Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 15, 16 & 17th of April, 2016
So last weekend was a bit rough – I tried to train on Mt. Hood, only to run into trouble from the start (getting started late, etc…). Then the next day Sarah and I bailed out from Smith without even really starting up a climb… Not a bad thing, since it would be worse to try to force a climb when it wouldn’t be safe. But still – disheartening. So when another weekend threw us off our game… well, life is full of challenges, right?
The original plan for the weekend was to do Prime Rib of Goat, a huge climb that Sarah’s had her eye on for a long time. It’s beautiful – 11 pitches of 5.9 sport climbing out in the wilderness. But snowed-in passes held us at bay, keeping us from even driving out to the start. Instead, we aim for the lofty goal of 12 pitches in a day at Smith – to make up for the lost adventure.
Specifically, we aim to do Super Slab (3 pitches), Dirty Pinkos (4 pitches), Moscow (3 pitches), and then a few climbs in Pleasure Palace. Sort of a training weekend, you know?
So it starts on Friday – we drive out, find a campsite… and then get told by an old dude that we’re too close to his truck (75+ feet away)… thankfully we’re leaving early, so we convince him to let us stay for the night, as long as we’re gone early in the morning. A rough start, but nothing we can’t beat.
Saturday dawns, and we get up a bit later than planned… but still damn early for me. we’re hiking by 7:30, starting into the park with a newly risen sun at our back. We start up Super Slab, but run into some traffic… It’s a fun route, but that mean’s that it’s a popular one, and we’re behind another team from the start. Thankfully they let us pass, but we pretty quickly run into some troubles on it, in regard to gear and more traffic. But we persevere, pushing through to a very pretty summit after a fun final pitch.
Dirty Pinkos is a traffic jam, and we end up sitting around at the base waiting for a solid hour or two. By the time we start up, we’ve been sitting for almost two hours, waiting on a team who’s “just about to start, hold on a minute”. By then we’ve lost the mental game, and we end up bailing off the top of Pitch 1. It’s a tough choice, but we throw in the towel and head home. We’re tough, but that’s a strength that Sarah and I both have – we know when we’re beat, and when we don’t have the energy to push through… and when we don’t need to force it in the first place. So we pull back, rappel down, and head back home.
Some rage against shoes may have taken place as well… I don’t know what you’re talking about. We totally didn’t beat up Sarah’s climbing shoes, because they kept pinching and not fitting right.
Sunday we take it easy. Go to the park with Ollie. Relax. Re-center. Enjoy the simplicity in life.
Or try to, at least. Bailing on a weekend’s adventure is hard, and it’s not something that either of us likes doing.