Porkchop Redux, 7.29.2012

Erin.jpg

Since I neglected to bring a nut tool when I cleaned my anchor on Saturday, I ended up leaving a deeply embedded hex atop The Bone. So I didn't have to think much about where to climb Sunday... back to Porkchop Buttress it was. Weather was superb... highs under 80, overcast skies, and just a touch of occasional drizzle (we were lucky) kept the climbing crowds at bay. As usual, a great day to be at Devils Lake.

My companions were Jacob and Erin of Joliet, IL, a teenage brother and sister team who were remarkably affable and supportive of each other... heaven knows I wasn't nearly so friendly to my brothers during those years. While they were both kind, fun, and uber-mature, their climbing personalities were opposites: Jacob loves it when things get difficult, while Erin likes smooth cruising. A black diamond lover on one side, a green run enthusiast on the other. No problem.

Erin from below on The Bone (5.5)
Erin from below on The Bone (5.5)

Started out on The Bone, which Jacob devoured, enjoying the challenges of each crux. Erin climbed beautifully, but was NOT entertained by her first fall. Halfway up, she slipped off a small hold, fell 6 inches, and screeeeeeamed. She took a moment to look around, realized she hadn't really gone anywhere, and said, "I think I'm good" as her smile crept back into her face. So fun.

Jake starts out on his namesake route - Jacob's Ladder (5.6)
Jake starts out on his namesake route - Jacob's Ladder (5.6)

We moved over to Jacob's Ladder (which of course a guy named Jacob had to climb), and it became clear Jake really liked solved climbing problems, and Erin really liked to belay. Once we found this groove, we got Jake on Phat (5.7), 25' of slab climbing on fairly small niches and ledges. After working that one for a while, we set Pork Loin (5.7), where Jacob displayed admirable determination in a focused learning session on hand jams. Ten or twelve falls later, he moved through the low zig-zag crux, and on to greatness above.