Allow me to to reminisce about my perfect day at Ship Rock yesterday. Mike and I got out there around 10:30 or 11:00 under a blanket of beautiful blue skies (how’s that for some alliteration!). By the end of the day I had clocked in 10 pitches. These pitches were among some of the best Ship has to offer. Here’s the list in order:
Boardwalk 5.8 – Great warm up. Mike led it in one pitch.
Airlie Gardens 5.9 – Stellar route to the left of Linn Cove. Mike led the first pitch and I led the 2nd. The roof on the 2nd pitch blew my mind. Stunning route!
Linn Cove 5.9 – Very fun route. I led the first pitch for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it.
BOG man 5.10 – We top roped this route. I look forward to going back to lead this guy. Very satisfying moves that make you get on your feet!
Welcome to Watauga 5.10 – Another fantastic route that we top roped. Nice and pumpy with great holds.
The Link 12a – This route is in between BOG and Welcome. We topped it from the same anchors as Welcome to Watauga. This route has the same beginning as BOG man but goes left and get into some pumpy roof climbing very quickly. I didn’t get to the mantle but it was great fun trying! You had to get on it!!
Hindu Kush 5.9 – Another ship classic.
Alternative Man 12.c – We attempted this route on top rope. It’s a gorgeous arete that is hard right off the ground. I had no business on this route but it was a good way to end the day. Mark Terrant put up this route years ago. He happened to be out there and after several strong climbers tried it without success he fired it off on his 2nd burn. That kind of crushing was damn impressive and motivating to watch.
Saturday was the day I fell in love with Ship Rock. Up until this point when people mentioned Ship I thought “yea that’d be fun but I’d rather go to the dump” in my head. Not anymore. The rock quality is bullet and the exposure is out of this world. I can’t think of a better place to hone in my trad skills.
We met some cool people at the crag and shared some cold units in the parking lot afterward. They were all psyched on Misty products and talking to Mike about harnesses and the gorge pack. It’s great to see him getting props for Misty gear at the cliffs. That’s a true grassroots climbing company for ya.
It’s days like this that I live for. There is something to be said for the companionship of rope climbing. The constant ebb and flow of leading/following and climbing/belaying is good for the soul. Throw a little trad placements into the mix and you’ve got yourself a real treat. I couldn’t replicate this experience if I tried; that’s the beauty of it though. This is why I love rock climbing.