Kate at Play: Girl’s Day in Vedauwoo

May 14, 2007 at 7:13 pm

My few photos from the weekend are in the gallery.

So Mark is on the other side of the planet for the weekend. I decided that I wanted to get out for some climbing regardless, so Ann and I planned a Girl’s Day of Climbing in Vedauwoo for last Saturday. We had a great group come out for the day, Rachel, Kate M, Becca, Vicki and of course Ann and I packed up the racks and ropes and ran to the rocks for the day.

Our original plan was to climb on Poland Hill, but when we arrived at the parking lot at 9:30a, there were already 5 or 6 other cars, and two more climbers showed up within minutes. We decided that this was too big of a crowd for the three good climbs on that formation, and took off for Plumb Line Crag instead.

This turned out to be a nice change of plans. There were only a couple other people in the area through the day, and they were all interested in a hard 5.9+ crack that we waited until the end of the day for.

Ann started out the day by hopping on a lead of Amaranth (5.7). She did so great! Her pro was solid, and she actually pulled a layback and some creepy difficult moves on lead! Her anchor was creative, and worked pretty well as a toprope anchor, though we did decide to have everybody rappel off to save Rachel’s new rope the wear and tear.

Rachel seconded and cleaned the climb without problem, and then belayed Ann over to set a top rope on Barley (5.6?). I thought this was a 5.8 up until just now. Hmm. Ann built another great anchor, and set a directional in the fat crack using my #6 camalot. I’ll come back to the significance of this later.

While Ann was leading and Rachel was cleaning, the rest of the girls were having fun making their first sets of tape gloves. Then they all took turns working Amaranth. None of the other three girls had ever rappelled before, so Rachel sat on top of the anchor and explained how to go static to the anchor, untie and throw down the rope, and then set up and go on rappel for all three girls. And she did great! Kate, Becca and Vicki all seemed to enjoy the adventure of rappelling down for the first time.

Then we all started to work on the fat crack next door. And, wouldn’t you know it, the last person to tackle that crack accidentally kicked the big cam 90-degrees and it fell, (tink, tink tink!) deep down inside that dark, wide crack. Ann climbed the route last, with a headlamp, and did eventually get a view of the cam, which she says is waaaay down there. There was no getting it out that afternoon. Stay tuned for next weekend, when Mark and I lay siege to Plumb Line Crag trying to get that big cam back!!

Ann and I worked together to clean these two climbs and keep each other on belay. After some hilarous antics of trying to get on a low rappel over the edge of a lip just a few feet above a huge ledge, we made it back to the ground with a top rope on Plumb Line.

A couple of the girls tried this one, but it’s overhanging-massively crackishness was just too much after a long day in the sun. I explored the far end of the formation, and found an exciting little scramble that got me back to the anchors so I could clean the climb. We all hiked out in the evening feeling exhausted, sun burnt, scraped and bruised up, and very very happy.

Ann and Dylan were nice enough to let me camp with them on Saturday night and climb with them on Sunday. I really missed Mark that evening as I had to set the tent up by myself in the outflow wind of a near-by storm, and then cook my own dinner, and tackle all of the usual camping chores single handedly. It’s so much more fun with two people. But I did ok. Eventually, Liv and I snuggled up for a warm, quiet night in the wilds of Wyoming.

Stormy Evening