the sport park

I met Colin through Mountain Project, both of us in search of a climbing partner, and we decided to try our first outing together today. It'd been a couple of years since Colin had climbed outside, but he's spent much of his climbing years, climbing trad in the UK, so he felt that he'd be pretty comfortable leading some easier sport routes. As I'm still relatively new to climbing, I'm definitely more comfortable on the easier climbs, sport or trad. After doing a small bit of research on the interbunny, we chose The Sport Park in Boulder Canyon, right outside of, you guessed it, Boulder.

We arrived at Surprising Crag at about 11.5a and found, much to our dismay, that a lot of the residents of Boulder had had the same idea as us. It was crowded up there.

It was all good though as we were able to get on the routes we wanted to climb without too much of a wait. We started off on The Touch, a nice 5.8 that delighted both of us and got us jazzed to try some of the other routes. Next, we moved over to what we thought was Dutch Oven, a 5.9 but discovered after we were done that we ended up on Wavy Gravy, a 5.10b that had an interesting lie back to get over the crux. It also had some really nice hand jabs intermixed with some slab and some gorgeous big hand holds. It sure didn't seem like a 5.10b. To either one of us. Then we moved over again to Chasing Sticks, a 5.9+ that had a couple of crazy stemming sections that climbed more like a 5.10. I made it up the first hard section without incident, but on the second stem, my left foot slipped and I slid a good little ways and left a not small amount of blood on the rock. Both of my ankles look like this:

Our fourth route of the day was Monkey Bob, a 5.8 that had a really nice roof problem that, of course, I made harder than it needed to be. But I made it up that one without incident.

After that, both of us had had enough sun and were feeling pleasantly tired and a little dehydrated, so we decided to call it a day. It was a nice area that I would be happy to return to and maybe even lead some next time.

We got back down to the car and for some reason, Bessie wouldn't start. Neither one of us could get a cell signal, so I decided we should try to pop the clutch. Here's where driving a standard has an advantage over an automatic. It worked. I got Bessie started and we made it back home. As Colin said, "I was afraid that was going to be epic." I had visions of having to trudge 12 miles back down the canyon to Boulder to try and find a tow. Luckily, she came through. Kind of.

I turned Bessie off after pulling into the garage and tried to start her again, but nada. It's been almost eight years since I bought her and I've never replaced the battery (I know, I know), so I think it will be a pretty simple fix. It would've been nice of her to give me a little warning first though.

It's not a good day unless you lose a little blood and have a little fear of not being able to get back home, though, right?


Jeannette said...

So what do you do when you get to the top? You make such a fuss about getting up the rock... what you do up there must be amazing.

I'll bet it's a secret.

d said...

it IS a secret. i shall never tell. you have to join the club.

j. j. j. why the obsession with getting to the 'end'? why, why, why can't you just enjoy the journey?

Dylan said...

That sounds like a highly successful day for climbing with a new partner. Cool!

There are rituals to be performed at the top. That's all I can say.

my heart is made of gravy said...

You do a fine line in bloodied feet on this blog. I shall be back for more.