Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Sun Valley Winds
A big cold front is rolling through Sun Valley along with the usual high winds, which put a stop to the meet for the last two days. That's OK, as it was time for another climbing day--we've had three days off from climbing to let our skin heal. We gathered up a good posse of grounded pilots and friends and went back into the lava tube yesterday. It's still hard to believe there's a good climbing area out there in the flat sage brush, but the tube again delivered a lot of desperate pumped climbing and shredded skin. I managed to onsight the remaining 5.12 I hadn't done thanks to some good crowd particpation---I kept blindly dynoing over a lip to a hidden hold, guided by the yells from the crew "An inch higher!" "An inch right!" "No, you halfwit, the OTHER right!" It was comedy. A lively debate ensued about whether an onsight still counted as such with people yelling hold locations to me--none of the crowd had done the route or seen anyone on it, so they couldn't exactly give me beta, but on the other hand it wasn't entirely my skills that got me up it... The debate was solved with beer, I forget how, but that sure was a fun climb, made more so by the group participation. We all shredded our skin to the point where it was impossile to hang onto the sharp basalt for even one more route. I did battle with the tube's hardest established line and got reasonably far on the on-sight before pitching off, a great pump. Lots of fun in a hole in the ground. It's still blowing a hoolie today, so we're going hiking, BASE jumping (not me, I'm done with it), working, etc.
There are some good photos of the PG meet from John Clifford up here, as well as results here. I'm back in a reasonable 9th place and only 230 points out of first after two days, but I know the pace is going to be aggressive the next flying day, a lot of the top pilots failed to make goal last task day and will be in full starving dog-pack mood when we get to fly. The complaint over the conditions on the last task day was resolved, primarily by the big smiles of everyone who got out on course and found the conditions big but definitely reasonable. I have no idea why it was that windy on launch, it was one of the best days of mountain flying I've ever had, just a bit weird off of launch. I'm hoping for three more big tasks, but if we can just get two more flown after the front passes I'd be happy. We need to fly tomorrow or we'll have to go climbing again, it sure does suck to be here in Idaho, grin...
Posted by Will Gadd at 12:44 PM