I had only been home for a couple of days when Lane asked me again to join Paul, Michael, and him in Moab. The steady rain in Seattle and the pending work project sent me re-packing light enough to fit in a small Honda with 3 guys, their gear, and a dog.(what, am I a teenager?) We met Lane in Moab after a communication fiasco that would be repeated throughout the trip. It is a very different experience climbing and travelling as a party of four. A leader must emerge, yet maintain democracy. Though it may allow greater flexibility, misunderstandings are bound to occur. A few nice advantages become evident however:
If you need 2 ropes to get down, you are set.
If a partner or 2 wants a break, set.
If one of the cars are too lightweight, pile in the other.
Working as a team to get the first leader up the first pitch can be very quick.
Critical gear can be handed back, or left in place for the 2nd team.
“Swap-roping” (swapping top ropes)
Makes for fun team meals at camp or restaurants. Shared expenses.
As a result of good weather, luck and company, we all got up some great towers and crag pitches:
4-9-17 Maverick Butt. 4p to 5.11 w Lane, Paul, Michael R. What a crag!
4-10-17 Sister Superior, Jah Man 4p 10+a0. Went too high at the crux, fell. Such a great route though.
4-11-17 W. Face 3 Gossips 3p 5.11 a1. Intense crack climbing, got it with 1 take, and 2 gear-pulls.
4-12-17 Long Dong rt. Kissing Couple 5p 5.11 ao. Our favorite climb, we all agreed. Tough first pitch, got it clean, except the blank section at the top bolt. We came in from the high approach, and 3 of us got to take the low approach out. Paul got the car and picked us up. Met interesting folk on trail.
4-14-17 Scarface Wall 4p to 5.11b. Got the on-sight of the legendary routes at this amazing crag.
4-15-17 Donnelly Canyon 3p to 5.10 w Lane, Ramsey, Whitney. Lane and I got to pretend that we belonged with 2 charming young ladies.
Some photos by Lane, James, and Michael Rowley Photography