Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slick Rock!!!

Dylan has been pushing me into rock climbing (very willingly I might add) for most of the year.  We have been to the Black Cliffs locally several times, but were yearning for something different.  He's been bothering John Platt for most of the summer to take us to Slick Rock, and yesterday was the day.

John got in touch with his old climbing buddy, Tom McLeod, to have him join us, with the plan being John and I doing the "Three Cracks" trad route and Tom and Dylan doing the bolted "Memorial" route. We met up at 9AM in McCall and after a very short detour to pick up Tom, were staring at the enormity of Slick Rock by 9:30.  It was a bit chilly as we gathered gear but quickly warmed up as we made it to the base of the rock. Once at the base, John gave me a few instructions on multi pitch climbs, and we were off!

Dylan and Tom hydrating before starting
With my limited leading skills I didn't even bother to ask John to lead a pitch, I just sat back belaying as he led and laid out the protection for the eight pitches. There were a variety of moves required during the climb with plenty of hand holds in the varying sized cracks. At the top of the second crack there was a great move where you had to move up over a bulge with limited hand holds - exciting!  Probably the most fun for me was the top of the last pitch where we had three undercling moves on large flakes - great fun!  In what seemed like an hour, we were at the top enjoying the view.

John getting ready to belay me with Dylan and Tom above
While John and I were plodding up enjoying ourselves, Tom and Dylan were leapfrogging one another exchanging leads quickly moving up the rock.  There were a few places where I had the opportunity for pictures and was glad that I took the shots that I did because they quickly were out of sight.
Dylan belaying Tom after a lead
Dylan on a belay anchor

Even though their route was a bit tougher than ours, they still beat us to the top by  half an hour or so.

Enjoying the view from the top

I had anticipated being a bit scared from the height and exposure, but really enjoyed looking down while being anchored on belay.  While climbing, you are so concentrated on making the right moves that you are not aware of the exposure.  This is a great way to live for the moment, as nothing else is on your mind.

The most difficult part of the climb was the "trail" down, but we all made it back to the car with no mishaps.  Once back at the car, Tam (who came up with us to mountain bike and watch) joined us after a 20 mile ride, and we spent a few moments recounting the fun we had.  From there we drove back to McCall to tour John's cabin, which he is refurbishing.  After grabbing his wife Julie, we all headed over to the Blue Moose for burgers and beers.

The total elevation gain was a bit over 800 feet, but since we did 8 pitches of 200 feet rope, we probably climbed about 1500 feet in 4 hours.

I'd like to again thank Tom and John for taking the time to show a couple of neophytes the ropes (pun intended)!  We will be back soon.

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