Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring time rock climb

     After a frustrating winter of mysterious debilitating back pain most likely related to a ground fall I took last summer, I finally healed up enough to get all trained up and back in shape enough for a trip.  I only got one day out on the Vermont schist (see above) before Will Mayo and I headed south to Kentucky for a few weeks of rock wrastlin' training camp at the Red River Gorge.  Will hooked up the caffeine IV, set himself on autopilot and crushed the first driving shift from 8pm to 8am without so much as a head nod.  I took over for the easy coast down the west virginia mountains into Kentucky where we promptly got out of the 'Vansion' (Wills' Dodge Sprinter) and got after it.
     I finished up a Red River mega classic out the left side of the Madness cave called 'Transworld Depravity' 5.14a that I'd tried last fall. Then I tried this amazing arete (below) called 'Kaleidescope' 5.13c that I'd been looking at for a couple of years but saving for an onsight attempt...didn't onsight it, and 2nd go fell off after clipping the last bolt,  so third try I opted for skipping the last bolt and that did the trick.  Absolutely stunning, definitely one of the very best routes here at the red.

Here is Will cutting loose at the Bob Marley crag,  on his first real 'sport' climbing trip homeboy is crushing.  Ticking off 5.12s and getting animalistic on the steeps.  Here in Kentucky you don't split your tips like you do back in the northeast, you rip off the callouses further down your fingers and flay yourself open like Will did here. 

      The last day out I tried another super beautiful route that I'd been looking at and saving during the last few trips down here.  'No Redemption' 5.13b...(above) its another atypical route for the red, not too steep with technical, interesting, bouldery sequences.  This time I watched some other people climb it and then flashed it by the skin of my teeth.  Super psyched. We've got another week and a half to go...wish us good weather.
Peter Kamitses