Friday, July 23, 2010

Cedar Creek Sesh

The season at Cedar Creek is in full swing. With hot temps in the valleys, Cedar Creek is the perfect place to beat the heat. The Elephant's Perch (climbing shop) in Ketchum donated some hardware for the area and in turn I gave them a topo for the crag. There have been a few folks visiting the area, sampling some of the best limestone around. There are still a number of routes to establish, especially on the easy to moderate side of things, and I plan on finishing development here before moving on to the next crag.

Conditions at the trailhead have dried out considerably in the last two weeks, with most of the wildflowers having gone to seed. I was fortunate enough on my last two visits to catch the Bitterroot flowers in bloom! These little guys are my favorite and I have coined the name "dirt lotus" to describe their stark beauty.

We had a good session yesterday with three(!) cars in the parking lot and several parties enjoying the quality stone and nice temps at the crag. Here's Conan on one of the warm ups, "Little Dark Cloud". Afterwards we moved to the other end of the crag where angle kicks back to the better side vertical and hopped on my project. I had bolted this line earlier this year and had given it a couple redpoint burns. It's characterized by a steep, bouldery start with really long pulls between descent holds. The last time I had climbed it, things felt a little desperate, and I was having trouble clipping. With that attempt fresh in my memory, I got on it yesterday with no expectations. Before I knew it, I had climbed past my previous high point and was feeling great! Near the top I didn't have my beta totally dialed in, and when trying a long deadpoint to an edge I missed, but managed to snag a sloper instead. Giving out the war cry, I hung on, popped to another sloper and pulled through! What a pleasant surprise - Sending when you least expect it! And, it felt easy, especially compared to my previous attempt. Isn't that how it should feel when you send?

I named the route "Caught on Tape" in reference to a joke I had about placing a surveillance camera on a tree to see who was climbing my projects with out permission. I've never been one to use red tape on the first bolt, and figure at a place like Cedar Creek or the Fins, most people know what's a project and what's not, and whose it is. Because I was leaving draws on the routes, I think folks were hopping on them for the low commitment factor. I really don't mind, and like Dave Bingham, I believe that the route is a product of the person who put the time, money and effort in to bolting and cleaning it, not necessarily the one who gets the first ascent. Well, now the route is fair game and ready for everyone to enjoy! Like the other routes on that wall, it's 5.12, somewhere in the b/c area.

After sending "Caught on Tape", Conan and I sampled one of Lucas's 5.12s, "34/24" and enjoyed steep climbing on juggy holds until the crux: a cryptic sequence on smaller, slopey holds with a slabby finish. Looks like I've got another project to redpoint at the Creek!

With evening rolling in, I said farewell to friends and boogied to the car in record time to begin the drive home. The Lost Rivers deliver once again! Thank You.

Dog is my co-pilot... Kaya keeps an eye on the road while I scope the crags!


  1. Good job on the send! Sounds hard. I can't wait to come up and get spanked. Keep me posted on your schedule. Mahalo.

  2. Thanks Matt! Yea one thing unique about Cedar Creek is the holds tend to be pretty good in size, but flat in shape, not always incut. So, once you're pumped it's hard to recover for that sort of climbing. Pretty fun stuff!

  3. Nice work Marc!
    How about sending that topo over to me or Matt? I'd be psyched to take a look and i'm sure Matt would too!

  4. Thanks Dean. I'm in the process of redoing the topo for Cedar Creek. The one at the Perch is a little outdated and just a description, no photos or drawings. Things are really jamming here at SMG, but when I get some time I'll upload the new topo to the Blog here. In the mean time, if you guys are headed this way, get in touch and I'll give you the lowdown.
    Cheers, Marc