The first day we were in Maple Canyon we headed up to the Pipedream Cave. Having just finished setting a bouldering competition the massive lines out the cave with 20+ bolts were not all that appealing knowing I would just get completely shelled. Instead Mark and I warmed up on a couple of routes right of the main cave then headed to the furthest left route that gets regular action, Orgasmo. This 5.12+ was a fun route for sure but it also made it quite obvious that my endurance needed a bit of work, although I did manage to fight through the pump and finish, that one route pretty much ended my day of climbing.
|Half way up Orgasmo 5.12c, photo by Kate Anderson|
Linda did several warm-ups including this one, The Waterfall Route
|Linda on The Waterfall Route 5.11b|
Before trying Dry Times which follows a fun corner up a steep wall. I finished the day by getting beat down on The Diggler, which by now seems like ritual for me when I head up to the Pipedream. The route used to be graded at least 5.13b and now people call it at easy as 5.12d because there is a near no-hands knee-bar in the middle of the route. Well I suck at knee-barring and can't rest there to save my life, making the route feel harder than anything I've done at Maple.
The next day Linda, Kate and I climbed at the Low Standard Cave while Mark took a rest day. This is a wall I had looked at at least a few times over the years but never actually climbed at. To the left and right of the cave are a few very long routes from 5.10- to 5.12- while the cave hosts several 5.13's long with a few variations. We did a couple of the long routes to warm up before I decided, what the heck and gave the most obvious and traveled of the 5.13's, Welcome to Fitness, a burn. Being a shorter route I figured I had a shot at sending it. The start went pretty smoothly and I was quickly at what appeared to be the crux, 2 moves into it a hold appeared that I had not seen from the ground, to use it or not to...I decided that while it was not as good as the hold I was on it would make the next move shorter so I moved my feet quickly and fired through to an obvious rest in a big horizontal break. After camping out I romped up the final head wall to the anchor, always a nervous point for me since you can't see the holds as well from the ground and you are more flying by feel. I was happy to clip the chains and redeem myself somewhat.
The following day Linda and I rested while Mark and Kate climbed. We headed to the cliff with them to help watch Logan, their little boy, or belay while Kate of Mark watched him. They chose to climb in The Box which was one of the first areas developed and a spot I had first climbed at 15 or 16 years ago on my first visit to Maple Canyon. Here is Dylan hanging out,
When Logan was occupied with food or toys and Kate was able to belay Mark I took the opportunity to set up a fixed line and shoot some photos. Here is Mark attempting a short but very powerful 5.13- in The Box called, Meathook Sodomy.
|Mark Anderson on Meathook Sodomy 5.13a|
And here he is on Captain Bullet, another 5.13- that overhangs the road. Sadly, on this route he skipped a clip at the lip of the roof hoping for better holds above that did not materialize. This meant he had to make a choice between going for the anchors and risking a ground fall if he blew it or jumping off before he got too high which he opted for.
|Mark Anderson on Captain Bullet 5.13a|
On the last day, everyone was climbing again. We started the day at The Minimum and headed to Cragganmore to finish. We mostly took the opportunity to get on bunch of long routes but nothing much too hard, except for Linda who managed to on-sight Zoaster Toaster, 5.11+ at The Minimum. Even though I've climbed several times at The Minimum I managed to only climb routes that I had not been on before which was great. I always try to make it a goal to at least do one new route each day I'm out, and on this day I managed to climb only routes I'd not done before. The afternoon at Cragganmore was great and I got the chance to climb the big routes of Daddy and Popcorn, pictured below.
|Climbing Popcorn 5.12b at Cragganmore, photo by, Mark Anderson|