August 29, 2010

rumors, the truth, and getting "Squatched" in Riggins Idaho

..."I don't even know what that means."

There are a few great urban legends associated with the rock climbing in Riggins, Idaho. A handful of colorful stories from the early development years of the Amphitheatre along with the local Riggins knowledge of Sasquatch sightings are always great late night campfire stories in the dense pines at the Mile 9 campsite. Without rumors, the truth about Riggins would be meaningless.

Heather and I first visited Riggins during the summer of 2006. Despite only seeing four other climbers to inspire us during our 14+ day stay, the "cave funk" was no match for our desire to redpoint some of the routes in the Amphitheatre. What is the cave funk you may ask? Well, it is best described as that lasting effect of failure that lingers in the cave from repeatedly falling off of your project and it feeling just as hard on the 5th go as it did on the 1st attempt. Beware, the rumors of the cave funk are true...

..."Ever been to Riggins? That place sucks... it's totally chipped."

Again, without rumors, the truth about Riggins would be meaningless! Those of you who know me well, understand that i view ethics and religion as one in the same. Simply defined, both are a belief in a set of ideals to help govern our actions and both are a personal choice. The religion i subscribe to suggests that i simply love despite differences of opinion. How does this relate to Riggins? Simple. I LOVE climbing! Natural, chipped, traditional, bouldering, sport climbing...

The truth about Riggins is in fact the place has manufactured routes, however, there are a lot of routes that are all natural, well, all natural despite the manufactured protection! It is easy for me to see that Riggins isn't a place for everyone but it is a place i would suggest you experience at least once!
The non-manufactured hard route So Thin, So Fat 5.13+ on The Head of Sasquatch Wall at the Projects Sector - Riggins, Idaho

Heather and I drove from Seattle to Riggins last week to meet up with some of our friends from East Idaho. A few years ago, Tyler and Joe came up to Riggins for a few days to meet up with us and to decide for themselves about the chipped nature of the place. Despite fighting hard, the Amphitheatre won. They both had so much fun that they decided to go back! Joining Joe and Tyler this go around were several other close friends which made for a super fun four days of climbing hard in Riggins!

On average the temperatures can be about 25 degrees difference from the actual town of Riggins to the limestone climbing zone high in the Seven Devils Mountains. This particular trip we experienced a 40 degree temperature swing which made climbing on the small holds at the Projects Sector really good. The daytime highs were barely reaching into the mid 40's!!

We spent our time between the Amphitheatre and the Projects during the day, and huddling around the fire at night joking about one of us getting "Squatched" from our tents whiled we slept. The first-timers to Riggins fell head over heels for the climbing and the talk of returning for more started on the first night.

Nat Meacham is too healthy for this tub of Lard 5.10+

Soaking up the northern Idaho beauty on Soul Harvester 5.13b

Riley Everett Rollins sprinting his way up Chicken Dinner 5.13-

Warming up on the all natural Grey Matter 5.11+ at the Wuh Wall

Riley Everett Rollins using his brain power on Grey Matter 5.11+

On the fat part of So Thin, So Fat 5.13+

Thin is in... exiting the crux of So Thin, So Fat 5.13+

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SASQUATCH.....!!! Oh, wait, it's just Nat coming back from his morning treasure hunt

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My work here is done.

Several of us came very close to redpointing our projects and likely having time for just one more attempt, we could have all walked away with redpointed projects. Hopefully it won't be another two years before Heather and I return to Riggins. There is so much more for us to do there and just maybe we'll see some new faces up there as well?!?!

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