22, 23 & 24 April, 2016 – Climbing in Vantage again!

22, 23 & 24 April, 2016 – Climbing in Vantage again!
Thursday through Sunday, 21 – 24-April-2016
So, I’d talked with some of the interns at work about climbing.  They were curious – they’d been in the gym a time or three, but hadn’t ever gotten a chance to climb outside.  Well!  That?  That we just couldn’t allow.  My NUHOC leader exploded from it’s hiding place, and I planned out a trip for us all.  
To Smith, originally… but then Smith was rained out.  So instead of driving South, we drove North – to Vantage, where Sarah, Dave and I had climbed a few weekends earlier…
Since I’ve got Friday off, thanks to the whole 9/80 work schedule, I take Thursday evening slowly.  Sarah’s starting her Wilderness First Responder class this weekend, so I take the time to relax with her, and hang out with Ollie.
Sarah heads to WFR, I climb at the gym early morning for a bit of a preparation workout, before taking some more time to relax and chill with Ollie before heading out to Hood River.  Get some stuff done around the house.  It’s chill and nice.  Meet up with Dave ~6:00, and hit the road to… Vantage!  Drive late into the evening, find a parking spot that doesn’t rip the bottom out of my car, and sleep!  Note: we forgot Dave’s tent… so he sleeps out under the stars while Ollie and I crash in my ultralight tent.
Climb time!  Meet up with Interns A and B, AKA Jon and Sam (A and B change, depending on who’s farthest away.  Yes, we’re annoying).  We climb!  Tons of routes… don’t know all their names, but I do know… meh.  Who cares, honestly?  We have fun!  A quick synopsis is as follows:
Pre-Lunch, 4 climbs.
Sport line up the arete, face variant of arete, move anchor for 5.10b face, save gear for army guy.
Rest & lunch
Post-lunch, 2 routes, one twice.
Route near chimney, overhang, overhang again
Post-lunch rest… then two more routes!
Same route that I saved gear on, Jon’s first lead on a slab!
Basically, we took it easy… and I still got a solid 9 climbs in.  The rest didn’t re-do as many, but we still totaled out at… ohh, 30+ routes.  Short routes, but still.  Go us.
Ohh, and also.  Before we get to the photo gallery… there’s one thing that should be mentioned.  Sarah was in class this weekend – not able to come with us.  This marked the second weekend that we were apart… since we started dating almost 8 months ago.  So… it was special.  As a keepsake, Sarah gave me a little figurine of Rarity, from My Little Pony… she got it ages ago, and it’s near and dear to her heart.  She asked that I take pictures of it with me on the trip, so… I’m not one to refuse a request like that.
So that’s why there’s a cute little pony in my pictures.
Dinner for the night is canned Chili… which is kind of sad, but it’s what happens when four guys go camping together.  We’re not creative.
Then we chop up some firewood with my awesome battleaxe (see pictures of it in the firelight), and just relax and hang out!
One quick adventure does occur that evening; Dave gets to play First Responder when we hear a small creature (a child) screaming bloody murder.  Turns out she tripped over a tent-line, and only scraped up her knee.  But still – by the time we learn that fact we’re already over there, so help is offered and medical kits and presented.  None are used or accepted… but people are grateful none-the-less.  Dave feels good for being able to offer, and I feel good for dragging us over to make sure everything’s okay.
Then?  Sleeeeeeep…. with so much dust stuffed into the tent that I feel like I’m eating a desert.  Seriously.  It was WINDY  that day… and my tent is designed against rain and snow.  Not a full-power dust storm.  So… I eat dirt, and sleep.
Up early, and start the drive back.  Ollie does well, and we find ourselves in Hood River not too late.  A good weekend.

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