My girlfriend and I managed a weekend without kids this weekend- something that has been hard to do since her sister passed in January and we suddenly had the potential for 9 kids in the house at once (ranging from now 8 month old twins to 19 years old)! We slept in a bit both days but yesterday we hit Longstack Precipice in New Durham for the first time. We will definitely be heading back there. Today we went to Square Ledge. The breakdown:
We met up with a friend of my girlfriends that has been climbing for a couple of decades with the intention of finally starting some trad climbing. I had a good idea on how to place gear but had not really had the chance to do so when I really felt comfortable doing it. We decided to start with Coyote Rain. Kellie runs the NH MeetUp group and had decided Thursday or Friday to throw it out to the MeetUp to see if anyone else wanted to join us. A guy named Joe was the only taker. He led Coyote Rain initially then we pulled the rope. I then led it as well, clipping into his gear. When I clipped, I checked out how/where he placed gear. I tried a couple other placements along the way but was only able to get a smallish nut to stick right under the roof. I think he had pretty well found all of the other placements.
I eventually led it ground up, placing gear as I went. We only did the first pitch, but I'm sure we'll be back eventually to do both pitches. A couple of pics:
Me after pulling the roof my first time up, using Joe's gear:
On my full lead, placing gear:
After Coyote Rain, we headed to the other end of the cliff and did at least part of Spirit Guide. I led that one from the start, and really the only issue I had was staying out of the damn poison ivy!!
After I pulled the small roof:
Kellie starting up to check my placements after we pulled the rope:
My girlfriend pulling the roof:
And finally, Joe about to head over:
Today, we headed up to Square Ledge. My girlfriend has some co-workers that are here from out of state on a temporary assignment, and one of them is from Colorado Springs. She climbs a bit there, but made sure to bring her essential gear with her when she came out- so we made sure she got on rock with a decent view today.
I had not done anything at Square Ledge other than top rope the chimney and the un-named finger crack further uphill, but I'd been wanting to climb the face so that's where we started.
I'm not sure how well I stuck to the route, but this is me most of the way up the Standard Route:
Sara, my girlfriends co-worker heading up. She unclipped the rope as she went and my girlfriend later cleaned the route after I tossed the rope back down:
I eventually led the chimney after it cleared out. I don't have any of the pics from the lead uploaded, and since my girlfriend was taking the pics, I don't think there's any of her cleaning either route. This is after I had led the chimney and Sara had started up.
All in all, it was a great weekend, I'm feeling pretty good about trad climbing (at least in the 5.5-5.6 range right now!). The only issues I had was finding good placements on the top 1/3 of the face today. There were a couple I felt so-so about but they were the best I could find. I'm definitely not as fast as I need to be about building anchors yet, but that is something I definitely do not want to rush on.
Al- these are all Facebook pictures and are showing up fine on my computer. I remember there's been issues in the past with my trying to insert them into a post, so if there's issues with this let me know and I'll take off the [ img ] tags.