Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sick, Phat and Ticktastic

Tick Sightings: None!!

Undeterred by a weather forecast of 90-plus temperatures, Michael, accompanied by Olin Martin, headed to the North Rim around 8 a.m. Saturday. Much to everyone's surprise, and thanks to a pretty stiff breeze, they were able to climb throughout the day and didn't leave until 6:30 p.m.

The day's objective was to bolt Ticktastic, the line Michael and Tim sussed out a week earlier. The line is located beneath the central obvious roof, right of No Dick Tick and sharing its anchors. From Michael's email report of the day,

We climbed the route several times, and ultimately decided at the top that we would put a bolt in the middle of what might be a couple of possible finishes. One, to the right, is probably 10b, but the other is harder than that, so our tentative rating for the route is 10b/c. It's a sweet route. It has 7 bolts and finishes at the No Dick Tick anchors.

First ascent credits go to Michael, Tim Karst and Olin. To read more about the day, check out Michael's graceful post about new routes, climbing and friendship at the Montana Adventurer blog.

Olin Martin at Work on Ticktastic (photo: Michael Moore)

The Tick Farm wall now has 8 bolted routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.11 and averaging about 50 feet in length. Worth noting are the 3 pairs that allow you to ascend an easier line and work a harder one from the same set of anchors. This is always a great combination for pushing your ability to new levels. The routes are:

Tick Man (5.8+) - Ticked Off (5.10c)
No Dick Tick (5.8) - Ticktastic (5.10b/c)
Birthday Tick (5.10a) - Witness the Tickness (5.11a)

In each case, the right hand line is the harder.

Two other climbers also hiked up on Saturday. Gunnar Cornwath and Brian French visited the area for the first time. According to Michael, "they pronounced it both 'sick' and 'phat.'" The pair climbed several Tick Farm routes, plus did the Tiger Stripe wall's Sabertooth. We're always happy when people top out the Tick Farm and establish on the ledge beneath the Tiger Stripe. The ledge is a great place to hang out and the Tiger Stripe routes, Sabertooth (5.10b), Tiger by the Tail (5.10d) and Shere Khan (5.11b) are some of the best sport routes anywhere in our region. The Tick Farm is great climbing, but the easily-accessible Tiger Stripe routes just shouldn't be missed!

For those looking for them, No Dick Tick, Ticktastic and Sabertooth are all too new to be in the guide, so here's a quick drawing showing their locations,

1-Shere Khan
2-Tiger by the Tail
4-No Dick Tick

Finally, here's a shot I found from last year that gives a good look at Kurt's Give and Take crack line. The crux involves strenuous moves out the horizontal portion of the crack. Initial efforts report it at around 10d. Kurt needs another visit or two to finish cleaning it up before it's ready for lead ascents.

Keith beneath Give and Take