Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spring to Summer

As guiding season starts to pick up, I have less time to go cragging. Between trips in to the mountains I've been trying to make the most of what little time I have by spending some half days at Cedar Creek and mountain biking with Aki. We've done couple great rides this spring/summer, the best being Elk Mountain (meadows?) Loop out of Stanley Lake. I haven't been on single track that good in a while! I'm hoping to get a chest harness for the GoPro Cam and post some footage here soon. Thanks Aki for getting me back on a bike!

The cool temperatures this spring have kept some ice around at the base of Cedar Creek, but all routes are climbable and I've managed to tick a few projects that last couple times I've been there. First to go down was "The Town Bike" (as in everyone takes 'er for a ride - a reference to the route seeing lots of traffic prior to being completed). Although it needs consensus, I'd say it's a solid 12, somewhere in the 12b/c range. The route is characterized by sustained climbing on good holds with a crux near the top, right about when the pump clock starts to ring!

Here are a couple bad pics of The Town Bike.

Next was "The Jewel Thief", a 12a just to the left of The Town Bike. The name is a reference to the route being climbed without consent when it was still a project. I can't be too upset though, the strong fellow onsighted it!!! This is a great route up steep rock with good holds and big, pumpy moves. Go for the onsight!

The next project is just left again on the same wall and is most likely the hardest of the three. It's got some big moves but generally climbs smaller holds. To me it feels like 12c, but consensus will determine that. I hope to send next visit.
A wide angle shot of Cedar Creek. It doesn't show much, but the Town Bike and others are on the far left side of the wall.

In between guided trips and cragging, Drew and I managed a climb up the East Ridge of Williams Peak last weekend. We were hoping to find a nice alpine ridge route to the summit, but steep, somewhat loose rock push us into some gullies south of the ridge proper. Drew was kind enough to let me "mock" guide him to the top, and we had some good laughs roped together along the way. It was great short roping and short pitching practice with quite a bit of firm snow in the morning. Thanks Drew! Next time we'll try the ridge direct!

On Tuesday I did a guided Finger of Fate climb and we managed to thread the needle with the weather quite nicely. It sprinkled a bit on the hike in and threatened while we were on the route, but it never cut loose until the drive home. From the summit we could see showers in the Sawtooth Valley and dark clouds to the west, but we felt blessed to not get wet on the climb. There was quite a bit of snow still in the upper basin and even a little bit of ice packed in the corners of the route. My client Rob pretty much hiked the route and we had no problems avoiding the ice and wet rock. A few sprinkles on the hike out kept the temps cool and the mosquitos at bay. Thanks for great day in the Alpine Rob!

Leaving the snow and on to the rock, pitch 1.

The Open Book, pitch 2.

The "ski tracks" on the upper part of the climb. Does it get any better?

Thats about all I have for now. Look for more Cedar Creek sends, reports from guided adventures and hopefully some mountain bike footage soon.

Cheers, Marc


  1. Hey, right on for posting some pics of the new crag. You got me stoked. Nice looking variety of angles. Later this month? Mahalo.

  2. Yea Matt, let me know when you're headed this way and I'll give you the tour!