Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Weekending: Climbing at Coopers

Did everybody enjoy their weekend? Many of us here in the States enjoyed a nice long weekend, thanks to the Fourth of July landing on a Saturday. A few friends and I took the opportunity to head down to Coopers Rock, where I was last month, only we had a bit more luck this time around.

We got to the site late Thursday night, threw up our tents and settled down for an early morning. There was a huge chance of rain starting Friday afternoon and running through the weekend, so we wanted to get in ahead of that. After a legit Breakfast of Champions at IHOP (natch), we hit the rocks. I actually was shooting my friend Marcy for a project I'm working on, so I can't share the photos I took on my Nikon. But I did remember to whip out my iPhone for a few snaps here and there.

This was probably one of my favorite routes from the entire weekend. It was on a block called Mushroom Boulder; you can't see it from this shot, but the whole front of the rock looks like a giant mushroom — skinny at the bottom with a overhanging roof. You had to work around a ledge and up through that chimney; I modified a few moves because the actual route was a bit out of my league, but I think with some work I could get it as it was intended to be gotten.

The rain started mid-afternoon on Friday, so we headed back into town for burritos and beers at Black Bear before returning to camp. The rain let up just long enough for us to get a fire started and a tarp hung over our picnic table, so we sat around under the tarp until the fire finally petered out.


Saturday dawned foggy and wet, but not rainy. We knew the rocks would need time to dry, so we slept in and hung out around camp before hitting up some hiking trails. The hike we took was really cool; we went beyond the official, marked trail and followed an unmarked but well-worn path down to this really cool, really enormous boulder on the edge of a cliff.




Naturally we geeked out over the boulder for a bit, then we hiked out. It was short, but kind of brutal — just one long, steep hill. By then, some of the high-sun areas had dried out a bit, so we climbed a bit. Spent most of the afternoon just lying around on the crash pads, though. That's where I found this lil guy:

Finally, we headed into town to get supplies for a campfire feast. It. Was. Glorious.


And since Saturday was the fourth, we did the most American thing we could: Sat around a fire with a few beers and some whiskey!

Sunday slept in a bit again, but managed to get some great climbs in before we left.

I was just so excited to get back on some real rock for more than a few hours; it's been months since I've done any good climbing. And I have to say too, camping is starting to grow on me. I mean, we car-camp, so things are still pretty cushy. I was never outdoorsy as a kid, but something about sleeping in a tent in the woods is strangely calming for me now. Isn't it funny how things like that change sometimes?

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