Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pano HDR

Just a quick post about my recent foray into combining my High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Panography pursuits.

Just a quick test in the humble abode.

Note that since the pano aspect ratio is so extreme it doesnt work very well in the constraints of the blog-o-space. Solution... click through to the Flickr page and check out the original size image.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gone to Court

Having returned from India I was still not quite ready to go back to work, and after a week processing the data I decide to go hang out with Jeff Moss and Monica up in Troy NY for a week.

Managed to do a good bit of climbing,

Little Falls, Gunks, and Adirondacks.

Hadnt been to Little Falls in ages, and took Jeff over to the Dihedral wall where we did a couple fun routes. Though my head wasnt as into the whole trad thing as just a few weeks ago, amazing how you lose that so quickly.

The new guidebook came out for the Adirondacks, which i attempted to memorize in an evening. However the new guidebook puts the "burghundy Bible" to shame, with way more routes, new areas and way more descriptive details.

Included are many new areas. Not sure how i never got involved with the community while at school, as I had explored all but perhaps 3 cliffs in the older guide. The new guide has bunches that were right under my nose!

One of those is the Courthouse. A small-ish cliff on the North side of Johns Brook the most popular hiking trail in the adirondacks. Jeff and I made the hour long hike and did most of the routes there. The climbing was great and the views even better.

The Climbing

The Colors

Some shadows

The Pano

Beautiful climbing in a great setting. Tons of small horizontals that make the steep climbing manageable at a reasonable grade and afford clever yet secure gear placements.

Despite some rain on following days we got out to the Gunks to do some Aid climbing.

We went to scout out Spinal Traction an Aid line at the end of the near Trapps but ended up choosing to do Harvest Moon as an aid climb instead. More on Spinal Traction in a bit.

Harvest Moon is usually a mid 11 crack climb, yet today with our bumblie arms and the wet we garnered enough excuses so that we only had to aid climb. Free attempts later confirmed this as a wise decision.

Aiding in the wet...

Monica following on aid, and later even sporting a nice falll up top.

Ok finally, and I hate to do this. Its time for a rant.

The Evidence

Aid climbing is by no means the most popular form of climbing, and yet it still deserves at least a little respect. When we got to Spinal Traction we found it littered with gear. Likely 13 pieces spaced through the 40 foot roof crack. Now i can think only a few reasons why someone would leave 500 dollars worth of gear in an aid crack. Either you had been aid climbing and were unable to perform the moves and thus lowered off, or you are attempting to free climb the crack.

Bailing off an aid climb is not all that uncommon especially something as intimidating as Spinal Traction, and is entirely fine if you come back in the near future and clean up your gear that you have left strewn about.

However to me this appears as if someone was attempting the free climb. There were many tick marks, and the draws used had been taped, in the style of someone going for a free ascent.

Now I have nothing against free climbing an aid climb, quite to the contrary in fact. But it seems the gym ethic of not cleaning up after yourself has prevailed even down into the outskirts of the Gunks. The climbing scene is a public place and leaving your mess about is akin to no picking up after your drunken frat party the weekend before.

Now I could have gone and stolen all the gear. Certainly not justified and respect of others things even if misplaced is paramount. Now if i go back in a month and it is till there...

But why not just climb? Well aid climbing is about finding the placements and solving the puzzle both in the rock and in your head about how to trust these tenuous placements. Both of these puzzles teach and require a reliance on your own judgement of this gear. As such aid climbing on fixed gear is reduced to mere transportation, not sport.

It is like filling in a mad lib rather than writing poetry.

To take it a bit further. This ethic of casual ownership / lack of respect concerning our communal climbing resources is repugnant. Please dont treat our resources like you own them.