6.16.2007

bloody knuckles


Colin and I headed up to Vedauwoo today to meet Ann, Dylan, Kate, Mark, Doug and Liz (and Doug's mom) for a day of off-width and chimneys. We hit Valley Massif which is located somewhat in the middle of the park. Ann was gracious enough to meet us at the free parking area to help guide us in as I wasn't too sure that I remembered exactly how to get there, and so after an easy, leisurely hour-long stroll we reached the crag. Even though we had beat the others there by quite a bit, we decided to go ahead and get started hoping that they would arrive with an extra rope before all three of us got to the top of the climb, otherwise we wouldn't be able to get back down.

In spite of his lack of motivation, Colin decided he could lead Screw 5.7 and so started up it after getting some, what we thought was, good beta from Ann and I. See I thought I had done this climb before, last summer, so Ann and I kept telling Colin to look for some bolted anchors off to the right when he reached a wide ledge that he could walk around on. Turns out that we were confusing it with Soft Touch 5.5, and there were no bolted anchors. Oops. Luckily, Colin is a pretty laid back guy and didn't really care that we were shouting bad directions at him from the base of the climb. Thankfully, Dylan and Mark showed up just as Colin was about to reach the end of the rope with an extra rope and a guidebook.We got everything sorted out, Colin got settled in to a nice belay station and I followed him up.

So. I had never done this climb before and it was most excellent. Afforded me the opportunity to work on my chimney skillz. Generally, chimneys aren't my favorite things to climb, because I'm intensely claustrophobic and tend to freak out when I have to wedge my body into tight spaces. Depending on how wide the chimney is, you can use a foot/knee wedge to inch your way up it. Unfortunately, this chimney wasn't wide enough for that. Once I calmed down and started breathing again, I figured out that I had to use a pelvis/feet wedge and sort of 'hump' my way up. A little uncomfortable and unorthodox, but it ended up working. I felt like the hardest part of this climb was a couple of moves after the chimney. I ended up having to hang for a second because I wedged my foot into a crack and then had to stand there for so long trying to figure out the next move that I hurt my foot and had to give it a rest. After I figured out that I needed to use the face to the right of it, things went pretty smoothly.

After watching Doug and Mark play around on a 5.10b that I don't know the name of, I was ready to get on another route. So I followed Dylan and Liz up Soft Touch. A really fun, sweet climb with some crack mixed in with a nice, easy roof and then some really great stemming moves near the end. That was it. I remembered it once I was in the middle of the stemming. A really great way to end the day. Colin exhausted himself on Hammer 5.8+, while I was climbing Soft Touch, so after that we packed up and headed home. By the time we got to the car, the rain that had been threatening all day finally opened up and soaked us a bit.


I've decided that I need to start using tape, as I opened up my old wounds from last weekend and gave myself a couple of new ones. This showing up at work on Monday with bloody knuckles is getting a little old.

7 comments:

Jeannette said...

ewww eww ewwwww

Jeannette said...

ewww

d said...

hey. you do what you gotta. don't judge me.

Jeannette said...

ok, ill admit, the ruggedness is kinda hott

but still gross

d said...

i knew it.

Anonymous said...

There's a butt growing on the side of that rock.

d said...

they don't call it crack climbing for nothing.