Rick’s 52nd Birthday Challenge; December 23, 2007
Challenge: To climb 52 pitches or laps in a day at Joshua Tree National Park.
As my 52nd birthday was coming up over the holidays, I had to think of some ultra contrived challenge in the wacky spirit of the Birthday Challenge
I knew that I couldn’t do 52 different routes in a day (similar to Randy Vogel’s 53 in a day this past Oct), so I decided to try a get 52 “pitches” or “laps” done in a day. I purposely selected short routes that were easy to get to and easy to get down from. My goal was to lead each route, set a TR, clean the route, and then do some more laps to get a total of 52 laps in a day.
With the constant moral support, unselfish belays, and steady supply of Red Bulls from Marty Roberts, I managed to get the 52 laps in a day (and then some), WoHoo! Big thanks to Marty for helping with the logistics and offering to belay throughout the long day.
J-tree areas & routes in order climbed, rating (# of laps)
1. Right Sawdust Crack, 5.8 (4)
2. Baby-Point Five, 5.8 (6)
3. Toetip, 5.7 (8)
4. Profundity, 5.10a (4)
4. Tennis Shoe Crack, 5.8 (10)
5. Hobbit Roof, 5.10d (3)
6. Double Cross, 5.8 (2)
7. Sexy Grandma, 5.9 (3)
8. RML, 5.9 (5)
9. Sound of One Shoe Tapping, 5.8 (5)
10. Swing Low, 5.8 (5)
Total "pitches" or "laps" 55! Oh my, I must have gotten lost in the “numbers” game at the end of the day.
This challenge was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I was so tired at the end of the day that I had to double and triple check my harness and tie-in, my feet were killing me, my hands got totally thrashed, and I even chipped a nail, BoHoo! Overall, it was a great day of climbing on a duly contrived birthday challenge with great company. Oh yeah, those pints of Guinness at Crossroads sure help round out the day.
Here are some photos
Happy Holiday & Happy New Year everyone!
ps, now I gotta help Marty with his b-day challenge.