Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nice little Wednesday at the Lake

An old friend of mine and his girlfriend are in the area, and were climbing at the Lake today. They were nice enough to invite me to join them after I was done with work. They were climbing at Horse Rampart, a place I have not been since the weekend after I got home from Joshua Tree. I was psyched to reacquaint with Willie, meet his girlfriend Heather, and to go back Horse Rampart, since I had some unfinished business with a route there called Plethora (5.11a).

Plethora is one of those routes that perfectly captures the subjectivity of climbing grades. I could write a few thousand words on why I think it deserves 5.11a and I am sure the folks who think it only deserves 5.10d could argue just as strongly for their opinion. All I know is that it is somewhere in that range, depending on your body type and the style of climbing that suits you, and it is fun. So if 5.10d+/5.11a- is close to the difficulty you want to climb, get on this thing. As for me I got on it on top rope tonight and got it second try (after having worked it back in late April) - it is a climb in two parts with two distinct cruxes. The bottom is a mid-to-upper 5.10 inside corner that with cool movement, followed by a ledge-filled midsection with a good rest. The top is cryptic, tenuous and somewhat (at least for me) dynamic (in the feet, not the hands). If I had it wired I might be convinced to call it 5.10d, but I do not, so I will stand by 5.11a.

Anyway it was a night of perfect weather, with an old friend. The kind of night that makes the grade seem unimportant.

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