Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mt. Charleston Homecoming / Tour Guiding Weekend

Last weekend was great. On Friday, I departed LA with Charlie Andrews, his sister Emily, and Itai Axelrad for a weekend of sport clippin' up at Mt. Charleston, just northwest of Las Vegas. Itai's done a nice write-up here. I'll keep this post brief, but suffice it to say that we did a lot of climbing, and I'm very psyched to be climbing on a rope again (as well as frequently bouldering)! 

We started at the pre-eminent Charleston crag, The Hood, to give everyone a proper introduction to the flawless and foot-hold-less limestone, with the intention of heading to The Robbers' Roost on Sunday.

The Imagination Wall, as seen from the trailhead for The Hood.
Untouched rock. That massive cave on the right side sports a continuous 45 degree overhang on its left side for well over  100 feet before easing back to that rad looking headwall.
Emily on "Heatin' up the Hood" (5.11c).

Charlie Andrews pulling just one of the killer moves on "Infectious Groove" (5.13b). Photo: Itai Axelrad
Charlie pulling the second crux of "Infectious Groove."
Redpoint crux.
After the redpoint crux.
From Infectious, we zipped over to the Compton Cave, where Charlie and I would jump on Closing Down. I hadn't been on the route (famous for seeing ascents by kids like Chris Sharma, Eric Scully, and Shawn Diamond in the late 90's) since before my accident 5 years ago, so I was pretty psyched that my beta burn didn't feel too bad! I know I'll have to work hard to get into good enough shape to climb such a difficult pitch, but the fact that I was able to execute every move fairly quickly got me psyched to keep trying it. 

Myslf on "Closing Down" (5.14a) Photo: Itai Axelrad
Aaaand, after Closing Down, Charlie had enough psych to jump on Wailing Souls, a bouldery route that comes right out the middle of the Souls Cave. 

Charlie, clipping on "Wailing Souls" (5.13d) before casting off into the crux.

The last move of the crux of "Wailing Souls." It's "only" 5.12+ from there to the top. 
 On Sunday, we went right back to the Infectious Cave so that Charlie could send Infectious Groove (which he did, first try of the day), and I took a burn on Infectious as well, falling off of the upper redpoint crux to pull off the dreaded un-send. Watching Audrey work Ghetto Boyz, got me really psyched to try that one this season as well.

Audrey Sniezek on "Ghetto Boyz" (5.13c) 
Audrey Sniezek on "Ghetto Boyz" (5.13c) 
Audrey Sniezek on "Ghetto Boyz" (5.13c)
Itai working out "Infectious Groove." Photo: Charlie Andrews
Last, but certainly not least, Charlie and I gave burns on Corrosion, although it was dripping wet. Charlie had to be at LAX at 6 am on Monday morning to catch his flight to pre-Nationals training camp in Atlanta, so time was a little bit more limited than it had been the previous day, but we were all too tired to keep climbing anyway!

Charlie bustin through the crux on "Corrosion" (5.13a).
Needless to say, the weekend got me super duper psyched to climb more on a rope and to take more trips back to Vegas. This weekend, however, I'll be headed to Black Mt. for the 7th annual Black Mt. Boulder Bash. It's this Saturday, the 23rd, at Black Mt. Group Camp sites 4/5 (yellow post sites, bring an Adventure Pass.) I hope to see some of you there!

Stay psyched and climb safe.

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