We had planned to do a hike today, but were enticed by Oscar and Jules’ plan to get an early start on Frogland (5.8-), a seven-pitch route in Black Velvet Canyon. The morning goes well, and we have the base of the route to ourselves at 9 am. Jules follows Oscar up the first pitch, decides she can’t climb with a pack and lowers it to us. I start up feeling good. The tides of the day start to shift when Jezze starts barking, and another party approaches. They inquire about the route, and I yell down that they shouldn’t expect us to be quick because we don’t do a lot of multipitch. I can’t hear the response, but when Ann gets close to the belay I can see she’s in bad shape. She wants to bail, and I agree that six more pitches of misery aren’t worth pursuing. We wait for the next party and fix our rope to rap off, asking them to drop it when we got down. Of course we get tangled up with their ropes and nothing is easy. On our own again, Ann tells me that they were rude to her at the bottom and pressured her to be off by dark. Several times I glance up at them, three on a rope, one a complete novice, crawling up at maybe a pitch per hour. We try to ward off the bitterness and imagine returning on a longer, hot summer day when we might have the climb to ourselves. Ann takes a nap in the sun while I wander up the canyon to the awe-inspiring big walls rising up from the confines of the dry wash. Still dealing with lingering disappointment, worries, and frustrations, we head in to town where Ann has a shower, we drink tea and talk, have Sushi, shop for gear, and manage to climb into our bags feeling good again.