Trip Report
Urban Aid Climbing: How to Spend a Weekend not in the Mountains
Wednesday September 14, 2011 5:28pm
East Siiide!

Thursday

Haha! Today I found a partner in weirdness for the greater good of local aid climbing practice. Eddy was game for practicing setting up a removeable Tyrolean at Indian Rock, so we drove over to the park after work to see what opportunities we could find for practice.

Not your normal day at the park. Eddy is halfway across our baby Tyrol...
Not your normal day at the park. Eddy is halfway across our baby Tyrolean.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Halfway across on our baby Tyrolean.
Halfway across on our baby Tyrolean.
Credit: PellucidWombat

The first line had a nice view, but seemed too short for proper practice, and darkness forced us to stop before Eddy could attempt to set up the system himself.

Saturday

To warm up, Eddy and I did a good aid session at the gym, working on good habits & efficient movements in the aiders and jugging low angle terrain (not in photo). We did 10 laps each aiding & 10 laps each jugging, which was a good workout!

Aid practice in the gym. Lines on the pink bolts were harder, & green ...
Aid practice in the gym. Lines on the pink bolts were harder, & green seems to be the lowest angle/easiest line we could find in the gym for doing laps. 10 laps gets you sweaty!
Credit: PellucidWombat

Next we headed to Indian Rock for more Tyrolean practice on a longer line that I saw we could set up.

Eddy & I back at the park.
Eddy & I back at the park.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Too much slack in the longer Tyrolean gives Eddy a hard time.
Too much slack in the longer Tyrolean gives Eddy a hard time.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Better tension on round 2 of the long Tyrolean, though without someone...
Better tension on round 2 of the long Tyrolean, though without someone to feed out the trailing line, I had my own difficulties to wrestle with.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Sunday
PG Presidio

Eddy couldn't get out Sunday, so I went over to San Francisco to climb with Vitaliy and see what we could find for aid practice. Sadly Beaver Street Wall was already full when we arrived, so we passed time crack climbing at PG Presidio first.

I'm including this segway mostly because I want to hear what other Tacos think these cracks are rated.

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
Good for warm-up laps with downclimbing

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
Left one is good for warm-up laps with downclimbing. Right one is an ankle killer!

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
Sadly we didn't climb long enough to get to these two this time.

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
I also skimped out on the roof rack this time since time was short. The lieback has some tricky sequences!

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
The famous adjustable cracks. The one on the right has been made into a tricky off-fingers flare for now.

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is (if I have done it clean). Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
Lead only cracks. Someday?

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
Another of the famous adjustable cracks. The left one is an ankle killer! Right one was good for warm-up laps.

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is. Names are whimsically chosen as the cracks are unnamed (as far as I know).
Credit: PellucidWombat
The harder OW. I finally got the whole thing clean this time - things finally clicked and I just raced up it.

Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative s...
Crack joy at PG Presidio. Please let me know if you have alternative suggestions for the ratings. For now I've labeled what my assessment is (and another's opinion for the top crack since I haven't done it completely clean yet). Names are whimsically chos
Credit: PellucidWombat
The easier OW. Good for climbing the wrong side in and changing sides as drills. I made it within one move of completing the finger crack on top. Maybe next time?

The Beach

Now that our fingers and ankles were trashed from all of the crack climbing, we headed to the beach for some R&R - and to try out cam hooks on an expansion joint in the sea wall.

Baby steps up the crack. I'm still working out how the cam hooks behav...
Baby steps up the crack. I'm still working out how the cam hooks behave and how the sizes compare, so I'm keeping my steps short on the first lap.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Nearing the top of lap 1. Cam hooks are solid!
Nearing the top of lap 1. Cam hooks are solid!
Credit: PellucidWombat

I think Vitaliy said the locals consider the finger crack 5.10c. The cam hooks took well to the joints and we could fly right up, effortless. We did several laps, making it a goal to get placements down to minimum. I could keep it to 3 placements to get over the wall (4 if you count the somewhat unnecessary but fun one to do in the fascia to finish).

Vitaliy beginning his first run up the wall.
Vitaliy beginning his first run up the wall.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Aid bouldering at the beach. The sand could make for a nice landing.
Aid bouldering at the beach. The sand could make for a nice landing.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Vitaliy cam hooking his way up the sea wall.
Vitaliy cam hooking his way up the sea wall.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Cam hooks are the bomb!
Cam hooks are the bomb!
Credit: PellucidWombat

Vitaliy trying out Cam Hooks at the beach
Vitaliy trying out Cam Hooks at the beach
Credit: PellucidWombat

This was just too much fun to run up the crack, toss the gear down for the next in line, and run around the side back to the base :-D

Cam hooks are sweet!
Cam hooks are sweet!
Credit: PellucidWombat

Yarr! Captain Hook! Yarr!
Yarr! Captain Hook! Yarr!
Credit: PellucidWombat

I'm sorry. I just can't help but be a little silly here.
I'm sorry. I just can't help but be a little silly here.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Which is mightier?
Which is mightier?
Credit: PellucidWombat

I think the hook works better :-)
I think the hook works better :-)
Credit: PellucidWombat

It was especially fun topping out, as you'd suddenly pop up on the top of the wall, surprising people that were looking out at the sea and had no idea someone was climbing below! On one topout I ran into my friend Owen, who just happened to be in the area. He helped out with some of the photography as we entertained him.

Fun fascia hook move & mantel exit
Fun fascia hook move & mantel exit
Credit: PellucidWombat

Beaver Street Wall

As evening approached, we returned to find the Beaver Street Wall still busy, so we practiced jugging on the side until everyone went home. Then it was time to have fun!

