College Rock and more Jeep work

On the 8th Sukes and I decided to check out a new climbing location–College Rock over near Hopkinton, MA.  We’d heard we would need a lot of webbing, so Sukes picked up two 50 ft sections for anchors, which turned out be be enough.

When we got there we were the only ones at the wall, which we thought was a bit odd at around noon, but soon some other climbers showed up, and we watched a few mountain bikers go by.

The wall was a little bigger than I expected, 30-40ft in most sections with something close to 30 distinct routes.  There was a bit of a topo in the form of a diagram labeling which features were routes, but not the difficulty.  Unfortunately, we were too busy climbing to snap any photos, but I’ll be sure to post some next time we head down there.  I also thought I’d be a terrible belay partner if I tried to get any photos of Sukes while on belay.

The area was a lot of fun, and we spent the entire afternoon trying out various moves.  Neither of us topped out on any routes, but that was fine.  The wall itself is shaded, while on top there was some exposure to sunlight.

We chatted a bit with a very experienced climber who informed us we’d set on approximately a 5.10 and a 5.9, depending on how true to stayed to the classic routes.  Sukes belayed him a bit while I messed around on another route–many of them have tricky starts.  We then watched him climb, and downclimb a 5.11.  It was some of the best climbing I’ve seen in person, ever.

Eventually, with sore fingers, we called it a day and declared it’d be a sweet spot to come back to.

The Jeep

I’ll keep this short, but I’m sure you’ll love to hear my continuing adventure of fixing the Jeep (the beast). Upon return from Acadia, I began to realize that the overheating could’ve caused other issues in the engine, especially since its over 15 years old.

Since then, I’ve diagnosed a bad thermostat, mechanical fan clutch, as well as a possible head gasket leak.  After a successful repair and replacement of both parts, I also was going to give some liquid head gasket sealant a shot, but it looks like there are other issues. The heater air isn’t getting warm, and the car is still overheating, which leads me to believe coolant isn’t circulating due to either airlock in the engine, or more likely, a failing water pump.  The impeller on the water pump is press fit onto the pump body, which, when it gets too hot, could loosen up and cause the impeller to fail.

Luckily water pumps aren’t very expensive, however, it should be a bit of a repair, since I need to remove the fan and fan clutch (again), power steering pump, loosen the serpentine belt, and potentially loosen one of the tensioner pulleys. Fun stuff.

Update: I replaced the water pump and in this case it seemed to fix the overheating/coolant circulation.


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