Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Break!

So Horseshoe Canyon Ranch proved too difficult to stay away from and less than 20 minutes after I had finished my last midterm I found myself in an Element headed back to Arkansas. HCR played host to a gaggle of KURC members as well as most every non-southern/Cali climber in the US this weekend... suffice it to say that things got raged.

My car was the first to pull into the canyon and we had strict instruction to find the only campsite that was allowed to be reserved for the weekend. Why was it the only campsite that needed reservation you ask? Well apparently the club officers called ahead and had a conversation which I imagine going like this...

KURC: Hi this is (blank) from KURC we're bringing 25ish kids down for fall break.
HCR: Oh no!
KURC: And if you don't recall from our past trips we rage rather hard and were wondering if there was anything you can do to keep us from interfering with the normals for the weekend.
HCR: Well we don't really reserve campsites but seeing as we would like most of our guests to return and you are paying us a ton of money I guess we will open a special campsite way the eff across the canyon for ya.
KURC: Deal, we'll send Slater down first so he can have that awkward conversation with ranch management about why we specifically need that site.

So Wednesday night a fire was built and things got rowdy, let's skip to the climbing.

Thursday: I quickly split off into an anti-social group of kids who were ready to send instead of sit. We went straight to the north 40 and started playing hard on the rocks. I sent five .10s and one .9 in a day. So overall the day was an overwhelming success for a middle of the road climber like myself.

Friday: Apparently everyone got too raucous the night before so when we showed up to Magoo rock there was a giant lack of quickdraws. Seeing as I felt reasonably fine I tried to plunder enough gear to set up a route for some kids right quick and the first send of the morning happened on some awkward 10b overhang. As soon as I came down Carol whispered to me "Pres says there are draws in the club box, grab that rope and let's move." So I grabbed and move we did.
The view from Insanity's belay station.

One quick trip back to camp and I had a rather over-zealous sport rack hung off my harness and a 10.1 rope on my back. We headed straight to the Cliffs of Insanity where we continued to hang huge .8-.9 routes for the next few hours with machine like swiftness. Eventually we went looking for something more suitable for our climbing range and found the rest of the club hanging out at the Roman Wall. The majority were standing in lines waiting to flail on the top-roped .11 that I got shut down on during my last visit. So I decided to roll the dice and sack up on the only open route. Which happened to be a 85 foot .11d that I got shut down on 2 bolts from the top. Sad days for me but Crusher Paul bailed me out and rescued my draws while officially showing my climbing status up.

Saturday: Everyone slept in and I headed out with the "Ol' Boys" to see what it was like to climb with the kids who climb harder than me. Which actually translates into: I watched some more experienced climbers stand around and postulate which trad cracks they wanted to plug until someone else showed up with quickdraws and I could bail from that party and go actually climb. We headed straight over to the Prophecy wall and I immediately sent some kinda .10 that no one could second for a good 3 hours, which felt pretty good. After that I bounced back and forth between the trad cracks and the sport climbing trying not to get tied up in the wicked long lines of climbers, which I successfully did.

I got to end my day wandering around with Rowdy looking for something new. Our fellow German climbing associate commented that he would like to attempt to climb this nasty looking overhang that he didn't know if he could finish but was positive one of us could if gear needed to be retrieved. Neither myself nor Jared wanted the beta so after Julain got shut down we hopped on and attempted to send this wicked piece of overhanging slab for way longer than necessary. Unfortunately the route ended up being a .12c and I don't personally know anyone who can climb that hard, so the gear was retrieved by a nice topout on a .10a followed by a quick alpine traverse and rapp by my fellow flailer. It's rare to see us KURC kids flail but when we do it's a hoot.
About to clip the second bolt, which is where KURC got resoundingly shut down for the weekend.

Sunday: Saturday evening the club played a game called "finish whatever you brought." Which meant the majority of the kids were not ready to send hard after a long night of fireworks and tribal dancing next to a bonfire but for some unfortunate reason I was well rested and ready to go as soon as I got camp packed up. My overall goal for the weekend was a lead on Crimp Scampi. Scampi is a classic .10D that I had top-roped in prep for the Sunday session but still had a bad feeling that it was going to hurt bad. Unlike a lot of other routes at HCR this .10D actually earned it's rating and next to every move on it was actually sustained hard climbing, it definitely did not give its bolts away. Needless to say I took my first few lead whips of the weekend on this beast and it sent me flying more than a few nerve racking feet once or twice. I eventually nailed it but I can definitely say that I learned what my limits are on that route. It was seconded by Taylor who was my partner for the day who flailed just a titch less than me, but I like to think it's only because he got my beta.

So here's to my weekend home of the other Kansas, climber kids, untz and ragin' it next to a bonfire.

No comments:

Post a Comment