Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting out and on a rope. Finally!

After several months of flux, winter blahs, job changes, etc., a real climbing day materialized. I rallied the troops for a blast over to Tensleep for a wintery visit to the Octagon.

A fresh blanket of 8 to 10 inches had fallen making the hike in more interesting to say the least.

The river crossing is always a heads up affair but on slippery logs and planks covered with snow, even more so.

After crawling up the braided hand line we were rewarded with our first peek at the cave.

I have been here a dozen times over the the past year in every season and its always climbable. Its perfectly situated so it catches sun all day in the winter and shade throughout the warmer months.

We hopped on The Dean Of Mean .12d as our warm up. This was a climb I did last season after what seemed like way too many tries. I thought I would do it on my second go like so many of the steep and pumpy climbs in this cave but after several visits and many attempts I was still failing at the top after a lengthy rest. Its so juggy and flows really well and really is one of the easier climbs in the cave so I was psyched to dispatch it today as a warmup and get on with the next step, Fight of the Night .13a.

Starting out on FOTN
Thanks Marc for snapping these pics
A nearly horizontal girdle traverse brings you out of the back of the cave to join Dean of Mean.
This has been my high point for several tries. From here there is only about 8 more feet to the rest, then the redpoint crux of Dean of Mean.

Marc was with me last fall on a visit and was quite taken with Baby Face Assassin, a short .13a.
This climb is more Tensleep-ish than anything else in this cave. It comes up the back wall at a consistent 15 or 20 degree overhang and has small and medium sized crimps the whole way. Its kind of bouldery and suits Marcs style and strengths well, plus its super fun! It also has a 60+ foot extension called Soul Assassin that goes out the horizontal roof and up the headwall at .14b.

Marc starting up BFA
Approaching the crux.

All in all a great day, though no one really had much sending success. Its still early in the season and on the way home, we all talked of returning in a few weeks for more full body thrashing after some more gym training. Can't wait!!