Thursday, December 24, 2009

Revisiting Captain Cave Man M7+

Several days ago I heard from Joel Torretti. Joel is a talented PA ice/rock climber that moved away for several years and recently returned to PA and is living up near State College. He was looking to get out and do some tooled climbing. He was excited to be making his first outing of the season. He made the 2.5 hour drive down to our neck of the woods to see what we could do. We checked out the conditions at several of the local areas, SCII and the So. C'ville rod and gun club. Both being not of great condition, we opted to go check out Lower Meadow Run in Ohiopyle. Not to my surprise, the ice was dismal for pure ice climbing. Not a big deal, we opted to get on the great mixed lines. We started on Anger Managment M5 as our warm up. After pumping on that one, Joel tried the obvious "project" line out the center of the cave. Still a project and to all who have tried it, you know why... The next climb we go on was Captain Caveman M7+ a new line that I TRed at the end of last season in much fatter conditions. Joel went first solving the near iceless start to the line. He made it up through the opening moves only to have a crampon slip of and send him into the air. He passed the rope and I tied in for my attempt. I was happy to see Joel smooth the bottom moves (I was a little uncertain that it would go with so little ice). I moved up through the opening making it to the large ledge on the left. I was happy to throw a heel and get a rest. I proceeded to make my way up through the overhanging rockband to the much appreciated ice. The top posed the problem that it was delaminating from the rock like mad. I gently made my way through this section using various dry moves as well as several very insecure ice sticks. I was glad to get it first go. It took me several days of work to get it last year (in much fatter conditions). Joel tied in and took a second go working through the moves and getting a good pump in the process. After our goes on CCM, we went over and did a few laps each on the ever fun Season Finale M6. It was a blast revisiting Captain Cave Man with Joel. Since getting it no falls, first go on TR, I'm really motivated to give it a whirl on the sharp end before it gets wired. Possibly this upcoming week I'll grow a set and do it. I'll be sure to post how it goes. It was a great day climbing with an old friend, I look forward to many great days out this season.

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