Hello Petzl blog readers. Thanks for clicking on the link for my first blog… first?!? How could I have let this happen?!? I guess it’s just kind of in my nature to be a bit of a slacker. Sorry. But hey, better late than never right? It’s the thought that counts? Etc. Etc… Anyway I’ve been ramping up the PT on my shoulder lately and climbing more and more, so hopefully I’ll have some more fun stories to tell for ya’ll in the coming months about my vertical adventures!

I’ll include some pics in this first blog of a special place called Pinnacles National monument…after some fun little factoids about pinnacles you might not know:

  • In Masters of Stone 4 in 1996, a 14 (or 15) year-old Chris Sharma is shown climbing the short, crimpy, powerful arête Ubermensch (14a). The route has seen several ascents since then by 4 or 5 other climbers including Ed Barry, Bradley Johnson, David Holodiloff and yours truly ;-) A few of the holds at the bottom of the route have broken since the First and seconds ascents making the opening sequence a bit harder, but the route no less classic. At solid 14a, this is one of the best routes of the grade in California (I guess that’s more of an opinion though).
  • Have you heard the name Jim Thornburg? I bet you have. That’s because he’s a veteran climbing photog who has been bringing amazing images to the covers and contents of rags like Climbing and Rock and Ice for over two decades. But did you know he also used to climb? Yep, pretty hard too- he established the classic bouldery route Lard Butt in… ok I’m gonna take a shot in the dark here… 1995? Maybe it was earlier. Either way, this second hardest route in the Pinns, and one line to the right of Ubermensch, packs a punch in its five bolts and almost 50 feet of climbing. The climber is meant to stem up the first ten feet of the route using an adjacent boulder because of the lack of holds, but I once witnessed Chris Sharma magic his way up the start without the cheater boulder… I didn’t see his beta but I know it added a little difficulty to the route.
     

And that’s pretty much all I got off hand… in the guidebook A Climbers Guide to Pinnacles National Monument by Brad Young, there is a six page climbing history that talks all about the different movements of route pioneering, except I couldn’t find anything about the hard route on the monolith that I described above… hmmm Anyway, enjoy the pics!

Josh cruxes on the short, bouldery, 11d, Power Point. The route to the left is Stupendous Man, 10a.
This was the first route that I ever lead outdoors! It was funny to get back on it about 12 after the first time I did it. Seemed a little less intimidating this time…

Terrifying looking spider underneath the classic Ordeal, 5.8.
 

Some dudes preparing to abseil off the top of the formation to the right of the Monolith.
 

   

Verdict, 11a. Classic and more overhung than it looks in this pic.

Jorgie’s Crack, classic 5.9.
 

Ben Eastman on Terranean Tango, three star 10a.

Josh chucking the rope and getting ready to rap off of the Monolith classic P.O.D. 10d.

Ben also made quick work of the 12+ classic Hot Lava Lucy and the 11+ all time quickie Feed the Beast before the light totally ran out and the day was done. We got down to the parking lot with assistance from the headlamps, got in the car, and jetted back to civilization to grub on swag Mexican food at some restaurant that I’m never going back to, and called it a day.

-Ethan