About Me

My photo

Traveling, living, loving, exploring and trying to make some semblance of sense out of this crazy world.  


Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Routing for Christmas in Devil's Canyon

We started out the week before, one day after the End of the World.  Having seen no sign of the Mayans, the Altasrians, the Pleiadeians, or the great black hole that would open with alignment, we resolved to ACT!

The day went well, if with a few set-backs and delays.  The hike to the Troll Hut was breezy, with a sharp, biting north wind breathing down our necks, which helped cool the sweat of carrying 60 pounds of drill, bolts, hammer, wrenches, rope, gear, snacks and food.  The feeder creek below the crag turned out to be running, necessitating an alternate high-water trail to the crag... one which I fortunately possessed the foresight to have constructed about a decade before.

Work soon proceeded apace.

The line was classic; the rock, solid... enough.  but cold weather, a few false holes, and an uncooperative first bolt put paid to our dreams of a first ascent... that day.

Gypsy Conditions, a sustained 5.8, stalled in progress by a single bad bolt and a dead drill battery.

Close-up of the traitor bolt.  Oh, well, a good day, regardless... not like it was the end of the world or anything... THAT WAS YESTERDAY!

We worked another partially-completed line, named in honor of my friend Mike, The Fisher King, before heading back towards lights and "civilization", which seemed doomed to continue for another millenium or so.

Three days later:

Christmas Day, 2012: 34 degrees F, 20-30 mph gusts, heavy overcast.

Full-on Gypsy Conditions.  An hour's drive east did nothing to change the picture.  Cindy looked at me, I looked at Cindy.

"We're already here," she said.  "We can freeze in camp, or freeze with a smile on our faces."

So.... we went out and bolted and climbed a new route, in the sheltered corridor of the Troll Hut, and started another new line on the opposite wall, just for good measure.

We ended the day with a smile and a last look into the canyon, where water rolled over the volcanic boulders, before hiking out to hot drinks and dinner with friends.

Gypsy Conditions, 5.8, 4 bolts and anchors, First Ascent: Michael and Cindy Gray, 12/25/12.


  1. Great to hear that the "end of the world" went well for you!

    We thought maybe it was going to be death by freezing for a while - but better now. Wishing you and your sweetie the best ever 2013. Hugs, Denise.

    1. Right back atcha, Summitheart! Thanks for the note... stay warm!


While I appreciate and welcome commentary related to my posts, any spammers or trolls will be hunted to the farthest corners of the Internet, where I will get medieval on the offending poster with pliers and a blowtorch.