Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Broken Holds, Shredded Tents, and Other Unfortunate Events

Today started off just fine. A long morning in the sunshine, no wind, splitter blue skies, and so on and so forth...

Things were even off to a great start as we pulled up to the Buttermilks, one of three cars in the area, and began warming up on Grandma Peabody. Once I put my shoes on and began messing around on the jugs I decided that today was the day I was going to top out a Peabody. A few short moves and a lot of slab later I found myself straddling the apex over two anchors, looking out at the field of massive granite marbles. My experience was cut short however by a gust of wind that nearly sent me tumbling off the boulder. I took the wind as a sign and made my way carefully back to solid ground.

That's when things got bad. The infamous Buttermilk wind picked up and before long the horizon was covered in a thick haze, a wall of sand. Stubborn, I threw a few attempts into The Mystery but was forced to leave before putting a full session into it.

A windstorm creeping into the Buttermilks. Taken shortly after a gust nearly blew me off the top of Grandma Peabody.

A last minute burn on The Mystery before being blown down the hill.

Lib faired even worse on her project Go Granny Ho V7 as a sore finger flared up on one of the crux crimps.

Defeated, we sought out shelter in the Ice Caves. Lib decided to call it a day and rest her finger, but despite the setbacks and the harsh morning I was already rebuilding my motivation to try Beautiful Gecko, a line I thought I might have a better chance of doing before leaving Bishop.

The wind was even worse in the Sads, and I made a made dash for the caves to find them deserted. After laying down the pads, lacing up my shoes, and pulling onto the first hold I was surprised to find myself suddenly thumping down on the pad with the right hand finger bucket still in my hand.

I looked up at the huge brown scar and almost laughed I was so heartbroken. I tried some alternative beta, and the line will probably still go somehow, but all my motivation had long deflated. It looks like Aquatic Hitchhiker will be substantially harder as well.

At least it couldn't get any worse, right? We headed back to the Pit to check on our campsite before planting ourselves in Starbucks for a few gloomy hours. Once we pulled over the hill and our campsite came into view I knew something was wrong. From the top of the hill I could see what looked like the bottom of the tent mashed up against a small incline, battling to free itself from a rogue sage bush.

Unfortunately what I saw from a distance turned out to be even worse up close. Aside from the tent our gear was in a complete yard sale across our site, and as we shifted into damage control mode we realized that the tent had taken a turn for the worst, with a torn fly and poles bent almost into a right angle.

After six months on the road we finally found our "screw this" moment. We promptly packed up and drove to the nearest motel, took a hot shower, and are currently hoping that whatever we owed to the universe was paid in full today.



  1. Fuck man, that sucks! Hope things turn for the better again!

  2. FYI: