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Sum More Desert Stuff
Trip Report

Sum More Desert Stuff

 
Sum More Desert Stuff

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Object Title: Sum More Desert Stuff

Date Climbed/Hiked: Apr 30, 2006

Activities: Trad Climbing

 

Page By: rpc

Created/Edited: May 11, 2006 / May 17, 2006

Object ID: 193454

Hits: 5270 

Page Score: 90.81%  - 33 Votes 

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The Rectory
 
Friday Night: Boise
City Of Rocks is a great place! You pack up your car full of luxury, car-camping items – from pillows to thick sleeping pads, from gourmet dinner ingredients to a cooler full of beer! You climb, you camp, you eat, and you drink – that’s how it was meant to be. Ours however was not this type of a City outing. We were on a tighter schedule and having flown into Boise late Friday night had none of these luxuries with us.

We spend the brief Friday night trying to get some sleep on the front seats of our sub- sub-compact parked behind some gas station outside of Burley, ID. In the morning we make our way into The City via a long loop through Almo due to snow-related road closure. Only 8 hours into our weekend and already feeling shitfaced due to lack of sleep – you know that half sleepy, half nauseous feeling accompanied by blood-shot eyes.

Saturday: City Of Rocks
To beat the expected crowds, we head directly for the Incisor Spire and the classic Skyline route (4-star, 5.8 pitch). Shirley leads it in good style enjoying the line probably a bit more than I did.
Skyline
 

I thought the climbing was only OK – blocky start leading to a flaring crack and topped off with nice alligator plate runout at the top – but the position and the small summit were first rate! After rapping off, we step out into the light and head for the east face of Parking Lot Rock, a whopping 100 feet away. I lead the Tow Away Zone line – a decent 5.10a with the crux coming within the first 20 feet. The short friction face start (crux) is made more interesting by a lingering patch of snow that refuses to be circumnavigated.
Tow Away Zone
 

Above, the line follows a 5.8-ish thin hands crack as the terrain kicks back progressively. I run the pitch out to Funky Bolt belay (horn with slings) as the standard Beauty And The Beast bolts are occupied. Shirley complains about the blue micro Alien having walked itself deep into the crack and leaves it for me to remove on rappel. What follows would set the tone for my chain of minor mishaps that weekend. A valuable lesson is soon learned by me – one that I must have skipped in kindergarten. As I poke and prod at the micro-unit with the nut tool, the blue fucker decides to teach me a lesson. It waits patiently taking the abuse from the nut tool until my rage subsides. As I give it one more tug – firmly holding onto the nut tool in the pulling hand with the sharp end aimed towards my face – the blue bastard lets go!! I see stars and feel nauseating sweetness in my mouth – momentarily flirting with passing out – all that before the first shockwave of pain even hits me. I feel warmth on my face and hear someone yelling “Shiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!” As I struggle to catch my breath – wondering if the warmth on my face is the retinal fluid of my former right eye – the only thought racing through my head is: “open your eye!”
Nut Tool + Eye Socket = Fun!!
 

The gods of stupidity are kind to me that day – I see light, a bit reddish but bright enough! We pull the ropes, and head for Thin Slice, keeping my head low as we pass other climbers who were lucky enough to witness my self mutilation.
Thin Slice
 

Thin Slice proves sustained and not that enjoyable (IMHO) – a steep face climb with a thin crack (tips) for pro and only one or two finger jams for me. Not quite sure if it deserves its 4-star rating. The steep, juggy nature pumped me and I had to take on it. With my right eye throbbing and swelling up a bit, we grab the stuff and head for Utah in search of better luck.

Sunday: The Rectory
Saturday night, we make it as far as Price, UT (1.5 hrs from Castle Valley) where we crash in a motel. My eye is oozing pus just a tad and I’m hoping this is not an onset of an infection that could kill our Sunday plans. A thorough washing with copious amounts of soap and water proves to be a good cure and I wake up nearly recovered. We make the trailhead by 9 and change where we are pleasantly surprised to run into Brad (of piquaclimber fame) and his crew camping out. Small world! We chat a few minutes and start the hike up Castleton’s talus cone.
The Rectory
 

As we turn the corner near Castleton’s north face, we get a full on view of Fine Jade on Rectory’s massive southern prow. As we near it, the nastiness of the OW on pitch 1 becomes progressively more apparent. That fucker is not only wide but also overhanging. Shit.

Gear up and scramble up the 3rd class pedestal. Shit again! That’s a big OW 30 feet above. I start up the thin hand crack, get a hand jam at the base of the OW and struggle up into the OW. Throw in a #4 Camalot and rest!! The exit from the OW is not trivial either – you reach right for a good handcrack through the top of the overhanging section…..the handcrack is good only if tight yellow Camalots is your thing. I hang again. Damn – only 50 feet and I’m pumped! I feel a long day coming. The rest of the pitch is hard but not as bad – thin (for me = tight #2’s) hands to fingers and finally a belay ledge with good bolts. I pull onto it pretty damn tired and, though the Supertopo suggests otherwise, set up the belay. Shirley curses and hangs a bit on the OW too but enjoys the tight yellow to fingers crack.
Fine Jade
 

The next pitch is a tad easier and goes quickly. Now we’re looking up at the crux pitch – fingers through an obvious bulge. This part looks OK (for 5.11-) from below. What worries me more is the blank-ish face (20-30 feet) leading to the bulge. Start up the face and when the angle kicks up (15 feet below bulge) I find myself unwilling to free climb above micro nuts….screw it – French free to the bulge (micro nuts and cams) where a good rest on a #0.5 Camalot awaits.
Fine Jade
 

Short but devoid of feet, the finger crack makes me pant like a dog. Above, the terrain eases a bit as the angle kicks back all the way to the belay.
Fine Jade
 

