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.

I went up to Maybird Gulch a couple of weeks ago with my friend Buddy. We were looking for a somewhere we could knock out a few routes quickly and it fit the bill. The routes weren’t very long or very challenging but it was enjoyable climbing in a nice setting, better than being in a gym. After our recent trip to Maple, Alana was pretty excited to climb again and I thought Maybird would present the right level of challenge for her.

We didn’t have a bunch of time but the hike is short or so I rememberd. Alana was skeptical when I pointed up the canyon’s side to the rock we were heading as we unloaded the packs but I reassured her it was only a 10 to 15 minute hike. We started up and I set a quick pace leaving Alana a little bit behind me. I’d like to say that my summer activities have left me super fit even at altitude but it was really because I wanted to show that my time estimate was accurage and it was...for me at least. I got to the base of the first route in 12 minutes and Alana ambled in a couple mintues later.

Alana has been climbing for a decade but medical school and residency have limited her free time for the last few years. Her climbing comes in fits and bursts on months when working 50 hours a week seems like vacation. The speratic schedule can shoot holes in her confidence, making it hard to maintain a good lead head. The recent trip to Maple helped and we’re looking to reinforce that today.

We dropped our packs and Alana geared up for a slabby 5.9 called The Wino. The first bolts here are low and the climbing is generally pretty easy. Alana danced up this route, I cleaned it and we headed up canyon 100 yards to a wall with about 8 routes. Buddy and I had done four of the routes on this wall a few weeks ago so Alana and I set our eyes on three on the right side that I hadn’t been on. She started on the 5.9 Pump It Until It's Purple. Next up was a 5.10- The Wine Drip. Alana struggled a bit on a reach move but after some choice words, a small crimp and some fancy footwork she reached a jug and motored to the top. Not surprisingly I am able to reach through the part she found tough with much less effort. She curses “tall” people as I finish up the route.

After the 10a, Alana is feeling tired and a bit intimidated by Mad Swiller, the 5.10 that is up next, so I go up it first so she can top rope it. This was the best route we did today with some interesting movement including a cool undercling mantel type move. I’m not sure if it was my grace on the route or my assurances that the moves are easier than the crux on the previous route, but Alana changes her mind and pulls the rope to lead the route. She isn’t too happy with the undercling mantle move, evidently it was reachier than I thought but she gets through it. She continues through the remainder of the route and reaches the anchors. I’m pretty excited about her performance today, having lead four routes clean today including her hardest lead send in the last year. We scrambled back to the car and headed home. Nothing like a quick day out climbing.

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