This fall I have not done much writing. I apologize to the five of you who might look forward to reading my random writings. Lately my life has involved work, climbing, and much down time which has not been used productively. Since you probably don’t want to hear about what I do at work (if you do, I can start putting up posts of the jobs we do) I will write about other happenings, mostly climbing.
Since the weather has started to finally cool down, I have spending my weekends climbing. Over the past month or so I have had the opportunity to meet many climbers. One of my first weekends down at Jackson Falls, I ran into a group of climbers from SIUE. They are a great group of people. I have enjoyed all the time I have spent with them. They seem to enjoy me as well since they have continued to let me climb with them. I have been setting up traditional climbs for them since no one in their group leads trad, yet. I have been trying to get a few of them hooked on it. This has allowed me to practice many of the techniques that I learned when I took the AMGA’s single pitch instructor course. Oh yeah, I took that course, so I am now a certified guide. Now I just have to find a guiding job somewhere. Sorry, I had to chase that rabbit. It has been good to climb with a group of people who are psyched to be outside and challenging themselves on the rock. Because of them, I have actually had some of my hardest redpoints ever.
First, I finally redpointed Hidden Treasure (5.12a). It is a classic at the falls. It starts with long moves between huecos (5.10). Then you get to a point where you traverse to the right on a small mono and a crimp. After the traverse, the crux hits you with a huck move off of small crimps to a decent edge. After that it is just good crimps to the top. I kept falling going for the edge, but finally stuck it. After the redpoint I went and got on The Bolted One (5.11d). The bolted one is a dihedral crack that is overhung. It has a single bolt on it protecting the crux do to the crack nearly disappearing during that section. It then turn a corner and you are on a wide slab crack that wants to spit you off the entire time. I ended up getting confused at the crux on this go so I was going to rest on a piece of gear that I blindly placed above the bolt. When I weighted it, it blew and scared the crap out of my belayer. Once that happened I realized I had to just make some moves above the bolt. I ended up working out the moves and let the other guys play on the route.
The next week, I went down and got the redpoint on The Bolted One, making it my hardest trad lead to date. Being psyched from that I went to try No Dogs Allowed (5.12b) on lead. I floated past the hard moves back left only to fall three times reaching through the roof. So the next weekend, I got on it and it felt super easy. It is only a short section of hard climbing. It is more like a bouldering problem with a juggy top section.
This has all been great, but I also messed up my left ring finger a bit with all this climbing. Only this past weekend did I take a break and let it heal up. I realized how bad it was when I was down at the Red River Gorge climbing for five straight days that I needed to rest it. Oh yeah, the red. I went down there for the Rocktoberfest. It was a great time. I manned the Solid Rock Climbers for Christ booth, climbed, fed hungry climbers pancakes, and talked to a ton of people. It was also great because I was able to climb with a long lost friend, Kristin. I met her a few years ago when I was interning with Solid Rock. She was serving as an On the Road Missionary with Solid Rock at the time and we ended up doing a lot of work together. It was great catching up with her over the few days down there. That was a very encouraging time to hear the things that God is doing through her. It was also at the Red that I started taking photos again. Since my trip in July, I hadn’t taken any pictures and it was fun to finally get the camera out while climbing/ goofing around and take a few. Here are some of the pics from the Red and my trip to Jackson Falls last weekend.