Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 25

The Driller and I blasted up to Squamptown. We rehashed the week's events, including the missing Napoleon, whose campaign of rock conquest has taken him south to the Valley, along with The Filth and The Yankee, rumours of a dirtbag's newly-found riches, and of course sending in the Valley.

An email had come earlier in the week.

>Yea get the route done, I want to scrub
>some variations.

Now there are three problems with this sentence.

a) In order to scrub a variation, you need a route to vary from. We need to get on that.
b) In order to scrub, you have to scrub the route, which you cannot do when you are contemplating the hard-to-send treasures of Yosemite, like the newly-single Steph Davis' butt in her Pradaguccia tights, or the Harding Slit, or finding a 4th blue Alien in Camp Four at 3 A.M. on the day you are setting off to do a nude speed ascent of Iron Hawk.
c) In order to scrub, you have to scrub...

But then, the emailer has been to Yosemite, while I am scared shitless to go anywhere near the place, partly because I am like ice-cream on a warm summer's day-- soft-- and partly because I have been using my car to sun-dry beef jerky and to smoke salmon for nearly 25 years now, so the thing must smell like a little slice of ursal Heaven to the Valley bears.

On Sunday it was The Driller and I. Now you know you've been working too much when hauling 60 pounds of gear to the base, and spending a day hanging from ropes, scrubbing cracks and drilling bolts, is fun. Such is The Driller's life. He has learned the first lesson of yuppie cunt-hood: you take up either heavy drinking or a heavy physical sport so that you don't turn into a donut-pasty, muffin-and-coffee rounded algorithm during your nine to five. Basically you could call new-routing a version of midlife-crisis aversion. "I am still a MAN," one (mentally) roars, shirking from nightmare visions of cramming one's waist-donut behind the up-tilted wheel of a mall-parked minivan after bundling the three kids in.

We arrived at the base of the route, eight months after last being on it, and found our ropes still hanging, and a few new rocks on the ground. We ended up getting a fair bit done. We chopped one bolt on our first pitch's left-hand variation, moved it 2 feet left, which means that people shorter than the newly-single Dean Potter will be able to reach it. We added one more bolt, and then we scrubbed it like The Filth scrubs his ass before his wife gets busy on it with the 18-incher, which is to say, not that much, but to sendability. The scariest thing was an epic, enormous grating sound that tumbled down slowly toward us, the sound of a few thousand pounds of rock grating into a new position. There was utter silence and then we remembered to breathe.

Here is the Driller following P1. The blue rope is (I think) Myles Holt's, from an (abandoned?) project.

Here is The Driller, doing his thing.

No, that is NOT a cigarette. Recall that we gave up smoking, masturbation and alcohol till we send. No, really...Driller is cleaning drill-dust out of the hole.

Coincidentally, this was the day when Frimer finally climbed The Milk Road and I was cheering him on-- the thing looks like it totally rocks, but I was
made a bit self-conscious, cos Frimer is as anal as a new-router can possibly be, cleaning-wise. I mean, you could probably eat out of those handjams, store your bagels and lox in there, etc, they are so nice and white.

We then rapped, and climbed to the top of P2 the direct way, and moved the rap station to the left as Paul Cordy told us to. Driller successfully chopped one old bolt and successfully made another one spin on its axis. I know this belay is gonna look fucked-up when everybody else climbs this route, but we had little choice: when I drilled it, the now-huge-incut-white-spot was a set of leaning death flakes that bulged out, and it would have been insane to put a station in that stuff.

We jugged to the bottom of the dihedral, and I chopped The Driller's 2nd bolt, moved it down and right a foot (now you can fall without hitting the ledge) and added one more. it looks like the dihedral may need one more bolt-- it has to be French-freeable-- so next time we go there, The Driller, who is about 4 inches shorter than me, and has lots less ape, will see if he can French-free it.

It being Mother's Day, I spent off-moments, much to The Driller's delight, texting my girlfriend and telling her how awesome she was. 10 reasons. I got from 10 to 5, and 4 to 1 are going to be the M.I.L.F. reasons, which will remain au boudoir, which I believe is French for "let's talk about that over some poutine and a bottle or two of Cinquante.

At the end of the day, we sat and neither smoked nor drank (Napoleon, you better be holding up your end of the deal...I will station The Yankee outside your tent in Camp Four to ensure compliance) and catalogued what total gumbies we are.

a) We will have chopped six of our own bolts successfully, and two unsuccessfully, by the time we are done. So not only can we not really install them properly, we can't uninstall them either. WOOT!

b) We have built the longest bolt ladder in Squamish. But that one's for the punters, like us and the sub-12 crowd...and we know you are legion...

c) Our shoes. Have a look at how gumbies re-lace and life-lengthen their shoes. Can you spot the erratic brilliance of our solutions?

Next Sunday, we return to the project...to FINISH! We will move a station, chop two trees, add one bolt to P8 and then hopefully down with the fixed lines.

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