After last weekend’s super relaxed and intimate Amistad trip with just AO and TV, I wrangled a spot on Armada 2.0 this weekend and made it down to the border one last time. I got to enjoy my last Texas summer weekend at my favorite place, doing my favorite thing, with some of my favorite folks. It was a large-type trip with Jennie and AO, the Brooks’s, Travis, Capt. Bastard and me.
First thing we did, before the other two boats got there, was help Capt hang a rope from his 100 foot (we measured) project, The Sanctuary, so he could suss out the top moves and film someone else climbing it.
He did great on the FA and got a good shooting position. Unfortunately, Travis struggled to get up as high as he had before, and I was terrified of the first high, honest move. So after he sunk a bolt, hung the rope, then did the dws/death solo (shown here) all we got was some epic falling footage.
Greg and Suzee rolled up while Capt was doing his FA, and were rather unsettled by the size of the route. Greg said he didn’t want to spent the weekend pulling his dead friends out of the water. I didn’t think too much about that. I knew, for one, that Capt was unlikely to fall from a dangerous height. Maybe I’m naive or something, but I’ve seen the him back off of stuff before because it seemed out of reach or dangerous. He wouldn’t, I thought and still think, be trying a 100 foot line he didn’t feel at least pretty sure he could do or safely bail off of. Also I didn’t really think at the time that it would be a death fall.
I usually avoid watching people soloing. I hate hate hate those Steph Davis videos, and avoid anything and everything related to Alex Honnold. I don’t hold it against anyone that they solo, but I don’t want to know them personally, or like them, or have any personal investment in someone who’s into that. Yet, it would appear that I do after all.
The rest of the trip was pretty good, climbing wise.
I sent an old line in the canyon that I had struggled on during my last few trips, so that was a great relief, and I got to a personal high point on this very hard, bouldery canyon project.
I took some scary falls making insecure moves on hidden crimps at the top of Blaine’s project, which AO finished last week. He named it Dolphin Power/ Poder Delfin. Hopefully next time I’ll send it first go, like that canyon line.
Not sure we’ll be going to Amistad much in October when I get back, but I have a feeling there’ll be at least one more trip before I head to Hueco on/about Halloween. I’m eager to boulder over land on the Pecos, swim in cooler water and be happy to bake in the sun. I got to spend so much time on the water this season! No matter what horrible drama is befalling me, everything looks and feels better on a boat, and I’m so thankful.
Oh yeah, but then on Sunday morning, we found that AOs boat had sunk in the night. That was a big ordeal, but it turned out ok. I decided my skills were best applied to the situation by making coffee and Batter Blaster pancakes.
Now some pictures!
This trip I used an old Vivitar 19mm 2.8 manual focus lens that I haven’t used since I was shooting with my Nikon FM. It’s light and I love the wide angle, but the light meter in my D40 doesn’t work with it, and it’s pretty challenging to deal with. Also, the great Hitachi hard drive fail of July 2010 cost me Photoshop, so I’m stuck with the limited editing options in iPhoto. So these pictures are weird. Still, here’s what I got:
Even though it's just his back and hat, I think this picture is very "Travis." That's Capt Bastard cruising up my proud low angle slab FA from a few trips ago, "Die Diagonal". He took a huge backpack full of gear, and said it was easier than he'd expected. FBPA, FML.
The color balance was so frustrating in these images, so I just stripped this one hoping there was enough variation and contrast to be interesting. I love the expression, and that cloudy morning was perfect dws weather.
Greg on the canyon project. This is probably my favorite image from the weekend, and a rare decent climbing picture. I usually stick to boating and lifestyle stuff.
There was some nice video too, but it’s going into a large-type editing mill and won’t make it to the interweb until the fall.