I bolted this dirty bastard 2 years ago. There was a reason it sat for two years and the reason it is utter choss. The line was almost a joke to me when I started putting the bolts in. It felt I was biting off way more than I could possibly chew (in terms of cleaning). TWO YEARS!!!!!! I cleaned it 5 different days which includes glue, banging rotten stone off, and even brooming down the wall of cobwebs and dust. I mean… it’s trash!!! It’s GARBAGE!!!
But there is one thing I have learned about myself this year and that is I appreciate all rock. Good, bad, utterly bad and everything in between. I will always prefer the blue perfection of Oliana or the immaculate gniess of Switzerland, but I am not a snob and nor am I too good for any rock. Some may be “underwhelmed” or some folks may even be in love the same way I am… but I dig it all and perhaps I am a freak that way? I guess at the end of the day we do what makes us happy.
This year as I was bolting another line in the Wicked Cave (Fat Camp) and I kept looking over at the lonely and sad looking remnants of Garbage Pail Kids. It just looked pathetic there all dirty and worthless. All it needed was a couple more days of sprucing up and the “route” wold be a route. All she needed was a little attention and energy and she got it. I turned my focus pretty quickly, as I only had a few weeks to bolt and climb in good ol’ Rifle. After some sessions figuring out the moves with a patient belayer, moving bolts, and hammering off enormous chunks of garbage rock it finally looked like a pathway up the wall… and actually quite attractive if you ask me. The turd became a polished turd and the climbing turned out to be fu**ing AWESOME!!!!!!!
It can be a little annoying as first ascents always take a little more effort and feel a bit harder than you would normally if you were repeating a line. You are the one to figure out what is possible and utilize it to make it a reality. It takes a little more patience and a level head when equating the difficulty into the spectrum of things. I guess that’s why I will let some other folks figure out how hard it is… 8b/+/C/+??? Not sure… hmmm…. I know it’s not 9a and that’s about it. Thanks for the photos Mike!
The climbing is physical, steep, and cruxy which is my favorite style. GPK has one of the craziest moves I have done on rock which is an utter cross-over dyno to a jug where you catch it and face completely away from the wall and then swing in no feet to match. CLASSIC!!! To figure this move out and understand that this section is the crux was super exciting and had me falling about 5 times there. I may have only done a move like this in the gym or seen Chris’s project at Oliana Le Blondski have something like this involved. But once I stuck the move I took it to the anchor with war cries and some all out effort. I love redpointing… LOVE it!!!!
I sent the rig JUST in time to beat the heat and am now I am headed to California for the Sender One gym opening. Yeah… I guess I am going to climb on plastic for a couple days?!!!!??? Uh ohhhh!!! And then I am heading to the Incredible Hulk to sink my teeth into some Alpine trad climbing… yeah…. GOING BIG!!!!!! These are like 14 pitch routes way out in the middle of nowhere. Am I ready for this? I think so… I don’t know… yes… actually NO I am not, but fu**it I am doing it. I will learn and be total fish-outta-water which should be awesome. Actually it should be pretty hilarious which is the mode I need right now in my life. Something hilarious. I love sport climbing and it’s my home-base, but it really is important to mix things up a bit right? Thats why afterwards I will meet up with Emily Harrington and climb in the Needles for a month or so! YEEEEAAAAHHH!!!! Then El Cap, then Patagonia, then NEW RAD routes on Cerro Tore and EVEREST AND K2 and then probably just plain ol back to Rifle or something…. HA! Seize the day…
Life’s good ya’ll!!!! Thanks for checking in.