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Member Since: Jan 25, 2008
Last Visit: 2 hours ago
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Ben Townsend
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Total Points: 438
Last Year: 191
Last 30 Days: 2
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1



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Contributions


All 155 | Routes 33 | Areas 2 | Photos | Page Improvements 1 | Comments 76 | Posts 2 | Stars 41 | Ratings
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: NH : * Ice and Mixed Climbing : Mt. Webster - Winter Ice & : Horseshoe Gully (WI2-)
By: Ben Townsend When: 9 hours ago

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Comments: A couple of fun ice bulges in the right conditions, but the bushwhack-to-climb ratio is pretty lopsided.


Location: NH : * Ice and Mixed Climbing : Mt. Webster - Winter Ice & : The Pilgrimage (WI3)
By: Ben Townsend When: Feb 2, 2016

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Comments: Nice route if the snow conditions on the approach aren't too grueling. It's just one fairly long pitch. No need to rappel; there is an easy descent gully just to climber's left.


Location: NH : * Ice and Mixed Climbing : Dixville Notch : Parasol Gully (WI2+)
By: Ben Townsend When: Feb 1, 2016

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Comments: I've done this route at least 20 times and never felt the need to rappel. There's a easy descent that takes you right back to the base of the climb. Head up and right a couple of hundred yards and drop into the obvious broad gully; bear skier's right once the climb is in view. Watch the snow conditions on the very last section of the descent, which has avalanched in the past, and stay in the trees to skier's left if needed.

I removed both the tied-off ice tool pick that people had app... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Southern Outcrops : Chocolate Rocks : Potzo's Pudding (5.6)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 20, 2015

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Comments: We replaced the various threaded tat with 7mm static cord -- equalized, tied off, redundant. No issues pulling the rope.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Second Pullout : The Gallery : Trad Climbing is Both (5.6)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 19, 2015

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Comments: Fun climb, pretty easy after the first couple of moves. Gear placements are at a premium on the first pitch, so think twice before passing any up. We belayed fairly high on the ramp that forms the second pitch; one could easily link both pitches, but we were concerned about the rope running over loose blocks on the slab, directly over the Gallery climbs.

Someone has left a big bolt and link down at the base of the second pitch ramp, which made approximately as much sense as the underw... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Brass Wall : The Hidden Persuaders (5.9 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 17, 2015

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Comments: I don't think Birdland is a useful comparison for this route, which is full-on adventure climbing. There's some nice moderate varnished slab up high, but the price of admission is steep.

Approach: Either some very exposed traversing up high, or a brushy gully down low, to get to the tunnel. We roped up for a short, pretty easy pitch to get up to the actual starting belay. Anchor options aren't great here, but we managed a thread.

The real first pitch is quite serious. I was tempted to stay lef... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Brass Wall : Arachnoworld (5.4)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 14, 2015

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Comments: The line described above bears no relation to the published descriptions of this climb in the Handren and Brock guides. For a route that resembles those descriptions:

Start under the tree ledge, just left of the big block that holds Sniveler and Heavy Spider Karma. Start up the left-facing corner on the right (easier), or stay left and do a couple of funky mantles with poor gear to the big ledge below the varnish. At the left end of this ledge, climb up the right-facing corner (more like 5.6 th... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Straight Shooter Wall : Crispy Critters (5.7 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 13, 2015

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Comments: Handren has the description correct, but the location wrong -- it's the left of the two cracks on the SE face of the big block, around right from the Lazy Fireman, an obvious slanting thin crack through black varnish. Mostly thin cams and small wires, could use gear up to 2". Rap from the slung summit block; could use another cordelette for redundancy.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Straight Shooter Wall : Captain Crunch (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 13, 2015

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Comments: As others have noted, Handren has the descriotion correct but the location wrong -- it's the right-hand of the two cracks on the SE face of the big block, around right of the Lazy Fireman. Rack for the route consisted of #3, 4, and 5 Camalot (if you're comfortable bumping up the #4 a few times, otherwise take two of those). Rather than downclimb to the Lazy Fireman chains, we slung the summit block for a rap anchor; solid, but could use another cordelette for redundancy.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Burlap Buttress : Children of the Sun (5.10b)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 13, 2015

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Comments: Did the first pitch up to the first anchor. Pretty sustained and pumpy for 5.8+, I thought. Broke a couple holds on lead and teetered a bit, but no falls. Maybe the pump was mostly due to spending time looking for the most solid holds.

All bolt hangers except the first were welded cold shuts, pretty uninspiring. The bolts themselves looked to be in reasonable shape. Placed a couple pieces and slung a couple horns between the bolts; another time, I'd bring a tiny rack, probably just wi... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : First Pullout : The Slab
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 4, 2015

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Comments: In addition to the routes shown on the photo-topo, there are two bolted lines immediately left of Smear Campaign, both about 5.8.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Stick Gully : Elephant Penis (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 2, 2015

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Comments: I got much of the information below from Joanne Urioste last spring, but didn't get around to doing the route until today.

Looking from the Pine Creek lot, the obvious blank, white, 700' high pillar on the east-facing (left) wall of Stick Gully is the eponymous organ of pachydermal procreation, also known as Pearl Buttress. This route, also known as Datura to some, starts in an alcove immediately at its left base.

