Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Frankly, It Was Really Hot.

Sunday! Sunny! Hot! Back to Frank Slide! More bouldering with super fun people!

I staggered out of bed early Sunday morning to a warm breeze and blue skies.  Dragging my bouldering pads out to the van, I was excited by the prospect of another day in Frank, despite the early hour.  I picked up Mark, then turned west to meet Adam, Amanda, and Calvin at the west-side McDonalds.  After I grabbed a coffee and breakfast, we piled five people and six mats into the van, and headed to Frank; despite feeling a little weak at the gym this week, I hoped to have a good day in Frank (the previous trip had been a blast, and I was hoping that this trip would be a repeat).

Calvin and I had been to the Aftermath / Ghost Rider boulder the week before, but I was keen to have Adam, Amanda, and Mark try some of the new problems there.  We all did the highballish slab Charlie the Horse (V0), and Mark almost flashed Aftermath (V5, he did it second go, very solid).  I did the first ascent of two more problems on the boulder, as well; Sour Grapes (V2, essentially an extension linking the start of Four Inch Pinch into the slab problems to the right), and High Life (V2/3, the high (!) arete to the left of Ghost Rider).  There are really just three (maybe four) lines left on the boulder; a really hard sidepull-oriented problem, another highball to the right of Ghost Rider, another hard sloper project between Vagina Dentata and Aftermath.  We spent some time working on the latter problem, but although we were getting close, it was starting to get too hot to work really slopey problems.  Unfortunately, the hottest part of the day was still to come...

Mark on the project immediately right of Aftermath (V5).  Still a long way to go, grasshopper...

Mark wanted to look at a cave/bulge boulder he had seen "just above the House Boulder", so we packed up and headed upslope.  The hike turned out to be longer than we thought, but when we arrived it turned out to be a good destination; not necessarily because of the boulder (which is steep with a nice looking project on it), but because it sits adjacent to a huge beach-like slab of rock which made for a brilliant lunch area.  We did a few moderate problems in the area (with Adam making the probable FA of a great-looking marble-white face), and Mark and I failed miserably on a white face/arete project with a black flame-shaped stain.

Amanda and Calvin hiding from the sun.  Strangely, they were the only two who didn't get sunburned.  Hmm...

By this time we were baking in the sun, and were beginning to look for shady boulders.  I had a few things I wanted to try on a long boulder in the Mushroom Area, so we moved the mats up to try them.  I had actually cleaned three projects there in the winter, so I knew there would be things for us to try.  Mark immediately set to work on the so-called 'pocket project', to no avail. I had hoped we could figure out a sequence that would unlock a improbable-looking four-foot gap between holds, but it didn't materialise.  In consolation I did a new problem on the blunt arete immediately to the right, which proved to be very fun.  Adam made great progress on it quickly as well, using so many foot-tricks that I decided to call it Trick Pony (V3 or V4).  There was another cleaned project to the right (which I had previously called the 'flat crimps project') which I managed to dispatch more easily than I had anticipated.  The moves were technical and hardish, but good footholds kept the difficulty down.  Adam and Mark repeated it, and I called it Sunburner (V3, maybe even V4) after the bright shade of red our faces were beginning to turn in the sun.  Calvin and Amanda made good progress on the crimps as well, but it was starting to get a little too hot for hard crimping...

Calvin nailing the first big move on Sunburner (V3ish).

Mark and I flashed the adjacent Hate (given V6, but more likely 4 or 5), and then we tried the low start to an arete to the right.  The problem started on a good jug in a little cave, then used a great heelhook to oppose a very sloping handhold to reach up to a minijug on the arete.  We both managed to do it in fairly short order; a very fun line somewhat marred by the fact that it is difficult not to dab on the boulder behind.  After some deliberation, I called it Get Carter (V7).

Mark pulling on perfect full-pad 'Frank edges', sending Hate (V4?V6?).  Get Carter (V7ish) starts in the little cave in the lower right of the photo.
Thoroughly baked in the sun, we began eagerly debating the relative merits of ice cream vs. slurpies.  Having convinced ourselves that cold treats were in order we packed up, and headed to the car.  Cold treats from the nearest convenience store made for a perfect ending to another stellar day in Frank.  It is always an honor to climb with such a fun, motivated, and hilarious group of people. Climbing is fun, but climbing with great people makes the experience just that much more rewarding.

POST SCRIPT: Kyle says the problem that we thought was Hate (V6) was actually an unnamed V4 (which makes much more sense); Hate starts on the same face, but traverses up and left to the arete.  Next time! 

No comments: