Now that Mark is done with his ultra-marathon, it was time to tune up his rock climbing in preparation for some alpine climbs we'd hoped to do this summer. We met at 5:30 a.m. and headed into Eldo. It was super windy, as usual, but not that cold. We were both in shorts and I put on a really light shell to block the wind.
We started up Werk Supp with the intent to climb the entire Bastille, if things went well and we had the time. I had to be back home by 7:30 a.m. I zipped up the very familiar first pitch (8+) and set up a belay. Mark made good progress to begin with but stalled at the crux for a bit. He deciphered it and started to move up. He thought he was solid, but his foot slipped off and he yelled up "Falling!" I caught him and he got the move the second try.
The rest of the pitch went slower as Mark was tiring and a bit rusty with this climbing. He didn't fall off again, though. At the top, without a watch, we were a bit concerned about getting down in time, so we opted to do two short rappels back to the ground. The last rappel was from the anchors at the top of the first pitch of March of Dimes (10c) and we decided to toprope it.
Mark gave me a belay first and I had no trouble at all on the pitch. A few years ago this pitch gave me fits and I worked it. I guess I remembered all the tricks, which seem obvious now, because it felt more like 5.9. Mark went next and did great getting up to the crux move and then he was just too pumped to complete it.
It was a good first training outing for Mark. Hopefully we'll be heading into the mountains in a couple of days...if Mark's confidence isn't too shaken.