Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Relaxing at Gretna

Sunday was one of my favorite kind of climbing days... one where nobody gave a crap, and was just as happy climbing high quality easy lines as wrecking themselves at their limit.  With bodies still struggling to adjust from our Vegas Thanksgiving, but with weather too good to pass up, Emily and I dragged ourselves out of bed for a fantastic day of Gretna climbing with Rob and Jason.

With travel stiffness on top of my ongoing quest to not pull my back again, I planned even more than usual to stick to slab and vertical.  The only vague plan we had was that Rob and Jason wanted to get on Bashista Yo Sista, and I was excited for the chance to check out some of the less travelled boulders in the Bulge/Shamu areas.

After warming up at Help Meat and Josh in the Box, we walked over to where I figured everyone would get on Divine Wind, but somehow for the first time ever a group of four all decided that Slice looked good.  Having done it a few times, I played with variations while everyone worked out the regular beta, and although they didn't get any sends I was impressed that they all were willing to play on razor crimps for that long.

Deciding that skin conservation was more important than persistence, Rob and Jason went uphill to Bashista, with Rob taking it down before long.

After pulling on and deciding it would destroy my back, I instead ran some laps on the neighboring Pounder and Quarter Pounder, both fun options for any who want to stay on more vertical ground while their friends work the main event.  I'm not sure if the line has a name, but it was also really fun to start on the crimp plate in the center of the boulder and climb into either of the aretes or just straight up.

Just downhill from there, Love Potion was a really cool slabby arete climb, with plenty of feet in the cracked surface for those who don't trust smears, and even enough face hands to do it without the arete for an extra challenge.  After playing on that for a bit, Emily and I made a stop at Altered State before rejoining the boys and moving on.

After that, it was a bit of wandering as we made our way out, just checking out some of the sections we'd never been to.  We did make a quick stop at Stand Fast and Contrasting Impacts, both of which would be excellent for those new to the area, but otherwise didn't get on anything until Overlord. Having never seen Overlord before, once I took a look at it, I couldn't believe it wasn't mobbed.   Pretty sure it's the best V2 in the park, and one of the best I've ever done.  Slightly overhung with huge jugs and really cool movement, and a cool view down the hill behind.  Such a great climb!  I also did a quick run up Choppy, which was fun to do while in the area, but Overlord was the main attraction for sure.

Obviously any trip to Gretna is partly just an excuse for me to have dinner at the Troegs brewery afterward, which I'd highly recommend for the food even if you don't drink.  The duck confit was delicious, and Mad Elf fondue was as awesome as ever.  Not exactly the traditional post-climbing pizza/burrito stop, but sometimes it's good to be different.

Fingers crossed for a few more weeks without snow!

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