Friday, March 1, 2013

Some Wet Cragging and Circle W

As this year's ice season is reaching it's twilight I've been trying to squeeze more climbing days in. It always feels like there's pressure to send projects at the end of the season - in a few more weeks they'll have to wait another year and it's nice to cross them off the list before then.

I spent the last two days in the Devil's Kitchen (the Chasm!?). We had fun despite the fact that we were soaked by rain and wet snow. It was neat watching Dustin Portzline, a younger Mountain Skills climbing guide and New Paltz local step out of his comfort zone a little. He's realized this season that he's capable of leading harder routes. This week alone he led Dan and The Devil, Mephisto Waltz and the Advocate. I fully expect to see him cranking out really hard lines throughout the northeast a few seasons from now. Additionally, I managed to send Hydropower, a route I tried a couple of times over the last two seasons (established by Matt McCormick in 2010). Thanks to Chris Beauchamp and Dustin for belaying me while I worked out the continuously hard moves on small (1-2 tooth) insecure edges and with awkward feet.

Dustin Portzline steppin' out on "The Advocate"

Another highlight of the two days was my first visit to Circle W General Store in Palenville. It's a new favorite and a great place to meet partners if you're headed to the Catskills. They have good coffee, great sandwiches on outstanding bread, and incredible cookies. It's the kind of place that Palenville has been lacking for a while and is definitely worth checking out if you haven't already.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for a few more days of winter out there!