Devo's Climbs

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Road Trip: Smith Rock March 2013 - doubling down at Smith

Finally got outside this March. It's been an unusually wet winter and my last instance of climbing on the real thing was Trout Creek last October with JP - too long! Been training hard at the gym but that only goes so far, so it was with a little luck and a lot of motivation that I managed to make forays to Smith Rock on two consecutive weekends.

March 9-10 I went down with Josh and Jason. We stayed at the Ruana's house in Terrebonne, which afforded a nice view of Smith.

VIEW FROM RUANA HOUSE


Josh's current project was Churning in the Wake (5.13a) and I had dreams of sending Magic Light (5.11a), so we spent the majority of our weekend working those two climbs at Churning Buttress, using Nine Gallon Buckets (5.10c) as a warmup. The only other route I climbed the first weekend was Wedding Day (5.10b). On Saturday I TR'd Magic Light with disappointing results, but Sunday saw improvements: I led it twice and on the second attempt I made it to the sixth bolt before having to rest. I left with the hope of returning soon and chipping away at it a little more...

JASON: "I WANNA CLIMB OUTSIDE SO BAD I COULD HIT YOU"


BEAUTIFUL SMITH ROCK


JOSH WORKING CHURNING IN THE WAKE




LAST LOOK



Even before leaving the park Sunday I'd sent an email off to JP about climbing the next weekend, and so it was that I found myself making the six hour commute that following Friday.

ROAD FOOD - YUMMY!


NICE VIEW OF HOOD


March 15-16 with JP was just an awesome time. First, JP and I really like climbing with each other and second, we climbed some really fun routes.

I met JP at noon at Redpoint climbing. Love that restroom!

THIS ROOM'S GOT CHARACTER


We quickly headed to the park, pitched camp at the bivy and trekked into the canyon to see what kind of trouble we could get ourselves into that afternoon.

VIEW FROM THE BIVY CAMP


JP - LET'S GO!


HIGH-LINE ABOVE ONE OF THE GULLIES


We wandered over to Churning/Morning Glory area and found it uncharacteristically uncrowded. Hopped right on Light on the Path (10a), Five Gallon Buckets (5.8) and The Outsiders (5.9) with nary a pause between. The only struggle of the afternoon came when I messed up the sequence on the ever tricky Gumby (10b - sandbagged?), though I sailed through the Morning Sky extension (10c) smoothly.

MORNING GLORY


JP ON FIVE GALLON BUCKETS


Back at camp we ran into an old friend over dinner.

JESUS - OUR GUARDIAN CANDLE


Saturday was a brilliant day. Started things out in the sun on Picnic Lunch wall with a romp up Honey Pot (5.9) and two pitches of Teddy Bear's Picnic (5.10c).

PICNIC LUNCH WALL


JP ON P2 OF TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC




Finished at Picnic Lunch, we wandered over to Churning Buttress where I was hoping to give Magic Light another go. There was a fair amount of activity when we arrived, but I didn't have to wait too long. We watched a few folks climb it, eventually it was my turn.

My strategy was to climb as quickly through the lower bit as I could and manage the first crux - a delicate crimp traverse - with as little burn as possible. Above that I would pace myself through the middle section - mostly powerful moves on solid jugs - with the hope that I could gain a new high point somewhere in the second crux where the climbing relied more on side pulls and stamina draining body tension. My footwork was uncharacteristically sloppy at first, probably a result of my haste, but began to settle down by the time I reached the traverse. I managed to weather the crimps and the powerful move into the juggy section, but felt like I was working harder than necessary - oh well. I must've paced myself well enough through the middle section though, cause I found myself at the sixth bolt (my previous high point) feeling just confident enough to continue moving through the taxing side pulls. Time to climb or fly: my pump was full on and I barely managed to clip the final bolt. At this point I was grunting loudly at every move; everyone around probably thought I was sending some heinous 5.13! A few more strenuous side pulls and I gained a rest at a large flake. That's when I realized I was gonna' make the red point. After several deep shakes of my swollen forearms I pulled the final moves to the chains. Can't deny that I was pretty psyched and frankly a tad surprised to have gotten it clean on my first attempt of the day. Gotta find a new project now!

MY FIRST SMITH 5.11 RED POINT: MAGIC LIGHT


MORNING GLORY/CHURNING BUTTRESS


JP took a turn working the moves on TR and then we headed off to easier territory: a link up of Gingersnap/Cry Baby (5.9). JP led, I swiftly followed, then we simul-rapped in one fell swoop to the ground. Pretty slick. Time for dinner at Terrebonne Depot, which JP graciously bought in celebration of my success on Magic Light. Thanks bud!

THE FARM BURGER - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Sunday came sunny but much cooler and windy. It'd actually snowed a bit overnight.

ALL BUNDLED UP AND READY TO SEND


We spent our last climbing day at Phoenix Wall, a new spot for me. I led Scary Llamas (5.8) and The Phoenix (5.10a) and worked License to Bolt (5.11c) on TR, though I never managed the crux move. We moved on when the shade enveloped us, ultimately deciding to get an early start homeward. What fun, good times.

HARD TO LEAVE THIS CLIMBER'S PARADISE


More photos: my Smith Rock March 2013 photo set on Flickr ยป

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