Snuck out of work with a couple buddies and went to climb the bluffs on the Mississippi river. It was beautiful, only 2.5 hours from Chicago, two fun buddies, and a great adventure. We managed to find the bluffs, which didn’t open until one due to turkey hunting season in the park. We had some beta on where to climb but couldn’t find the Sentinel, ended up just walking along the cliff band and picking a place that looked good. We scrambled up the back up a steep chute and I helped Jeff and Joe set the top ropes up (wussy I know, but no bolts allowed and rock was too chossy for trad leading imo).
Then we had a blast climbing, or attempting to climb our unknown routes. It was right on the river, had a gorgeous view, sun was shining. And I couldn’t get up the first one, too weak or couldn’t suss out the moves. Joe, who climbs like twice a year was able to do it – amazing. The second climb provided redemption as I was able to make it over a big old overhang, feeling very strong and confiednt as I remembered the always valuable rock climbing advice of “get your feet up”, combined with boatloads of encouragement and cheering from my compadres. What a great day and so much fun climbing with them, so easy-going, lots of laughs and a casual day, despite having my blackberry with me and actually working a good bit of the drive there and back. We’re thinking of going again for Memorial Day with our girlfriends.