We arrived uneventfully about 12pm at John’s place.
We made it uneventfully to somewhere in Illinois at about 5am. We slept till about 4pm and busted out.
I figured we could climb today potentially since the forecast was for just cloudy but it was still kinda nippy.Â John was killing me again and he said we can just get home quicker, so we busted out.
We stopped by Golden and I figured we could climb some since we where here anyway.Â The weather was really iffy, the sky was nothing but gray (pretty much like those cloudy/rainy days on the AT).Â It was a little nippy and a bit windy as well.Â We hung out at Higher Grounds for a while waiting for it to maybe warm up, but it started raining.Â We stayed at the coffee shop for a while and then clicked out at the Table Mountain Inn.
We stayed at a bargain basement motel in Vegas last night and we went back to the gym for a bunch of hours, this time we just bouldered since it was cheaper and the lead bolts and anchors are really sketchy.Â We found an internet cafe afterwards and then busted out towards Zion.
The directions were really easy, just take 15 north to some exit and then take route 9 to Zion.Â I was going and going and I asked John, “hey which exit are we supposed to get off at again” and he didn’t know, so I found the directions and looked… damnit we were supposed to get off at exit 16, we’re at exit 35.Â John was like “eh, we could just get back sooner”.Â That is true… we have got a lot of climbing in, but stopping in Zion to do a mini-wall would have been quite nifty.Â We skipped Zion and uneventfully made it to Rifle, Colorado.
We stopped at a bargain basement motel and it was full, we stopped at another one and it was full.Â I noticed it was a saturday, hmm.Â We stopped at another one and it was also full.Â John asked what was going on, the person at the counter said “It’s hunting season, and it’s Columbus day weekend, and plus you have all the pipe workers”.Â Ahhhhhhh.Â We stopped at 4 more motels before we found one that had space.
We checked out and made our way to the climbing shop this morning.Â It was raining and crappy out.Â It turns out there is a gym right next to the climbing shop so we went for a bit.Â The grading of the routes are all over the place, there are v4s that are easier than v2s and v2s that are harder than v4s, completely random.Â They have some pretty good routes though.
The roped climbing is pitiful.Â They have a rule that you must use a grigri for everything including leading.Â This is quite retarded since using an atc is a lot more straightforward for leading then using a grigri.Â Everyone I watched who was belaying a leader with a grigri was using it wrong.Â Using a grigri for leading has resulted in quite a number of accidents when the belayer drops the leader due to loss of control of the grigri (in all cases due to pilot error and misuse of the grigri).
It also appears that many of the lead bolts are just screwed into t-nuts tacked into the back of plywood.Â There was an accident in a gym not too long ago where a leader fell and ripped out a bolt that was just screwed into plywood. A few of the toprope anchors (what little toprope setups they have) consist of webbing tied around 2×4′s and fashioned in such a way to create the american death triangle.Â Fun stuff.
Anyways, we had fun bouldering and then got a much cheaper motel in vegas so that we can kill tomorrow since the weather is going to be crappy again.Â The forecast is for rain in Zion tomorrow, so might as well stay in vegas and climb at the gym again.Â Zion is only 3 hours away, so we can just bust out tomorrow night.
We woke up and moved the tents over to a sunny spot to dry them out before packing them up. We loaded all the remaining food into the car and packed everything up after everything was all dry. It was a pretty nice morning so I figured we could get one or two more routes in before we busted out but the John wanted to just bust out :(.
So we busted out to vegas and John couldn’t be convinced to stay somewhere cheap like the campground at Red Rocks. He asked where I would “want” to stay and I’m like “uhhh… the bellagio?” and he said “okay”. So we drove down to the strip and went to get a room. We waited in line in the lobby for a while. It’s a really really nice lobby. I felt all weird being there with my beat up under armor shirt that looked like I had been hiking the AT with it for a month without washing it.
John asked about laundry service and the girl at the desk didn’t know how much it was. She said that once we get in the room we could call the guest services line and we can ask about anything… room service, movie rentals… laundry (as she said laundry she looked right at me).
I won 5 bucks on a slot machine and quit while I was ahead.Â I wound up just washing my shirt in the sink in the room’s bathroom.
No storming predicted for today so I figured this would be a perfect day for a nice long route (6 pitches this time).Â We started up kinda late and headed over to the Manure Pile Buttress.Â I was thinking about doing the nutcracker again and headed over there.Â There was a party on the regular start, a party on the 5.9 alternative start, and one party at the bottom waiting.Â Looks like it would be a long wait to get going so I checked out after six which is the same height as nutcracker but goes at 5.7.Â There was a slow guy leading the first pitch with two more in his party.
There was no one on after seven, which is an alternative start, so we headed up there.Â A nice bomber 5.7 hand crack lead up to a tricky 5.8 face section and then to some easier climbing.Â John couldn’t get a nut out so I had him climb up to the belay and then lower me down to the nut.Â I couldn’t get it out either so I lowered to the ground, went to the car and got the wall hammer.Â That didn’t work either, it was really stuck in there.Â We did the next 3 pitches nicely and when there was one more to go we got stuck behind the party of 3 from before.Â We were at a nice large comfy ledge but the temperature was dropping and it was really windy.Â I built a mini windblock out of rocks and waited almost an hour for the party of three to top out.Â They left a nut that I got out easily, so I suppose I’m even.
We walked down and the John was in the mood for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so we went to the village store and got some required ingredients.Â I made some jelly and cheese sandwiches and boiled water for tea and hot chocolate and then we clicked out.
We got a really really late start (12pm this time) and headed over to the Five Open Books.Â We went up and did The Caverns (I figured it would be a nice route for the John since he hasn’t done many long ones).Â We got down at about 5 and then headed over to the Swan Slabs and the John lead one more route, a 5.7 this time.Â We finished up in the dark and busted out and made some dinnler.
It was really nice when we woke up. We made some breakfast and I planned on doing something on Five Open Books today, get some training in for some long routes like Royal Arches. I figured we can make some use out of the 3 day internet pass we had that was going to expire today (courtesy of Andrew). I updated the bloggio, emailed the nut and did some random things.
Apparently it’s been dry for too long, so it got a bit wet all day today. It’s that annoying slow drizzle. We went back to camp and there was some speech and an open mic for people. I think it was something to do with the anniversary of saving camp 4. Royal Robbins and Dean Potter were there.
It was still raining so we went back to the lodge and we got back on the internet until about 9:30pm. It’s still raining and we’re busting out back to camp to make some dinner. The forecast is for some niceness tomorrow.