Saturday, February 16, 2019

Buzzard Falls (aka: Kraylick Ice Falls)

... took the short hike into 'Buzzard Falls' (aka: Kraylick Ice Falls) two weekends back...

... with the warming temperatures, would have missed it by a day or two if climbing had been the pursuit - main flow is washed out...

... regardless - that's a nice little area back in there...

... we're workin' on puttin' the old 'Western Pennsylvania Ice' video up on the website... not brilliant but fun... stay tuned...

Cal's Secret Boulders (aka: Liston Rocks)

"... haven't you ever been lost?..."
"... hmmm... been fearsome confused for a month or two, but I ain't never been lost!..."

                                                                                    - The Mountain Men (1980 movie)

... had some fun gettin' a bit confused last Sunday...

... took the short hike in to this small maze of boulders that we haven't visited for probably twenty five years...

... first visited this location in 1984 at the recommendation of iconic SWPA climber, Cal Swoager, who referred to it as his "secret bouldering spot"... remember the date exactly as we had to return home early that day to attend the first birthday of a young gal who presently kicks our ass most weekends...

... always referenced it as 'Liston Rocks'... with reverence to the late man, we'll refer to them as 'Cal's Secret Boulders' from here on out...

... MGS adding some scale to the surroundings...

... ZMan as well...

... have no idea what Cal may have put up - we visited maybe three times and climbed probably over a dozen obvious lines... didn't return much as we were usually occupied places elsewhere...

... took a good look about this visit through a "modern boulderer's eye"... hey - some good stuff here...

... a bit frigid day - MGS sampling a bit of the quality of the rock...

... doesn't appear that anyone's been here in a while - definitely no climbers...

... it's a bit of fun when finding a few of these old places "newly discovered" when lazing about on-line, especially when they include "modern" difficulty ratings - we've seen one old route or two rated as difficult as v10 now'days... 

... the majority of the new (and overhanging) stuff we see, though, we wouldn't have touched back in the day (but who knows with modern crash pads?)...

... we usually didn't rate anything over the 5.10 scale, anyway (if we rated anything at all) - although many things would occasionally get whittled away to the 5.12 scale when working subsequent "eliminate" holds (particularly if 'Mr. Goodman' was waiting in line)... we always compared climbing difficulty to "near-distant" Seneca Rocks, WV, where the ratings were always said to be a bit stiff (but accurate - our opinion - leave it go at that, please)...

... MGS happened to be totin' a pair of rock shoes this day and couldn't resist hoppin' on at least one route...

... wow! - a great "re-discovered" place - we'll be back in the Spring...

... thanks Cal...

... note: heavy black bear and rattlesnake habitat...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Conditions Could Be Better

... cross country, nordic, touring, backcountry, backwoods... the act of being physically propelled thru the snow by kicking and gliding forward, attached to two overpriced composite petrochemical by-product laminate and wood slat boards... call it what you will...

... mid-January and we finally received a bit of appreciable snow accumulation last weekend... headed up on the ridge but after only about a half mile we soon found that the sparse (5 inches at best - 3 inches on average) snow blanket did little to shield track grabbing rocks and large stones - treacherous conditions when accelerating along any appreciable downslope... it only took one good face-plant after descending several hundred feet down a favorite, occasionally steep hollow and we realized that conditions weren't going to improve in the lower elevations and increasingly forest-shrouded trail...

... we opted to abandon the steeps for the day and return to the ridge top and better ski conditions - wide open, rolling (no steeps) and deeper snow... hey, at least it's powder - which we discovered wasn't the case either - because of the underlying unfrozen and wet ground (it was sixty degree weather only days before), what was slick powder on the way in was sticky board grabbing softpack on the backtrack - the days high 30's temperatures didn't help either...

... although, a lot better conditions were to be found along the high ground...

... pretty good tracking when keeping to the grassy open fields and game pastures... 

... MGS, behind the lens, directing a bit of 'mise en scene' composition... 

... once we got it figured out, wasn't a bad few hours of skiing...