I can honestly say that this might be my favorite warmup in the park. On top of being a phenomenal line it has super comfy holds, amazing features, a perfect landing and a great topout. Plus it's easy and I like easy boulder climbs.
We all ran a bunch of laps on it and then played around on a few of the other easy lines. You could tell from the dust that no one had played on these in a while. Always fun.
I somehow convinced Jeff to do Slippery Seam and after some concerted effort he topped out with relative ease and we made the short trip down to Greatest Show. Ian was psyched cause he didn't think he'd get another crack at it this trip and Jeff was just plain excited.
He stepped on for a good flash go and came off at the crux. Ian hopped back on and made it back to his highpoint. Then for the next hour or two everyone traded efforts without being able to figure out the crux move.
Ian convinced me to come down and try out the first move again. I did just that and after a few tries I was able to get the first move figured out. Psyched! That was the one move on the rig I hadn't been able to do. Progress is good. I'm excited about that one again.
Even though Jeff was getting his hand on the loaf he couldn't quite stick it. Eventually we moved on to Alpine Club and Keymaker.
I want to preface this next bit by saying that Jeff told Kelly earlier in the day that she'd more than likely do really well on Alpine Club. He called it. Babe Ruth style.
Kelly did Alpine Club in roughly an hours work for it's First Female Ascent. As far as I know it's the fastest ascent to date.
It was badass! She made it look like absolute piss and it was one of the most impressive things I've seen in a long long time. As soon as she topped out we all started clapping for her cause apparently that's what happens in Font. Who knew?
Jeff and Kelly are so creative.
Before the send.
All the while Jeff, Ian and I kept on throwing ourselves at it. What I love about Alpine Club is that someone who's strong can probably do it the bump way. If you try it the other way though, strength doesn't play as big of a role. Jeff put it well when he said this, "You keep wanting to tell yourself to try harder on this thing but it doesn't work that way. You can't 'try hard' your way through it. You just have to be a better climber.".
A lot of people talk about the bump beta and yeah, I kinda bag on it too. The truth, is that I want to do Alpine Club a certain way because for ME, it's my greatest measuring stick. As I get closer and closer on the move I can feel myself understanding that particular movement better and better. It's not a "I gotta get sick strong" type of thing. It's a matter of just being a better climber and my desire to be able to someday be a talented enough climber to do that move.
Kelly is an exceptionally gifted climber and it was amazingly fun watching her climb on Alpine Club. I'll reiterate that it was one of the most impressive showings I've ever seen. I'm glad I was there to see it.
Moving uphill as light started to fade we came to Jeff's main objective. The Keymaker. Jeff spent one lonely afternoon on it almost a year ago when he came through with Nic and all Sunday he couldn't stop talking about it. Waiting for it. Getting excited for it. So here we were.
We set the pads up and Ian cringed as he looked at the crimp he'd christened "the little fucker". Kelly made sure to ask, "How do I grab the little fucker, Ian?". Awesome.
Jeff very quickly worked out some great beta for the traverse that I'm planning on leeching from him. Within 10 minutes or so he was starting to give concerted efforts and was looking incredibly strong for being the end of the day and also jet-lagged. Without a whole lot of effort he was making it to the rail each time and seemed to fall off one move higher every try.
Two things of note happened here.
1 - Jeff does the move to the rail with both his feet staying on. Fucking absurd. So strong.
2 - Jeff had maybe the best dry fire of the weekend when he came off of the two miserable crimps after the rail. Both hands came off at the same time and he hit the pads with force! He came up with a smile though.
As light started to fade a bit more Jeff knew he was getting down to the wire on this one. His energy was leaving him and he was on his last try. As always he floated everything up to the rail, hit the two crimps and made one last thrutch to the next hold.
Down to the pads he came. We poked and prodded and got him to try Beautiful Soup once but he came off on the last move, just totally out of juice.
As we packed up and went down the hill Jeff started talking about having to fly back for this one. Excited for that.
I love when new people come into town, if even for a small amount of time. The lake holds a spot near and dear to my heart and I love sharing it with friends. For some reason I'm still surprised that people tell me that they want to come back for more. Ian is talking about coming back with a crew next time and is already planning it out for good conditions. Jeff and Kelly want to come back for another dose and it was cool to see Jeff get kinda sad when we just plain ran out of time to go up to Jenga and Moj.
We seem to live in a little bubble and it's easy to not realize how good we have it here. While our areas aren't world class, they're pretty damn good.
Kelly and Jeff are totally better than a stick brush...
Katie giving me the eye...