I made some amazing friends was I was young. We spent incredibly long hours with one another skating, jumping on trampolines, playing mario kart and vandalizing. A group of about 15 of us managed to bond in such a way that I doubt I will ever experience again. Being an only child, these dudes really are my siblings and I think nothing less of them.
On Sunday, August 2nd, the first of us got married, and the rest of us showed with reckless abandon that we were still capable of tearing the house down. Ridiculous.. absolutely ridiculous.. we proved to our good friends extended family (including the family of his now-wife) that we do not hold back whilst cutting thy rug.
Needless to say, it was an embarrassingly good time. On Monday, we hooked up with our local friends Bret Johnston and Marshal Ballick, and drove over an hour north of the city to a somewhat secret crag called Equinox. After a pleasant hike, you drop down into a cavern of sorts to find large, fractured boulders and dense trees protecting a sizable cliff. It is beautiful here, and the climbs inspire. The warm-ups were some of the best climbs we did on the whole trip, featuring incredible, lazer cut edges on smooth black walls. Bret pointed me in the direction of the crag classic, a Ben Gilkinson route called 'Fight Club' 13d. After a few agonizingly close on-sights at or around this grade I wanted to take my time on this test-piece and really give a solid effort. Slow movement and relaxed breathing helped me claim the O-Box on this endurance-to-boulder-crux-bad-boy, however, I would have to dispute the grade was definitely too large for this awesome route. I also did a rad climb just to its left called 'Baby on Board' 13c and continued with the classic 'Groove Tube' 13a. A tried to sample or complete most all of the routes there, while respecting the many red-tagged projects. There will be lots more to play on when those things finally get done. As with most days, we arrived back in Seattle super late. Andy and I crashed, and before we knew it, we were changing lanes on I-90 heading east. 18.5 hours and a night camped at a rest stop later, we were home.
I've tried to spray a little about how rad the locals and these crags are, but for the complete story, some wicked tales not included here, and of course, Andy Mann's A list, amazing full size photographs you will have to wait until the next issue of Urban Climber Magazine comes out! Pick it up, get a subscription now, don't miss this issue, it's gonna be DOPE.
In the meantime, check out Sterling Ropes brand spanking new website and have a look at a couple Andy Mann photos featured there on my bio. There is also talk of a slide show potentially in September here around Boulder - I'll let you know.