There were TONS of AMAZING pics from the day. I’ve put them all up in the gallery.
What a great day! For Doug and Liz’s second trip to Vedauwoo, we decided to take them out to Poland Hill to enjoy some sweet, moderate crack climbs that are easily top roped. I started the day with a long, slow, lead of Kim (5.6). I still took a hang in the tricky vertical section, and I still sewed the thing up, but I made it to the top without too much whining or groveling, what a great climb!
Mark pulled the rope and pink-pointed it, and then Doug and Liz both took their turns. Things started to get complicated after this, as the wind began to really pick up, and we had to decide what to climb next. We picked Sugar Cracks (5.7) as D&L had such a nice, fun time on Kim, we figured they’d be ready for the next step up. Plus it was out of the wind.
Mark belayed D&L up from above, and then TJ, Thomas and Nathan all arrived, so we set a top rope, and let them enjoy the climb for the afternoon. Which they did! TJ climbed all the way to the top, despite having never jammed a crack before in his life, and Nathan climbed the thing twice!
Doug wanted to get a rope on Fantasia (5.9 ow) before they took off for the day. So Mark and I convinced him to lead up Southwest Friction (5.4) to get another rope up on top of the formation. This climb, with only two bolts in well over 60ft of climbing, is an exciting lead in the best of conditions. But on Saturday afternoon, when Doug took off, the wind was howling. It was hard for me to stay standing, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Doug, 25ft out above the top bolt, on top of the formation. The wind was blowing so hard, it started whipping plumes of chalk out of his bag. It was crazy.
This gave Mark and I a quick chance to enjoy the slab on TR, and then Mark hung the rope on Fantasia. Wow.
Doug started up this one first, with only a little bit of beta, and having never seen anybody struggle in the crack before. Unfortunately for all of our egos, he wizzed up the thing without much problem. It was shocking to watch. He toed into the tiny-est crystals, and face climbed the crux (goes at 5.11+ that way), and then face climbed most of the rest of it. Mark kept yelling “Get in the crack!!!” and Doug just kept ignoring him. Liz seemed to get a big kick out of this.
I took a try at this one again, hoping for a better outcome than the last time I tried. I too found a few small crystals high on the left face, and then inched my way up and threw the crux for the first time in over a year. TJ was yelling at me to “Get angry! Tell that punk-ass bi-atch of a crack who’s it’s mommy!!”
And that was me up on the crack, yelling into the rock “Punk-ass crack!! I’m your mommy!!”
I think it helped.
Doug and Liz had to get home to return the puppy Curry to her actual Mom, so we packed up and took off after this. Mark hung around and belayed Nathan on Fantasia, and then cleaned the climb. The guys stuck around for another hour or two, bouldering on rough, unclimbed boulders and enjoying the Ved evening. Then they all headed back to the Fort for big tacos and burritos on their last night in Old Town.