St George Project Mode 2017

It’s almost overwhelming how much climbing the St George area in southwest Utah has to offer.

When we first checked out St George last spring we visited several of the different crags and sampled tons of spectacular routes. We got SO psyched on all the amazing lines and immediately planned a return visit to the awesome limestone crags for this year.
The Canadian van congregation back for more!
The approach we took this year was different than last. We each set our sights on a couple routes that we’d tried in the past but were too hard for us at the time. It is difficult to project on a road trip because time is always a limiting factor. The pressure is so much higher than projecting at your home crag… and there is the looming reality that you just might not send. You have to be ok with that.
Another challenge with projecting on the road is that you are almost never sending or climbing on new routes. In the one month we spent in St George we both climbed only about a dozen new lines each.
So what did we put our time into instead? Climbing the same warm-ups at the same crags and giving the same attempts on the same projects over and over and over again.
Graham sunk his energy into one main route: Breakin’ The Law (5.14b) at the Black and Tan crag. He also worked on two “side projects”, All Dressed Up (5.13d) and Super Loaded (5.13c) at the Cathedral in Welcome Springs.
Graham climbing through the long arch on Super Loaded (5.13c)
I split my time between two routes I had touched last season, Pucker (5.13c) at the Wailing Wall in Welcome Springs, and Sniffing Glue (5.13c) at Black and Tan.
Working the crux on Sniffing Glue (5.13c). Photo credit: Yannick Neufeld-Cumming
We both had our own unique experiences working these routes. After making quick progress with sorting out the crux sequences on Breakin’ The Law, Graham proceeded to match his high point in the second crux around a dozen times (spread over multiple sessions). Body worn down and sore after several weeks of repeated bearing down on the route, he took 5 days of rest from hard climbing and we went to Moab. A few days after returning he made the decision to forego Super Loaded for another trip, and then proceeded to send All Dressed Up AND Breakin’ The Law on back-to-back climbing days right before we were scheduled to leave!
Graham moving into the crux on All Dressed Up (5.13d)
Graham on the send of his big project, Breakin’ The Law (5.14b)
I surprised myself with a fairly quick send of Pucker on my tenth attempt, less than two weeks after our arrival. I thought I could capitalize on my psych to fuel attempts on Sniffing Glue, but this route put up MUCH more of a fight for me. Then, just three days after finishing Pucker I accidentally hit one of the crux holds on Sniffing Glue as a mono with my left middle finger and proceeded to pull off it anyways. I immediately felt a twang of pain through my finger, hand, and into my wrist.
I injured a pulley a couple years ago, but this was my first tendon injury. Fortunately it was fairly minor. I took a week off climbing, and then slowly eased back into it. I was basically feeling good to go after two weeks as long as I didn’t use that finger in isolation.
On our second to last day, I managed to link all 15 moves of the ridiculously hard opening boulder problem on Sniffing Glue and send the route!!! Psyched! It took me nearly three times as many tries as Pucker.
SUPER psyched to finish off Sniffing Glue (5.13c) before we left!!
It was rad to spend our time in St George with a bunch of our friends who were crushing their projects as well. In photos, a few of these sick ascents…
Nicole busting out the try hard for her send of Bastard Stepchild (5.12d)
Chris looking casual on Infidels (5.13a)
Kye taking down Talking Smack (5.13b)
Dan crushing Solid Gold (5.14c)
Jakob on the send of his first 5.13a, Space Shuttle to Kolob
Kirsten making the most of climbing despite a pulley injury 😦
Yannick sent a ton of stuff this trip and we have no photos… but here he is looking cute with Mona!
It was great to hang out with Tim and Kim for a bit too!! Kim on her send of Raising Cain (5.12b)
Jared had to jet back to Canada in late March, but here he is working the moves on Breakin’ The Law before leaving

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