Thursday, September 5, 2013

Squamish: Pies, Crimes and #3 Lies

Picked up H from the airport, departed from Lodi for Seattle, then drove to Squamish for a few days of climbing. I climbed with H for one day before he left for Peru with V when they let me tag along on a Tuolumne weekend of theirs. For some reason he decided I would be a decent enough climbing partner for Squamish, and that is the story of how I found a partner for this adventure. I don't know why people trust me this much after only climbing with me once, but I'll take it.  

Day one we managed to lock the keys in my mom's Audi. After intrepidly crawling (we were going full on Rambo-style) through some blackberry thickets to get to an Automotive store, it was closed. I walked up to some Canadian guy in a giant SUV on his cellphone wearing carhartts that looked like a native Squamishite (Squamishian? Squamivian? Squamovite?), and he looked my mud-covered, bloody-legged self up and down and called his friend "Bill", who broke into our car for a flat $40.

Lesson learned: don't trust H with the car keys. Ever. 

We made blackberry pie. Well, H made blackberry pie because it's his 'stress reliever'. I contributed by gathering the 10 lbs of blackberries.

The highlights of our climbing included climbing the Grand Wall, which we led in block-pitches. I have a certain Middlebury friend that said "I will poop in your bed if you don't climb it", so we had to do it.

 I got the easy first four pitches (5.9-10b) and somehow (with a minute-long crash course taught by H at our belay ledge) managed to climb my first A0 bolt ladder. Wooh! I'm an aid climber now right?

On a 10b pitch before going around the corner for my first A0 climb
I climbed the aid bolt ladder using slings as makeshift ertiers as three climbers watched me flounder at the belay. It was not pretty, or elegant or anything I'd care to reenact, but I finally got into the flow and got up onto that belay ledge.  

The 4th pitch I got to lead was the 'Split Pillar' pitch which was glorious. I haven't climbed a lot of splitter cracks yet (I'm coming up on my 2 year walked-into-a-gym-for-the-first-time anniversary in several months, so a lot of climbing is still new for me), so this was definitely a bit more challenging. 

Also I don't know why the description said "rattly fingers up to wide fists", because in my small-handed-girly opinion, the crack started with perfect hand jams and ended with heinous #3-sized OW that I had to layback the whole way up. I'm sorry, but #3's are NOT fists.   

H polished off the last 4 leads. Including the T4 pitch (tree 4). 

 Post Grand Wall, my bestie C came up with her bf, so I got to hang out with the most wonderful friend anyone could ever ask for and annoy both H and C's significant other with our girly excitement.

More highlights included leading some more 10's (wow the Squamish grades are soft) and my first 11c trad lead called Crime of the Century, which H convinced me I could do.

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