As we all know, life can "get in the way" of true happiness. I invite you to follow my posts as I try to reconnect with nature as often as life allows. Then,
if so inspired, pick up a paddle or pack and join me on an adventure that makes everything else fade away. -

Monday, November 11, 2013

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Climbing Trip

Last climbing trip of 2013.  I haven't been climbing my strongest since injuring my finger and I wanted to feel like I accomplished something rather than just climbing a bunch of easy routes.  Mission accomplished!

We arrived Friday around 2pm and Greg and I headed up to the North 40 to tackle one of the new 5.8s put up before 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.  I got on Dos Hermanos on lead after hearing it was hard for its grade.  I was determined for an onsight though, and despite it being a pumpy warm up I made it to the top clean.  Greg topped it clean and we headed to the Land Beyond to catch up with everyone else.  They were finishing their warm up routes so we knocked out a 5.9 before joining them on some 5.10b's.  I typically have avoided 10's at the ranch, instead choosing to climb the easier grade routes I have not been on.  I really enjoyed climbing these 10's, even if they were a little soft.  It made me realize that I need to start taking a serious look at the 10's down there as several of them are within my range...even on lead.  Besides, I've nearly climbed all the 9's and lower!

Dos Hermanos (5.8) - LYo Sista (5.9) - LPanty Moth Invasion (5.10b) | Sendtember (5.10b)

After a hearty breakfast at the Ozark Cafe myself, Bob, and Greg warmed up on a 5.8+ called Playing Hooky.  I had climbed it before but was forced off route because the rock was so wet.  This time I was able to get it clean on lead.  Bob and I both wanted to work on our trad do we got on The Poison Ivy route in the Kindergarten Boulder.  We both led it on gear and Greg topped it.  Since there were bolted anchors we were also able to top Mossy Revelations next to it.  This route definitely deserves it's R rating as the lichen on it makes it very slick and there is virtually no protection down low.  As we were finishing up Andy, John, and Andreas walked by heading South.  We followed shortly after and I took on my first of two routes that had been haunting me, The Controversy.

The start of this route is steeply overhung but the crux is between bolts 2 & 3.  I would say this is one of those routes that is as difficult as some of the newer 10's on the ranch.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and got on lead.  The first two bolts were easy but then I ran into the crux.  It gets thin above the second bolt and I didn't remember the beta.  After coming back down to rest on a lower ledge I went for it again.  My hand cramped and I was off, pulling Greg off the ground.  I fell about 8ft and it was great!  Exactly what I needed!!  Unfortunately I was too pumped out to continue so Bob took over and put up a top rope, though he found a less direct route through the crux.  I stubbornly wanted to go right over the roof.  Greg got on top rope and found the crimpy side pull needed.  With this beta I top roped it clean.  Next time it's going down on lead!

We all headed over to the East side and hit the Roman Wall.  Andy, Andreas and Bob got on a 75ft 5.10c.  A bit much for me.  I was worn out so Greg and I climbed some easy stuff that he could lead.  It was great tackling The Controverys but I'm still trying to climb ALL the routes I can!

Playing Hooky (5.8+) - LThe Poison Ivy Route (5.7) - LMossy Revelations (5.9) | The Controversy (5.9) | Acree Prime (5.7) | Nieta (5.8) | Nieto (5.7)

We all headed up to the North 40 with our eye on the ever popular circus wall.  After a quick warm up I got on my other project, Season of the Storm.  This 5.10a is a one move wonder with a big reach under a roof.  The trick is to get your left foot into a pocket and smear your right foot while grasping a thin under cling and then throw for the ledge under the roof.  The problem is the balance is tricky.  I wasn't feeling it so I made a quick adjustment.  I lowered my left foot to be under my center of gravity and flagged with my right foot.  By doing this my reach would be much less, but I felt more stable.  I was taking a risk but relied on my reach and threw for the roof...and stuck it!  A lot of people won't be able to make this move without their feet higher, but it worked for me and I flashed the route!  I'd like to lead this one day but I'll have to get a little more comfortable on lead first.

Next up was Bob's project.  He wanted to climb Hackberry Crack after warming up on Treebeard.  After leading Treebeard I topped it.  This was my first time climbing a crack and it was awesome!  It was a difficult climb involving new skills I haven't developed.  A 5.7 for sure, but more difficult than a 5.7 face climb.  The route starts out with hand jambs and smearing but quickly gains more easy footing with lots of small ledges and even a few small hand holds.  Next up I belayed Bob on Hackberry Crack.  He made it to the top after a bit of a struggle at the crux and one fall higher up.  We were both glad that the gear held!  I now need to practice my hand jambs because I really want to keep working on my crack climbing skills!

Spam (5.7) | Season of the Storm (5.10a) | Treebeard (5.7)

[A = Attempted | L = Lead | # = Note]