It's been a while since I posted anything here, so I figured it was time. Jess and I have been getting out climbing a bunch and spent the last two weekends in Tensleep. I have to say, Tensleep has to be my favorite climbing area for sure. The amount of rock there boggles the mind, the wildflowers are out right now and oh yeah, the rock there is absolutely amazing! The style of climbing also suits me perfectly.
Two weekends ago, Jess and I headed down in search of projects to work on for the summer. I climbed Goldmember last year and wanted to step it up a notch, so I thought I'd try to tackle one of the 14as at the French Cattle Ranch. I had originally thought I'd try Doomsday, but draws were hanging on Galactic Emperor, the extension to Sky Pilot, so I gave it a go. The boulder problem at the beginning is pretty rough, followed by a good rest, some moderately difficult climbing and then a final thin crux at the top. The route is incredible and amazingly, I was able to redpoint it on our second day! Before we headed back for Bozeman, I was able to try Doomsday (14a), which is also amazing and get most everything figured out.
Last weekend, we headed back down and my goal was to try and finish Doomsday. After one burn to remember all the moves and another falling off the second to last move, I was able to pull off another send on this beautiful wall. With that project out of the way, I moved on to my real nemesis, Blue Light Special (13b). Despite being almost a full grade easier than the previous projects, this thing totally kicked my ass. I would hang all over it multiple times. Luckily on Sunday, I managed to pull off the send. With that one under my belt, I felt that since I had the Sky Pilot boulder problem relatively fresh in my mind, I should try Private Halfenheimer (14a). This route pulls the SP boulder problem to a rest and then tackles the upper half of General Litzenheimer, an absolutely impossible looking 14c that begins with a V13 boulder problem. As with Galactic Emperor and Doomsday, my first try left me discouraged thinking it was way to hard and that the pump would keep me from pulling difficult moves high on the route. My second go, I managed to pull through the initial boulder problem to the rest. I barely remembered any of the upper part and quickly fell off. Our last day in Tensleep, we were graced with overcast skies, meaning the wall didn't bake in the morning sun. After a warm up, I got on and again was able to pull through the boulder problem only to fall right after the rest. Another try spit me off in the middle of the boulder problem, so I came down, rested about 10 minutes and on my last go of the trip, managed to send! Holy crap, I couldn't even believe it. I had no confidence going in that I'd be able to pull this one off on my third day on. I'm super excited about doing all three of these difficult routes. I feel really priveledged to be climbing well enough to be able to climb on this gorgeous wall.
Back in Bozeman, I've been focusing my attention on Kyle's heinous arete route, Occam's Razor (13d). This is by far the hardest route I've ever been on and definately seems more sustained than some of the shorter routes of the same grade I did at American Fork back in the day. There is not a single easy move and I'm still totally clueless about making one of the clips. This one is about as far away from my style as you can get. Stay tuned for a progress report, this one is a stunner!