Devo's Climbs

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rock Climb: Index Town Wall with Tony - May 9, 2013

On Thursday I met Tony in Snohomish at 8:00 AM. We weren't in a big rush, so after a leisurely stop in Monroe for food we rolled into the Lower Town Wall parking lot at 9:50 and were still the first ones to arrive. It was sunny and 59 degrees - perfect conditions.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A CLIMBER WHEN YOU SPORT AN ARC'TERYX TATTOO


I warmed up with a lead of Japanese Gardens (lower) - grunting some at the wide bit, then Tony and I did a lap each on top rope. My second go was a much stronger effort - guess I needed to shake things out a tad more.

TONY ON JAPANESE GARDENS


Next up was Sagittarius. I'd followed / top roped it in the past, but recently'd been thinking of leading it if conditions were right. Today seemed as prime an opportunity as I could ask for.

Climbing Sag was a battle, both physically and mentally, as leading a new route at Index often is. First came a flared lie back directly above a ledge. Was happy to find not one, but two decent cam placements there. Then there was a burly transition into a wide vertical hand crack, where I clipped some old tat slung 'round a chockstone and stepped left into an exciting traverse below a humongous overhanging flake.

After the traverse you haul yourself into a flared chimney behind the flake and shimmy up left-side in. My #5 Camalot came in handy here. Exiting the chimney was a chore, and scary to boot. Then I lie-backed through the ringing flake and got a couple of solid #2 cams in - that helped my mental state.

Unlike the varied and wandering nature of the lower climb, the final stretch to the anchor is dead simple: place a green Camalot as high as you're able and lie back a strenuous 10b flake for 15 feet to the anchor. Just don't cross to the anchor too soon, blow your feet and take a huge whipper! Needless to say, it felt pretty good clipping those chains...

TONY TRAVERSING SAGITTARIUS


Tony did an excellent job of cleaning the route, his only fall occurred just below the anchor when he stepped toward the chains a tad too early. By the time he'd finished it was getting pretty warm, so we headed to The Country seeking shade.

THE COUNTRY'S TUNNEL DOOR HAS BEEN CEMENTED SHUT


I had an inkling of leading Cunning Stunt, but it was still in the sun at 2:15 pm. Heart of the Country was in the shade however and we headed that direction instead. I led the first pitch of GM, then linked the 2nd into the full HOTC for a long stretch of superlative crack climbing.

HEART OF THE COUNTRY: SO GOOD!


On the ground beer-thirty beckoned and Tony treated me to a pint of Local Ink Ale at Fred's for my day of rope-gunning. Good times!

YUMMY!

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