Friday, November 20, 2009

Echo choss

I figure I better post about last week's climbing before this week's happens or I will never get around to it. Despite my rallying cry that we take advantage of our few weeks left of Black Mt before they close the gate, I went with some of the LA crew to Echo Cliffs on Sunday instead. Echo is SoCal's volcanic breccia (often referred to as choss) mecca. Aside from the cliffs' chossy nature, the climbing at Echo is generally quite fun and most routes have been climbed and/or glued into a more solid state. As an added bonus, Echo holds the largest concentration of sport climbs in the greater LA area, including a few very hard ones.

Jeff got his first sport climb and first lead simultaneously in the morning. Needless to say he was psyched.

Jeff Blum crushing 5.9

Later we headed to the Kamikaze Cave, which holds all the particularly steep (and most of the hard) climbing at Echo Cliffs. I fell off the top of a 4-bolt 13a called "The Gimp" three times in a row, and Steve sent on his last attempt of the day. I actually would not mind going back and sending some of the lines in the cave, which have fun, gymnastic climbing on good holds.

Sean from Ventura aaaalmost sending "Crash and Burn" (12d).

Although it was a short day and I didn't send anything, it got me kind of psyched for route climbing again, which is a good thing, since that's what I'll be doing in Israel in Decembuary. The plan for tomorrow is Malibu Creek State Park, which has great short sport climbs on rock that is similar to Echo, but much cleaner. I used to climb there almost weekly with Michael Reardon, and haven't been back since his memorial in August of '07, so I kind of look forward to reacquainting myself with the area.

I'll leave you with this beautiful view from the Kamikaze Cave at Echo Cliffs.

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