"KITT", "Ratherbe", "Gecko", "Gammie", "GGF", and I got up early and were essentially the first people there. The "Wall of Early Morning Sun" was as advertised, and we decided to play a bit on the sport climbs here before heading off in the afternoon to the shade where there are mostly trad climbs. None of the climbs here have names that I know (there is no guidebook), so the Farley posts will always be short summaries as opposed to detailed references.
We had a good time though. "Ratherbe" led a daring mixed route with some scary exposure at the top, and committing moves on difficult gear throughout, for her first climb. She thought it was a low 10, but "Gecko" and "KITT", who TR'd the route, thought it was closer to 5.8. I led it on "Ratherbe"'s gear and felt that it was a hard nine, which was confirmed later by a local, so there is definitely a grade difference between TR and lead.
I got "Gammie" on his first outdoor lead in over a year that was a bit above his current level. It was an adventurous day for both he and "GGF", as he took about six legitimate falls that all took "GGF" for a ride at the bottom (we told her that her rides were a good thing despite her hesitancy to embrace them). She learned how to use a Grigri for the first time, so she only had to worry about not hitting the wall when he fell instead of dropping him at the same time. All in all, though, they both climbed hard and got on a few different things. I think "Gammie" was pretty wiped by the end of the day. He certainly provided good entertainment (both climbing and, as always, with his voluminous sense of humor).
"Ratherbe" and "KITT" each got on routes that they both had and hadn't before with good results over all. "KITT" tried to reconquer the 5.9 that stumped him last time, but wasn't able to get up cleanly without apparently climbing the next route over, which was about 10 feet away ("enough to cause ground fall at the third bolt," he said!). Still, he also pushed himself on a super-crimpy 5.10a that I jumped on at the end of the day. Whereas "Ratherbe" also pushed herself on that early 5.9, my 5.10a (noteworthy because her finger has been sensitive to crimps), running up the main 5.8 twice to finish up one of "Gammie"'s falls, and a trad 5.6 where the crux felt considerably more awkward than 5.6.
My biggest accomplishments were falling repeatedly on a steep 5.10c and then pumping myself out on that crimpy 5.10a at the end of the day. The 5.10c kicked my ass so bad that I'll probably end up crapping myself inside out the next time I sit down. I fell about 10 tens on the first bolt. I was so tired that I ended up climbing 10 feet to the left on a 5.6 portion of a 5.9 just to get to the second bolt. "Ratherbe" then lowered me so that I could put it all together, but I fell again. One of the times I fell was due to bad beta ("Go for the far right of the right-hand pocket and it's bomber." Uh, nope. It's the far right of the left-hand pocket, and yes, there is a BIG difference between the two). I then took several times on the way up through the 5.9 portion because I was so damn pumped despite flashing this the last time (using the 5.6 start). I guess I now have two 5.10c climbs in this area that are projects (the other being the start right around the arrete from the main 5.8). The 5.10a was fun and right up my alley, but I took a couple of times on this, too, due to fatigue.
The biggest accomplishment of the day, however, was "Gecko"'s first outdoor lead ever. He led the main 5.8 as well as the 5.9 that keeps stumping "KITT" and the 5.9 finish with the 5.6 start. His one comment after the first lead (and after leading 5.11 inside this winter after only climbing on a rope on a regular basis for six months), "Outdoors is different." Yeah, welcome to the head games, fella, they'll love you as much as you love them.
We then headed to Orange to grab vittles. Dinner was good, the conversation was better. The ice cream a little further down the road was a bit more comical. All six of us squeezed on a four-person picnic table, and when an eight-person table opened up, being the good pal that I am, I jumped up and grabbed it. Did my gaggle of followers follow me? Noooo. Why didn't the follow me? Because I didn't verbalize my intentions. Should they have at least known or been able to figure it out? OF COURSE!!!!! So I sat at an eight-person table all alone to eat my lonely sundae until it was finished. I then got in my car and drove off... ...well, just around the corner of the building, but it was enough to send a message. Naturally, they all came to my side of the building when they finished their dessert. When "Ratherbe" went into the bathroom, we all jumped in the car and drove back to the other side of the building, but she knew what was up as soon as she came out.
One final note, before we took off, I asked "GGF" if I was driving too fast for her on the way out. Her answer was, "Yeah, you were flying." So, naturally, to be kind, I slowed up on the way back. And then I see that puny little CRV coming up along side of me. Pass ME? When she said I was going to SLOW? "Get the hell outathaway cause that ain't happenin' today."
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