Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ten Sleep is where its at

Wow! How easily a month slips by. I took on several handyman projects including a kitchen remodel, building a bar for the shop and a few other things which have eaten up a lot of free time. Since the month of June was forecast to be wet I figured I'd capitalize and get some things done, though as it normally goes I took on more than I could finish quickly and now the sunny weather is back and sport climbing season beckons me away from mundane responsibilities. The month was not without climbing sessions however, there were a few Tuesday/Thursday outdoor evening bouldering sessions, the 10 PM to 2 AM night bouldering session, several trips to The Island and a couple of Ten Sleep day trips.
Yesterday was a Ten Sleep day which usually consists of me working from 7 to noon and then jetting across the basin and into the canyon. The 2 hour commute puts me there in time for the cliff to go into the shade and yield perfect summer shade temps until dark. Clint and my friend Pat Mees were along for the journey eager to sample the finest pocketed stone in all the land. Pat is perhaps in some way responsible for my appreciation and love of the Big Horn Dolomite/Limestone having been one of my more experienced and opinionated partners early on in the mid nineties when I was figuring the climbing thing out. He lives in Iowa now with his wife and kids and tells me of a secret pocketed limestone crag that lies on private land but has been developed with the owners permission by him and a small group of dedicated bolters/climbers. A closed access situation for the rest of us but 80+ routes for those with permission - pocketed limestone in IOWA who'd a thought?!
Pat has long been a Lander afficianado, with crags like Sinks, Wild Iris and Baldwin the place is a mecca. I have been traveling for the last decade to Ten Sleep as the canyon fills with routes and I was eager to show off a long list of favorites that I know rival Landers stone. Pat and I did a day trip last Thursday and managed 6 pitches 0f 5.10+ through 5.11 all of which are 3 star routes. These served as a great intro and warm up for yesterday where we concentrated on harder and longer routes.
My friends in Ten Sleep Alli and Kevin have been climbing and bolting adding new routes at the Mondo under the Great Roof. Most significantly may be the king line gold streak left of The Burden of Immortality 5.13a, which we have eyed for years but deemed as too hard, not climable or some other excuse. Now there are bolts and tick marks and Petzl sponsor draws a hangin' and it looks amazing. This little harlet will probably check in around 13d or 14a, good luck Kev. The working name is Gold Member - perfect!
I asked Alli to recommend a 13 to me that suits my style of climbing. Yesterday she was up at the Superratic trying a 13b that starts on Pick Pocket 12b and drifts left onto the face via powerful bouldery moves and then motors up typical Ten Sleep 11+/12- terrain. This route sounds like what i am looking for, bouldery power versus crimpy sickness, which I can climb but not at that level. She says it suits my strengths so we shall see.
We had a particularly good day yesterday climbing the newly straightened and lengthened Schools Out 10+/11- and Jackabite 12a. Below are a couple shots of Clint toward the top of Jackabite 12a.

Alli asked me to try the Kablamo, the Wagon Wheel of Death 11d off shoot route just left of Gold Member and give her an opinion on grade. There were 15 draws hanging on this 30 meter route so I figured what the hell I'll give it an onsight burn having climbed WWOD several times in the past couple of years, which comprises the first 2/3 of the route. The new section is bouldery puncuated by jugs and I managed to persevere and clip the chains. I figured 12b/c which is what they had come up with and were hoping I'd sway it one way or the other. It seemed harder than Hapiness 12b and easier than EKV 12c, so I don't know.
I was pretty psyched to get that one done quickly and with that we headed down to World Domination to try and explode our forearms. We stopped at Great White Buffalo 11b on the way by because it is so cool looking and only 4 clips long, a classic indeed.

Clint Cook climbs Great White Buffalo 5.11b from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

With that out of the way Pat launched up Bobbys Got A Dirty Mouth 11c/d an old route of mine that tackles a devious slab to reach a steeper slanting crack surrounded by pockets. I don't think it had been climbed this year and had been washed clean by the rain, this produced an eye opening tech fest that Mr. Mees was not expecting. He manged the chains with a few hangs and chalked it up for Clint and I. Clint had trouble with a height dependent reach separating the slab and the upper section but climbed well otherwise. I ran a quick lap and talked Pat into one more go before removing the draws, he was psyched and fired it off in good style. He had been talking about Captain Insano 11d and with the daylight fading and a quick impromptu visit from the ever intriguing Aaron Huey, I strung it up and manged the feat without incident. Pat ran a TR lap on this steep mind numbing line and raved about it. We walked down in the dark to find a note from AAron and Charlie on the windshield directing us to their campsite in the lower Canyon. We stopped in for a quick visit then hit the road making it back after 1:00 AM. What a whirlwind.
Here is a shot of cliff line that holds The Temple and Scrot Bloc, the uppermost developed areas from the World Domination Wall.

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