Well, Thursday night came and went, and Mark and I didn’t get ready to leave for Shelf. Camping in the desert in winter is fun – but night comes early. You have to bring friends or entertainment with you, or you end up going to bed at 6:30p. And we couldn’t seem to rustle up either one. So, we stayed home, slept in our warm bed, and then waited for the sun to come up on Saturday before heading north to local sport climbing at the Palace.
The sun was bright, and the river was very low. On our crossing, though, the rocks had a thin patina of ice that was sneaky and horrible. I slid down one boulder on my butt and landed, on my back, in the ice cold river!
We hiked up to the sunny side, the Poudre Face, and I started out the morning attempting to lead B.A.H. (5.9). Somewhere around the second bolt, Mark got cold and decided to wander over to get his t-shirt. When I looked down to see my belayer missing, I had a lovely little panic attack. Needless to say, I lowered off and Mark finished the lead. I climbed it twice on TR, hoping the laps would help me gain confidence enough to attempt a pink point, but by the end of the second, my hands were sore, my shoulders exhausted, and I had just found my final excuse for not leading on Saturday.
We both took a lap up Palace Guard (5.10b) while the TR was on it. Another very fun climb.
The sun set early in the evening, and our late arrival did not leave enough time to get much climbing in. On the way back to the car, Mark made it across the rocks without getting wet, and I plowed straight across the river – actually much less painful. Were two climbs worth the cold water, the panic attack, the drive and the hiking? Actually, yes.