We had a mini reunion of some of our favorite Pennsylvania folks. We watched the bike video which chronicled our 4 day bike pack trip from State College to Washington D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial. We barbecued and told stories. We climbed, got hailed on and hid in caves while lightning flashed. We drank local microbrews, recalled past adventures and planned new ones. We were roommates, climbing parters and family to lean on through hard times. Reunions like these are bittersweet. When good friends head home they leave a hole. A miniature version of the melancholy feeling of the first parting of ways we experienced as we drove away from State College toward Idaho and eventually Alaska. There are some somber moments but they are replaced quickly with the knowledge that we will see each other again soon. There is no doubt. Whether in Ohio, the next wedding or in the Bugaboos.
This whole event warrants some explanation. In a nutshell we had no guidebook or beta photos of a route we had never been to or seen before. We ambled up to a foreign wall in a foreign climbing area and managed to find the bottom of Yellow Spur (5.9ish) in Eldorado Canyon. With a less than favorable forecast we knew we had to haul ass to beat the afternoon thunderstorms. Essentially we got off route on the first pitch… linking pitches one and two out of the gate had us looking at the wrong beta for the wrong pitch. What ensued was a 5.10- “X” rated route that consisted of thin face climbing with 20-40 ft runouts as we fiddled in stoppers. By the summit we were well behind and the weather was making itself heard. Grigore sailed the famous exposed last pitch and the skies uncorked as I followed to the summit. Skittering across wet slab traverses with no pro got us lost (again) on the decent as we consulted our rappel beta (see “Tree 20′ below summit”)… Then came the hail, lightning, the desperate phone calls home, the rappels off multiple questionable shrubs through now flowing creeks cascading into the abyss. So yeah. Adventure!
More updates to come as we have lots to share in the last month. Climbing trips to Summit County, visits from more old friends and family and oh yeah a week long trip to Oregon!