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Sunday, September 11, 2016

A walk with a pad through Pipestone

While Cady was dirt biking with her friends, Manfred and I walked around the vast expanse of boulders that is Pipestone and actually found a couple to climb. The 'actually' that I just stated is heavy sarcasm in case you have not been out there before; you dont have to walk 50yds to find a rock to climb let alone the mile or two I put on. I wanted another shot at the Druthers Crack so thats where I went first. I havent seen all the boulders in Pipestone and definitely never will, but the Druthers Boulder has to be one of the best boulders there. If not in the state. Quintessential crack climbing on a house sized boulder. Well, I didnt get it last time and I didnt get it this time. We walked around for a while longer and found one possibly unclimbed boulder which I sent in just a couple of tries. I did find quite a few quartz crystals again this time but none of them were the huge ones that we found last year.
I dont remember what this bouldery boulder is called.

The Druthers Boulder with the obvious Druthers crack.
An SDS and some great hand jamming get you up this guy pretty quickly.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Revenue Village: Proud Face day 1

I finally got to go back out to my home away from home for some more new-routing. I finished putting chains on Manfred's Rock and moved the cache over to a buttress I call Proud Face. I began on the main face and started work on two routes. These two routes share a start. One or two pieces of gear sets you up to traverse out on to the face where 6 bolts will take you to the top. Or you can stay in the crack all the way up. I still need to scrub the face and clean the crack though. I installed some more anchors to the right and started another traversing route. Again, a couple pieces of gear will get you to a point where you can traverse on to the face. This route, however, traverse horizontally right for 2 bolts before you reach the arete and clip one more bolt before you reach the top (supplemented with one more medium cam before you reach the anchors). I still need to clean the crack and scrub the face. Running out of time and trying to kill my drill's battery, I installed three more anchors before she pooped. I found The Fugitive Crack's (Gallatin Canyon) doppelganger. This crack might not hit 5.12 but I instantly remembered The Fugitive when I saw it and I havnt climbed The Fugitive in 6 or 7 years! Once again, just like every buttress in the Village so far, I cant wait for this one to be done so we can climb it! I hope to finish it before the snow falls. It should produce 7 or 8 more climbs.
If sleeping was a sport, I got your Michael Phelps right here.

The Fugitive-esque crack

The Proud Face. Left of center is too bare for a McAlpine route.
Proud Face is a system of adjacent ramps. Theres one more on the right side.
This will have routes going through the left and right sides of the roof.
This will have a couple more.
The main slab of Proud Face. About midway between grass clumps, you can traverse left to the big shady hold and go up from there. Or you can stay in the crack and follow it as it rounds the corner to the right and up to the top.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Labor Day Weekend

I had plenty of ideas of what I wanted to do on my long weekend but the forecast didnt want to cooperate. It looked like we might get one nice day to climb so Lucas, Bailey, Manfred and I hiked up to South Gorge lake; the basecamp for Mt.Tweedy. Tweedy is the tallest in the Pioneer mountains and I have hiked to its summit before. This time, like last time, our goal was to climb the North ridge 5.7. We awoke to decent weather and hiked up to the base of the climb. Lucas is known more for being able to do a lot with a little, i.e. usually not the most prepared person in the world, but this time he was the only one with a winter puffy jacket. Bailey and I hiked up with all of our clothes on and had nothing to add once we reached the windy, brisk ridge. Im going to go ahead and say I bailed because I was cold. The weather would have been fine for climbing but I would have been miserably cold the whole time. I deem that climb not worth suffering for. I may be putting my foot in my mouth by saying this but I doubt anyone that has climbed the North ridge of Tweedy has gone back to do it again. It looks like its worth doing once but you probably wouldnt come back for a repeat. I think my two attempts are about all Im giving that ridge. There is plenty of other semi-immediate climbing in the area that, to me, seems more desirable/worthy. We hung out at the lake long enough for Lucas to catch 1 Westslope Cutty and 2 Cutbows for a tinfoil-in-the-fire lunch. Mmm. We hiked out and proceeded to Elkhorn hotsprings for the evening. I was feeling a little better than my compatriots Sunday morning so I left with Manfred and went rockhounding at Crystal Park. I found a ton of little guys but couldnt find any of the big ones on this trip. I bumped in to Lucas and Bailey ~4ft under a tree's rootball digging for crystals with a mountaineer's axe and watched them struggle for a while. When the rain started, I admitted defeat and went home.
Bailey, Lucas and Manfred. Did I mention it rained on the hike up?
Backcountry mixer! Vodka + Water + flavor concentrate (I like lemonade) = good time! Plus you're drinking a whole cup of water with every drink so no hangovers.
I threw in some glow-sticks for shits and giggles. The hike is short enough to bring pretty much everything.
How to stay warm when its cold: see above fire (size). You know its hot when you cant sit within the first couple feet of it!
South Gorge Lake
Lucas fishing for fish.
The section of the North ridge that is climbing.
Crystal Park could be straight out of the movie 'Holes'
For being a rockhound, Manfred failed to find one crystal.