Just because I forgot to mention it in the last post, check out the photos in the gallery!
On Sunday morning, Mark woke up groaning. He put a pillow over his head and went back to sleep. Turns out he’d had a lot too much beer the night before. Eventually, we got up, made the coffee, packed the gear, and headed out for a day of climbing on the Dark Side.
Come to the Dark Side. We have Cookies.
Lumina (5.9) – Ann hopped on the lead of this one first thing, but found pretty quickly that the 5.8 rating in the guidebook was quite the sandbag. She decided to let somebody taller and more reckless finish the lead after several valiant attempts at the crux sequence. We all took a turn on this one, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the slabby section at the top, the cruxes were tricky and I took a fall on my way up.
Fragile (5.10c) – Despite my grumbling and worry, Dylan convinced Mark to lead up this one. I remembered a couple of guys having a h*ll of a time on this climb the last time we were there, and I was worried about another sandbag. But Mark dispatched the climb with absolutely no problems, and in fact had a ball on it. This climb went up the left side of a detached pillar in the middle of the wall, and lended itself nicely to lots of great photos.
Porkus Procurement (5.10d) – This was one of my favorite climbs the last time we were in the area, and climbing it again on Sunday was not a disappointment. Once I get my confidence built up, I’m going to come back and lead this one. It starts with an easy ramp up to a thin vertical face, and then it’s all happy crimping on sharp but extremely solid black limestone. Beautiful.
Enchanted Porkfist (5.11a) – By late in the afternoon, there were only a few hard climbs left in our little area that we hadn’t tried, and this was one of them. Mark (aka The Rope Gun) shot off on this lead, and enjoyed the climb. He actually had his first real lead fall in over a year on the third bolt, and was proud of himself for climbing to failure on the sharp end. I climbed this on top rope later and really really enjoyed it. I think it might just be my all-time favorite 5.11.
While Mark and I were enjoying Enchanted on TR, Dylan worked Punjabi (5.11a/b) on a fine lead. He worked hard for that climb, and took several impressive whippers from the top bolt without quite being able to clip the anchors.
As we packed up for the day, thunder started rolling in, closer this time. Rain fell for a while and stopped, and we hiked out. I tried to take a shot of lightening from the parking lot, but it just didn’t come out, so I made my own.
Another evening back at the Ranch, and another evening of campfires, card games and hanging out with friends.