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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Opening day Rifle season: Bulls be dropping like

I had a very successful opening day of rifle season last Saturday. My dad, two guys from Great Falls and I met up in the Little Belts and split up into two teams of two. Divide and conquer. Young guys verse old guys. I ended up walking around by myself on a ridge when a couple of shots sounded off not too far away. Pretty soon I could hear something crashing through the trees coming straight at me so I hit the dirt and got ready. One cow, two cows, three cows....15 cows walked through my crosshairs at ~100 yards before Mr.4x5 showed up and boom! Down he went. My third bull I think is my largest bull. Cant thank the other three enough for the help dragging this guy out. Freezer Bull!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Revenue Village Climb Day: Harry Potter Rock

After such a successful Saturday and another freakishly warm day, you know Sam, Manfred and I were going to be back out there. Harry Potter rock had 3 un-attempted routes on it, 2 sport routes and a crack. Potter Crack climbed fairly easily at 5.7. Ron Ginger, 5.9 sport, is a super fun, cruxy short pitch that I cant say enough about. And Post-Pubescent Hermione is a 5.10a sport gem! I was worried that I might have forced these routes but after climbing them, they all get 3-4 stars! 3 more first ascents closed the season out at the Village. It was a damn good year, I cant wait for next spring!

Potter Crack post send pre-clean.
Ron Ginger route; solo up to the first bolt, clip it, lie back, find the jug and pull the roof!

A poor photo of Post-Pubescent Hermione.
Sam figuring out the crux on Post-Pubescent Hermione.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Revenue Village: Climb day at Canusa Rock, Church Boulder and Have It Your Way slabs

Due to some unseasonably warm temperatures, like 70*, I just had to go rock climbing. I had several un-attempted routes that I really wanted to try before the snow fell and ended rock season. Sam, Manfred and I did work! We pretty much flashed every problem we tried. ALL the routes were better than expected as well as a little easier, but thats not what made them great. They are just high quality routes and Im not just 'floating my own boat' so to speak. We ended the day with Sam getting his first trad leads on the Have It Your Way slabs and 5 first ascents!
Me sending Canusa Crack 5.6 FA.

Chillin on chains.
Me post send on Skateboard Contessa 5.9-5.10 all bolts except for one small cam placement.

I didnt have enough gear with me to climb Poutine Ceiling 5.8 all gear but had no problem climbing it on top rope.

Top roping the best V5 overhanging highball around! I cant believe its going to go!
Suns out guns out!

Sam post first trad lead.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sphinx Mountain: Lowe Direct; Try 4!

Just when you think you are smart and know the mountains is when they are going to humble you. And Sphinx got me good yesterday. With one attempt last November, and 2 this year already (10.4 and 10.12), I thought I knew exactly what conditions are needed for the ice to be in. So Nick and I walked out there with tons of excitement and enthusiasm only to find a grizzly bear and no ice. Well, not 'no' ice but not enough to climb. Nothing like it was on 10.4 when Sam and I were there. Every time I go out there I learn a little bit more so its never a waste of time. But the 4am mornings recently are getting annoying. The summit of Black Mountain, even though its a walk up, took me 4 or 5 tries but other than that, I have never put this much time and effort into a route. This must truly be one of those 'inspiring' routes you always hear climbers talking about. I mean, its inspiring enough to get me to walk almost 40 miles now with no climbing!
Looking up at the Lowe Route Direct from the base. The wet black streaks were supposed to be thick ice. 

Mmmm, hot tea.
4th try is not the charm.
Thats my pouty face.
The grizzly was at about the lower left hand corner of this photo.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Post #100: Sphinx Mountain Ice

With a big snowfall and some freezing temps, the ice climbing bug bit me hard. Sphinx gets some of the earliest ice in the NW so thats were I went ice hunting. Sam and I brought everything needed to climb the Lowe route but never got to touch the ice. We started way too late. We rounded the ridge onto the North face traverse at 2pm. The time constraint and a little fatigue found us backing off the face and just tagging the summit. "Taking the tools for a walk." The ice was in and then some! October 4th! It was still a beautiful day with a bunch of mini victories. Cant wait to go back and send that route! I hear the 3rd time is the charm....
These tracks tend to put a little extra kick in your step.

Could see the upper ice from the saddle!
Helmet mountain with the two other hikers up there that day.

Ice ice baby!
Cedar mountain from Sphinx.
Sam coming up the ridge towards the summit.
Sam walking the ridge over to the summit proper.

This lil guy wasnt up here last time I summited. 

On the way back down.

Whats the largest herd of mountain goats you have ever seen? Ill bet it wasnt 31 members strong!