At last I get some routes in at this intriguing climbing area! During the blizzardy weather on our last trip we only scouted the pocket-strewn routes, so I was eager to pull on some of those pockets. Friday night is warm and tantalizing, but Saturday brings light showers. Determined not to miss any window, we climb three short routes between heavier bouts of rain. During our lunch retreat Amy and Erika join us at our campsite, and we invite them into the camper to wait out the rain. They are here to throw a bachelorette party for Amy, and get as many routes in as possible. It’s fun to sip hot drinks and get to know some new people while it drizzles. The afternoon clears up enough to permit some more climbing, then a wind develops. I wander up the canyon to an old windmill, and when I return the wind is turning mean. Unfazed, the partiers proceed as planned in the shelter of a juniper, allowing me to step in as an honorary bachelorette.
The next day everyone is back to business. Amy and her party inspire us, hang some ropes for us, and provide good company while we pump ourselves silly on volcanic pockets.
- The Shoe 5.6+
- A great starter. Throw some stemming in with the pockets.
- Old Woman 5.8
- The rock dries quickly, and I manage to hang on.
- Black Sheep 5.8
- My favorite on the wall, tho I can’t say exactly why – I just stayed interested in it.
- What To Do, What To Do 5.11a
- This was marked as 10a in our book, but the 11a rating makes me feel better about bailing off it when my fingers scream uncle at the second clip. Later Amy hangs a rope on it for us, and we both make it up.
- Big Good Wolf 5.7
- After my prior flash pump and bail, I nearly pump out again on this. I almost wish I could say I fell on it 🙂
- Geese Make Good Sleeping Bags 5.7
- Here I start to recover, then blow out again on TR on What To Do.
- Jack’s Bean Stalk 5.7
- A new day and a gorilla start get the blood flowing.
- Fee Fi Fo Fum 5.9
- Some overhangy stemming starts the pump. Seems just right for me on lead – have to concentrate.
- The Blind Prince 5.10a
- A toprope to keep things rolling. Fingery to start, then stemming that feels like cheating.
- Unknown Arete 5.8
- Another TR with a fun start on buckets.
- Freddie Frog Prince 5.10b
- We watch Amy and Erika lead this nice overhanging line, then try it on TR. I should have tried to lead it – it’s less finger intensive than the other routes, and I manage to hang on.