Friday, June 3, 2011

Bolted Cracks!?!?

We just returned from the first weekend family camping trip of the season. A familiar place to kick things off, Ten Sleep Canyon for some bolt-clippin' therapy was the ticket. The weather turned out to be perfect with 70's and 80's both days. I was psyched to get up to Dry Wall with my recently acquired 2011 Ten Sleep guide to check out an area that has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. Aaron Huey's color photos and route descriptions were spot on, despite the fact that little is known about the names of half the routes, grades and bolt counts are what I'm looking for.

I guess I have always enjoy the bolted cracks located at most areas throughout the canyon, and after a weekend of sampling these gems I'd have to say, Dry Wall has the lions share of quality bolted crack routes. Most climbers groan or even worse at the mention of such atrocities, but soft limestone and crack gear is typically a bad combination so I applaud the climbers brash enough to spit in the face of convention and equip these lines. Thank you, I had a blast climbing eleven pitches most of which were some or all crack style climbs.

I had been eyeing this 5.12 called Cheesy Livin which is a Matt Wendling route. He has quite the eye for a good line but tends to sandbag the grades, so I'm always a little wary. I finally realized toward the end of the day that what I was staring at was a crack climb of sorts, a hanging dihedral, the same kind of lines I had been stemming all day long. I went from being intimidated to feeling invited and got instantly psyched. I tried to study it and underestimated the sporty beginning missing a key pocket only to slump onto the first bolt. I pulled back on, executed the move and ended up climbing to the anchors like I was still onsighting. The climb was so good and engaging that I just gave it what I had and enjoyed the heck out of it. I got the intro sequence right the next go and sent it. I loved this route and would highly recommend it and most of the other crack lines at Dry Wall.

Speaking of the Dry Wall, I finished bolting and cleaning a route there this past week. It took three evenings over the past month. The route is located at the far left end of Drywall and it went in ground up. I wasn't sure how to get to the top to rap down, plus carrying an extra rope and all that bolting stuff when you're not sure where you're going is a little taxing for me. This will be another techy nightmare ascending 14 clips of generally vertical terrain with very few jugs and an ample amount of crimps. I wasn't really amped about it until I began cleaning and ticking it on the way down. That was when I realized just what I had created. As we like to say, "Its sooo very Tensleep". I don't think I am quite ready to tackle this beast yet, but soon enough I will be attempting to drag anyone who is willing to sample the cracks and viscous crimps this crag has to offer, out for a belay.

Media-wise no camera means not much in the way of Ten Sleep eye candy. However my little HD cam goes bouldering with me so here is something from Cody to chew on in the mean time. I had some old footage from a day last November at the Sphinx with Marc, Clint, Jason and myself. Marc had a good day this past week, snagging a couple FA's, one of which I managed to capture. I mixed the recent FA in with the footage from last Fall.

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