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 a weekend of getting together with friends, going to a Kentucky wedding (in a barn with 8 types of bourbon) and another day of climbing at an unpublished area, I headed back to Drive By with some friends for my last day of climbing. Bram, Josie and Terri picked me up and we went to the new slabby area of Drive By. I warmed up on Sojourner Truth (5.10c) and then scooted over to The Dangling Participle (5.11a). The first couple bolts are a bit off to the right of the actual line. I stick clipped the first and clipped the second off a nice hold after balancing through a tough section. Falling before clipping the second bolt could be ugly. Overall, a really nice route. Josie has been working on getting her lead head back after she broke her wrist a couple years ago and decided that top roping this route was the way to go. She sent with grace and agreed that the route was a nice 5.11a.

While walking between routes, a large rotten tree root gave out under Terri’s foot and in her resulting tumble, she torqued her thumb pretty bad. We were going to pack it up for the day but she and Bram decided to head to Koops, the closest gas station/convenient store, to get some ice and re-evaluate when they got back. Josie belayed me on Junior’s Gesture (5.11a), another slab route. The moves on this route were tricky and tough. I managed to eek out an onsite but made it look a bit too hard, Josie decided she wasn’t interested. Bram and Terri got back with a bag of ice plastic wrapped  around Terri’s hand. Bram went up Sojourner Truth (5.11a) as the sun was coming over the ridge. We packed up and headed over to the main Drive By Wall.

Bram was excited about Hakuna Matata (5.12a), a crimpy, technical vert route that is atypical of the Red . He took a go trying to remember his beta and hanging the draws. I hopped on it and was quickly shut down. The route requires a bit more mental energy than most and I couldn’t muster it. Bram got on a second time and managed to send it before the rain really started. Much of Drive By stays dry in a rain, another reason why it is such a popular destination. I managed to climb through the crux of Check Your Grip a classic 12a jug haul as the rain started coming down but stopped just after the crux as the next draw had water running down it and the finish was drenched. The rain was coming down in buckets so we did a couple more routes while we waited for the rain to let up and headed back to Miguel’s to pack up my gear.

When I set up camp I chose a spot next to the small frog bond on a slight hill. I knew there had been flooding issues in the past and I was hoping to avoid them by camping on a high spot. I had left the fly on my borrowed tent open with my computer near the door. I was amazed that I had just a small puddle in my tent and that all my gear was dry. Other folks did not fair as well. In the open pasture area known as the Goat Field (less than 100 yards from my site), tents had been submerged in 2 to 3 feet of water. The pictures were amazing. So I recommend trying to find a high spot if you’re camping at Miguel’s, even if you have to deal with the annoying frogs in the pond.

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