Vertical skills practice this Sunday, March 3rd for those that are interested.
Practice course will be set up with some combination of rebelays, deviations, traverses, j-hangs, tyroleans, and other rope problems.
Prerequisites for this level: You should be able at a minimum and without assistance to: put on your gear, manipulate all the pieces of gear, ascend, do a change over, descend and lock off your descender. You will be out of reach for assistance for many of the techniques you will be practicing so please consider this when judging your skill level. This practice is not appropriate for those just beginning — please attend a couple of the Grotto’s Tuesday night practices first if you are just starting out.
Gear and what to bring: Bring your vertical gear, helmet, a pair of tight fitting gloves (the gloves you cave with), food and water. A very limited amount of loaner gear and helmets will be available for those that do not have their own. If you are borrowing gear you will most likely need to share. If you have just a few pieces of vertical gear or at least a helmet, bring it. If you have a cave bag with a tether cord, bring it to practice with. Location is on the ridge so it can be cold, plus there is a chance of rain so plan accordingly for your own comfort.
Time: I will be there as early as 8:00 a.m. to set up and we will go until around 3:00ish depending on the weather and how everyone is feeling — you can split at any time and arrive at any time so long as you take the the insanely difficult parking into account.
Parking: On most weekends parking is notoriously limited and gets worse as the day progresses. If the weather is crappy, there will probably be less of an issue, but generally speaking, the later you arrive in the morning the more luck you will need to find a spot. There are three main parking spots: The first is free parking by our trailhead, the second is on designated spaces along the road just north of our trail head, the third is the official paid parking lot for Castle Rock State Park — if these are full, the next closest lot is about a 1.5 mile walk north of Castle Rock. Carpooling is encouraged. Do not park in non designated parking areas along the road as they do ticket.
Location: Set your driving directions for Castle Rock State Park at 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos. However, this is not the location we be practicing. Once you see the entrance of Castle Rock Park, stay on Skyline Blvd and drive south about 30 seconds more. Look for the obvious parking log on the east (left if you are facing south) side of the road. This is the back entrance to Sanborn County Park and our trailhead (if you put Sanborn Park in google maps, it will direct you to the front entrance which is miles away — not the right place). Park in this free lot if you can, or backtrack slightly to find parking.
Hiking to practice spot: From the Sanborn parking lot, go through the wooden trailhead gate and turn right (south) at the very first trail crossing which is almost immediately after a big bulletin board. This is skyline trail, follow for about 10-15 minutes as it meanders around 4 or 5 bends and you will find at the practice area which is on the trail. You will see gear and ropes. That is it! There is no cell reception (that I get at least).