climb in the city’s canyon today, and hastily put the footage into this short clip about Escalando Fronteras.

A Monster Named Denial

Sinking deeper and deeper into that familiar feeling of crazy depression, my ankle felt almost worse.

For four months, I haven’t been able to climb without pain, and climbing is my very simple world. Am I losing grip on my 17-year-old passion, slowly and involuntarily? Is this the end? Should I finish up that business degree, take up art, and make strides toward my dream to open a climber cafe in a spanish-speaking country near a climbing area?

Quickly after getting back on track, I realized how my own denial had caused me to make serious mistakes.

Mistake One: The Adjustment Bureau

Denial took it’s first tottering baby step a few week after surgery, during a visit to the physical therapist. When I asked “How long until I can go for a run?” and the doctor’s answer was “Ah, well…” – I blinked, and my heart skipped a beat (already, denial was causing arrhythmia). The doctor continued: “Don’t even think about running until after 6 months. For now, try the stretches first, then maybe walking…then maybe swimming…” (Swimming? Was that hard?) “…and work your way up.” He was right, of course. Try getting the bike not to wobble, then you can think about the Tour de France. That next week, I was climbing and stepping for the first time on the spin bike. Alone, I pumped on the pedals and refused to stop pedaling, reading Climbing to pass a solid hour. If I’d told a friend to help me slow down, they might have seen how silly I was pushing so hard in a cast. And this was the problem: I should brought in all my friends to help me stay on track. Like an ‘adjustment bureau’.

Mistake Two: No Sleep ‘Til PT

I had three sessions of P.T. in the US before traveling abroad, and the trip couldn’t wait. My goals in Mexico included hiking for days with a heavy pack, jumarring camera equipment up trad lines, doing my first big walls, maybe even climbing a 5.14. When they set the second cast, I was ready to train again. Still on crutches, watching my boyfriend train while I couch potato-ed, reading possessed me. Training for the New Alpinism, Marathon Training for Beginners…these books and others spurned my soul to fly off to the start line and juggle dumbbells. How was I going to deal?

The problem was, I didn’t. I was helping myself prepare for the future, but not for the present. Week two, still in the cast, I was heel hooking on .12c and began making hour-long sprints on spin bikes, turning up the resistance as the ache in the Taylor fracture was overpowered by my addiction to endorphins.

Mistake Three: “Well…poopsicles.”

After arriving in Mexico for our four month project, I began holding the camera like a teddy bear in my arms, changing focus from my climbing to other things: drawing the mountains of the Mexican national park La Huasteca, drawing the streets, shooting video of the at-risk program, and aiming a naked lens at everything I see. So desperate to keep myself still one morning, I knitted a ridiculous small blanket while the boys made a go at Sendero Luminoso. But this was not the problem – knitting only gives me minor carpel tunnel and a tendon ache. The problem was that, however much I wanted to obsess and progress on climbing projects, I could not, and could not let go. (This had happened once before, after winning two micro-fractured heels from a fall onto concrete.) After a while, frustration set in, like an unwelcome roommate to the already cluttered space of my mind. Also settling into the upstairs was resignation, quick to step in when frustration took a break. So that between trips outdoors and time with the roommates, I felt sadness, homesickness, and disappointment. That wasn’t working either, surprisingly.

Then, the heavens sparkled and, suddenly, unicorns existed.

A friend offered to bring me to a physical therapy clinic, where she was rehabilitating a knee injury. I made the decision to drive with her that morning to Clínica Everest (aptly named), over a very appealing job opportunity teaching English. In the office, my friend pointed to my sneaker. “Look at how she’s walking.” It was dented to the left, as if Patagonia had integrated a gangster lean into the lefts of their athletic shoe line.

I was very surprised when the doctor offered two months of physical therapy. Though I walked like Captain Ahab (I do tend to have his tunnel vision, too) still, at the offer of two months, I thought “Well, is it that bad?” Clearly, denial was strong in this one.

So big thank you, Clínica Everest.

I’m thankful that visiting this PT clinic with a friend woke me up to the realization that I was straggling. We are always finding ourselves in ruts, and always find out ways out through the offers of kind people.

With the time remaining in Mexico, I hope to recovery enough to climb more of the beautiful routes in La Huasteca and continue going out with the kids on our trips. Maybe even send 5.13?

So if you are injured before a long trip to La Huasteca, El Salto, or Potrero and may need PT, visit Clínica Everest.
On The Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/ClinicaEverest?rf=439585619389981

———-

P.S.
We are finding incredible people with enormous compassion who want to help Escalando Fronteras! If you’re reading this an want to help, we can always use more connections and donations. Contact us at escalandofronteras.org

A Description of Monterrey’s Poverty

I always remember having the luxury of an American life (perhaps with the exception of camping in the Buttermilks in Bishop for a month). Even when I road tripped in my Sprinter around North America for 6 months, my online job with Mad Rock covered the minimum of gas and food.

Every weekday morning at 6am I took the opportunity to use the bathroom, then bask productively, in a Starbucks café, enjoy free coffee refills with my earned Gold Star Level Rewards, and pound out several hours of work. Then I would continue my drive to the Grand Canyon, or up the California Pacific Coast, or off to The Chief, or down to New Orleans.This was America. Rich, warm, and full of surplus luxury. From those six months living in an aluminum can, I hold many fond memories of warm, cozy 24-hour joints filled with students, equipped with fast wi-fi, and offering beautiful views.

