Friday, November 30, 2007

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

Mike asks as I start up the first pitch of "Falling Ross". We're at Granite Mountain near Prescott, AZ. I did want to do it, but Mike was making me nervous by asking me such questions. I decided to continue, despite my doubt. It's a difficult first pitch, and a harder second pitch. The crux about a third up the climb, and when I get to it, it takes me a while to figure out how to get through it. It's a long pitch too..about 140 feet. After I make it through the crux, there's no turning back, and although the difficulty eases off a little, it's still a bit sketchy and a bit run out. After a fair amount of squealing, I make it to the top without too much more trouble. However, the second pitch is considerably more difficult and it takes a quite a while to work through it and get to the top. I am sympathetic with the pitch namesake "Ross", as I fall quite a bit on the second pitch as well.
In any case, the climbing here at Granite Mountain is spectacular despite some desparate groveling through the pitches. To the left you can see part of the excellent quality rock you can enjoy here. In fact, there are not a huge number of climbs, but almost all them are worth doing. The weather has been mostly sunny, but the wind has been quite cold and it's very cold at night, so we are about to move down to lower elevation even though there are still several climbs I'd like to try here. The campground hosts a pack a feral cats, one of which Mike tries to convince me to adopt and take on our trip with us. I don't think it's such a good idea, so we had to desert "Mr. Coyote Bait", as Mike refers to his hopeful pet. Since yesterday, we are lucky to be able to take shelter indoors, with one of Mike's local friends. Tomorrow I think we'll head south. I sign off, in search of better weather.

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