20090531 Rock Climbing on the California North Coast

I visited Patsy this past week in Arcata, and was able to convince her to pull her nose out of the books and spend one afternoon of my visit to check out the rock climbing in the nearby mountains.  Matt, the owner of Far North Climbing, told me about a recently developed area only 45 minutes away from town, the Land of the Lost.  So we got a rock climber's early start at 11:00am, Charlie in tow.

Land of the Lost is described in the local staple-back, Bigfoot Country Climbing, and has three main rocks.  One is filled with 11's and 12's, the second is mysteriously named but not described, and the third is the Pinch Me Wall.  Pinch Me featured 5.6 - 5.10c routes that were well - in a couple of cases over - bolted.  Note:  My definition of "over-bolting" is anytime you have to be careful not to Z-clip, which was possible on several of the lines.  The wall also seemed to provide a lot of trad protection possibilities, making us wonder out loud about the necessity to turn it into a sport crag.  Anyways, it still worked.

 patsy's friend bobby climbing the right-hand 5.10c on the pinch me wall

We ran into Bobby, one of Patsy's local climbing partners, with his friends Whitney and Jorge.  They were already working the 5.10 routes on the far side of the wall, a little bit bigger than what I wanted to warm-up on.  Since Patsy wasn't interested in leading, and I desperately was, we started on the far left side, where the shortest and relatively easiest climbs were, and made our way right.  It was great to slowly get into the rythm of it all again, to trust the friction of the rock and my fingers and my soles, to focus on the movement and not some of the bigger run-outs, and to line up for the longest route on the wall, a 95' 5.10a, and absolutely crush it.  I grinned and clapped for myself when I finally reached the ground.

 the jay bird's nest that inspired us to skip the last two climbs of the day

We were all set to jump on the last two routes, both 10c's, when we noticed a jay bird that insistently squawked at all five of us.  We realized that the nest in the nearby sapling must be hers.  So Bobby and company decided to pull stakes and check out the 5.11 wall, and Patsy and I decided to call it a day - 7 pitches were enough!

Statistics:  Willow Creek, California.  Land of the Lost, Pinch Me Wall.  All routes were sport climbs and lead on-sight.  Mommy's Little Monster, 5.7, 50'; Easily Amused, 5.6, 60'; Surpringly Delightful, 5.8, 60'; Lion Country Safari, 5.7, 60'; Emerald Forest, 5.7, 70'; Pinch Me I Must Be Dreaming, 5.10a, 95', 2 stars; Natural Light, 5.8, 80'.