Monday, July 14, 2014

7-12-2013, American Fork Canyon

This last week my friends Ben and Jenalyn were in town visiting (they are currently living in Cape Cod, MA), so we were able to hang out on Tuesday before Jenalyn had to fly back, but Ben was staying in town for a couple of days longer so I thought it would be cool to get out climbing with him.  Both Ben and I have been wanting to get on Arm and Hammer in Bells canyon for a long time, so we decided to climb it on Friday the 12th of July.  We planned to meet up at the trailhead at 8:00 to give it a go.

Well, Friday morning rolled around and the weather showed that it was supposed to rain that afternoon, so we hoped that we'd be okay to hurry up the route and be done before the rain hit.  I left home to meet up with Ben at 8:00, but as soon as I got into the Salt Lake valley I knew we were in trouble.  The whole corner of the valley, all the way from Big Cottonwood Canyon to the south was just one big rain storm.  I figured that we'd still be able to figure something out, so I continued to the Bells Canyon trailhead and met up with Ben.  The rain was so bad that we figured we'd have to find something good and overhanging if we wanted to climb anything, so we decided to head to American Fork Canyon.

Ben hasn't been climbing much lately, so we had a bit of a conundrum to overcome in the fact that we wanted something overhanging so that it would keep us dry, but still easy enough that Ben would be able to climb.  We decided to try The Membrane to see if it was dry enough.  We arrived at The Membrane and found that all but the very tops of the climbs were dry, so we chose to stay there.

Ben liked the look of a 5.10d called Steel Monkey, so we made it our first route of the day.  Ben wanted to lead it up, so he racked up with the draws and headed up.  I must say that I was very impressed, Ben hadn't climbed in probably close to a year, but he was able to hang-dog his way up the route with very few problems other than the fact that he kept wanting to switch routes on me;)  He made it to the top of the route, lowered off, then let me have a go.  I cruised the route and got the redpoint pretty easily, then we decided that since Ben had kept wanting to climb the route to the left of Steel Monkey, a 5.10a called Caress of Steel, we'd give it a go.

Once again Ben lead up the route first and did a great job.  He had to hang-dog up the route again, but once again he made it to the chains without any major issues.  He did have a bit of excitement as he clipped the chains due to the fact that the clipping hold was all wet from the rain, but he clipped and lowered off.  Once again, I ran up the route and got a redpoint of it.

Ben on License to Thrill - 5.11c

Next, I had been wanting to climb the ultra classic route on the wall, a 5.11c called License to Thrill, so we decided to give it a go.  Ben didn't want to lead this one, so I headed up.  I've attempted License to Thrill two times before, but had never made it to the top. The first time I tried climbing it was back in 2002 , but I was just too pumped to make it through the crux on that attempt, the second time I tried was just a few months ago, but Amy didn't really want to try climbing it, so instead of finishing the route, I traversed left to the anchors of Steel Monkey right after the crux so that Amy could TR that instead, so I knew I had to at least get to the anchors this time.  I did have to hang a few times to figure out all of the moves, but I made it to the anchors.  The rain did make the top of the route kind of interesting.  Right at the last bolt, the route pulls out over the final little roof and is exposed to the rain for the last few feet.  As I reached up to the clipping jug for the last bolt, I found that the hold was literally full of a couple of inches of water.  My hand was completely submerged in water as I clipped the last bolt which made it kind of fun and was certainly my first experience like that.  Once I lowered off, Ben gave it a go and made it up to the crux of the route before he was just too tired to continue.  When he was done, we decided that he was too tired to climb any more routes, so we just packed up the gear and headed out.

We certainly were able to have a good time climbing even though it was a rainy day, and it was awesome getting out to climb with Ben again.

7-5-2013, American Fork Canyon

For the fourth of July weekend we headed to my parents house to spend some time with them.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to get out climbing on the fourth itself, but we did make it to American Fork Canyon on the 5th and 6th.  On the 5th of July we decided to head to The Membrane.  It was a beautiful day and we just wanted to get a couple of routes in since it was Danny's birthday so we needed to go celebrate that as well.

We decided to start on a really fun 5.11a called On There.  The route is fairly continuous although it is quite short.  I lead the route having to hang once since it had been a long time since I've climbed it and I couldn't see my next hold or remember where it was.  After I lowered off, Amy TR'd the route and did extremely well considering that it was a 5.11.

Next up, I wanted to hop on a 5.12a called 26.  I had climbed this route once before and it is quite easy for a 5.12a since really there is only one hard move and the rest of the route is like 5.9, so I wanted to figure it out so that I can get the redpoint.  I did have to hang at the crux while I figured out the best sequence to get through it, but I think I will now be ready to redpoint it next time I hop on it.  Amy didn't really want to try the route, but Danny and Emily wanted to swing, so we harnessed them up and let them swing around on the route a bit for some fun.

For the last route of the day Amy wanted to do something easier, so we decided to jump on the easiest route on the wall, a 5.9 called Bad Faith.  Now this might not have been the best idea due to the fact that Bad Faith is extremely polished and Amy hates polished limestone.  I ran up the route and set up the TR, then Amy headed up, but unfortunately, she didn't have a very good time because of how polished it was.

At this point, Amy was just mad because she had done so poorly on a 5.9, so we just packed up and headed out for the day.

The next day (Saturday 6, July) I decided that we needed to head up AF again to show Amy that not all limestone is the same.  She had been complaining that limestone is always sharp so that it hurts your fingers, but at the same time is polished so that your feet won't stick.  Now I happen to love climbing on limestone, so I wanted her to see that limestone can be very different.  I decided to take her to Beer Can Alley since I know that it is neither polished nor sharp.

We started out with the easiest route on the wall, a 5.9 called Hornets Nest.  This route is pretty fun with some interesting stemming moves getting over the initial roof, then it's just an easy jug haul to the chains.  I don't know that it's really 5.9, it's probably more like 5.8, but it's a fun route anyway.  I ran up it getting the redpoint, then Amy TR'd the route.  She wasn't a big fan of the initial moves, but enjoyed the juggy upper portion of the route.

Next we jumped on a fun 5.10b called O'Doul's.  This route is just easy moves up to a roof that you pull over on good positive crimps.  Once again, I ran up the route getting the redpoint, then Amy TR'd the route.  This time, Amy really enjoyed the route and was able to see that limestone can be fun to climb.  Danny wanted to try climbing as well, so we harnessed him up and he climbed the first 15 feet of the route before he decided that he was done.

Danny on O'doul's

For our final route of the day, we decided to climb a 5.10d called Sam Adams.  Sam Adams is really just a harder version of O'Doul's.  It starts out just a little bit steeper and thinner, then pulls the roof where it's just a bit bigger, and uses holds that are just slightly less positive to get over the roof.  If it was just a bit longer and more sustained it would be a totally classic route.  As usual, I ran up the route and got the redpoint, then Danny wanted to climb again, so he ran up the first 15 feet, then Amy TR'd the route and really enjoyed it.

Danny on Sam Adams

After that the kids were tired, so we packed up and headed home so that they could have their naps.

Lone Peak, 6-29-2013

North Cirque Panorama

I have wanted to climb Lone Peak for many years.  Back in 2004 I tried to go up and climb Triple Overhangs with my friend Austin, but unfortunately, it rained on us on the hike up, Austin hadn't brought up a rain jacket, so he was soaked, then after he spent a sleepless, near hypothermic night in the cirque, he was in no condition to climb in the morning, so we just hiked back down.

Since Austin died back in 2005 I haven't really had a partner that I felt was capable of doing the Lone Peak with me.  Luckily that changed when I moved back to UT in December.  I have a friend that I work with named Charlie who has also been wanting to do Lone Peak for a while.  He is a very competent trad climber so we decided to give it a go.  We decided that we'd try to do a route variation called Vertical Overhangs which starts out on the shared first pitch of Vertical Smiles and Triple Overhangs, then follows the first two independent pitches of Vertical smiles and finishes up with the last two pitches of Triple Overhangs and ends right on the summit block of Lone Peak.  This route lets you do the 5.10a crux pitches of both Vertical Smiles and Triple Overhangs.

Summit Wall with Snow
The Goal as seen from camp, Vertical Overhangs goes right up the center of the pointy summit wall

I decided to work a half day on Thursday the 28th of June so that we could then hike up to the Lone Peak Cirque that afternoon, sleep overnight there, and do the climb in the morning.  We thought that we might be able to do another climb up there as well that afternoon, then spend another night in the cirque and hike down on Saturday.  Unfortunately, it may not have been the best idea to work a half day since this has been one of the hottest summers in Utah's history.  Charlie came and picked me up at about 11:00 AM and we drove to my parents house so that we could leave his car there so that it wouldn't be broken into.  My dad then drove us up to the top of the Draper ridge so that we could start our hike there.

Charlie on the steep Jacob's Ladder portion of the hike

Me hiking through the first meadow,  Utah county in the background. 

We ended up hitting the trail at about 12:30 so it was already getting hot.  We were hiking the Jacobs ladder trail which basically just switchbacks it's way up the side of the mountain with hardly any shade, and to top it all off, there's no water along the way, so you have to haul all of your water up with you.  Needless to say, it was a miserable hike.  Both of us had packs weighing in at around fifty pounds with all of the climbing gear, camping gear, and of course 8 lbs of water each.  We took our time hiking and ended up arriving in the cirque at around 6:30.  We cooked our mountain house dinners, then we each hiked around the cirque until we found places where we could get cell reception so that we could call the wives.  Amy wouldn't answer her phone, so I just found a nice place to relax where there was service and hung out there until about 8:30 trying to get a hold of her, but eventually decided that it was time for bed so that I wouldn't bee too tired the next day.

Cirque Alpenglow Panorama
Lone Peak Cirque Panorama

The next morning we woke up bright and early so that we could tackle our goal of Vertical Overhangs.  We made our breakfasts, packed up the gear and started the final 500 vertical feet to reach the base of our route.  The hiking to the base of the climb wasn't bad except for one 100 ft long section of steep snow that we had to cross.  Of course we hadn't brought crampons or axes, so we each found some sharp rocks to use as axes and made our way carefully across the snow.  Once across the snow, another 50 feet of 4th class scrambling deposited us at the base of the route.

Starting the approach to the climb

The exciting snow field crossing

Charlie wanted to take the triple overhangs pitch, so that meant he would be leading the first and third pitches, and I'd be taking the second and fourth.  We each drank some water, ate some granola bars, roped in and Charlie started up the route.  The actual climbing was kind of funny, first of all, it seemed like it was taking a long time and like not much progress was being made, but then as charlie got near the top of the pitch, I realized that we were almost to the end of the 70 meter rope.  It's crazy how being at the base of a wall that tall distorts your perspective, I had no idea that he had climbed that far.  Well Charlie put in an anchor and belayed me up after him.  The climbing itself was kind of funny too in that none of the moves felt hard at all, but it just felt very taxing overall.  I guess I'm not used to the high altitude.

Charlie leading the first pitch

Me following the first pitch

At the belay ledge

Charlie hanging out on the wall

I arrived at the belay station, racked up, and headed up on my crux pitch.  The initial portion of the vertical smiles pitch was pretty straightforward and easy.  It just followed a nice wide crack with up until it reached the stemming corner.  Again the shear size of the wall was just amazing.  from the ground it appeared that the stemming corner portion would be fairly short, but once I got there I saw that it was much longer than I had expected.  This portion of the pitch was a bit spicy, the wall was extremely blank and smooth, and the crack had tapered down to just a seam so there wasn't a lot of good pro.  I carefully made my way up the corner placing as much pro as I could get in anywhere since none of it looked like it was any good, and eventually made it to the top of the corner after one hang.  The moves weren't that difficult, but the overall fatigue I was feeling coupled with the mental games of pro that didn't look like it would hold much took their toll on me and I had to hang.  After pulling the roof at the exit of the stemming corner, the climbing eases up considerably and I made good time to the belay ledge and brought charlie up.

Leading the Vertical Smiles pitch

Charlie Seconding the pitch

Charlie set off on the triple overhangs pitch, and once again I have to say that the size of the overhangs were just huge compared to what I expected.  Charlie had to take a couple of times through them, but he made it and continued on to the top of the pitch then belayed me up.  I have to say that the overhangs were very cool.  They are these three just huge roofs with very interesting moves to get through them.  I was able to get them cleanly on TR, then continued up the beautiful hand crack to the belay ledge.

Charlie leading through the Triple Overhangs

Following the beautiful 5.9 handcrack after the Triple Overhangs

The final pitch was really just a scramble to the summit.  I only placed any pro because I wasn't sure if it would get any harder at any point, but after a few steps I arrived on the summit block of Lone Peak.  Arriving at the top felt just amazing.  This has been one of my goals for so long that it was pretty surreal to make it there.  I belayed Charlie up and we took our summit shots and just enjoyed the beautiful view from the top.  We then tried calling our wives to let them know that we had made it safely, but this time Amy did answer her phone, and it was Charlie who couldn't get a hold of his wife.

Summit Snack!

The Summit Marker

Summit Shot

At this point we had to decide if we wanted to descend all the way to the cirque, or if we felt like we could jump on the Lowe Route since it starts from part way down the descent into the cirque.  Both Charlie and I felt like we were too exhausted to do another route, so we decided to just head all the way down to the cirque.  We also decided that since we weren't going to do another route there was no reason to spend another night in the cirque, so we could just hike all the way back down the mountain that afternoon since we were a little bit worried about thunderstorms since we didn't have a tent.

On the way back down to the cirque we took a slight detour to hit up the south summit of Lone Peak as well and get some photos there, then we hiked back down to the cirque, packed up and hiked out.  The hike down the mountain was just as bad as the hike up.  Not that it was as much physical exertion, but with everything that we had done in the last 24 hours, I was just completely drained.  Eventually we made it back to the trailhead and headed home.  Luckily for us, as we were hiking down, some thunderclouds did end up accumulating around the cirque, so we were very glad that we had made the decision to come down a day early.

On the South Summit, the true summit is in the background

Charlie on the South Summit

Well, there's one more thing checked off my never ending list of things that I need to do in my lifetime, although I don't think it'll be the last time I do Lone Peak now that I've done it once.

Monday, March 17, 2014

June 2013

June was a pretty good month of climbing.  I was able to get out several times and was also able to finally make it up to Lone Peak Cirque for some climbing for the first time which has been on my tick list forever.

San Rafael Swell

The first climbing we did in the month was on our way to visit one of my best friends, Danny, who lives in Grand Junction, CO.  We decided to camp in the San Rafael Swell on our way there so that we could do some climbing as well.  For the climbing we just decided to climb on the Scenic Byway wall in Buckhorn Wash since it is right off the road and has a few good routes on it.

Emily scrambling around

We started by climbing the first pitch of a 5.10a called Scenic Byway.  The first pitch is an awesome 5.9 hand-crack that traverses left for around 90 feet.  It was a surprisingly good route for how it looked from the ground.  I onsighted the route and Amy TR'd it.

Danny Working on Scenic Byway

Next we did a 5.8 called Scenic Highway.  the route was a lot of fun and started out in a hand-crack in a right leaning flake, then joined a dihedral crack about halfway up the route and followed it to the anchors.  I lead the route onsight, then Amy TR'd it.


Finally, I wanted to try a 5.12a called Lonesome Scenery that was just to the left of Scenic Highway.  The route looked really cool following a thin crack for 75 feet to the anchors.  The crux was down low and bolt protected, then it looked like the crack opened up to good fingers.  Unfortunately, when I got up past the bolt I realized that the crack was a lot thinner than it appeared from the ground.  I worked the crux and got past it, but I didn't bring any gear small enough to protect the thin crack above the crux so I ended up bailing.  I certainly want to give it a go some other time though.

That was it for our climbing in the Swell on this trip, but we did have a great time visiting with my friend in CO.

City of Rocks

The next week we we took a trip to City of Rocks Idaho.  My boss Eric and his family were going so we decided to join them.  The first day in the City we started out on Decadent Wall.  I started out by setting up a 5.6 called Twilight so that the kids would have something to play on (We had our three kids, Eric had his two, and Eric had a couple of friends there as well who also had a few more kids).

After I got the 5.6 set up I decided to do something a bit harder and jumped on a 5.11a called Flesh for Fantasy.  It ended up being a pretty fun route that took all of a 70 meter rope to get up and down, but it was kind of a one move wonder, but at least that made it so I got the onsight easily;)

After we finished with those two routes, the adults all took turns toproping both routes, we headed back to the campsites for lunch.  After lunch and naps for the kids we decided to head to the practice rock so the kids would have a bunch of easy stuff to climb.  At practice rocks we set up three easy routes, a 5.7 called Far Left, another 5.7 called Original Left, and a 5.4 called beginners slab.

After practice rock we headed back to camp again for dinner, then after dinner I wanted to run up Bath Rock since it was right across from our campsites, so I sent over and free solo'd a 5.4 called Easy Way Up.

The next morning, we didn't have a lot of time, but I wanted to jump on a couple of hard routes before we left, so I jumped on Euro Beast (5.12a) again to try and nab the redpoint.  Unfortunately, I had a really hard time making the clip in the crux and ended up pumping out while trying to clip and fell off,  but at least I am now down to 1 hang.  I'm sure it will go next try.

Euro Beast - 5.12a

After falling off

After that we headed to the other side of Bath rock to do something easier for Amy, so we did a 5.9 called Rollercoaster.  I got the onsight, then Amy TR'd the route.

Rollercoaster - 5.9

Amy on TR

After that I wanted to do one more hard route so I jumped o another 5.12a called Gemini.  Gemini had some really fun thin technical crimping on it, but unfortunately, I was still pumped from Euro Beast and ended up bailing from the bolt at the crux since I couldn't stick the crux dyno.  The route was really cool though and I'll definitely have to get on it again when I am more fresh.

Gemini - 5.12a


9th Street

The next weekend we just made a quick trip up to 9th street in Ogden for a couple of quick routes.  We started out on a 5.9 called Shino.  I got the route cleanly, then Amy went up it on TR.

For our second and final route of the day we got on a 5.10d called Midnight Cowboy.  Unfortunately, I screwed up the beta in the crux and fell off, but it's kind of a weird route anyway, I'll have to get the redpoint later.  Amy ran up the route on TR and that ended our day of climbing.

Lone Peak

For my final climbing trip in the month of June I headed up to Lone Peak with a coworker, but that was cool enough that I'm going to do a separate post.  Check back later.

Friday, March 7, 2014

May, 2013

In May it was a little bit difficult to get out climbing due to the fact that we had a brand new born baby (born April 21st), but we did get out a few times.

The first Saturday in May I decided that we needed to go somewhere easy to help Amy out with her confidence since she hadn't climbed much in the recent month, so we headed to the Salt Lake Slips in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

We started the day climbing the easiest route at the slips, a 5.3 called Wop Dego.  This route follows a very easy broken corner system.  I think I placed like two pieces of gear on the 80 foot pitch and that was more to make Amy feel good about it then for me.  Amy then TR'd the route as well.

Danny Playing around on Wop Dego - 5.3

Next we climbed a 5.7 called Maudlin.  This was a pretty fun mellow route that was quite tall.  We only brought a 60m rope, but there was a mid-route rap station, so I lead up to that, then lowered and Amy TR'd the route, then I decided that I wanted to climb the top portion of the route too, so I TR'd up the the mid route rap station, then continued leading to the top of the route and rapped off in two raps.

For our final route of the day we did a 5.8 called High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Once again this route was quite long, (not quite as long as Maudlin, but more than 60 meters), and this time there wasn't a mid-route rap station.  I ended up climbing the route, then just lowering until Amy got to the end of the rope, I then untied and down climbed to the ground.  When Amy went to TR the route I just bouldered up the fifteen feet to the end of the rope where I untied, put her on belay there, and then climbed down to the ground as she climbed up until I was on the ground and could belay like normal.  Luckily, the route was easy enough that this wasn't a problem.

The next time we went climbing in May was for my birthday.  I had never been to the City of Rocks in Idaho, so I wanted to check it out for my birthday.  We actually headed there on May 20th, the day before my birthday and camped that night.

City of Rocks

The first day at the city we just did a couple of routes on Bath Rock since we got there a bit late in the afternoon.  The first route we did was a 5.5 called Cowboy.  This route was pretty cool because it was a full 200 ft long, and was pretty runout, but it was easy enough that you didn't really worry about the runout at all.  I climbed the route then belayed Amy from the top.  I then lowered Amy off and walked off the back side of the rock.

The second route we tried was a 5.11b called White Hueco's.  This route was really cool until you got to the third bolt.  The crux was between the third and fourth bolts, but the problem was the fact that the bolt was placed in a really bad location where it both opens the top biner of your draw if you weight it, and it also loads the biner over an edge.  Needless to say, I wasn't really comfortable climbing above the bolt through the crux so I ended up leaving a bail biner and lowering off.

White Hueco - 5.11b

The next day (my birthday) I wanted to go retrieve my bail biner off of White Hueco's so we started our climbing there.  I took a stick clip with me so that I could stick clip the fourth bolt and not worry about falling on the edge loaded biner.  Once I had the fourth bolt clipped the route went smoothly and I made it to the anchors without a problem.

Just around the corner from White Hueco's is this huge roof that looked awesome as we hiked past it.  On this roof was a 5.12a called Euro Beast that I decided I wanted to try.  I ended up making it to the second to last bolt before falling off, but the moves were really fun and cool, just big reaches between big jugs out a big horizontal roof.  After falling off, I worked out the crux moves and made it to the anchors pretty easily after that.  I really need to go back and redpoint the route.  Amy didn't want to try that one so we headed to another area.

Euro Beast - 5.12a

We drove around the park just to check everything out since we had never been there, and after driving through the park we ended up at kind of the edge of the park by the Twin Sisters.  It was getting kind of windy and some clouds were moving in, but I wanted to do some more climbing so we decided to just do a couple of quick routes at an area called Indian Chief Rock right across from the Twin Sisters.

I started out by climbing the creatively named 5.8 called Wide Crack.  This route was actually pretty fun, and not all that wide despite the name.  I cruised it, and then Amy TR'd it.  At this point Amy wanted to go home since it was getting quite cold and windy, but then we realized that she had left my gear up at the anchors, so I had to climb one more.  I just decided to run up another highly creatively named route that went to the same anchors, a 5.5 called the flake route.  I ran up and cleaned the anchors, then we headed home after our first trip to the City, it won't be our last.

Danny on Flake Route - 5.5

The next Saturday we headed to 9th street in Ogden to get a couple of quick climbs in before grocery shopping and putting the kids down for their naps.  We started on That's What She Said - 5.10a, and I ran up it getting the onsight, then Amy did it on TR.  After That's What She Said, I wanted to jump on Vile of Crack - 5.11c.  I had tried this route when we had come to UT the year before for my brothers wedding and a business trip that I had, but I hadn't gotten it cleanly, so I wanted to try and get the redpoint.  I climbed the route, but had to hang once when I couldn't remember the moves, so I lowered off, pulled the rope, and ran back up it getting the redpoint.  Amy wasn't feeling strong enough to give Vile of Crack a try, so we headed out to take care of the other things we had going on that day.

A few days later my friend Ben was in town and wanted to do some climbing, so I decided to take the day off so that we could get together.  Our plan was to climb Arm and Hammer in Bells Canyon, but unfortunately, the day turned out to be extremely rainy with wouldn't work out too well since Arm and Hammer is a granite slab with a long approach.  We really wanted to go climbing still, so we decided to go do something overhanging in AF canyon if we could find anything dry enough.  We decided to check out The Membrane since it is fairly overhung and has no hike to get to.  We were the only ones at the crag, but amazingly enough, the routs looked to be pretty dry.  Ben wanted to start on a really fun 5.10d called Steel Monkey, so he hopped on and did a great job.  He did have to hang a couple of times and kind of got off route heading towards Caress of Steel, but did amazingly well for how little he's been climbing lately.  After he lowered off I ran up and snagged the redpoint of the route (for some reason I had only climbed that route like once before, but it's a really cool route).

Next Ben wanted to do something a bit easier, so we jumped on Caress of Steel - 5.10a.  Again, Ben did a great job and made it to the anchors after a couple of hangs.  This route was interesting due to the fact that it isn't as overhung at the top, so the top 15 feet of the route were quite wet.  I ended up getting the route cleanly despite the wet rock, but it did make it feel a bit more spicy than usual.

For our final route of the day before Ben needed to get back to his family we decided to give License to Thrill a go.  Licence to Thrill is only 5.11c, but I've never been able to get past the crux (granted, I'd only tried the route two times previously).  This time, I did make it through the crux and to the top of the route, but I did have to hang a few times.  It was kind of interesting when I reached past the final roof and stuck my hand in a pocket only to completely submerge my hand in water, needless to say, clipping the anchors was interesting.  Ben then gave the route a go on TR, but he was tired at this point so he made it to the crux then lowered off.  I have to say, we had a great day of climbing considering how the weather looked when we woke up that morning.    

Monday, January 6, 2014

April 2013

This past April was a beautiful month as far as weather was concerned, but we didn't get out climbing all that much due to our new son Austin being born.  I was able to get out a couple of times with some people from work, then we made it out once after Austin was born.

During the end of March and the beginning of April there was a group of airman from the British Royal Air Force here at Hill for some training.  A couple of these airman were climbers and came to the wall to climb a few times.  One of these airman, Matt, really wanted to get outside and do some multipitch climbing here in Utah before he headed back to England so I offered to take him.  He didn't want to do anything too difficult so I decided to take him up Becky's Wall in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Becky's Wall is a 3 pitch 5.7 that has one of my favorite 5.7 pitches ever on it, so I figured it would be a good route to do.  Matt lead the first 5.6 Pitch, I lead the second 5.7 pitch, then Matt lead the third 5.4 pitch.  All in all the route went really well and ended up taking just the right amount of time since Matt had somewhere he needed to be that afternoon.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos.

A couple of days later a guy named Charlie who works in the same building that I do invited me to come and climb Tree Crack with him at the Schoolroom area in Ogden.  Charlie is really into trad climbing and wants to start breaking into the 5.11 grade on gear, and Tree Crack is a 5.11a crack route with a short crux so he thought it'd be a good starting point.  We also invited Colin to come along as well.  

We did the long 45 minute hike up to the schoolroom area, and Charlie wanted to go for the onsight of Tree Crack right off the bat, so he racked up and went for it.  He made it through the crux without any problems, but ended up pumping out and popping off about 3/4's of the way up the route.  Next Colin went up the route on TR and eventually made it to the anchors.  After Colin's TR, we pulled the rope and I lead the route cleanly first try making this my hardest Trad flash to date.  

Charlie Starting up Tree Crack - 5.11a

Charlie finishing up the crux section

Colin on TR

Me pulling through the crux

After we had all climbed Tree Crack, we decided to TR a 5.10d sport route just to the left of Tree Crack since they share the same anchors.  We each took turns TRing the route before moving onto something else.

Me on Tastes Like Burning - 5.10d

Charlie's Turn

After we had all TR'd Tastes Like Burning, Charlie wanted to try a 5.10b called Jammin for Jesus, but he didn't really want to lead it, so I racked up and started up the route.  Unfortunately, the route had absolutely no decent pro anywhere and despite it's name, didn't have any jams anywhere.  It was a face route that followed a tiny seam for protection, but you just couldn't get anything to fit in the seam.  I fiddled with gear for a little while and made my way partially up the route, but eventually I decided to give up on that route and to move one climb to the right onto a 5.11c sport route called Phat Abbot.  Phat Abbot ended up being a really fun route with a slick, slopey crimp on the crux move.  I fell off a time or two, but I eventually figured it out and made it to the chains.

Starting up Jammin for Jesus - 5.10b

Clipping the crux bolt on Phat Abbot - 5.11c

After Phat Abbot I had to take off. Charlie and Colin stayed and did some more climbing, but Amy needed me home for something, so that was it for me.

The next week Amy had our new baby Austin, so no climbing that week, but the following week we were able to get out to check out the climbing up at Echo Canyon.  I had heard about how Echo is a conglomerate climbing area like Maple Canyon, and it's only a half hour from where we live, so I decided that we needed to check it out.  There are only a couple of developed areas at Echo, and a lot of it is hard, so we decided to check out the Bear Hollow Wall since it has a couple of easy lines on it, and Amy had just had a baby a week before.

Echo Canyon ended up being really fun, the climbing was almost identical to Maple Canyon, and we were able to do two routes, a 5.9 called Maple Jones, and a 5.10a called Corn on the Cobble.  I onsighted both routes, and Amy TR'd Maple Jones, but wasn't feeling up to Corn on the Cobble yet.  Danny also played around on a TR of Maple Jones.

Maple Jones - 5.9

Amy on the TR

Danny's Turn

Well, That's it for the climbing I did this April.

March 2013

Although Utah does have some amazing climbing, it is hard having to deal with several months of unclimbable weather in a row.  Luckily for me, there is a climbing wall on base where I work so I am able to train there when it's too cold to climb outside.  The cold weather coupled with the fact that Amy was pregnant kept us from doing any outdoor climbing during the month of February, but by mid March the weather was warming up, and so it was time to get outside again.  Since Amy was pregnant, she didn't really want to do any climbing, so luckily for me, I had met a few people at the climbing wall at work who were willing to get out with me.

The first trip outdoors was to the 29th street crag in Ogden.  One of the guys that I had climbed with at the wall wanted to get outside, so I happily accompanied him.  We decided to go to the 29th street crag purely based on it's proximity to work since we were going there right after work and wanted to get as much climbing in as possible before it got dark.  We ended up climbing all 4 of the routes on the main wall at the crag and I got the onsight on all of them.  The routes were Safety Goggles (5.9), Overlooked (5.10a), 8 Ball Corner Pocket (5.8), and Loose Shingles (5.10b).  Unfortunately, we didn't take a camera so no photos from this trip.

The next day I decided to head back to the 29th street crag because I had noticed a pretty big blank space between Safety Goggles and Overlooked that looked like it could use a new route there.  Amy didn't want to do any climbing, but she did offer to give me a belay on the first ascent of the route after I bolted it.  We hiked up there, I threw in a few new bolts, then I ran up and grabbed the first ascent of Little Pile of Choss (5.7).  I named it that not necessarily due to the rock being particularly chossey, but because of the general appearance of the whole crag.  We did get a few photos of Danny on a TR of the new route so I've put one below.

Danny TRing Little Pile of Choss - 5.7

A couple of weeks later I was able to get out climbing again, this time with another friend that I had met at the climbing wall at work named Colin.  We decided to head up Ogden Canyon since Colin lives right by the mouth of the canyon and knows it pretty well.  We met up at the Smiths at the mouth of the canyon and drove up to Utah Wall to do some climbing.  

On Utah Wall we started out with a really long climb called Right of the Roof (5.4), Then we climbed an unknown 5.8 that follows the rightmost crack in the roof, next we climbed a really fun 5.6 that has a pretty big roof on it for such an easy grade, after that we climbed a route called Apex Right (5.8), and finished up our climbing at Utah Wall with Lawyers, Guns, and Money, a 5.10b that happens to be the first sport route in the Ogden area.  I was able to nab the onsight of all five of those routes.

After that we decided to do a few more climbs at the Hole in the Rock area before heading home.  At hole in the rock we did the two crack lines, Hole in the Rock (5.5) and Layback Crack (5.6) along with two sport routes, Chicken Wire (5.8), and If the Fall Doesn't Kill you a Car Will (5.10a).  Once again I got the onsight on all of the four routes, then we headed home.

That does it for the climbing I was able to do during the month of March.