Since being in Seattle, weather necessitated a return to Idaho where I have been climbing at the City of Rocks again, this time sans partner.
This has been an interesting week albeit challenging. I have been overwhelmingly isolated and camping out on BLM land which is surrounded by cattle grazing land, so aside from some bovine companionship life has been pretty solitary.
At camp I have enough cell service to send texts and check Facebook but not enough to publish pictures so that happens thanks to a relay between Stefanie and myself.
Day to day living is simple and good. Chase the shade. Drink lots of water. There is an abundance of excellent climbing which I have been getting into using a fixed rope for protection and a micro traxion ascender backed up with stopper knots.
This is much better than nothing but still is less fun and less secure than climbing with a partner. To set up the system I have to select climbs whose top anchors can be accessed by easier means (routes that I can comfortably climb ropeless and with a full pack) so there is always a bit of added risk but I have still managed to log several 500+ foot days with some 5.11 pitches.
On lighter days I will leave the rope and gear on the ground and explore easier routes which has made for some really amazing climbing experiences. At the end of the day though, there is no substitute for a partner.
I had planned to climb in Seattle with Calvin (around the time of my last blog) but rain forecasted to continue for 5 days straight forced me back east (Calvin had prior commitments to being in the Seattle area and was unable to join me) to better weather and no partner! Such is life though–this project has been filled with the unexpected and those twists and turns are part of the story.
I am struggling to keep up with the changes and opportunities that are arising while limited technological use is an ever present issue. I headed into Burley ID today to get the air conditioning charged up for my next leg of the journey which will be east into Wyoming!
I will be meeting Rob (my partner from my time in Zion) and we will be heading east together into Wyoming and South Dakota — I am very excited about this! The itinerary adherence is wobbling a bit during the month of July but hopefully will be back on track in August.
I am not going to be attempting any glacial mountaineering at this time–that was looking like a bigger bite than I can reasonably chew at the moment. I can’t guarantee that such activities won’t pop up again later if partners and logistics align–but for right now I have to play it by ear and focus on getting in climbing every day and hooking up with solid partners and finishing what I started in Yosemite this fall.