Vitaliy practicing jugging at Beaver Street Wall while we waited for t...
Vitaliy practicing jugging at Beaver Street Wall while we waited for the crack to free up. It just freed up here, so it was time to move the rope over!
Credit: PellucidWombat

I had no idea what the clean aid rating for The Crack was, or if it could be aided cleanly, so I did this on TR to be safe, but next time I'll have to come back to do it properly.

Placing the second aid piece after using a hook placement & brass offs...
Placing the second aid piece after using a hook placement & brass offset nut.
Credit: PellucidWombat

It started getting dark and I had unfortunately left my headlamp on the ground. Though I could have brought it up on the tag line, this was Urban aid climbing! The street light gave me just enough visibility to finish the climb in the dark.

Aiding Beaver Street Wall. I'm on TR because I had no idea if it could...
Aiding Beaver Street Wall. I'm on TR because I had no idea if it could be aided clean or at what rating. Now I need to go back & do it properly!
Credit: PellucidWombat

Aiding up into the dark. The final bulge was surpassed by a hook move ...
Aiding up into the dark. The final bulge was surpassed by a hook move on the overhang. This was much more fun than exiting right.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Now Vitaliy had never jugged on traverses before, and was new to lowering out & cleaning, so the traversing nature of this route made it a harder first clean for him than expected. He took to it well and made short work jugging & cleaning the pitch.

Gear placed while aiding Beaver Street Wall. There were also 2 individ...
Gear placed while aiding Beaver Street Wall. There were also 2 individual hook moves, 1 series of 2-3 hook moves, & a tenuous mantle done to climb the route. Would you say this rating is C2? or C2+?

Credit: PellucidWombat

The pink tri-cam was helpful in a flaring pocket & the Ball Nutz worked like a charm in a thin crack section that was too thin for even my #000 3CU. The #1 Nutz did pop a little but with a little work it held like a charm.

Though the bad weather forecast kept us in the city, we still had a full & productive weekend burning some energy and preparing for our next outing!


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PellucidWombat
About the Author
PellucidWombat is a mountain climber from Berkeley, CA.

Comments
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:32pm PT
Nice! Your tr's are perfect entertainment for office bound climbers.

Tyroleans are where you find them


Hmm, wonder where I can set one up around my house?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
I must say you make do with what you've got but I'm glad I live a few hundred yards from the real thing.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Boise, ID
  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
Madness & mayhem, looks like. Nice.
TFPU.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
fun
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Draperderr, by Bangerter, Utah
Author's Reply  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:47pm PT
I'm glad I live a few hundred yards from the real thing.

You're making me miss Utah!
NMR

Trad climber
Berkeley
  Sep 14, 2011 - 07:16pm PT
안녕 Eddy!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Sep 15, 2011 - 01:45pm PT
Would have to disagree about the rating of crack #1. I'd give it a 5.8. Flaring hands or fists+overhanging. If it was outside, placing pro on overhanging crack like this would make it 5.8-5.9.

Also J tree crack on the R side would be 10d at least (for my hands!). I was told that Belmont PG crack with a roof is a 10c and jams there are a lot more secure.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Sep 15, 2011 - 02:23pm PT
Very cool. I did my first hard aid climbing nailing bottoming seams in the Madera Canal.

Incidentally, in the early 1970's I set up a Tyrolean traverse between the top of Eschelman Hall and the Student Union in Berkeley when they had the Activities Fair (when the various clubs and organizations could "advertise" for members). We would jug up Eschelman, Tyrolean over to the Student Union, and rap down. The Daily Californian almost always had our pictures in the paper the next day, and the Hiking Club usually had better-than-average attendance the next meeting.

Thanks for the TR.

John
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Draperderr, by Bangerter, Utah
Author's Reply  Sep 15, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
Would have to disagree about the rating of crack #1. I'd give it a 5.8. Flaring hands or fists+overhanging. If it was outside, placing pro on overhanging crack like this would make it 5.8-5.9.

Also J tree crack on the R side would be 10d at least (for my hands!). I was told that Belmont PG crack with a roof is a 10c and jams there are a lot more secure.

I admit I'm trying to err on the crueler side here. >:-) I have yet to properly finish the "J-Tree Finger-'fest" one as it still kills me about halfway up, not by technical difficulty but by pain endurance. I felt like the overhanging fingers at GWPC were 5.10d (based on a comparison to Five & Dime) but some people think it is more like 5.10b-c. The J-Tree one definitely is harder overall than Five & Dime!

Considering the flare, the overhanging nature definitely makes it more physical, but you can still rest on it and once you get the basic technique down it's pretty chill. e.g. the easy crack with a roof & wide section at BIW, I was originally told was 5.8-5.9, but lately I've been hearing opinions that it is more like 5.7. I'd like to call it 5.8 due to the roof & tricky wide section past it, but considering I can climb up & down the thing pretty smooth & continuous for 20-30 min w/o a break has gotta mean that it's not that hard once you get the moves!

Always nice to hear differing opinions though to get some good thoughts for these cracks :-)

I set up a Tyrolean traverse between the top of Eschelman Hall and the Student Union in Berkeley

Sweet! When I was living in the student dorms I was really tempted to set one up between the balconies of the neighboring dorm buildings.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 15, 2011 - 11:54pm PT
Loves me some crack,
Good to hear that Beaver street was BUSY!!!!
lol
-E
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Sep 16, 2011 - 01:17am PT
Cool!

You guys need to do the bolt/rivet ladder about 30 feet to the right of the main crack on Beaver street wall.

The top is bat hooks with a ground fall, the anchor is one bolt and 1 drilled angle (way bitchin).

Oh, and I watched a surfer third class that beach crack in flip flops with a head full of acid:)>
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