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Archive for June 24th, 2011

It was a warm afternoon, but a few clouds kept temperatures reasonable as Gary and I hiked up to North Table Mountain’s Golden Cliffs. He had a route in mind and led us around to the west side of the basalt cliffs to rack up above the Coors Brewery.

It takes me longer to type the route name “Shut Down, Plugged Up, and Cold to Boot” than it took Gary to lead it.

He lowered off the chains and I cleaned the route before we moved further north to the 5.8 classic “Bush Loves Detroit”. Another group was just starting up so I took my time organizing the rack and taping my hands. Having watched the earlier leader layback the upper crack and struggle a bit I was mentally prepared for a bit of a fight. Thankfully, the crack was “perfect hands” for me and I found solid jams and good rests without resorting to a single layback. Gary didn’t have quite the same luck with the #1 C4-sized crack as he cleaned the route.

For his next turn to lead, Gary chose the route just called “Unknown G” in the latest guide. After moving through some blocky terrain with kitty litter, he hit a dirty and short but perfect pair of hand cracks leading to the flat summit. I found the cracks to be a blast and wished they were twice as long. The route could also use more frequent ascents to clean up, I was certainly glad I’d taped up earlier.

The sun was setting but we had enough time to squeeze out one more climb before dark. Starting back towards the parking lot I parked us below “Fast Boat to China”, another classic 5.8 pitch and required two starts on the slick bottom section. Higher up I took a second to notice the colorful sunset before reaching the anchors. Gary cleaned the route then we packed up and started hiking out thinking we were real adventurers for climbing until dark. Much to our egos’ chagrin we found 3 other groups still climbing while we returned to the cars.

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