Shenanigans of the birthday kind

As I mentioned in my last post my last true week of freedom ended with a four day trip down to Ten Sleep with Evan.  We left Thursday afternoon to find lots of construction at the top of the old road. The campsites that were open all year next to the river have been clear-cut and the there is heavy mining equipment parked there now, but I digress. So we found a new campsite up past the lodge that was free (vs. $14 per night at an NPS campground).

We meet up with a bunch of fiends from Bozo and soon had a troupe of 6 climbers (Matt, Nick, Nick’s GF, Adam, Evan, and me). We spent most of our trip at the Superratic Wall. Matt had a grudge to settle with The Hellion 5.13b/c and I was more than a little willing to join in.

Since my first trip to Ten Sleep I’ve stared up at this route just off the trail with its clean overhanging prow of pockets. It may just be the most proud line on the wall, and that is saying something when its neighbor is the five star classic The Great White Behemoth 5.12b. Finally having someone who had the beta down moved it to the top of my weekend project list.

Both Matt and I made good links on the first day and both of us were able to one hang it by the end of the first day, which is impressive for Matt seeing as he hadn’t sport climbed in over 5 months. Evan put up with hanging out at the Supperratic Wall by projecting The Behemoth.  Evan made even better progress than us on his 2nd day figuring out the moves and then falling heartbrakingly close at the last hold.

The next day Evan and I found success on our projects Evan on his first try of the day and me on my 2nd try of the day so that we could take down our draws. Unfortunetly, Matt was only able to one hang the Hellion again but after finding better beta for the crux and moving his highpoint to the 2nd, redpoint, crux.

Unfortunately I left my memory card in my laptop back in Bozeman so I didn’t get any pictures from that trip.

Last weekend though my roommates and I held a pig roast to celebrate my 22nd bithday and my roommate Eric’s 23rd birthday, which fall just a week a part. It was a long day getting the pig on at 11am and then retiring around 1am the next day but well worth it even if I didn’t get to take advantage of the great weather for climbing. Photos here.

For the first time in a while I got outside to do some hard climbing and suprized myself by repeating Weapons of Mass Destruction, and one hangs of Hantavirus and Sub Zero! It seems like its been so long that I would have lost some of my strength but apparently not.

The work week took its toll on me pulling double duty at spire, and after an invitation to Ten Sleep for just the weekend I almost jumped out of my skin. I headed down there with Max Bedchel to meet up with Ethan, Kelsey, Nick, Kate, Matt, and Jenn. From the sounds of things there has been at least one group from Bozeman in Ten Sleep each weekend this summer! Gallery Here.

In the end no one wanted to go to the French Cattle Ranch, so I ended up projecting He Biggum 5.13d for the weekend at the superratic. My first go I couldn’t figure out the first couple of moves into the pockets and so I skipped ahead and got some crucial beta from Peder Groseth who redpointed it last year while I was working on The Incredible Horsecock. My next go I finally found an undercling I could use to get to the first pocket. My second go I made it in 4 sections but was only really worried about three of the sections as the last is 5.11+/5.12- to the chains.

I kept the three crux checkpoints fresh in my mind that night around the campfire. the next morning I gave a great 3rd go attempt one hanging the route in the oppressive heat, getting all the way past the 3 checkpoints I had figured would give me trouble. I fell on the last hard move of the route leading to the rest and the last 5.11ish section. With everyone egging me on even to give it another burn, i caved and tried it again even though I felt like crap. I got the beta for the beginning perfectly but when I got to the monos I wasn’t feeling as good as the last attempt. I was still able to grab the long pull at the end of the bulge which constitutes the major redpoint crux. I then got up to the same point as my last try and put my foot on this time only to fall with my fingers dangerously close to the pocket which would have lead to victory. Alas I pulled back up to where I fell and pulled the move and then took it to the chains only to take my quickdraws down.

He Biggum climbs very differently than most Ten Sleep routes. Though it is the typical just off vertical dolomite that is the standard fare in Ten Sleep, the rock is incredibly smooth with very few true footholds. It has many good holds on it but they are spaced far apart. This allows you to rest on your feet instead of your arms, that is if you get a foothold to stand on.  There are only two monos on the entire thing but there are several long taxing deadpoint moves all off of your right arm. The constant one pad two finger pockets wore at the sides of my fingers instead of the pads themselves.

Tomorrow as I write this (Friday) I’m taking off to go to Logan, UT for the week with my friend Joey. A new place and new routes should be a great change of pace as I only climbed one new route in Ten Sleep this trip and haven’t climbed a new route in Bozeman in a long while. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get on a 5.14a that I’d be willing to put some attempts into. Hopefully the weather will hold out for us if not i’m sure an adventure will be had. and to quote a past roommate of mine that seems eerily warranted “Don’t go looking for epic, it’ll find you”

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