Empty Nest No More

Posted: October 31, 2011 by bcbuzzards in Uncategorized

Tris is all smiles in LCC

This weekend brought the arrival of Tris to the the great Salt Lake Valley.  Sure he may have arrived with very expired temporary tags, no license plates, and a full hobo collection of his worldy possessions loaded in and strapped to his red Suby, but he has arrived.  With his arrival psyche is riding higher than ever and it may be perfect timing as the forecast is predicting that we have some significant snow by the weekend.  But that’s the weekend and many days away.

In the meantime, we got right to it.  With a very late night arrival on Saturday, we made it a point to get out and enjoy the sunshine on Sunday and explore Little Cottonwood Canyon and get some trad routes in before the weather turns this week.  I’ve only recently rediscovered my appreciation for gear routes so I still somewhat unfamiliar with where the canyon’s fine gems may be located.  This inevitably led to us wandering the talus fields, pointing at features, and eventually with some bushwhacking we arrived at our stated destination for the day, The Plumb Line.

The Plumb Line (5.10-, Little Cottonwood Canyon)

Clocking in at a moderate .10- it was a great and aesthetic route to run some laps on to get used to it all over again. It was really great movement but also really warm in the sun, I may be one of the pickiest weather based climbers out there when it comes to this stuff…too cold, NO WAY….too warm, DON’T THINK SO!  I’m the Goldilocks of the crag but I still manage to have fun.

Arthur running another lap on The Plumb Line (5.10-)

We were both able to get a few laps in and then I decided to cast off on a route I believe is called Zog (11d/12a R) next to Plumb Line, after being very perplexed and totally shut down low on the route I felt a little better when a climber walked by and said “How’s it going on that 11d/13b route? I don’t think that thing goes!”  With his strangely encouraging words of impossibility I gave up on my sequences of thumb gastons, palm smears, and invisicrimping on ghost edges and headed around the corner for a another great route, Boomerang (5.10-) which was really fun and a good size for me (fingers), Tris gave it a run as well and after a few laps we decided it was time to go in search of something that’s been on Tris’ mind for years, and which he has never actually seen.  The hike to Trench Warfare was underway.

Trench Warfare is maybe one of the more famous off-width cracks in the country and recently had some attention after the UKs Wide Boyz recently flashed it, then extended it, and then solo-ed it in the space of an afternoon.  If you’ve ever seen the crack, you’ll know that the accomplishment is mind boggling and the boyz deserve a tip of the hat and probably a pint or two.

Trench Warfare (5.12d, Little Cottonwood Canyon)

Trench Warfare (5.12d, Little Cottonwood Canyon)

Trench Warfare (5.12d) is located across the river in Little Cottonwood Canyon beneath the Hanging Slab and the boulder that makes up the “roof” of the route can be seen from the road.  Having never been there we decided to go straight towards it and figured we’d learn the trail on the way back.  Discovery in reverse.  It took us a little while to get out there and with a few slips and trips in the stream beds and woods we stumbled upon what is for sure one of the most impressive looking wide cracks (maybe any size cracks) I’ve seen in my travels.  You could instantly see the gears turning in Tris’ head as he tried to wrap his mind around what would be required to make this happen.  I’ll let the video speak to the exchange at the crag.

So there you have it, a new buzzard in the nest, psyche at an all time high, snow in the forecast, gauntlets thrown down, and even a little actual climbing to boot!  What a weekend.

Happy Halloween!

Arthur

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