Sunday, February 13, 2011

Arkansas/Epic Journey Recap

I'm back in Chatt after another weekend in Arkansas. I can't even begin to describe how epic the trip was. Arkansas got 8-12 inches of snow last week and I-40 was literally a sheet of ice. Runaway 18-wheelers were wrecked in the median and traffic was stacked up for at least 50 miles. It ended up taking us 8 hours to drive the 120 miles between Memphis and Little Rock! I guess that's like 15 mph.

There was about a foot of snow on the ground when we finally arrived. It was pretty obvious that the boulders were gonna need some work if we wanted to climb. Check out this pic of Brad shoveling snow from the landing at the warm-up boulder:

When we finally rolled in Jo Beth and I headed straight out to Wood Grain Grippin' to try and dry it up. After about an hour of work I had the topout mostly clear of snow. I wasn't even planning on trying it but after watching snow melt drip from the top I got a little nervous and decided to go for it. I felt good, the friction was incredible, and after battling numb toes I was able to pull it off. Back in December I decided that finishing this boulder would be my one remaining goal for the season. I'm incredibly happy to have accomplished the task.

The next day I was also able to climb Southern Lean (v11), Shadow Jumper (v11), and Typhoon (v10). Good couple days...

Nate on War Bonnet (v5)

The epic trip continued the following day as we were forced to clear parts of the road (with a single shovel) from Fred's Cave back to the highway after stupidly driving a couple miles on mud and melting snow. It wasn't until the late afternoon that Brad and I were back at the ranch trying Welcome to Fight Club (v13), a crimpy traverse line. You can watch a vid. of Paul Robinson climbing it here. Small edges are difficult for me right now with my finger at less than 100% but I still did some good work and Brad made a few very good links.

I should have some video soon (though unfortunately none of WGG). Stay tuned...