Author Topic: 6-26-10 Otter Cliffs  (Read 362 times)

Offline llamero

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6-26-10 Otter Cliffs
« on: June 28, 2010, 03:22:18 pm »
This past weekend my wife and I returned to Otter Cliffs for another round of rock climbing, this being my wife's second time on vertical rock.  We decided to do In the Groove (5.5) again so she could try different variations on climbing up.  We both rapelled down and she went up first, doing a beautiful job with no falls and no takes.  Unfortunately, I had the Gri Gri on my rack, so Melyssa had to set-up a redirect up top with her ATC.  She was pumped from the climb, so she was taking a while setting up the belay, and the next thing I know I see a small silver object go flying off the top of the cliff, and as it bounced off the rocks and into the ocean my brain had time to register that it was her ATC.  I then realized I'd failed to teach her how to do a Munter hitch, but fortunately there were other climbers nearby who could help her out.  Once back up top we practiced the Munter hitch until she could do it 10 times with her eyes closed.  We also did a pop quiz on other knots including the auto-block, prusik, clove hitch, double fisherman's, figure-8 on a bite, stopper knot, retraced figure 8, water knot, etc. to make sure there were no other knots I'd forgotten to go over.  That finished, Melyssa was done for the day, so I went for a quick lap up The Flake (5.7) and climbed it cleanly.

Enjoying the strength training rock climbing was giving her, Melyssa and I returned the next day to find we had Otter Cliffs all to ourselves.  We started out by both doing a warm-up lap on In The Groove.  Then, to keep things interesting, I decided to go for an extra challenge and started off to the left on an over-hanging section (5.6ish), and then climbed straight up the right side of the cave into the giant, over-hanging flake, rather than the traditional detour over to the left side of the cave.  This involved a series of neat fist jams deep into the flake and some opposition, and pulling up around the roof/flake bottom definitely felt 5.7ish and was a ton of fun (a 5.9ish variant would be if you use only the flake and don't stem left when pulling out around the base of the flake, but I wimped out).   Melyssa took on her own challenges by going for big moves and staying more on the face rather than climbing up the edge of the flake.  After that we just sat and chatted, until some tourists came and started making us very nervous as they goofed around right on the edge of the cliff (I guess their logic is if there isn't a guardrail, it must be safe.

All in all, it was a great weekend of climbing, and my wife is already talking about climbing next weekend.  I'm the luckiest guy ever!  :D

Click here for a video of some climbing awesomeness

Click here for some photos
It is better to not summit and wish you had, than to summit and wish you hadn't.