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Someone buy that man some safety goggles for his birthday

December 5, 2011

Four cars carrying 11 boulderers and 1 dog rolled up to Governor Dick Park last Sunday, and some amazing weather and great friction were waiting.

The climbers: Esten, Art, Eric, Bob, Kevin, Jackie, Shane, Seb, Josh, Devonn, Chris and Pepper
Hydration: Talisker 18, Lagavulin 16, Black Diamond Rampage Imperial IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, 21st Amendment/Ninkasi Allies Win The War Ale

Thanks in part to global warming, the unusually warm weather we’ve had in the northeast has continued into December.  On a beautiful Sunday in Pennsylvania, a big crew showed up to boulder at Mt. Gretna.  The major discovery was that Esten’s new roof rack was able to fit 2 crashpads, magically transforming his Jeep into transportation for 4 climbers, a dog, 5 pads, and multiple bottles of hydration.  Actually, Pepper probably had the greatest find, discovering Jackie’s rabbit and mushroom fettucini leftovers from dinner the night before while all the people were in Wegmans.  That’s some pretty fancy dog food.

Jackie Sending Coleflesh Direct (V5)

Jackie Sending Coleflesh Direct (V5)

The crew started out on various warmups in the Coleflesh Area, including Scrapple (V0), Poison Ivy (V1) and Jenn Savage (V2).  Then, we started on the first project of the day, Coleflesh Direct (V5).  The problem proved to be much easier for shorter people who like high feet, as Eric and Jackie were the only ones to get the send.

Kevin Working It (V5)

Kevin Working It (V4/5)

After the Coleflesh Area, the crew hiked up to It (V4/5) in The Prow Area, which soon became the next project.  With so many pads, we were able to create quite the nice cushion under the overhang.  While everyone soon figured out their own beta for navigating the  bottom, the topout proved elusive until a sweet sidepull was discovered and Bob got the first send.  However, even then the topout was not simple.  Chris blew off before he got the send, and to quote Esten: “I never sent a problem and then fell off.  I was like Jackie on Roundhouse.”  Not only did Esten blow off the topout multiple times, but It attacked him.  Yes, that was a tiny piece of rock that made its way into his eye.  At least Esten and Shane got to have a bonding moment when Shane had to remove said rock in Esten’s eyeball.  Lesson learned: Bouldering is a dangerous sport.  Wear safety goggles.  Or not.  Second lesson learned: Eric + Bell’s Two Hearted in a growler = SEND!

Shane working The Original Route (V3)

Shane working The Original Route (V3)

Most of the crew headed to the Highball Boulder to finish out the day, but Bob, Jackie, and Eric stayed to try out The Islander (V6).  Bob made some good progress, but no sends.  At the Highball Boulder, Shane crushed The Original Route (V3), and Kevin also got the send.  Note to other climbers: a foothold may now be missing thanks to Esten.  At least it didn’t end up in his eye.  That diabase must really be out to get him.

The highball wimps (Jackie, Bob, Eric, and Seb) went to try Smiley Face (V4) as it grew dark, but the sends will just have to wait until next time.  Well, except for the growler.  Eric crushed that.

We ended the day at JoBoys Brew Pub and celebrated Esten’s birthday.  Unfortunately, we got a bad batch of Hoptitude IPA, but the other beers and the food were quite good.  And Kevin walked out with a lot more lollipops than he walked in with.  Third lesson learned: put the leftovers in the trunk and you might actually get to eat them.

Here are Art’s pics from the day:

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