Porkchop Buttress, 7.28.2012

Isaac puzzles out the second crux on The Bone (5.5)
Isaac puzzles out the second crux on The Bone (5.5)

Back-to-back half-day trips Saturday found me at Devils Lake climbing with two exquisite teams: Aurel and Adina of Evanston, IL, and Ruth Ann and Isaac of Ann Arbor, MI. Morning climbing was exciting, with some adventurous boulder-hopping, high-level life philosophy, and a surprise visit from a tumbling adolescent church camper. While climbing at Porkchop Buttress, we heard something falling from above in the vicinity of Dutchman's Rampart and looked up to see a person tumbling down a series of ledges for about 40 feet. Super scary. We immediately hiked up to assist the teenager, who miraculously had escaped serious injury and was much more worried about getting in trouble than his possible wounds. One of his leaders found him soon after, and wer returned to our business. Unfortunately, all the hubbub kept my camera tucked away, so there's no AM eye candy to show provide window to the fun.

Fortunately, afternoon climbing was just as good, and my camera got some exercise too. Ruth Ann, a decaf coffee connoisseur and importer, and son, Isaac, enthusiastically engaged the Porkchop, despite their vegetarian leanings. Isaac led the way on The Bone (5.5), solving at least four cruxes en route to a nonchalant, totally-cool teenage finish. After Ruth Ann followed suit with her own valiant effort, we jumped on Jacob's Ladder (5.6), a near neighbor with just a little bit more spice. Porkchop Buttress may be small, but what a nice, tall piece of rock with great quality routes, conveniently tucked away for privacy and shade. Recommended.