VOTG FA (TR)

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Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 1, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Connected with Jeremy (formerly of Supertopo), over the holidays for some excellent winter rock climbing adventures in the aptly named "Valley of the Gods".

View from the bottom of pitch 2
View from the bottom of pitch 2
Credit: Reeotch

This was our first time climbing together, and my first time climbing in the Valley of the Gods. So, naturally we opted for a first ascent.

Credit: Reeotch

This is what we came up with:

"Release the Cracken" 5.8 A2+
"Release the Cracken" 5.8 A2+
Credit: Reeotch

Climbing in the VOTG is one of the most horrifying experiences I've had rock climbing. I can't wait to go back!
One thing I learned climbing there is to always let you're partner lead the first pitch. This is where the worst of what passes for rock will be encountered. Jeremy was generous enough to let me have the first pitch on this one. Like a dumbass, I eagerly accepeed the challenge. Looking up at my prospects I got this nauseous feeling in my stomach.

Mmmmmm yummy . . .
Mmmmmm yummy . . .
Credit: Reeotch

I was seriously not mentally prepared for this level of effort. I'm comming off the couch, big time. The climbing was a stressful combination of free and aid in highly suspect rock. At least three times on this pitch I had to do these sketchey mantels onto rubbley little perches - you know, the kind where you have to reach down mid-mantel and unclip your daisies, then hope nothing gets caught as you press up on tho the tottering choss pile.

I finally finished off the 3 hour lead with one last horror show mantel. At this point I was psyched Jeremy had brought the power drill, a nice new Bosch 36 volt w/ the lithium ion battery. I pulled up the drilling kit, thinking it seemed pretty light. The bolt bag and a hammer appeared. "Dude, where's the drill", I called down. "It's in the bag", says Jeremy. "You didn't bring the Bosch????!" By now, I'm dehydrated, my muscles are quivering from the effort of the lead. I can manage about a dozen hammer swings at a time before I have to shake out.
A solid hour later I've got a good bolt in, and Jeremy jugs up.

The crack we had been aiming for turned out to be an overhanging bombay squeeze chimney. There is also another very doable looking line directly above the first pitch. Jeremy opted instead to traverse the ledge left to another crack he had scoped out from the ground. We returned the next morning and Jeremy continued the route up what turned out to be a pretty nice crack. It would definitely go free at 10+/11-, perfect hands.

Credit: Reeotch

Yeah Baby!
Yeah Baby!
Credit: Reeotch

Once he turned that overhang I couldn't see him, but I could certainly hear him; sort of a cross between the soundtrack of a B horror flick and an amature porn video. It got wide up there. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did, on this pitch. He ran out of gear, got the #6 camalot stuck, and had to set up an intermediate belay. I was not off the hook after all, and had to finish off the pitch.

We scrambled up to the notch to scope out the side of the summit tower we couldn't see, and there was this awesome looking 50" chimney on the north side. But there was a frigid wind coming off Cedar Mesa and there was about an hour of daylight left. So, we decided to leave our ropes fixed and come back the next weekend to finish it off. By the time we returned to camp it was like blizzard conditions. We drove through the snow to Bluff in time to grab a beer.

The following Saturday we jugged our lines and Jeremy did battle with the 50" chimney. It turned out to be a lot harder than it looked, protected with a combination of beaks and large cams. It sounded very strenuous. Skirting the final death block (do not touch!) Jeremy toped it out on the virgin summit. In fact, this may be the first ascent of the formation.

I'll leave you with some senic shots of this truly magical place. Jeremy also took some pictures with his phone. My camera crapped out on me on the second weekend, so I didn't get any summit shots. So, maybe if we ask real nice like, we can get Jeremy to come back and fill in some of the holes in this TR . . .

Tryin' to stay warm at the belay . . .
Tryin' to stay warm at the belay . . .
Credit: Reeotch

Credit: Reeotch

Winter sunrise on Eagle Plume Tower
Winter sunrise on Eagle Plume Tower
Credit: Reeotch

C'mon, Jeremy, its safe to come back . . .
C'mon, Jeremy, its safe to come back . . .
Credit: Reeotch

moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Very nice!

TFPU

Jeremy are you coming back?
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Can anyone really ever be "formerly of Supertopo"?


really?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Nice!

You can check out any time but you can never leave!

drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 1, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
Solid.
I mean, good job!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 1, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
Climbing in the VOTG is one of the most horrifying experiences I've had rock climbing. I can't wait to go back!

'Nuf said.......

Great report...love that area....wish my skills were good enough to climb there


Susan

Edit: Yes Jeremy, come back .... New Years Resolution?
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
Looking south at sunrise
Looking south at sunrise
Credit: Reeotch
Our summit all lit up on the left
Our summit all lit up on the left
Credit: Reeotch
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
choss bump . . .
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2013 - 09:09am PT
Eagle Plume and Tomahawk towers
Eagle Plume and Tomahawk towers
Credit: Reeotch
MisterE

Social climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:36am PT
Nice, Rich! Good to see you getting after it again!

There is certainly plenty of stuff around your area.

Maybe Jeremy could send you the pictures, and you could post them if he won't come back.

Sounds like a great adventure with a stoked partner!

Erik
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:45am PT
Sick!



I want some too.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 2, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Sweet! I see a window coming in Sedona.
tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Jan 2, 2013 - 10:58am PT
nice rich.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 2, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Did Jeremy pitch a hissy fit over Burchey and left the site? LOL People take this internet sh#t too seriously...
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 2, 2013 - 11:08am PT
Did you meet is mom?
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2013 - 11:20am PT
Jeremy never even mentioned his mom!
I feel cheated . . .
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 2, 2013 - 11:26am PT
Badassed and inspiring!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jan 2, 2013 - 11:54am PT
ahhhmore MUD,, THANKS!!!
snakefoot

climber
cali
Jan 2, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
bump for the FA and getting it done. nice work. we need more mud though.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Jan 2, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
sweet, almost didn't click on this since I didn't realize what VOTG is.


I'm a noob.
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