We spent Saturday by revisiting Chaos Wall and neighboring Serenity Point. These are nice spots for groups like this, as there are routes across a huge range of difficulty. We kicked things off on Lithuanian Princess (5.10a), which just gets more fun every time you climb it. Ana managed to take what I think was her first pretty long outdoor lead fall off of it.
We followed up with Spider Monkey (5.11b) again. Sam redpointed it on the first go. I didn't quite onsight last time we tried it (pulled the crux then realized I didn't have any quickdraws!), and I blew it pulling around the roof this time. By the second attempt later in the day I was a bit too tired to pull it off. This one is still frustratingly unsent.
|Leo in the zone at MFRP|
I fell on Die with a blessing (5.10d) last fall, but this year managed to send it without any trouble on top rope. It may be 5.10d, but it's much more technical than your average RRG route, with lots of tiny footholds and long moves off of small underclings.
We all climbed Dyslexics Untie! (5.7), a fun little romp up the wall.
Around the corner at Serenity Point, Sam climbed a few harder routes with teammates while Ana and I were finishing up at Chaos. Right at the end of the day we got on Dancing Queen (5.10b) and it completely kicked my butt. I chickened out at the 2nd bolt and decided to stick clip my way to the top. Kind of a typical RRG slab, with thin crimps and small edges for feet. The route was a bit slick with condensation and wasn't chalked up and felt silly hard for the grade. I'd love to come back on a dry day and see if it's anywhere near as miserable as it was.
A thunderstorm struck was I was nearing the top, which was our cute to pack it in and hike out. The drive to dinner was a bit of an ordeal with pouring rain and a downed tree in the road that needed to be cleared away.
Sunday, we went to Drive By again. Sam took the first crack at Whip Stocking (5.11a). We'd wanted to get this one back in March, but weather conspired against us. It was worth the wait. An incredibly fun 80 feet of overhung climbing on great holds with a pair of sit down rests to break it up made it very doable. Sam made the chains but didn't send it cleanly, getting a bit psyched out by the somewhat long runs between bolts, especially for someone his height. For once I climbed better than him and got my 5.11 onsight (kid beta is not beta!) for the weekend.
|Whip Stocking new camera selfie|
Sam and I followed up with Breakfast Burrito (5.10d). This is a RRG five star classic that deserves all its stars. The fantastic climbing up to an alcove with a sit down rest would be worth doing on its own, but from here you make one of the best single moves in the RRG. In order to make the next clip, you have to lean out over the abyss, grab a hold and swing back out onto the face of the climb, making a blind reach for a huge hold right of the next clip. Sam spent 15 minutes staring at the move before he got up the courage to go for it. When my turn came around, it was just as scary as I remembered. Last year I grabbed the wrong hold and took the big 20+ foot fall. This year I got the route without any trouble.
|Sam resting after successfully making THE MOVE on Breakfast Burrito|
Back by Whip Stocking, we all took turns on Deeper is Better (5.10b). At the end of a miserable rainy day earlier this year, the route felt very hard on top rope. This time leading it was all fun and games. Once you're past the slightly technical crux at the 2nd bolt, the route is a classic overhung 5.10 jug ladder.
I led Make a Wish (5.10b) to clean someone's draws off. A decent route with a few interesting moves, but nothing as memorable as the rest of the wall.
Finally, we went down to the deep end of the wall. Sam and some other kids took turns working on Easy Rider (5.13a), the sort of route I'll probably never even bother getting on. A hundred feet of overhung amphitheater climbing. He fell a few times, but by his second or third run up the wall was getting to the point where he'd clear the (kid) crux. It sure seemed like the route was doable for him. We'll be back for him to work on this a bit more...he really wants a 5.13.
|Waiting his turn on Easy Rider|
Sunday night was fun until the end. Ana had a tick. Leo had one (found in the morning). Ida spent 2 hours crying herself to sleep.
Monday, we revisited Left Flank. We warmed up on Face Up to That Crack, a particularly thoughtful 5.8 slab with a long runout that gets protected with a #1 and #2 cam (as close as we got to trad for the weekend). No hard moves, but the slightly damp rock without many chalk ticks and slabby falls made for slow, careful climbing.
Sam took off to go work on Wild, Yet Tasty (5.12a) with friends, leaving the rest of us to do our thing. Ana and I got on Hen-ry! (5.11b). I didn't have a good time. Slabby, technical climbing with decent feet but super small crimps. I chickened out and stick clipped my way to the penultimate bolt rather than taking lead falls on the slab. Glad I did, because I popped off 3 times at the crux, then took a big swinging fall leading to the chains and tweaked my ankle.
Ana made it look 10x better. She didn't quite get it clean, but no doubt she'd get it on the next go.
The clock struck noon and we packed it up and headed for home.
|On the hike back to the real world|