Belay Specs Blog

This blog has less to do with Belay Specs and more to do with our employee's climbing and outdoor outings.  We'll talk about exciting news about Belay Specs but we'll talk much more about the trips we've taken and the places we've checked out.  We'd like to share some of our experiences in the hope that they inspire you to check the areas out for yourselves. If you read about an area or activity in one of our posts and have questions on beta, route recommendations or anything else, leave a comment and we'll try to fill you in.

After my first day back climbing in the Red, I realized that I was not in shape to push myself on 12's so I was looking to get on some of the new 10's and 11's that have gone up in the last year. Bram and I met up with our friends Audrey and Blake and headed to the Chocolate Factory which has seen a lot of development in the last few years. The Chocolate Factory is the next holler over from the Motherlode and boasts many great sport and trad routes from some slabby 5.9’s all the way to Pure Imagination (5.14d) and overhanging dihedral route Charlie (5.13a). Just before Charlie, Oompa (5.10a) and Loompa (5.10c) are two fantastic overhanging jug hauls with lots of great sidepulls that require good footwork to use optimally. We didn’t do any of these great routes however, we headed to the left side where new routes beckoned. I warmed up on Snarf Victory (5.10b) and squeaked out a send. It is a thin, balancy arête with questionable rock. It was a pretty new route so it might clean up but overall not a stellar route. Audrey went up after me and managed to work out the moves and clip the anchors. Bram and Blake warmed up just next to on us on Sunday Night Cockfights (5.11b). I hopped on it hopping for a better route than Snarf but found the two finger pockets a bit too small for my large fingers.

We headed down the cliff line to an unnamed 5.11c that Bram wanted to get on. He fought his way to the chains and I thought it would be a good idea to get on. Evidently I was wrong and ended up hanging for a while trying to work out the beta. I cleaned it and Audrey hopped on Wonkaholic, a fun but thought provoking 5.10a slabby arête with a tough move and hidden hold at the anchors. She nearly fell at the anchors but managed to keep it together and clip the anchors.

Feeling somewhat depressed at my abilities, Audrey and I decided to head over to the Motherlode to get on a couple new easier routes. The Motherlode is probably the best known crag at the Red with over 60 routes, most of them 5.12 and up. There are however ten 5.11 sport routes and a 5.10. The two most recent additions are Ben (5.11a) and Laura (5.11b), memorial routes for a couple of 18 year olds who died at Emerald City in November 2008. I was friends with both and taught Laura to clean anchors and rappel 6 months before the accident. Getting on these routes was a way to remember them. They are both enjoyable routes with nice holds most of the way up. The crux on both routes guard the anchors. I managed to onsite Laura but not Ben and time didn't allow me to give it another go. We packed up and scurried back to the car, hoping we wouldn't be too late to the redezvous time.

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