I had planned to update my blog regularly while on the road last summer. Instead, on my restdays, I ended up working on putting together a research article from one of the chapter of my master’s thesis I had not yet published. I had no plan on publishing more, but when I got asked I decided to go for it. I rather have people having easy access to what I have worked on during 2 years than having my thesis sleeping on a shelf (I have already completed my degree 2 years ago, but still think that way ;) ) Once I came back home at the end of August, I found myself quickly caught up in the routine, between a busy schedule in school, training and teaching at the local gym. Now I am having a bit of a breather (because of a strike in school!), so I am finally catching up on our summer trip.
Once in a while, it rained. We found a place to escape it :)
Overview from the canyon. There is enough to climb there for a while...
Together with Ben, my life and climbing partner, we left to Maple Canyon (UT) on June 24th. After the long drive, it was rewarding to get to climb on a different type of rock. We spent the first couple of days going from one crag to the other, mainly trying to onsight or quickly send various routes, while getting use to climb on these cobbles.
Giving a go on Loser (13a) in Box Canyon.
Once we got to the Pipe Dream Cave, we both instinctively looked at a line located right in the middle of it, and wondered what it was. It was long and steep (like most routes in the cave anyway), topped out the cave, and simply looked amazing. This was The Great Feast (13c), which we both ended up working on shortly after we saw it. We climbed a few routes to get a feel for the steepness of the cave, then gave it a go. I thought it looked steep from the ground, but when I actually got on the route, the true meaning of steepness really hit me.
The Pipe Dream Cave, where most routes are long, steep and simply inspiring.
All the moves done individually on the route didn’t feel that hard, but when I started linking sections, and got to the last crux at the very top in one go, my perspective definitely changed... Within about 10 days (including restdays in between), we both had sent it. For me, this route was physically demanding, with several long and powerful moves. But what an incredible line!
Ben and I, after sending The Great Feast.
After sending the route, we were tempted to get on something else in the cave, but headed to The Compound instead since we only had a few days left. This sector is relatively new, and the routes are the perfect middle ground between the bouldery stuff found in Box Canyon, and the pumpy endurance fest at the Pipe Dream.
Overview of The Compound.
We could easily have spent the entire summer in Maple; the climbing at The Compound is also excellent, and next time we come back we will be heading straight there.
Another great day in Maple.
Our plan was to stay for about a month in Maple, then to go to Rifle (CO), which is what we did. And we were not disappointed...
Ben contempleting the canyon at sunset, before heading to Rifle.