The topo warns of the poor rock quality on the next pitch (5.9+) – rightward and upward traversing pitch. Indeed, 15 feet up I hit stuff that looks and feels like Entrada (sandy and slippery holds). I’m about to commit to some face moves, when I decide to put a #2 Camalot in a sandy crack at my feet – probably worthless but makes me feel better. I step up onto some face holds when unexpectedly my right foot blows off the sloper and off I go sailing into space ending up below Shirley’s feet. Wake up call! The #2 holds despite the shitty crack. Take 2 goes smoothly. Next pitch is nice but unless I screwed up the route finding (don’t think so though), the 5.7 hand traverse (original final pitch) feels more like 5.10 as there are no feet and the crack goes from hands to offwidth (#4 Camalot).
Fine Jade
 

The 5.9 finishing moves are a lot softer than the 5.7 traverse (go figure). A touch of underclinging and liebacking and I plop onto the summit slab. Wow! That’s quite a sprawling prairie up there! Shirley comes up and we un-rope to hike the length of our newly bagged tower.
Rectory Summit
 

A ten minute hike brings us to the opposite end which offers spectacular views of The Priest. From this vantage point, the sleekness of the spire is clear (just wish there were climbers on it to provide a sense of scale in the photos).
The Priest
 

We reverse our hike in the sky, rap the route and are back in the car at 6pm. Guess no sleep before my 8:30am meeting at work! Grab subway-to-go in Moab and hit the road running. At 1am – two hours shy of Boise – I pull off I84 into a rest area. We repack our stuff and sleep.
Fine Jade
 


Monday Morning: Boise (‘gain)
3am arrives and the alarm goes off. Time to go to work. We make Boise airport by 5am and by 6am we’re on the plane……only to hear “Ladies and gentlemen, we will be deplaning you due to an oil leak from the port-side engine”. Better now than at 30 thousand feet I guess, but there goes 8:30 am meeting. We end up catching the next flight and I stumble to work at noon thirty….another fine weekend topped off by a near firing.
Fine Jade
 

Images

Castleton Tower

Comments


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Viewing: 1-20 of 24 « PREV 1 2 NEXT » 

NelsonThis part looks OK (for 5.11-)

Nelson

Voted 10/10

You said it, not me! Tip of the hat to you guys. Great TR.
Posted May 12, 2006 1:43 am

rpcRe: This part looks OK (for 5.11-)

rpc

Hasn't voted

Nelson, thank you for checking this out. I should've stressed "looks" more than before. Went back and underlined it.....'twas hard for me!!!!!
Posted May 12, 2006 3:41 pm

rpcRe: This is what it is all about...nice job!

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you Chief! Appreciate the good remarks.
Posted May 17, 2006 3:35 pm

Brian JenkinsYer nuts.

Brian Jenkins

Hasn't voted

Any climbing report that includes the words "retinal fluid" is just freaked. How did you get that shot looking down on Shirley yet also out at that tower? That's awesome. Is that a bunch of panoramics pasted together?

Glad you are ok, Lefty.
Posted May 17, 2006 4:20 am

rpcRe: Yer nuts.

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you sir!
That vertical pano is just 3 (4??) shots merged together in Photostich software that came with the Cannon digi. cam.
Posted May 17, 2006 3:36 pm

Brian JenkinsRe: Yer nuts.

Brian Jenkins

Hasn't voted

Very cool shot. I see no seams or anything.
Posted May 17, 2006 6:53 pm

rpcRe: Yer nuts.

rpc

Hasn't voted

Credit to the Cannon software developers :) but thanks man!
Posted May 17, 2006 10:46 pm

Bob BurdAnother classic

Bob Burd

Voted 10/10

Most folks would worry that leaking retinal fluid and possible infection might result in the loss of an eye. Your main concern seems to be whether the morning's climbing agenda will be cancelled. Great stuff!
Posted May 17, 2006 5:03 pm

rpcRe: Another classic

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you Bob :)
Posted May 17, 2006 10:47 pm

MountaingirlBCfantastic!

MountaingirlBC

Hasn't voted

Wow! Heart thumping good! Beautiful pics too.
Posted May 17, 2006 5:26 pm

rpcRe: fantastic!

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you for stopping by and the good word :)
Posted May 17, 2006 10:53 pm

jlagRe: fantastic!

Hasn't voted

Truly Impressive
Posted May 18, 2006 4:54 am

rpcRe: fantastic!

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thanks Josh - great to hear from you!
Posted May 18, 2006 5:16 pm

agreenstreetwow

agreenstreet

Voted 10/10

Man, between bacterial infections and attempted eye removals, you really have some memorable climbing trips!
Great pics too, really like the vertical pano. thanks for sharing.
Posted May 18, 2006 5:30 am

rpcRe: wow

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you very much for stopping by and checking this out.
Posted May 18, 2006 5:17 pm

cp0915Excellent

cp0915

Voted 10/10

A really enjoyable, entertaining read. Great photos, too.
Posted May 18, 2006 3:15 pm

rpcRe: Excellent

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you very much Courtney!
Posted May 18, 2006 5:17 pm

rpcRe: Warrior's

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you Sir!! Take that as a compliment :)
Posted May 22, 2006 8:31 pm

SJDAmazing

SJD

Voted 10/10

...all the way around.

As if your climbs aren't enough, those photos should be in a magazine. Just fantastic.
Posted May 20, 2006 8:09 pm

rpcRe: Amazing

rpc

Hasn't voted

Thank you very much for the good word!
Though I'm sure the photos don't measure up to a publication :)
Posted May 22, 2006 8:32 pm

Viewing: 1-20 of 24 « PREV 1 2 NEXT »