Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Final Trip

Last weekend I headed down to Horseshoe Canyone Ranch with the KURC for my fianl trip ever with these kids. It's a most giant bummer for myself to have to leave this club or rock crushing stone bandits, but apparently life has to move on.

We started the weekend on Thursday night with a Jeep full of kids who climb harder than me (the ego took a hit on that one) and partied hard until we reached HCR around 5:00 in the morning. From then we threw up some tents and slept until 11am. And then the quartet of Lesage, Spalding, Surface and I went sendin'.

This is what our campfires look life, don't be too jealous

Friday: We went craggin' at the Prophecy Wall and it was good. Got warm on a .10b and moved over to a giant roof line titled "Taliban Soup." The Soup is a hard .11D that not only requires some serious rock-reading skills but also some serious burl to pull the roof. I got hung up on a balancey, lie back in the middle of the route after not trusting the beta that was being shouted from the dirt. So it didn't go clean, but it did go and after getting shut down on Flying Elvis just a few weeks before it felt good to pull some overhangs.

After we left Prophecy we built a giant tent fort at the campground in preparation for the impending storm and went back to send town over at the north 40. Racked up some biners and ticked off another .10 over there and then went to town on Sonny Jim with Andrew Spalding, an .11b with a neat roof. Almost, almost, almost had the onsight, and damn it would have felt good to say I did it. But once again my rock reading skills proved to be the downfall for the send. Hung once and cleaned up the roof.

Saturday: Some more creatures from the north joined us just in time to watch an Arkansas tsunami wash over the Canyon. Once the sun came out we headed to the aptly named "Goat Cave" for some super overhung climbing and what I can only imagine was the only dry climbing to be found that morning. The goats were there when we arrived, hiding from the wet but they quickly dispersed as the clouds moved away. The bottom of the cave was covered in inedible cocoa pebbles and it smelled like a petting zoo (to us city boys). Regardless of the smell, the climbs were a straight burl-fest. Start overhung and climb out of a cave, that was pretty much the name of the game for everything there.

Sunday: My hands were worked, my head ached from partying too hard in the barn the night before and my balance wasn't the best in the world. Regardless if this was to be my last trip with the club I wanted to go out the same way I came in, on top of Orange Crush. To all the climbers reading this, yes I know it's a cliche to talk about this line and how rad it is but stfu. It's the tallest climb at the Ranch by far, it's a 4 star climb, it's rated so I can lead it clean and still have a ridiculous amount of fun and it has the best view of the Canyon of any crag at that place. So yes it was gorgeous, yes it was well within my limits, yes the bolts were a little too closely spaced together and yes if I climbed it at sunset I would "like totally tell you how totally gorgeous it was." I have that view on top of that rock to forever couple with the memory of my last club trip and that is something I can most definitely live with.

So here's to pushing your personal limits, sending harder than planned, the canyon, the views and those dang creatures of the Arkansas craggin' scene.

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