Last night at 9:30 p.m. Sheri said she was working at home and I could do something in the morning if I wanted. I was sitting at my computer and five minutes later I get an email from Tony Bubb about climbing tomorrow afternoon. I responded asking if he wanted to climb in the morning. He did.
We met at 6 a.m. and it was the same weather as yesterday. Very windy and 50 degrees so pretty unpleasant if in the wind and the shade at the same time. This wind seems to stop a bit after 7 a.m. We headed down to King's X again since I knew it was sheltered and I knew I needed to lead it. Tony mentioned a route called Futile Laments that breaks left after the first crux of King's X. This route was rated 5.9 and I viewed it as a possible bailout.
I tied in and led up to the crux move. I backed up the pin with a small Alien and shook out a bit, psyching up. I then proceeded to botch the sequence, wimped out, and called for Tony to take. I neglected to switch my right hand from the horn-jug hold ot the undercling immediately above it. The second try I got it right and completed the move.
Since I'd already blown the redpoint, I took the opportunity to wimp out further and explore a new route. I traversed over to the traditional first belay of King's X and then continued up and left into a cool dihedral and up to an intimidating roof with a hand crack in it. This is Futile Laments. I really enjoyed the stemming up to the roof and after locating the pin that was hidden behind my back, I got up to the roof itself. I jammed in a #2 Camalot and didn't even have to jam the roof at all. In fact, the crack is only about two feet long. I could just stem up high enough until I could reach over the roof to numerous jugs. Further stemming got me over the roof without ever really having to lean over backwards. This is a very cool section of rock and a pretty easy 5.9 for Eldo.
I continued up the easy fact above to the ledge at the start of the West Overhang and Left Out. Tony followed and led the West Overhang to the Lemmings (a short 5.8 wide crack variation at the top of the pitch) to the anchors. I followed and we rapped down to the ledge. Then I led Rastaman Roof, a 5.9+ variation of Reggae that goes right at the crux of Reggae and through a roof via a short crack. This section is considerably harder than Futile Laments, but is also very short. It is a bit contrived as you can easily tunnel under the boulder and avoid this roof, but it was a fun problem.
We called it a morning and headed to work.