A few weeks ago, Matt and a crew from The Crag spent the day bouldering down at Stone Fort. Here is his report from the trip.
When the Wild Calls
5 A.M. A time most people (and by most people I mean myself) fear seeing. I usually am a creature of sleeping in late. However, on this beautiful Wednesday morning, climbing awoke me at that dreadful time with nothing but energy and an enthusiasm to pull on some real rock. The last time I had ventured outdoors for climbing was in late March when I made a trip up to The Obed for sport climbing. Unfortunately, 3 days before my birthday in April I fractured my ankle in a climbing injury. Since then, I have been working hard to get back into climbing shape, so this trip we took to Stone Fort (known to many as Little Rock City) was a true test to see if my training had paid off. I brought along with me a troop of rock loving friends from The Crag: Dylan Mikres, Ben Rankin, and Tyler & Ryan Beiden. Some serious guys with nothing but love for climbing, all of them just itching to get outdoors to the beauty of Stone Fort.
Our trip began at 6 A.M. sharp, setting sail down the highway with nothing but sleepy heads and goofy attitudes. Along the drive, we were able to pull off some amusing antics and sing-a-longs to keep each other awake for the 2 ½ hour drive, which helped me more than anything as I was driving. The early morning drive was definitely worth it; our faces lit up like it was Christmas with Santa giving us huge beautiful boulders to pull on. When we finally made it into the forest of boulders, all sleep had been rubbed from our eyes and our senses began to awaken as we realized the beauty before us. We traveled to the Front Area, checked the guide book and began planning our day. Ben, however, was so amazed by the amount of boulders all around us that he was ready to jump on anything he saw. We hit some of the classic problems such as The Mane Event (V4), Art of the Vogi (V4) and a couple of nice V1s, V2s, and V3s in the same area. From there we moved onto one of the problems I had been working on a year ago called The Wave, one of Stone Fort’s most classic V6s which is shaped like a nice crescent wave (hence the name). Unfortunately, we didn’t send the massive beast, but we were able to make some nice headway on it and definitely look forward to finishing it. We journeyed only a bit further into the forest, since the employees from The Crag (Ben, Dylan, and I) had a meeting back at the base that afternoon, limiting our time. We worked on a nice slab V3 problem further in, then went over to Latin for Daggers; a sharp, crimpy V5 that Ryan and Ben had fun working on, even though their burning fingers thought otherwise. Soon realizing that it was time for us to go, we hustled through the trails and made it back to our cars to venture home.
Overall, it was a superb climbing trip, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to go with. Climbing with friends that love it just as much as you do is always inspiring. The trip to Stone Fort was just what I needed in my life; climbing videos and training didn’t quiet the call of the outdoors, it only made it stronger and more clear. I learned that when the wild calls you to climb, you answer it and enjoy every minute of it, no matter the difficulty.