Monday, March 30, 2009

Black Mountain Wednesday

[UPDATE]: We've been working hard at the BMB - look what we have to show for it. The less-than-optimal directions in the original post have been updated. Now with milage!

Black Mountain Wednesdays begin! This wed we are going back to The Republic, finishing up the new development in this cooler, lower area. Everyone is welcome! Come climb the brand spanken' new problems or brush some of your own! Sexy BMBers Ian, Dom, and Chesty should be there at 8:00 or so, and others will be arriving around 10:00.

Directions from I-10: Take the highway 243 exit toward Idyllwild. At 9.3 miles you will pass the Diamond Zen Center sign. At 12.6 miles you will see a small sign for the Black Mountain Trailhead (this is not the same dirt road that gets you to the OK Corral and Boulder Basin). Continue on 243 and pass the caution-taped off spring on your left. The next small pullout on your left has a dirt road in the back of it (13.6 miles on the 243 and exactly 1 mile past the trailhead). Turn onto this road, and follow it through 3 or 4 small stream crossings. After 1.5 miles, the road sort of forks, so trend left through the flat field. Continue as far as you can on the main dirt road until your vehicle reaches its limit. Chesty's sedan can only make it a half mile from the 243, Alan's sedan gets 1.8 miles up, Ian's truck can make it 2 miles, and Jay's Jeep goes a little farther to the large parking area near the end of the road. Regardless of where you park, a quick walk will get you to the large parking area near the end of the road where you will see a giant pile of rocks on your right. Follow the trail down into the gully for two more minutes and you'll see some euphoric boulders.

The Republic

The BMB has been busy scoping new areas around the base of the Mountain as we wait for the gate to open. Here are a few preview photos of The Republic. Above you can see sexy climber Dom on the equally sexy Forms, a problem that exits out the right side of Plato's Cave. Cool crimps lead to squeezing up higher, and our right hands are still tired a week later.

Below Ian and Chesty work on the Auxiliary Arete, a Squamish style problem with moss and everything! As you can see, The Republic has trees and shade and, although it's out of sight, there's even a little brook. Rad. Directions to come in the following week, we just need to remember how to get ourselves back there!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Beginning

Thus begins the Black Mountain Blog. No need to waste your time - let's jump right in. Ian McIntosh and Alan Moore are working on a guidebook to Black Mountain, to be published by Wolverine Publishing, the guys who brought you the amazing Bishop, Hueco, and Yosemite guides. It's gonna be one hell of a book.

We are starting the bmb for two reasons. First, we want to keep the community updated on developments, projects, and events. For example, we have plans to organize a few FA Days so that everyone can get involved with developing black mountain, and Black Mountain Wednesdays are on the books for the next few months, a midweek climbing day for all those unemployed/students/lazy climbers out there.

Second, we want to get feedback from you guys. Black Mountain is far older than we are, and the history is not only long but also complex. We hope climbers will send us info on new problems, names for established problems, and any new areas that are discovered.

At least, that's the plan. Who knows what this blog will morph into as the guide comes along. We see this as a provisional community space in which to exchange info about our SoCal Shangra-La. Once the guide is out, who knows, but for now, this is home.