Ryan says that he “might” do a trip report.  I say, “HA!”  However, to keep things lively is anyone interested in making a small wager over whether or not this will actually occur?  Of course, this prospect might cause some of you folks out there to try and collude with Ryan.  Just for your information, he does not like sleeping on the cold hard dirt so for his sake, don’t tempt him.  Perhaps, if there is enough interest we’ll have to break it down to when he will make trip report.

As I type this we are in the back of the Taco after another beautiful day of climbing in Indian Creek.  You really can’t beat the weather here, consistently sunny and between 60-70 degrees during the day.  Nights vary with some getting pretty darn cold, but we are in a current warmer spell so it is really quite pleasant.  (I fear though the warmer nights might precede some rain, last we checked it was supposed to rain the day after we leave IC, UT, but we ran into some folks with a more current forecast calling for 60% chance of rain on Saturday, our last day of climbing here.)

We spent the day at the Supercrack Buttress which is “the popular” place to hang out and climb.  By that I mean that there is a good concentration of fun routes that span the spectrum of difficulty.  It also has one of the most casual approaches here, which is a nice relief sometimes.  Our last climb day was spent at Scarface Buttress so that Ryan could work its namesake route so today was mine to work one a route of my own.  Called the 3am Crack, you might call me crazy for wanting to work the route because it has 2 large sections of the dreaded #3 Camelot (!).  However, the crack tends towards being tight 3s and is thus manageable that way but it still results in the increased growth of the 6th knuckle on the back of both of my hands.  Sadly, the lead was not the prettiest in the world.  #3s freak me out.  I did get the rope up (yeah!) but with multiple hangs on my gear (boo!).  Ryan climbed it, did great and we left the rope up so I could try it again on TR (Top Rope, making the climb less stressful for me because the falling factor is removed and you can solely concentrate on the movement of the climb).  From the TR after the lead, I learned two things:  1.  take your rests whenever you can get them on long routes, and 2. especially when climbing in a consistent #3 crack, I need to place my gear at my waste, otherwise I more often than not put the gear in the way of my progress up.  If I place it at my waste, my hands/arms are already beyond that point and unconstrained in where they can go.  In general, number 2 is something that should be done no matter what size route you are climbing because contrary to the motivation to have the rope as far above you as possible, in reality, when you place gear above your head you increase the size of your fall and if you are tired, it is harder to clip the rope as you are pulling up that much more weight in a less ideal position.  (Think of lifting something from the ground to your waste and then from your waste to above your head, it is sort of like that.)  Happily I was able to cleanly climb the route the second time (meaning no hangs)!

All in all a good day.

IC, UT, is going to be another hard place to leave.  It is beautiful here and the climbing is aesthetic and challenging.  On the other hand, it is tiring and we are ready to give our feet and hands a rest from crack climbing.  Next on the agenda is Hueco Tanks State Park just outside of El Paso, TX, for some of the US’s best bouldering.  We bought the guidebook the last time we were in town and the climbing looks great!  We hear that El Paso is nothing to get excited about but our friend Paul’s dad lives there so maybe we’ll get a chance to stop by and say, “Hi,” to him.  We will though be avoiding the Adult Drive-In movie theatre.  You read that right and my thoughts are, “Eeewww,” “Gross,” “Ya gotta be kiddin’ me,” and all-in-all, “No way Jose.”  Yikes!

After Hueco, we are meeting up with some folks in Arkansas to try the climbing there.   It looks like we won’t be eating turkey this Thanksgiving and not even Tofurkey.  I guess we’ll just have to wait for Christmas to roll around to get some of the good grub (unless of course *cough, cough* Mom *cough* would want to freeze some of the good bird and yams…hint, hint).  Then we’ll be back on the eastern side of The Mississippi for the rest of our trip.  Yee-haw!

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