Two weekends ago, Sam, Ben, Zach and I took a trip to the Red over Thanksgiving weekend. We left Friday morning from Bloomington, arrived around lunchtime, and the weekend was on. We weren’t sure where we would be staying for the weekend, so we opted to take some daylight to set up camp. Much to our surprise, Miguel’s was open, so we just stayed there. It was cold at night, but not as cold as it was the weekend prior.
Friday, we climbed at Chica Bonita a.k.a. Chicken Banana wall over in the PMRP, Zach and Ben hit up a 5.9, Sam tried The Dude Abides (5.11a) but ended up escaping with just a battle wound (see the photo gallery here or on my Google+ profile – not a public gallery on +), Sam and I hit up a 5.10a that was right there after setting the boys loose on an easier route.
We were out at Chicken Banana until dark (about three hours of climbing), which was awesome.
After cooking dinner, we retired to the bed of my truck for some hookah, beer, and star gazing. We discovered that my truck bed will hold four regularly sized people, enough blankets for warmth, and a traveling hookah for an evening of relaxation.
The next morning, one of us wasn’t feeling so hot, so Zach stayed behind while Ben, Sam and I searched for Pistol Ridge again. We had looked for this wall once before, following the published directions in the guidebook, but were unsuccessful. Up until two weekends ago, we were under the impression that the wall was made up just to fuck with easy to moderate level climbers. We ended up going with the directions on the web rather than in the guide book, and lo and behold, there it was.
We spent the morning scrambling around, finding a sweet perch, and climbing around on a 5.9 before having to leave to pick up Zach (and get gas) to continue the day. After a brief stop at Miguel’s, we were off to Volunteer Wall to teach the Balaskasaurus how to lead. That’s where our day ended too. We were making out hike out in the dark, yet again, taking full advantage of the sunlight that was available.
Sunday was a wash… literally. Rain caused us to get packed up later than we wanted, which meant most of our other plans for climbing and whatnot were cancelled in lieu of getting the boys home at a decent hour.
Fortunately that wasn’t the end of the climbing season. This last weekend, Sam and I went back, leaving Friday when she was done with work and staying until Monday evening. It was a bit chilly, but awesome! I’ll be writing about that trip here in a couple days.