Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Moab

The temps are getting cooler here in Moab, and the sends are heating up. In-between short periods of rain and snow I have been getting out climbing with various friends.

Crack climbing does not promote bone health. Photo- Florian Herla

Last week I lured le crack maitre Peewee to go check out a beautiful 5.13 finger crack near town. The Hidden Gem was first sent by my good friend Adam Ferro this past spring. Its a 70' pitch, overhanging from the ground to the anchor, going from tight fingers to thumbstacks. Without thinking, we decided to head up to this north facing wall on an arctic day. The rock was very cold, and after 25' of climbing, my fingers were completely numb. I continued climbing, blindly trusting each lock- I have never done so many moves in row with numb fingers. The most painful fit of screaming barfies ensued as my lifeless digits warmed back up- definitely one of my proudest onsights. Much respect to Adam for sending the FA.

 The Hidden Gem. Photo Jean-Pierre Ouellete

Several days ago I was lucky enough to rope up with "wide boyz" Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker- the two brits who have been murdering the US's hardest offwidths, and establishing even harder ones. We went down to the White Rim in Canyonlands to a 50' roof crack they had found a week prior. It ended up being quite burly, as a 50' roof should, requiring some advanced chicken winging and arm bars to get thru the flaring wideness. One of the #6 camalots was so tipped that it rattled out of the crack as I nudged it with my foot. Spooky! After Pete flashed the first ascent (very impressive effort!), Tom and I both sent after a couple tries. Witness the Wideness checks in at around 12d/13a, and cost us a $75 parking ticket. 

Tom Randall on Witness the Wideness

Bursting blood vessels in my head. Photo Pete Whittaker

Its raining now. Back to the White Rim soon...



  1. I'm planning on taking a trip to Moab very soon, is there any area specific rock climbing gear that I will need? Any cam sizes that you think are an absolute? I'm taking a pretty full rack, but I'd hate to be up a creek without a cam.. If you know what I mean.

  2. Bruce,

    Depends on what you're climbing, but if its your first time and you plan on doing a lot of crack climbing you'll want to bring as many #.75green - #3 blue camalots (or equivalent) as youcan. Obviously if you want to climb any OWs or finger cracks you'll need those specific sizes as well. have fun