Sunday morning we all slept in, snuggled into warm bags and tents kept cool by the woods around us. Doug and Liz put up a hard breakfast competition with Mark and I, now that we all have the car camping gear, there was bacon, eggs, and sausage all around that morning. Eventually we packed up for the day, organized who was riding with whom, put the mountain bikes on the car and headed back to the main area.
There’s more pictures from the weekend up in the gallery.
The gang hiked out to Jurassic Park while Kevin, Wade and I headed off on our mountain bikes in the opposite direction. We rode along the south-east side of the Nautilus to the far end, through a serious swamp, and then caught up with the Turtle Rock trail at the east trailhead. We rode all the way around the main area; having a blast riding over granite boulders and through deep muddy creaks. 1.5 hours and 3.5 miles later, we eventually found the climber’s trail into Jurassic Park. We hid the bikes and hiked in to meet the rest of the group, who were just starting to climb after having a luxurious lunch and lounging on warm, sunny rocks.
I was really tired from biking. My legs felt like jelly and my shoulder muscles were in burning tight knots. But the group put up some interesting topropes, and I gave a few of them a shot. Kevin took over control of the camera, and came up with some really great shots from the day.
Get up that Tree (5.8) – A one move wonder that Mark lead up as his warm-up. I never tried it, but many people in the group seemed to enjoy hanging upside-down from the giant chockstone.
Lawyer on the Toilet (5.8) – This was a great little crack with a pretty tough off-width section in the middle. It took me a few minutes to figure out the key, for me at least, was turning around and facing the other way when the foot holds ran out on the slab.
Rowdy Joe Bad (5.11c) – I gave this bolted slab a go while the top rope was hanging around. I never got past the crux. Mark worked out a method that may have been cheating, using his wing span to reach over to the crack on the right. Which left Dylan as the only one in our party to honestly climb the route.
Flake-O-Saurus (5.10c) – Mark hung a top rope on this climb and many of us had a great time thrashing around on it. Mark climbed it with a few falls in the crux as the steep crack transitioned to awkward face climbing. I took a bunch of falls as the perfect hand crack transitioned into an offwidth. My excuse for the day was that my legs were exhausted, which lead to weak, sloppy footwork. And that was especially evident on this climb. Eventually, I layed back the sloping flake until I could get back in above the wide section and jam to the actual crux (where I quit). I know, cheating, but at least I got to enjoy some sweet crack climbing before and after.
At the end of the day, a fellow climber in the area hung one of our ropes on Slot-A-Saurus (5.9+), and we all lined up to give it a try. Sean gave everything he had and more on that climb. Clare worked hard and completed it. Ann made it look beautiful and easy. Wade got about half way up and called it a day. In the course of this, the evening was getting later and later. Kevin had decided he was going to drive back to Denver, no matter how late we stayed at the crag. I was hungry and exhausted, and still had to ride my bike back to the car.
I ended up convincing Mark to leave this climb for another day, but I suspect that our next trip to ‘Voo will start with this fantastic crack. He was disappointed, but seemed to understand. We all headed back to camp in our own fashion. Dylan, Ann and Clare hiked back from the crag – a mere 3 miles at dusk in a road-less and trail-less wood. Sean drove back to the Fort. Kevin packed up and headed home to Denver. Doug and Liz and Mark and I sat around the fire, cooking dinner and hanging out until rain started falling out of the dark sky above, then we all tucked in for another night of wild Wyoming weather.