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Kev-O, Green A (P3) 5.7, Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT

Excitement has been building over NST the last few weeks. Many people threatened us with their presence this last week, but only a few came through with their promises. 2 previous members were conspicuously absent but both had valid excuses related to being on the East Coast. A few newcomers showed their faces and were not disappointed.

Creep Show (5.10)was the first route to start things off. It is a miracle the Ruckmans gave this route a single star. P1 is a bushy scramble up a ramp to a decent belay on a sloping ledge. P2 is the must-do pitch on this route. An obvious flake system resembling an ear looms large above. The direct start presents itself with a few sketchy moves on questionable gear and even more questionable rock. Once into the flake, a few large cams provide the headspace to dispense with the actual climbing. Above the flake, clip the buttonhead (rusty, of course) traverse out right and make the committing lunge for the chickenhead you hope is good but is just out of reach. Some more unprotected slab climbing leads to a belay and it is up to you to figure out where/how to rig a rappel. Like I said, I am amazed this got a star.

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– photo courtesy of Andrew Burr

Next on the list was the return to This is Almost the Place (11d). The hours spent hanging on a rope cleaning paid off and the beast saw another redpoint. There is currently an angry bug of some sort in the crux undercling. As far as we could tell, he is all bark and no bite. He buzzed up a storm when any climber was near, when gear was placed in his “home” and was really angry to see fingers coming right at him. All talk and no action.

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– photo courtesy of Andrew Burr

Why Me? (10d) saw a quick ascent before nightfall. The leader was deftly able to lock off on a left handjam while removing copious amounts of rocks and dirt from the next jam, first with his hand, and thne with a nut tool. A little burrowing, a thank-god bolt, some down climbing and a committing OW layback wrapped up the most overhanging 5.10 in LCC.

image
– photo courtesy of Andrew Burr

Dark caught us again, but we brought plenty of light this time. Unfortunately, PBR light weighs just as much on the approach as The Original, and does not provide any additional nighttime security. Lesson learned.

image
– photo courtesy of Andrew Burr
(the guy on the far right says ‘I love you’ in sign language)

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