I ended up meeting my friend J on Thursday night and we came up with a game plan to ease me back in to the swing of things so the next day we rallied down the Cruise gully after a nice leisurely breakfast and couple of cups of coffee to do The Diagonal (5.12) a route new to the both of us. We were able to solo and simul a bit more than half the climb which certainly helped the 2000' day go by a lot faster. After hundreds of feet of some grand old choss wrangling (for the uninitiated the Black has a reputation for lots of loose rock among other things, The Diagonal more than lived up to this reputation) I got to lead the only clean, and in my opinion the best pitch of the route a 11+/12- technical dihedral protected with a couple of bolts. It felt like I was back in Rifle doing some good ol' sportz clippin' actioneering....almost. With a bit more groveling and some run out chimneying we were sippin' on suds on the North Chasm View it was grand!
Some big old hole in the ground.
The next day after being turned away from our original objectives by SAR we decided to do The Scenic Cruise (5.10+), a clean classic that I'd not done only to discover a desperately slow party of three on it. Luckily we were able to do a different start (The Cruise 5.10+) and after thrashing my way up the wide pitch we passed the party of three and blasted through the last pitches with a couple of linkups for a fairly early day. We found out the next day that the party we passed ended up spending an unplanned night on the wall, needless to say we were doubly psyched to have passed them in hindsight.
J finishing the traverse pitch
After the Black adventures I had my first day of work at CMC doing more challenge course facilitation, which was a blast despite the constant rain all that day. Since then I was hired on at Ute Mountaineering, a gear shop in Aspen for a full time job which, needless to say has occupied much of my time between training, gear clinics and actually working. I have gotten out to Independence pass with a new friend Nathan to do a little before work climbing and checking out some sweet potential projects for the summer. I'm pretty stoked to see where this second job leads as it seems to potentially be opening doors for local crag development and also for anchor replacement stuff for the desert.
For Mother's Day Taryn and I cruised down to Grand Junction to do Otto's Route (5.9-) on Independence Monument for her first desert tower and to visit her grandma and the rest of her family. While it was a touch warm we couldn't have asked for a nicer day to climb such an unusual route.
I also had my wisdom teeth out which was far less eventful than I anticipated as I didn't have any significant swelling, pain or complications with down time lasting about 24 hours before a bike ride and a day back in Rifle.
My current kitchen
The new backyard