Time to Rock (Climb, that is)

First Rock Climbing of the Year: Sunday, March 7th, 2010! 

Yesterday afternoon, Ra and I drove out to Lake Pleasant to hit the quarry wall. It’s a long drive, but we figured it would be the only rock a short distance from the road that might be dry. It was good enough. I dragged a ton of gear in, and we commenced climbing. Or preparing to – there is a lot of snow cover, so I had to shovel the bottom holds before we could begin. Rope bags and tarps are wonderful things for this time of year; enabling a dry, if somewhat tricky, footwear switch.I climbed up the easy route that lies farthest left on the wall. The winter hasn’t been good to this route: there is more loose rock and it looks as if the entire cliff to its left is an unconsolidated pile. This is the easiest route here, other than perhaps the 15′ line at the opposite end, so I hope it can be cleaned up safely. At the anchors, I clipped through and traversed right to the next set, ran the rope through those and lowered off, halting near the bottom and making a tenuous traverse back left to switch footwear again.

It was Ra’s turn, and she scampered up the leftmost line quickly.

The sun had already dipped behind the cliff, and the rock grew cold quickly. After TR’ing the line to the right, I pulled the rope and we called it a day for climbing. We packed the gear and took it back to the car.

We did take a snowshoe walk through the woods in the area before heading back home, passing a lot of deer sign along the way, and enjoying the afternoon sunshine before heading homeward.

 

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