Vedauwoo – Poland Hill

Ann on Kim 5.6

This morning we head to Poland Hill, intending to get schooled on some more Vedauwoo cracks. We hope to toprope Fantasia, 5.9, a “classic Vedauwoo offwidth”, but the anchor situation up top doesn’t allow for an easy toprope of this route. So we end up on:

Southwest Friction, 5.6. Ann leads this out of the gate. The wind, combined with a sparse two bolts, get her adrenaline going, but she stays confident and finishes smoothly.

Kim, 5.6. The book calls this double fall-line finger crack “good for beginners”. To me it seems a bit delicate and balancey for a beginning leader – enough to make me sew up the crux at least. I enjoy it, though, and Ann follows it a few times.

Piece of Dirt, 5.11a. We toprope this bolted climb that transitions from a stiff lieback to crystal face climbing. Ann makes it up to the crux, and I manage to climb it with only one fall there, which is reassuring after struggling so much on lower-graded crack climbs.

Sugar Crack, 5.6. Which means I need to struggle more on easy crack climbs, and Sugar Crack is happy to oblige. Another leaning hand crack, this route offers handjams on the left and insecure stemming on the right. I choose a couple of poor stances for placing gear and claw breathlessly through the offwidth moves at the top. Sigh. I’m hoping greatly that this is just part of my education, and I’ll eventually be able to climb these routes without desperation.

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