Biohazard Level 2

I swear, the park is practically a hot zone, what with all of the poison ivy growing in there.  As soon as I got home, I immediately stripped down to the undies and went through a decontamination procedure like I had been bathing at a Superfund site.  This is how much I don’t want to get poison ivy again.

I was getting a touch of cabin fever, and I hadn’t been working on any bouldering projects since my last outbreak of Chinese rot, so the plan, initially, was to head out and repeat some of my recently completed problems today.  I think I may have overdone it on the hand board the other day, and my deltoids were a little tender, so I decided to hop on the bike instead and see if I could scout out some new rocks.

The problem with finding rocks there is that the terrain is rather deceptive.  One, there is still significant foliage this time of year, obfuscating the features of the terrain.  Two, the terrain can play tricks on your eyes, making it appear as if there are rocks where there are none, or making it appear that there is nothing when there is climbable rock available.  Even if you find some rock, it is nearly impossible to discern the angle of the stuff; for instance, today I thought I saw a nice section of 20 foot high rock sitting on the other side of the river from where I was biking.  I back tracked to cross and see it more closely, and it turned out that it was simply an exposed slab, not even worthy of a second look (from a climber’s perspective).

There was a little success today, though.  Right off the bike path, there is a nice-sized boulder covered in graffiti.  Aesthetics aside, there looked to be at least one problem on a steep, overhanging section, and several problems on the slab side.  It has a great top out and easy access to get down.  The only thing that worries me is the drop on the overhanging section…I think that at least one more pad is called for while the problem is being worked out.  The nice thing: there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of that God-forsaken itch weed near by.

It was during the excursion to the other side of the river on the ride back where I found myself engaged in battle with the poison ivy insurgency.  I hadn’t planned on getting into the brush today, but the appearance of what appeared to be rocks high enough to possibly top rope on was too good to be passed up (the results being what was described above: shite).  The last time I was there (about a month ago), I came home with a case of poison ivy that required a dose of prednosolone and constant Benadryl, and only finished clearing up last week.  This time, I immediately doffed the offending clothing and used liberal amounts of Tecnu to rid myself of that evil plant.

Tecnu is awesome.


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