Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Highs and Lows

I had a varied and exciting weekend, filled with highs and lows. Things started off Friday evening with the premier of the new TGR flick. We went to the local burger and brew joint, Grumpy's, where we ran into friend Jason Haase and his American Mammal crew (I'm not sure what that's all about). These folks were participating in Edward Schooner Hands, where they had 32 oz schooners taped to each hand and were required to finish them before removing the tape and schooner.

I did not participate in ESH, but felt like I had the following morning! We got up early (barely) and made the trip to Twin Falls (barely) to have the Subaru serviced and do some shopping. We met Ian and Lindsey in Twin and afterwards drove to Murtaugh to check out the crack climbing. I hadn't climbed in Murtaugh before and was keen to check it out. In the last few years the place has been somewhat rediscovered and several new anchors had been added to crack lines in addition to some bolted face routes. We had fun climbing in the afternoon light. The routes are bit short and somewhat broken, but it's the only crack cragging that we have near home. I'd really like to find some columnar basalt thats a little cleaner and taller, more along the lines of Trout Creek in Oregon.

The Dark Corner.

On Sunday I headed down to the Channel with Ian, Joe and Angry. We were surprised to see a number of cars in the parking lot. Turns out there was a good sized group there from Boise and another from Twin Falls. By far the most people I have ever seen at the Channel! Ted Thompson was there and had just injured his ankle before we arrived. He was hobbling around and giving support to his crew. (Get well Ted!) There was lots of talk of injuries, from ankles to wrists to knees. I felt good and fired the "Angry Inch" second try. Next we moved to the North Shore area and began dutifully cleaning the problems that hadn't seen any action this season. I was pretty fired up to get on a problem I'd tried two years ago before breaking my wrist. It has a cool hand foot match in a pocket that requires you to hold it as a mono to make room for your toes. The problem has a pretty bad landing, but we were able to pad it well. After cleaning the top out, I fired the problem third try and called it "5 to 1", as in 5 toes to 1 finger. I did the problem a second time and then we began focussing on the "Dark Corner", a classic steep, hard finger crack. Like "5 to 1", I had worked this problem two years previously and was pretty close before winter came. (For video footage of the "Dark Corner" and the "Angry Inch" watch The Channel Project!) After sorting out the opening moves I was suprized to find myself high up on the problem groping dirty holds and not sure what to do next. As I bailed off, I was concerned about my left fingers, which were buried in the crack. I focused on getting my fingers clear of the crack and not the landing... the ground was further away then I anticipated, and I came down on a straight right leg and hyperextended my knee. I felt a pop... not good.

I spent yesterday at the Dr's office and on the phone with my insurance company. The good news is that nothings broken and my ligaments are intact. The ACL has been slightly stretched, but the Dr is almost certain that wont be a problem. The bad news is that I have a torn Lateral Meniscus. I've decided to have the surgery and get it taken care of now while there's no snow and no guiding. The Dr thinks I should be on skis in about 3 months... It's a bummer, and not exactly what I had in mind on Sunday, but sh*t happens! I just want to get it taken care of and start the recovery process.

I'd like to thank everybody for their condolences and Ian, Joe, Angry and Nat for their help on Sunday!


  1. I can say that you were CRUISING everything at Murtaugh and the channel before your Dark Corner debacle, it's like Didier vs. the Cobra in first ascent "god say no!"

  2. Thanks Ian. Now that you mention it, I do recall Didier tore his meniscus: God say, "no Marc, it's not for you today..." There will be another day!