Aaron and I took a rest day and basically just hung out at Left Fork and fished the river.  I’m really starting to enjoy fly fishing.  It may be my winter activity other than climbing like Bass fishing is my warm-weather activity other than climbing.

Yesterday, fresh off the rest day, Aaron headed across the sketch (and really cold) river to try what he was hoping to be his trip-goal-problem “Skeleton Key” V11.  We had previously tried to reach this problem but failed because the creek was too high and too icy to cross, but part of his rest day activity was to either scout or make a river crossing.

The hike to skeleton key is horrible, but it was worth the hike.  Aaron made INCREDIBLE progress on this campus problem, which starts on two tiny holds under the roof and campuses out and around to a so-so decent edge.  From there, its pretty much over assuming the climber has enough juice to match and stick a techy V5 or 6ish sequence.  There’s a really really good chance that he’ll get it today.

While up there, I tried the guidebook classic “Pockadoodle” V5 which ended up being more like a V2, though the climbing on it was quite good.

From there, we headed up to New Joes, but the short hike version to the “Tang” area where I tried the namesake problem “Tang” V5 which is unequivocally a V6 (all day long) which goes to show that the grades at Joe’s Valley really are ALL OVER THE PLACE.

It took me a few goes, but I managed to send “Gatoraid” which is a classic, crimpy slabby climb up the obviously and otherwise clean face of this small (but moderately tall) boulder.  I think “Tang” may be a project for me for my next trip as we’re talking about heading to the top of the right fork after the Skeleton Key session.

Aaron Parlier.  Skeleton Key V11.

Pockadoodle V5 (more like V2).

Pockadoodle V5 (more like V2).

Gatorade V5.

Tang V6.