“Rainy-Day” Rock

Tom heads up E-Stim

Got home from church, changed, rushed out the door. Things didn’t look hopeful: the previously-sunlit flanks of Crane Mountain were already overshadowed by dark, threatening clouds as I headed up to the shortcut. But there on the side of the Sky High, Tom’s car and another sat quietly. I couldn’t let Tom and whoever down, so I figured worse comes to worse, at least I get some exercise.

The Isobuttress framed by brooding clouds 

The clouds didn’t lift miraculously as I neared the Isobuttress, but they hadn’t poured open, either. As I rounded the trail at its base, there stood Tom, Doc, and – well up Carpenter & Das – Jeremy Haas danced a delicate vertical ballet between wet streaks. After a quick hello, I dragged Tom over to E-Stim, intent on getting some of our own verticality in before getting soaked.

Tom nears the top of E-Stim 

In short order, we were sharing the breeze at the top of our route with Doc and Jeremy. The sky still held no promise, but we had managed 140′ of climbing already. As Jeremy and Doc’s rope slipped out of the rings, we pulled ours through and rapped to the top of Recuperation Boulevard. A few threatening sprinkles had begun, but that juicy slab was dry enough to trust a top-rope to. While Doc and Jeremy headed into the Amphitheatre, we took turns easy-doing-it up our route.

Doc Livingston raps from the top of the Isobuttress 

We finished and headed in to climb Broken Broom, when the sprinkles turned frantic, not quite rain but pretty close. It seemed like the end, so we wandered over to say good-bye to the others before heading outward. Jeremy was fully-involved in tackling Gun Show, the short, thin crack on the side of the Tripe Buttress. It was beginning to look more and more like rain as we walked away.

One last ride? This one on Stairway to Heaven 

But wouldn’t you know it, the rain stopped, the sun began peeping through once again. We happened to be passing Stairway to Heaven, so away Tom went, upward once again. Another quick run for both of us, making it four pitches for the afternoon.

The weather kept up its Jekyll-Hyde behavior, nudging us onward and outward, but once more we would stop and climb, this time on the newborn Halitosis (a climb I would highly recommend if its sender would clean it up!), making a total of five pitches for the afternoon. Not bad for a “rained-out” day of climbing!

Take a chance! It ain’t over ’til it’s REALLY raining.

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