Ann emails Kate and offers to trade me for a pound of stew meat. The deal is made, and I’m carried up to The Palace by Kate and Mark, where we enjoy some routes in pleasantly warm, hazy weather. One of the routes doesn’t even have a slash or a + in the grade!
Cheerleaders Gone Hippie 5.9+ – the offwidth section that took me so long last time goes much better after a summer in Vedauwoo! My only mistake is putting my right side in, which pushes me to make the next clip behind my head. Kate and Mark make it smoother going left side in.
Check Your Six 5.11b – after we eyeball and reject the new route down the hill, Mark selects this direct start to the climb to left. The first clip goes easily. The second looks significantly tougher, and Mark takes a good, clean fall on the next moves. The feet are tiny, the hands mostly rounded sidepulls. He gets it on the next try, clips the third, and makes the next few tough moves to some decent feet. He’s nearly at the fourth clip, but can’t find a decent handhold. After a few tries he takes a good whipper, pushing perhaps a bit too hard off the rock, so he slams fairly hard back into the face when I catch him, splitting a fingertip and slamming a knee. I let him down to recover.
Check Your Head 5.10b/c – I have some sympathy adrenaline going after Mark’s falls, and decide to try the easier route. I soon work the shakes out, and enjoy the climb. Lots of nice liebacks, a few delicate sidesteps. I make it, as does Kate after me.
Mark is okay, but done climbing. To end the day I climb Check Your Six on TR. It’s really nice climbing. I don’t fall, but I can’t find very probable clipping stances. Things worked out for the best. As I’m packing up, I see an unexpected piece of gear in my pack. My camera. I have no idea what happened – I emptied the pack out looking for it before. Kate suggests it may have been tangled up in the rope bag. I’m embarrassed, but glad to have it back!