No climbing whatsoever this week. Much rain and busy-ness conspired to keep me occupied and off the rock this past week and I felt really well rested heading back to Tensleep for yet another weekend of blissful pocket pullin'.
We had many friends from Cody joining us for camping, music festivities and climbing this weekend and we headed over early on Friday to try and secure some campsites. Fortunately a site over in Tensleep Campground that stays cool in the morning was open so we snatched it up. This site is desirable because it has its own private creek for the kids to play in and several tent sites as well as a long driveway for the camper and extra vehicles. The walk in sites in Leigh Creek Campground were open and I directed Pat L. from Cody there. He decided to take both knowing that more folks would be showing up and it made a good home base for his crew.
Mikey and his kids were there Friday night and due to overcast skies Saturday morning we were able to head up to the crag early. The Cook family arrived in the morning and after a quick tent set up Clint was fired up to climb. We headed to the Mondo, as I had my eyes on Screaming Night Hog .12c and Aunt Jemimahs Bisquick Thunderdome .12d for today. I warmed up on Mommas Meds .12a because its short and has a quick powerful crux with good holds. Clint was psyched to try and flash it but failed at the last hard move. David and Ben walked up and were interested in trying the climb as well. David studied it and after a few questions went for the onsight - I made a video. I am not really concerned with polishing up my vids with music or anything fancy right now so here is the raw footage.
While Clint put the wraps on the 12a I went over and got on Night Hog. I usually try this route from the Schools Out/Jackabite intro as it is a lot more fun, though the route was intended to go up the slab to the left. I felt like I had a good shot at sending quick so I did the proper start hoping to only have to climb it once. The bulge is really quite easy with deep pockets leading to one stopper move. I almost pitched but managed to stick the awkward move and actually clip the last bolt. As I clipped the chains I was already studying the cruxy move on Thunderdome as it finishes on Night Hog also. I remember struggling with that move years ago, though today it looked manageable. After an hour of rest Clint belayed me and I sent it 1st try.
Reveling in my successes my wife reminded me that Gold Member 14a was the next route for me to do at the crag. Great! Only 5 grades harder than what I have been concentrating on consolidating this summer. What the hell? Alli asked me to remove her draws if I decided to get on it, so I went for it with her assurance that I could pull on quickdraws through what I couldn't climb. What a stunning route marred only by the shitty 40' of slab you have to start out with. Steep awesome pockets lead to a very difficult move using a 1/3 pad intermediate to set up for a big throw. Not happening, I pulled through on the draw right into another crimpy sequence leading to a weird side pull. This is the set up for another move I almost did but not quite. Another 4 or 5 bolts of really fun thought provoking 13a that is easy to mess up leads to a kind-of-topout and the anchor. An eye opener for sure, I felt like I could possibly do the two hard moves and definetly wire the upper section. I will marinate on that experience until a later date.
We ran down the trail and raced back to camp to change, cleanup and grab chairs for Jalans performance at Nowoodstock. The man is truly a professional and dazzled the crowd with a too short set due to a short time slot. The music afterward was not anything I was interested in and the kids were tired so we drove back up canyon to our little villa in the woods. We built a fire and settled in for the evening, quite satisfied.
Sunday morning brought coffee, delicious bacon and eggs, plans for an FCR day and keys locked in the car. WTF? This unfortunately would uncontrollably alter our plans for the day. A friend from Cody drove a set of keys over late in the afternoon and saved our asses. Meg and Julia took most of the kiddos to the park to see Sundays music lineup and the boys and I marched up the Leigh Creek Trail. We ran into a group of 7 or 8 that had tackled a cool steep charlie .12a at the lower Psychoactive Wall. They had the draws hanging but no one was climbing or even waiting to climb it, so we asked if we could run on it, they were very accomodating. I asked to borrow a harness and Mikeys size 11 slippers for my size 9 feet, because all my gear was locked in the car. My feet flopped around but managed to stick well enough to get the onsight. I belayed Clint as he easily soared up the route too. Feeling satisfied clint and I ran off down the trail with little Sarah on my shoulders to find the Haunted Wall.
After checking out this diminutive but intriguing wall we marched back to the Godfather Boulder to find Mikey finishing up one of the best steep 5.10s in the canyon. Hell yes! we want you to leave the draws. I did it in my tennies and Clint ran a lap as well. Good enough for a f'ed up day we headed for town to find the women folk and tribe of kids. We caught the end of Jalans set, more (now very cheap) concession food and a couple very light beers. The road home is quick after a good weekend and before I knew it I was backing the trailer into the driveway.
We saw so many people we knew this weekend, non-climbers and climbers alike and it was great to catch up however briefly with each of them. I brought the kids gear with me this weekend and my daughter Eden was excited to climb. We set up some easy top ropes and let all the kids play, though not nearly as amazing as the 60' rope swing we set up last weekend, but fun nonetheless. Also James Litz has struck again sending one of Kev's new projects at the Superratic. F'ed in the A, right of Pick Pocket is apparantly 14b, the first of the grade in the Canyon. Good onya!