Sunday, May 16, 2010
Get stoked: The Playground
While most of my climbing compatriots look hither and thither to distant climbing meccas (think: Bishop; Yosemite; Needles; Suicide; etc.), I am utterly stoked and satisfied to climb locally this summer. Enter yet another crag that Santa Barbara climbers sort of forgot, the holy-grail of local sandstone sport-climbing: The Playground. Most Santa Barbarians know this place as a labyrinthine jumble of huge boulders cascading down the slopes of the coastal range, and only the more adventurous hikers, hippies, and soused frat boys have explored its passages. Even local climbers have, as of late, passed this place up for the nearby bouldering locales of the Brickyard and Lizard's Mouth.
Unless you were Steve Edwards and Co. in the nineties. Mr. Edwards spearheaded a highly motivated—and, to this climber, visionary—movement to clean, bolt, and climb numerous routes up the strange formations of The Playground. There are currently numerous projects that have not been finished, including a solid handful of truly hard projects in the 5.13 range. While I have only touched a smidgen of these beauties with my not-yet-strong-enough fingers, I am stoked, smiling, and slobberingly excited. Jake, Bernd, Andre, Adam, Jasmine, and my lovely wife have all accompanied me on recent trips, and everyone has left tired and satisfied.
Just like how you feel when leaving Old Country Buffet—only better.
Me shouldering in to the crux of The Green Room, 5.13b. This line is one of many desperate projects for the summer.
I don't know how hard this puppy is, but the above picture chronicles what it feels like to dyno off of two monos. In a word, wonderful.
Jake clipping the second bolt on the mono-route (which we think is called Showgirls, 5.12c). This is Jake's third lead. Ever.
Mary strolling up a beautiful face-climb at the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers area of The Playground.