Oklahoma and more

Well life’s carried on much as before so don’t expect anything different in this post! I’ve been to a couple of new climbing places but that’s about the most interesting thing that’s happened. June on the other hand is looking quite busy with a few different things… more on this in a bit.

In my last post I said I had a three day weekend in Arkansas planned. Well the weather stopped that plan. It was a Kansas City climbing Club trip and the club (rightly) decided to postpone given the weather forecast. That did not however mean no climbing trip for me as a two day trip to Oklahoma was had instead. This was all a bit last minute when I realised that I’d heard of climbing in Oklahoma and that the forecast for that area was rather good. So after some last minute planning Seth, Rob and I left Friday evening.

The climbing in Oklahoma is quite a bit further away than Arkansas but as it’s Interstates pretty much the whole way it didn’t take too much longer to get to. None of us had a guidebook so we stopped off at the visitor’s centre to buy one before heading off to the crag. Here we found Carol and her car load and hoards of people from the KU rock club – not exactly unexpected as we know both groups were in the area but we didn’t know where they were heading. A fun day was had in really nice weather even if not many routes got climbed. I did a nice 5.7 crack on lead and Seth led a couple of trad routes. For someone who hasn’t been climbing trad long he’s doing really rather well!

Sunday we headed to a crag a bit further from the road. Here we found one other group but no one else we knew. Seth and Rob both led a sport route which I top-roped as I was suffering quite a bit from hayfever. Seth then led a trad route which was followed by some fooling around at the top. By the time we got down it was rather later than expected so we made a move back home. Photos from the trip are here

Next weekend I stayed in Lawrence as it was out last football game on the Sunday. On the Saturday I headed to Warsaw with Seth and met up with a few others there. Was a largely successful day, highlights being leading the route Mary-Ashley fell on for the first time since she broke her leg and following Seth up a rather nice trad crack right at the very end of the day. The five photos I took that day are here.

Sunday I played football and boy, was it a challenge. When I turned up just before kick off I was our teams 8th player which meant we could have an official game. To begin with it was 8 on 11, although we gained another player a little later. I don’t think we disgraced ourselves in losing 4-0 given the difference in numbers. Was not my best game due to hayfever but was still rather enjoyable.

By the next weekend the worst of my hayfever seemed to be over. I was no longer getting the light headiness and lack of sleep from it although I was now getting slightly worse eyes and nose – which is rather better in my opinion. That weekend Seth and I headed of to Arkansas. Can’t say it was the best organised trip as we only finally decided where we were going once we were nearly there! Saturday was spent at HCR where we started the day with some trad crack climbs. I did the first one (5.7) OK on lead but then had an absolute disaster on the second one (5.9) – the less said about that the better! After that disaster I decided I would just second Seth up the next one (also 5.9) rather than try leading it. That done we headed to a different area. Seth put up the rope on a 5.10d called Crimp Scampi and it was indeed quite crimpy. I got about half way up it on lead with a few rests. I think I could probably have reached the top but the finger I’ve tweaked was starting to hurt so came back done. Seth had wanted to lead it again anyway to try to get it clean which he did successfully.

Sunday we headed to Haw Creek, a crag neither of us had been to before. There’s a classic 10a trad route there but it was looking quite wet so neither of us got on it instead doing some sports routes. It was an enjoyable day and helped in my slightly mad plan of visiting every crag in the Arkansas guide before I leave. Doubt it will happen, and not too bothered if it doesn’t, but hopefully having it as a vague goal will help motivate me to go to new places. Photos from Haw Creek, including one of the trad line we didn’t get on, are here.

I’ve just got back from a four day trip to Colorado but as this post is already quite long I’ll put up a new post about that soon. This weekend I’m planning on staying in Lawrence but then I’ll be away for the four weekends after that with firstly the club, then a trip to Minnesota to meet up with Mary Ashley and go exploring after a conference of here. Then the next weekend I have a conference near Salt Lake and I’m planning on going hiking in Idaho afterwards which extends the trip to the next weekend. So lots of exciting stuff happening in June.

In other news I have now signed a new contract with KU so I’m now employed here to the end of October. I also had an interview for that job in Australia, although it didn’t seem to go very well so I’ll be very surprised if I’m offered it. Have a feeling I’m missing some news but can’t remember what it was so that’s it for now.

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