When my boyfriend and I moved into Monterrey, Mexico, the Starbucks may as well have been the Four Seasons. It had a history of being raided when the government was in turmoil.

For traveling rock climbers, northern México, needless to say, is a whole different story than the US and Canada.

The poorest parts of Monterrey are filled with urban flotsam and jetsam, an endless sea of city debris tossed overboard by the cement square ships, simple houses that flood the valley below the Cerro de las Mitras as though they were mollusks and mussels swept in by the hurricane several years ago.

Tumbleweeds, brown plastic bags discarded and filled with air that roll and bounce on the streets, follow the uneven pavement past glassless barred windows and doors. Those without bars, have the openings covered with thin crate pieces with faded cursive brands, resembling a capitalistic collage. A string of graffiti runs along the walls of the canal that separates the city, like an elaborate caption to a disparate picture of shacks and glossy glass buildings.

The feeling of walking through a poverty-stricken barrio like Lomas Modelo is one of resignation. In the barrio, there is no luxury, no aesthetics. The children make toys of what they find, like the leftovers of someone’s torn piñata or a deflated ball. The roofs of the houses are piled with trash and broken plastic chairs, flung there by the tide of poverty.

At night, the puddle of lights laps at the foothills of the mountains, where inhabitants can see the city’s nakedly exposed quarries.  Above the urbanization, in the air, a haze obscures the towering peaks of el Cerro de las Mitras, which are faded to near-solid opaqueness. This could be mining dust, pollution, or, on those drizzly days, a mixture together with high humidity, the water molecules trapping but not grounding the CO2 and other flighted chemicals.

The jarring image of poverty is unbelievable in Monterrey. Higher on the hills, the dark eyes of 10-story abandoned cement structures gaze emptily out at the city, and overgrowth hides the many dilapidated buildings between rich estates guarded by high walls, metal spikes and barbed wire.

There’s so much that can be improved here, but the general attitude towards humanitarian improvement is like that of a child who has too much homework to do over the weekend, simply drops it in the trash, and makes up an excuse to the teacher.

Though not everything can be fixed in the world, a program that focuses on the national park, on education, and on ethics can improve the mindset of many children, and at least bring the first step to the path of the city: self awareness.

Follow the Project at: http://www.projectwalle.com

The Dream Life…With a Job

… It’s not so bad.

Anyone can work full time and train hard for their projects.

The other week I listened to Beyondtalks at a local brewery. TNF’s MountainAthletics program, with Cedar Wright as the coach, was helping two men FA a new 5.12 in Yosemite Valley around their 9-5 job.

That’s great, I thought, then blithely: That’ll happen to me one day when I’m old.

A week later I walked into a gear store a found myself with a second job. I’ve been training for the upcoming Psicobloc competition the same week Team WallE summits Quandary peak to raise money for The Colorado 54, and now my training time was looking thin.

Surprisingly, the experience has thrown me back to Biology class, when I would get in early to grab a seat behind the classroom’s full work counter. When the professor crawled through a slow slideshow of DNA particles, I snuck in sets of pushups to the great entertainment of my seat mate. Being in lenient public school, I did the same in guitar class. Tony was a great friend of mine who dreamed of being a police officer and we trained almost together every day, climbing the football goal posts, the buildings, and getting into competitions when we were supposed to learn Greensleeves on an acoustic.
So I sneak in what I can at work. I stretch a lot, drink tons of water, and get a short run in before going into work, and a short run after work.

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Hiking partner on Mt. Sherman this weekend.

I’m also continuing my personal project to all 54 14ers in Colorado during the weekends. I’ve pretty much completed just the shorter day hikes, and I’ll have to start working on the longer, Class 3 and 4 routes.

That Ridiculous Trip to Mexico

In March I made two trips to Mexico, and the second trip was absolutely soulfully lucrative. We wandered the art street, worked with Escalando Fronteras, and ran up to El Salto. Here’s some photos!

 

 

Putting Down The Predator, 5.13b

Since driving north to NYC, I’ve climbed at The Cliffs in LIC and Valhalla and bouldered a bit in the mossy green, bug-ridden northeast…and I even got to revisit RUMNEY!

And guess what?

I SENT PREDATOR 5.13b!!!!!

Why am I so excited about this climb? Well, for one, it’s tall, proud, and beautiful. Second, I tried this problem just once before on a fun New Hampshire trip for the PrAna-sponsored LT11 Rumney video that raised money for the AccessFund.

The climb kicked my ass that day. We’d all bouldered and found some natural water slides, and had a great trip overall just getting lost, eating pancakes, and catching frogs, and we’d wandered up to Predator, where LouderThan11 got gorgeous footage of me working the entire problem. The fact the video made it appear I’d done the climb had always kind of bothered me…I had actually been terrified of the long drop beneath me, pumped out of my mind, and swapping bugs the whole way, and was hanging on every draw.

Coming back to the northeast, it’s funny how I ended up there again, this time with NYC climber Gareth Leah who works at The Cliffs, and who’s editor of the NYC Bouldering guide published by Sharp End. (Who are also publishing Vertical Mind << I highly recommend this book from Sharp End!)

On the way up to Rumney I had no plans to climb hard, and I haven’t been training intensely at all. But since I began traveling in the climbing van with a hyper border collie, I’ve actually spent very little time focusing on training, and instead I’ve been staying on my feet all day, running into the mountains occasionally and socializing more than anything else.

So I’ve been feeling really light and strong in general…I guess this is the perk of having a mobile life!

Predator went down in three solid tries after the end of the second day, and it felt good to get on a hard sport route again.