I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous that the Hailey area was going to be lacking in the all important climbing category when it came to our perfect location checklist. Needless to say I was stunned to see Jonathan Siegrist, one of the nations top climbers at The Fins over the weekend putting up new routes. You can read more about what he thinks of the area here.
So far between the 3 crags we have visited, 2 of them (Cedar Creek and The Fins) are sleepers on the west coast climbing circuit. What makes them especially good is their high altitude and afternoon shade. This makes both these crags great summer climbing areas that stay cool when the temperatures in the Snake River Basin soar into the 100’s.
Our first weekend trip from our new home couldn’t have been more encouraging and motivating. Along with Jonathan we met two local hard climbers Beau and Steph that call Ketchum home. They clued us in on the Tuesday after work crag scene at the lava tubes and were super approachable and nice. Aside from being cool people they both crush to the tune of a number grade harder than both Robyn and I. I haven’t really been around climbers pulling down this hard with any regularity since climbing at The New with Doug 3 years ago. The motivation that comes with climbing with climbers stronger than you is impossible to duplicate and Robyn and I are psyched to feed off their energy!
And feed we did as it seems. Robyn got on a 5.11d yesterday and by the end of the day linked the whole route and sent it clean on top rope!! She had never seriously worked a route of this grade and with each top rope attempt she unlocked the moves higher and higher up the wall. We plan to head back to The Fins this Friday so she can give the route some lead burns! I also had arguably my best two days climbing in some time as well. The crazy part about The Fins is there are only a few 5.10 and low 5.11 routes and then the rest of the routes are heavily stacked at the 5.12a and 5.13a grades. When you climb here there are only really two choices – climb hard or don’t climb. Over the two days I was able to redpoint an 5.11d (Robyn’s project) flash my first 5.12a of the season and redpoint a bouldery 5.12c which marks my hardest redpoint of the year as well! There are still plenty of 12’s to check out and a whole host of 13’s as well so The Fins will be on the summer menu for quite some time.
With the overnight temps cooling off our destination may soon shift to The City of Rocks, Idaho’s most famous area comprised of dozens of crazy granite towers and blobs of all kinds. As winter approaches we will likely still have bouldering to scope out and a basalt sport area called Dierkes Lake which we climbed a few routes on over Christmas break last winter. There is certainly no shortage of rock to explore and so far the climbing community seems tight knit and dedicated to staying strong.