Monday, November 14, 2011

The Grotto, Nov 14

Blurry eyed and conflicted about the early morning and lack of sleep, I make way to Scott's and fall into the comfy leather seats of his BMW suv. It was technically my turn to drive, but I'm certainly not unhappy that the approach requires a car with more ground clearance than my recently fixed Mazda.

Horses and massively rutted out roads were the norm on the drive.
The drive wasn't bad, nor was the approach over a mossy and alien-feeling talus slope. The Grotto isn't much alien feeling than the talus. It is sunken below the surrounding land, and fridge-sized basalt columns jut up from the ground and dissolve into a jumbly overhang. I ignored the pumpy face climbs in favor of the steep hand and finger cracks, leading all the 8s and 9s there while failing after a burst cuticle and two cams up a 10b.
AC Devil Dog runs up the column in the middle of the frame.  Lots of smeary bear hugging is involved to get up it.

There is no question I'll be coming back soon as this is likely my favorite climbing spot less than 3 hours from home. I want to finish Three Fingered Jack without blood loss, and I need to lead AC Devil Dog.

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