Another traffic jam... this time cold and windy, and we didn't get down until after dark.

Trip Report:

We were planning to do Triassic Sands to finish out the day, but as we were climbing Sand Felipe and afterward as we ate our lunches, a fierce wind kicked up and we each felt a few tiny drops of rain. The sky was cloudy and stormy-looking. By the time we had finished lunch, we were cold and wind-whipped, and were both in no mood to get on something hard and committing, in case a storm rolled in. So we decided to stroll over to nearby Frogland and run up it really quick. We figured that since it was already 2:00, the slow parties that had started in the morning would be mostly done, and wouldn't be in our way much. We were, of course, completely wrong.

Flying up the first pitch
The first pitch
Me, hauling ass up the first pitch of Frogland
We hauled ass up the first two pitches, and spotted a party of three just ahead of us. I linked the next two pitches (listed as one in the Supertopo book anyway), passing them on a ledge in the middle, but remaining out of their way so that they could climb their next pitch as Aaron followed. Unfortunately, the next party we ran into presented more difficulty. They were also a threesome, and they said that the party in front of them was the real bottleneck. But they were not happy with any notion of us climbing past them or even alongside them, even though the next two pitches of the route allowed several variations. Hence we climbed the first three pitches of this route in under an hour, but took about two and a half hours for the last three.

Fortunately, these three guys were pleasant company, and we had a good time despite the cold wind, still whipping at us in strong gusts. When I, the third in a train of climbers separated by literally about a foot each, tunneled up under the giant chockstone on the second to last pitch to find four people above me, we all had a good laugh. Five people hanging out on that chockstone! This was also the only time that I saw one of the members of the party in front of the three guys ahead of us. It was pretty clear to me that at least the follower of this party, who was there at the chockstone, was a much less experienced climber. That party was indeed the bottleneck. Aaron arrived just as that guy left, so we were five again. And as soon as the leader of the threesome ahead of us took off, the first of the party that we had passed arrived, so we were five again.

Aaron on the descent
The descent
Aaron, at sunset, with Vegas in the background
By the time Aaron and I reached the top, it was late enough that we knew we'd have to hurry down to reach our packs before dark. We had neglected to bring our headlamps, of course, because we thought we'd be able to cruise the route quickly and be down well before dark. Stupid us. We ended up making it most of the way down, but not back to our packs, before dark. By the time we did reach our packs, it was completely dark, the wind was still whipping, and Aaron and I were both bonking a little. It was a little scary, considering that we were on fourth class terrain in several places, and for the last few minutes of it I felt a little dizzy and could hardly see straight. When we reached the packs, we retrieved our headlamps, scarfed down our last few Snickers bars and some dried apples, drank some water and lemonade, and rested for a few minutes. We then packed up and hauled ass back to the car. On the way out, the wind gusts nearly knocked us over several times. I'm not exagerrating about this! The wind seriously came very close to knocking me on my ass! Aaron estimated from this that the gusts may have been between 50 and 60 mph.

We had already been thinking that the next day would be a good rest day, but at this point it became imminent. It was late, and we were exhausted and starving: the perfect opportunity for a big Vegas buffet, a healthy food coma afterwards, a long night's sleep, and a day of rest. We drove to the Rio, and stuffed ourselves with sushi, crab legs, and a few other snacks. Aaron couldn't believe how much crab I ate. I just kept going long after he was stuffed. I singlehandedly ate at least three crabs' worth of legs. In fact, I would have eaten more, but the buffet closed only 45 minutes after we got there!

The next day, after sleeping in until the late hour of 8:00 AM, we went grocery shopping, searched unsuccessfully for a place to go shooting, and eventually met up with Aaron's father-in-law. The three of us drove around a bit, went to the Hoover Dam, drove out to Red Rocks so he could see where we climbed, and then went back to his hotel to take showers, for which Aaron and I were most grateful. We finished the day with a fast food dinner, and went to bed early with the intention of getting up very early to climb P.O.D.