Monday, January 23, 2012

5 minutes too late . . .

Me on the 2nd Ascent of "Baguio Boys" in Ambongdolan.  FA - Xtian Guerrero    
Ambongdolan still spanks !  Made it to the area again this January 21st just in time before it closed down for the day !  Brand new lines left and right.  Sad though, the traffic along Marcos Highway was too too slow that it took a full hour's delay to get to the crag.  At least the dying daylight served only to inspire a bit more energy out of me to finish off the last two new lines for the day !  More on Ambongdolan in March !  The Baguio Boys are looking into organizing a local RocTrip late March to inspire new lines and new ascents in the area.  It will be good to keep up with the news on that !  Wasn't able to shoot too many climbing photos in Ambongdolan because of lack of time and the rapidly dimming conditions.  At least though Xtian took care of my rig for a very nice photo on "Baguio Boys", one of the many nice new lines in the area.  To the right of "Baguio Boys" is also a new problem taken down during the trip.  I think I'll dub it "2 Crimps, 2 Minutes".  It starts on a good jug very low on the boulder's right side and moves up to two heinous crimps.  The problem finishes the same way as "Baguio Boys".  Sadly I don't have photos of this fine line.  It feels amazing finishing the old Chinese year with an FA !!!  Two more new lines on Ambongdolan:  "Far" - FA Xtian Guerrero and "Len" - FA Alex Espina.  Sorry no photos :( 

It was great though to have been able to bring a lot of kids to the crag early this  year.  I'm really hoping to be able to bring as many kids as possible cragging.  Not really to go all out climbing or bouldering but to at least have them experience scrambling and running around at the crags.  

Two days later, we made a trip to the Benguet Capitol Boulders.  Conditions felt very right !  We hopped along the trail a little bit late but we spent the few good hours we had crushing !  Crisp crimps and nice texture provided by the cool temps helped us take down one of the standing projects in the area.  There's this arete.  Here's the spoiler:  right hand underclings the scoop right of the arete, left hand to a thin pinch to the left, start with the right heel on a match with the right hand on the scoop, left foot low toeing a small friction foothold.  First move - cross right hand to a thin crimp, 2nd move - right heel higher up on the right side of the arete and scum left toe a bit higher, 3rd move - bump right hand to a slopey pinch (a bit of a stretch if you keep your feet too low), 4th move - match hands... 5th, 6th etc. will be just to finish of on holds constantly getting better.  Voila!  A new ascent for the new lunar year - "DRAGON NEW YEAR".  It's one of the better problems in the area. Another must try is "Kate Sanchez" - a roof problem with 3 long moves under a roof arete.  A bit short but definitely quality moves.  Also check out "4th Street".  Mhick Tejares burned some of the boys on this one, hehehe !

Reporting on the wide angle lens . . . it's usable but like I said, compromise.  I really had to push sharpness by using f-stops from f13 to f18 forcing to me use ISOs ranging from 300-500 to get faster shutters for stoping action.  A good lens can keep sharpness even on relatively wider apertures which allows for faster shutter I'm convinced I have to get that 10-22mm.  DAMN !  

Benguet Capitol Boulders

Benguet Capitol Boulders from the trail.

Mhick Tejares warming up at the Capitol Boulders
Dennis Diaz under "Kate Sanchez"

Alex Espina making short work of "Kate Sanchez"
"Kate Sanchez" - FA Xtian Guerrero

Xtian Guerrero taking 5 with the new kids on Capitol's Boulders
Full view of "Dragon New Year"
"Dragon New Year" - FA Dennis Diaz
Xtian Guerrero on the 2nd Ascent of "Dragon New Year"
Alex Espina on the stretch of "Dragon New Year"

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