Forums: Climbing Information: Trip Reports:
Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Trip Reports

Premier Sponsor:

 


wildtrail


Jul 30, 2003, 12:44 PM
Post #1 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2002
Posts: 11063

Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck, Chuck if a Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood?

A Visit by Kate and Ben

Planning to have visitors, I began my daily chores of “cleaning house”. Two friends were set to arrive at my home later in the evening. I was told to expect them around nine o’clock, but things soon changed.

Knowing, as usual, that I had put a few chores off (rather, been too lazy to do them) in the past few days, I certainly wanted a clean house. First impressions say a thousand things and I didn’t want it to include; pig, slob, sloth, or slouch.

As I clean my bathroom from top to bottom (okay, perhaps this chore had been put off a little longer than a few days), the phone rings. I rinse the bleach from my hands and run to the phone, nearly killing myself as I hurdle cleaning supplies only to catch my foot on the vacuum cleaner cord. Barking a select word, I was hurled into the couch and tossed head-over-heels in a dazzling display of poise and control. Nevertheless, the dismount was perfect as I sat half on and half off the couch, as the phone was on the arm at the far end. I reach for the phone and note the caller ID: “Kate’s Cell Phone”.

I catch my breath, “Hello?”

At the other end I hear, “Hi! I’m looking for Steve.”

“This is,” I inform my caller.

“Hi! This is Kate! We just got out of Chicago.”

I answer back fluidly, “Oh, so you are just north of Chicago?” in hopes that I still have time to finish my cleaning.

“No, we just entered Wisconsin.”

Sheer terror waved over my body as I answer, “Oh, then you’ll be here in about 45 minutes or so. Give me a call when you see downtown Milwaukee if you need help getting to my house.” Saying this in hopes they would call so I know when the deadline has dropped to ten minutes.

Frantically, I hang up the phone and perform another break-neck leap over the pile of disorganized crap I had strewn about the house. In a frenzy, I finish the bathroom in record time. I’m guessing around three minutes, though it felt like an eternity. I grab my cleaning products and begin stashing them back in their places under the kitchen sink, clean the coffee table, find the air mattress for them, blow it up, and take a shower. All this in thirty minutes. It’s amazing how much a person can get done when the proverbial gun is to the head. Granted, I know Ben and Kate are some of the nicest people a person can have the privilege of knowing, but I’m an anal-retentive neat-freak. Well, when company is due.

After the frontal lobotomy I preformed on myself due to the mental stress of not having an immaculate house for my guests, they arrived an hour and forty minutes later.

We sat and talked shop, as my wife looked on. The three of us discussed climbing and travel and all of our friends that I haven’t met yet from our little internet site that they have. I got the “dirt” on all the people I haven’t met and really desire to. Everything they said confirmed what I thought of these people; wonderful people.

The four of us adjourned to Rock Bottom Brewery for a few pints and a steak dinner. Seated along the Milwaukee River on an outside terrace, the atmosphere was perfect and the steaks looked delicious. Large cuts of sirloin, stuffed with large pieces of sautéed garlic, aside a generous heaping of mashed potatoes and vegetables. Dripping with succulent juices, eat piece of steak devoured looked like heaven. Sitting at the table, looking down on my honey-mustard grilled chicken sandwich and fries, I realize I should have had the steak.

Later that evening, we joined three other friends of ours, Jamie, Amanda, and Tom for a few beers at a local pub. We sat out on the sidewalk at tables aglow in candle light, talking for hours. It was a wonderful night spent with great friends. A memory permanently etched for all time.

Waking the next morning at 5:00 am, then 5:09, and finally 5:18 (I need a clock without a snooze button), we readied ourselves for climbing. The four of us sat in anticipation as we waited for Jamie, Amanda, and Tom to show and join the convoy to Devil’s Lake State Park for a day on the rock.

Joking about Jamie being on “Jamie time” we were surprised to see that Amanda managed to get him there on time at 6:00am. We hit the road.

Arriving at Devil’s Lake State Park around 8:30am, we sorted and packed gear for the hike. Being, shall we say out-of-shape, I decided I’d bring up the rear and strapped on my hiking poles. My wife Tammy, Kate, and I took the tail end of the conga-line going up our little hike (between a quarter-mile and half-mile in 500 vertical feet). We stopped a few times as Kate has no cartilage in her left knee, my wife has asthma, and me, let’s just say a break isn’t an unwelcome thing. Meanwhile, chain-smoking, laughing, and hiking at an absurd pace, Ben made record time to the top where we found him and the rest of our group waiting for their companions in tow.

Eventually, we found a nice spot with a good view and some slick rock. The day’s events unfolded.

Ben attempted a warm-up route known as Michael’s Project (5.7). I nice crack with the crux at the bottom that winds its way up the rock onto larger holds and easier ground. Ben surely noticed why I commented on how the rock at the lake was difficult to climb on due to the complete lack of friction. A few slips of his feet, but he began to make progress. On his third placement, as he worked the crux, he was a bit pumped and asked for a rest. The cam popped. Luckily, thanks to Tom on belay, Ben was stopped about six inches from decking on his fall. Ben had placed a piece of pro low to the ground with a sling. This was placed so that, in the event of a fall, the direction of pull on the rope from the belayer to the first piece of pro wouldn’t cause it to pop. In his fall, Ben got entangled on the first piece with the sling causing an inverted fall. Tom locked the rope, stopped the fall, and reached and stopped Ben’s head (though wearing a helmet) from hitting a jagged rock. Still, Ben took stock as we all gathered around to make sure he wasn’t hurt. Mostly his pride, but he did injure his toe, bending the nail back and causing a nasty blood blister. A blood blister he worked on for an hour to pop by boring hole with a sterilized safety pin.

