Yesterday was two milestones:
1) For the first time in a long time yesterday, Rob and I escaped the confines of boxes (walls, cubicles, cars, etc.). And it felt good. Oh so good.
2) Rob and I have been married a week. It still hasn’t set in at all. I would like to note that in our vows, we promised to be each other’s belay partners, travel buddies, and that Rob would continue to pick the best snowboarding runs for us. Oh yeah. =)
So what did us crazy newlyweds do to celebrate a week? We grabbed our friend Mikey and set off for a late afternoon of climbing at Rumney. The weather was perfect and the bugs didn’t seem too terrible. We even easily nabbed a seriously sweet parking spot right in the shade across from the trailhead (which always strikes me as ironic – fighting over close parking at a hiking area is kind of backwards, right?).
Once packed and ready to go, we made the quick hike up to Parking Lot Wall. When I say quick, I mean quick. Even with some serious mud, the approach couldn’t have been anymore than two minutes. I can understand now why it’s usually one of the most crowded sections.
After asking a few other climbers to give us an idea of where exactly we were, we quickly decided a 5.6/5.7 (lower rating in Ward Smith’s guide book, higher rating on Mountain Project) looked like a fun first climb of the day, especially with a name like Easily Amused. After Rob and Mikey both sent it on lead, I gave it a try on top rope. While definitely not my style, it was great to just be back out on some real rock.
Next up, we moved over a few routes to Glory Jean’s (5.7). Right from the start, I could tell this route was going to be a fun one. Rob and Mikey went first again, and then it was finally my turn. The route was fantastic. I’ve spent all winter at the climbing gym working on more technical moves, balance, and trusting my feet – and Glory Jean’s gave me a chance to let my new skills play. Favorite parts? It’s a tough call! About twenty or so feet up, you’re faced with a lovely three foot gap between the wall you started on and the wall you need to transfer on to. While definitely a total piece of cake on top rope, it made for a fun maneuver. Also fun was the almost handless traverse just a short distance from the top out. Definitely worth trying if you’re at Rumney!
Finally, we decided to head over to another climbing area just to the left called The Meadows (another incredibly short approach). Ever on the look out for some interesting routes, I egged the guys to check out Lies and Propaganda, a 5.9. While definitely appearing to be a fun route full of unusual rock formations, Rob and Mikey weren’t terribly keen on the first bolt being a good 12-15′ off the ground… and also above one of the hardest parts of the route. In the end, Mikey made it all the way up the route in his usual style and humor but just wasn’t having it at the anchors which forced the ropes to twist and run across sharp rocks. No top roping for me. =(
All in all – awesome day and I can’t wait for more climbing trips. I’m determined to lead outside this summer, but for now I’m pretty stoked seeing that my technical skills (aka – less flailing) have progressed!
How about you? What are you determined to do this summer?