Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Astroman Improved

Updated in 2017: For more elaborate beta, check out my new post (12 years later): What I know about Astroman… unsolicited beta

Actually Astroman is perfect the way it is — it doesn’t need improvement. But we do, and we did improve. Erik and I got back on the climb again this Saturday. We both did better than last time. I only fell at the Boulder Problem. I’m not a boulderer! That’s my excuse, and most people do the 5.10a variation to avoid it. But Erik kept going up the hard way, so I had to follow. Oh, while cleaning a nut above the Changing Corners at a 5.9 section, my foot suddenly popped (I was so bummed that I even cursed once, which surprised Erik. heh heh). That was the only other time I weighed the rope on this climb. And I red-pointed the Enduro Corner! (I followed clean last time and I led it clean this time.) Ahh, that was the high point of the day for me. We finished the climb in 7 hours and 50 minutes (versus 10 hours and 10 minutes last time). Big improvement all in all.

On Sunday, we went cragging at Cookie Cliff with Allen, Jesse, and Chris. Between a late start and an early departure, Erik led me up Outer Limits, Hardd, and Crack-a-go-go (one fall). All are hard in their own ways.

Beta: (added three and half years later in response to a friend’s questions)

We went extremely light when we did it both times. A few things I remember:

1) One bottle of water each. (We used strings and duct tape to rig it so we can carry it on our harness with a biner;
2) No backpack. We each wore a small fanny pack just big enough for a couple of bars, a wind breaker, a wide rimmed hat, and a camera.
3) Usually, I’m not against wearing a helmet, but on Astroman, I wouldn’t wear one. Even if you drag it below you, it can turn into a chockstone in Harding Slot.
4) When I followed Harding Slot, I had everything clipped to a sling that I tied to my belay loop so they dangled below me. And I tied my knot far from my body.
5) We did not bring shoes and hiking down North Dome gully in climbing shoes did not seem to be a bad idea to me.

This photo shows my setup pretty well:

Photos: I didn’t take many photos. On the contrary, Erik took a lot of photos this time, including me leading Enduro Corner, following Harding Slots, and so on. Check them out at our gallery.

Here are just a few highlights:
P2270004.JPG Mei leading the Enduro Corner.

IMG_0017.JPG Looking up at the Harding Slot

P2270015.JPG Mei entering the Harding Slot.

P2270033.JPG Inside the Harding slot.

P2270060.JPG One of those easier pitches higher above.


Updated in 2017: For more elaborate beta, check out my new post (12 years later): What I know about Astroman… unsolicited beta

2 Responses

  1. Peter Nelsonon 07 Jan 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Mei…thanks so much for your detailed notes. I’m training hard this winter for a late spring attempt on Astroman. It’s a big step for me and has me pretty anxious, but I’m also psyched. Cheers, Peter

  2. mudwormon 08 Jan 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Peter, thanks for sharing your stoke. Hope you enjoy the journey. I have been told that my latest detailed beta page on Astroman was helpful to some people. If you haven’t seen that one (posted in Oct 2017), maybe check that one out. Have fun!