roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

30 Sep 2004 - 10:37:36 PM
Well, let's see. I was quite productive today. Went over to my friend Wayne's house for an "office day." He worked on his project, and I worked on mine (typing in my book scribblings). Working in the same space kept us honest, so to speak. We couldn't really get distracted by other random things going on. There was some chit chat, but for the most part we both got a lot of stuff done. We decided to up the office days to twice a week, in fact. I typed in about 13 pages of my scribblings, which was great for me. At that rate I might be able to get everything I've written out longhand transcribed in a month. Then maybe another month to write out the rest of the book, and one last month to polish the whole thing up. So, yeah, if I can get my book done in three months, I'll be so freaking happy.
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26 Sep 2004 - 10:08:09 PM
I did another 75 Scrambles hike yesterday, this time up Mt. Baring (6125'). The book's description for this scramble was okay, but not great, but I'll try not to fixate on that. It's an odd scramble. The lower half of it (the very steep woodsy part) would be better if it were all dry, and the upper half (the boulder gully) would be better if it were covered in a thick layer of snow. There were only two other people on the mountain, which was nice, but given the state of the route it was very understandable. I ended up with a bunch of bruises and scratches and a couple of bug bites. Other than all that, though, it was all right. There's a nice ridge walk for a stretch, and the views were great. But I don't think I'll ever go up Mt. Baring again. For future reference, though, at the start, instead of going up the slippery rocks and mud alongside the stream, there's sort of a path through the trees on the right. At the bottom, just up and to the right of the stream is a stand of four trees. If you head to the right when you reach them and hunt around a little there's a very vague way up. It doesn't sound too inviting, I know, but it's a lot nicer than the slippery route. And it has three or four pieces of flagging ribbon over 500' or so feet of elevation gain. So, yeah, go at your own risk...

Mt. Baring (6125')
Mt. Baring, from the boulder basin
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20 Sep 2004 - 10:32:59 PM
I spent about four hours today volunteering at the Kerry office and worked up quite a sweat. At first they put me on the phones, but I didn't like that at all. Then I was doing some data entry, which was kind of boring but at least I didn't have to talk to people. Then I got roped into sorting through stacks of boxes of absentee voter registration cards and lugging them upstairs. Oy. At least I got some exercise out of it. They're going to be doing some sort of database migration soon, though, so maybe I can be of help in that.

In other news, Kryponite tubular-key locks can be easily picked with a Bic pen. Great. I just got a Kryptonite Evolution 2000 from a friend a couple weeks back when I bought his bike, so I figured I'd try it out. Stuck the pen in, twisted it a bit, pulled it out, and sure enough, the locked had turned. Unfortunately, my attempts to then turn the lock back to the starting position so that I could use the regular key again failed miserably. I can't seem move the lock back or forth at all now, so it's become completely useless. Oy again. If anyone out there would like to buy the lock off me, I'll sell it to you cheap!

my useless lock
My useless lock
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19 Sep 2004 - 11:40:52 PM
I walked into Twice Sold Tales yesterday and was a little disoriented. They've reduced their store size by a third. I felt like I was in the wrong store at first, but as I took a look around I saw that the number of books in stock seemed about the same as before. They've packed in more bookcases, and the aisles are smaller. I actually felt a little claustrophobic -- it's now a little too cramped to just hang out in there. Almost picked up a Jonathan Raban travel book, but didn't. If I'd bought a book I would have asked about the shrinkage: Did the rent go up? Are they losing business to the new Half-Price Books three blocks away? Hmm. (I was going to link to the Twice Sold Tales website, but it's so out of date that it's not really useful at all. Oh well.)
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16 Sep 2004 - 11:09:01 PM
Some sad news. Johnny Ramone passed away yesterday. I saw The Ramones live a couple of times. Once at Berkeley's Greek Amphitheater way back in '92, and another time here in Seattle during Bumbershoot in, um, '95 I think. They put on great live shows. Of their original four members, only the drummer, Tommy, is still alive. All of their various drummers are still alive, actually -- I thought in rock bands it's the drummers who die first. Oh well. Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go, I wanna be sedated.
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8 Sep 2004 - 11:57:19 PM
A bit of news: My contract job will finally be ending. My last day will be the 17th, and then I'll be blissfully unemployed again. It'll be nice to have some time off. Work on my book, try and do some software stuff for a friend, climb, hike, sleep, etc. Can't wait!
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6 Sep 2004 - 11:52:08 PM
As I write this entry, the Pixies are playing Bumbershoot, and I can hear them from my condo. I've been going out onto my balcony every now and then to hear what songs they've been playing, and the set seems like a lot like the one they played in Vancouver.

Anyway, today I got back from a fun weekend climbing up at Washington Pass with Ira. On Saturday we climbed Liberty Bell (7720') via the Beckey Route, the same route I climbed almost a year ago. Still a fun route, but this time the weather was very windy and cold, with occasional misting and even a slight bit of snow up on the summit. First time I've ever climbed with gloves on. I ended up hopping from foot to foot during one belay session to try and try warmish. Feet were numb by the end, though. Oy. The deteriorating weather allowed us to have the summit all to ourselves on a Saturday, though, which was nice. I don't think that happens very often on Liberty Bell (the aloneness on the summit, that is -- not the miserable weather). Next time I think I'd like to try the North Face route.

On Sunday, we slogged out to Kangaroo Temple (7572') and climbed the North Face route. Pretty fun route, and the weather was much nicer. I was able to take my gloves off for the last pitch. The first belay station mentioned in the book (has a fixed pin) was where the groove widens out quite a bit, but the book calls it a steep nose. Ira didn't go up the groove, however. He trended left as he went up after crossing over the rib and got to a large ledge with a great belay tree. This ledge, as it turned out, was about 15 left of the fixed pin. You need a 60m rope to get to this ledge; a 50m rope may or may not reach the fixed pin belay. The second pitch is very short. You start right and go up, then right again past a pile of rocks (which are just to the right of the detached boulder mentioned in the book). You're then on a nice ledge at the lower set of rap bolts and have moved back to the north face. The third pitch traverses west and around a corner to a belay tree. Also a short pitch. The start of the hand traverse after the huge boulder was a bit tricky, I thought. At the end of the ledge there are a two small trees that I at first walked behind, but then the hand holds disappeared, making the hand-traverse mentioned in the guidebook quite difficult. I had to step down from the ledge and cross in front of the trees in order to get to a lower set of hand and foot holds. So, my hands were then roughly at the same level where my feet had been. The fourth pitch was the hardest, I think. While going up the first crack system it's tempting to move to the second crack, but just stick with the first one until the trees show up on your right. I went to the second crack a little too early and yes, it was awkward. Oh well. Nice climb, though. We were in a hurry when we summited, unfortunately, so we didn't have time to make a sacrifice to the kangaroo gods. Maybe next time. A note about the descent: A topo in the guidebook shows two bolted rap anchors -- 80' feet each -- to get down to the notch. That's just plain wrong. Our single 60m rope reached the lower rap bolts with only an extra ten feet max -- the rappel must be at least 90'. The second rappel came nowhere near the notch, but did easily reach a ledge with a bunch of slings and spectra cord and two rap rings. So, it's three rappels with one 60m rope, or two double rope rappels.

Kangaroo Temple (7572')
Kangaroo Temple (7572')
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