Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Opening Weekend at Devil's Lake - March 7-8, 2015

The weather over this past weekend was amazing! On Saturday, I met Matthew shortly after noon at the CCC parking lot, and we headed up to the East Bluff for an afternoon of fun in the sun. It was a little chilly in the valley, but by the time we made it to the top of the CCC trail we were sweating. The sun was out, the rock was warm and we were psyched.

Matthew got the day started with a lead of Birch Tree Crack (5.8), a perennial favorite, and mega-classic. Here is a video of him climbing from the crux to the top. It, like most climbing videos is probably boring, but it shows good crux beta and then proceeds to fast-forward to the top:

I took a lead lap on Birch Tree as well, and then we headed around the corner to Congratulations (5.10a). Matthew led it, cleaned it on rappel, and then I took a turn leading it, this time I got play for the camera:

After that, we headed over to Callipigeanous Crack (5.10a), where I led and Matthew seconded. After that we took a quick lap on my all-time favorite Peter's Project (5.7).

Topping out on Peter's Project (5.7)
We wrapped up the day with a quick lap on Brinton's Crack (5.6), another mega-classic. Matthew led, and topped out just as the sun was dipping below the horizon.

Matthew's feet and the setting sun, atop Brinton's Buttress - photo by Matthew
When I topped out a few minutes later, the sun was down, but the sky was still impressive.

Devil's Lake at Dusk
All-told, it was great day, and we resolved to come back and climb some more the next day.

On Sunday morning, Matthew and I met Jon and Liz at the Bedroom Amphitheater, next to Rainy Wednesday Tower. Jon led Foreplay (5.5), and Liz followed. Then I led Foreplay as well and Matthew followed. While I was leading Tim showed up with the legendary Pete Cleveland in tow. We hung out for a while, Jon led Orgasm (5.8), despite wet conditions. I took a turn at it, but backed down after finding myself unwilling to commit to turning the roof. Since there was a rope hanging on the Bedroom wall, it saw a lot of action, with Orgasm Direct (5.11b) and Second Coming (5.7) seeing the majority of the top rope ascents. Jon also led  Second Coming, and Matthew led Cerebration (5.4). At some point, Tim and Pete left to see if there were any last remnants of the ice left to climb. Shortly thereafter Mike and Melissa (of Mike's Mix fame) dropped in unexpectedly, and were followed by another expected surprise when Keller and Marco dropped in.

Matthew and I decided to sneak out of the now crowded (who would have thought on the first weekend in March?) Bedroom Amphitheater and check out some other nearby attractions. First on the docket was the short, but fun Pretzel (5.6) just around the corner at Psuedo Hawk's Nest. After that we decided to go down the hill a bit and check out the often overlooked, Four Brothers. At the base, I discovered that I had left my shoes up in the Bedroom Amphitheater. Rather than waste a trip up the hill to retrieve them, I decided to lead Foliage (5.5) in my running shoes - harrowing endeavor. Matthew seconded, I retrieved my shoes, and we headed back to the base of Four Brothers. I wanted to give Family Jewels (5.7) a try. Meanwhile, Jon had decided to come check out the cliff from above and decided to take some photos as I led. I was pretty happy with the results:

Placing gear high on Family Jewels (5.7) while Matthew belays - photo by Jon
After that we all decided to call it a day, and most of us adjourned to The Barn for a burger and a beverage. All-in-all a great weekend and an amazing way to kickoff the summer season.


Matthew said...

Great post, James! Thanks for capturing the weekend!

(and thanks for the kind treatment regarding Birch Tree--where I melted off at my first go through the crux and then proceeded to take forever to finish the lead...cobwebs in my head)

James said...

Thanks Matthew. Glad you liked the video, I was particularly happy with the audio sync.

dre said...

Nice work! Can't wait for trout fishing to start!