Jamie was the next to climb, wanting to lead a route to the top to set up a top rope. I had been teaching him how to lead, so I figured I’d belay then second the route. We body-jammed up a large chimney to a wide crack (5.6) then into a chunky hold chimney (5.4) and around the corner to an open dihedral (5.2) loaded with spiders, dirt, and moss. It was a delicious route. Ended easier than it began, but the most attractive thing was the dirty, filthy finish. On top of that, the top-out was into bug laden bushes and trees. Three cheers to making your own way! Whoever said a route has to be followed to the “T” doesn’t know climbing.

While Jamie spent time setting up a top rope, I walked back down to join the others to sit amongst my friends, now haven of bees due to the sun shining warm on the surrounding rock and trees.. Dropping the top rope, Kate decided she wanted to try the flaring chimney/crack (the 5.6 that Jamie and I started on). About a third of the way up, Kate was bothered by one of the bees. She kept climbing until it decided to land on her. I lowered her quickly, per request. Ben now was ready to climb again, having successfully removed some of the pressure from under his big toenail. In sandals, he climbed part of a 5.9, then traversed over to a difficult 5.6 known as “Sewing Machine”. Tom then climbed this same route and Amanda moved left to the 5.4 chimney and made it look readily easy.

We sat in a constant buzz of bees. Kate had a bee thwart her from her route. Jamie, deciding he was going to give Sewing Machine a try was stung in the lip several times by a bee. Being my biggest fear, I moved around often from spot to spot, fleeing the bees which looked more like a scared kid running from the Boogie Man. There were a lot of bees.

Though injured mortally, Jamie made great haste and swallowed Sewing Machine whole. However, I feel Jamie cheated on the route. With his lip swollen like a boxer’s in the tenth round, that had to count as an extra point of contact.

It was a great day. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect. We shared some common ground and learned about each other. Still the questions remains: How much wood could a woodchuck, chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? The answer is none, but they can eat their fair share of Pizzeria Pretzel Combos. “Combo” (aptly named by Ben) was our climbing mascot for the day. Just a woodchuck out looking for a free meal that got lucky by stumbling upon the right group and a guy with a bag of Combos.

Not a lot of climbing happened that day, but it was tremendously fun. We spent more time talking to each other between our misadventures than anything else. I’d like to award a few medals to my friends:

To Tom goes the “cookie” for stopping Ben from decking.

To Ben goes the all heart award for climbing with one of the most painful injuries you can climb with; damaged toes.

To myself I award the biggest wimp award for running around like a baby, avoiding bees.

To the rest and all of you, thanks for being my friend. It is an award I may not deserve, but will accept happily and always treasure.


climbinganne


Jul 30, 2003, 12:54 PM
Post #2 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 15, 2002
Posts: 11679

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

what about logan?


wildtrail


Jul 30, 2003, 12:55 PM
Post #3 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2002
Posts: 11063

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
what about logan?

He still lives in Ohio with Mom. :)


charley


Jul 30, 2003, 12:57 PM
Post #4 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 13, 2002
Posts: 6627

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sounds like a good time was had by some neat folks.


sid_rock


Jul 30, 2003, 1:51 PM
Post #5 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 27, 2003
Posts: 516

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sounds like good times, Wildtrail. You tell a good story, and I enjoy the complete absence of self-aggrandization in your writing. I do have one minor bone to pick with your writing style though, which I hope you don't mind given that you're a budding writer. In your writings you shift between present and past tense while describing the same event. Is that deliberate?

PS: You should be executed for having ordered a grilled chicken sandwich when steak was an option :D


staticbuz


Jul 30, 2003, 7:56 PM
Post #6 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 29, 2002
Posts: 452

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Damn, you had me laughing and drooling and wishing I was there.. all up until the part about the bees.. if there is one thing I hate its bees. There is no way in absolutel hell I would be able to climb when theres a swarm around you guys get a medal from me!

the huge balls award. congrats

-static-

p.s. why wasnt I invited? hmm? pfft


Partner philbox
Moderator

Jul 30, 2003, 9:23 PM
Post #7 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 13104

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The wildtrail pulls another masterful piece of writing off. I like the bit about the steak mate. If there is steak on the menu I will always order that. Great to have a chuckle along with you mate.


wildtrail


Jul 31, 2003, 2:43 AM
Post #8 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2002
Posts: 11063

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Damn, you had me laughing and drooling and wishing I was there.. all up until the part about the bees.. if there is one thing I hate its bees. There is no way in absolutel hell I would be able to climb when theres a swarm around you guys get a medal from me!

the huge balls award. congrats

-static-

p.s. why wasnt I invited? hmm? pfft

Ah....did you forget about the part where I'm running around, avoiding bees? :lol:

Phil,

Glad you liked it. And, now I see the err of my ways. I should have ordered the steak. :wink:


mojorisin


Aug 9, 2003, 6:24 PM
Post #9 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2002
Posts: 994

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Wildtrail, that was great. I have had the pleasure(and it is a pleasure) to meet both Ben and Kate, Kate even held a fall for me at Seneca, shes awesome. I had one of the best days climbing with Ben, Pornstarr, Cpt.prozac and Easyjay at NRP. The whole bunch of folks I have met from this site are the best. I look forward to meeting you next year, we need a kegmaster and I am electing you for the job.


wildtrail


Aug 12, 2003, 12:49 PM
Post #10 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2002
Posts: 11063

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
we need a kegmaster and I am electing you for the job.

Accepted. :D


joshklingbeil


Aug 12, 2003, 1:06 PM
Post #11 of 11 (1551 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2002
Posts: 403

Re: Trip Report: Katydid and Betaben visit Wildtrail [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sounds like you guys had a crazy time climbing.


Forums : Climbing Information : Trip Reports

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook