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.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 2013

After moving back to Utah in December I got a bit depressed with the cold weather and the lack of climbing, so we decided to make a trip down to St. George for New Years.  We headed down to St. George on New Years Eve and arrived in time to get a couple of climbs in at Chuckawalla Wall before it got dark.  We did Dirtbag (5.10a), Solace (5.10a), and Popular Demand (5.10c).  I got both of the two 5.10a's clean, but had to hang on the last bolt of Popular Demand because I couldn't figure out the tricky moves to get to the chains.

The next day I wanted to check out some of the limestone areas around St. George since I've climbed in St. George about a million times, but have never sampled the limestone there.  Since it was a cold morning we just drove around to a bunch of the limestone areas, then once it warmed up a bit we decided to do a route on the Black and Tan wall.  It was kind of windy, and most of the wall was in the shade, so we decided to try one of the routes on the lower angled left side of the wall since it was in the sun.  The route we ended up doing was a very easy 5.5 or 5.6, but it was fun and gave me a taste of how good the limestone in the area is.  Because of the cold wind we decided to head back to St. George to see if we could find a more wind free area to climb.

Unknown 5.6 at Black and Tan

We decided to just head to Snow Canyon and climb on the Circus Wall since it is in full sun and generally isn't too windy.  On Circus Wall we climbed the first pitch of the Barbarian (5.6), then got on the first pitch of Roar of the Greasepaint (5.10a).  I think that Roar of the Greasepaint may be my new favorite 5.10a.  It was just awesome technical edges the whole way without any distinct crux.  I thought it was awesome.  After those two routes the sun was setting, so we packed up and headed home.

Roar of the Greasepaint - 5.10a

The Barbarian - 5.6

A few weeks later we decided to meet up with Bennett and Gwynne at Red Rock for a couple of days to do a bit more warm weather climbing.  We arrived at Red Rock on January 21st and decided to head to the Yin and Yang cliff.  Neither Bennett or Gwynne had ever climbed a pure crack climb before so I figured that Atman (5.10a) would be a good first crack (plus I'd wanted to try out Yin and Yang for a while).  Atman was quite fun as usual and I cruised it without any problem, Bennet and Gwynne both had a difficult time, but that's to be expected for a first crack climb.  As we were climbing Atman there was another party climbing Yin and Yang (5.11a).  They ended up getting a cam stuck on it, so I offered to clean it for them if they gave me a TR on the route.  I was a little bit intimidated about leading it, but I shouldn't have been.  I did it cleanly on TR without any problem, and was able to retrieve their stuck cam as well.

Atman - 5.10a

Bennett Starting out

Gwynne Topping Out

Yin and Yang - 5.11a

After Yin and Yang, we decided to check out Sunny and Steep crag since we were close by and I've never been there.  We hiked over to it, and ran up Sport Chimney (5.8) before it started getting dark and we had to hike back to the car.

The next day we decided to just stay close to the car since Sunny and Steep was quite a hike with the kids, so we just headed to the black corridor for some convenient sport climbing.  At the black corridor we climbed the Cell (5.9), L2 (5.9), Crude Boys (Supposedly 5.10d, more like 5.10a), and Nightmare on Crude Street (5.10d).  I was able to get all of them cleanly, with The Cell being the only route that I didn't onsight since I'd climbed it before.

The Cell - 5.9

After those four routes we had to head home for work, and that concludes our climbing for January, actually, we didn't do any outdoor climbing in February, so March will be my next post.  

Moving to Utah - December 2012

Well, It's been a really long time since I have written in this blog.  I'll blame that on a crazy year that I've had.  Just over a year ago I got a new job in Utah.  Now I'm originally from Utah, but we had moved to SoCal for work just after I graduated from the University of Utah.  We always knew that we would eventually wind up back in Utah, but weren't sure when it would happen.  Well, as luck would have it, I was offered a job at Hill Air Force Base as an Aerospace Engineer, and we moved to Utah on December 15, 2012.  After moving to Utah we lived in an apartment while we were building a house, and with all of the madness I pretty much neglected my blog entirely.  That doesn't mean that we weren't doing some amazing climbing though.  I think that in the interest of continuity of the blog, I'll try to do a post for each month that I've missed, with individual posts for some of the more interesting trips that we took.

Before we moved to UT I wanted to try and finish up my project at Frustration Creek, so we took 1 last trip there on December 8th.  We climbed The Natural (5.10a), The first pitch of The Dead Terrorist (5.7), and let Danny play around on his route (Preschooler's Playground).  After that, I tried a bunch of times to get the redpoint on Primal Quest, but unfortunately, I just didn't have it in me.  I did do one final run up The Expedition (5.11b) for old times sake, then we packed up and headed home.  I guess Primal Quest is now an open project.  Hopefully we can make a trip back to Frustration Creek sometime when I'm stronger so that I can finally redpoint that thing.

The Dead Terrorist - 5.7

Gwynne Trying to copy me.

Now it's Amy's Turn

Primal Quest - 5.12b

Clipping the crux 2nd bolt

Topping out on The Expedition - 5.11b

Gwynne working her way up The Expidition

After moving to Utah I quickly became depressed when I remembered how cold it is, and how little climbing is available in the winter months.  We decided that we needed some climbing, so we planned a trip down to St. George for New Years, but I'll write about the details of that trip in January's post.