On our way home from Wildrose Canyon we stop at Great Falls Basin to get a couple of climbs in. The air there smells a bit like cat urine, an odor we have noted before in the desert after recent rain. This time we connect the odor to a particular plant that flourishes in the area, which we refer to as pissplant.
We start on Psycho Killer Pillar 5.9, a climb I’ve been curious about for a while. The approach turned out to be the crux. We attempt both the awkward direct chimney and the crumbly slab, and opt for the slab where Ann belays. I pass a bolt whose hanger has been removed as I climb it. On the pillar, a first bolt has been added, but it’s a little too low to provide much comfort. But the climbing is pretty easy to the next bolt. I understand the next protection used to be a fixed piton, which has been replaced with a bolt. After that is a runout, and I imagine the pucker factor would be doubled if the big fall potential were above an old rusty piton. As it is, I wish I had a small nut to slot in the thin crack above the old piton placement. Once the next bolt is clipped, I relax. The climbing is enjoyable, but the rock quality is poor. Holds feel grainy or thin. I stop at the first anchors. There’s a short second pitch with two bolts, but it doesn’t look all that enticing. Ann follows very solidly, and we rap to the top of the initial block/slab approach. Now that first bolt comes in handy – I use it to belay Ann as she downclimbs the slab. For myself, I drape some rope over a bolder and give myself a backup rappel as I do the block chimney downclimb. It goes, but not gracefully.
Next we head right to Loomy Toons, 5.10a/b. I had struggled on this on TR on my first trip here. Now it feels good to lead it solidly. This is a decent climb, but hasn’t been entirely cleaned yet. Ann breaks off a handhold and takes a surprise fall following me. Also, the bolts run a little left of the easiest climbing. But I enjoy it. Ann struggles a bit, but finishes with determination.
One response to “Great Falls Basin”
Ann: “Dylan, what’s for dinner?”
Ann: “Oh, but Dylan, we had choss for dinner last night!”
Dylan: “Too fukking bad, we’re having it again. Maybe you should stuff some meat in your clothes when leaving work and we could stop eating choss for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Ann: “Uh… ok, maybe I will do that.”