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20150801 Sheep Canyon Headwall - Painslut 5.8 R/X

My face hurts. I've had two teeth removed after one kept getting infected, swelling my face and making me very sick several times. I'm not having a blast in life right now, but I can still climb on occasion, and that allows me to at least feel alive and not like some sorta meat robot going through the pointless motions of playing the game.

Anyway, feeling weak and tired and sick and having a throbbing face, I neeeeeeeeded to get out and climb something. I went to Sheep Canyon in Icehouse Canyon next to Kimchi Ridge, with my eyes fixed on a face I may or may not have climbed in the past. I changed my mind to a line next to that, which my buddy and I bailed off of in 2007-8 or so, leaving behind a single tricam and a quickdraw. Scary.

I slowly huffed and puffed my way in, sweating like crazy. Pretty warm day up here. Took me quite a while to reach the base of the headwall.

Info on the headwall:

Since I'm soloing, I built an anchor at ground level, which in this case was just a rock pinch next to the base. Bigass rock that didn't move when I yanked on it and jumped up and down and all that. Not a lot of other opportunities nearby. That's what's good about climbing in this range: ain't a lotta protection. Really gotta figure it all out. I don't place bolts (yet), and I don't feel they're necessary 99% of the time. Skill and not falling gets you through sections pretty well. I mean, shit, if a sick chump like me can do it alone, you're probably fine, you strong internet champion!

Looking up at part of the headwall. Route is on the right.

Here's the line I took today. Second pitch is up and out of sight. Pitch 2 ends at the really big pine or fir tree at the top of the headwall. Nice fun 5.6-7 slabs leading up to that.

Here;s the #2 Tricam Marc and I placed a long time ago. I yanked on it and it was mega solid. Removed the old quickdraw and put a new sling on it. The purple nylon sling (part of the piece) was old and I didn't completely trust it, but you know, climb on. On my second time up, I used a nut tool and a rock to remove the piece. The rock broke.

High Impact Sexual Violence. Very comfortable without a shirt on. NO ANTS ON THIS ROUTE! Smile

Looking down in the chimney section, which involved some 5.8ish moves above okay protection. These involved swinging out right somewhat awkwardly and pulling up on positive holds, mantling onto some neat features alongside the chimney.

The rope is typically stuffed in a ropebag at the bottom of the pitch, feeding up smoothly. Unfortunately, I haven't rope soloed much lately, so I forgot to untie the free end of the rope from the bottom of the bag. I dragged the bag up the cliff and flaked the rope neatly on this feature here. I clipped the back to the .4 cam in front of me to retrieve later. It's vital that your rope does not get stuck while climbing, as you may not be near anything anchor worthy, so a stuck rope then becomes very serious. You must do it right the first time before taking off or there'll be hell to pay. My shirt and pack are visible below.

Looking down at an unprotectable section of easy slab. A fall here would be very bad, so don't fall. Could be protected with knifeblade pitons and a hammer, if you like.

Not sure where this was, somewhere along the way.

Kimchi Ridge and the south ridge of Baldy.

The first pitch ends when I ran out of rope, a full 60 meters. It's a small Sycamore tree growing out from under a large sharp loose block. Seemed good enough, and I really didn't have any other options anyway. I backed it up with a tiny yellow cam in a shitty placement above the tree, and one .75 or .5 cam below the rock a foot away, which was also not that great. I rappelled carefully.

I don't have photos of the second pitch, which is a fun easy slab without many opportunities for protection. Good rock though.

The route is typical of what I've climbed in the area. Not super hard physically, but very heads up. Don't fuck up (DFU) territory. Real adventure.

I descended via my typical scree descent gully two gullies or so to the east. This one drops you off right near the bigass boulder and wilderness boundary sign in Icehouse.

Cheers folks.

Great pictures! Sorry you're not feeling well. Forum Index -> San Gabriels
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