Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Adventures on the Choss Heap

this weekend turned out fantastic. It's Tuesday night and I can barely move without wincing. What shall we imagine put me in such a state? Some motivated folks and folly. It's been raining frequently the last few weeks and such was the forecast for the Saturday previous. Knowing the rain probably wouldn't begin until late morning myself and my partners met up in the Gate Buttress parking lot at 5:45 am. This required waking myself up at 4:30 for the 50 minute drive. We quickly assessed our gear and scurried puffing up the hill to the Schoolroom Rappel area. We set our eyes on Bushwhack Crack, a solid 5.8 hand crack with a small tree growing directly out of the fissure midway. I had led this shakily a couple of years ago, however shoulder injuries had kept me down for a while and I was apprehensive. I tenderly stepped into the crack and began jamming. I rapidly started a rhythm and made my way to the top. Wow, it felt so good to clip the chains and know it all came together. I quickly rappelled down and partner 2 got on the rope. He was unfamiliar with crack climbing and after a few good attempts opted out. partner 3 tied in and was off. Despite his claims to the contrary he climbed quite gracefully and quickly reached the top and cleaned the gear for our leaving. Since it hadn't begun raining we looked to our left and saw a fine looking climb that was just right for partner 3 to lead. He dispatched the route thoroughly and was back on the ground in no time. As partner 2 tied in I started to take up the slack rope, as his belayer. It was obvious that the rope was stuck. After various shenanigans we ended up with partners 2&3 about halfway up the climb in the freshly started rain. Despite the opportunity for a mini epic they got everything sorted out efficiently and we retreated in the rain back to our cars. All in time to get a 9 am breakfast. To be continued in the next episode.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

The adventure sounds awesome, watching you walk through the house wincing just makes the story even better.