Monday, October 20, 2008

Back and Forth We Go

All psyched on routes again. Not that the psyche ever really left, but as the temps went south and the cool wind in Riggins starts to blow, I was getting pretty close to being done with route climbing for the season. Until this weekend. After a very engrossing geology field trip to dig fossilized plants in Clarkia, ID, I raced up to Spokane to Deep Creek to meet Mark Polinski, John Keane and Conrad Piper-Ruth for a weekend of the Creek and China Bend, a sweet limestone cliff in northern Washington. Warmed up, did the hard part of Flip a Bitch Bear to finish the warmup and decided to get on Problem Child. Mark has now invested around 15 days on this route, and he is as close to sending as you can get without doing it. Props to him all the training has been payin' off recently. Problem Child starts up a wall that is roughly 10-15 degrees overhung, on a techy, kinda balancey boulder problem that is also the start to the Masochist. A pinch, two crimps and one long move to a good hold leads you to a huge jug rest that you really don't need yet, but take anyways, seeing as it is the best hold you are grabbin' for about 75 more feet. Off the rest, powerful moves on good holds lead to a double left hand slap with a left heel that stretches out the longest wingspan to its max, keeping your feet low. A small left hand three finger 3/4 pad crimp with a thumb catch and a good right hand sidepull, hike up the feet and do the first really hard move (where I fell). Pop to a bad pinch, go again, bad hold after bad hold leads to a huge reach move to gain the path of Motley Crux, and finish up the 14a. Rad route, excited to work it, if it is this fall or in the spring if the weather closes out I am psyched.

China Bend was a good day in the sun, the temps were up near 70 at times against the white brown limestone wall. Good sending went down, Mark sent the Bigger Thrutch (13b), Conrad sent Divine Intervention (13a), Kevin Wilkinson, a visitor from Canada sent Game Warden (12c/d) and I sent a couple of things I gave some effort last year and hiked this year, proof that training (and not drinking vodka in the morning before work) pays off. I sent Poacher (13a), and Divine Intervention as well as setting draws on I'm Your Hero, the hardest and possibly coolest 13b around. Just hope Jens doesn't yellow card me for the route....going back next weekend with Kaiya and the rest of the crew, so photos will follow, no time for that this time around, too much sending going on....

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