A bright, warm Fall day introduces Sean, Ann, and I to Mark and Kate, and the Poudre Wall at The Palace. A little later cousin Doug and Liz show up. It’s a great group, reminding me of the many fun group outings I took part in in the Eastern Sierra Nevada with the Ridgecrest social climbers. The Poudre Wall, facing east, had sun all morning, but just as it started getting too hot we got a bit of cloud cover. Bliss. Our routes:
Cheerleaders Gone Hippie 5.9+ Slopey holds get my attention on the start, but it’s the offwidth-style crux that dominates this route. I waffle for 10 minutes before thrusting myself up into the notch with little idea what will happen. A shoulder jammed into the wall seems to hold me in when the chalked finger cracks feel like they’re doing nothing. The next clip, however, is behind me, and the fall is not one I’m willing to take. I twist and writhe until I’ve clipped that bolt, breathe a sigh of relief, and enjoy the final moves. This is one 5.9+ I’m proud to have done on sight.
Crossbow 5.10b Mark pulls a number of loose rocks, big and small, off this one. Scarey but we all try it, and fewer chunks come off. This will be a nice route if it gets clean.
Check Your Head 5.10b/c Really nice stem and lieback crack, tenuous in spots, pumpy in spots, but with a few good rests. Good moves throughout, and the rock seems good. Kudos to Mark for the onsight on this one – it challenges all of us.
B.A.H. 5.9 Short for Big Holds. It delivers some jugs and overhangs, and some fun for a final route of the day.