New Friends, New Places
The snow is finally melting. Meira and I, along with Kelsey, our gracious host for the past few days, and friend Zach decided to go check out another smaller local climbing spot, Area 74. The roads were still a bit snowy but they were no match for Kelsey’s trusty all-wheel-drive Subaru. After getting stuck behind some big slow trucks we finally arrived. Area 74 is as roadside as bouldering gets. You literally pull off the side of the road into a parking lot, walk 20 feet and BAM! A big high quality wall with lots of beautiful problems smacks you right in the face. Despite all of the melting snow, the problems were all completely dry and psyche was high. A dog from a nearby house even decided to come say hello.
We all did some necessary warm-up jumps, wiggles, and stretching and started strapping up. We started on the classic v4, The Fin. It climbs a long series of slopers and pinches and finishes with a committing last move on the tallest steepest section of the wall. Everyone numbed out on our first attempts but one by one we found the top.
After that we tried some of the other lines nearby. I had done some homework so I knew a few of the problems, but it was kind of nice not knowing the grades on climbs and just trying to figure stuff out. I sent a fun little v6ish compression line and decided I was warm enough to try Squeeze Play, a super classic looking V9 and the problem that I wanted to do most on this visit. It took a few goes but I was able to figure out a good foot sequence and after a good long rest, send it 3rd go! Compression on a gently overhanging wall is my jam, and I was really happy to find a climb that fit me so well and was such high quality. I got the send on film and it will be featured in our Arkansas video that I will publish when we head out to Joe’s. Keep on the lookout!
The focus then shifted to Frese in a Blender, a long steep V7 on really good stone. I gave it a fierce flash burn but was a bit sloppy with my footwork and had a toe slip off. Meira and Kelsey started breaking down the opening moves which are the crux of the problem. Meira was able to figure out some thuggy shorty beta and get through the crux moves but her little arms were all out of mustard and she wasn’t able to put it all together. Kelsey and Zack both made great progress and I managed to squeak out a send despite it being 15 too many moves and way too steep.
We are hoping the roads will be fine by tomorrow and that we can get back to van life but we are both incredibly thankful that we have made such great friends and have had a warm cozy place to stay the past few days. Hopefully we can both finish up some final projects around the Ranch and Cowell before we head to Joe’s. Stay tuned!