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.

The first night that I was in Lexington I was hanging out at the gym and saw my friend Ben. I met Ben while playing bike polo in Lexington and didn’t realize he climbed until I saw him at the gym months later. Ben and I have only climbed together once when he was passing through Salt Lake on his way to the west coast. He stayed for a couple days and we played bike polo one night and then went climbing at Glass Ocean Wall in Big Cottonwood. Since then, Ben has started climbing a lot more and has been making huge improvements.

Ben picked me up at Miguel’s and we headed to Muir Valley, a large climbing area purchased and developed by retired engineers Rick and Liz Weber. We warmed up at Inner Sanctum on Bad Company (5.10a) and Naughty Neighbors (5.10d), both pretty nice routes with some interesting movement. To the right of these routes is a fantastic slab route called Karmic Retribution (5.10c). Muir Valley is known for having some very soft grades, especially at the earlier crags like the Inner Sanctum so, when I first got on Karmic Retribution a few years ago, I thought it would be a cake walk. I just managed to onsite it. The climbing is great though if you're looking for something technical and though provoking.

After warming up, we headed over to the Sanctuary. I haven’t done too many climbs here because most of the routes are pretty tough. Ben wanted to work on some stuff here and I’ve always wanted to get on Jesus Wept a classic 5.12d that starts with a steep, bouldery section and finishes on a vertical section with tiny pockets. I managed to get through the bottom hanging at most of the bolts and into the mono pocket crux near the end. I gave it a few tries but decided that pushing my already tweaked fingers on something beyond my abilities didn’t make much sense. Ben had just sent Jesus Wept a few weeks ago and wanted to get on its neighbor, Prometheus Unbound (5.13a). Having never been on it before, Ben made good progress working through the cruxes and getting to the top both times.

We headed over to the Stadium to get on Cheetah a slopey, bouldery 5.12a. Some of my friends had sent it recently and this gave me hope that I was ready for it. Water was dripping around the route but it looked like all the key holds were dry. I got through the first couple bolts to the first crux: a long move to a slopey rail. I stuck the rail, matched it and then found I couldn’t move, the slopers were just too insecure. A hang later I got past the sloper to better holds and moved up a couple bolts to the upper thin face section. Here I found that key holds were indeed wet. I stick clipped and French freed past the wet, thin crimps and got to the anchors. Despite my thrashing, Ben decided to give the route a try and found the upper face equally difficult due to the wet holds. We packed up and headed out to find we were one of the last cars in the lot.

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