And you thought it was over? Ha! I’m dragging this epic trip out for as long as I have digital media to post. Well, actually its not my digital media, but we can pretend. So…things progressed at a pretty steady rate throughout the week. At one point we had about fifteen Oly heads all congregating around our small and rather crowded picnic table, which at one point had like five stoves, eight guide books, seven coolers, nine fold up camping chairs, and a colorful assortment of half empty or almost empty cardboard cases of beer. Oh the good life. We would emerge from our nylon caves only to see if it would be a hacky-sack-kind-of-morning or a balls-to-the-wall-all-out-crush-fest type of ordeal. We got pretty lucky with the consistently bad weather and climbed every day. Only once did we get rained out on a balmy looking morning only to retreat to Bend where we got smashed and ended up coming back to Smith and having an impromptu climbing sesh…tipsy. The days (pub)crawled by with the kind of carefree nonchalance a cat has when judging you from across the room all the while licking itself and thinking where it can have a nap next. The highlights of the trip might be meeting a few French Canadians who forced us to drink a whole half gallon of Captains and then disappearing without a trace as if they had been part of some drug induced hallucination. Or maybe crashing the tent of a climbing guide service that bussed in twenty or so ‘inner-city’ youths only to have them scamper up the Rope-De-Death-Bloc in the rain the next morning, our stamped out spliff stubs still smoldering in the floor of their mess tent. Maybe it was the non-stop Ondra impressions, or the train we all ran on Toxic, or the pockets, the crimps, the yelling, the sending, the failures and successes, the cold nights, the hot days, the inside jokes about Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the guy who told us to stop our dog from eating the food he refused to keep away from the dirt floor of the campground, the pokemon references, or the massive amount of interchangeable campground companions that came and went like the seasons in fast forward. It was probably all of the above.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Historically I’ve never much cared for trad. Seemed like a dangerous waste of time and money. However, with age, like a fine wine, my attitude turned sweet towards the shiny clinkety-clank of multi colored gear and I decided to dive head first into this seemingly passing fad (oh no he didn’t!). It was a common conversation that could be heard around the non-existent glow of our campfire every night about how we were going to do the monkey face, and then hit up all of these cool looking multi-pitch trad routes and then knock out all of the super classic cingle pitch trad routes. Needless to say those conversations were chemically enhanced and after five days of sport climbing we finally sucked it up and dedicated an entire day to trad climbing. Chase and I got an alpine start (around 9:30 or so) and started out our ambitious tick list on the ultra classic Cinamon Slab. I didn’t care too much for it, but we did the second pitch anyway and topped out in gale force winds. Approaching near hypothermia we rapped down and continued our day. Ticking such classics as Lions Jaw, Moonshine Dihedral, New Testament, and some other lesser classic but still fun 5.7’s near Chain Reaction. It was a blast!! Chase stepped it up in a big way and did his first 5.9 and 5.10a trad leads! His head was in the game and we were both on the same page of tickin a route, and keeping it moving on to the next. Seven pitches later we were both ready to be done.
On another note, one day we headed out to the Aggro Gulley and everyone got a turn running a tran on probably the MOST FUN route in the entire park Toxic.