My last post more or less described the events and experiences of the summer's first road trip. In case you missed it a quick recap can be found in the following photos. Enjoy . . .
One night spent at a rest stop, one busted tire, and nearly 30 hours of driving finally reviles the first road sign stating "Yosemite"
A sleepy Captain
The Bronco made it! Washington Column dominates the skyline
Tate on one of the final pitches of "The Prow"
The view on the third morning looking toward our starting point
The final rays of the day striking Half Dome's North Face
Zion and the Streaked Wall . . . lifetime climbing goal
The beautiful sport climbs of Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park, UT
Since the "big" trip I'd been focusing primarily on getting ready to be married . . . however, I did manage to sneak out for a generous handful of adventures. These included many trips into Gallatin Canyon to work The Fugitive. One notable trip was with a good buddy, Lawrence, who nearly sent in one of the most fluid styles I've seen anywhere.
He heartbreakingly fell only a few feet higher after waling both cruxes . . . next time buddy!
The Sunlight Basin Region near the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone got a new two pitch route when my partner in crime Loren (see his blog http://yerbaman.blogspot.com/2011/08/bugaboos.html) and I headed that direction for some summer fun. We were returning for a second go at an established line called Salsa Verde which we had epically failed on weeks earlier. However, with a Bozeman alpine start and a bit of intimidation from the weather forecast we found ourselves staring at a nice looking unclimed crack system in a nearby drainage. The route can be easily accessed from above from the Sunlight Creek Bridge parking area. The climb is on the upstream side of the bridge. If anyone is interested in the lines exact location give me a shout . . . it awaits a second ascent!
After nearly two hours of hanging, scrubbing, and anchor equipment we finally were able to climb two pitches of wide cracks separated by a dirty but comfortable ledge. Loren had taken the cleaning duties on the first pitch and thus sent his with no problem. This pitch offered extremely varied climbing with skills required from almost every page in the book. I took the lead on the second pitch rewarding our efforts with a long sustained slightly overhanging hand a fist crack.
Looking at Cameltoe from across the river. Dotted line indicates location of first pitch is obscured by the large tree.
Loren beginning to rappel over the first pitch for the route
Loren sending the offwidth crux pod near the bottom of the first pitch
Myself high on the second pitch
The condition of the jug line after inspection upon completing the route. Watch your ropes!
Finally, if all this wasn't enough to satisfy the endless need to climb one more pitch, my wonderful fiance turned her head one last time as I sneaked off to Index, WA with two of my best friends for several days. We had originally planned a small expedition into the Cirque of the Towers, WY. The record setting snow pack had other ideas, and 4 feet of snow at he trail head blocked our entry. Thus, we shifted gears and headed toward a new area for all us. Index, WA home of rain, drizzle, vagrants, mist, meth addicts, some more rain, incredible rock which is usually wet from the rain, trains, a little more rain, rocket dogs, Ricco's Pizza, and the Koren BBQ . . . Despite the weather's refusal to cooperate, we were still able to get in multiple pitches each day as well as one longer route. Check out obviously lower town wall if your there, but don't miss Japanese Gardens, Godzilla, Sagittarius, Iron Horse, and Thin Slice. If your up at the Upper Town Wall make sure to walk to your left and get on Dana's Arch! Also, the local Korean-American couple who runs the general store serves up an incredible deal on their home made Korean BBQ. $4 for more food than you can eat, plus if your really nice it might even come with a free corndog! If camping in the area long term, the large pullout with the "Honey Bucket" has great riverside camping. Any of the sites up the road from the said area are on private property. The local sheriff was patrolling the area while we were there and removing trespassers.
Top Rope tough guying it on Dana's Arch (5.11)
B-Rad on Steel Monkey, this pitch stays dry even while it is actively raining (5.12)
Todd making some tech nasty moves off the belay on Davis-Holland to Lovin' Arms (5.11 a/b)
Myself venturing into the crux on Davis-Holland to Lovin' Arms
The sleepy town of Index
B-Rad finishing the crux pitch of DH-LA
Greg making quick work of the final pith of DH-LA
Finally, the day of the wedding came and passed with ever so much joy! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who attended, helped, hung lights, put on the catering, played the music, laughed, cried, drank! It was a blast . . . to all of you who are considering it. If she's the right one for ya' then there shouldn't be ANYTHING holding you back. Sadly, I don't have any pictures to share due the the current format of the one's we have in our possession. However, facebook is a plentiful source as well as our photographer's Flikr account.
Last but not least, Marge and I went on a splendid "mini-moon" to the great state of Wyoming, visiting two of the regions premier climbing destinations. Cody and Tensleep . . . We spent our first day lounging around the Antelope Boulder with Marge coming extremely close to sending the Tuk while I got heartbreakingly close to Meat Hooks. However, the day was not all disappointment. The landing to Sir Hugeness has recently been Mworked and is much more attemptable. Sent after a few goes. We then went up to the Sheep Camp area and did more looking the climbing. The following day we spent most of our time exploring the Maze area with considerable time working on a really neat "V3" on the Heuco Simulator boulder.
Off to the land of buttery sickness . . . and into a style of climbing far from anything I've done before! I just keep telling myself Tensleep is a lot like calculus, just because it doesn't come easy doesn't mean you have to hate it. We were able to get on a few of the classics with my personal highlight being spending some quality relaxation time with my beautiful new bride.
Marge on "The Tuk", V3
Cody night rodeo
Marge on a The Watchtower, a V2 arete on the Fort Boulder
Great sloper problem, Friender Bender, on the Rhombus Boulder (V3)
Marge Crucifying the Serpent on the Serpent Boulder, (V1)
"That was really only V2?" While Lhotse stares at ants in the background
"Dad, look I can hit myself in the head with a stick"