One more from Shelf Road

March 21, 2007 at 6:32 am

I just wanted to post a few more shots from climbing last weekend. And let everybody know that I put all of the shots up in our photo gallery.

Here’s a shot of our tent on Friday night. One of the reasons I love camping out in this desert is how incredible the stars are! This was a 30-second shot, and only a few of the millions and millions of stars are visible. But you can still see the bottom half of Orion!

On Saturday, we climbed in the Cactus Cliffs area. I wish I could link to the exact climbs, but I’m really not sure what they were called. Our first two climbs were in the Vault area just left of CC.

Kate’s Favorite 5.6 (5.6?) – I lead up the first climb of the day. Hung on the second-to-last bolt so I didn’t get the redpoint, but it was still a fun climb.

Cool Stemmy Climb (5.9?) – Mark lead up this climb in the corner or wall right across from the 5.6. It was so close to the wall behind, that it was possible to stem across most of the way up. Pretty cool. Too bad neither of these climbs seem to be in the book or on the website.

Crynoid Corner (5.7) – I lead this one on draws left by Tungsten after he climbed it. This climb is rather scary and stressful, but exactly the kind of thing I need to lead over and over until I relax. So I did it again. Still scared. Still took a couple of hangs. Though, I used about half the extra trad gear as I did the first time!

Slicer (5.10a/b) – Mark leads up the buttress just to the left of Crynoid corner next. I know this route actually has a name, I just can’t find it right now. I think pulling the roof at the bottom is the crux, Mark thinks the blank face with the mono pockets near the top is. To each their own.

Fast Food Nation (5.10d/11a) – All the guys climb this one on top rope as it shares the anchors with the first 5.10. Mark says it’s a little harder, but still hasn’t fallen at all today.

Ian’s Route (5.8) – I thought this one was a 5.7 until just now. Not sure why it’s 5.8, but that makes me happy. I lead this one with one hang again. I think I added one cam. Weeks climbed and cleaned this one so Mark didn’t have to bother with it.

Lorba pulls the roof

Sunday we spent out at Sand Gulch for the first time. More specifically, on the Contest Wall. I’ve seen these climbs in the guidbook for years now, but we usually went with friends somewhere else. I now know that one of the main reasons people avoid the place is because everybody else in the world is climbing there. We ended up waiting for each climb we tried to get on, but they were all great climbs, and it was nice to have a low-stress day.

Time Square (5.8) – Mark leads the warm-up today as the people before us warn the route is rather run-out. The 40ft free-solo to the first bolt confirms it. It’s a long, fun route though, with some interesting, but never too difficult, parts.

The Dune (5.10a) – Mark leads this one after a mini-epic of him sitting on a ledge 40ft off the ground with no pro in again, not willing to climb the 3 more moves to the bolt above without pro. And I think that the green camalot is “two fingers” wide. I still do. Weeks flashes the climb on toprope, once again proving that he can go without climbing for 2 years and then have no problem on an 80ft 5.10. I take a couple of hangs, go up the chossy left side, and enjoy myself.

Knot Head (5.9) – This climb is a bit contrived, with the bolts far left of the natural line in the rock. Plus, there’s loose rock all over it, and a party before us drops a base-ball size rock down into the dirt before we get on it. Still, it was a really fun climb! Jams, movement back and forth across the rock, tricky sections that were fun to work out. We all climb and enjoy it.

In all, it was a great weekend. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this kind of Dylan-detailed style of TR for all climbing trips, but I’d like to. Gives me something to look back on when we go out there again, and a sense of improvement (hopefully) as time goes on.