Godzilla - City Park - Sloe Children, Index, WA

July 28, 2008 / 5.10d, 3p, trad.

After climbing "Princely Ambitions" and "Thin Fingers", we want to do the Godzilla - City Park - Sloe Children combo we had bailed off of during our first bus trip. We have to wait for another party in front of us. It rains for a while as we are waiting, then clears up a bit, only to start raining again as soon as I start up the first few moves. Really fun pitch! I get to the anchors, and bring Lucie up as the other pair is bailing from the top of City Park. It is raining lightly but steadily now. We let them rap down, and wait to see what happens with the weather. It doesn't take long before the rain starts intensifying, and it is not looking like it's gonna stop again. We rap down in steady rain and get ourselves and the gear pretty wet… maybe we'll be back for the complete route tomorrow (the weather is supposed to improve).

The next day, we get up late (10:30!). We're a bit tired from yesterday's climbing. Great weather: dry, blue skies, and it's not even humid! We have breakfast, and get our gear into the sun to finish drying it. We finally leave around noon and go straight to the base of Godzilla - City Park - Sloe Children. This is really the route we want to do. Unfortunately, as we get there, a party of 2 is just getting ready to go. We decide to wait. The leader is moving reasonably fast, so it's encouraging. By the time his girlfriend starts up, it is clear that we'll be waiting a while… she does not appear to have climbed much before, certainly not at this level. It ends up taking her well over an hour and a half to follow the pitch. Finally, she reaches the ledge and they rap off.

We make it up "Godzilla" in no time. So far so good, although this moderate fist pitch feels more strenous today than it did yesterday.

Click for high resolution
A party on "Godzilla".
Click for high resolution
Eric on "Godzilla", arguably the best 5.9 pitch in the area.
Click for high resolution
Rain, rain, rain.
Click for high resolution
Here we go again! Starting up "Godzilla" (5.9) the next day.
Click for high resolution
Near the top.

The second pitch (City Park, 10b) starts really thin. The pro is good, although that big ledge is awfully close… We make it fine, cleanly. After 3 moves, the crack opens up to a thin hands crack. Some more tricky moves past a bolt higher up, then easier climbing to the chains.

Click for high resolution
Eric leading "City Park" (5.10b).
Click for high resolution
Views.
Click for high resolution
"Sloe Children", a hard and sustained pitch (5.10d).
Click for high resolution
Eric near the top of the pitch.
Click for high resolution
Lucie following the upper section of "Sloe Children". Good example of over-protecting under stress...

The third pitch (Sloe Children, 10d) looks really sustained… The first few moves look really tough (no real crack, just a seam), and offer no pro other than the anchor bolts. Again, the ledge just below does not inspire confidence. I end up making a scary, balancy traverse into the corner from the left, on a narrow flake. Once in the corner at the top of the flake, some decent finger locks are now within reach, as well as yellow Alien placements. From here, the corner gets really fun: foot jams in the 80-degree corner, and pretty good finger jamming. Thin section above, where the crack narrows to green and blue Alien sizes. Some creative moves needed.

At one point, you switch into another parallel corner to the right, with a wider crack (fingers), then back to the left a few moves higher. I manage to completely mess up the rope sequence and end up with our doubles badly crossed. I waste myself to death fixing the problem. Now pumped, I am only able to pull thru a few meters, before having to hang to rest. I end up hanging twice above this section. Very near the top, the crack again closes to blue and black Alien size, and the climbing gets pretty desperate, before one can reach a flat ledge hold just below the anchors. One final move to mantle onto the ledge and the anchors are here. Ouch! I had quite a struggle up this one. Lucie follows in better style, only hanging a couple times to take out reluctant nuts. Her smaller fingers probably help a bit with the thinner sections, though her shorter reach is a handicap in the final moves. Two long raps get us straight back to the base.