Slick Rock


Big Dan and I climb Slick Rock on a beautiful fall day.

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Dan and I had been talking about climbing Slick Rock all year. He was interested in trying some technical climbing, but when we got backed-off of Mt. Regan he lost some of his interest.

So I took it upon myself to persuade him.

As it turned out, it was a great day to be on the rock. We left Dan's house at 7, and left the car right at 10am. Less than 15 minutes later, we were tying in. Here's Dan on the first pitch, navigating the run-out section above the initial dihedral.

Part way up the first pitch

We were a little clumsy at the first belay station, as we swapped gear and set up belays. But then it smoothed right out.

In no time, Dan was getting ready to traverse over to the second crack. Geez, this Tricam is really in there!

Top of the first crack

We had started the First crack differently than I previously had, so we did a short 80' pitch to move us into normal position on the Second crack. Otherwise, we would not have made the good belay spot at the bottom of the Third crack.

I'm sitting in the belay spot part way up the Second.

Bottom of the second crack

The Second crack is really the crux pitch of this climb. The way I climb it, there are two tricky sections: the friction section, and the hold-less groove. The friction section is harder than the normal rating for this route. There are some sections that strictly rely on foot friction with no hand holds. I think this particular variation is about 5.8.

At the bottom of the holdless groove, there is a crack you can stuff your toes in to get started, I was being a little over-zealous and got my left foot deeply stuck in the crack. Unfortunately, this was a terrible place to get stuck, as there aren't any handholds. I had to do an off-width maneuver to get my weight off my foot, which was feeling quite mangled before I finally extricated it.

Despite getting to watch me flounder and thrash, Dan got his foot stuck too. But not for long, and he was soon at the top of the Second crack. Here he smiles to hear that the hardest part is over.

Top of the second crack

Although the Third crack is easier than the Second, it still requires some attention. But as Dan put it after climbing my earlier friction variation, "Gee, it's a lot easier when there are actual holds!"

I'm belaying on what we call the "Lunch Shelf."

Top fo the third crack from the lunch shelf

We took a breather on the lunch shelf and admired the view. Then it was time to finish it up, as the shadows were getting longer and I was thinking the temperature was about to drop. Here Dan works his way up to the first underclings.

From the top of this pitch (with a 60M rope) it's only about 40 feet to the top.

Approaching the underclings

Standing on the summit, we were both pretty tired. But pretty happy, too. It was a gorgeous fall day in McCall, we had the place to ourselves.

We drove into McCall had had dinner with my folks, then raced the sunset back to town. Dan was impressed with this area, and we agreed to come back and explore some more.

Now that Dan has his rock climbing merit badge, maybe we'll have to try Heyburn?

Dan's trip report

Summit shot: Big Dan and John

Mr. Natural Home | 2006 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski