Thursday, June 9, 2011


When we arrived in Maple Canyon, UT a couple friends recommended that I should climb the route 'Sprout', rated 5.13a. This route is located in an area called the Pipedream Cave and can be reached after a long hike uphill. After 4 days of climbing less steep routes and building fitness, we decided to trudge up the hill to Pipedream.

My first trip up the route was a good run. I got good beta from our friend Blake and made it to the anchors. I was hooked. The lower wall is about 5.11c to a good knee bar rest. Then it is game on with long moves in good holds through a steep roof. This is followed by a pumpy head wall to the anchors. This route was really my style.

A few days ago, I spent some time on the lower section to ensure I was climbing it as efficiently as possible. The holds are a bit slopey and for some reason by the time I made it to the kneebar, I was very pumped. The rest isn't good enough to make a good recovery before launching into the roof section. By dialing this section I was able to reach the rest today without any pump.

As I started out the roof, I made an error in my sequence, but could reverse it back to the rest and start again. I returned to the kneebar, took a few deep, calming breaths and moved out to the roof. At one point, my foot slipped on a slick cobble and my feet cut loose. Thankfully, the holds at that point are great positive pockets and I easily swung my feet back to the rock. I moved strongly across the roof and made sure to be precise and relaxed.

I reached the crux kneebar and was able to relax a minute and slow my breathing enough to feel comfortable to continue. The traverse onto the headwall can be very pumpy. At each opportunity I took a moment to throw a heel hook, shake out and slow down. I did not want to fall at the top after climbing so far.

A few long moves later and I reached the last quickdraw. And, oh did my forearms begin to get pumped! I snuck a little knee scum to get a quick shake before punching it to the anchors. Just then Arlo the Beagle let out a celebratory howl. It made me laugh and gave me the encouragement to get to the anchors.

A 5.13a redpoint after only 6 attempts over 3 days. It was a good day. Thank you Tony for the great belay!

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