Quick Recovery

The stitches came out one week, to the day, after my unfortunate slip that landed me on my arm and inside of a First-Care office. No infections, no rips, no bending the elbow, and no making a fist for five days; I wanted my arm to heal quickly and I was rewarded by a speedy recovery. And so on Wednesday I again found myself heading south racing the clock and the weather. By the time that I got down to the glacier the sun was high and the snow was low on the mountains.

The road leading to the parking lot was being worked on last time that we had gone there and was completely closed to vehicle traffic, adding an extra half mile to the hike. Fortunately I had been my intention to save a few minutes by bringing my bike along with the crash pads. As I slowly passed the road crew, the dual crash pad/ backpack/ bike combo doubtless being ogled, I was told merely to watch out for the equipment.

Reaching the end of the trail,  I didn’t know where I was going to climb. The water was very low so I took the opportunity to cross the stream to check the blocks on the opposite side while keeping my feet dry. The boulders turned out to be a let down, and my feet did not stay dry. I crossed back over and went up the right side of the valley to one of the first and most obvious boulders in the area that, for obvious reasons, had not been climbed. The Arkenstone Boulder is marked by a huge, steeply overhung face (45 degrees) that angles back  to vertical on its lee side. The main face is scary and the landing needs a lot of work and a lot pads, but on the vertical/ easiest face I put up one climb, Heart of the Mountain V1. I tried on more problem that starts on a jug and ends on a jug, but could not find a way to span the void of holds.

Chris beneath the Arkenstone

I realized that I was being much more conscious of my pad placement than usual, and was unwilling to push myself without a spotter. I turned away from the Arkenstone and went to three boulders in the same area. Each boulder is fairly small, but they yielded 11 short, but excellent problems.

Unfortunately, in preparation for bouldering tomorrow, I just erased all of my pictures of from that day without loading them onto my computer. So I will have to get some more.

The last two problems that I sent were done as dusk descended into true night. I quickly lost sight of my hand holds and feet and struggled to gain the top on what I thought was going to be an easy problem. Eventually a I found a huge side pull that allowed me to send, Riddles in the Dark  V3, a great problem. I also grabbed onto the arete of the boulder and grappled up another problem, Thief in the Night  V1. And with that I packed up and cruised my bike down the trail in the dark.