Monday, September 12, 2011

Tired Now

My last post alluded to the number 20. I didn't really define it though it has been a goal of mine this year. In 2010 I equipped eleven new sport routes and managed to climb nine of them, all were located at the new crag in Ten Sleep called Downtown. I put in my first sport climb in 1994 in Cody and have managed to bolt at least one line each year since with the most in one season being nine. 2010 was very productive and I hoped to be able to eclipse that number this year. After hitting eleven I set a goal of twenty and though I just finished number twenty there is one route along the way that isn't finished yet.

The trip to Cayman Brac early in the year got things rolling with three routes. Nameology 10c, Hindenbergs Harmonica 12b, and Cayman Nights 12c all turned out great. When I got home I realized that on sunny Winter/Spring days the granite in the lower canyon caught enough sun to afford comfortable development of some warmup routes. I slowly worked my way through three more new lines one of which is two short pitches separated by a ledge. The Single Malt Wall now has LaPhroaig 11a, Glenmorangie 10b, The Angels Share 12d and The Bowmore 10c. With seven pitches under my belt before the snow melted in Ten Sleep I was fired up.

The upper canyon in Tensleep is usually too cold or snowy in the Spring and May and June can even be somewhat in-climate. I picked a long line in the lower part of the canyon to equip at Drywall. It turned out quite well but I only tried it once before it got too hot and I haven't been back to finish it off yet. A line in Cody called out and having just finished going ground up at the Drywall, I set off on another ground up push on the harder and more secure granite (a ripped RB and 15 foot aid fall made me rethink aiding the soft Dolomite). Eight and nine were finished though neither has been redpointed yet.

My attention focused back on Downtown and I decided I needed to finish equipping the shallow cave like feature at the left side of this area we had dubbed the John Henry Grotto. I added Easy Wind, Shagadelic, Shake and Bake and extended Charlies route Shaggy's Marijuana Flag. These routes are all 5.13's, I was able to climb only Shagadelic 13a and the Shaggy extension 12?, the others are beyond my ability right now. Ten through thirteen done.

After a break of a couple weeks I installed Electric Jesus on the far left side of the cave. The only line left to finish there goes up just to the right of EJ and should continue out the second tier roof. I bolted half of it but I'm not sure the lower half goes so I'm leaving it for someone with the proper vision to complete it. Number fourteen, Electric Jesus on the other hand turned out brilliantly, short steep and powerful with the hardest bit at the end. I think I can send it though I will need top fitness and a little luck. I thought it would be 12+, but I realize now after a few attempts, its probably more like 5.13b or c.

The injury sidelined climbing for a while but I continued bolting. Fifteen, Sixteen and Seventeen at Downtown went in between the Coolsville and John Henry walls. These long lines produced excellent 5.12's and as my abs healed I was able to tick off Red Neck Super hero 12c, Robot Steamroller 12b, and Super 8 12a. Line eighteen back in Cody on the granite has been started but isn't finished yet. Its another ground up affair and requires new drill bits before I can finish it. The Chill Arete 11c, was a quickie and used some existing anchors. Its a cryptic little granite beast that I hope to send again with improved style and maybe some better beta.

Number twenty went in last week at the French Cattle Ranch in Ten Sleep. I have been staring at this line since my first visit there in 2000 before there were any bolts. It climbs the left side of the Matrix pillar and though its short (only six clips) its pretty hard. It climbs great stone and is steeper than it looks. It seemed reasonable my first attempt, falling my way up the thing learning its secrets. It felt much harder on my second attempt, gunning for a redpoint. I squeaked the send on the third try and though it is short it packed quite a punch. I called it I Know Kung Fu and slash graded it at 12c/d. I tried to compare it to other climbs nearby that I have done. It felt slightly harder than the sandbagged Hot Dog 12b and Kielbasa 12c yet easier than Esplanada 12d. I made a placard for the base of the climb since a new guidebook may not be around for several years and Aaron Hueys lines are drawn in the wrong place for the other routes on the pillar. I liked this line a lot though I think it will torture future ascentionists because it is tricky, reachy and has a few small holds.

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