Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Weekend That Was 5/10-5/11 2014


Phil had driven up Friday night again this week and we set our sights on heading back to Old Sandstone. A part of the Lake that I have always had a special affinity for. Phil had a score to settle there with Mammalary Magic (5.10a) from earlier in the season, and was planning on putting that score to bed. Our friends John, Paul and Justin were planning on meeting us up there, so we had breakfast and jumped in the car. The psych was palpable.

We arrived at the parking to find only two other cars, neither belonging to our friends, but as we slammed the trunk lid down another couple cars pulled in - again neither belonging to our friends. We hurried from the lot to the cliff to beat the masses and get the routes we were hoping for. Phil dropped Mammalary, while I headed over to set an anchor on Freaky Face (5.8-5.10a). Justin appeared as we were finishing up our top rope setups, and he started scope lines to drop his rope on, finally settling on Seven Seas (5.11b). Phil and I each pulled a quick lap on Freaky Face, which I topped out on in order to reset the rope on Gargantua (5.10b). Then I helped Justin with some final adjustments on his setup, before we both headed down and met Phil at the base of Mammalary. Phil cruised it, and Justin and I each took a turn as well.

At this point a crowd was starting to develop so we decided it was time to condense our footprint, and since Gargantua and Seven Seas are neighbors, Phil headed up to tear down Mammalary. Meanwhile Justin and I headed over for a burn on Seven Seas which went well for both of us considering it was the first time either of us had been on the route. Phil came back, and took a go on the 5.9 variation of Gargantua. Then Justin and I took another burn each on Seven Seas, both managing to send on top-rope. I went around to move the anchor from Seven Seas over to Pacific Ocean Wall (5.11d).

At one point I had a rather long relationship with Pacific Ocean Wall, so it felt good to get another chance to climb the route all these years later. I managed to get up it after just three goes this time around - which felt good. It is not the hardest route at the Lake, but it is easily one of the most aesthetic. Even if you are not a climber, you should make the journey to the base of this beautiful piece of stone and look at it in person - it is amazing. When I climbed it in for the first time in 2007 I wrote a post about it. That post was pretty raw, so I rewrote it, and you can view the rewrite here and if you are really interested in the original it is also available in the archives from May 20th, 2007.

All-in-all it was an excellent day on an excellent piece of stone. 

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