A view of Lower Discovery Wall and Yellow Cake.

The Fins has quickly become our go-to weekend crag thus far here in Hailey. During our first visit we both surprised ourselves with hard sends and gutsy onsights, and we were excited to find a motivated group of climbers showing renewed interest in route development. With big Labor Day plans down at Jerrod’s house in Pocatello we decided to make a quick trip back to the Fins to climb Friday night and Saturday morning before meeting Adrienne, Doug, Theo and Ben that evening. After another interesting approach on the steep gravel road leading to the trailhead (this time in Trixie) we made our way to the base of Yellow Cake and Robyn’s project That Fresh Feeling (5.11d) which she climbed without falling on toprope the weekend prior. A quick warm-up to hang the draws and I had the camera rolling to capture the action.

A screen shot of Robyn mid-crux on her hardest send to date That Fresh Feeling (5.11d). Everything just clicked and she made it look easy!

Every move she made was deliberate and executed to perfection as she cruised the first crux and somehow managed to rest a bit on a technical sidepull before moving into the redpoint crux. Clipping with relative ease I could tell she was in the zone as she reached the jug above the final crux section. I usually try to refrain my excited comments in these situations until she is safe at the anchors. With 20 feet of 5.9 runout to the chains, it’s a climber’s worst fear to complete the hard section only to botch the upper sequence and blow the send. As Robyn gathered herself for the final 20 feet to the chains I caught her grinning ear-to-ear. I broke form and let out an echoing “YEEEAAAHHH!!!!” and she waltzed her way to the top, clipping the chains on her hardest climb ever.

Steve flashing EBR-1 (5.11a) named after the Experimental Breeder Reactor that sits in the desert below The Fins. In 1951 EBR-1 became the world’s first electricity-generating nuclear power plant.

As an added bonus to top off the trip, we got an unexpected visit from Steve on Saturday morning and he made quick work of a few Discovery Wall classics before joining us for the festivities in Pocatello. I also achieved my goals for the weekend redpointing Avatar (5.12a) and flashing Martini (5.12a) – both on Saturday.

Steve onsighting the classic Yellow Man (5.11b)

Off to Pokey we went, skirting a crazy-cool thunderstorm as it trekked across the Snake River Plain dropping hail and showering farm fields with lightning. Saturday night we had a great barbeque with Jerrod and Theo and got to see where they now call home. Both have purchased cool houses on the edge of the old town university district only three houses apart – howdy neighbor! Doug, Ben and Adrienne joined us late on Saturday and spent the next two days exploring the local mountain bike trails. Steve, Robyn and I cruised around town during the day and did some bouldering/soloing on some cool basalt in the city park. Sunday night, things got wild and we all headed to Hooligan’s just a few blocks from Jerrod’s house. Pitcher after pitcher followed high-fives and shit talking as we owned the foosball table for what seemed like hours. It’s been a long time since I have had that much fun out on the town and it harkened back to the good ol’ days at U of I in Moscow.

Chillin on Jerrod’s front porch in Pocatello.

Hammers and beer. Good way to spend an afternoon.

If you leave, even for a MINUTE, this guy will steal your chair.

The weather here in Hailey is stupidly beautiful again after the rainstorm we encountered on Saturday. We have fully fallen back into the Eastern Oregon summer mentality of never checking the weather. The days are full of warm sun and the evenings cool quickly for perfect sleeping temperatures. September is a special month in the hearts of climbers as the hot summer heat fades and the humidity and rain of the east coast lessens. SENDtember and October are widely touted as the best climbing months in the lower 48.  So here here’s to Fall! Bring on the yellow leaves, cool nights, seasonal micros and sun-splashed coffee-filled mornings!

That big yellow ball sure likes us here in Hailey.