After warming up on Orange Crush, we wandered down the cliff to Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.
The rock at HCR is very high quality sandstone, not too different from the Corbin sandstone of the Red in terms of hardness, but the walls tend towards vertical rather than overhung and the rock seems to fractures into really nice edges. This route followed a line of nice crimps up a mostly vertical face. Fun, technical movement and the overall experience was a lot less desperate feeling than more overhung routes in the Red.
This one was a milestone: my first 5.11a onsight. I probably should have been getting on 5.11s last year, but always felt intimidated by the jump in numbers and the fact that even middling 5.10's in the Red can be a major test of endurance due to the angle of the rock. In 2017, I'm going to get comfortable at the south end of the grade and start throwing myself at the harder end from time to time.
Sam just missed out on a top rope redpoint. The moves required a bit too much reach.