Monday, June 01, 2009

Buchannon Gardens

Blair, Mat, and I went up to Buchannon Gardens this weekend. We approached from Little Prairie instead of the pullout. This added about 20min to the approach, but made it easier for Anne and her bad ankle. It also avoided the slippery log crossing. We missed the main trail going up and crossed the creek much too low.

The 5.6 slab, looked deceptively easy as always. However, it never feels as easy as it looks. Consider it a good old sandbag for those used to wall climbing

Blair and Matt played around on a new short layback corner nearby. Later that day they went back and led it. A rock broke off and Blair took a short tumble.

Then we went over to East of Eden -the crescent crack- and played on that. No one led it. It is listed as a 5.10a, but may be a grade harder (dang waterton sandbag grading! :). Same with with the bolted variation. Both are exceptionally good climbs. However it takes a while to get used to the friction and rock up there. East of Eden takes some small to mid sized cams and a mid sized nut. There is a chain anchor up top.

After that we tried to lead up Viking Press. This is an exceptionally good slabby face route that is similar in character to many of the crimpy routes at Stonehill. The bottom pocket pulls were a bit hard with muddy shoes. This is probably the best quality route in the park. Other routes may have funner positions and exposure, but the technical climbing on Viking Press can't be beat. Someone just has to add a new route by figuring out how to head up the arete on the right.

Has anyone else been up there? I suspect there may only have been 3 or 4 parties up there over the last dozen years.

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