Rainy Weekend in New Mexico, Part 2

May 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Sunday morning we all woke up to a little sun cracking through the windows at Dylan and Ann’s loft. The forecast didn’t look much better, but the peaks of sunlight gave us hope. We packed up and head to local Santa Fe climbs in Diablo Canyon.

The photos from the weekend are up in the gallery.

Hiking out to Diablo Canyon on Sunday morning

By the time we got to the crag, the clouds had closed in again, but, this time, the rain didn’t pour out. We hiked up to the big Sundevil Wall, threw down our packs and started up a few routes.

Claire led the first route, putting up a great climb of Post Moderate (5.9). Dylan took off on Hell Boy (5.8+) right behind her. After they made it up a few bolts, we had a few sprinkles, and the decision was made to climb only first pitches.

Claire start out on the first lead of the day

This worked out well. As the sprinkles came and went for an hour or so, we all took turns climbing the nice moderates on the dark, volcanic rock. Eventually, the skies cleared for about an hour, and we actually got some sun to warm and dry the desert around us. A few people got on Highly Caffeinated (5.10-) as a top rope using the same anchor from Post Moderate.

Dylan and Claire scale the huge walls

Dylan led up the long Naked Lunch (5.10), and then Claire followed the full 150ft to the high perch. As they worked on setting a two-rope top-rope for the long climb, the first rolls of a distant thunder washed up on our cliff sides. We quickly had two climbers run up the first two routes and clean the anchors, and Dylan and Claire rapped off their climb.

Dylan leading at Diablo Canyon

As we packed up, quickly, thunder and lighting blew in from a big storm to our south. A few of us threw our gear in our packs and jogged down the hill to the cars. Others moved a little slower, but were lucky to run into two hikers on their way out of the canyon. The hikers directed a few at the bottom of the cliff to check out “the really cool thing” that was just around the corner of the cliff wall.

On the far side, was a crazy solar powered ice cream cart! I didn’t get to see the installation art piece, but Mark had a tasty ice cream bar and was video recorded for the artist’s work. I hear it was a very cool thing.

What a beautiful rock formation

In the afternoon, we waited out the storm and the hail at the Second Street Brewery. (As per Ann’s comment, Saturday was actually at the Santa Fe brewery.) I had very tasty nachos, a nap in the loft, and another evening of fun card games and camp food on the deck.

Monday morning, we got breakfast in downtown Santa Fe, and wandered a bit through adobe shops to the local REI, where I managed to keep the total under $100. Mark and I said goodbye to everybody and headed home. The Memorial Day Weekend gatherings are fun, no matter the weather, or the amount of climbing, and I think we should do this more than once a year!