TR 2010-05 Woodfords Widefest Lite

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nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 20, 2010 - 07:41pm PT
On the eve of a free weekend, I began trawling the lurid
taco waters for a ditch partner. The fish were nibbling,
with intimations of pick-a-partner at the Reed's pull-out.
I remained firm and waited for a commitment. Years ago I
got myself in over my head on territory I wasn't ready for,
going to the valley without a partner. On this day I decided
to honor the lessons learned.

But I was sick. Sick of not climbing.
And I was saved by The Nurse.


She was eastbound, I was ready, the wide was calling. Woodfords seemed right.
The Nurse took care of our prescriptions, a stack of topos bundled with care.
After several "oooh! look at that!" car-stopping diversions, we settled on The Fortress area:


Parking is conveniently across the street near the campground:


Without delay we saddled up:


But first the Nurse diagnosed my critical lack of wide hardware and treated the condition:



We slogged up the sandy hill, two steps forward and one slide back, aiming for these tasty treats:


Some other denizens tempted us to start with a 5.8/9 lieback that the Nurse took care of:






'Twas a fine afternoon and we were both enjoying a great spot:





WE saw some dudes on this interesting 5.10b with a cool pod down low, and that brought out the wide mojo:



Just around the corner to the right we found a perfect trio of wide cracks and chimneys. Truly wonderful stuff, and not a one of them in the guide! Well don't pay it no never mind. It looks like 5-dot-fun to me.





You can't tell by looking at it, but I recall quite clearly hanging out in this position, swinging the rack around to try it a different side in, feeling like my face was pointing mostly toward the ground in this rest phase before the commitment:




The beginning was clearly the crux for me. There's probably a prettier way to do it, but it's a good thing that my thrutching between the last pictures and this next one didn't make it to film or pixels:


It felt like the most technical wide crack I've done, with some horizontal body-English rotating back down to matching tip-toes on face to cheat past a tough section, then back into the beast for more grunting but easier ground. All in all a character-building and pride creating effort for me. Another shot of the beast:


Before I can get too full of myself, the Nurse just shimmies up all casually and chimney-like; at least she was sweet to demure with comments like "maybe it's a body size thing" or something like that. Even so, I was stoked, no real blood was spilled, and we were both sufficiently satisfied to call it a good day and get back for a little campfire.

ROUND TWO

The next day, we lose the proper trail and have ourselves a little adventure on the way up:



It's a glorious morning, but little warning bells start to sound.
Looking down into the east-side desert getting some weather from the south:


Looking up-valley over the course of a few minutes:








But we were in pleasant moods, patient, and willing to see what would happen.
It was the right move! Here's that trio of wide cracks:


It sure was exciting for a few minutes as the Nurse attempted to extricate a cam that I drove hopelessly out of range while trying to clean it the day before:


Note the melting snow streaking down the face :)



For the rest of the day, little cells blew past us with brief blizzards that had us laughing out loud, and then the skies would clear up like this:


Here's looking straight up another yummy crack that we'll save for another day:



We opted instead for another fun one that seemed more practical in light of the snow flurries:

(Edit: This is called "5.6 Crack" but you'll have quite an adventure at the finish if you can't lead a few grades higher than that)


This picture perfectly captures our mood for the day. All smiles!
(Edit: At this point she had rocks stuck in her eye that required an ophthalmologist to remove, thanks to my floundering in the bombay flare above her the day before! What a trooper!)



The spirit of Brutus was smiling down on us, giving us just enough adventure to keep a twinkle in our eye and a spring in our step for the hike back down



Thanks Em!

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
May 20, 2010 - 07:48pm PT
Whooop!

NIce!

Solid trip.

Mucci
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
May 20, 2010 - 07:49pm PT
That's quality right there!!!! Gold!

That first dihedral looks really, really sweet! And it's good to see a smile on Em's face.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 20, 2010 - 08:45pm PT
Looks like fun!
Gotta check it out.
Z
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
May 20, 2010 - 08:54pm PT
nice pics!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 20, 2010 - 09:24pm PT
are they charging fees at the campground?
Nohea

Trad climber
Sunny Aiea,Hi
May 20, 2010 - 10:24pm PT
That is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Aloha,
will
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
May 20, 2010 - 11:28pm PT
Another beautifully written and amusing TR.
Great to see you guy and doll out there doing it.
Snow?
Bring it on!!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
May 20, 2010 - 11:33pm PT
That's a great day out, thanks for sharing!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
May 21, 2010 - 12:04am PT
Nice, Nutjob.
Give a shout next time you're
in the neighborhood, I can show you
wide! :)

Example-
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1103924/Woodfords-Canyon


Jaybro- Free camping everywhere.
enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO Cal
May 21, 2010 - 01:01am PT
Wow very cool...just starting up a crack thats not in a guidebook...what a concept ;)
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 21, 2010 - 01:05am PT
That still looks cool, Footloose.
msiddens

Trad climber
Mountain View
May 21, 2010 - 01:22am PT
nutjob- COOL TR. Lets get back out!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 21, 2010 - 01:45am PT
oh mang, nutjob, nicely done!

Paging Nurse Ratchet, Paging Nurse Ratchet!

WOOT!

LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
May 21, 2010 - 02:03am PT
em somehow makes the wide look fun!
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
May 21, 2010 - 02:12am PT
Looks great out there. What a fun tr.
Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
May 21, 2010 - 02:48am PT
thanks for sharing your excellent adventure with us!
seth kovar

climber
Bay Area
May 22, 2010 - 09:29pm PT
bump-ba-da-bump-bump

good stuff, looks like you had a blast...
BurnRockBurn

climber
South of Black Rock City (CC,NV)
May 22, 2010 - 09:42pm PT
Glad you guys enjoyed the Woodfords Wide!!!! The trail up is a bitch if you miss the main one........ great trip report.
Shawn
sasha Cohen

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe CA
May 22, 2010 - 11:06pm PT
nutlob, I'm glad you had fun up there. You come on up in the summer there's plenty of wide stuff up there.;) sasha
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