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» 2011 » August Latitudinal, Longitudinal, Altitudinal

Tales from today, preserved for tomorrow.

Archive for August, 2011

Darlington Quarry

Sometimes I just like to be around climbing, whether I’m partaking or not. So when I had no plans this past Saturday I tagged along with Jeff, Sam, Rick and Kevin to Darlington Quarry where they would be practicing aid climbing. I hadn’t actually seen aid in action (though I’ll admit that I’ve done some “french free”), so I figured it would be educational at the least.

Jeff/Kevin and Sam/Felipe are planning on doing the Direct South Buttress route on Mt. Moran, which goes free at a modest 5.8 except for two pitches of A1 (5.12 free) aiding. This is why we found ourselves at Darlington Quarry on a beautiful Saturday.


Darlington Quarry is not a climber friendly area. There is loose, sandy rock all over. It is heavily vegetated. It is not very high. No sign of poison ivy rashes 4 days later but I’ll be very surprised if I escaped urushiol free, since the entire approach was covered with the weed. For these reasons, we figured nobody would mind if we pounded a few pitons.

We only managed to find a few worthwhile lines to attempt, and ended up spending all of our time on the one. Sam did the first lead with no issues. Jeff went up on lead afterwards. A few of them attempted the route free on toprope shortly after without much luck, thus proving how much harder you can climb when you pull on gear. With the main hold already having a hairline fracture in it, especially after already seeing a few chunks of rock calve off, I didn’t even bother to give it a go. While we may not have got as much climbing in as we would have liked, it still beat a day in the ‘burbs.

“Early adopter”

I’ve always considered myself an early adopter of all things high-tech. I’m usually pretty close to the front lines in any new technology coming out whether it be computers, cameras, cell phones, programming languages, GPS devices, etc. This, however, hasn’t been true for social media. I just got Facebook a few months ago. And now I’m starting a blog. Yikes.

Facebook hasn’t been too bad. While I definitely have experienced a lot of the awkwardness (sorry Mom, I lock down my Wall tightly more for your safety than my own), already it has helped me stay in touch with people better. To be honest, I’m a little more excited about starting a blog. I’m not much of a writer, and I’m not striving to have everyone clicking refresh over and over to get new updates. I just wanted a central location to do trip reports, basically.

Trip reports are an essential item to any adventure, I’ve just been too lazy to actually write them. I always thought memories were enough, but that is definitely not the case. As more time passes from some memorable trips, the more I forget about them. Ange always has written in her journal on our travels, and the rare opportunities I get to read about our prior trips are great. Memories that were buried but not forgotten surface and it always makes me wish I did a better job at recording these.

With two exciting trips coming up (Tetons and Patagonia), I figured now is the time to start my blog. If the site is already set up and begging to be fed with trip reports, then I might be more willing to sit down and write one. And who knows, maybe I will travel back in time and write up reports of some trips already past before the memories get buried too deeply.