Sunday, September 29, 2013

Depressurized Soda

It was Annie's bday on Saturday and she wanted to climb some sandstone cracks as she is a desert aficionado and hadn't climbed much. We settled on attempting Shunes Buttress in Zion, but unfortunately timed it wrong as its a north facing route and this cold weather week created a freezing 45-50 degree shade temperature Saturday morning at 9 am. Remembering our miserable experience on the Warrior last year in the shade, we opted out of this classic in hopes of returning when it was warmer.

I had climbed "Coke Explosion" a few years back and remembered enjoying it as it is south facing, a reasonable 5.10, and only 3 pitches, so we decided to do that instead. We promptly lost the climbers trail after leaving the Angel's Landing conga line and schwaked through some pretty heinous stuff to the base. After a tricky short mantle onto a slab we arrived at the climb.
The route follows the sun shade line on the right

Annie led the first 5.9 pitch, which is a fun corner past a tree, mostly fingers and hands through a short roof with good feet. I led pitch 2, the crux being a #6 camalot size corner in a lower angle lieback for 15 feet.  Not having a #6 camalot made this section spicy. More fingers in a corner ended the pitch.  Pitch 3 was mostly chimney, and Annie did pretty well on it despite moving slowly.
Jungle pitch 1

Annie following up corner of Pitch 2

Annie chimneying up pitch 3

We got a rope stuck on rappel and I had to reclimb some of pitch 2 to retrieve it. We got back down to the ground and were hoping to go check out Lady Mountain, but my poor internet information memory skills did not allow us to find the start. Maybe next time. Cafe Rio and a new iphone rounded out Annie's bday. 

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