Monday, November 29, 2010

Illusion Dweller PART 2 - Joshua Tree - November 4, 2010


They were done and just needed to rappel so I'd had enough waiting and headed up the route.  The start wasn't bad and I was quickly heading up the middle of the route without too much trouble.
Me cruising through some nice hand sized crack with good rests to place gear.
They were just rapping down and you can see their rope to the right of me.  I could see the next section got a little wide and might be a little unpleasant.  However, since I had brought the #4 camalot my gear would be bomber.
I was pulling through the wide section and the gear was great but I felt very insecure and right about that moment the party before started to pull their rap line.  I yelled out "what the F! is wrong with you!" fearing the rope might come down and hit me and ruin my onsight attempt.  They stopped and I pulled through the wide section and got to a good stance where they could pull there rope with out fear.
I had made it to the roof and was excited and took a good rest there on a great stance.
It was clearly a hard pull on an amazing finger crack through the roof so I jumped on it.
It was hard so I stepped back down to be sure I would get the movement right and to put in a second yellow alien to protect the move.
I started into the roof a second time and again stepped back down not finding the footholds of handhold I wanted.
Then it was time to go for it.  I had two great pieces, time to suck it up buttercup.
Pulling thru the roof was surprisingly easy but then as I reached high there was little to no handholds so I slapped and sloper in the flared crack and pulled.
I got just enough pull to be able to reach higher and get a flake to finish out the climb.
Ali followed the route and through she fell a couple times got it done without too much struggle.  Web chose not to try it preferring an easier route to start the day on.  Since they had been so pacent with me I said we should go do Sail Away 5.8- just across the valley.  It is another classic of Joshua Tree only 3 grades easier.
I cruised up the led.
Web belayed.
Then Web followed.
It was one of his first climbs outdoors.  I belayed on top.
Nice views.
Success for Web, Ali also followed up and joined us on the little pinnacle.

I wanted to keep the classics going so we headed over to Old Woman and climbed Double Cross a 5 start 5.7+. Then Ali wanted to climb a route right next to double cross she liked, we learned it was called Sexy Grandma 5.7+. Then as if that wasn't enough of a day we headed over to the Headstone 5.6. It was getting dark so we grabbed headlamps. I'd never done Headstone so even though it is only 5.6 it was an exciting led in the dark by headlamp. It went without much trouble. In all this was one of the best days of climbing I've ever had. Onsighting Illusion Dweller will always be one of the highlights of this trip for me.