Tag Archives: Ribs

My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast! — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast!  — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

Saturday, 11-July-2015

Waking up happens! Then heading for Breakfast!

Yes, it was a capital “B” for Breakfast, since it was pretty large and definitely excellent. We hit up a not-so-small place right by my house that I’d been eyeing since I first started moving… it labeled itself as a pancake house, and I was curious exactly what that meant, in regards to delicious breakfasts…

Turns out – it means that they have excellent pancakes. I know, I know… I should have known. But I don’t like assuming things until I have empirical evidence. And that evidence took the form of three monstrous pancakes covered in bacon and strawberry jam.

That’s right. Bacon pancakes with strawberry jam. And that’s not even counting Brian’s omlette-with-three-pancakes meal.

The car’s already packed, so we roll out to Horsethief Butte, the climbing spot that I’ve been scouting out earlier in the week. And since Brian is around, we don’t need to stick to the short climbs anymore – my trad rack is on my harness and Brian is giving me a belay almost as soon as we get there, and we’re exploring the routes…


  • What I’m calling “the entrance arrete” – 5.9/5.10, trad, Ben leads… partially. I finished up the first section, but after that it got a little too committing for me – so I lowered off, and we walked around to build an anchor. Then proceeded to crush it on top rope.
  • Middle Canyon routes – 5.easy, maybe as high as 5.6? All on trad, with Ben leading. These are fun routes, though no real technical difficulty. A few spicy moves make it fun, and the gear placements are definitely enjoyable. It sort of reminds me of Hammond Pond, back in Boston. The climbs are clean and solid, and there’s a ton of variants that can be done.

We climb ’till a little after noon hits, and then head back toward Hood to start the ribs cooking. We stick to my old-school recipe, and sauce them up before tossing them into the oven.

And now… we wait. But waiting is boring, so we head into town and explore a bit. Checking out the wind surfers and kite boarders, jumping in the water… you know, the usual. Because everywhere has huge populations of kite boarders, right?

The goal of the evening is hosting a dinner party – not a big one, but a small one for myself, Brian, and the folks who’d hosted me at the Airbnb rental when I first came to Hood River. We’d gotten along quite well, and so they’d made me promise to keep in touch as I got settled into town. I figured that a birthday dinner party would be ideal, and an especially good chance to show off my cooking skills!

So… I show off my cooking skillz. Everyone shows up around 7:00, and we relax and eat and chat and have a good time. The drink of the night is a Moscow Mule, which somehow goes super well with Ribs and cornbread and veggies. And Alexandra brings along raspberry tart, which is completely amazing and disappears quite quickly.

The rest of the night is chilling – chatting some more ’till they head out, then Brian and I light a fire out in the pit out back, and sip beers and poke fires ’till we get bored.

A Roadtrip to the gunks: Climbing! First Trad of the 2014 season!


A beautiful Sunday, 06-Apr-14


Daniel, Erin and I woke up… not early, but not late.  After a quick breakfast and packing up / cleaning the Hostel, we were tearing down the road towards what we expected to be a rather empty parking lot.  But instead…

Butt tons of people.  Seriously, how were there so many people climbing?  I mean, I know that it was perfect and amazing and gorgeous out, but… it was raining the day before!  That means I get the whole wall to myself!  No!  Stop climbing and having fun!  Give me back my walls!


Ribs (5.5 PG)

Pitch 1 = Daniel took the lead here, and I’m glad that he did.  While the moves were clean, everything was just… kind of thin.  Not positive, and a lot of sloping holds that would have kept me shaking.  So Erin followed him, and I cleaned the gear while making my way to the first belay ledge.

Pitch 2 = From the ledge I led onward, into a route full of pumpy and slightly overhanging moves.  It swung up on huge blocks, with many fair placements, and a lot of exposure… basically exactly what I love climbing.

At the top of the route, we set up an anchor and prepared to rappel down on our double-ropes… when another team came up from the right.  We helped them clip into our anchor, saying that they could drop down our ropes first, since they only had a single rope that would require two rappels.

Then another team showed up from the left.

And then a fourth team came in from the right.

And then a fifth team rappelled down onto us from above.

Seriously.  Our belay ledge was POPULAR.


Black Fly (5.5 PG)

We’ve done this one before, and it’s somehow always sketchier than it should be… a single pitch, and I took the lead on it.  Overall it was clean, but I had a bit of fun with the route-finding about halfway up, and hit a real nasty patch about 10ft from the top.  It was good though, and I’m glad that I took the lead.

However, we ran into trouble on the top rope.  Erin took the second ascent, and took a short fall about 3/4 the way to the top.  A short fall… but just long enough for her foot to get caught on a small ledge.  Sprains-ville, population: Erin.

The solution to this problem was, of course, to give Erin a bit of time to self-evaluate, and make sure it was actually a sprain.  Daniel burned up the climb quickly to get the gear back, and I did a bit of first-aid on the offending ankle.  From there – escape from the crag.

Escape revolved around me moving very quickly, and Daniel being burly.  So we both won in this situation.  Hell, Erin won too, because she got to get carried out by Daniel.  Who was also carrying his own gear.  And my gear.  And Erin’s gear.  Like I said, burly.  While he was flexing and grunting though, I was trail-running to get the car, and then driving at speed to meet up with them in the upper parking lot.  Like I said, moving fast.

Sum total: Enjoyment for all, and Erin was recovered safely.  Just in time to get dinner at the Gilded Otter…