Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Chief, July 9-10

We had a staggered start to the trip, with Nick, Emily, and Jess leaving San Francisco early Friday, and myself, Chris, Mike, Jeremy, (another) Emily, and Banjo leaving later that night.  Banjo is Jeremy and Emily's adorable whippet puppy, who spent the majority of the trip distracting us from climbing with his brutal attacks on his squeaky duck.  After an annoyingly tiring drive, we crashed at the spacious campsite at Donner Memorial State Park.
Banjo ravenously eats flowers for a few minutes, then sleep for an hour. 
On Saturday morning, we wove our way through vacation home lined Truckee streets to a 5 mile dirt road, which lead to the Big Chief parking lot.  A mile long logging road lead us to our first stop of the trip, Center Wall.  The two classic 5.9s Warpath and Warpaint had long lines, so we went around the corner to bask in the pleasant shade at Mini Buttress.  Things got off to a rough start when the abrasive hand jam on the start to Wampum (5.8) spit me off as a rude introduction to the crag  Luckily, I got through the move and cruised the rest, and others found superior beta for the first few moves.  
Jeremy on Wampum (5.8)
After Jeremy climbed Wampum, Jess was tentative, but ready to take the sharp end.  She had some trouble with the start, so I jumped up and clipped the first bolt.  Some local guy was climbing next to us with who appeared to be his significant other warned me that I was back clipping.  It was a rather rushed observation since it wasn't backclipped and I wasn't climbing.  His inattention became even more evident when he was spraying to us about climbing with first ascentionists and other crap, then when his climber yelled "ready to lower", he payed out slack and dropped her 20 feet onto a slab.  Luckily she was ok, but it could have been more than the relationship disaster it so clearly was.  The obnoxious climber syndrome continued later when another group dropped a rope on my head.  I complained to him, but he said, "I yelled rope...", and I retorted, "yeah, right as it hit my head".  After a bit more climbing, we left for the Safeway in Truckee to acquire grillables for the evening.

Emily navigating the dihedral on ___ (5.9)
Day two started with breaking down camp, and once again driving along the long dirt road.  We went to Light Deprivation Buttress, which offered freedom from crowds deep in the woods.  The climbs seemed rather untouched with little chalk and plenty of sharp holds.  We started out with a couple 5.9s, including the terrific Infra-Red, which involves some crack moves around a corner then up an arete with a steep reachy crux.  We did a few more climbs, including a 10a, Una-Bomber with a bolt every 4 feet!

Mike leading the arete on Infra-Red

After laziness set in, we packed up and hit the dirt road.  About half way in, I heard what appeared to be someone with very large hands scratching their nails on a very big chalkboard coming from my right front tire.  We jacked the car up, and removed the tire to reveal a piece of wood stuck between the rotor and some flange fixed to the wheel.  All told, the extraction went smoothly, and we were on our way for some dinner and coffee loading for the drive home.

The evil piece of wood stuck behind my brakes
Now, it is off to the east coast for a wedding and some quality down time with my Mom, friends, and packraft.

No comments:

Post a Comment