So Horse Ramparts has been an area I've wanted to develop in ever since RV and I hiked through it a year ago. I'm glad that we're finally making our way back through there. We spent another great day up at the upper area and I finally played around on Bunker Arete which is an amazing problem and worth the trip in and of itself.
Katie and I played on that for a bit till Chris and Sarah came up to join us. Chris quickly climbed Bunker and soon after we moved down to the Jewel. I'd tried it the previous week but in my weak as shit fitness I couldn't do it and took a bad fall to end the day. History repeated itself and I took a terrible fall and almost knocked Chris down the talus field. Luckily I turned into a spotter and saved his ass before anything bad happened.
Chris eventually did the FA of the main traverse and happily named it Muffin Top. That's all I cared about and I'm glad he was able to get the FA on it.
One note about the current landing is that even with 4-5 pads it's a very intimidating line and can end poorly if you're not careful. Within the first two moves you're already a good 12-15 feet above the pit and the problem has a very committing and exposed feel. Be careful and have a spotter for your spotter.
Chris and Sarah had to pack up and as they were leaving Erin, Sam and Ben came up through the talus to join in the fun. Perfect timing. While they started working on Bunker, Katie and I walked down through the talus to check out the potential and we're both pretty excited about this one. While nothing super hard or especially amazing yet, we've seen a ton of cool looking moderates and I've got a feeling this area could be one of the better moderate talus fields once we're done with it.
And to end the day on a terrifying note, some kids came through the talus field and started climbing up one of the exposed slabs underneath bunker and before Erin could get a hand on him he took a really bad fall into the talus. Unbelievably he was unhurt other than a bruise, but it's a fall that I would have been nervous taking with pads, let alone without. Everything turned out alright but it struck us how dangerous the talus can be.
The fall brought back memories of a long thread on Mountain Project discussing news reports and climbing accidents. In the thread the consensus was that a news station could report things as a climbing accident if the person had technical climbing gear on. Both of these kids had harnesses and shoes on and had there been an accident it would have been reported as a climbing accident. Now, had those kids been going through the talus without harnesses and with street shoes, would it have not been a climbing accident, even if the exact same thing happened? Katie and I found it an interesting example of classification.
Finishing up, here's a video of a couple problems at Horse Rampart. I'm looking forward to many more days but if you go up there, be forewarned that the place BAKES in the sun. Bring lots of water.
Also, it's nice to see guys like Ian and Peter B going through and cleaning up things that Remo and I saw in 2009 but were too distracted to do. I remember seeing both First Cube/Undercling Proj and Storm Troopers for the first time the day that Remo and I first did Pete's Pebble and tried what would become Moj. I feel like we were both too A.D.D. that summer to put any extra effort into those lines but it's been funny seeing those same lines unknowingly resurrected with new efforts. Storm Troopers seems pretty cool and I'm psyched to try it once I get back into it.
5 months ago