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.