Busy, busy work week, so my blogging is going to be limited… but can’t go totally without, since it is the height of climbing season.
I spent last Saturday out at Exit 32 with a great group of friends… we climbed at World Wall, which mostly our large party had to ourselves, with a couple of visits from other climbers. Warmed up on Reptiles and Amphetamines, 5.9, one of my favorite climbs (which apparently is not considered a warm up by everybody… including some of my climbing partners who climb MUCH harder than I do… made me feel good!) and then got in a few topropes on Son of Jesus (10c), a route that I have got to lead one of these gutsy weekends. The far left side of the wall is usually running with water when I’m out there… it was unusually dry this trip, and Colin had a date with the 10d down there, so Don and Colin and I headed for that part of the crag. They said they were going to do the “10b” (I thought) so I tagged along and hopped on the toprope after Colin lead it. The route was SUPER incredibly fun… there are supposedly two crux moves on the route… the lower crux didn’t give me any trouble; the upper crux was a bit of a thinker, and required trusting a toe-hook in a moderate sized pocket… not super secure for me, in my all-around shoes. But, the toprope was fantastically fun, and after watching Don lead the route, thought… I’d regret not giving it a shot after my toprope onsight. I tied in, and the guys excitedly cheered me up the route… at that nasty toe-in I did have to take once to shake out since I was pretty pumped for the rather committing move… but then after a brief rest pulled the move and finished up the lead. I was happy with it, despite the take … 10b is a tough lead for me, and I was proud of myself for giving it a go. Colin kept his date with the 10d and did fantastically on it.
When we got back to the main party, Alex asked what we’d done and I said, “the 10b over there, it was great.” Alex replied, “There’s no 10b over there, you did either a 10c or a 10d.” I argued with him a bit then realized I hadn’t looked at the guidebook… sure enough, the route was a 10c. When Colin said he was going to do the “10b” he really said “10d,” I just misheard him. So, I accidentally lead my first 10c, and then felt even better about it, since I KNOW I can go back and get it the next time.
I hoped to keep my own date with the 10a (?) on the far left of Black Stone Wall, but there was a party on it on our way out, so that will have to wait. All in all, it was a great day at “the gym.”
This weekend… planning my first trip up to Mazama. It will be an adventure… I don’t have a copy of Burdo’s beta guidebook, but I did hit up the fantastic folks at North Cascades Mountain Guides and a few other friends for some beta. Still haven’t figured out where to camp/etc, so hopefully will have time to do a little bit more research before setting out on Friday. Please comment if you have tips or thoughts on Mazama… depending on weather, we’ll probably do one of the long 9s on Goat Wall on Saturday, then trad crag on Sunday.
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