Quincy and the first outdoor climbs of the year


Saturday, 30-Mar-13


When I go to bed, I always plan on waking up early.

But, lets be honest, that only happens when I either have work, or an amazing climbing trip to do.

Well, this Saturday I had a climbing trip, so I was up and mobile by 09:30… Quite early for a Saturday.

I started the morning off right, with a quick run down to Pemberton Farms and McKinnons (the local grocer and butcher shops, respectively) for bacon and eggs and some fruit. It’s one of the many nice aspects of living in Cambridge – tons of tiny little shops that serve the best of the best… though while some (McKinnons) are cheap, at others (Pembertons) you pay for the extra quality that you get. Through the nose.

And this was the perefct morning to take a walk down there too – the sun was strong, but not painfully intense yet. There was the tiniest hint of wind too – not enough to disturb the afternoon, but enough to keep you cool while in the sun and to push you out of the shade. Even the streets seemed to respect the serenity, and there were nearly no cars on the roads that I walked.

And with that serenity, I made myself bacon and eggs and fruit. I was breakfasting by ten thirty, and after an amazing chill and eat on the veranda I was on the road by noon.

I picked up Deb at her place, and we swung onto the highway toward Quincy by early afternoon, arriving there just as most people were getting a bit tired and pulling ropes. That’s the trick to urban climbing places like Quincy – you need to either arrive crazy-early, or mid-day, or late-day. Getting there in the middle-times is horrid, and nearly everything in full of people.

But, we got there right in time to meet a few NUHOCers and set up some ropes in a spot that I’d rarely climbed before… the Alien Invasion wall, in the Harvard corner!

(Ed note: Walls and areas of Quincy Quarries are named after two things – random events and the graffiti tags on the rock. The quarries are a favorite haunt of local artists, which both annoys and entertains rock climbers: the tags are helpful for finding routes… but they regularly change, and the paint makes it quite difficult to find holds sometimes.

So the “Alien Invasion” wall is named after a large tag entitled “Alien Invasion!”, and the “Harvard Corner” is named because Harvard Outdoors club regularly climbs there.)

And so, we climbed:

  • Three routes off Alien Invasion. None particularly difficult, but they all had some interesting routefinding aspects… trying to find a foothold on nearly half an inch of accumulated paint is not particularly easy.
  • We did two more routes off another teams rope over at the slab corner – this was a nice trade, since they wanted to climb our area and we wanted theirs… we simply traded setups and used theirs.
  • One final route at the end of the day was set off the larger slabs – again, nothing particularly difficult, but definitely a nice long climb that both Deb and I loved.

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