IMG_1442

The Conway Scarecrow standing guard.

For those of you who frequent the Mooney Mountain Guides blog, you know that our friend Jerry loves to climb. As made evident by his frequent appearance on the blog. Jerry’s goal for this past season has been to perfect the “dark art” of crack climbing. I say dark art because crack climbing is not always intuitive or straight forward. Your not climbing on holds; in-fact, your climbing whats not there filling the dark void with what ever body part you can to stay on the rock. Sending a crack climb requires creativity and tenacity, and if you have what it takes its the best kind of rock climbing there is. For someone who loves crack climbing, it was an honor to share all my favorite cracks with someone eager to learn.

IMG_1447

Jerry on top of Bombardment.

Jerry and I set out to take advantage of these beautifully crisp fall days and work on the dark art. Monday dawned a beautiful day in Mt. Washington valley and we were pumped to move up the stone. So excited, that we climbed 11 pitches of cracks starting at one end of the cliff and moving our way to the other and climbing every crack in between. About half way through the day, Jerry made himself a pair of tape gloves to ensure that he could keep sending all the way through to sunset. Which we did, and it was awesome!

IMG_1445

Time for tape-gloves.

IMG_1446

Black-lung. A superb 5.8 crack pitch.

IMG_1454

Jerry jamming his fingers into a thin 5.9 finger crack.

IMG_1460

Jerry nearing the top on the final pitch of ” The Prow”

Tuesday it was off to Echo Crag in Franconia notch to work the single pitch cracks of the area. Echo is an awesome place to spend the day with a wide selection of crack and face climbs for all levels. Towards the end of our session we experienced a little rain, but that didn’t stop us from getting in one more pitch.

IMG_1469

“Skeletal-Ribs” an Echo Crag classic.

Finally, Wednesday brought us back to Cathedral. We began our day on “Toe Crack” a beautiful splitter hand crack , doing our best to keep the motivation high as we waited for the temperature to get into the 50′s. However, the sun was out and it made the cliff feel much warmer than it was. Next up was “Turner’s Flake”, and enormous and beautiful left arching flake that beacons to be climbed. Due to its arching nature, its amazing to climb for 50-meeters on the same feature. “Windfall” was up next, followed by an ascent of “Thin Air”, where Jerry and I swung leads up the ultra classic. This was the best three days of climbing in think either of us had this fall.

IMG_1473

“Turners Flake” left & “Toe-Crack” right.

IMG_1476

Jerry’s expert lead on pitch 3 of “Thin Air” to round out our week.

Thank you Jerry for a great week on the rock.

Alex Teixeira

MMG Guide