Imagine that, another weekend has passed, and it’s time to talk about climbing!
This was the first weekend Colleen and I have actually been able to get down to Jackson for the entire weekend. It was nice and warm and sunny, etc. It was just about perfect for a good climbing weekend. A lil’ warm, but good times, nonetheless. We headed down Friday after work, stopped for a decent dinner on the way down, then setup camp around 9:30. We ended up taking off a lil’ later then we hoped because neither of us was really packed for leaving at 5.
James and Bill met us down there Saturday at aroun 9. We were already on the rock when they arrived. We started on an easy 5.7 (Jimmy’s Chicken Shack). Both Colleen and I led it for warmup. Then I moved on and setup a top rope on the new 5.9 next to it. This route only had 4 bolts on the route, not including the anchors (Jimmy’s, which is the same height, and easier, has 6). Both the beginning and the end were quite runout (large distance between the bolts, so there’s little protection if you fall). As James put it, it was ballsy. What really was great about the route, was the guy that bolted it (Dave), was climbing with us. Dave’s put up a ton of routes throughout Jackson. He’s a “local” around the area because of the amount of time he’s there. Being retired really helps that for him too, since he arrived on Thursday, and was staying later then Colleen and I were. I then top roped the 5.10b (Venom) next to the 5.9. To redpoint (lead a climb clean on the 2nd or more try up) Venom is one of my goals of the summer.
We then moved on the Express Checkout (10a) which I onsited (lead it clean the first time up). After that I cleaned (removed the gear from a route) Wishbone (11 something). Wishbone was a little above my ability in a few spots. I wasn’t a fan of it. James and Bill then went on to do some trad climbing. Needless to say, I wasn’t about to do any of that, but I did do the dihedral (just an example) that was part of the trad route called Chit Chat.
James and Bill headed out that night, but Colleen and I stayed the night to put in some climbing Sunday. She didn’t want to stay very long, so that we could do some stuff later in the day. So, I decided we should go to the other side of the gorge, and hit up some easier routes that I had done before. Once again Colleen only led one route, because she gets scared so easily. That’s ok though, because I feel more than comfortable leading. She led a very short and easy 5.8, and that was it. I then led a slabby 5.8 and setup top rope for Colleen. Mmm, I love the slab. I then lead (very poorly) another 5.8. It was my first outdoor fall, and thankfully Colleen had it under control. I fell going to the second bolt, and what really made it bad was that I fell while I was pretty much at the second bolt. This means, when I fell, I fell the twice the distance between the first and second bolt, plus whatever the distance the rope stretches. What makes this fall even more scarier, is that you can easily crater (hit the ground) if you fall going to the second bolt, and the ground where you’d fall has a large boulder waiting for you. Like I said, Colleen had it under control though, so I was fine minus a little burn on my left boob where it rubbed against the rock as I fell.
And then we headed back to camp, packed up the tent, and headed home.
Hopefully we’ll get the film developed sometime before the turn of the century, and I’ll post them here.
**Update** Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I somehow got poison ivy on my face, ear, forehead, etc. Always fun. Thankfully it’s not nearly as bad as I’ve had, otherwise, I’d be going insane right now.