The week flies by with endless perfect lattes and kitchen remodel stuff and I barely realize I'm working. Maybe I'm only resting, yes that's it, I'm resting in preparation for the weekend. The Tuesday and Thursday evening bouldering sessions come and go and I could care less, for my focus has narrowed to achieving some long sought after sport climbing goals.
The Thursday get together included plans for a rad dyno problem called Fuc%ing Death V5 which is quite a stunner, I had to tag along. DMiller has been trying this problem, and with a little tinkering with the already benign landing has made it even safer. I shot video hoping for a send but to no avail. I encouraged Clint away from this highly improbable for a shorter guy dyno, toward its crimpy and powerful brethren Life Wish V8. I knew this climb was his cup of tea and unfortunately put the camera down right before he sent it. Bravo Clinton!! Good on ya. We marched over to the Contact Boulder where more landing tinkering had revealed a better intro on slopers to 3-2-1 Bombtrack V4. With a bit of grunting I pulled through to connect and send the new problem at V5 or 6. Dan immediately dissected it adding different holds and two alternate endings. C'est La Vie. This is just one more boulder that for years had only a handful of problems and now has so many cleaned holds and options we can't count all the variants.
Kids, Food, Trailer, Wife, water - off to Tensleep. A dreary Friday reminiscent of any day in February had me wondering what the other side of the basin looked like. A quick call to Kev allayed my fears, as the weather was fine in the Canyon. I packed the drill bag the night before and planned another Friday Bolting Blitzkrieg with my sights set on a short steep roof left of Papa Knows Best .12d. We got a primo campsite near the river and tucked in the trees, set the trailer up, got everyone situated and I was off.
I didn't even get to the crag until after 6, but was excited to bump into Micah and Colby from Casper along with Doc Tom R from Lander who were packing up as I hurriedly unpacked my junk show. I stick clipped up and swung over, and was happy to find bomber juggy pockets so I slammed in an anchor and began cleaning and exploring the tiny roof. Ambitously but naively thinking I could start and finish in two hours, I began to realize daylight was fading and the secrets hadn't all been unlocked. Blast!! It would have to wait until tomorrow. Oh how obsession is a naughty mistress and the nights I've spent agonizing over an unfinished route are truly cruel. Marky D. caught up with us raving about another 5 star steak meal from the Tensleep Salon and we drank and told stories around the campfire.
Saturday brought perfect weather and an opportunity to get up to the crag early with Mark as he can't sit still long enough in the morning to wait for the cliff to go into the shade. Brilliant! I could finish the route before my kids and other climbers showed up. Things went as planned and the hordes of people that showed up that day was impressive. The new route which was to potentially be for my wife turned out to be a bit on the bouldery side with a cruxy but short V4 after interesting 5.9 flake climbing. More than she wanted to deal with, I flashed the 4 bolt route and we called it Mommas Mental Medication 5.12a. I watched Mark, Mikey and Meg flounder with the tough section and though I intially thought 5.11 something, I think .12a is about right. People love short 12a climbs so we shall see what happens.
My real goal for the day was Aaron/Alli/Gilly's new route Crown Prince Abdullah .12d. I wanted to check it out and hoped it would suit me. Lucky for me Micah was there and also hot to trot for this new addition to the crag, he hung his draws on it. I watched like a hawk gleaning as much minutia as I could knowing I might have a chance to flash it. I had already watched a handful of people try, redpoint or flash this route and knew about as much as I felt I needed though still apprehensive about the bouldery crux at the end. As luck would have it, I pooped out up high at the last crux wrestling with the tricky footwork and gave up unable to recover. It was a pretty good fight and after hanging for a minute and discussing options with Micah, I worked out the sequence and felt confident I could do it if I could get back up there again. After about two hours I warmed up again on Mommas Meds to get my draws off and went for it. I climbed the lower boulder problem quickly and only took one short rest then launched into the upper crux. Before I knew it I was clipping the chains and already planning which other routes of this grade range I might try next.
Here is a video of Micah on his best burn of the day on Crown Prince. Its not a redpoint but I sewed together the pieces eliminating rests and a fall from the upper crux.
After a fine feast, some beers around the fire and a kid puking incident you don't want to hear about, we all headed off to bed. I awoke the next morning to the sound of someone or something banging on the camper right under my head. I ran out half naked to find Mikeys kid Danny with a stick and a rock in hand and a big grin on his face. I shooed him away back to his campsite only to realize I promised to make coffee for the troops in the morning and they were already up. Damn! I forgot to fill the water jug the night before.
Meg wanted more time on the ultra-goodness that is Circus in the Wind .11b and I realized maybe Circus in my Pants .12d, its neighbor might submit with some effort, so off to the Circus Wall we headed. This particular 12+ had damaged my fragile feelings on both prior seasons and I wanted revenge. Same as previous sessions I put the draws on CITW and swung over to draw up CIMP and have a quick refresher. Now the Circus Wall has a different sun aspect being on the back side of the main cliff, so its sun/shade schedule is different. It goes into the sun at around 3 o'clock, so morning is the best time to be there. We warmed up then prepped the climbs we wanted to do and I waited for my turn. It was close with the sun only a few feet away from the wall I knew I would only have one shot. Fortunately things went well and I fought through to clip the chains. I now only have one hard climb over there left to do and a handful of easier ones and I'm done with that corridor. Woohoo!! Progress!!
Our expeditiousness today put us at the TS Saloon salivating over the pizza menu only to find out we were too early. They hadn't even fired up the pizza oven yet. Shit! That place is expensive when I have to order individual meals for each of us, a pizza is much more cost effective and filling.
Next weekend is the Nowoodstock fest and hopefully we will have many Cody friends joining us for climbing and live bluegrass and dancing. Hope to see you there.