Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines on the Rocks

Sunny weather got us out on Saturday for a session on the sandstone in Sinks Canyon. There is a boulder near the Ice Age area that I was hoping to develop. The weather wasn't as nice as it looked though. Chilly wind cut our session short, and we didn't get to the boulder. Ashley didn't even put on her climbing shoes. I did a couple moderates on the warm up boulder.

Then attempted to catch the eye on "Il Mammut." Touched it, but couldn't keep it.

We went home after that, but Sundance had a good stick session. If I could focus like her I'd probably climb a couple grades harder.

On Valentine's Day we woke up to an inch of new snow, and cloudy skies. By midmorning we noticed breaks in the clouds, and decided to try sport climbing at Sinks. We hiked up to the cliffs in some cold fog. Conditions weren't good, but they looked like they could improve.

I climbed the cold rock bolt to bolt, and when I came down the sky was clearing.

The clouds burnt off quickly and we ended up spending the whole afternoon making toprope attempts on "Citadel of Hope" in good conditions.

I've really been enjoying the sport climbing sessions at Sinks this winter. When we first moved, and through the fall season, I'd always considered Sinks the back up area, only visited when Wild Iris was too windy, or the boulders were covered in snow. In my mind the routes were greasy, the rock a bit chossy, and the area had sandbag ratings. Being ever vigilant for poison ivy and rattlesnakes was annoying too. But my opinion has changed. Hanging out in the sun, in a T-shirt, on 20-30 degree winter days is wonderful. No poison ivy or rattlesnakes to worry about this time of year. The rock feels crisp to the touch and nicely textured, the two and three star routes are almost always choss free, and with good friction the ratings feel right on. After many midwinter sessions, my assessment of the area and it's climbing has risen dramatically. Rather than being bummed that Sinks is the only place climbable on a given weekend, I'm excited to get back for more perfect sessions.

This weekend I discovered "Timmy Tuesdays" videos, and stayed up late watching them all. Check them out if you haven't already. Here is the link.
Timmy Tuesdays brought to you by Spadout

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