Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ahhh Drat...

I had a chance to go to Rifle, CO for the first time this past week. All I have to say is I approve. I have only had the chance to climb on limestone a handful of times at the VRG, the Cathedral, and now at Rifle. The style of climbing that limestone lends itself to is completely different than the sandstone that I am used to. The one thing that I had always heard about Rifle was that the feet were slick and the hands were polished. However, after a few days there I was already getting used to the funky techniques necessary to ascend the blocky faces. The one thing that I really had a hard time grasping was the time it takes to figure out beta. I'm used to being able to see the sequence quickly on southern sandstone...at Rifle 90% of the battle is figuring out/getting beta. There was definitely more than one instance where I tossed a wobbler out of frustration during our short stay. I need to do better! Ha! It's funny how you can go bolt to bolt at a place like Rifle and then clip chains your next go...just goes to show you how far beta can go.


Our first day there we warmed up on a classic 5.11b called 80 feet of Meat. Super polished but still super cool. Afterwards we did Crime and Punishment 5.12a and Rehabilitator 5.11c. I went on to try a route called Cantina Boy 5.13b and got SHUT DOWN! Good God! I suck! Techy! I swear that thing is 14a...seriously...
Sucking...

After getting extremely humbled I thought I'd try a route that was a little more down my ally.   I had heard good things about a route called Spray-a-Thon, a steep 5.13c, before I even came to Rifle so I had to check it out.  We pulled into the Arsenal parking lot and I roped up immediately.  There wasn't anybody around to give me beta so I figured I'd just try for the onsight.  My track record for onsighting isn't that great so I really didn't think I had that great of a chance.  After I hit a big move down low to a good incut pocket I arrived at a rest where I tried to eye the next holds over a bulge.  I couldn't really see a sequence from my stance so I just kinda went with it and found myself on a bad pinch, two bolts from the anchors, pumped as all hell.  I shook out and tried to find a good stance before deciding to just gun for the anchors.  Luckily I had just enough left in the tank to pull the final hard moves and found myself at the anchors!  So psyched!  What an amazing route!  

Spray-a-Thon 5.13c

Spray-a-Thon had been my goal for the trip and I had done it on the first day so I figured I should try something hard.  I tried Stockboys Revenge 5.14b/c before deciding to take it down a notch.  I'm nowhere near having the Rifle knowhow for that route...kneebars galore!  That route is sick though...I think I've watched the video on Momentumvm.com at least a hundred times....maybe one day...

The next day we warmed up slowly and made our way to the Wasteland to try another classic route called The Beast 5.13a.  The Wasteland is extremely atypical of Rifle.  Awesome blue tufa features cover the wall.  I got beta for The Beast but fell low on my flash burn, so I made my way up the route slowly.  I managed to do it next burn for the 2nd try send.  One route on my lifetime ticklist is a route called Zulu 5.14a, so after the Wasteland we made our way to Wicked Cave so I could give it a go.  I managed to do all the moves except for one my first day, which kinda frustrated me.  It wasn't so much that I couldn't DO the move...it was more that I couldn't figure out HOW to do the move.   I haven't had trouble doing a move on a route in a little bit so it was kind of a rude awakening. Once again beta is key.
 
I have a way of obsessing over routes so I managed to conjure up a method later on that night in my head as we were hanging out at camp.  I came back the next day and did the move with a little more effort, utilizing my mental beta.  On my fourth try I fell low but managed to link fairly high.  Hayley and I are heading back this weekend and I'm psyched to make some progress...maybe I'll even be able to pull out some try hard and clip chains...


Some shots...





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