Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- Cutchogue & Greenport

Today, I headed to a great collection of boulders in the Cutchogue area. I had been eyeing two lines on a large block there since last fall. Unfortunately, the base of this boulder is covered with water except for a half an hour or so on either side of low tide. Consequently, I had to wait for a day when the tide schedule worked for me.

This gorgeous piece of rock is one of the tallest and best boulders on Long Island. There are two great lines with potential for maybe one or two hard variations. I would recommend bringing a wire brush for cleaning barnacles off the bottom footholds and an extension ladder for getting off the boulder as the two climbs are difficult to reverse, and the easiest downclimbs require a jump into the water to finish them off. I suppose that could be fun on a hot day. Just watch out for rocks hidden in the water below. I would love to have some pictures of me on these problems but I was flying solo on this day.

I'm not sure if these problems have been climbed before. I've named them for fun, not out of disrespect. As for the grades, how wet the lower feet are is an important factor, so the grades are just guesses. Here are some pictures and descriptions:

(below) 'Golden' (V1/2) This is a proud line up the obvious weakness on the main face. Start low on the right side of the lowest horizontal. Follow it left and then up on good edges, crimps and sidepulls to an airy but fairly easy top out. The base of this problem changes with the movement of sand each winter. As of right now, it is dry at the start, but once you traverse left you are over shallow water. It can be protected with pads, as long as you don't mind them getting wet. The best conditions would be a full or new moon low tide with an offshore breeze. In that situation, the base might be completely dry. The landing could probably be filled in to make it drier with a little work.

(below) 'Each Wave That Breaks' (V3/4) This is another proud line. The lowest foot is often wet but not critical. Start matched on a two hand sloped edge at 6-7 feet. Stab for the sloping crescent hold up and right. Step on a high right foot, match hands, and pull a powerful move to a good jug. From here, good footwork and crimps lead to a relatively easy but exciting finish. The base of this problem is entirely dry at low tide.

(below) This pic shows 'Golden' on the left and 'Each Wave That Breaks' on the right.
After climbing in Cutchogue a bit, I headed a little farther east to Greenport and spent a few hours messing around on the Sound Road Boulder (first picture below) and the Rock Cove Boulder (second picture below). The Sound Road Boulder offers fun face and slab climbs mostly in the V0-V2 range, with a few harder lines. The Rock Cove Boulder has easy sit starts on its south face and, on the face pictured below, about six lines with difficult and tricky starts that lead to a large horizontal and easier climbing above.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Central Park Bouldering

I spent Sunday in New York City visiting Dasha. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore the boulders of Central Park. I have always intended to climb in the park, but the opportunity never really came up. Sunday was the perfect day to change that. We expected Rat Rock to be the busiest place (and it was, with around fifteen climbers hanging out) so we decided to head to Cat Rock for a more low key experience. We were the only climbers at Cat Rock, though many interested passersby came over to take a closer look at what we were up to. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the quality of the climbing, and the rock. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to climb there more in the future.

Some pics: (above) The posh hotels of Central Park South loom in the background as Dasha cruises a super easy warm up. (below) 1-Dasha Zamolodchikov claws her way up 'Cat Crack' (V0-). 2-Christian Prellwitz setting up for the last move of 'Fancy Feast' (V3).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- Wildwood State Park

After having a great time in East Marion on Saturday, Dasha and I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning, lingering over breakfast and taking a nice boat ride to Great Gun Beach. We decided to head to Wildwood State Park for some climbing before Dasha had to retreat back to the city. Wildwood is a beautiful park, especially this time of year when the crowds have thinned out and the leaves are changing color.

There are two distinct bouldering areas. The Beach Boulders offer maybe a dozen problems with most of them being either fairly easy or fairly hard. The Bluff Boulders offer around 15-20 problems, most of them concentrated on one large boulder, with two smaller blocks adding a few lines. Of the two, the Bluff Boulders are the more frequently visited and this is where Dasha and I chose to spend the afternoon. An enjoyable twenty minute hike through stands of elm, oak, maple, sassafras and beech deposits you at the top of a short, steep trail down to the boulders.

The pics: (above) Dasha Zamolodchikov sticking the crux sloper on 'Kash Size' V1+ (below) 1-Dasha using her own unique beta on 'Crescent Moon' (V0+). 2-Christian Prellwitz midway through 'Agoraphobia' (V2). 3-Christian moving through the opening sequence of 'Blunt' (V2). 4-A sunset pose.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- East Marion

Dasha came out to visit me this weekend. We drove straight from the train station on Friday out to the North Fork, stopping along the way to grab some fresh picked apples and sugar donuts at Wickham's Farm in Cutchogue, before finally reaching our destination- East Marion. This town, located only a few miles from the easternmost point on the North Fork, is home to some of the best bouldering on Long Island. Scattered about a mile long stretch of beach at the end of Rocky Point Road are numerous boulders of all sizes. Most are too small to climb, but eight or so of the blocks offer up high quality problems from one move wonders to sketchy highballs. With about two to three dozen independent lines, and countless variations and eliminates, this dense grouping of blocks is regarded by many as the epicenter of Long Island bouldering. Sandy landings and the constant hum of waves add to the experience.

The pics: (above) Dasha Zamolodchikov on the starting moves of an amazing unnamed V1. (below) 1-The serenity of East Marion bouldering. Dasha Zamolodchikov on an unnamed V2. 2-Dasha toeing into the crux high step move on an unnamed V2. 3-Dasha displays her battle wounds. 4-Christian Prellwitz provides a different perspective on a classic problem.