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.

Today was long and a bit crazy. We didn’t do a that many pitches but we hiked a lot between them. Since it was Saturday we knew there would be a lot more people so we left camp around 8:00 to try and be one of the first groups on Too Much Fun a three star 5.8 on Bumblie Rock. We got there and found a group of two on it with the leader almost at the anchors. While we waited others filtered pass asking about the wait and the solitude of our morning quickly ended as the groups massed around the base.

Alana started up with her harness loaded down with the 18 or so draws required by the route and quickly entered the low crux. It took her a bit of time but she found a sequence through it and continued up the route. I followed her up, trailing a rope for the mandatory double rope rappel. The climbing was fun but maybe a little over rated. The view and exposure are probably the best aspects of the route. We got down, quickly collected our gear and moved up to a quieter area of the cliff.

Just up the trail is New York is Not the City, a popular 5.10a that was luckily free. The first bolt is pretty high but luckily the climbing is easy to the first bolt. A few more bolts of easy climbing leads to some harder climbing and a nice finish. Alana led it in style afterwards and while she was rappeling and cleaning the route, I checked out our next routes, Bublie Takes a Tumblie (5.11a). This route has an even higher first bolt but more moderate climbing to it. It would still be very easy to mess up somewhere before that first bolt. This route is fantastic with interesting movement and holds that aren’t obvious at first. Alana ran up it on TR and though she had some problems, really enjoyed it. It was just about mid-day so we went off in search of shade and found this great little overhang on the north end of an adjacent cliff line to have lunch.


Our friends had mentioned they were going to climb the Lost Arrow today so we headed off to find them and check out the route. We walked for 30 minutes under a blazing sun until the Lost Arrow formation came into view and circled up to it’s base. A couple were rapping down as we got to top and pointed us towards the start of the Classic Route (5.7). The route went up in the 1960’s when bolts were hand drilled and climbers were bold.

The route starts with a scramble up a big flake into a dihedral where you can fianlly get some gear in. At the top of the corner, I headed up a juggy face to the route’s single bolt. The wind started howling as I traversed right and up the face to reach the angling roof where a crack offered much desired protection. The route follows the crack to a small corner and then up to a slabby face where anchors mark the end of the first pitch and any real protection. Alana came up the route and, after swapping gear, I set off on the second pitch. None of the second pitch is actually that hard but after a couple pieces in the first 15 feet you turn a corner and head up a feature slab that offers no gear. The rope runs over an edge of crown-like flakes that would likely slice your rope if you happened to slip and take a big fall. My cheeks were clenched pretty tight as I started up the slab and I couldn’t help but think that I hoped my in-laws would never read this post and realize how stupid I could be sometimes. The holds on the slab got bigger and the angle decreased as I got higher and I found myself nearly crawling to the anchors with the strong desire to kiss them in gratitude. I belayed Alana up and we enjoyed the amazing view from the top.


 We hiked back out and on the way decided to get on Raindance a long two pitch bolted slab on Flaming Rock. We had to wait while a couple of beginners led and cleaned the first pitch while having instructions shouted at them from below. Alana had hiked to the car to get some water and use the facilites and while I waited our friends Katie and Chris walked up to the base and looked relieved to see me. Evidently they had just rapped off the back side of Raindance and weren’t able to pull their ropes because their was too much friction. They were glad to hear that we were heading up and could retrieve their ropes.

Alana came back along with Ali, who had been climbing with our friend Buddy and wanted to get in one more easy route for the day. Alana scampered up the first pitch, Ali went second and I brought up the back. I got to the anchor, climbed around the ladies and headed up the second pitch. The hardest moves seemed to be getting off the anchor and then the climbing was easy slab. The topout was great and the sun was getting low in the sky. I brought up the girls, pulled the extra ropes and we rapped to the ground. We got back to the car at 9:30 pm, glad that Buddy and Nora were cooking us dinner at camp.


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