NST accomplished a huge milestone this last week.
Something that many climbers spend years in tense anticipation and extreme amounts of effort to accomplish.
We had two FFA’s this week.
That’s right folks, this last week up at The Dragon Arch area, No-Star-Tuesdays had two First Female Appearances! Dragon Arch had a few zero-star routes that seemed interesting and lots of one-star routes to check out as well. Luckily, once each person got a zero-star pitch in that day, they were safe to do as many one-star routes the rest of the evening without breaking any club rules.
We started things off on Valentine’s Crack (5.8) I have had my eye on this route for a few months now. Easily visible from the road, this wide chimney and its distinctive chockstone beckon to all climbers from beginner to expert. Upon closer inspection however, the 5.8 layback moves feel a tad tougher with green foliage and crispy rock under foot.
Next up was Hairstyles and Attitudes (5.10a). Once again, this route sports some awesome laybacking on crumbly, confidence-crushing rock. You want to climb it straight-in, but that ever present “Little Cottonwood Lean” is just too much for that to be a feasible option.
Ralph, Herb, Bert and Ernie (5.10) was also a feature on the list of zero-stars. It lived up to the rating. Shoulder scumming exfoliating rock. A pin halfway up the route seemed to keep the runout a bit shorter. Until we wiggled the pin out, stuck it back in and clipped it. Microwave sized blocks protected the entrance to the rotten squeeze wherein rope drag was so bad by the top, that he had to pull up a few feet of slack, move up, and repeat. in his words: “awesome. ::cue eye rolling smiley::”
Upon my first glance at Dragon Arch (5.10) I was disappointed. The entire buttress was named after this route and it did not seem to hold much interesting climbing. It took a bit of prodding to get me psyched to tie in again, but it was worth all the foot-dragging. There was a bit of everything on the route from hand jams, a nice stembox, splitter finger crack and an exciting slabby topout. I had a smile on my face the entire way up. It sure pays to have low expectations.
The climbing move of the day this last week was…. The Mantle!
Lunar Tick (5.10c), Toymakers Dream (5.11a) and Two Heads are better than One (5.9-) were all great slab routes sporting mantles better than any contrived crux you might find in the gym. I’ll let the pics tell this story.
Lunar Tick where is the mantle going to be?
All in all it was a great day. Aside from the lovely ladies that came on out, we had a few other victims who came out for their first edition of NST. We have not all yet learned to bring headlamps but the thrash back to the car in the dark was probably not lesson enough for everyone. Kevin Quaderer has lost his preferred member status and will be asked to turn in his club shirt as soon as possible.
– All photos courtesy of Andrew Burr