1. Above an easy slab, enter a short chimney that leads up to a corner and emerg... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Icebox Canyon : North Eastern Buttress of B... : Dogleg Crack (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Nov 1, 2015

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Comments: Quality route, best done in two pitches. The chimney at the very start is a bit awkward until you can start stemming, but I had a perfect red Tricam in a pocket right where I needed it. Above there, it's just fun.

On the second pitch, we went all the way to the top of the spire for full value, but sadly the rock quality deteriorates; it makes more sense to head right into the slot, which is the start of the descent.

We freshened up the rap station, but really it's hardly needed. An e... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Low Profile Dome : R2D2 (5.8 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Sep 27, 2015

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Comments: I got a bomber small cam in a somewhat hidden pocket halfway to the first bolt, taking the sting out of the committing first section.


Location: NH : Great North Woods Region : North Percy Peak : South West Face (5.4)
By: Ben Townsend When: Aug 31, 2015

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Comments: Did this route for the second time on 8-31-15. Nailed the approach this time. Comments:

1. Stay horizontal on the traverse through the woods after leaving the trail. Disregard the first little 10' vegetated "cliff." The cliff mentioned in the description is about 30' high and vertical. Head up right under it until it's easy to continue traversing left (there's at least one scary-looking spot where it looks like you might be able to scramble up; keep going). Once you've cleared the cli... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Shaken, Not Stirred (5.9)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 27, 2015

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Comments: Attractive line, disappointing rock quality. Approach as for Schaeffer's Delight, but where that approach heads up right into the brush, diagonal about 50' left.

P. 1: Climb awkwardly up the initial corner past some loose blocks to the next big ledge. 5.7, 30'

P. 2: Face climb up the nicely varnished prow, trending up and left to a triangular alcove. This is a really enjoyable pitch. 5.7, 130'

P.3: Up the low-angle crack, then pull over the obvious roof and on to the varnished headwall. Climb... more >>


Location: ME : Camden Hills : Maiden Cliff : Blue Vein (WI5)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 25, 2015

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Comments: Bolted rappel anchor at the top allows a safe rappel with one 60m rope. In a big snow year, it may be buried, in which case a single 70m rope permits rappelling from a tree slightly higher.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Southern Outcrops : Illusion Crags : Mirage (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 24, 2015

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Comments: Stout for 5.7; I could believe 5.8 or even easy 5.9 (body size matters, I think). Single rack to #5 Camalot worked well, but I lost track of how many times I leapfrogged the #3 -- more than one of those might be in order.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Mud Spring Canyon : Chuckwalla 21 (5.9 PG13)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 22, 2015

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Comments: Agree on the Ballnuts. We didn't take them, but there were obvious spots where they would have worked well, especially before reaching the bolts on the first pitch.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Mud Spring Canyon : Chuckwalla 21 (5.9 PG13)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 22, 2015

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Comments: Approach: As you near the red cliff (Chinle Formation), there's a slightly confusing trail junction with cairns leading (1) down into the main wash, (2) straight ahead, and (3) uphill to the right. The ones on the right, which don't seem as obvious, lead to the long switchback north and back south described in Supertopo; the ones straight ahead lead to a third or fourth class slab that cuts out the switchback. No idea where the cairns down and left take you.

Closer to the climb, goin... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : The Rad Cliff : The Chamber of Secrets (5.7)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 19, 2015

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Comments: Burly for the grade. Standard rack to #4 Camalot, plus doubles on #2 and #3, seemed about right for doing the whole route in one pitch. Keeping the rope drag manageable is a challenge.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Southern Outcrops : Disappearing Buttress : Vanishing Act (5.9-)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 17, 2015

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Comments: Really nice climb; only the worrisome rock quality keeps it from being a four-star classic. On the second pitch, it seemed logical to follow the arete and hand crack on the left, instead of going into the chimney -- done this way, it didn't seem any harder than 5.8. Two #3 Camalots were nice for the hand crack. In retrospect, we should have broken the second pitch into two, belaying at the good ledge at about 100'. The third pitch is spectacular and airy.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Gentle Ben's Afternoon Deli... (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 12, 2015

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Comments: This route has some really fun climbing, but also more than its fair share of bushes and rubble.

The fixed stoppers mentioned in the description were not to be found. Basically, set the first pitch belay at the base of the obvious corner with the cracks. Second pitch follows the crack past one 5.8 move; persist straight up through the (grabby and annoying) trees to a nice sloping stance. Third pitch diagonals left on easy ground. The last pitch is likewise very easy, pretty much stra... more >>


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Lazy Buttress (5.6 R)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 9, 2015

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Comments: The first pitch can be quite well protected, though some of the placements are thoughtful --Tricams help. A few extra long slings might help minimize the rope drag. The 5.6 grade seemed realistic to me, but it would certainly be easy to make it harder by missing key opportunities to stem or chimney.


Location: NV : Red Rock : Black Velvet Canyon : Whiskey Peak - East : Crown Royal (5.8)
By: Ben Townsend When: Apr 7, 2015

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Comments: P. 1 is really nice and not very difficult. Not much of a belay ledge at the top.
P. 2 is awkward and a bit bushy. The oak trees at the top make for a cramped belay. Sadly, the beautiful crack directly above the first belay, which looks from below like a good alternative, ends in the middle of nowhere.
P. 3 is excellent. A second #4 wouldn't have been unwelcome, but there's enough variety to improvise other protection for the wide section. Great belay ledge.
We finished up the varnished ri... more >>


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