It seems hard to believe, but our season at The Fins has come to an end. Fall has arrived with an abruptness that has turned us back to lowland basalt and our winter climbing routine. This season at The Fins was quite productive but certainly left us wanting a bit more; but I guess that’s a good thing. Around here the climbing style, rock, and character changes with the seasons. We endlessly hope to squeeze in one more weekend before heat, wind, or snow pushes us back the other direction.
Robyn and I both sent our hardest routes ever this summer at The Fins and the progress we experienced was addicting, but if we want to progress next year we need to get stronger. After a taste of bouldering at the Idaho Mountain Festival last weekend, new goals and motivations are starting to creep in. Maybe we need another bouldering pad… Back at Dierkes, our dead vertical limestone skills will need to morph back to heel-hooks and hand-jams and in the mountains the snow and cold nights are reminding us that winter is about to take hold.
Chillin among the Balsamroot on a beautiful day in early June.
Ben sending his hardest of the season. Clips from the Bong (5.12b/c) – time for SUBS!
The Lower Camp. This is an obvious fork in the road just after you enter the mouth of the canyon. A nice flat and grassy camp with room for several vehicles. Not a great choice in the heat of the summer but a perfect shoulder season camp.
Robyn working Clips From the Bong (5.12b/c).
Warming down on the Warm-Up Wall. Everyone should climb the 5.7 on the left hand side.
The fun starts early on Pure Rock Fury (5.13a). This climb has a lot of moves for its length, a full value 13a with several crux sequences.
The dreaded mono-undercling on Pure Rock Fury (5.13a). I was able to sneak two fingers in (shallow) without tape. I liked this even though it was harder because I feared a foot slip with a single sinker mono. In the end you really should tape your finger and then you have no choice but to plug in and hope your foot doesn’t pop.
Lock off the mono undercling and reach for some nothings. It isn’t quite over after this, but you are through the worst of it. Pure Rock Fury (5.13a).
Kim on Martini a classic (5.12a) on the lower section of the Discovery Wall.
Starting into the lower boulder crux of Bushido (5.13b). Crimp like hell on a small polished crimp and uncork to a right hand mono before a nice pocket to clip from.
Ben on Mothership (5.12c). By all accounts, this route utilizes a MANDATORY pinky mono. Can’t say for myself, but this route looks rad. Shared anchor with Bushido which comes in from the double pods on the left.
Mid summer storm approaching.
A thin boulder problem meets you early on. If you are burly this is the crux, if you are techy the long deadpoint is the crux, you could also lose your cool as you traverse into Mothership for the shared finish. Bushido is a must climb at the grade.
Traversing out from the double pod on Bushido (5.13b), Mothership in the foreground.
Balsamroot and other wild flowers blanket The Fins’ Eastern aspects well into July.
Robyn sending her hardest route of the season, and of her life! Clips From the Bong (5.12b/c) at the Upper Headwall. Off to Arco to celebrate!
Late June and the Balsamroot is starting to fade.
Beautiful Upper Headwall. Amazing routes, 5 min from camp.
Ben on the tricky crux upper-half of Clips from the Bong (5.12b/c)
All summer, if anyone in our group sends their hardest redpoint, flash or onsight of the year we head to Arco for dinner! Celebrating Ben’s send of Clips from the Bong at the Sub Shop in Arco. They have seriously huge awesome subs, and a rotating “Special Beer”.
The “Special Beer”. We cleaned them out.
Summer Solstice, Full Moon, Ben’s Bday weekend! From the Fins you can see the Grand Teton on a clear morning!
Mid-Canyon camp. Also the way (4WD) to get back to the second row of fins behind the current climbing area. This camp is good early and late season for small groups. We walked up to the upper head wall on the road from here once.. Not recommended – it took 2.5 hours in the heat!
Pat teaching us all why he sends so hard.
Camping at the Upper Head Wall is great even if thats all you go for. Shade trees protect you from early sun and passing thunderstorms and the view is hard to beat.
Jonathan Siegrist and many others from near and far put in more great routes this season. More to do, and even more to aspire to, The Fins looks to keep on giving next year. Thanks to everyone with which we shared belays, rides, and stories by the fire. See you next season!