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New Areas, New Experiences - Nick Bradley

New Areas, New Experiences - Nick Bradley
February 25, 2013 - 

Recently I went out to some nice boulders out in Mount Tamalpais, that have been long overlooked due to a more popular climbing area right of the beach about 10 minutes farther down the mountain. The boulders at Mount Tam are of surprisingly good quality, with many bulges and blocky pinches everywhere. A lot like a sport climbing area called Jailhouse up in the Table Mountains, the problems have tricky and complex sequences that make it hard to do each quickly.

I was psyched to go to a new area and try out all the nicest lines there, as well as the hardest. The first thing I got on was a 5-move v12 (8a+) called The Bay View Pinch Problem, that looked the same difficulty of a v7 (7b). Once I got on it however, I realized why it was graded what it was. The sequence involves upside-down heel hooks in huecos, awkward toe hooks, and hard moves on slopy side-pull pinches. I managed to do all the moves, but linking them together was virtually impossible.

Maybe next time if it isn't baking directly in the 80 degree sun again... I moved on to a shadier area to hide from the heat, where there were, what the guidebook said to be, some moderate problems. The problem with unpopular areas is that the problems and grades aren't well known, so you're pretty much on your own when it comes to finding the right start, and where the problems go. We headed down to a v8 (7b+) called  Campus Girls, which is a nice roof problem with pinches and toe-hooks. After giving it some goes, we figured out I was starting below the actual start, which made the problem probably two grades harder. I didn't want to just do the easier line, so I continued trying the v10 (7c+) variation and eventually got up it.

I'm finding that the more areas I go to, and the more exposed I get to different styles of climbing, the better and more efficient I can figure out a sequence on a route, thus the harder I can climb. Still psyched on ropes coming up. Should be good.


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