So much fun stuff happened that I'm just going to start with Saturday. We'll deal with Sunday tomorrow.
Jeff and Kelly weren't showing up until Sunday so we went up to the lake with Ian on Saturday. Cloudy skies and perfect conditions awaited us at the North Shore. It was perfect out. It was fun watching Ian get acquainted with the quartzite once more.
I need to take a moment and explain how I met Ian. It's a good story. So years ago in middle school I played on a soccer team with Ian. We went to high school and graduated from the same class. We never really kept in contact but just sort of knew each other. Years passed and we lost contact. Eventually I moved out to Mammoth and then one day I was walking around the corner to High Plains Drifter. I turned the corner and holy shit, there was Ian on my project! Neither of us could believe it and we had no clue that the other was a climber. Turned out that Ian lived in Mammoth, just down the street from me. I like shit like that.
Ian was visiting family this week and we had a blast climbing with him. I'm glad we were able to hook up again.
Anyways after a bit of a warmup we went over to Alpine Club. I was psyched to see how he'd do on it. I warned him on the hike up that it was gonna look piss easy. It was gonna look like a V3. I assured him that it's genuinely hard. Really hard.
We got up to the problem, set the pads down and what does he say..."Huh....That looks easy....You were right.". Fantastic.
Well, he pulled on for a flash and made it to the sloper before grunting and stepping off. Over the next two hours we traded efforts with Ian going through the whole gambit of emotions. From being excited all the way through finally calling the rig a "little fucker". We each got rather close but couldn't quite reel it in. For me that's standard protocol, but still the thing felt really really good.
Sadly on my last go I started the terrible trend of dry fires and my right hand blew off of the sloper so hard my hand went numb for a while. Ian could NOT stop laughing and Katie thought he was gonna pee his pants he was laughing so hard. It was pretty violent.
After a while we gave up and went upstairs to Beautiful Soup. I gave Ian the beta and he pulled on for a flash attempt. As soon as he grabbed the right hand crimp his foot popped and he dry fired off of the terribly sharp crimp. As he crumpled onto the pads in pain he muttered that he shouldn't had laughed so hard down at Alpine Club. "I deserved that one".
Ian, just after the fateful dry fire...
He shook it off and figured out better foot beta and tried the throw a couple times with limited success. I told him my beta and how once you do it once it just gets ingrained. I was bragging about how easy it had felt last fall and he called me on it. "I wanna see you do it...".
So I pulled on, hit the crimp, slapped the undercling and did the move to the rail. Felt really good to be able to do that one again.
Ian stepped up and tried my beta. As he got his left foot up he totally forgot to slap his left hand to the undercling and just jumped to the rail. As luck would have it, he was strong enough to do it that way and stuck the move! I chattered beta to him as we shuffled pads and after a slight hesitation he stuck the jug and downclimbed to the dirt below.
Fucking nice work! It maybe took him 6-7 tries. Very well done!
We sat on the pads for a bit and then decided to head over to the Stache/Dog Walk boulder. The whole hike over Ian was talking about how he wanted to come back already and how he wanted to bring a crew with. It's so much fun seeing someone get excited about the lake!! I love it!!!
As we were laying down the pads on the right line Katie was warming up on Railroad Spike. Then out of nowhere she dry fired and was on the pads. BOOOOM!!!!! Dry fire strikes again.
She just said fuck it and started working on the right line with Ian. They spent maybe a half hour on it and Katie figured out some good thighbar betas. She should do it soon. Ian was putting in some good effort on it and finally stepped up and did it in good style. Katie only gave it a handful of tries after that and we packed up, continuing the circuit.
Ian sending the right line.
We made a quick stopover at Dumpster Diving and Ian quickly flashed it. Soon enough we were at Half Dome, where Ian christened the project 'Regular Route'. Love it. I started trying the first move once more and within 10 minutes or so I'd done it again. Awesome. Felt good too. I started working out the second move and Ian started working on some different beta.
I started feeling relatively close and finally vowed to try hard! I stepped up and went for the move and BAM! Dry fire. Fuck. I'd been waiting for that one. It's such an obvious candidate for continual dry firing. That one sucked though.
After that Ian and I tried to see if the jug was flexing or not. Ian hopped on it and hung for a bit. Didn't seem like it was flexing to me. Katie quickly pointed out that I might have more in the BaDonkaDonk department and that I should probably give it a real test. Thanks sweetie.
I took a good hand on it and heard Ian say "OOOOOHHHH MAN!!! IT'S TOTALLY FLEXING!!!!!". Great. That'll be terrible when that breaks! Who knows, it might never break...right.
We sat around for a bit and tried to decide if we wanted to go somewhere else. Katie chimed in that we should maybe go to Greatest Show. Ian was in so off we went! I had no clue if it'd still be clean or if the summer would totally screw our efforts from spring. I was honestly dreading going back cause I figured it'd be terrible.
Well, this is what we saw.
Pristine!!!! It looked awesome!! Ian was psyched so we got to work. He had an amazing flash go and made it up to the crux but came off going for the loaf. Then he promptly couldn't repeat the first move. It made me laugh.
Katie getting ready to give Ian her best possible spot.
Ian's flash effort...
I put my shoes on and showed him the heel hook beta which worked very well for him. I still couldn't do the first move which was super frustrating. I knew I could do all the other moves but it's still the first one that was giving me issues. I gave it a few lackluster efforts and gave up for the day.
Ian however was making good progress and was getting to the crux pretty much each time. Sadly it was the end of the day and he ended up having to leave empty handed.
As we walked back to the car we tried to get Ian to join us Sunday and tempted him with tales of radness. It seemed to work as we got a message around 10 that night saying he was in.
Sunday was looking to be very very promising. Psych was high...