Sunday, August 10, 2008

REI Garage Sales

I work at Marmot Mountain Works. I get really sick deals on gear... Not gonna lie. When a customer returns something, we give them their money back, and send the item to the manufacturer for warranty. When somebody returns something to REI, they give them their money back and then sell the item for around 10% of its origional cost back to the members. REI loses a ton of money this way, but it creates some ridiculously awesome opportunities for great deals. So I've been hitting up the sales lately, and stocking up on awesome for the winter climbing season.

Night Climbing

I've spent a lot of days in the alpine recently, with the Tooth, and Ingalls. My ankle has been getting worse again, though, so I needed a way to get out climbing without quite so much walking. Cragging and gym climbing is the solution. But neither hold nearly so much appeal as the back country rocks. I had to figure out how to make clipping bolts interesting. Sitting next to Alie on the way to the gym, explaining my dilemma, and the lack of motivation that bolts offer, it took about all of 30 seconds before I offered up a solution: the dark. If sport climbing was boring during the day, how was it at night? It had to be more interesting.... It was! We met up with Lily after Mexican food with the SAR crew, and started climbing. By this time, it was around 10:30 or 11... and completely dark. Just how we wanted it. Turned out, I was the only one who led. Leading bolts, meh. Leading gear, pretty sweet. Leading bolts in the dark... WOW! Ya! Waaay more interesting than day-time sport clipping, and that's for sure. So I set up top-ropes for the rest of the gang on an 5.8, 5.9, and 5.6. Fighting the mice was the toughest part. The rodents decided that if they couldn't beat us, that they would join us, so they stuck around, and let us pet them. That was aweseome. We did laps until we were stupid tired, which put us around 3:30 in the morning. Alie and I took down the climbs, while I organized the gear. Then we did sun salutations on the trestle. AWESOME! The whole valley was lit up with the very beginnings of the light of the new day. After yoga, we wandered over to Nevermind Wall and bouldered around before heading back to our bags. We took an hour nap at the base of Write-off Rock, and then headed back down the trail, dodging the camp kids walking up the trail. Back at the parking lot, we ran into Ian, a good friend of Alie and mine. Then, Max, my partner for Ingalls drove up! We had the whole gang. But poor Ian was trying to size harnesses for that day's clients, so we let him get back to work while Max and J headed off to fire Negatherion. We stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way back, and I picked up a box of 'nuts for the family. Back at home, Alie and I laid around for a good couple of hours, just being tired. But then I realized that I had Dosage III on Netflix (rad climbing movie), so we watched that. And while the credits were rolling, we looked at each other, and said almost in unison that we weren't done climbing yet for the day and that we should hit up the gym. Off we went! We were pretty worked over, already, so Alie (only been climbing for a month!!) hit up some 5.8's and then got too pumped on a 5.9. I took laps on 5.9's until I realized that my toenail was falling off, took a break, then hit up a healthy dose of 5.10's to get worked stupid. It worked. Then, feeling pretty good, I hopped on a 5.11, and fired all but the last move. We were both whooped, so we headed over to the vertical 5.7 to finish ourselves off. I think I only got 3 laps in before I called "uncle". Happily defeated, we headed back home and slept 14 hours.