Fortunately that all changed after a few days and we finally got stuck into some nasty, flared wide cracks. All the time sitting in a rain-swept tent we had pondered how sandbagged we'd get, how much skin we'd lose and whether every 5.9 would shut us down.
|Vedauwoo as the storms clear|
Rather than dissect every route and boulder problem for the moment (grades, cruxes etc etc!) we've opted to give a bit of summary of the stuff we've done and some links to photos that Alex Ekins has put up on his blog. Hope you enjoy them...
Alex Ekins photos
|Pete shows off his terrible taste in hats|
Man, what a shit day. It rained and rained, but by the afternoon there was a break in the cloud and we dashed out to some boulder problems with towels and chalk socks. First up in "The Dungeon" were Life Without Parole (V4) and The Warden (V7-8, 5.12c) which Pete flashed in very fine style. It's worth pointing out that he did possibly the world's biggest sit-up on The Warden, so I'm tempted to award him extra points! It was great to finally get some climbing done and actually realise that we weren't complete punters.
|Tom on Life Without Parole, V4|
On our second day of climbing we decided to follow up on the bouldering front (as suggested by local Justin Edl) and get on Desiderata (V5) and Monsters Inc (V8, 5.13a). Desiderata was a superb roof splitter much like the famous "Cedar Eater" in Yosemite. This served as a quick warm up for Monster Inc later that afternoon, (see photo below).
We promised at the beginning of the trip that we would never do more then "2 days on", however we found ourselves taping up under Bob Scarpelli's testpiece Squat (5.12b) on Saturday. Pete duly dispatched the route on his warm up to make possibly the first ever onsight of the route. Good effort! After a few more tries I found myself groveling over the top after seating the crux knee lock properly.
|Looking up at the roof of Squat, 5.12b|
REST, flipping heck we needed that.
In the morning we succeeded in climbing what is touted as possibly Vedauwoo's hardest offwidth route - Spatial Relations (5.13a, put up by Pamela Pack). We were pretty pleased to get the route done in just a couple of hours. Overall we thought it was a really good route with some unique moves including an invert pivot-to-chicken-wing.
In the afternoon we went out to an old school classic, Worm Drive (5.11b). Plenty of people have this as a sandbag for the grade so we were again pleased to onsight and flash the route.
Our next day's objective was Trip Master Monkey (5.12b) another Scarpelli testpiece from back in the day. Modern day offwidthers ave called this anything from 5.12c - 5.13a, which prepared us for a possible massive sandbagging. Neither of us onsighted the route but I managed to fudge it on my second go and Pete got it 30 minutes later. We thought this route was definitely a sandbag and would rate considerably harder then Ray's Roof.
In the afternoon we persuaded Justin to show us an offwidth that had been put up recently by Pamela Pack and Patrick Kingsbury, The Wing (5.12c). Yet another invert test piece presented itself on the side of a dome shaped like a vulture. I stubbornly attacked the route in my usual upside manner but 3D Pete put his thinking cap on and came up with a brilliant sequence of tenuous chicken wings and palm smearing. As a result he quickly ticked the route that afternoon and I'll be coming back on a different day to use this beta.
Finally at the end of our tether Justin put us on one of his classic boulders, Crack Named Sue (V5). We were so tired our arms felt a little numb but we managed to both top out first try.
|Feeling papped on Crack Named Sue|
Wednesday - REST!!!!!! - So we're thankful for a rest day now, My shoulder looks like I've just had a motorbike crash and Pete's triceps feel like he ran a lawnmower over them. Bring on the Climb On cream, Savlon and Tremadol.
|Trip Master leaves its first mark|