A Work of Art

Waking up to my alarm clock really isn’t my favorite way to greet the morning. Being on the road my internal alarm bings me awake a little before 7 and I will say it’s quite nice not having to hit the snooze button or throw my phone across the room. Today I was okay with the slight startle awake knowing that we had a good adventure planned ahead of us.

Opening my door, the air was crisp but very enjoyable compared to some of the mornings that make me want to continue to cuddle up to my Monkey stuffed animal surrounded by my down 0 degree Big Agnes sleeping bag. I was happy to put on my shoes, open my kitchen to start boiling water and cutting potatoes for my breakfast burrito.

Shortly after I started my morning routine, I was joined by Ben and Dodge as we went over the gear we had packed the night before, making sure we were ready for the day ahead. I wrapped up my burrito, pressed my coffee into the cup and threw my gear into Ben’s mobile home sprinter and we took off for the open road.

Little did we know, while we thought we were getting an early start, we arrived at the parking lot for Fisher Towers watching as the first climber summited the corkscrew looking tower where Ancient Art tops out. Hiking out to the base of the climb, we were greeted by two other parties, a guide starting up the route with her client on belay and a group of 3 guys with a pup named Walter. We set our packs down to scope out the climb, finding parties on every single belay…we then new we were in for a long day, and it was only 9:00am.

Getting stir crazy, Ben looks at both Dodge and myself seeing if either one would be interested in climbing a short 20’ tower that we passed at the trailhead. Seeing that we had some time to kill, I volunteered and off we went. It was a short and sweet tower resembling a cobra with a fun mantle top out.

When we got back to the base, the 3 party had started on their way but we could see a pile up in our future if we tried to jump on the bandwagon right at their heels. We waited it out for about another hour, finally getting on route at about 11am. I’ll save you a lot of the waiting process by saying Dodge and I waiting 2 hours at the first belay stance, before going into the ‘muddy chimney’ that Ben had lead up. Once at the next belay we waited for the party ahead to all summit, which took a fair amount of time as one by one went up to get on the top.

They rappelled off and it was our turn to shine.

It was my turn to be put on the sharp end. Excitement started to bubble with hundreds of feet of exposure to both sides, making my way to the diving board. Feeling insecure about mounting on top as they describe as ‘beach whaling it’, I opt for an alternate route to go around the left side to start the spiral climbing to get to the top. Although it’s a fairly simple climb rated 5.8, I felt alive with nerves tingling through my whole body. Standing on top was a special feeling, enjoying the views while a nice cool breeze blew on my face.

Divingboard
Trying to figure out the ‘diving board’

Lowing back down to walk across the plank still kept things spicy, until I was back at the belay to allow for the rest of my party to summit.

Finishing the climb was rewarding and climbing that high with two 60-meter ropes allowed for a pretty radical rappel.

DSC01483
Dodge making his way to the top.

We got back to the base shortly after 4:00pm quickly drowning myself in water and consuming the snacks I had left at the bottom of the climb. Heading back to the car with smiles on our faces we played a highlight reel of the day and worked on figuring out our plans for dinner, excited to get back to the creek

 

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