My goal for the trip was to climb "Wilford's Reserve" V7/8, a great line put up by Collin H. Davin introduced us to the line last year, and Ashley got it then, but I always fell jumping for the lip. Even when I started at the move just below the lip. Whether I'd be able to catch it this year or not was a mystery.
We set up camp, and got out there in the evening to take advantage of cooler temps. Since Ashley had already climbed "Wilford's Reserve" she got to work on "Wilford's Reserve Right" V7, and finished the line before the evening was through.
I had warmed up on the amazing line "Aging Moose" V2. Collin also put up this line with some of the best solid incut holds anywhere. Ashley decided to try it at the end of the session.
After the sun went down, the little storms grew together into a massive thunderstorm with the most intense lightning I've seen since my childhood in Iowa. The crazy thing was the storm didn't seem to be moving, just growing. We were lucky not to be in the center of it, but the edge reached us late that evening. We all got into the truck, and waited for an hour while lightning, rain, and small hail slowly moved through. When the storm finally moved away it was traveling to the northwest.
The next morning was my one chance to finish "Wilford's Reserve." But the crux hold at the lip was wet. Rain water was leaking out from under the flake above it. I stacked pads and stuffed my wool sweater under the flake to stop the slow trickle. Then used chalk and my cotton shirt to dry off the hold. After warming up, I was feeling pretty good. A breeze was picking up, and I thought it might happen. I got through the beginning feeling pretty good. I jumped to the lip, started to swing, and my hand ripped right off. The hold was still damp!
I was desperate. What was I going to do? I decided to give Ashley's beta a try. Her method includes a heel toe lock in the roof, and moving to the lip to the right of the wet hold. I'd refused to seriously try it that way last year, because I hate the sensation of having insecure hands with a high foot locked in. If my hand popped I might fall on my neck/head! But when I tried it this year, it felt much easier than the throw to the lip. Maybe I was lucky that my crux hold got wet? So I tried it from the start with the new beta.
Here's the uncut footage.
Ashley nabbed the first ascent, and once everything was clean, and the moves were worked out, we decided it was probably a V4.
It was a great trip! But it was probably the only one we'll get to Neverland this Summer. It will be too hot from here on out. We'll see what we can do to get back in the Fall...