Here are a few pictures with related storytelling from our weekend at Devil’s Lake. More pictures than what is seen here can be viewed by visiting the pictures page.
On Saturday we made the circuit of some of the more classic problems at the North Shore and Monolith Areas. I of course had to show Tony Perfect Medium (V9) and he made some good progress on it for his first day on the problem. Perfect Medium is really the boulder that epitomizes hard Lake climbing. It uses a razor sharp left hand start hold and bad feet to climb up the blank 15 ft. face. I predict a send by 2009…
Located directly to the left of Perfect Medium is a great easy crack climb that climbs the dihedral formed by PM and another boulder. The crack climbs up about 15 feet before you can either exit out left or you could continue another 10 feet to the top for a committing highball. Pictured below is Amy making the left exit which is pretty spicy in its own right. Not pictured is Amy crushing the direct line with nary a hint of fear in her eye. Solid.
On Sunday we met up with Chris aka John Cow aka Old School aka Vintage and headed up to the East Bluff. We were flaking our rope and racking up to climb Brinton’s Crack only to have our dreams of leading this classic crushed again by hapless punters dropping a rope in our faces. We then moved on to warm-up on Full Stop where again we were met with a rope being dropped from above right in our faces. It is my understanding that the ethic at this predominantly top-roped crag is to let the people leading climb through but that seems to be lost on the general masses. Indeed, in both cases we could have climbed our route before the people dropping the topropes even made their way back to the base of the wall.
These events turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we instead turned our attentions to leading Berkeley (5.6). I can’t quite put my finger on it but this was one of my most enjoyable leads thus far. It probably helps that Berkeley is a great route that has great gear which made it all the more enjoyable.
After Berkeley, Amy and I followed Chris up Foreplay (5.6). Once we were done with Foreplay it was my turn on the sharp end again, and I wanted to climb Cul-de-sac (5.8). Cul-de-sac is an intimidating (for me) line that follows a thin crack for 20-25 feet up to a roof where you can either go straight up (5.11d) or mantle out right onto a ledge and follow easier ground to the top. None of us had ever climbed the route before and we couldn’t really see any places for gear once you mantled the ledge but I figured I would find something so I decided to go for it.
The climbing beneath the roof is protected by a sole nut which would be of little use if you were to fall getting into the roof or the ensuing mantle out to the right. I felt pretty focused and it didn’t prove to be either too scary or too hard and I was able to get onto the ledge without too much trouble. As I suspected I found some gear for the next 10 feet or so but had to run it out to the top on some uncharacteristically poor rock which kept things spicy until the end. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of the climb.
To cap off the day, Chris made a nice lead of Charybdis (5.7). I was really glad that he lead it though as I found the climbing to be very tricky and the stances for placing some of the gear down low were less than stable. Nice work Old School.
Overall it was another great weekend at the Lake. Amy continues to impress with her quick ascension of the learning curve of Lake climbing. It will only be a matter of time before she is on the sharp end…right Am?
We are heading up again this weekend, look for updates next week.