the palace still rocks

Ann, Dylan and I headed back up to The Palace today to get in another day of outside climbing before the weather makes that nearly impossible for the next few months. We planned on meeting Kate and Mark, two new friends Dylan met online, and Doug and Liz decided to join us after lunch.

Ann and Dylan have been pushing the benefit of using poles when crossing the river, so today I decided to bring the one I have. Big mistake. I took a pretty good dunking and ended getting soaked up to my elbows. We decided that it's best to use either two poles or none. Luckily, the sun was cooperating, so once we got up to the base of the climbs I took off my pants and my long-sleeved shirt and let everything dry. Never again will I wear cotton pants when attempting to ford moving bodies of water. Kate and Mark arrived a few minutes after we did, so they got the pleasure of meeting me standing there in my underwear. Fortunately, I didn't have on a leopard print thong or anything, but everyone did get to enjoy seeing way more of my skin than they had planned on.

Wet pants aside, I had a pretty good day. We tried this 5.9+ that had a weird, wide chimney that you had to wedge your butt into and then grovel your way up until you reached the next hold. Ann and I decided we couldn't do it and backed off, but I tried it again later and got through it. Then we got on a 5.10b that I had to fight and claw my way up, but everyone else seemed to find fairly easy.

Ann had a great turn on a 5.10c that I didn't have time to try, but the last climb I did was a nice solid 5.9 called, appropriately, Big Ass Holds. The next time we make it back up there, I may try to lead it.

It was nice to get outside, make some new friends and get in some good climbing. And I managed to make the second crossing of the river without getting wet.

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